My health insurer has just notified me, in a brief form letter, that my monthly premiums are to rise from $472.33 to $857.00 on January 1st. That's an increase of 81 percent. ***E*I*G*H*T*Y*-*O*N*E* *P*E*R*C*E*N*T*** Can they do that? I called them. They sound pretty confident they can. Ye gods!
Um, John, really. Can they do that? What magazine do you work for?
Meanwhile, Derbyshire's colleague Kathryn Jean Lopez hangs out on the same blog to remind us what really matters to the underemployed, pajama-clad readers of The Corner:
Just on the Off Chance You Were in a Good Mood this Morning... it is about to end: The Bush administration has sent signals since last month's elections that the president is prepared to accept some tax increases on upper-income families...
I'm not sure which of these possibilities is more frightening: the implication that National Review employees consider themselves members of the upper class or the delusion under which K.Lo. thinks this news will depress her readers and her colleagues.
Meanwhile, the cutely named Jane Galt operates under the equally frightening delusion that rising health care costs are unique to New York State.
Granted, health care certainly costs more in New York, but (news flash) everything costs more in New York. And it should also be noted that Derbyshire's 2006 monthly premium was far, far below the average for, say, Nassau County. But Jane asserts, without evidence, that state regulation--not the market--are responsible for John's 81% rate increase between 2006 and 2007.
Yes, Jane, the situation is stable in Wyoming:
Families USA found that annual premiums for family health care coverage offered through the workplace in Wyoming increased on average from $5,605 in 2000 to $12,274 in 2006, an increase of $6,669 or 119 percent.
And Kansas, too:
The report by Families USA says median wages in Kansas rose a little less than 16 percent from 2000 to 2006. During that same time period, premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance skyrocketed more than 78 percent.
Galt even claims that "Employer purchased insurance is on the expensive side in New York, but nothing like the individual policies"--even though a simple Google search and the use of a caculator would tell her that, in 2007, John Derbyshire's individual policy will cost ($10,284) almost the same as the national average forecasted for employer-provided plans ($10,018, not including co-pays and deductibles).
I'm sure Jane still scratches her head, wondering why she and her fellow conservatives/libertarians are increasingly out of touch with the average American--and with reality. That brain-tickler is as puzzling as her animus to evidence.