One of the trouble with numbers is that with the size of the numbers that were being thrown around the other day at the health care debate was that it’s extremely difficult to tell who is using the right numbers and what the truth is. President Obama uses numbers that back up his argument, and uses formulas to arrive at them. The Republicans use a set of numbers as well, and both of them claim to be right.
ABC News got into it, claiming the Republicans were right:
…the CBO analysis does say, flatly, that “the average premium per person covered (including dependents) for new nongroup policies would be about 10 percent to 13 percent higher in 2016 than the average premium for nongroup coverage in that same year under current law.”
Why are premiums going up? CBO cites the combination of three factors:
* Premiums would be 27-30% higher because coverage would be better. The law, for example, requires that all policies cover maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health & substance abuse and no denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions.
* Premiums would be 7 to 10 percent lower b/c of changes to the way the individual market is structured.
* Premiums would be 7 to 10 percent lower b/c of an influx of more people, many of them healthy, into the insurance market.
The net effect of those three factors: Premiums would be 10 to 13 percent higher for the average policyholders.
President Obama’s claim of premium reductions of “14 to 20 percent” comes from adding factors two and three. The problem: You can’t ignore factor one. [Hat Tip: SayAnything]
However, the problem with that is that the numbers above do not reflect any kind of subsidy President Obama might pass for the middle class.
The important thing to remember about that, however, is that any subsidy will also be followed by tax increases to pay for that, which will be passed back down to the people…
The problem with all of these numbers is that the unintended consequences are impossible to calculate, and that makes either of the numbers used potentially dishonest. It’s a mess, and what I do know is that either of the actions would result in a series of counter actions.
The scary thing is that the new ObamaCare plan leads us into a cycle of increasing taxes and cost—the exact opposite of what they’re claiming to fix.