My premiums went up for no good reason!

Or so says Donna Brazile:

Those who know better — those on the political Right — have been saying since Obamacare’s inception, that the program would indeed raise premiums even while the President himself has not only denied premiums would increase, he asserted premiums would actually decrease.

The New York Times reported that the then candidate Senator Obama had said his health care plan would “bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family.”  See also this fact sheet from the Obama campaign which says: “The Obama plan will save a typical American family up to $2,500 every year on medical expenditures”.  In Cincinnati at a campaign event in 2012, the President said premiums would go down:

So when you hear about the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare  and I don’t mind the name because I really do care.  That’s why we passed it.  You should know that once we have fully implemented, you’re going to be able to buy insurance through a pool so that you can get the same good rates as a group that if you’re an employee at a big company you can get right now — which means your premiums will go down.

The President also said premiums would be reduced by 3000%:

__________________________________________________

Just let that sink in a minute, I’ll wait.

But what is the truth?

(Forbes) — During his first campaign for the presidency in 2008, the president promised that his health reform plan would “bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family” by the end of his first term.

Well, that first term is just about up. And health insurance isn’t any cheaper. In fact, it’s more expensive. Premiums have increased by an average of $3,065. And they’re about to go up even more, as Obamacare takes effect during the president’s second term.

(Fox News) — Premiums for individuals and small businesses are projected to increase due to the tax by roughly 2 percent this year and by as much as 3.7 percent in 2023, according to a widely cited analysis by the insurance industry.

[…]

“The goal was to make health care more affordable, but adding a tax on health insurance does the opposite, increasing the cost for families and small businesses,” Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for the group America’s Health Insurance Plans, said Tuesday.

Zirkelbach and others on the side of insurance companies say younger Americans will be among those facing the largest increases.

The looming tax on the insurance industry will cost health-insurance providers $8 billion in 2014, then $14.3 billion in 2018 and a total $100 billion over the next 10 years, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

(The Hill) — Young adults will see higher health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because of a provision that links prices for older and younger patients, according to a new study.

Actuaries at management consulting firm Oliver Wyman predicted the law’s age rating restrictions could mean a 42 percent hike in premium costs for people aged 21 to 29 when they buy individual coverage.

“This means that close to 4 million uninsured individuals … can expect to pay more out of pocket for single coverage than they otherwise would, even given the availability of premium assistance,” study authors wrote.

[…]

Oliver Wyman’s study predicted that people in their 30s purchasing single coverage will also see an increase in premium costs totaling 31 percent, while people aged 60 to 64 would see premiums increase by about 1 percent.

It seems as though there are plenty of reasons your premiums went up, Ms. Brazile.  But it’s no wonder you were caught by surprise when you and other unquestioning supporters of a failed President have your eyes and ears closed.  It’s even worse how you and they treated those trying to explain the extra financial burden that Obamacare would cost.

So, Ms. Brazile, let’s be honest.  We both know why your premiums went up, don’t we.

Comments

  1. My premiums increased over 1100% between 1998-2008. So I got rid of it. I joined the army of the uninsured. I couldn’t afford the monthly payment. It went up every quarter. For 10 years in spite of never using it once! That said it went up before obama was in office. Medical insurance along with tuition has been outpacing inflation by 10-15 to one for almost 20 years.

    But I do understand holding obama accountable for the delusion that obamacare would lower premiums etc. In my opinion it is the second largest scam ever perpetuated on the American public.

  2. Once upon a time conservatives argued that electricity rates would go down if privatized – they didn’t because the companies involved Enron – World Com etc. – ordered the generating plants shut down thus causing the rolling blackouts and the sudden rise of electricity rates across California in the early 2000’s.

    Here in Georgia conservatives made the same argument in regards to natural gas which was also privatized resulting in the price of natural gas going through the roof for the average customer.

    In drawing up his national health care plan Obama followed the time honored example of the conservatives by allowing the health care insurance industry to design it to suit themselves.

    The real reason health care insurance premiums are going up is so that those controlling the insurance companies will get millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and benefits while doing their level best to limit and deny needed medical care services to their less affluent and political connected customers.

    This is how the game is played by both liberal democrats and conservative republicans so in determining who is to blame I suggest that you take a real good look in the mirror.

