Open enrollment for 2016 has begun on the Healthcare.gov marketplace and the middle class are getting kicked in the teeth. Some customers for the bronze and silver plans are seeing increases of over 30%.
A friend of mine recently reported to me that his bronze plan is increasing by over $100 a month. He’s debating whether or not he should continue or just pay the fine.
Its actions like this which could cause the exchange to go into a “death spiral”. This happens when the pool of people buying insurance are sicker as healthier folks choose to forgo insurance.
The biggest problem comes from expectations not meeting reality. Projections by the administration had 40% of marketplace customers coming from the 18-35 age range. At the end of the last enrollment period this group made up only 28% of total enrollees.
With the cheapest plans increasing as much as they are, it’s hard to see this number going up. It will probably go down.
This really isn’t too shocking. Younger people tend not to be consumers of health care services. So why would they choose to spend hundreds every month for something they won’t use?
As usual the middle class gets screwed by policies that are considered noble. The rich will continue to buy whatever health insurance they want. The poor who thought they were getting “free health care” must buy subsidized insurance. Middle class families foot the bill through higher and higher premiums every year.
Obamacare promised health care for all. What we really got was a giant obligation that falls largely on the middle class.
What’s been your experience with Obamacare or the exchange? Are you finding deals, or an expensive burden?
Keep in mind my friend whose policy went up by over $100 was thrilled with what he got last year. I was happy for him, and he couldn’t understand why I was against Obamacare. I think he’s starting to come around.
Now let’s get to some reader feedback.
Here were some comments from my article on the CNBC Republican debate…
“I enjoyed your piece about the disaster that was the CNBC debate. However, I feel that much of the blame goes to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, as well. Why does he keep scheduling GOP debates with known liberal media outlets, when he knows his side won’t get a fair shake? I’d love to see a debate moderated by people who are conservatives and still have integrity to stick with the program, like Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and/or Mark Steyn. What do you think?”
My comment: I agree with your comment on the RNC Chairman. Part of the blame for all of this should definitely fall on his shoulders. With regards to some of the conservatives you mentioned moderating a debate, I’m not sure it’s a good idea. They could very well be capable. I just worry about the perception. I’m all in favor for using REAL journalists. They should ask tough questions. Just don’t inject opinion and show respect.
“I’ve never been more proud to be a Republican. I loved every single one of our candidates. I hope whoever ends up being our candidate picks the rest for his team in one capacity or another.
The whole CNBC looked petty, small, and frankly STUPID.”
My comment: Jane thank you, I think the candidates showed a lot of class. This only reflects poorly on CNBC.
We even had several Democrats chime in on their feelings about the debate. Their responses may surprise you.
“I am a Democrat, but did believe it was a CNBC Attack and unfair to the Candidates who were there to answer their position on political matters. A great disservice although I will still be voting Democrat.”
“That debate was a joke. The candidates would have all well been within their rights to walk off of the stage. This does not speak very well for N.B.C. and its supervisors. I am a democrat myself and the first feelings I had about the debate were feelings of being ashamed that I was a democrat. Also, as for Hillary and everything that she has done I think she should pick up her marbles and go home. With all the lies that she has told and the screw-ups she has made she would be a damn poor excuse for a President. She is too dishonest and can in no way be trusted. It would be good to have a woman for a president, but in my opinion Hillary Clinton is scraping the bottom of a very polluted barrel.”
My comment: Thank you Linda and Ed for your thoughtful comments. These debates should be as neutral as possible. You can ask tough questions without attacking and inserting opinion. I don’t see the Dems receiving similar treatment in upcoming debates, but that’s OK. All debates should be neutral.
Ed, I’m surprised to hear your comments on Hilary. You seem like a very open minded and logical person. I believe you’ll have a tough decision to make in November 2016
Not everyone agreed that this was an attack…
“Gee I thought they were good questions considering the quality of the candidates Beaver…………..”
“I did NOT feel that the debaters were questioned improperly. For the most part they refused to answer the questions asked. If any of the Republican candidates chooses not to want to answer the questions, they can decline to be part of the debate process. I felt the moderators were well within their rights to ask the questions they did……it was the debaters who failed. How is it that the candidates can rail on each other day after day on the campaign trail, and a debate moderator shouldn’t ask about the statements they have made? They don’t talk about issues or offer their ideas for solving problems facing us as a nation. When they were asked about their stands on issues, they dodged and double talked their way around the issue. I’m sorry, but, this group of candidates leaves more than A LOT to be desired.”
My comment: Thanks for your comments guys. If you can’t see the difference between a tough question and being rude and disrespectful I’m certainly not going to convince you. I’m not sure of your party affiliation, however, if the tables had been turned there would be even more outrage.
Charles, you do bring up one point that I do agree with. It’s something we see too much of in both Democratic and Republican debates. Answer the darn question. I don’t want to hear about making America great and RaRa. There is plenty of time for that with stump speeches. Stick to the topic and answer the question that is asked.
That’s all for today. We received a fair amount of feedback on my article on college and Bernie Sanders. I’ll be sure to publish and address some of those comments in a later letter.