My wife and I just got our updates from Kaiser telling us what our 2014 rates will be. Her monthly has been $168 this year, mine $150. We have a high deductible. We are generally healthy people who don’t go to the doctor often. I barely ever go. The insurance is in case of a major catastrophe.Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife’s rate is gong to $302 per month and mine is jumping to $284.
The single payer pivot is the obvious sequel to this kind of dissatisfaction, because it allows progressive health care wonks to argue that the only reason the ACA didn’t work is because it didn’t go far enough. But coming after the way nearly every prominent supporter of the ACA has been disillusioned by the rollout, posts like this suggest a tipping point is near in the public discourse: the implementation was a disaster, and more and more people are deciding that the product is a disappointment. The ranks of liberals willing to stand up and defend the most significant piece of liberal social legislation since the Lyndon Johnson administration are rapidly depleting.The Kos piece is especially illustrative because it gets at what will be the main issue when the administration gets around to fixing the rollout glitches: cost. For now, Klein and other progressive elites are mainly concerned about the botched rollout: they still think the fundamentals of the law are sound. But once you get outside the wonk class, ordinary Obama supporters aren’t so sure. On the grassroots level, the conversation is increasingly dominated by worries even dedicated liberals have about the extra costs the law imposes on several key demographics.In fact, the administration’s awareness that people are jittery about prices might be what caused a big part of the rollout glitches in the first place. The big problem with the website appears to be connected to the need to set up an account before pricing, and there may have been fears that unless people were already invested, had set up accounts, and had seen possible subsidies, they would be spooked by the sticker price and abandon the process altogether.Visits to the site have already dropped 88 percent since October 1, and less than half of one percent of those early visitors managed to enroll. This is no longer a question about slight hiccups on the way to viability; the sustainability of the system as a whole is being called into question.