If you’ve ever tried to buy insurance on your own, you have a pretty good idea of how ridiculous Roy’s experiment was. If not, go and read Ezra Klein and Rick Ungar, who over the weekend pointed out each of the many flaws. Among the problems they identified: The prices a consumer sees on eHealthInsurance are classic “teaser rates”—in this case, available only to people who don’t have pre-existing conditions. A 25-year-old with a history of allergies, or diabetes, or repetitive stress injuries, or mental health problems, or any number of other common conditions could not have gotten that rate. In fact, that 25-year-old might not have been able to get insurance at all. “That’s not just comparing apples to oranges,” Ezra wrote. “It’s comparing apples to oranges that the fruit guy may not even let you buy.”
I’ve read the original Forbes piece. Avik Roy at Forbes ( a former Romney advisor) commits some fundamental errors both in terms of arithmetic, but he straw mans his detractors as well. Those who have kept up know that individuals – like a 25 year old healthy male buying insurance on his own, not a group plan from work, will likely see an increase in costs. Everyone who writes about insurance issues was aware of that. Saying that he has shocking news, is a way for Roy to get attention and straw man those who disagree. he also uses an odd example. Insurance individuals buy on their own, as opposed to group insurance, is the most expensive way to buy insurance. So few 25 year old healthy males that make an average income buy insurance on their own. If that male has any kind of medical history that even mildly suggests they might have medical problems, they are going to pay sky high rates if they can get insurance at all. If Obamacare had not been enacted everyone was looking at an average annual increase in premiums – “Since 2002, employer-sponsored health coverage for family premiums have increased by 97%”. It looks as though Obamacare will bring down the average costs. No miracles, but some modest savings and a slow down in that ridiculous inflation rate Click over to link at top for some figures).
The Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common, 10 April 1848. This print is from an original Daguerreotype. The Chartists (which consisted of various organization that fall under the general heading of the movement) took their name from a list of reforms called the “People’s Charter” in 1838.
The People’s Charter called for six basic reforms to make the political system more democratic:
A vote for every man over the age of 21;
A secret ballot;
No property qualification for members of Parliament;
Payment for MPs (so poor men could serve);
Constituencies of equal size;
Annual elections for Parliament.
While their crusade failed in the short term, many of their reforms were eventually adopted. 1848 was a momentous day in the history of liberalism.
May be never be forgotten, Remembering Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) (1924-2013) Progressive Legacy