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ACA Fail Fractal
CA Premiums Spike by as Much as 88 Percent

On the heels of reports that consumers are rebelling against the ACA’s narrow networks, there’s more bad news for the law this week, this time out of California. According to the LA Times, the state’s insurance commissioner announced this week that premiums in his state are skyrocketing:

At a news conference Tuesday, [insurance commissioner Dave] Jones said individuals this year paid between 22% and 88% more for individual health insurance policies than they did last year, depending on age, gender, type of policy and where they lived.

The increases did not affect poor people, whose policies are heavily subsidized, Jones said. The study results released Tuesday did not include group policies such as those offered by employers.

ACA supporters have been very happy lately with the progress the law seems to have made in expanding access to insurance. But this is a very narrow metric by which to judge the law. Equally as important are the ACA’s effects on the cost of health care and consumers’ degree of access to real care (as opposed to just access to insurance). The ACA will continue to evolve, and it’s still too early to judge whether it is a success or failure. But the last few weeks have not been good for the law’s prospects.

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  • gabrielsyme

    The ACA will continue to evolve, and it’s still too early to judge whether it is a success or failure.

    I suppose the ACA continues to “evolve” inasmuch as the Obama administration continues to issue illegal exemptions, suspensions and reinterpretations of the law; but despite the damage done to the constitutional fabric of the country, the ACA has failed to meet a single one of the benchmarks of success claimed for it.

    Massively higher net costs, evaporating cost controls, erosion of pre-existing coverage, narrowed provider networks, Medicaid-eligible people not permitted to purchase ordinary insurance, people losing their doctors, fudged enrolment numbers, etcetera. Only those not paying attention can claim it’s too early to announce failure.

  • Pete

    Love it!


    Gee, did you leave something out? For instance, that there is a ballot initiative to crack down on insurance companies on the November ballot that would give the commissioner broad new powers. Nothing like issuing a scary report to drum up support, even if the figures are rigged.

    As reported in the LA Times:

    “Robin Swanson, spokeswoman for Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs, which opposes the initiative, said Jones “is using this misleading report to promote a ballot measure that would give him vast new powers over healthcare decisions.”

    The California Assn. of Health Plans, an insurer trade group, said in a news release that Jones’ criticism “fails to consider the fundamental changes to health insurance that caused some Californians to pay less and some to pay more for their health insurance and ignores other positive changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act.”

    “Health plans are focused on working with Covered California to provide affordable premiums during the upcoming open enrollment period, while Commissioner Jones is looking backward,” said Charles Bacchi, the group’s executive vice president.

    “His analysis doesn’t take into account subsidies, enrollees who are benefiting from the ACA, or acknowledge how the ACA has substantially expanded coverage and benefits while also changing the way premiums are priced.”

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