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Don't worry Californios! New Obamacare insurance rates will still crush your finances

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 31st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Recently, the Obama administration trumpeted the success of Obamacare in California, boasting that the anticipated rate increases were "way below" what was widely feared. However, it now appears this was the result of deliberately misreading the data. California rates will actually increase by as much as146 percent according to the data.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Insurance is about to get more expensive in California. Of course, even under the most optimistic scenarios, Obamacare was intended to raise premiums for everybody, it was a matter of asking how bad it would be. Now we know.

Many California residents, like other Americans, have worried about the coming January 1, 2014 "rate shock" that will dampen consumer spending, and possibly put some families over the edge, forcing them to choose between go without health care and paying a punishing tax or to pay a hugely inflated premium.

No matter what, you lose, and the federal government and insurers win as they part you from more of your hard-earned, limited funds.

Last week, Peter Lee, the man who ought to know better because he is the head of the California health insurance exchange, boasted that "These rates are way below the worst-case gloom and doom scenarios we have heard."

However, his data, as reported by Forbes.com and other outlets across the media, says those rates will increase by 146 percent in some cases. Is this "below" the "doom and gloom" for Lee?

What actually happened was something of a shell game that will disappoint many Californians. Apparently, Lee was very proud of the fact that tightly regulated plans pertaining to small employers would only see an increase of about two to 29 percent, which, by the way, is still an increase.

However, that statement has nothing to do with the plans individuals must pay for if they buy their own insurance. Nor does it apply to the major plans provided by employers.

Nope, those rates are still crushing.

For a young man who is a non-smoker, your rate will be a minimum of $184 per month. Add years of life or a health condition, and your rates go up from there.

Premiums for individuals will at least double, and go yet higher than that.

You're welcome.

None should be fooled into buying the rhetoric that Obamacare somehow lowers rates, or makes financial life easier for anyone. Yes, we are all happy to see people enjoy greater access to healthcare, which itself should be considered a basic human right. Certainly we are also happy to see the end of inhuman practices that bar people with preexisting conditions from obtaining insurance of any kind.

There is no such thing as a free lunch, however, and everyone will pay more, be it in taxes or in premiums. As demand goes up thanks to government legislation, so does the price.

Nobody can rightfully complain about this if they want to see insurance expanded to all. However, for the Obama administration and various officials trumpet the program as some kind of victory over the market is propaganda.

We live in a nation where healthcare is a major for-profit industry. The greed of executives has propelled prices so high that greater numbers of people can't afford to pay the costs. Now we have millions who can never pay their medical bills, subsidized by a shrinking pool of payers.

Obamacare is set to reverse this trend, but it will not come with cheaper, or even reasonable costs.

Until healthcare is divorced from profit and remarried to charity, this problem will remain.

Good luck, fellow Californios.

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