Patterico's Pontifications

11/19/2014

ObamaCare Shilling: L.A. Times Describes Near-Doubling in Premiums as “Fairly Stable”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am



The L.A. Times recently ran a Page One above-the-fold piece that claimed:

In California’s marketplace, rates have remained fairly stable for the second year. The average rate increase statewide is 4.2%, according to the exchange. Some people will pay more — 13% of exchange customers face an increase of 8% or more.

The notion that health care rates have “remained fairly stable” for the last two years would probably come as a surprise to the people at the L.A. Times who published this story on July 29: Health premiums soared, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says.

The cost of health insurance for individuals skyrocketed this year in California, with some paying almost twice what they did last year, the state’s insurance commissioner said.

Mmmm . . . skyrocketing costs? Almost double for some? Can’t you just smell the stability?

At a news conference Tuesday, Jones said individuals this year paid between 22% and 88% more for individual health insurance policies than they did last year, depending on age, gender, type of policy and where they lived.

The increases did not affect poor people, whose policies are heavily subsidized, Jones said. The study results released Tuesday did not include group policies such as those offered by employers.

Nothing says “stable prices” like a one-year increase of 22% to 88%.

Do these people even read their own newspaper?

Thanks to Gary H.

42 Responses to “ObamaCare Shilling: L.A. Times Describes Near-Doubling in Premiums as “Fairly Stable””

  1. An older friend of mine got a policy last year for about $20/month but with a $6500 deductible, so it was unusable. Diehard liberal that she is, now she seems the solution as single payer.

    There has to be a way for people who don’t have insurance through work to purchase some, but this isn’t it. Why not sell a government major medical policy and then let people go to Minute Clinics? They’re popping up all over the place.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  2. They read their own papers. As they note over at JWFool, their job is to lie.

    http://www.jammiewf.com/2014/new-republic-obamacare-was-passed-by-wide-margins/

    They’re putting on a full court press of lies in an effort to defend their messiah and their precious hijacking of the economy.

    Steve57 (c4b0b3)

  3. 1. …Diehard liberal that she is, now she seems the solution as single payer…

    Patricia (5fc097) — 11/19/2014 @ 7:42 am

    I hate to say it, but Gruber was right about the stupidity of the American voter. He just wasn’t talking about conservatives who saw through this scam.

    So your friend thinks that the solution to having been swindled out of the rent money is to give the con-artists power of attorney over the rest of her finances?

    Steve57 (c4b0b3)

  4. The exchange rates may have remained relatively stable, while the statewide rates went up drastically.

    I’m not saying it’s not misleading, but it might not be outrightly false.

    Michael E. Lopez (c44c25)

  5. Whatever floats yer boat, Michael E. Lopez. Most of us believe it should be a newspaper’s primary job to inform–that is, to be neither “misleading” nor “outrightly false”.

    elissa (082b3b)

  6. Michael E. Lopez:

    Is that consistent with this, from the July 29 article?

    The hardest-hit were young people, he said. In one region of Los Angeles County, people age 25 paid 52% more for a silver plan than they had for a similar plan the year before, while someone age 55 paid 38% more, Jones said.

    Also, the quote from the article I used in the post said: “The study results released Tuesday did not include group policies such as those offered by employers.”

    So how would any of this be consistent with stable exchange rates, and how would statewide rates go up if exchange rates did not and employer plans were not considered?

    I don’t understand your theory.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  7. right, that’s why they pulled the razzle dazzle on Stupak, and they bought off both Nelsons and Landrieu, because the vote was overwhelming

    narciso (ee1f88)

  8. I think the “theory” here is that, to arrive at the claim that “the average rate increase statewide is 4.2%”, they just stupidly average all exchange-based rate changes — including, as the article itself noted, the rates at the heavily-subsidized end which are seeing no increase. And if you’re stupidly willing to accept the quoted statement at face value, you have no choice but to declare the average of rates as “fairly stable”.