    • Dapoet

      Are you unaware of the state and local government regulatory interference that goes on with utility companies? Not too long ago a grocery store was running a sale on milk, for example, and the government stepped in and prohibited them from the sale because the price was too low.

  3. Da,
    It seems that your point is that P-BO was stupid. If not he either wouldn’t have followed those previous examples, or he wouldn’t have made promises he knew he couldn’t keep. Any way you look at it he was making claims during his campaigns that we now can see were clearly made up out of thin air. Between the fact that Donna B. is asking her Dr. about her health insurance premiums, and the fact that she see’s no correlation, makes me question her intelligence as well.

  4. Once upon a time utility companies refused to expand into rural areas until they were required to do so by the government. Then to prevent the utility companies from ripping off their customers and blocking out competition through monopolies regulations were created to keep both the supply and prices stable as well as affordable. The history of deregulation in the airline and utility industries have all proven the claims conservatives make in regards to deregulation to be intentional prevarications and outright lies. It would be nice if conservatives could be relied upon to tell the truth but then again I stopped believing in Santa Claus a long long time ago.

  5. Da,
    You seem to have a bit of a one track mind. I was unaware that the topic was electricity in the 50’s or airlines. Now if your point is that P-BO should have seen what happened in those areas and done something different, that could be a valid point. The problem is that if that is the case, then he is at best naive, at worst a complete moron.

    However in the present we are faced with a couple of options, neither of which makes POTUS look very good. . At best P-BO naively oversold Obamacare. More realistically, he intentionally exaggerated the claims about how it would function, knowing that it would be much harder to change once it passed. IN layman’s terms he lied. So, we can deal with the past or the present.

    Ultimately it comes back to the old saying. There is no free lunch.

  6. An OECD inform about health spending:
    http://www.oecd.org/unitedstates/BriefingNoteUSA2012.pdf

  7. Isu,

    And your point is? It seems as though your graph shows health costs in the US higher than anywhere else in the world. P-BO promises that costs will go down, yet they go up. He’s either stupid, deluded, or a liar. There really aren’t any other options.

  8. Craig,

    The points are that your health system is very expensive and that it doesn’t seem to be cost-effective.

    I agree that Obama is stupid, deluded or a liar.
    Anyway, that is not an impediment to be elected or re-elected by republicans or democrats.

  9. Isu,
    While your point may or may not be true, especially in terms of cost effectiveness. I think most of us would prefer it to a socialized system.

    The more we hear from P-BO and his spokespeople on the sequester, I’m increasingly leaning toward liar.

  10. Craig,

    “I think most of us would prefer it to a socialized system.”

    Since you seem to disregard cost effectiveness, I wonder why you prefer it.

  11. Isu,

    Since I didn’t say I disregard cost effectiveness, I have to wonder about your comprehension. I would suggest that most in the US place a high priority on the Dr./patient relationship and being able to choose your Dr. Also, I would think that the ready availability of all sorts of medical services is appealing as well.

    It seems that you are assuming that a socialized system is de facto more cost effective than a free market system. While it could be argued that this is the case, although you have provided nothing to suggest that it is. At some point the pursuit of cost effectiveness means the denial of care. Or at least the denial of timely care. We see it here when Canadians cross the border in search of medical care.

  12. Craig

    “Since I didn’t say I disregard cost effectiveness, I have to wonder about your comprehension.”

    Since I didn’t say you said that, I have to wonder about yours.

    “I would suggest that most in the US place a high priority on the Dr./patient relationship and being able to choose your Dr.”

    I don’t find relevant choosing doctor. Anyway, I can change mine if I choose it.

    “Also, I would think that the ready availability of all sorts of medical services is appealing as well.”

    We have plenty of medical services. If you don’t point out significant differences I won’t see them.

    “It seems that you are assuming that a socialized system is de facto more cost effective than a free market system. While it could be argued that this is the case, although you have provided nothing to suggest that it is.”

    A free market system is guided by profits, so you have to pay a surplus to cover them.
    For a nationalized system the profit is the health of the population itself.

    “At some point the pursuit of cost effectiveness means the denial of care. Or at least the denial of timely care.”

    Cost effectiveness isn’t the denial of care, but getting the best care for what is paid.
    Private system is the denial of care if you can’t pay.

    “We see it here when Canadians cross the border in search of medical care.”

    If they have paid for it why don’t use it?

    The fact is that having a nationalized health system doesn’t mean you cannot contract a private one if you want and are able to.

