For those needing insurance, the hits keep coming

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: December 11, 2012

Thanks to Obamacare, the hits keep coming for those needing insurance.

A newly released Oliver Wyman study conducted for America's Health Insurance Plans analyzes the impact of a new Obamcare tax on insurance. From 2014 to 2023, the report determined the tax would, averaged nationally, increase the cost of premiums by an aggregate $2,171 to $2,794 for single contracts and $5,140 to $7,186 for family contracts.

The report includes calculations for two scenarios. One model assumes the tax does not cause more businesses to become self-insured, which would avoid the tax, and the other assumes a shift occurs.

In Oklahoma, the report predicts the aggregate tax will total roughly $1.2 billion from 2014 to 2023. It would boost Oklahoma small-group family policies as much as an aggregate $7,748 during that time frame. About 40 percent of state policies would be impacted by the tax, based on current figures.

Obamacare supporters often note specific components of the law poll well — but this provision probably isn't one of them. The insurance tax has been targeted for repeal and legislation to spike it already has 226 cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives (enough to guarantee majority support and passage) and 24 Senate cosponsors. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, and all five Oklahoma congressmen are co-sponsoring the bill.

Obamacare, ironically dubbed the “Affordable Care Act” in its formal title, contains numerous provisions that actually increase the cost of insurance, often to fund consumer subsidies made necessary because ... well, because the law increases the cost of insurance.

The flaws in this Rube Goldberg device are more apparent by the day. It's not far-fetched to think the whole thing will collapse under its own weight, and the only certainty about the law is that legislators will be constantly trying to fix this “fix” for health insurance for years to come.


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