Whoops! ObamaCare Backers in Wisconsin Produce Report Showing That the Health Care Overhaul Will Make Health Insurance More Expensive


When Wisconsin's Department of Health Services, which manages health programs within the state, wanted to get a better sense of how last year's health care overhaul would affect insurance coverage within the state, they turned to Jonathan Gruber, a health policy expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who served as a consultant on both Mitt Romney's Massachusetts health care overhaul and (somewhat controversially) President Obama's nationwide successor program.

Gruber! (Hans)

Gruber is a frequent defender of ObamaCare as well as one of its architects. And the report was ordered under Wisconsin's departed Democratic Governor Jim Doyle, who, after leaving the governor's office, signed on to an ObamaCare agitprop mill dedicated to highlighting "the stories of the millions of Americans who are already benefiting from this important law and how it will benefit millions more in the coming years." So it's not exactly a hit job. 

The report Doyle ordered before leaving office certainly reveals something about how the law will affect hundreds of thousands of individuals in the state he used to govern, it's not all flattering. Indeed, it's telling that despite bring ordered and authored by true-blue ObamaCare backers, a big part of what this report suggests is that the law will ultimately raise the health insurance costs for large numbers of the state's residents.

Naturally, Gruber's leads with a smiley face, noting for the umpteenth time that the law is expected to increase health insurance coverage; approximately 340,000 of the state's residents are expected to gain insurance coverage by 2016. Of course, about 170,000 of the newly covered will be shuffled into Medicaid, a program that's wrecking state budgets and providing, at best, uncertain health benefits.

Meanwhile expanding the state's health insurance coverage will come at a significant cost to hundreds of thousands of individuals, especially within the individual market, where the law has the greatest effect. Gruber projects that the average individual market health insurance premium will cost about 30 percent more than if ObamaCare had never passed. For most individual market enrollees, the average premium increase will be even higher: 87 percent of the individual market is projected to see a premium price increase of 41 percent.

Defenders of the law might note that more than half—about 57 percent—of those who get their insurance through the individual market will benefit from the law's generous health insurance subsidies. But even discounting the enormous public cost of financing those subsidies (which account for roughly half of the law's $950 billion price tag over the next decade), it's still not much consolation for the majority of individual market enrollees.

That's because more than half the individual market will still end up paying more: "After the application of tax subsidies," the report projects, "59 percent of the individual market will experience an average premium increase of 31 percent."

Gruber! (Mac)

One factor in the price increase is the addition of new coverage mandates that will make health insurance more expensive: An estimated 40 percent of the Wisconsin's current individual market enrollees don't carry coverage that meets ObamaCare's minimum coverage standards. Thanks to the law, they'll be required to purchase more expensive coverage.

Small businesses and their employees, meanwhile, will face a sort of coin flip—but one that's weighted against them. Thanks to the law, 47 percent are expected to see their premiums drop by an average of 16 percent. But the other 53 percent are expected to see their health insurance premiums rise by 15 percent as a result of the law. That's good news for those small employers who costs will go down, I suppose. But it's not-so-good news for the even larger percentage of small businesses whose costs are projected to go up. Somehow I doubt that Doyle, the state's ex-governor and recently minted ObamaCare propagandist, will find time to highlight their stories.

Thanks to NCPA President John Goodman for pointing out the report. 

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  1. There is some good stuff here for Obama to cherry pick. Gruber will get a cookie (by which I mean a cabinet-level position) for this.

    1. But I set my browser to no cookies!

  2. This is just a correction to the true price of healthcare. Or something…

  3. Government intervention detrimental?



  4. Not to mention the waivers. How many have there been, over 1,400?

    1. I’m not sure I like the way that lady’s bottom looks in those high-waist jeans.

  5. A question on the subsidies –

    are they given as a quarterly check? A tax rebate? or what?

    What would stop someone from receiving the subsidy but not purchasing the insurance? Like a poor person who would rather buy food, pay the rent or make that much-needed car repair?

    What if a person was making $80k a year and then they lose their job half-way through the year. Suppose they have no income for the rest of the year. Do they have to wait for the year to finish to get their “free gubbimint” stuff, or is their income still considered “80K” until the new calculation?

    1. as proposed by the IRS, the tax credit is advancable, and payments will be made directly to the insurance company on the family’s behalf. These payments would then be reconciled against the amount of the family’s actual premium tax credit, as calculated on the family’s federal income tax return. Any repayment due from the taxpayer is subject to a cap for taxpayers with incomes under 400 percent of FPL.

      1. thank you… beats googling 😉

        still, it would suck to have a sudden income change.

      2. So, in other words “there’s a form for that.” I’m sick of having to tack new forms onto my tax return. It’s annoying.

        1. Full-employment for the CPA’s and tax lawyers. Thank goodness, I was worried about them.

  6. “I am an exceptional thief!”


      1. “We’re going to need some more FBI guys.”

  7. ObamaCare Backers in Wisconsin Produce Report Showing That the Health Care Overhaul Will Make Health Insurance More Expensive

    Jimmy Hoffa Jr will have a choice word for those traitors to the cause….

