Monday, April 28, 2014

Latest Obamacare Challenge for Dems: Where's My $2,500 Savings?

By Greg Richter
 / Newsmax
 
As the midterm election approaches, vulnerable Democrats have a new worry that may be difficult to spin: Where did the promised $2,500 savings in health insurance premiums go?

As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama repeatedly said his healthcare plan would reduce the typical family's annual premiums by up to $2,500 per year. Often, he did not include the caveat "up to," simply saying the "typical" family would save about $2,500 a year on premiums.

But now, a month past the signup deadline for coverage, comparisons for the typical family's then and now premium costs are difficult to come by. The Obama administration isn't issuing such numbers. At best, it has said the costs are "lower than projected," reported most recently by the Los Angeles Times.

But those lower-than-projected numbers refer to expectations when the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, not when Obama made the promises of reduced premiums in 2008.

Websites such as WebMD note that costs are reduced for some people, but that's because younger, healthier people are actually having to pay higher premiums.

"There are literally no comparisons to current rates. That is, [the Department of Health and Human Services] has chosen to dodge the question of whose rates are going up, and how much. Instead they try to distract with a comparison to a hypothetical number that has nothing to do with the actual experience of real people," former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, told Forbes.

In reality, premiums are "skyrocketing,' according to a Forbes report, and those increases are blamed on implementation of the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, consumers also are facing higher deductibles under Obamacare plans.

This presents a problem to Democrats on the midterm campaign trail. Already, two Democrats were left speechless, then laughed when asked by a constituent where his $2,500 in savings went. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Tim Walz, both of Minnesota, both turned to each other in hope of an answer to that town hall question in February.

With the continued unpopularity of the law, the "Where's my $2,500?" question may become a millstone around the necks of Democrats in tough re-election bids.

Brietbart's Wynton Hall called it the 2014 equivalent of President Ronald Reagan's famous line: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"

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