California gives Obamacare some very good news

Obamacare on the steps of the Supreme CourtObamacare on the steps of the Supreme Court (cc photo by Will O’Neill)

It was Oregon that gave Obamacare a boost a few days ago when it was revealed that competition among health insurers was reducing the price of health coverage on the Obamacare exchanges. Well, yesterday, the largest state in the union had some more good news for the upcoming health program:

Based on the premiums that insurers have submitted for final regulatory approval, the majority of Californians buying coverage on the state’s new insurance exchange will be paying less—in many cases, far less—than they would pay for equivalent coverage today. And while a minority will still end up writing bigger premium checks than they do now, even they won’t be paying outrageous amounts. Meanwhile, all of these consumers will have access to the kind of comprehensive benefits that are frequently unavaiable today, at any price, because of the way insurers try to avoid the old and the sick.

The core mission of Obamacare is to control for prices. Healthcare is still way too expensive in this country and given the size and bureaucratic complexities we have to deal with, it may always be too expensive. But Obamacare seems to be doing its job at creating competition amongst insurers, thus forcing prices to be made competitive, thus reducing them.

California is a particularly important case-study for Obamacare, which is why its a huge deal to get this news. If by the end of next year California is boasting a – not perfect but certainly successful – universal health-care system after only the first year of implementation, other states that chose to forgo the Medicaid expansion – like Texas – will be looking at a large state like California and will likely wonder what it would have been like to accept and implement a clearly workable and beneficial law – especially since the Texas health-care system in particular is a total mess.

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