    So, as Mike noted: not “false”, per se, and yet simultaneously deeply deceptive and dishonest.

    And also deeply stupid.

    PCachu (e072b7)

  9. Always keep in mind that this is the newspaper that wrote that Pres Bush II
    claimed Iraq’s leader was about to attach the USA, that “the threat is imminent”

    I don’t think they ever fixed that.

    seeRpea (09793f)

  10. If Obamacare was working, I mean really doing what they claimed it would do, which is insure 30 million uninsured at a lower cost, it would be Headline News in every paper and on every MSM news show. The very absence of data proves once again they’re dirty liars. What are the actual figures? How many people lost their insurance as opposed to how many formerly uninsured gained insurance? It’s funny. When I owned my restaurants I could tell you exactly how many hamburgers we sold last Monday, how many dozen eggs we use a week and how much a ketchup packet costs, but these lying scum can’t reveal one single verifiable number about anything.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  11. Yes, Steve57, it’s sad. She is almost hysterically finding something or someone else to blame for this huge failure. Now it’s the insurance carriers. But who set the whole thing up to benefit the insurance carriers???

    I just leave it alone.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  12. It just so happens my wife and I are meeting two friends for lunch today and they are both doctors. The wife is family Practice and her husband is a urologist. You can bet Obamacare, Obama, Gruber and the whole lying sordid mess will be the topic.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  13. In 2013 my wife’s private policy was $350/ mo
    It got canceled and the 2014 replacement was $460.
    Now it’s going up to $540,a 60% icrease over 2 years.

    More Grubering.

    Kevin M (593305)

  14. Patterico (9c670f) — 11/19/2014 @ 8:04 am

    the quote from the article I used in the post said: “The study results released Tuesday did not include group policies such as those offered by employers.”

    So how would any of this be consistent with stable exchange rates, and how would statewide rates go up if exchange rates did not and employer plans were not considered?

    Is the July story comparing 2014 to 2013, and the new story comparing 2015 to 2014?

    Sammy Finkelman (a248bd)

  15. As Hoagie points out, the absence of information is all you really need to know what’s going on. That’s what struck me about the article. It read like it was a poorly written government press release. Just some disjointed anecdotes and unsupported assertions. Not a single verifiable number in it.

    It’s already widely reported that people across the nation are being hit with huge increases. That’s why Obama had the insurance companies delay releasing data about the new premium hikes until after the election. Because it hasn’t been good news.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/11/if-you-like-your-health-insurance-plan-you-must-pay-more-to-keep-your-health-insurance-plan.php

    The New York Times reports that many Americans with health insurance purchased under Obamacare will face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as much as 20 percent — unless they switch plans. The Times report is based on data released by the Obama administration on Friday, just hours before the health insurance marketplace opened to buyers seeking insurance for 2015.

    This was posted on Saturday, November 15th.

    According to the Times, “the new data means that many of the seven million people who have bought insurance through federal and state exchanges will have to change to different health plans if they want to avoid paying more — an inconvenience for consumers just becoming accustomed to their coverage.” Beyond the matter of inconvenience, there is also the fact that the new plan, available at about the price of the old one, typically will be less desirable than the old plan, which now costs more.

    They hint at the fact that Kali will not be bucking this national trend in the article.

    …Rohweller said her Blue Shield of California premium is going up by about $25 a month and she would like to shop around. But she’s thinking of letting her policy automatically renew because of the technical headaches.

    …There are also ongoing complaints about the narrow provider networks insurers have deployed to hold down premiums.

    Steve57 (c4b0b3)

  16. Massive decimation of brain cells: LAT hardest hit.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  17. Do these people even read their own newspaper?

    If not, who can blame them? I don’t read their drivel either.

    H. Higgins, Ph.D. (8363cf)

  18. I don’t think shilling is the right word. They are still sitting on the Obama Khalidi video. They are active enablers and partners.

