Over the past several months, Democrats have jumped on every opportunity possible to blame the Trump administration for yet another year of staggering Obamacare premium increases. Ironically, despite arguments from the Left that Trump's defunding of Obamacare's marketing budget would cause 2018 signups to plunge, as Politico recently noted, they're actually up in 2018...which begs the question: was the Obama administration just wasting $100 million a year in taxpayer money for nothing? Shocking thought, we know.
Meanwhile a fresh barrage of outcries from Democrats, most notably Ms. Nancy Pelosi, came after Trump's decision to cut federal subsidies, an action which the CBO insisted could result in devastating premium increases of up to 20%.
Of course, if Trump is responsible for 20% of Obamacare's premium hikes in 2018, then perhaps Nancy Pelosi should explain to the Dixon family in Charlottesville, VA precisely who is responsible for the other portion of the 235% premium hike they just received.
As the Washington Post points out this morning, the Dixons, a family of 4 in Virginia, were shocked earlier this month to find that their Obamacare premiums were going to surge from roughly $900 per month in 2017 to over $3,000 per month in 2018.
Ian Dixon, who left his full-time job in 2016 to pursue an app-development business, did so because the ACA guaranteed that he could still have quality coverage for his young family, he said.
But when the 38-year-old Charlottesville husband and father of a 3- and a 1-year-old went to re-enroll this month, his only choice for coverage would cost him more than $3,000 a month for his family of four, which amounted to an increase of more than 300 percent over the $900 he paid the year before. And this is for the second-cheapest option, with a deductible of $9,200.
“Helpless is definitely a good word for it,” Dixon said. “Rage is also a good word for it.”
Of course, Democrats and the MSM also applauded Obamacare's 'great success' earlier this year when several counties that were previously feared to be left with no coverage options in 2018, suddenly picked up a carrier. That said, perhaps Bloomberg, Reuters, NBC, etc. should reconsider just how meaningful these Obamacare monopolies are if the premiums charged are so high that no one can afford them anyway...
Earlier this year, Aetna and Anthem pulled out of the Albemarle market, citing too much unpredictability and risk. A smaller carrier, Optima, came in to fill the void. Consumers in the area went from having 19 plans offered in the options from Aetna and Anthem to only five coverage options with Optima.
Several factors led to Optima’s offering such high-priced plans, said Michael Dudley, the president of Optima.
First, small communities like Charlottesville tend to be pricier to cover because there is a small patient pool to balance out risks. So Optima took a cue from the carriers who had already ditched the market when actuaries predicted it was a place where the insurance companies might be paying out more to cover claims than it receives in premiums.
It is also a more expensive coverage area because the primary provider is University of Virginia Health System, an academic medical center that charges higher rates for its care than a community hospital. Optima will include UVA Health System in-network, unlike many carriers who have dropped the big medical centers as a cost-saving measure.
...perhaps local business owner Shawn Cossette can provide the Obamacare cheerleaders within the media some helpful insights...
Among them was Shawn Marie Cossette, 55, who runs her own event and floral design business in Charlottesville. Last year, she purchased an Anthem silver plan for $550 a month for herself. This year, under Optima, a silver plan would cost her $1,859 monthly.
“It’s a huge percentage of my income,” she said. “I really believed in the ACA. I really feel everyone deserves the right to health insurance, but who can afford those prices if you don’t qualify for subsidies?”