Center for American Progress Action
Obamacare is Working
Today, House Republicans are wasting yet another day on votes to undermine, attack, and repeal Obamacare. While the GOP’s obsession with attacking the law may never end, the rest of us are focused on implementing the law and making it work.
A look outside of Washington, D.C. shows that the law is working, is helping make health care more affordable for millions of Americans, and will only help millions more when it is fully implemented in the year to come.
Here’s just a few examples of how Obamacare is working:
- New York: Just today we found out that health insurance premiums for those in the individual market will plummet by 50 percent or more. The New York Times reports that someone who is paying $1,000 a month now will be able to purchase coverage next year for as little as $308 — and that’s not even counting potential Obamacare subsidies that could lower the cost even further.
- California: The costs for a medium coverage plan are far below predictions. For example, in southern Los Angeles County Health Net is going to charge $242 a month for one of its plans while Blue Shield is charging $287 and Kaiser Permanente $325 for the same coverage. That means that the 5 million uninsured residents of California will now have more access to affordable, higher quality care than is currently available.
- Montana: The individual and small group health plans sold on the marketplace will be cheaper and offer better coverage. Without the health law, insurance officials predicted the average premium in 2014 to rise by 10 percent to $290. Instead, the average cost for an individual plan will be $273 — about five percent lower than it would have been without the health law’s marketplace. Costs are going down even has insurance companies will now have to cover ten “essential health benefits,” including prescription drug and mental health services, that skimpy individual plans almost never cover.
- Louisiana: Residents will soon see lower premiums as well. Just last week Louisiana’s largest private health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, estimated that two-thirds of its customers who buy their own policies will pay the same premiums or less for better coverage under the federal health care overhaul.
- Washington: After warning that premiums would go up by 50-70 percent under Obamacare, Premera Blue Cross released rates for individual plans that are far lower that current levels. Premera currently offers individual plans for 21-year-old non-smokers at a monthly cost of $325, with a deductible of $1,800. In the exchange, that same person in King County could purchase a similar Premera plan with a lower deductible at a rate of $276 — a decrease of 15 percent.
The president himself will give a speech tomorrow highlighting the Obamacare benefits that millions of Americans are already experiencing and those yet to come as the law is fully implemented.
BOTTOM LINE: Obamacare is working. And with 24 million Americans expected to gain coverage through the marketplaces by 2016, that’s great news for Americans’ pocketbooks — as well as their health. It’s time Republicans do their job and make sure their constituents get coverage and the benefits from Obamacare, instead of doing everything in their power to take away those benefits from their constituents.
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