ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“Mr. Alito pointed out that young, healthy adults today spend an average of $854 a year on health care. ObamaCare would require them to buy insurance policies expected to cost roughly $5,800. The law, then, isn’t just asking them to pay for ‘the services that they are going to consume,’ he continued. ‘The mandate is forcing these people to provide a huge subsidy to the insurance companies . . . to subsidize services that will be received by somebody else.'”

“Those two coverage areas – the individual and small group markets – face the biggest rule and cost changes next year, when the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act finally kick in. Early rate proposals around the country are a mix of steep hikes and modest increases.”

“Obamacare may cost more than experts previously thought, according to a survey of 900 employers released Wednesday. As companies scramble to prepare for a wave of new health care rules that go into effect next year, an increasing number have become pessimistic about the cost, according to Mercer, a benefits consulting firm. Roughly one in five employers (19 percent) now expect that health care costs will rise by more than 5 percent as the result of the law.”

“Ohio Department of Insurance officials announced last week that average premiums in the Buckeye state would soar 88 percent once President Obama’s health care law kicks in. The news added fuel to an already raging debate over Obamacare’s effect on insurance costs. Ohio’s insurance department disclosed that a total of 14 insurance companies had proposed rates on 214 plans to be offered through the federally run insurance exchange set to open on Oct. 1 and begin providing benefits in January.”

“It’s called the Affordable Care Act, but President Barack Obama’s health care law may turn out to be unaffordable for many low-wage workers, including employees at big chain restaurants, retail stores and hotels. That might seem strange since the law requires medium-sized and large employers to offer ‘affordable’ coverage or face fines.”

“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.”