President Obama said Tuesday that Americans who already have health insurance are “already experiencing most of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, even if they don’t know it,” responding to a question about what Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mt.) has dubbed the “train wreck” of implementing Obamacare:
OBAMA: The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, has now been with us for three years. It’s gone through Supreme Court tests. It’s gone through efforts to repeal. A huge chunk of it has already been implemented and for the 85, 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, they’re already experiencing most of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, even if they don’t know it. Their insurance is more secure. Insurance companies can’t drop them for bad reasons. Their kids are able to stay on their health insurance until they’re 26 years old. They’re getting free preventive care. There are a whole host of benefits. For the average American out there, the 85, 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, this thing’s already happened. And their only impact is their insurance is stronger, better, more secure than it was before.
But there is still much unclear about how the law’s implementation will affect premiums and coverage for different types of Americans in the next year, including how the Internal Revenue Service will enforce parts of the law. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Maryland’s largest health insurer, has proposed raising premiums on individual plans by 25 percent as part of the insurer’s compliance with the health law.
A number of major health insurers have also already warned brokers that premiums could increase sharply next year.