Tennessee Triple Whammy: Obamacare will Triple Men’s Premiums, Double Women’s

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It’s time we have “the talk” about that “free” “healthcare” the Democrat Party has promised. Turns out that some Americans will have to pay much more for their health insurance premiums (after their employers drop them and/or their spouses, of course).

How much more? Try triple the rate for men and double the rate for women in the state of Tennessee, for starters. Sen. Lamar Alexander released his analysis of a White House report portion on his state. As expected, Obamacare’s supporters are spinning while the heads of those who actually have to pay the price for it are spinning:

From his release, via the Washington Examiner:

— Today, a 27-year-old man in Memphis can buy a plan for as low as $41 a month. On the exchange, the lowest state average is $119 a month — a 190 percent increase.

— Today, a 27-year-old woman in Nashville can also buy a plan for as low as $58 a month. On the exchange, the lowest-priced plan in Nashville is $114 a month — a 97 percent increase. Even with a tax subsidy, that plan is $104 a month, almost twice what she could pay today.

— Today, women in Nashville can choose from 30 insurance plans that cost less than the administration says insurance plans on the exchange will cost, even with the new tax subsidy.

— In Nashville, 105 insurance plans offered today will not be available in the exchange.

Ironically, many supporters of the law are touting that Tennessee’s rates are among the lowest in the country. The figures:

  • Average monthly plan in Tennessee: $245
  • National Average: $328
  • Cheapest Plan in Tennessee: $181

The White House’s report on Obamacare price projections is steeped in the language of market economics (although the program will crush the private insurance market):

On October 1, 2013, a Health Insurance Marketplace will open in each state, providing a new, simplified way to compare individual market health insurance plans. Americans will be able to use the Health Insurance Marketplace to shop for and purchase health insurance coverage, which will begin January 1, 2014. In addition, individuals and families with household incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) who are not eligible for certain other types of coverage may qualify for tax credits to make premiums more affordable

A “market” implies “choice”; when one is forced to carry insurance or pay a penalty tax, the federal government tightly controls the products and services that can be offered, and the government offers services that are funded through coercive taxation, then it is no longer a “market.”

This is not to say that the current medical system is not expensive; but nearly half the health expenditures in this nation are paid for with public funds already: $4,000 out of a total of $8,223 per person.  Moving towards a single-payer, universal healthcare plan, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama have alluded to, will only increase the U.S.’ already unsustainable levels of public debt.

The White House is saying that the price for an individual healthcare plan on the state exchanges will be lower for many families than it otherwise would be; but that price differential is necessarily picked up taxpayers in the form of federal subsidies. The president argues that by expanding the pool of “insurance” participants to cover all people, the price will ultimately become lower.

However, since the demand upon the medical system will increase, the Independent Payment Advisory Board will be forced to contain costs by slashing Medicare payments, effectively rationing care to the elderly. Young people are expected to enter the market to avoid massive cuts for the elderly; the premiums of young men, for example, are expected to go up by half.

Since the government is covering “pre-existing conditions” (thus not making it “insurance”) and is regulating the “market” plans, the prices of premiums in many states will necessarily go up — unless that state already has strict regulations of the health insurance industry already in place. In addition to regulations on employers, such as the temporarily suspended employer mandate (employers with 50 or more employees over 30 hours have to offer a health insurance plan), and new taxes, such as a 40% excise tax on employer plans with benefits above a certain threshold, employers will almost certainly dump coverage.

So, no, you can’t necessarily keep your doctor or your plan. Premiums will go up for many as they are being forced to cover the increased healthcare costs of those who are entering the system — whether those costs are federally subsidized or not.

In other words, the taxes from Obamacare will increase on many of the same people who will see their premiums skyrocket. They won’t be able to afford the plans, they won’t qualify for federal subsidies (around 48% will qualify), and their taxes will increase. A triple whammy.

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