    JD (5a7370)

  19. Every time I hear that rates are stable, it turns out that they are figuring in subsidies.

    Kevin M (42267e)

  20. #1: As insurance a large deductible is perfectly usable. As prepaid medical not so much. There are people paying a lot more than $20/mo for that same policy so your friend is getting a hell of a subsidy.

    Kevin M (42267e)

  21. 1.An older friend of mine got a policy last year for about $20/month but with a $6500 deductible, so it was unusable.

    Actually, Patricia, that is exactly what insurance should be: it provides a buffer against huge expenses that she cannot pay on her own. It is only ‘unusable’ as a pre-paid health plan, i.e. one in which super-high premiums are used to pay for routine expenses like primary care visits.

    bridget (5ed8f8)

  22. I know, Bridget, but that’s not what she understood she was being promised.

    //

    On another note, said the Titanic captain to the passengers: “Not to worry, the ship is remaining fairly stable!”

    Patricia (5fc097)

  23. She thought she was getting insurance + prepaid health care, not just insurance. Got it.

    As for premium increases: newspapers can spin all the want, but people whose premiums skyrocket are going to hate ObamaCare. People who spend more money on health care will spend less money on houses, clothes, cars, savings, and restaurants. That is bad news for the retail, automotive, and housing industries. All the spin in the world won’t improve the simple math of people having less money in their pockets.

    bridget (5ed8f8)

  24. Democrats are bad at arithmetic and budgets. Why else was there no budget after the last Bush budget?

    PCD (39058b)

  25. 19. Kevin M (42267e) — 11/19/2014 @ 10:17 am

    Every time I hear that rates are stable, it turns out that they are figuring in subsidies.

    That makes sense, except that i read that people’s rates might go up in some states because of increased competition.

    The subsidy is set to the baseline of the second lowest prioced silver plan oin the exchange. taht is the subsidy is the differenmce between whatever they say a person ought toi pay and their plan. More competition could caus ethe second highest priced plan to be lower. That’s only the promium I suppose. Other very important things don’t figure except that to be a silver plan, the assumption would be that on average, 70% of the costs to all enrolees would be covered by insurance (the other 30% being deductibles and co-pay) Do I have that right>

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  26. I had a problem last week Tuesday which got worse on Wed morning and better with ibuprofin on Froday afternoon. It’s very difficult for me to get around.

    This is an extremely obscure condition that affects (at one time or another?) about 10% of all men between the ages of 50 and 79 have (and one quarter of all women)

    THERE IS NO CONTRADICTION BETWEEN THE TWO PARTS OPF THAT SENTENCE.

    called Trochanteric Bursitis or Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome or maybe that’s wrong too.

    Everybody, including doctors, says different things, which is good actually.

    This whole medical condition is in the stage of study that heart disease was in
    1920.

    I found somethinbg that indicates medicxal ignorance:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3598407/

    “Although the true incidence of gluteus medius and minimus tears in the general
    population is unknown, the association between these tears and recalcitrant
    lateral hip pain has been described as greater trochanteric pain syndrome.
    Historically, tears of the gluteus medius and minimus have been thought to be
    attritional, and associated with chronic peritrochanteric pain, found
    incidentally during fracture fixation or hip arthroplasty, or with failure of
    abductor repair following arthroplasty utilizing the anterolateral approach. The
    literature supports favorable clinical outcomes with operative repair utilizing
    either endoscopic or open techniques. To our knowledge, there has never been a
    reported case of an acute traumatic tear of the gluteus medius and minimus that
    occurred without antecedant peritrochanteric hip pain. In this case, the patient
    was treated with acute open repair of the gluteus medius and minimus tendons
    within 3 weeks of injury and excellent clinical results were obtained at 6-month
    follow-up. Of note, the patient was notified and gave consent for his case to be
    used in publication.”