  8. Whew, at least today I get an early start on the spooge cleanup.

  9. Gruber projects that the average individual market health insurance premium will cost about 30 percent more than if ObamaCare had never passed.

    So much for the much-touted savings.

    Defenders of the law might note that more than half ? about 57 percent ? of those who get their insurance through the individual market will benefit from the law’s generous health insurance subsidies.

    “Benefit”? Sure, if one was perpetually ill.

  10. Wait, do you mean to tell me that the government, in creating a new bureaucracy, adding a myriad of regulations, and further encroaching in people’s lives WON’T make health care cheaper and better?

    1. For *whom*? Be explicit. There’s an answer to your question in your answer to my question.

      1. I have a graph that shows it will…

  11. It’s about power, not good. Aks the Gracchi. Didn’t turn out so good for them.

    1. +1 for Gracchi erudition.

  12. Alan Rickman (Hans Gruber) gave us one of the top ten “Oh shit!” faces of all time.

    1. The story behind this apparently was that they didn’t tell him exactly when they were going to release the harness for that exact purpose: so that he’d have a natural looking reaction to being dropped off a building.

  13. It’s a feature. Don’t you know that government program ALWAYS cost more than the estimate?

    1. Thankfully they always deliver less than promised.

  14. When Obama said, paraphrasing, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor he was right on. I keep my doctor in my cellar and my neighbor keeps his in his attic.

  15. If they are admitting that ObamaCare is going to cost more – then you can be sure the actual cost figures are far worse than those disclosed.

  16. Cry about the cost of medicare but fail to note that its costs increase at a far lower rate than private insurance.

    Where does health care money go in the US? profits for private insurers, pharma, device makers, etc

    is making money ok? yes
    is making so much money that millions cannot afford basic care ok? No, it’s obscene

    1. At the root of your question is an assumption that because someone can’t/won’t afford something someone else must pay for it. Because a person/company/corporation makes money they are obligated to give you some if you don’t make money? Is that fair? No, that’s Obscene.

      1. It may be his assumption, but his comment is relevant… OF COURSE all the above are going to shovel as much money up as they can; wouldn’t you?

        The problem with the “medical-insurance complex” is the “insurance” part. Distributed payment means no market forces can get through, so we pay $50 two-cent asprin tabs and $50000 for versions of $1200 “Kraftmatic Adjustable Beds” with pocket-calculator electronics and injection-molded siding.

        Eliminate insurance for all but catastrophic medical cases, and see medical care costs drop dramatically overnight.

  17. myopia, the ‘..people who can’t afford basic care’ are overwhelmingly our society’s low achievers who ALWAYS have a pack of smokes or beer/liquor at the ready.

    As well as young, recent college grads and/or people who are still learning to be young adults and health insurance (in this case MANDATED, because ‘government cares and knows best for your and mine well-being) takes a far backseat.

    The REAL # of those who TRULY can’t afford health insurance is ~1%. There are MANY stats to tell you so. Though if you pick up ‘Obama Zombies..’ by Jason Mattera. Mr. Mattera breaks it down whereas an Illiberal like yourself can understand.

    Oh, don’t worry. The book’s not that long, the health insurance discussion is early into the book and you can get it at your local library. No excuses to not educate yourself. I read Huffpo, DailyKos etc., (more so for entertainment rather than ‘news’ retrieval) now it’s your turn.

  18. Healthcare is expensive in the FIRST place bcs Govt SETS the price for all healthcare services by the existence of Medicare/caid etc.
    SECOND, healthcare is expensive bcs the Govt has REDUCED competition for healthcare insurance (please see the booming competitive market for auto insurance where you get to pick your company across state lines & you get to CHOOSE how you are covered).
    THIRD, healthcare is expensive bcs of LAWSUITS that are ridiculous.
    FOURTH healthcare is expensive bcs those who are ON the public dole are A) going to the Dr for ever fracking little tummy ache & B) those who are not on the public dole & have no insurance, like ILLEGALS, are going to the emergency rooms for a tummy ache.

    1. Only one nit to pick. The was a recent study which showed that Medicade recipients, your folks on the public dole, are the biggest abusers of emergency rooms. Only anecdotal, but my wife (a pharmacist) confims that this is exactly what she experiences on a daily basis.

      Hey, if you don’t have a job or any place else to be why not go hang out at your local e-room?

      1. If a Medi-cal or Medi-care person has a prescription for something, and they tell the pharmacy “I can’t afford that co-pay,” then the pharmacy has to eat the co-pay. Hence the abuse of the E.R. All about incentives.

  19. No Country for Old Men

  20. Great article, but did Reason fire all their pruf-reederz?

  21. The truth is that supporters of universal health care actually don’t care that it will raise costs. It seriously doesn’t matter to them because they don’t think they’re paying for it.

    They only care about the goal, of achieving universal health care and control over your lives. The cost isn’t even a problem in their minds.

    1. Right. It’s all about wealth redistribution. If you have more then them, you owe them money.

  22. Eliminate government licensing of physicians and break the nexus between government and the medical-industrial complex.

  23. It’s Feb 29, 2012, and the website for this study has been taken down! Guess they didn’t like the info in the study.

  24. Just wait till us average joes receive a $10,000 bill from IRS for yearly health care premiums!

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