Obamacare Premiums Are Falling by 0.2% Across 48 Major Cities
Obamacare is doing better at a lot of things than anyone seriously expected. The law’s initial premiums came in cheaper than the Congressional Budget Office projected when the law first passed. In April 2014, the Congressional Budget Office said the unexpectedly low premiums meant Obamacare would cost $104 billion less than they previously thought. If Kaiser’s estimates hold nationally, Obamacare’s cost will have to be revised downward yet again.
The fear about government programs in general, and government health-insurance programs in particular, is that they are overly generous because they spend other people’s money. But Obamacare’s competitive insurance marketplaces are actually doing what they promised to do: forcing insurers to compete for customers by cutting costs. The Congressional Budget Office explains that Obamacare’s premiums are cheaper than expected because its insurance features “lower payment rates for providers, narrower networks of providers, and tighter management of their subscribers’ use of health care than employment-based plans do.”
That is something of an extraordinary statement: Obamacare is forcing insurers to run leaner than employers are.