The Spectacle Blog

Alexander Takes on Obama on Health Care Premiums

By on 2.25.10 | 10:08AM

Sen. Lamar Alexander has called out President Obama on claims that health care legislation would reduce premiums, noting that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that premiums would be 10 percent to 13 percent higher in the individual market under the Senate bill than under current law.

The CBO report, which was released in November, found that in dollar terms, an individual policy would cost $5,800 and a family policy would cost $15,200 in 2016 if the Senate bill were enacted, compared with $5,500 and $13,100 under the status quo.

During the summit this morning, Obama argued that in exchange for paying more, Americans would be getting more generous insurance coverage. But the reason is that the Senate bill would impose so many new benefit mandates on insurance policies. In a free market, individuals should be allowed to buy more expensive insurance that offers more benefits, but the problem with the liberal approach is that it would force everybody to pay more, even people who may prefer to have lower premiums and less generous coverage.

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