What is it gonna take for President Barack Obama to get you to drive away in a brand new Obamacare policy next week?
Double… Triple… Sextuple. How much are you willing to pay, particularly if you’re single and not too advanced in years, to swap your current health plan for an Obamacare plan?
The Wall Street Journal published a table Wednesday of State-by-State data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that contrasts the current lowest price of a single-coverage policy for a 27 year-old with the lowest price that same 27 year-old can expect to pay if he ditches his insurance (or, more likely, if his Obamacare-escaping employer cuts his hours back to 29 per week) in favor of an Obamacare plan.
Not being arithmeticians, and gently pressured by working deadlines, we only had a chance to crunch a few of the numbers. But it appears at a glance that the best Obamacare deal lies in the great State of New Hampshire, where the cheapest privately-held coverage plan of $149 per month can be supplanted for a relative steal of only $37 more per month.
What a bargain – New Hampshire residents could be the envy of everyone else. The contrast between cheap coverage now and “cheap” coverage under the Affordable Care Act gets downright loony in places like Little Rock ($31 monthly premiums versus $190 under Obamacare), all of Delaware ($51 versus $203), New Orleans ($39 versus $170) and Omaha ($26 versus $162 – a whopping 623 percent increase).
Sure, $26 is dirt cheap by absolutely any measure. But being told you’re going to have to pony up six times that amount for a revamped version of what you already have is basically the grown-up, government equivalent of watching a toddler make-believe demand that his baby sister pay a kajillion bajillion dollars before he’ll hand back her princess wand.
The table represents only those States where the Federal government is setting up and managing the mandatory insurance “exchanges” (a.k.a. virtual marketplace). Elsewhere, the health care exchanges will be managed by the States themselves.
As the table notes, some people may be eligible for subsidies to defray the hike in policy prices. But guess who pays for that? All the poor saps in Omaha who sign up to pay the $162 per month (and so on, in each State). And, if young and healthy people opt for the Obamacare penalty instead of buying coverage – as many industry pundits predict – that $162 a month will climb higher to make up the difference.
So what, exactly, is Ted Cruz on about? The conservative Texas Senator’s Obamacare-attacking filibuster gag was just a bunch of self-serving grandstanding borrowed from the McCarthy era…