- - Sunday, October 29, 2017


Anyone insured under Obamacare should be careful not to stand among or near sharp objects this week when he looks at the annual round of Obamacare enrollment. He’ll faint at the sight of what Obamacare will cost over the next year. The average exchange prices for the more popular Obamacare plans will rise 34 percent.

Rates will be even more devastating in some states. In Illinois, for example, consumers are bracing for a 43 percent price increase. The price tag is frightening enough, but a look at what that 43 percent increase will buy would be enough to drive a NFL linebacker to his knees, if he is not there already. A 40-year-old couple with two children in Chicago can expect to pay $1,900 a month for their exchange’s top-of-the-line HMO offering, and that’s just to obtain the coverage. It comes with a $1,000 deductible. With costs like that, only a NFL linebacker could afford it, so why buy insurance? Because the “signature achievement of Barack Obama” is the law, and it demands two pounds of taxpayer flesh per person.

And not just in Illinois. Avalere Health conducted a study to determine why these exchange rates are flying through the roof, and found to nobody’s surprise that one crucial reason is the lower participation rate in Obamacare enrollment. The millenials, for one important group, just aren’t interested in buying insurance they’re not likely to need. Like the young and healthy before them, they think they’ll live forever and have no health problems that an aspirin or two and a good lie-down won’t fix. For others the fiercely rising costs stem from the government’s failure to pay some of the promised subsidies. The failure to pay the promised subsidies is because — and no surprise here — Obamacare is crumbling because it’s unable to bear its own weight.

This is what Obamacare critics have predicted all along — that taxpayers, soon enough, would be tapped out, the political winds would shift, the subsidies would dry up and the cycle of higher insurance costs would go up and up and ‘round and ‘round. A train wreck, some critics called it. From the wreckage there would be fewer choices.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services predict that next year almost half of the counties in the United States will offer only one Obamacare exchange insurer. Monopolies always mean fewer choices, reduced services and higher costs. And why not? Where else can the customers go?

Obamacare is a disaster with one father and many godfathers, and they’re all Democrats, because that’s the way they wanted it. Not a single Republican senator voted for it. But the Republicans are not off the hook. They proclaimed, loud and often, that if they could just get control of both houses of Congress, and the White House besides, they would make short work of what Mr. Obama’s paternity had wrought.

Talk was cheap and congressmen, male and female, Democrat and Republican, are brave when they’re confident there won’t have to be a delivery day on their promises. Every voter should keep a little list, and check it once and twice. Payday is coming.

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