Sean Parnell: Will Rhode Islanders Purchase Insurance Under ObamaCare?

There will be a broad financial disincentive in Rhode Island for a significant number of individuals and families to obtain private health insurance coverage under the President’s Affordable Care Act.

As a result, Rhode Island should be prepared to see enrollment through the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange that is significantly below current expectations.

Based on proposed insurance rates in the Ocean State, and given the individual mandate penalties specified in the national law, for most income and age categories earning more than 200% of the federal poverty level for individuals, and 250% for families and couples, there are often substantial pocket-book reasons not to purchase insurance, even when subsidized via the state’s pending health benefits exchange.

This perverse economic incentive runs contrary to the stated goal of Obamacare to significantly decrease the number of uninsured Americans and will likely leave tens of thousands of Ocean State residents without adequate insurance coverage.

 

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About the author

Grace-Marie Turner is president of the Galen Institute, a public policy research organization that she founded in 1995 to promote an informed debate over free-market ideas for health reform.

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