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Ohioans expected to pay 41 percent more under Obamacare

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 5th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A battle is brewing in the Midwestern state of Ohio, where those with health insurance are expected to pay 41 percent more under the so-called improvements found in Obamacare. According to projections released by the state's Republican insurance commissioner Mary Taylor, health care reform will only drive up the cost of insurance in a state with historically higher regulation.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Obamacare-friendlier states like New York have reported major rate reductions as a result of the health care law. According to Taylor, however, the mandated benefits and rating rules under the proposed plan does Ohio no favors.  

"The bottom line is the [Affordable Care Act] is driving up premiums across the country," Taylor declares, who's also Ohio's lieutenant governor.

These findings aren't across the board. Supporters and detractors of the health law are both using some creative arithmetic to tilt state rate announcements in their favor. It's all part and parcel of how debate over the law is being played out over calculators and spreadsheets.

"The announcement today in Ohio by Lt. Gov. Taylor is irrefutable evidence that the president's health care law is not 'working fine,'" House Speaker John Boehner said about his home state. "To the contrary, it is hurting our economy, driving up the cost of health care and making it harder for small businesses to hire workers."

It's become a clarion call among Republican lawmakers. Indiana's insurance commissioner says that the health law would drive up rates 72 percent in the state, while Georgia's insurance commissioner earlier this week said premiums would jump as much as 198 percent for some residents.

Obamacare supporters claim these assumptions are being manipulated by Republican insurance commissioners across the country to project these massive increases. They complain that the regulators don't account for subsidies that many people buying on exchanges can receive, and they question how they're coming up with the numbers.

HHS pushed back against the Ohio insurance department's findings, suggesting that the feds will reach a far less ominous conclusion.

"We are consistently seeing in states across the country those premiums are lower than expected and we are confident that Ohio's premiums will be affordable," HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters says.

The Ohio Insurance Department says the average premium in the individual market is currently $236.29 per month. The new average under the health care law will be $336.44, the department says.

"The ACA requires more benefits that every consumer is required to purchase regardless of whether they want them, need them or can afford them," Taylor said.

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