The glowing coverage from the West Coast could spark a new meme that can mislead the public. What’s needed is thorough, comprehensive, and skeptical reporting on rate announcements in other states. It may be impossible to compare this year’s individual market rates with those in 2014. In fact, it may be best to concentrate not on premiums, as officialdom would like, but on all the other policy elements that go into helping people decide if a particular offering will be good for them. It is that mix that will reveal whether a policy is good, bad, or mediocre.
The implementation of Obamacare is not really a political story. It’s a consumer story, and what’s called for is some old-fashioned, hard-hitting, and skeptical consumer reporting.