How is it that President Obama can claim that under his healthcare plan insurance is more “affordable?” Let’s be clear, it is not because insurance plans cost less. The costs of health insurance plans, particularly in the individual market, are going up and are doing so quite dramatically. What will make health insurance “more affordable” for many in the Obanacare exchanges are massive subsidies, i.e. coercive wealth transfers. As is pointed out by Byron York in today’s Washington Examiner, when using the word “affordable” in the “Affordable Care Act”:
Obama and the Democrats who passed the law didn’t really mean that premiums will go down. What they meant was that premiums might well go up, but the government will give some Americans money with which they can pay the higher premiums and still come out ahead.
This use of the word affordable says nothing about the overall cost burden on society of health insurance. This is measured by the totality of the premiums paid to the insurance companies, which include the out of pocket costs for the insured plus the amount of the subsidy. The fact is that with coercive wealth transfers from others helping foot the bill any product can be made “affordable.” Health insurance costs under Obamacare are going up regardless of what the President says about affordability. And because these higher costs will have to be paid for by someone–the purchasers of medical devices like pacemakers and artificial hips through the new medical device tax or penalties paid by those who refuse to participate in the new program or taxpayers generally–it will redound to the overall well being of society with less economic growth and job creation.