On September 26 of this year, President Obama said this of the new Obamacare exchanges:
“If you’ve ever tried to buy insurance on your own,” he said, “I promise you this is a lot easier.”
Well, let's see. Here are some notes on my previous health insurance buying decision
- I was able to price shop policies online without creating an account, without giving up my social security number. The websites to do so worked and operated quickly
- A broker who had decades of experience in health care (rather than being a former Obama campaign worker with a few hours of training) walked me through the options and how they worked.
- Once we chose a policy, the application process online was quick and easy
Here is one thing that was likely worse
- I had to provide medical history information, which probably is not required under Obamacare because of community rating (though I am not sure)
And here is one thing that was better for me but I guess must be worse for the Left since they complain about it so much
- There was a lot more choice. If the process was "harder" in any way before, it was because there were far more choices. It was harder in the same way that it is generally harder to shop in the US than, say, in the old Soviet Union. Obamacare circumscribes policies such that a large package of benefits are mandated, not optional (I have to pay for mental health coverage and probably aromatherapy) and the size of one's deductible is capped.
It is also this latter difference that will make my next policy substantially more expensive. In standardizing options, the Congress standardized on the most expensive options (broadest possible benefits, smallest possible deductible).
By the way, this is not proven yet but there is probably one other way my Obamacare policy will be worse than my last one: the doctor network in my policy will very likely be a LOT smaller. We could almost be sure this would happen precisely because Obama promised it wouldn't (his promises on health care are pretty good "tells" that the opposite will happen).