What’s ‘Affordable’ About the Affordable Care Act? California Premiums Set To Increase 64 Percent To 146 Percent


Buyers of individual insurance plans in California are bracing for sticker shock as the Jan. 1 start date for President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act approaches.

Covered California, the State’s healthcare exchange that’s being set up to offer a closed-market array of insurance plans that conform to the Obamacare vision, released projections last week that forecast anywhere from a 2 percent increase all the way to a 29 percent decrease in the cost of plans purchased under the exchange for individuals.

But Forbes contributor Avik Roy looked a little closer at the numbers behind that boast, and found it’s an apples-and-oranges comparison.

Last week, Covered California—the name for the state’s Obamacare-compatible insurance exchange—released the rates that Californians will have to pay to enroll in the exchange.

“The rates submitted to Covered California for the 2014 individual market,” the state said in a press release, “ranged from two percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer plans in California’s most populous regions.”

That’s the sentence that led to all of the triumphant commentary from the left. “This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” exulted [Covered California executive director] Peter Lee.

Except that Lee was making a misleading comparison. He was comparing apples–the plans that Californians buy today for themselves in a robust individual market–and oranges–the highly regulated plans that small employers purchase for their workers as a group. The difference is critical.

So what’s the difference?

Well, the absolute cheapest coverage a single young person can get through Covered California, the “catastrophic” plan, averages $184 per month, which itself equals the current median monthly insurance premium throughout California.

But if you want more — as in, comprehensive coverage you may already be accustomed to from any employer-sponsored plans you’ve held in the past — the price starts to jump. Comprehensive coverage through Covered California averages $205 a month.

For a single, healthy 25-year-old, the current average rate for basic coverage in California is $92 a month. A year from now, the $184 figure kicks in. And, once you pass age 30, you’re not eligible under Obamacare for the cheap “catastrophic” policy; you have to upgrade:

[I]f you’re 40, your cheapest option is the bronze [comprehensive] plan. In California, the median price of a bronze plan for a 40-year-old male non-smoker will be $261.

But on eHealthInsurance [in 2013], the average cost of the five cheapest plans was $121. That is, Obamacare will increase individual-market premiums by an average of 116 percent.

At the time the Affordable Care Act was passed, insurance company experts who foresaw the price surge Obamacare’s market-restricting regulations and qualifiers would bring about were eviscerated by the Obama Administration when they protested the changes. Insurers were portrayed as greedy monopolists whose stranglehold on artificially high rates was about to come to an end.

But it’s becoming clear that market greed pales in comparison to the hunger for power that fuels Obama’s most ambitious social experiment.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • BarrackHussein

    This won’t bother the criminal immigrants… they don’t carry any.

  • Justsomeguy151

    Wonder why the Libtard Lefty media is silent on this.

    • Michael Shreve

      Negative news is punishable news.

  • me

    Hell of a deal how wages and benefits are going down and insurance is going up. Now insurance is forced on us.

    • Dave

      Why do you think wages and benefits are going down? Who has influence in Congress to influence trade law? Who is served by free trade with countries like African and Asian nations that pay workers pennies? The Unions????
      If you don’t have insurance and you don’t have the money… who pays ultimately?

  • Dave

    Not so slient conservatives


    The problem with you conservatives is 1) you had no plan before the law was enacted 2) You fail to understand that the baby-boomers are getting older and they are the largest group in the nation and they are using more HC 3) That Hospitals, doctors, pharma, insurance and corp greed has caused the cost of HC to explode 4) That using this model to help the uninsured is less expensive that having them go to the Emergency room for care and thus slow the increase in costs.

    Please, look at the world around you before you assume you know what you are are talking about.

  • Michael Shreve

    When NO ONE can afford health insurance. the FEDERAL government will control EVERYONE’S health care. OBVIOUS goal.

