Apparently, those comparisons that claimed California insurance rates were coming down under Obama were bogus, essentially comparing apples to oranges.
Except they're not cheaper than what's currently available, as Peter Suderman noted here yesterday. That directly relevant point is totally obscured by phony claims that “it is difficult to make a direct comparison of these rates to existing premiums in the commercial individual market."
The chart [below] is from Avik Roy at Forbes. Here's more:
“The rates submitted to Covered California for the 2014 individual market,” the state said in a press release, “ranged from two percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer plans in California’s most populous regions.”
That’s the sentence that led to all of the triumphant commentary from the left. “This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” exulted Peter Lee.
But this is fantasy baseball. As Roy explains, the Obamacare folks are comparing significantly different products: "[Lee is] comparing apples—the plans that Californians buy today for themselves in a robust individual market—and oranges—the highly regulated plans that small employers purchase for their workers as a group."
When you compare, say, the new catastrophic plans being offered to similar ones that are out there right now, the supposed Obamacare price advantage strikes out faster than Dave Kingman in the clutch.
Essentially what is going on here is that Obama is touting a 5% drop in the price for a Ferrari, and hiding the fact that the Ford Taurus is going to double in price. Or worse, the Ford Taurus will not even be for sale, so middle class Taurus buyers will be forced to buy a Mercedes or Ferrari. Health care buyers don't care that a package of features is going to be a bit cheaper if they don't want those features. And recognize that the price increase for healthy young people who feel no need to buy a policy will be facing an infinite price increase, from zero to whatever he now has to pay.