ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“A closer examination of these health plans reveals a less rosy picture. Although the premiums are lower than some anticipated, this has been achieved by designing the plans around much more limited provider networks and including greater cost-sharing than the typical commercial health-insurance plan. The premiums for the policies that will be offered on the states’ exchanges are much higher than analogous plans being sold today.”

“The Affordable Care Act was sold as a tool to lower health costs. In case you missed it, the claim is right there in the law’s title. The new Democratic position is that the entitlement will do the opposite but never mind, which is at least more honest. But we wonder how long this new candor will last. If the public reacts badly to these higher premiums, the authors of ObamaCare will soon be back to blaming insurance companies and Republicans.”

“The health law’s supporters are now admitting that premiums will go up for some young and health individuals buying health insurance through the exchange. But they say it’s not entirely fair to make a comparison between individual plans bought on an exchange and today’s plans, because exchange plans offer a far richer set of benefits. Nor should this really come as a shock to anyone, because this is what people were told to expect.”

“Under ObamaCare, modest-wage earners face a choice: Pay premiums they probably can’t afford or pay a bit less for policies with deductibles so high it makes them queasy. The good news is that the initial ObamaCare premiums for the California market, heralded by state officials last week as ‘a home run for consumers,’ do appear to be somewhat lower than outside actuaries had warned. The bad news is that the design of ObamaCare’s subsidies still threatens to keep the young and healthy uninsured, driving up premiums for everybody else.”

“As the director of the California exchange put it, ‘These rates are way below the worst-case gloom-and-doom scenarios we have heard.’ But a few days later there is lots more information coming out and it would appear we have a case of apples to oranges to grapefruit. And, we have a pretty good case of rate shock.”

“Supporters of Obamacare justified passage of the law because one insurer in California raised rates on some people by as much as 39 percent. But Obamacare itself more than doubles the cost of insurance on the individual market. I can understand why Democrats in California would want to mislead the public on this point. But journalists have a professional responsibility to check out the facts for themselves.”

“Health insurance premiums could rise by as much as 40 percent as a result of President Obama’s healthcare law, according to a new study. The survey of premiums in six states found that premiums could increase most significantly for young, healthy men. Premiums will rise for people who currently purchase bare-bones plans with high deductibles and meager coverage. They’ll be forced to upgrade to policies that must offer at least a certain level of coverage.”

“What this means, however, is that Covered California is creating for itself a very favorable and already higher baseline from which to compare next year’s individual health insurance premiums. That’s how they’re able to create the appearance that Obamacare’s reforms will lower individual premiums. To put it simply: Covered California is trying to make consumers think they’re getting more for less when, in fact, they’re just getting the same while paying more.”

“In 2012, the average individual insurance plan cost Californians $177 per month, according to online insurance marketplace ehealthinsurance.com. Yet the report put out by Covered California lists the average “silver” plan on the exchange as costing individuals $321 per month. That’s an 80 percent increase — or even more for those who still have the freedom to go without insurance and currently pay $0 in premiums. That freedom will disappear come January.”

“In this group of current insurance purchasers, only 83 percent will still purchase if premiums rise 10 percent; 65 percent, if premiums rise 20 percent; and only 55 percent, if premiums rise 30 percent. The economic lesson is simple: As premiums rise, eventually, some consumers reach a price point at which they simply stop buying health insurance.”