The first test was the release, last week, of rates for Covered California, the individual health insurance exchange for the Golden State. Though the exchange is designed to offer up to 13 insurers per area, no area will have more than six insurance companies participating. Some areas will have only three insurers! Major national insurers such as Aetna, Cigna, Humana, and UnitedHealth Care will not be available through Covered California. Anthem Blue Cross, a division of California’s WellPoint, and Kaiser Permanente, also based in California, will be offered through the exchange.
So how are the numbers? Not bad. Paul Markovich, president of Blue Shield of California, is quoted as saying that the final rates will reflect an average increase of only 13% above individual policies currently available.
The release of these rates was met with a huge sigh of relief from the Democrats. The possibility of a 40 year old purchasing coverage in Los Angeles for $250 per month meant that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) might work. Sure San Diego will be 20% higher and San Francisco 40% - 50% more, but it could have been worse. A lot worse.
It only took a few days before we got our first end-zone celebration. Paul Krugman, writing in the New York Times, noted, “Yet important new evidence – especially from California, the law’s most important test case – suggests that the real Obamacare shock will be one of unexpected success.”
Luckily for the Democrats, Krugman, and their other apologists, Washington and the national press have been too consumed by the recent out-break in scandals – the IRS, Benghazi, and the press surveillance – and the tornado in Oklahoma to look at hard numbers. A chart like the one above takes real time and effort to deconstruct and understand. Who has time for that? Hell, I consider myself lucky that you are still reading this.
Please take a few moments away from Coasterville on Facebook and look at the above grid.
We won’t have a grid like this in Ohio anytime soon. But when we do, the numbers will be great, just as long as you don’t look too closely. DAVE www.bcandb.com