Elsewhere, Fox Business, which substantially picked up a Reuters story, failed to pick up the question Politico posed and to discuss high cost-sharing, which will be the norm for many policies. The Cleveland Plain Dealer quoted Sebelius saying, “we are excited to see that rates in the Ohio marketplace are even lower than originally projected,” and reported that “premiums would vary considerably between different markets”—an interesting fact, but hardly useful to the millions of shoppers who need to make a choice in the next few months.
Exchange shoppers must make comparisons all right, but that isn’t one of them. Insurance prices have always varied by state, and what consumers need to know is 1) how rates vary in their own states for the same coverage, and 2) how the rates vary for different coverage and whether it’s worthwhile to pay higher premiums for better coverage. That’s what the next round of stories should focus on.
Tomorrow is D-Day, and the exchanges will be the big story. In examining the premiums that will be on each state’s website, reporters will see for themselves what everybody else will pay for insurance. Maybe the ongoing game of spin the rates will finally be over. The message from the administration and Obamacare cheerleaders has been the Affordable Care Act will bring cheap insurance. It will for some, but not for others. It would be great for the media to forget about waving the pom-poms and instead use their megaphones to tell people what they can actually expect, and how to make the tough decisions about choosing a policy.
Follow @USProjectCJR for more posts from this author and the rest of the United States Project team.
More in The Second OpinionRead More »