Here’s Yet Another Obamacare Non-Horror Story

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Here in California, we keep feeling the hammer blows of Obamacare. Thanks to the new law, our state’s largest individual health insurer is being forced to jack up insurance premiums for thousands of — oh wait. Let’s read the fine print here:

Thousands of Anthem Blue Cross individual customers with older insurance policies untouched by Obamacare are getting some jarring news: Their premiums are going up as much as 25%….Anthem Blue Cross said its plan to raise rates reflects that escalating healthcare costs are an economic reality industrywide.

The company said customers do have new options thanks to the healthcare law. “Many of the members affected here may be eligible for federal subsidies via the Covered California exchange and may have lower premiums if they decide to switch to an Affordable Care Act-compliant policy,” company spokesman Darrel Ng said.

Roger that. Premiums are skyrocketing for policies that have nothing to do with Obamacare. What’s more, Anthem Blue Cross is recommending that affected customers might want to check out the Obamacare exchange to see if they can get a better deal there.

This is yet another reason to be skeptical of claims that Obamacare is responsible for rate shock all over the country. It’s not a myth. It really has happened to some people. But the truth is that it affects only a small number of people; the horror story anecdotes routinely turn out to be either exaggerated or flatly false; and insurance companies have been jacking up rates for years anyway. They were going to do it in 2014 whether Obamacare existed or not.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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