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Mar. 10, 2017

1. Cherry-picking premium costs. The numbers Ryan cited are scary: Premiums for a benchmark plan in the ACA marketplace rose 59 percent in Minnesota this year, 53 percent in Pennsylvania, 63 percent in Tennessee, 58 percent in Alabama, 69 percent in Oklahoma and 51 percent in Nebraska. “Arizona,” he said, “clocked in at a 116 percent increase in their health insurance premiums with Obamacare.”

His numbers aren’t wrong—they come from a report from the Department of Health and Human Services, released last fall. But Ryan is cherry-picking the states with the highest premium increases. He doesn’t mention that premiums rose just 2 percent in New Hampshire, 5 percent in New Jersey, 2 percent in Ohio or 2 percent in Arkansas. In Indiana and Massachusetts, premiums actually fell. He also doesn’t mention that Americans are often protected from those rising premium increases by their subsidies, which increase as premiums rise. That’s not free—the extra cost is borne by taxpayers—but it draws an inaccurate picture of how premium hikes are actually hitting enrollees nationwide.


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