We haven’t talked about this yet, but it was big news last week on Obamacare and the California exchange:
Yesterday, we got the real numbers. And they’re lower than anyone thought.
California is a particularly important test for Obamacare. It’s not just the largest state in the nation. It’s also one of the states most committed to implementing Obamacare effectively. Under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — remember how that really happened? — California was the first state to begin building its insurance exchanges. The state’s outreach efforts are unparalleled. Its insurance regulators are working hard to bring in good plans and make sure they’re playing fair. If California can’t make the law work, perhaps no one can. But if California can make the law work, it shows that others can, too.
Imagine it’s the end of 2014. California now boasts a working, near-universal health-care system. Nothing perfect, but clearly a a success after the first year of implementation. Texas, meanwhile, is a bit of a mess. They didn’t allow the Medicaid expansion so the state’s poorest residents got nothing. They didn’t help with the exchanges, or the outreach, so there aren’t many choices, and premiums aren’t as low one might hope.
Viewed in isolation, Texas’s problems would be deadly for the law. But viewed next to California, they might mainly be a problem for the political class in Texas, which has failed to implement a clearly workable law.
For the actual breakdown of the rates after subsidies, look here:
These premiums really underscore the big role that the tax subsidies play. Available to Americans who earn less than 400 percent of the poverty line ($45,960 for an individual), these federal payments limit an individual’s premiums to a specific percent of their income. An individual earning 150 percent of the poverty line, for example, won’t be expected to spend more than 4 percent of his or her income on a health plan.
That means that the individual earning $17,235 (150 percent of the poverty line) only ends up paying a fraction of the $230 premium. The federal government picks up the rest of the tab.
For a less robust “bronze” plan, which covers 60 percent of the average beneficiary’s costs, the tax credit could actually cover the entire premium for low-income twenty-somethings. That’s what you see in the upper-left corner of the chart below, which shows how much it would cost a 21-year-old earning $17,000 to buy the most affordable bronze plan: Nothing.
For that all-important balance, here’s one or another paid group of grifters, ranting about something or other:
Ezra Klein, the White House’s personal ObamaCare flak, refuses to write about anything but a positive spin on ObamaCare or, in the alternative to silence, will attack those who are scoring points against ObamaCare.His latest piece has in it’s title, “Very Good News for ObamaCare,” since “very good news” and ObamaCare don’t usually go together in a newspaper or online headline.He is touting the prices for the California exchange, not mentioning that three of the largest insurers have decided not to participate in the California exchange.Here is the reality about the California prices, every insurer who will participate using these prices will lose so much money that they will pull out within two years.The announced prices are just like the ObamaCare law, they assume the young and healthy will out number the less healthy that swarm ObamaCare.
How great is it that they use the word “swarm” to describe the “less healthy”? It’s a battle for resources between the “young and healthy” and the “less healthy.” Winners and losers, baby. Pick a side. You say you have BOTH “young and healthy” AND “less healthy” within your immediate family? CHOOSE.
They’re just all love all the time, aren’t they?
* Every time I write about this someone asks about co-pays and deductibles for preventive care. This is the link for that.
Under the Affordable Care Act, you and your family may be eligible for some important preventive services — which can help you avoid illness and improve your health — at no additional cost to you.