Obama touted recent news from New York, California, Oregon and other states that have reported that insurance companies will charge lower-than-expected premiums next year.
The WSJ breaks down the data referenced here in more detail. According to an analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services, 11 states are currently reporting lower than expected average premiums under Obamacare than the premiums that the CBO projected when the bill was first analyzed in 2010.This favorable comparison between predicted premiums in 2010 and predicted premiums now has been making the rounds as a huge victory for the ACA since the rates for California came out last month. It was specious then, and it’s specious now. What people care about is not whether rates will outperform CBO projections but whether they will be more or less expensive than their current rates. It may be that Obamacare will work and people will either be paying less or be satisfied enough with better coverage to foot the extra cost. But that’s data we don’t have yet, and until we do we won’t know whether the bill will succeed. In the meantime, substituting comparisons to projections for comparisons to current coverage only muddies the water and does nothing to help us understand the bill’s long-term viability.