    Also:

    “Although greater trochanteric bursitis is a common clinical diagnosis, partial and full thickness tears of the gluteus medius and minimus tendons are being increasingly recognized as a cause for lateral hip pain. Gluteus medius and minimus tendonopathy can be often overlooked as noted in a recent French survey [Recent? 2004] where 45% of orthopedic surgeons were not aware tears could occur. A recent [1999] study showed that 83% of patients presenting with lateral hip pain had findings consistent with gluteus medius pathology on MRI compared to only 8% with radiograph appreciable bursal inflammation.”

    All this is because doctirs are being stopped from taking MRIS. It doesn’t stop the wasting of money – tremedous amounts of money are wasted in unnecessary extra doctor’s appointments.

    We need a system that will easily get MNRIs withouyt a procesding X-Ray and that will create incentives to minimize doctor’s visits (often only for prescription renewals or to take measures that could be done by a visiting or other nurse) and rep;lace some by telephone consultation.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  27. BTW, Martha McSally leads Ron Barber by 168 votes in AZ CD2, with all votes counted, but this means there is an automatic recount. She needs to hire lawyers and count-watchers to avoid the kinds of things that happen to GOP votes in the bureaucracy’s back room.

    To donate: https://mcsallyforcongress.com/donate/

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  28. Sammy,

    You miss the point entirely, as usual.

    Rates for the subsidized are stable because the subsidy reference rises with the other rates. Since the low end of the market is getting more sick people* those rates are rising fastest.

    But if you DO NOT get a subsidy, your rates might be going up 20%, 30% or more. So they average in the subsidized, whose bottom line costs are in some cases declining. It’s the 3rd form of lie (statistics).

    ————
    * if you are sick, you are going to hit the maximum out-of-pocket. The rest of the policy then becomes meaningless EXCEPT for the sum of the premiums. Since only the Platinum plan has a max OOP under $6250, but MUCH higher premiums (especially if you are being subsidized), and the items covered & networks are all the same, the answer is nearly always “buy the bronze plan.”

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  29. * the only time a Sick person buys the silver plan is if they also get a co-pay subsidy, like Silver 93. But the premiums for an enhanced Silver plan are essentially zero, so it doesn’t matter.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  30. You just don’t understand. Private Health Care, insured or not, doesn’t count!

    htom (9b625a)

  31. 19…it’s a typo. They meant rates are like what you find in a stable

    rtrski (b47753)

  32. This is just another example of what I see going on in the LASlimes article. The government tells them some nonsense and like good little drones they report it, no questions asked.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/392977/no-program-gave-us-solyndra-obviously-not-profitable-veronique-de-rugy

    The Department of Energy, which gave us debacles like the Solyndra and Abound Solar bankruptcies, has put out a report claiming that its green-energy loan programs are turning a profit for taxpayers — a $5 billion profit, in fact. This claim was credulously reported by Bloomberg Businessweek, but don’t pop the Champagne yet: Tax Policy Center president and former acting CBO director Donald Marron takes apart this claim. The government’s “profit” calculations don’t even take into account the major expenses:

    DOE’s report does not address this issue, except in a footnote in a table (cut and pasted above) revealing that its $810 million of “interest earned” was “calculated without respect to Treasury’s borrowing cost.” In other words, DOE reports gross interest received, not the net interest taxpayers have earned after subtracting Treasury borrowing costs. The incomplete figures in the table seem to suggest that DOE has eked out a $30 million profit on its lending ($810 million in interest less $780 million in loan losses). But when we account for Treasury borrowing costs, taxpayers are actually well behind.

    The report does not allow us to say just how far behind…

    Again, reports full of BS. But configured to make those false claims unverifiable. Not like the LASlimes would even attempt to check the numbers.

    http://patterico.com/2014/11/15/news-journalist-told-pointing-out-the-faulty-math-of-obamacare-was-disrespectful-to-the-office-of-the-president/

    Doing the math is unthinkable for members in good standing in the LHMFM.

    Actually for members in good standing in the LHMFM doing the math is impossible. If they can do the math, they won’t be in good standing for long.

