After a three-hour ordeal, Chad bought an Obamacare plan that cost him $175 per month – pretty steep, considering he makes less than $11,500 per year. His Obamacare premium comes to least 18 percent of his income. And no, Chad is not eligible for subsidies.Compare that to what Chad could have paid if he bought one of the pre-Obamacare plans still available on eHealthInsurance.com until December 31. The cheapest such plan for someone meeting Chad’s profile is just $44.72—as little as 5 percent of his annual income and about one-quarter of his Obamacare premium.
Needless to say, this hardly counts as a PR victory for Obamacare. If the shutdown and debt ceiling threat weren’t monopolizing media attention, stories like this would be front and center in every major national paper and website. The launch, which has been more dysfunctional than most people predicted, could have driven down support numbers for the ACA even lower. But the GOP’s actions have taken all the air out of this story. This has got to count as one of the most self-defeating moves in recent political memory.With Boehner taking a default option off the table, it may be that the most dramatic part of the DC story will be over by October 17. The GOP’s best hope now to gain back the anti-Obamacare momentum that it has dissipated would be for these launch problems to persist well past that date.