Wages of Obamacare, cont’d

There is a lot of benighted if not willfully obtuse coverage of the price of Obamacare as the state and federal exchanges are scheduled for rollout on October 1. Minnesota is all in for Obamacare with its own state exchange (dubbed MNsure) and all the accoutrements including Medicaid expansion. The Star Tribune is happy to serve as the handmaiden of Obamacare, as in Jackie Crosby’s article “MNsure claims many will see low rates first year.” Crosby notes that “many will still feel sticker shock when the MNsure exchange launches for open enrollment in October” but doesn’t let that spoil the excitement.

Avik Roy is compiling the information necessary to calculate the effects of Obamacare on health insurance premiums. At NRO, he provides a brief summary of his findings to date, concluding that it’s not complicated: “Obamacare increases premiums for most people.”

Roy summarizes the information derived from 13 states and the District of Columbia in a Forbes column that comes with an interactive map. As of last week the relevant Obamacare insurance filings were unavailable in 37 states. Here is what we see so far, as presented by Roy in his NRO post:

What we found is that rates in most of these states will go up under Obamacare, by an average of 24 percent. And that’s despite the fact that these 13 states include some of the most heavily regulated deep-blue states, like New York and Maine, that will see premium decreases under the law, because Obamacare effectively functions as a bailout for blue states that introduced Obamacare-like changes to their insurance markets in the 1990s.

The remaining data are coming soon: “The bulk of the states that we’re waiting to get data from—less than one month away from Obamacare’s rollout—are red states with inexpensive, lightly regulated insurance markets pre-Obamacare. That’s because red states typically declined to set up their own exchanges, leaving that task to Kathleen Sebelius and the federal government.” Roy promises to add the forthcoming data to the interactive map, “so stay tuned.”

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