There’s no argument that President Obama is a good salesman. He convinced enough people to vote for him to give him two terms in the White House. P. T. Barnum would be proud of him.
So today, the Salesman in Chief turned his attention to Obamacare with a press conference. Not surprisingly, he was surrounded by a group of people who will benefit from the ACA – and it is undeniable that there will be people who will benefit from it. Those people are individuals with pre-existing conditions. But the problem for this grand scheme is that there will be few else who will be able to make that statement.
It seems to me that enthusiasm for Obamacare is not much different than the reaction one might expect from a diffident bachelor whose friends are fixing him up with a blind date. The young man asks, “What’s she like?” To which he receives the answer, “She’s got a great personality.”
One of the statements that the President made today was that a person could purchase a plan at a mere one hundred dollars per month. That’s an interesting statement. Particularly as over the last five days I went to the exchanges for thirty-two states (which actually were semi-functional) to get quotes.
The quotes that I requested were for a 21 year old individual female. This is the least expensive category of applicant that I was able to find. Let me give you an example of premium and coverage costs for an applicant in just one of those states, Nevada. The premiums varied by a few dollars depending on the state.
So, Ingrid Johnson, a single 21 year old wants the most affordable plan that is available under Obamacare in Nevada. She is a non-smoker. The least expensive plan available to her is what is known as a “Catastrophic” policy. This is intended to cover her should she develop a serious medical condition.
Her premium cost for this policy is $143 per month. (Not the $100 cited today by the President in his press conference). But there is an annual deductible before she receives one dollar of benefit in the amount of $6,250 per year. In other words, she will have to pay out $7,966 before her insurance starts paying any of her medical expenses. That works out to an out-of-pocket cost of $663 per month.
But let’s assume that Ingrid has a small income and the full amount of her premium cost is subsidized by the Federal government. That means she is still responsible for the full deductible before she receives benefits. That translates to a monthly premium of $520 per month.
Perhaps the President is relying on the fact that the math skills of Americans is exceptionally poor. Perhaps he is hoping that one of the glitches with the iPhones to which he has recently referred is that the built in calculators are malfunctioning. Perhaps he just thinks that Americans are just plain stupid. But the math and the President’s statements just don’t relate well to each other.
It’s seldom that I offer the President advice. But here goes.
If the President wants to sell this to America, I can think of nothing that would be more effective than that he issue one of his executive orders and require that he and his family, the Congress, the members of the Supreme Court and all the toadies in the administration be enrolled in it.
That might get America a little more enthusiastic about the greatest Ponzi scheme ever concocted by Washington.