Forbes | Shocker: Krugman’s wrong again

Writers sometimes worry if a day will come when they have nothing more to say. As long as Paul Krugman is around, I will never have that worry.

Boston University professor, Lawrence Kotlikoff has suggested that Krugman return his Nobel Prize. I hope he doesn’t. As long as someone with Krugman’s professional status gets his facts wrong in column after column, and does so in an arrogant and pompous manner, attacking the integrity and hurling insults at all who disagree with him…well, there will always be a market for a writer who is able to show that the scourge of sensible people everywhere has written one more erroneous editorial…

Let’s return to the subject of California premiums. Krugman links to a Johnathan Cohn New Republic column claiming that premiums on the newly created healthy insurance exchange will actually be lower that they are today. Yet this assertion is based on comparing premiums in today’s small group market with expected individual premiums on the health insurance exchanges. That’s not the right comparison. Small group premiums are significantly higher than individual premiums in most states. The relevant comparison is today’s individual insurance premiums versus the individual premiums in the exchange. Exchange premiums are going to be higher.

With health reform, California premiums will be higher than they are today, but the sticker shock will not be as severe as in other states. The reason: California already has unisex rate requirements. As a result the age differential for males (60-year-old versus 20-year-old) is already close to the 3 to 1 band required by ObamaCare. In states without unisex regulation, the age differential would be 6 to 1.

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