Friday, May 16, 2014

Double Trouble for Democrats

Doubling Up on Premium Increases and Doubling Down on ObamaCare

Better never Trouble
Until Trouble troubles you;
For you only make your trouble
Double-trouble when you do.

David Keppel (1899-1939), American poet, Trouble

Democrats are in trouble

Early weighted average initial online predictions from Washington State and Virginia indicate double-digit increases for health premiums.   For the individual market, according to 148 insurance  brokers, the trouble may be  even worse for those in the individual market, with these projected increases.

·         Delaware 100%

·         New Hampshire 90%

·         Indiana 54%

·         California 53%

·         Connecticut 45%

·         Florida 37%

·         Michigan 36%

·         Georgia 29%

·         Pennsylvania 25%

These figures are deceiving and over-alarming  because the individual market represents only 5% of the overall market.  In any event, the government  subsidizes many of those receiving  increases, so the spikes may not be devastating as they seem.

On the other hand, 85% of those receiving subsidies were previously insured, so ObamaCare  does not necessarily repair the safety net. And covering the uninsured may not get much better since 50% of the uninsured say they do not plan to buy insurance.

Nevertheless,  these premium spikes spell trouble for Democrats.  Republicans will surely seize upon  this dire news of premium hikes as evidence that Obama’s promise of $2500  declines in premium costs for the average family was a snare, a delusion,  and even an outright lie to lure people into the exchanges.    And in November,  pundits are predicting premium increases will be even larger for the population as a whole.

Democratic stalwarts and strategists such as Nancy Pelosi and former President Bill Clinton say ,  in effect: Ignore these premium jumps. jump on the ObamaCare bandwagon.  

Instead, campaign on the basis of ObamaCare’s good points: coverage for young adults under their parents' plans,   the uninsured, and those with pre-existing conditions,  and the promise of better care because ObamaCare plans contain those magic 10 essential benefits. These new plans may cost more, but they cover everything that might go wrong,  and they replace those inferior plans offered by the market.  

Besides, you will grow to love ObamaCare once you “find out what’s in it,” and as soon as you get used to your new doctors and your new low cost hospitals, who will replace those old doctors and old hospitals who were charging you too much.  This is a deal you can’t refuse – government compassion with matching funds spending other people’s money.

The trouble with line of argument, if you pay attention to the national polls, which today  indicate Americans  oppose ObamaCare by 53% to 43%, is that people aren’t buying your argument.

When you combine this opposition with higher premiums,  cancelled policies, higher taxes, greater bureaucracy,  longer waiting times,  and lost hospitals and doctors,  the doubling down odds  (double down – a gambling term meaning to double your bets in hopes a bigger payout)  are less attractive.

Tweet:  Higher premiums with less access to doctors and hospitals in the wake of ObamCare spell double trouble for Democrats.

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