Health Care

Obamacare is happening. Although Ted Cruz’s can’t stand ithe finally stepped down from his all-night perch on the Senate floor — but it’s going to happen.

According to a new report published by the Department of Health and Human Services, Obamacare will be cheaper than expected, with an average cost of $249, a figure based on two packages in 48 states that government thinks represents the average American who can’t afford coverage.

In a story ran by Huffinton Post, a government official was excited to express how important this new health plan will be to Americans who cannot afford health care or have been either kicked off their employer’s plan or work in places where their employers claim health care coverage is too pricey:

“For millions of Americans, these new options will finally make health insurance work within their budget,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. Reporters were provided access to the report prior to its publication.

But Forbes magazine calls out the government agency for cherry-picking the data in order to present a more favorable view of the seemingly contentious health care mandate:

… the report cherry picked the data by narrowly focusing on only two slivers of the marketplace: The lowest cost premiums available to 27-year-olds with an income of $25,000 and families of four with an income of $50,000.

All of these plans will still expose consumers to hefty cost sharing (and even more significant co-insurance once they go outside their HMO-style, narrow provider list).

The new figures highlighted the most favorable prices in each market. So you can bet these numbers also correlate with the plans that will leave consumers with the fewest choices.

Beginning Tuesday, those people will be able to log on to government Web sites called marketplaces to peruse their plan options, apply for government subsidies and sign up for coverage effective next year. That is when the requirement kicks in that virtually every American carry health insurance or face a fine.

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