WaPo’s Selective Use of Massachusetts Facts
The Washington Post’s Alec MacGillis has a Fact Checker item out October 14th purporting to vet studies paid for America’s Health Insurance Plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield, and performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers Oliver Wyman, showing that health insurance premiums for the typical American family would rise $3,000 to $4,000 per year if Obamacare were to become law.
Writing on the individual mandate portion of the bill, MacGillis writes:
There is a lively debate about whether the penalty would goad healthier people to get coverage. But the reports are probably too pessimistic. Massachusetts has gotten all but 3 percent of residents into coverage with a penalty of roughly the same size.
Ok, so the individual mandate in the Baucus bill is as weak as the one in Massachusetts yet Massachusetts still has all but 3% of residents covered. True, but only half the story. What happened to insurance premiums in Massachusetts after their health insurance reform, whose total scheme is roughly the same as the Baucus bill, became law?
Health insurance premiums skyrocketed. As Reason magazine associate editor Peter Suderman has noted, the Commonwealth Fund has documented that Health-insurance premiums in the Bay State have risen significantly faster than the national average since their Obamacare like reforms and are now the nation’s most expensive. Meanwhile, insurance companies are planning additional double-digit hikes, “prompting many employers to reduce benefits and shift additional costs to workers” according to the Boston Globe.
If MacGillis is going to cite Massachusetts in a fact check about what Obamacare is going to do to health insurance premiums, Washington Post readers deserve to know what has happened to said premiums.