Saturday, May 25, 2013

Inconvenient multi-colored graphic pretty much destroys narrative


The L.A. Times breathlessly reports here that recently unveiled California health insurance plan rates as approved by the California health care exchange are "better-than-expected". If by "better-than-expected" they mean that smack upside the head resulted in only a concussion rather than brain damage then, sure, let's all get in line for another crack.

And we believe we are probably being far too charitable with that analogy as how can anyone but the most shameless of spin-meisters see this image below, provided by the same L.A. Times, as good news?

(click to enlarge)

(These figures indicate the lowest monthly cost possible for a 40 yr. old person for the Siver plan, the third most comprehensive of the 4 types of plans approved by the state)

The Times waits until deep in the article to get to some real-life cases that reflect reality vs. spin:

One of the bigger risks is that high premiums turn off healthier, middle-income households that aren't eligible for that federal assistance and have to pay the full premium. Rates could skyrocket if the exchange fails to enroll enough of those people to offset the higher costs of sicker, poorer policyholders.

Katharine King, 59 and a self-employed concert and event producer in Santa Monica, already pays $497 a month for her individual health insurance from Anthem Blue Cross. She wouldn't qualify for federal premium help based on her income. Using the state's online calculator, which doesn't yet reflect the final rates, her premiums could shoot up to nearly $600 a month next year.

"The Affordable Care Act is still not all that affordable unless you qualify for a federal subsidy, which I will not," King said. "It will likely be another case of the middle class kind of getting screwed."

Alfredo Ceron, 44, an uninsured painter in Los Angeles, has less to worry about with these rates. He said he earns about $100 a day when he has work, which means the federal government would pick up most of the tab for him and his two adult children who still live at home.

"I'd like to get my family covered," he said while waiting in line at a recent downtown festival to get more information about the new insurance options.

Hooray, subsidies! Subsidies that will have to be picked up by middle class folks like Ms. King via the 47 new taxes contained within ObamaCare.

But back to those rate increases... contrary to the Times opening lede, those rate increases are indeed pretty much in line with what was expected. 20-30% increases as depicted above are what the insurance companies said we could all expect with the implementation of the new healthcare law. Again, we're left scratching our head wondering wherein lies the good news.

And put aside, for a moment, the "better than expected" meme; let's never forget the ObamaCare promise that the law would necessarily bend the cost of healthcare downward.

The bottome line result of this law will be that eople like Ms. King and quite likely you will be getting a double-whammy of paying higher monthly premiums plus paying higher taxes to keep this whole wretched monstrosity afloat. We fail to see how that reformed anything.


Doo Doo Econ said...

People who will not be paying the higher premiums will have the false sense that they "helped" the poor through "caring."

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University of Nigeria - IDUEHE said...

Sometimes care is shown at the wrong side with the very wrong impression that makes the whole scene hectic and full of falsehood.