  13. Isu,
    “Since you seem to disregard cost effectiveness,” Your words, not mine.

    IN the US the concept of being able to choose your own Dr. is very important to many people. The fact that you don’t value this doesn’t mean much.

    Yes, I’m sure you have plenty of medical services. Since you are pretty cagey about where you are from, this really doesn’t mean much in this context. The problem is with a UK or Canadian style system, is the care is rationed by the government. This is why there are regular news items about patients having to wait months for tests or treatments. In some cases dying while on a waiting list. Strangely enough you rarely see this sort of thing in the US.

    Yes a free market system generates profits. Just like anything else the price of any given good or service includes some level of profit. In a free market system, the profit is seen as an incentive. The fact that you throw out this platitude about the health of the populace being the profit, without anything that conclusively demonstrates that countries with a socialized system are across the board objectively healthier and that the socializes system is responsible for that healthiness differential, is pretty meaningless.

    At some point in a socialized system, the cost limitations will result in either a denial of care or a denial of timely care. Again, we see to many examples of this to ignore the fact that it happens. Unfortunately it is impossible to tax any population enough to provide unlimited free medical care.

    Canadians cross the border for health care because they want better more timely care. It’s pretty simple. It’s called competition.

    While I’m sure that some socialized systems allow you to go outside the system, all socialized systems are not created equal. Unless you want a two tier system based on how much people are willing to pay.

  14. Craig,

    “Since you seem to disregard cost effectiveness,” Your words, not mine.

    Thar appearance is true since you didn’t care about the truthness of cost effectiveness.

    “IN the US the concept of being able to choose your own Dr. is very important to many people. The fact that you don’t value this doesn’t mean much.”

    The fact that you don’t explain the reasons to change doctor doesn’t mean much for me.
    The fact that is very important to many people doesn’t mean much either if the mayority don’t care. On the case, that mayority cares, point for you.

    “Yes, I’m sure you have plenty of medical services. Since you are pretty cagey about where you are from, this really doesn’t mean much in this context.”

    Cagey? You didn’t ask and I have said several times in this blog that I’m from Spain.

    “The problem is with a UK or Canadian style system, is the care is rationed by the government. This is why there are regular news items about patients having to wait months for tests or treatments. In some cases dying while on a waiting list. Strangely enough you rarely see this sort of thing in the US.”

    Well, we should see comparative statistics to check cost-effectiveness, taking into account:
    -Number of insurees
    -Total costs.

    “Yes a free market system generates profits. Just like anything else the price of any given good or service includes some level of profit. In a free market system, the profit is seen as an incentive.”

    Something you can save otherwise.
    In a free market healt is a product. In my society, health is a right.

    “The fact that you throw out this platitude about the health of the populace being the profit, without anything that conclusively demonstrates that countries with a socialized system are across the board objectively healthier and that the socializes system is responsible for that healthiness differential, is pretty meaningless.”

    I was never my intention to demostrate it.
    I said “it doesn’t seem to be cost-effective”, it was a guess not an statement which needs demonstration.
    However, the health of the populance being the profit isn’t meaningless unless for egoist people.

    “At some point in a socialized system, the cost limitations will result in either a denial of care or a denial of timely care. Again, we see to many examples of this to ignore the fact that it happens. Unfortunately it is impossible to tax any population enough to provide unlimited free medical care.”

    In a private system, the unlimited cost result in denial of care for people with limited resources.

    “Canadians cross the border for health care because they want better more timely care. It’s pretty simple. It’s called competition.”

    No problem about that.

    “While I’m sure that some socialized systems allow you to go outside the system, all socialized systems are not created equal. Unless you want a two tier system based on how much people are willing to pay.”

    Well, I like mixed systems with public and private options, at least for basic personal assets such as education and health.

  15. Isu,

    It would appear that your argument is that if you decide I don’t care about cost effectiveness then it must be true, despite my actual words. Ultimately you have not demonstrated that a socialized system is more cost effective than a private system. Nor have you demonstrated that cost effectiveness is the best measure of the quality of a health care system.

    Your point about changing doctors is incoherent. While it may not be important in your country, in the U.S. being able to keep the same Dr and develop a relationship is important. I live in the U.S. therefore any system that deprives me of that, in my opinion, is less desirable. If you’ve never truly had the freedom to choose your own doctor, or are willing to accept whoever happens to be available then great. In this country the vast “mayority” disagree with you.

