As part of the final push to get people to sign up for Obamacare before today’s enrolment deadline, Barack Obama tweeted this message over the weekend:
If a person’s income is low enough that they qualify for Medicaid or substantial subsidies this is make sense, but even for a young person with a moderate income this is a very weak argument. Even after subsidies a 30 year old Virginian making $30,000 is going to pay $160 a month ($1,920 a year) for a Bronze plan that has a $5,5000 deductible. Or they are going to spend $220 a month ($2,640 a year) for a Silver plan with a $2,500 deductible and 20% ER coinsurance. If they break their arm the insurance has provided little or no benefit to them.
Because Democrats wanted to keep the CBO score pretty, didn’t want to directly pressure hospitals to end their absurd overcharges, refused to tackle how drug companies abused their patents, and insisted on using wasteful private insurer middlemen, the overpriced law doesn’t even provide defense against moderately serious health incidents for many.
It is only once you are talking about severe incidents, like cancer, that you see a real impact. Democrats could have made the law cheaper and better so even most young people would save significantly on a broken arm but they choose not to.
Asking young people to pay significant premiums for insurance that only really kicks if they face a rare and significant medical event is a hard sell. So hard apparently the administration decided to go with a much more relateable message even though their numbers don’t square with reality.
This has been a problem with the law all along. Democrats often went with the messaging which tested best even when their law didn’t really address the problem. For example they would get people angry at the evil insurance companies — but then try to use this energy to rally people around a law mandating everyone become their costumers.
Democrats haven’t been making the case for the Affordable Car Act on its actual merits. This left reality well short of expectations.