Apparently not all sticker shock from the price of Obamacare is equal.
If you live in a state that did not vote for Barack Obama for president, chances are your rates are going up more than if you reside in one that did vote for him.
According to pricing analysis by the Heritage Foundation, premiums for 27-year-olds rose an average of 78 percent on Obamacare exchanges in Republican states.
But premiums for those same young adults in states that voted Democrat rose by only 50 percent.
“It’s unfair, outrageous and unacceptable,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who’s an orthopedic surgeon, told Fox News.
“After discovering that the president broke his promise that Americans can definitely keep their coverage, many ‘red state’ Americans are now finding out that their rates will soar under Obamacare. This … proves once again that the president’s health-care law picks winners and losers across the country.”
He says the disparity is another reason to trash the Affordable Care Act.
“We need to suspend the entire law and replace it with what all Americans wanted all along – affordable, accessible care,” Barrasso said.
But why is there a price difference based on a person’s state of residence?
One health-policy expert says Republican states had fewer regulations when the new law was enacted.
Avik Roy, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, told Fox News: “Think about it this way, what does Obamacare do? Obamacare imposes a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme upon the insurance market. So if you’re in a lightly regulated state today, all of a sudden it’s going from a lightly regulated system to a heavily regulated system, and that drives up a lot of the costs.”
Some of those more stringent regulations include mandates for contraceptives and preventative care, now required by Obamacare in every state.
Alice Chen, executive director of the pro-Obamacare group Doctors for America, says the figures don’t account for federal subsidies given to low-income people who purchase insurance under the new system.
“The figures don’t take into account the subsidies,” Chen told Fox. “So it might be in a chart, but it’s not what people are actually seeing out there when they’re getting coverage.”
Roy at the Manhattan Institute has a problem with that argument.
“The idea that somehow insurance-cost increases don’t matter because there are subsidies for people — no, because subsidies are paid for by taxpayers. Subsidies aren’t free. They don’t fall from the sky. So if you’re going to take subsidies into account, you also have to take the taxes into account that paid for these subsidies,” he said.
Under Obamacare, some Democratic states such as New York could actually see a drop in the cost of insurance.
That is reportedly because those states have a “community rating” law, in which everyone pays the same price for insurance irrespective of a person’s health or age.
Previously, many healthy young people didn’t buy insurance, since they would be paying exactly what an elderly person with health problems had to pay.
But the Obamacare mandate will force those same young people to get coverage, and insurers may then drop prices slightly for everyone since young and healthy people cost them less.
Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted Wednesday it was possible for convicted felons to be hired as Obamacare navigators, putting at risk your Social Security Number and other personal information.
“Isn’t it true that there is no federal requirement for navigators to undergo a criminal background check,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, asked her during a Senate Finance Committee hearing.
“That is true,” Sebelius answered. “States could add in additional background checks and other features, but it is not part of the federal requirement.”
Cornyn continued, “So a convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual unbeknownst to them?”
Sebelius answered, “This is possible.”
Cornyn accused her of ignoring warnings about Obamacare problems in order to protect the White House, “and as a result, you have put our entire health care system and one-sixth of our economy in jeopardy.”
“You have said America should hold you accountable,” Roberts oberved, “Which is why, today, Madame Secretary, I repeat my request for you to resign.”