    • Dave

      And look how well the private sector has taken care of people Michael… the second largest accounting of personal bankruptcy in this country is HC costs… Yes if you have tons of money, the system is great… If you don’t, one major sickness and you could be done financially.
      Do you really think the private sector wants “cures”? Are you that naive? They want patients…. They will suck you dry to make thewir bottom lines look better.
      Don’t let the corporatists fool you.

      • Justsomeguy151

        The private sector is INFINITELY more honest than our govt. Insurance companies and over regulation are what drives up costs. Some doctors are no longer accepting medicare because then they can provide the same service at a fraction of the cost. The whole private sector is not corrupt but our govt is hopelessly corrupt and they will never ever be satisfied until they control EVERYTHING.

        • Dave

          Who pays the Gov? Corporations do…. Do you have any proof that the private sector is more honest? No… Without regulations, they will poison your water, rob you blind and in the case of Shell oil a few months back, they will move an oil rig during bad weather just to get out of paying taxes but they will lie about it.
          Your assertion simply doesn’t have merit.

          • Justsomeguy151

            Do you have any proof that “govt can fix everything”? Do you have any proof that the private sector is dishonest and govt is not? The worst president in our nation’s history is up to his ears in scandals and corruption but people like you STILL have blind faith in govt that they have repeatedly proven they don’t deserve. There are already too many regulations and STILL our water, food and air is poisoned…ALL with the approval of our corporate bought govt. YOUR ignoring the facts doesn’t support yr argument.

          • Dave

            Gov doesn’t and should not be in the business of “fixing” everything. Never said any such thing. That is all you. They have a crucial role to play, as does business… But when business and the gov collude… bad things can happen and under the corporatists in both parties, it has…

            Private business is in the business of making money. Lets take HC for example… When insurance firms used to reject people for pre-existing conditions… Was that out of compassion for the sick and doing the right thing?

            Now lets look at the environment. Big Oil wrote all the regs put forth by the Bush admin which is to say a loosening of regs and the lack of overnight by the agency in charge of safety help lead to the big oil spill in the gulf. Was that to do the right thing?

            Money and and Corporations do some interesting things…Corporations were started in the first place to do what? Keep individuals from being finanically and criminally liable for things they do on behalf of the company. Intially from being wipped out from from mistakes the company makes, now it is protection from criminal and anti-American activities.
            The Gov, at least we have the ability to vote these people out if the people are so inclined.

          • Justsomeguy151

            We’re not really disagreeing on too much here. I think govt has “fixed” things so many times that it seems things are irreparable. You didn’t say govt fixes everything but it sure sounded like you implied it. No doubt about it, big business buys influence in Congress and other levels of govt. Monsanto has now become untouchable thru the Monsanto Protection Act, EVEN if their products are found to be harmful which they ALWAYS are.

            Agreed about the insurance companies. But that whole business is a scam. Insurance almost always denies claims outright, just because they can. BIG Oil is all over our economy. So much so that people are afraid of investing in other forms of energy because of the thought of what MIGHT happen if BIG Oil was no longer king and how that MIGHT affect other industries.no longer made the money they currently do. Bush is a scumbag and war criminal but I don’t blame him for the oil spill. I blame the people responsible for making sure that safety measures are followed and ignoring them. Biggest problem in govt is that we don’t have elections often enough. Our EMPLOYEES/congressmen and women do NOT work for us. Also, people aren’t remotely informed. They’re too busy focusing on sports, the Kardashians, American Idol or the new iPhone. So expecting them to vote in their own in best interests is futile.

  • Blank Reg

    My current coverage just went up about 15%. And ObamaCare hasn’t even kicked in yet.



    The president of a George Soros-funded “progressive” think tank has boasted about helping to write President Obama’s signature healthcare legislation.

    Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, or CAP, appeared Friday night on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” when she was asked by another guest, James Poulos of the Huffington Post, whether she read the text of Obamacare.

    “Yes,” she replied. “I helped write the bill. So yes, I read the bill. I read all 2,200 pages of the bill.”

    Tanden assumed her CAP position in November 2011 after serving as a senior advisor for the U.S. Health and Human Services. She also worked on Obama’s health-reform team in the White House to help pass the Affordable Care Act.

    Tanden argued in a February 2012 CAP report that individual mandates within Obamacare “will be instrumental in achieving near-universal coverage.”

    Tanden co-authored the report, entitled, “The Case for the Individual Mandate in Health Care Reform,” with fellow CAP staffer Topher Spiro, who is director of the think tank’s health care policy department.

    Spiro’s official CAP bio states she was “a member of the team that drafted the Affordable Care Act of 2010.”

    The CAP has long been closely tied to the Obama administration. The center’s co-director, John Podesta, was co-director of Obama’s White House transition team.

    A Time magazine article profiled the influence of Podesta’s Center for American Progress in the formation of the Obama administration, stating that “not since the Heritage Foundation helped guide Ronald Reagan’s transition in 1981 has a single outside group held so much sway.”

    The CAP is funded by billionaire George Soros. Its board includes Van Jones, Obama’s former “green jobs” czar, who resigned in September 2009 after it was exposed he founded a communist revolutionary organization.

    Another primary CAP funder is the Tides Foundation. Tides is also a primary funder to radical groups such as MoveOn.org, Media Matters for America and the now defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/06/soros-funded-activist-i-helped-write-obamacare/#oxZVbDiZ8Rs6Erai.99

    • Dave

      The NRA writes gun laws, the Oil firms write environmental laws, The banks write financial regs…
      So Soros spends his money and time helping causes that help the middle class and poor… People like the Koch Brothers put their money to write laws that help the Koch Brothers.
      I say get big money and influence out of politics all together. Bottom line.

      • WTS/JAY

        All corrupt billionaires who gamble on currency values and profit from financial crisis are conservatives, right? Any businessman who calls the unseating of an incumbent president the “central focus in his life” is a right wing hack, correct? Wrong!

        The multi-billionaire who manipulates global markets and elections is a liberal. In fact, he is a self proclaimed Anti-American and Anti-Capitalist. George Soros! The man who broke the bank of England” donated a $1 million dollar check for Obama’s reelection campaign, and $500,000 dollars to a Super PAC for Congressional Democrats. I thought the Democratic Party hated Super PACs? As long as liberal celebrities and activists are donating millions of dollars, then it’s ok.

        George Soros is a Hungarian born Jew who avoided persecution during the Holocaust by posing as the godson of a Nazi official. During the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1944, the 14 year old Soros went around with his “godfather” confiscating property from persecuted Jews. In a 60 Minutes interview, he admitted that he feels no guilt over his connection to the Nazis , and in his book Soros on Soros, he cited 1944 as the “happiest year of his life.” He has been a lifelong critic of United States Foreign Policy, and cites both the United States and Israel for the “resurgence of Anti-Semitism” in Europe.

        While Mr. Soros has made his life fortune off free market capitalism (mostly in the United States, having moved to Wall Street in 1956), he is a staunch critic of capitalism and an avid supporter of a “new world order.” Here is Soros in his own words:

        “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.” (from his book, The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror)

        Soros on American values in his book Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism:

        “It may be shocking to say, but I believe that the current unilateralist posture of the United States constitutes a serious threat to the peace and prosperity of the world.”

        Mr. Soros also sees Capitalism as a dangerous threat to the world. In his work The Capitalist Threat, he proclaimed:

        “The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist, but the capitalist threat.”


        What a surprise; a “global citizen” and opponent of capitalism is an Obama supporter. This is a man who has dedicated his life to bringing Western free markets to there knees, and envisions a world where the United States is significantly weaker. Soros’s made $1 billion dollars by betting on the devaluing of the British Pound in 1992, and having contributed to the Barack Obama in 2012, he is betting (and seeks to profit from) the devaluing of the United States. It’s ironic that he is such a sworn enemy of capitalism, because for almost 60 years, it has been his livelihood. How come he hasn’t been victimized by the Obama administration for his “vulture capitalism” and shady business deals? This is a man who made over a billion dollars betting on inflation and “breaking” The Bank of England!

  • Bob666