In Speech, Obama Pushes Misleading Health-care Statistics

by Dimitrios Halikias

In an address today on his health-care law, President Obama argued that the Affordable Care Act has already begun lowering premiums for consumers, suggesting it’s made the health-insurance market more competitive and efficient.  

“In states like California, Oregon, Washington,” said Obama, “new competition, new choices, market forces, are pushing costs down.” This claim seems to contradict the evidence, which according to Avik Roy, suggests that in California alone Obamacare will “increase individual health insurance premiums by 64-146%.”

Obama also cited new evidence that health-care premiums will fall dramatically in New York: “Just yesterday, state officials in New York announced that average premiums for consumers who buy insurance in their new marketplace will be at least 50 percent lower next year than they are today.”

This too seems to be problematic. Addressing the New York Times article on the same numbers, Avik Roy outlined several of the major problems with it: “New York’s premiums will remain among the costliest in the nation, after Obamacare becomes fully operational. And the unique history of how the Empire State destroyed its individual health-insurance market—using policies quite similar to Obamacare’s—will translate, at best, to only a handful of other states.”

The Corner

The one and only.