Obamacare premiums to rise at record pace
I've got good and bad news for you about Obamacare.
The good news? The overall cost of the program over the next 10 years will be $100 billion less than originally thought. So says the CBO.
The insurance expansion under the Affordable Care Act will cost $1.383 trillion over the next decade, more than $100 billion less than previous forecasts, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday.
The nonpartisan budget office’s report, an update to projections from February, shows the law costing less than in previous estimates in part because of the broad and persistent slowdown in the growth of health care costs. The news might come as welcome to Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the White House who are struggling to defend the law in an election year.
If you're interested, the reduction in the cost of Obamacare costs will not reduce the deficit by one penny. Congress already has the savings spent - andt then some. Besides, there's no guarantee that next year, or the year after, costs will increase above the projection.
The bad news? It's certain that premiums for Obamacare plans are going up - and they're rising at a record pace.
A recent survey of 148 insurance brokers shows that ObamaCare is sending premiums rising at the fastest clip in decades.
"For the last, about, five years they've been doing this survey, so this was the largest percentage increase in any quarter since they've been doing (it)," said Scott Gottlieb of the American Enterprise Institute.
"But at 12 percent, 11 percent increase on average across all the states -- that puts it at the upper end of any increase we've seen for decades."
That is the national average in a survey done by Morgan Stanley. But in some states, it found rates are soaring.
"There are specific states with exorbitant increases," Gottlieb said. "Delaware had 100 percent increase, Florida had a 37 percent increase, Pennsylvania 28 percent increase, California had a 53 percent increase in their premiums."
Rates vary widely, often depending on the state and how highly regulated it was to begin with. Analysts, however, say the main reasons for the higher costs are not medical inflation, but rather the requirements of ObamaCare itself.
"There are certain regulations and certain requirements that had to be in there. And because of that it's driven up the costs of these benefits," said John DiVito of the Flexible Benefit Service Corporation, which represents hundreds of agents.Rate hikes include ten essential health benefits along with more than 20,000 pages or regulations.
The reported hikes are for the first policies issued under ObamaCare in 2014.
The Congressional Budget Office or CBO issued a report Monday saying the average premium for the silver plan this year will be $3,800, or just over $300 a month, rising to $4,400 in 2016, 15 percent below its earlier estimates in 2009.
Those early, higher estimates make costs now look better – but that does not include deductibles of as much as $5,000.
There have been so many promises made and broken regarding Obamacare that it's hard to keep track. I seem to recall the president telling the American people that they will save $2,500 a year on insurance under Obamacare. Instead, costly plans are going to become even more expensive, squeezing families dry. Now Democrats are saying only that it was "unrealistic" to expect no pain in switching from the system we had - where the overwhelming majority of people were satisfied with their insurance - to what we have now. They will gloss over the lie about savings and accuse the American people of being naive.
Good luck with that, guys.