The White House on Wednesday released a report on the costs of Obamacare for most Americans, heralding its interpretation that 95 percent of the nation will be able to buy health insurance premiums below “earlier projections.”
But note the words “earlier projections.” That doesn’t mean that the insurance Americans will have to buy, or be fined, under Obamacare will be cheaper than what they pay today, before Obamacare kicks in.
We know this because at the same time the White House was releasing its broad study, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander released his analysis of the report's portion on his state. He found that Obamacare will cost far more than what many of his constituents are paying today, some by as much as 190 percent.
From his release:
— Today, a 27-year-old man in Memphis can buy a plan for as low as $41 a month. On the exchange, the lowest state average is $119 a month — a 190 percent increase.
— Today, a 27-year-old woman in Nashville can also buy a plan for as low as $58 a month. On the exchange, the lowest-priced plan in Nashville is $114 a month — a 97 percent increase. Even with a tax subsidy, that plan is $104 a month, almost twice what she could pay today.
— Today, women in Nashville can choose from 30 insurance plans that cost less than the administration says insurance plans on the exchange will cost, even with the new tax subsidy.
— In Nashville, 105 insurance plans offered today will not be available in the exchange.
Said the Republican senator, “Why should a 27-year-old male in Memphis be forced to pay nearly three times more than what he pays today for health insurance? Why should a young woman in Nashville have to pay twice as much? This isn't what President Obama promised Tennesseans, but it's what he's giving them — higher costs and less choice — that are two of the most urgent reasons Obamacare must be repealed and our health care system fixed."
The White House blog, however, focused on other states and details in its report.
“Nearly all eligible uninsured Americans (about 95%) live in states with average premiums below earlier projections. And nearly all consumers (about 95%) will have a choice of health insurance companies, each of which offers a number of different plans,” wrote Jeanne Lambrew, deputy assistant to the president for health policy.
She focused on Texas, not Tennessee: “Premiums are even lower for workers and families qualifying for tax credits. For example, in Texas, an average 27-year-old with income of $25,000 could pay $83 for the lowest-cost bronze plan, $133 for the lowest-cost silver plan, and $145 per month for the second lowest-cost silver plan after tax credits. For a family of four in Texas with income of $50,000, they could pay $57 per month for the lowest bronze plan, $239 for the lowest silver plan, and $282 per month for the second lowest-cost silver plan.”Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com.