Before we relay the specifics coming out of Florida, let's take a moment to review the unequivocal promises made by President Obama regarding his healthcare overhaul. Pay special attention to the bit starting 49 seconds into the clip:
"We will lower your premiums by $2,500 per family, per year."
"...save a typical family an average of $2,500 on their healthcare costs..."
"Everybody will have lower rates."
The Miami Herald reports:
Floridians who buy health insurance on the individual market for next year will face an average increase of 13.2 percent in their monthly premiums, according to rate proposals unveiled Monday by the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation. The rate proposals affect all Affordable Care Act-compliant health plans on the individual market, whether they’re sold through the federally-run exchange or not. Small and large group health plans typically offered by employers were not included in the data released by the state. Fourteen companies filed ACA-compliant plans for Florida’s 2015 individual market, including three new companies that did not participate on the federally-run exchange last year. Of the 11 returning plans, eight filed average rate increases ranging from 11 to 23 percent, and three filed rate decreases ranging from 5 to 12 percent, the state’s insurance regulator reported.
Have fun with that, Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat, Charlie Crist. (Is there still time to flip-flop back on Obamacare?) And those numbers don't include high out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and co-pays. This news comes on the heels of California's insurance commissioner reporting enormous 2014 premium increases, and substantial 2015 rate hikes in Louisiana -- all part of the "summer drumbeat" of rising costs for consumers. Obamacare defenders have been reduced to arguing that some people's costs have been reduced, and that widespread increases could be less pronounced than they might have been. This is galling revisionism. The public wasn't promised a mixed bag, let alone with more increases than decreases. They were promised significantly reduced rates for everybody.
They were also told that Obamacare would bend the overall health spending "cost curve" downward. That is not the case for most Americans, and it's not the case for the federal government. The ten-year cost of Obamacare's price tag has ballooned to roughly double what Democrats initially projected, via their bogus, politicized, manufactured Congressional Budget Office "score." CBO has since pronounced themselves incapable of accurately tracking the law's long-term fiscal impact. The law's apologists have tried to claim credit for the recent slowdown in the rate of health spending growth, but the government's own analysts have blown apart that facile explanation -- and a new peer-reviewed study by Northwestern University economists confirms the prevailing theory: The economic downturn has driven the relative health deceleration, not Obamacare. Even though the negative press for Obamacare has been less intensely focused than it was during the blown roll-out, public opinion has shifted further against the law. Byron York theorizes that the more people "find out what's in it" for themselves, the more they dislike it -- precisely the opposite of Democrats' confident predictions:
Rather than a shift among some identifiable group, Obamacare's rising unpopularity seems to be a product of the simple fact that, several months into its implementation, more and more people are having personal experience with the law. Kaiser asked respondents, "So far, would you say the health care law has directly helped you and your family, directly hurt you and your family, or has it not had a direct impact?" Fifteen percent said Obamacare has directly helped them, while 28 percent said it has directly hurt them, and 56 percent said it has had no effect. The number who said Obamacare helped them ticked up one point in the last two months, while the number who said Obamacare hurt them went up four points. And the number who were not affected went down four points. That suggests Obamacare is directly touching more and more people — and hurting more than it helps.
The familiar two-to-one hurt/helped margin rears its head again. How many people in the "helped" category are about to get screwed by the automatic renewal bug, which National Journal covered this week? I'll leave you with this story from Philip Klein, who notes that a "stimulus"-funded heath expense reduction pilot program proposed by President Obama has imploded in California.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography