Obamacare in New york state
With the gradual rollout of the Affordable Care
Act (ACA), health care costs on the individual
market will fall by at least 50% in New York,
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced
Wednesday. New York will join the growing list
of states - including California, Oregon,
Montana and Louisiana - that are boasting
significantly reduced health care prices thanks
to the ACA, proving the act is a massive success.
The New York Times reported that beginning
October 1, individuals buying health insurance
who now pay $1,000 a month will be able to
shop for coverage as low as $308 a month. With
federal subsidies, the costs will be even lower.
The drop in rates has a lot to do with the online
purchasing exchanges created by the ACA.
These exchanges have sparked competition
among insurance companies, driving prices
Think Progress lists insurance costs under the
new exchanges: "The plans to be offered on the
exchanges all meet certain basic requirements
as laid out in the law, but are in four categories
from most generous to least: platinum, gold,
silver and bronze. An individual with an annual
income of $17,000 will pay about $55 a month
for a silver plan, state regulators said. A person
with a $20,000 income will pay about $85 for a
silver plan, while someone earning $25,000 will
pay about $145 a month for a silver plan."
New York's old insurance laws had some
features in common with the ACA. For example,
New York laws prohibited insurers from denying
coverage to individuals with pre-existing
conditions, and required insurers to charge "all
consumers the exact same rate." However, the
old laws did not encourage young or healthy
people to invest in private coverage.
The new rates only affect New Yorkers who
purchase insurance individually, and not those
who receive coverage from their employers.
Until now, individual coverage in New York has
been three times as expensive as the coverage
provided by employers, stopping millions of
Americans from buying private insurance.
Currently, only 17,000 New Yorkers buy health
insurance on the private market, and about 2.6
million are uninsured, according to the New
York Times. As many as 615,000 New Yorkers
are expected to buy health insurance on their
own as a result of the ACA.
The health care debate often boils down to
whether you thinks health care should be
treated as a fundamental right or a
product. Most critics of the ACA see health care
as a product and therefore think it iswrong for
the government to control insurance rates.
But buying health insurance cannot be
compared to buying a flat screen TV; it is a
unique investment. Ezra Klein makes this point
in his op-ed in the Washington Post: "You don't
buy health insurance hoping to get more than
you paid in. That would mean, in essence,
hoping to get terribly sick so you could get the
satisfaction of running up high medical bills. You
buy it because, if something awful happens, it
The point of the Affordable Care Act is that it
protects Americans. It offers protection to the
roughly 45 million uninsured citizens, while also
providing a safety net for the rest of the
country. Critics of the Affordable Care Act or
those with coverage from their employer may
see little value in the law now, but they would
probably feel differently if they didn't have a job.
Nobody wants to pay for health insurance until
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