by Joseph Antos
American Enterprise Institute
September 27, 2013
The public relations battle over the cost of health insurance in the exchanges is in full roar. State insurance commissioners and health insurance exchange boards, eager to prove to taxpayers that they are doing their jobs, have announced that they will save consumers plenty of money—or at least not cost them too much more. Critics of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) dig into the rate filings and find unconscionable increases in premiums. Neither side in this debate over premiums can address affordability from the only perspective that matters: the consumer’s. Premiums might be lower than expected by experts, but are they lower than expected by the people who are supposed to buy the insurance? Even if premiums are affordable as determined by consumers and not by some arbitrary government standard, is the insurance attractive enough to purchase?

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