I’M FROM CALIFORNIA, DERRRR: Californians ‘Shocked’ by Premium Increases, Dropped Coverage

Published on October 29, 2013

Barack Obama waltzed to victory in California last year, trampling Mitt Romney by 21 percentage points. For many middle class families in the Golden State, Obamacare’s chicken are coming home to roost. A few weeks back, we highlighted some priceless quotes from Bay Area residents who are reassessing their views on the president’s signature law. One man said he’d been “laughing” at Republicans…until his saw his new premiums. Another offered this pitch-perfect distillation of the tension between feel-good liberalism and economic reality: “Of course, I want people to have health care. I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.” The law’s price and access tremors continue to be felt up and down America’s most populous state. The Los Angeles Times describes the “sticker shock” middle class Californians are grappling with:

These middle-class consumers are staring at hefty increases on their insurance bills as the overhaul remakes the healthcare market. Their rates are rising in large part to help offset the higher costs of covering sicker, poorer people who have been shut out of the system for years. Although recent criticism of the healthcare law has focused on website glitches and early enrollment snags, experts say sharp price increases for individual policies have the greatest potential to erode public support for President Obama’s signature legislation…Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude surprise this month when the company said it would cancel her policy at the end of this year. Her current plan does not conform with the new federal rules, which require more generous levels of coverage. The cheapest [replacement] plan she has found will cost her $238 a month. She and her husband don’t qualify for federal premium subsidies because they earn too much money, about $80,000 a year combined. “It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else,” said Harris, who is three months pregnant. “This increase is simply not affordable.”

Exactly. Obamacare’s glitchapalooza is — and should be — a huge story. They had more than three years and spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, yet still could not come close to hitting their own deadline to successfully raise the curtain on the law. But ultimately, Obamacare will be a failure even after the technical difficulties are rectified (though the entire law could be in mortal danger if those problems aren’t resolved quite soon). The Times reports that some middle-income households on the individual market may choose to eschew participating in Obamacare due to its higher-than-expected costs. People just can’t afford the “Affordable” Care Act. For some, this new reality represents a bitter political betrayal.

Read more: townhall.com