We Passed Health Care Reform . . .

And now, we are finding out what is in it

Democrats continue to try to dismiss the evidence that Obamacare will dramatically increase the cost of insurance for people who buy it on their own. But on Thursday, the Ohio Department of Insurance announced  that, based on the rates submitted by insurers to date, the average individual-market health insurance premium in 2014 will come in around $420, “representing an increase of 88 percent” relative to 2013. “We have warned of these increases,” said Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor in a statement. “Consumers will have fewer choices and pay much higher premiums for their health insurance starting in 2014.”

The rates that Ohio reported are proposed rates; the Department of Insurance still has to formally approve them. “A total of 14 companies proposed rates for 214 plans to the Department. Projected costs from the companies for providing coverage for the required [by Obamacare] essential health benefits ranged from $282.51 to $577.40 for individual health insurance plans.”

It’s called “rate shock,” but it’s not shocking to people who understand the economics of health insurance. In August 2011, Milliman, one of the nation’s leading actuarial firms, 
predicted that Obamacare would increase individual-market premiums in Ohio by 55 to 85 percent. This past March, the Society of Actuaries projected that the law would increase premiums in that market by 81 percent. Like good players on “The Price is Right,” they both came in just under the Dept. of Insurance’s figure.

I am pretty sure that the actuaries wish that they were wrong. But it would appear that they might have been all too accurate. My question is why we didn’t hear more about this when Obamacare was being debated in Congress? I mean, I would hate to think that supporters of the Affordable (ha!) Care Act just decided to ram the bill through without letting the American people hear about the consequences that would fall on the country if the bill passed. That wasn’t what all those honorable representatives and senators were aiming to do, was it?

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