    Steve57 (c4b0b3)

  33. rtrski–that was funny!

    elissa (cfc546)

  34. It’s true; they got the info from Jonathan Gruber.

    AZ Bob (c949f7)

  35. 28. Kevin M (d91a9f) — 11/19/2014 @ 1:00 pm

    Rates for the subsidized are stable because the subsidy reference rises with the other rates. Since the low end of the market is getting more sick people* those rates are rising fastest…..the answer is nearly always “buy the bronze plan.”

    But the subsidy is keyed to the second lowest priced silver plan.

    There was something in the news – maybe a regurgitation of something contained in some press release, but that’s what they said – about how in (some exchanges maybe) the (unsubsidized) premiums for the second lowest premium silver plan might be lower than last year, because of increased competition, and thus, the subsidy lower. (Because the benchmark was lower)

    Sammy Finkelman (a248bd)

  36. Pelosi stated we needed to pass the law to see what was in it. Well, it’s passed and at 2000+ pages, followed by something like 15,000 pages of legalese regulations who the hell can say for sure what any of it means? Even if I could read all that crap and even if I could understand all that crap, I have no desire to do anything with a ridiculously confusing and convoluted law like that but abolish it. And if any of you guys are actually saying you understand this insidious monstrosity I don’t believe you. Anything this big must have contradictions written into it.

    Guys, God wrote the rule book for the world with only Ten Commandments. The Declaration is two pages and the Constitution is about ten and they formulated the basis for the Greatest and most Powerful and Prosperous country in history. How can a health care law need more pages than was dedicated to the Creation of our entire Government? This is insanity.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  37. Re:

    Do these people even read their own newspaper?

    Of course not, why would they? They all share the same fapstained copy of the New York Times they lift their stories from.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (e2d5eb)

  38. Sammy:

    Subsidized premiums are essentially indexed for medical inflation. If you buy that second cheapest silver plan, your premiums should increase only gradually (depending on the % or subsidy).

    UNsubsidized premiums rise at the rate of medical inflation, which is exacerbated by the increase demand of the low-cost insurance given to many.

    To lump the two groups of people together and declare that the average premium [paid] is only going up a bit is the height of Gruberism.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  39. In California’s marketplace, rates have remained fairly stable for the second year.

    About as stable — but in the opposite direction — as the Los Angeles Times advertising lineage.

    Buwahaha.

    Mark (c160ec)

  40. From the LA Times editorial, on the day (a week into the scandal) that they finally broke the news (with three editorials, one official):

    Economist Jonathan Gruber has become a household name in the nation’s capital and the media for saying that Democrats disguised unpopular provisions of the healthcare reform bill in order to win Congress’ approval.

    One just has to wonder how all this media stuff happened and the Times was so silent.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  41. 10.If Obamacare was working, I mean really doing what they claimed it would do, which is insure 30 million uninsured at a lower cost, it would be Headline News in every paper and on every MSM news show. The very absence of data proves once again they’re dirty liars.
    Well, I think they’ve got that lying thing covered, because they also lie when they provide data. Follow the bouncing total:

    In May, the government reported that 8 million were signed up for health plans and 1.1 million were in dental coverage.

    Federal officials said in September they had 7.3 million people enrolled in coverage through new government-run insurance exchanges.

    The Obama administration said it erroneously calculated the number of people with health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, incorrectly adding 380,000 dental subscribers to raise the total above 7 million.

    So, the 8 million with health plans became 7.3 million [which was incorrect], and the 1.1 million people with dental coverage somehow became 380,000. The 380,000 with dental coverage were incorrectly added to the total number of people on health plans leading to the incorrect total of 7.3 million people with health plans being reported.
    Okay…. subtracting the 380,000 from 7.3 million would take the total down to 6.92 million people with health plans….but somehow the total is now…

    The accurate number with full health-care plans is 6.7 million as of Oct. 15, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed today,…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-20/obamacare-s-subscriber-rolls-include-unpublicized-dental-plans.html

    Walter Cronanty (f48cd5)


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