Everybody's worried that the new health care law is going to create national sticker shock. On Wednesday, in his big speech in Illinois, the president seemed to be saying, it certainly will - just not in the direction you expected.
"Just last week, New York announced that premiums from consumers in these online market places will be at least 50 percent lower than they're paying today," said President Obama.
Really? Half off in New York?
"Fifty percent lower!" Obama exclaimed again to applause.
So I immediately started fact-checking, and turns out it's true. But that's because New York has a really screwed up individual health insurance market. People can put off buying insurance until they get sick, which means everyone who signs up starts making claims right away, which has pushed individual premiums to around $12,000 a year.
So yes, because Obamacare requires even healthy New Yorkers to buy insurance, it will finally spread the cost, so premiums can drop.
But that's New York. In states where premiums are already low, like California, Obamacare is likely to lead to increases because more things have to be covered. It drives you nuts, I know.
But on the plus side, as the president points out, "You'll have the security of knowing that everything you worked hard for is no longer one illness away from being wiped out."
But Dave, you say, suppose that, as an American, I want the freedom to be wiped out by a major illness. Well, relax! Under Obamacare you will still have the freedom to bankrupt yourself, just not by getting sick. You'll have to do it by gambling, or house flipping.