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As the Republican-controlled House works feverishly on its umpteenth try to obfuscate, gut, sabotage, delay and just plain kill the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we now learn that in New York State, individuals buying health insurance on their own will see their premiums plunge next year as changes under the ACA take effect.

The New York Times:

State insurance regulators say they have approved rates for 2014 that are at least 50 percent lower on average than those currently available in New York. Beginning in October, individuals in New York City who now pay $1,000 a month or more for coverage will be able to shop for health insurance for as little as $308 monthly. With federal subsidies, the cost will be even lower.

Read here and here how and why this is or will be so.

New York now joins a “list of states that appear to be successfully carrying out the law and setting up exchanges,” says the Times.

The Times explains:

The new premium rates do not affect a majority of New Yorkers, who receive insurance through their employers, only those who must purchase it on their own. Because the cost of individual coverage has soared, only 17,000 New Yorkers currently buy insurance on their own. About 2.6 million are uninsured in New York State.

But:

State officials estimate as many as 615,000 individuals will buy health insurance on their own in the first few years the health law is in effect. In addition to lower premiums, about three-quarters of those people will be eligible for the subsidies available to lower-income individuals.

Also:

The rates for small businesses, which are considerably lower than for individuals, will not fall as precipitously. But small businesses will be eligible for tax credits, and the exchanges will make it easier for them to select a plan. Roughly 15,000 plans are available today to small businesses, and choosing among them is particularly challenging.

In a follow-up article yesterday, we read that such a plunge in insurance premiums on the individual market should not come as a surprise. In “Obamacare Is the Right’s Worst Nightmare,” Paul Krugman says

[I]n fact, the New York experience perfectly illustrates why Obamacare had to look the way it does. And it also illustrates why conservatives should be terrified about this legislation, as it takes effect. Americans may have had a lot of misgivings in advance, thanks to vast, deliberately spread misinformation. But I agree with Matt Yglesias — unless the GOP finds even more ways to sabotage the plan, this thing is going to work, it’s going to be extremely popular, and it’s going to wreak havoc with conservative ideology.

And for those Conservative critics who will certainly dismiss New York’s (and California’s) experiences as exceptions, as outliers, “the White House is set to release a report ahead of Obama’s remarks today highlighting lower-than-expected premiums in 11 states that have filed their initial rate information,” according to The Hill.

Krugman aptly concludes his piece on the “right’s worse nightmare” with: “Conservatives are right to be hysterical about this: it’s an attack on everything they believe — and it’s going to make Americans’ lives better. What could be worse?”

Image: www.shutterstock.com

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
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The_Ohioan
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The_Ohioan
3 years 2 months ago

My daughter is counting the days when she can quit her dead-end job, get health insurance and become an entrepeneur. She and hundreds of thousands like her. The tax coffers will be bulging when they are unleashed.

The_Ohioan
Guest
The_Ohioan
3 years 2 months ago

Since the edit isn’t working, added:

And they will remember which political party made it available for them.

DaGoat
Guest
DaGoat
3 years 2 months ago
Eventually I think Obabamcare will become popular in the same way Medicare and Medicaid are now, and the GOP will have to deal with that. I’m not sure what the GOP will look like by that point, though. There are a couple of hitches with the above. If you dig into The Hill article you find: Although the rates are lower than expected, they’re still higher than what young, healthy people are paying now for comparable coverage. Older, sicker patients will benefit while younger, healthier pay more. It’s hard to predict how younger adults will react to this. The second… Read more »
sheknows
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sheknows
3 years 2 months ago
There is absolutely nothing that Obama does that doesn’t leave room for Republican criticism. As far as the Hill article goes, I will take a wait and see on that. The disinformation about Obamacare is like everything else the Reps do. Lies and distortions are their stock and trade. It is the only way to make something that benefits people and not private industry look menacing…hence the absolute insane story of “death panels”. The second lie is about how insurance costs will rise as a result. That story is like a Republican rallying cry to all large, wealthy Insurance companies… Read more »
dduck
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dduck
3 years 2 months ago

Since it is probably here to stay, I hope there are some bright spots, like the one in NY APPEARS to be, in Obamacare. Some pieces will likely work, others won’t, like the mandates/fines and the already discarded long term care part. With 2700 pages and a massive shift, what else would one expect. I won’t be effected too much except for the shortage of doctors and those remaining doctors dropping Medicare coverage, and I am hoping for the best for all the younger folks.

sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 2 months ago

edit to add: There really isn’t a government assisted program that IS a money maker for our nation,( unlike private corporations that make a profit), but they are not intended to. It is another attempt to incorporate that dirty word…socialism into our government. Democrats believe we as a country should be taking care of our elderly, poor, and sick. Republicans do not.
Admittedly, We do not have that worked out well in terms of fraud and waste, primarily due to greed and dishonesty, but these govt. assisted programs are necessary.

sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 2 months ago
Question, why would doctors be dropping Medicare?? Perhaps because it is not going to be the golden frickin goose it has always been for far too long. It is about time that the government is more frugal with what it pays out for procedures. Waaaay over due for that. Most of the bills are padded beyond recognition as soon as a Medicare patient walks in the door. As for younger people..guess what. They are the target for EVERY type of social program since it pays forward. Not news, and certainly has nothing to do with AHA. They will be paying… Read more »
slamfu
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slamfu
3 years 2 months ago
“The second hitch is that ObamaCare is a bloated expensive program that doesn’t control costs very well and is based on very shaky (I say dishonest but that’s another topic) assumptions.” Well there is not much the govt can do under the ACA to control costs because that isn’t what this program is. What it does do is force people to get insurance, but at the end of the day the transaction is the same. Someone gets sick/injured, they go to see a doctor, and the insurance company haggles with the hospital about price and then covers it. Only under… Read more »
Barky
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3 years 2 months ago
My daughter is counting the days when she can quit her dead-end job, get health insurance and become an entrepeneur. She and hundreds of thousands like her. The tax coffers will be bulging when they are unleashed. THIS! I maintain we need to decouple health insurance from employment. Keeping it coupled means a) our businesses have a harder time competing against other developed nations who do not have it coupled; b) it makes it more expensive/risky to create your own business, become a consultant, work part time, find better jobs, etc. I do feel there is a serious risk it… Read more »
dduck
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dduck
3 years 2 months ago

Sounds good to me Barky.

Willwright
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Willwright
3 years 2 months ago
Barky, you are exactly right. If you went back in time employer provided healthcare wasn’t always the norm. This really took off back in the 70’s and so did healthcare costs. If we went back to when people bought their own healthcare we wouldn’t have the problem we have now. Ways of limiting increases would have been found because they would know people can only afford so much. With the current system somebody else pays the bill so the typical patient doesn’t know how much something costs or even care. The providers don’t care about costs as they have no… Read more »
Willwright
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Willwright
3 years 2 months ago

Sheknows and T.O. are correct as well in that this is going to free a lot of people locked in jobs because of healthcare benefits. This is going to have a big positive impact on the economy.

sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 2 months ago
Having worked for a health insurance co. as an underwriter for a few years, I can tell you exactly why employers began giving health Insurance as a company benefit. Individual insurance policies and especially those for families were ridered to hell and back for people with ailments. The cost, if viewed as cheaper, is only because everything was cheaper. The ugly truth was that Insurance companies are a profit making business, and they REFUSED to pay for many, many claims. A huge benefit was having a group plan to carry the people already ill. The insurance companies knowing this, kept… Read more »
adelinesdad
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adelinesdad
3 years 2 months ago
Though I have been a critic of the overall law, mostly because of its cost, individual exchanges make sense (though I don’t see why we needed a federal law to tell NY to implement an exchange if it made so much sense for that state to do it). I have to admit that the reduction is impressive, but it also approaches “too good to be true” territory. We’ll have to wait to see if the really materializes and can be sustained. I’m with dduck that I think the law is here to stay and the GOP should start working to… Read more »
sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 2 months ago
Just a quick question for all in favor of “detachment” from the revered employer. Do any of you have any idea of what a personal insurance policy would cost in this country for or say a 55 year old male? or how about a 35 yr old with diabetes? or a 50 year old that had a cancer removed 5 years ago? Without the safety net of a group plan, these individuals could not afford health insurance…trust me! And God forbid they have a child with any type of chronic illness…. Individual plans no matter how inexpensive initially, will ALWAYS… Read more »
Barky
Guest
3 years 2 months ago

sheknows: the concept of group plan is what needs to die. EVERYONE should be in a “group plan” to spread out all the risk. That’s what this is all about.

Group plans are just a marketing scheme put forth by insurance companies. They could change the model whenever they want.

sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 2 months ago
O.K. I get that now but please explain to me how these insurance companies are going to profit by insuring people with medical conditions. I am nor arguing the point, I am simply wondering. As a person who worked for a health Ins. Co back in the 70’s, ONE of my jobs was to find ways in which the company wasn’t liable for payment, either due to a specific rider or a clause somewhere. I can remember the horror stories of denied claims and dying patients and just terrible crap that went on back then. Why should an insurance company… Read more »
sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 2 months ago

God love em…those little ones :)
Caring about others of our species is not necessarily just a human trait, but a deeply ingrained one I am happy to say.
Too bad there are those that argue it’s necessity.

slamfu
Guest
slamfu
3 years 2 months ago

Yea, this is going to be a good thing.

KP
Member
3 years 2 months ago

Too early to predict pro or con as a whole. I like the pre-existing coverage.

Too little reform to insurance companies …

Too little reform to big pharma …

Too much burden on workers, unions, business and physicians …

While the safety net is essential, this bill is poorly written.

Time will tell if it can be repaired.

JSpencer
Guest
JSpencer
3 years 2 months ago

Yes, if Americans discover they like the ACA then the GOP/TP will once again have it pounded home how empty and disruptive their ideology is. Eventually enough people will catch on..

DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist
Editor

good article Dorian. Thanks especially to the extra care given to write it out.

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