Obamacare Increases Would Be About Zero in California … If Not For Republican Sabotage

Here’s the latest Obamacare news from the Golden State:

Consumers in both Covered California and off-exchange in the individual market will see an overall average statewide rate increase of 8.7 percent to their gross premiums if they renew coverage in the same plan for 2019.

[Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee] said the elimination of the penalty for those who choose not to buy health insurance had a negative impact on rates for 2019. Carriers added between 2.5 and 6 percent to their rates, with an average of 3.5 percent, due to concerns that the removal of the penalty will lead to a less healthy and costlier consumer pool. Covered California estimates the 3.5 percent increase added to the rates will mean Californians will be spending more than $400 million more on their health care coverage in 2019.

And here it is in table form:

California benefits from being a big state, but mostly it benefits from being a state that tries hard to run a good Obamacare exchange. And that would pay off if Republicans weren’t so hellbent on taking away health care coverage from the working class and the working poor. Take a look at the third row of the table. If it weren’t for the purely spiteful elimination of the mandate penalty, the lowest priced silver plan would increase only 1.7 percent. Adjusted for inflation, that’s zero. There’s no real reason that anyone in California should pay a nickel more for health insurance next year than they did this year.

But they will, because that’s how Republicans want it.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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