And guess what? They’re cheaper than the CBO’s 2009 estimates.
Not only are the rates cheaper, the Affordable Care Act looks like it’s doing exactly what they said it would — creating competition to make health insurance rates more competitive.
Originally, the non-partisan CBO predicted that California’s monthly insurance rates under “Obamacare” would run around $450 per month for the medium-level (silver) insurance plan. What reality actually shows is a medium-level plan will cost around $294 per month — before subsidies. Meaning, depending on how much someone makes, they’ll rarely pay the full rate. For instance, someone making twice the poverty line would only pay $104 per month.
While traditional “conservative states” have done everything possible to sabotage “Obamacare,” more liberal states like Oregon, Washington and now California are proving that the law is performing better than even its most adamant supporters expected.
Even in my state of Texas, Governor Rick Perry has done everything possible to deny health coverage for millions of poor Texas residents. While it might make for good politics in Texas as “Obamacare” is still in its infancy, the long-term political ramifications for Republicans could be massive as the states which are allowing the law to work show positive results.
I’m sure Republicans will do their best to fire up their propaganda machine to try and spin these numbers, but in a year or two when the states which have properly implemented the law are boasting lower insurance rates than the states (such as Texas) which have sabotaged the law, it’s going to be really difficult to explain why their citizens are paying more for health coverage than states which embraced “Obamacare.”
Now I’m well aware reality for most Republicans is different than it is for everyone else, but how they convinced millions of people that competition would somehow make prices increase is laughable.
As the Forbes article points out, while some private insurance companies have attempted to gouge Americans by jacking up their insurance premiums, these levels aren’t sustainable as these exchange programs begin to roll out with much lower rates.
These private companies will have very few choices. They can either keep rates high and lose a giant portion of the market share to companies offering cheaper rates, hope that people don’t switch out of loyalty to their current coverage, or lower their premiums to be more competitive.
And this doesn’t even cover the benefits we’ve seen already such as the millions of students who can stay on their parents insurance plans longer, or the thousands of Americans who can no longer be denied coverage for having a pre-existing condition.
So while it might make good politics for Republicans to muddy the waters as much as possible to make the Affordable Care Act into some monster which will create death panels and destroy our health care system — even Republicans can only deny reality for so long before it bites them in the rear end.
It’s just pathetic that millions of Americans living in these Republican controlled states will have to suffer without health care coverage, and many die due to a lack of treatment, just because conservative politicians would rather play partisan politics than just admit the truth — they lied.
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