    Sorry, I’ve never seen that you’ve identified where your from.

    I’d be thrilled if you would actually provide the comparative statistics you claim you want to see. At this point you seem to simply assume that a state run system is more cost effective, and that cost effectiveness is the best way to evaluate health care. So, please demonstrate your premise by providing some statistics.

    Actually in a free market society health care is a service, and in the U.S. we do it pretty well. You, may be correct that health is a right, but that really means nothing.

    I realize that you never meant to demonstrate your contention. That’s where the problem lies. Your ability to articulate an opinion has nothing to do with the relationship of that opinion with actual facts. I’d love for you to back up your opinion, yet you clearly choose not to. Other than to demonstrate your penchant for name calling instead of backing up your assertions. Your last point makes no sense.

    There are many avenues in the U.S. for people to access health care with limited financial resources. It’s not perfect, but it’s available.

    The fact remains that you cannot tax any population enough to pay for unlimited “free” health care. Seems like the current financial situation in Spain might force some changes, and one of those could be limits on the “free” health care. I’m thrilled that you like a mixed system. The problem is that this isn’t about likes and dislikes. It’s about what works and what doesn’t.

    So how about you show me how cost effectiveness is the best measure of heath care quality and how much more cost effective a socialized system is than a free market system. Not likes or dislikes, but show me the stats you say you want to see.

  16. TerranceH says:

    Look, the cost of health in the United States may be more expensive than other nations, but it’s also much better. Where do most of the medical breakthroughs come from? The United States, that’s where. And the lion’s share of Noble Prizes in science? The United States, that’s where.

    So you guys can bemoan the capitalist healthcare system all you want, but when you’re country finally gets that special surgery or drug invented in the United States, and it saves your behind, be sure to thank Capitalism, the greatest economic system in the history of the world.

    The profit incentive saves lives, period. My mom was diagnosed with the worst type of breast cancer a woman can get. It’s known as HER positive, and it’s the most aggressive breast cancer cell imaginable. So instead of screwing around with our local non-profit hospitals, who made her wait two weeks for the results of her mammogram, thereby giving the cancer additional time to spread, we went to a cancer institute in Chicago, a for-profit hospital that specializes in all cancer, but specifically breast cancer.

    Guess what? They did all the testing in one day and gave her the results the next day. Two days later, they did surgery. A day after that, they started her on a special drug designed to kill her type of cancer cell. They had her basically cured within a week, while the local non-profit hospital made her wait two weeks for the results of a single test.

    Her family doctor, someone not affiliated with the cancer institute, told her she’d be dead had she not gone to Chicago.

    So you guys bemoan the profit system all you want, but those of us in a reality-based community knows that it saves lives, and the American healthcare system is based, almost entirely, on profit. And all you foreigners who benefit from our innovations should be thankful.

  17. Just one example. the U.S. has significantly more MRI machines per capita than Spain. In which country would you want to be when you need an MRI?

  18. It seems to be a lack of ready comprehension to understand “mixed systems with public and private options” means.

    TerranceRAH
    “And all you foreigners who benefit from our innovations should be thankful.”
    Why does customer have to be thankful to saler?

    Craig
    “In which country would you want to be when you need an MRI?”
    In the one I can afford one.

  19. Isu,

    I’m glad the finding the lowest cost on medical procedures is your primary goal. I’d rather it be good than cheap. Of course< I'm anxiously awaiting the stats to back up your opinion.

  20. Craig,

    You are wrong. My primary goal is to get a good and cheap system with national coverage while having the option of having a better one if you can afford it and want it.

  21. I’ll ask again. Can you show me anything that suggests that cost effectiveness is the best way to measure quality of health care? Can you explain how Spain with one of the 4 worst economies in Europe can afford perpetual “free” health care for everyone who wants it? Can you explain why it is a good thing to have a “free” health care system for those who have no choice, and a separate care system for the “elite” is a good thing? Can you answer any of these or the other questions I’ve asked.

    Or are you limited to just telling me I’m wrong without offering any support for your opinions.

  22. TerranceH says:

    No, he can’t, Craig. It’s been demonstrated time and again that the profit-incentive produces the best quality. It is painfully obvious even outside of healthcare. The cliche “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be more suitable.

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