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Democrats Are Pro-Choice, Except When It Comes To Health Care




Protecting Obamacare vs. protecting health care. John Merline writes:

[O]nce Obamacare went into effect and premiums in the individual insurance market spiraled upward — doubling from 2013 to 2017, and up other 27% in 2018 — the short-term insurance market exploded. It rocketed up by 121% in just Obamacare’s first two years. 

Rather than recognize this for what it was — a clear sign that Obamacare was failing — the Obama administration tried to kill this market off by limiting short plans to just three months. The rule mandating this didn’t go into effect until late 2016, and Trump reversed it the first chance he got. 

Every study that’s looked into it concluded that Trump’s reversal would expand insurance coverage, with some estimates as high as 4 million. Unfortunately, several Democratic states reimposed the Obama limits. And those in the House want to do so nationwide.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says that if those House Democrats got their way, 1.5 million more people would be forced off plans they like.

No matter. Democrats say this is “junk insurance” that nobody should be buying.

But that, too, is a lie.

A new study from the Manhattan Institute found that short-term plans often provided better coverage at lower cost than comparable Obamacare plans.

In Fulton County, Georgia, for example, an Obamacare silver plan will cost a 30-year-old non-smoker $467 a month, for a plan with $2,000+ deductible, and an almost $8,000 out-of-pocket maximum.

A comparable short-term plan — with a slightly higher deductible but a lower out-of-pocket maximum — has premiums of just $250 a month. That’s 46% cheaper.

The study also found that while most if not all Obamacare plans available in any given market are HMO plans — which provide no coverage for providers outside the plans’ narrow networks — many of the short-term plans are PPOs, which typically have much broader provider lists.

The study’s author, Chris Pope, goes on to say that short-term plans “cover a significantly larger share of medical costs than ACA exchange plans for the same premiums.”

What’s “junk” about that?

When the Washington Post looked into short-term plans, it came to a similar conclusion, finding them “more consumer-friendly and less like ‘junk’ insurance than Democrats originally charge.”

More importantly, the people buying these short-term plans don’t consider them “junk.” In fact, satisfaction rates are at 91%, according to eHealth, which is significantly higher than the 70% satisfaction rate among Obamacare enrollees (most of whom are getting generous premium subsidies).

[John Merline, “Democrats Are Pro-Choice, Except When It Comes to Health Care,” Issues and Insights, May 22]


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