Going up by less than expected, however, is still going up.
According to this post over at National Review Online, there's a fair bit of fuzzy logic going into even that claim. Says Avik Roy about that report:
Its authors did not actually measure whether or not Obamacare would increase premiums relative to what they are today, because they claim it would be too "complicated.”And if you go to the report, sure enough, at the bottom of the second page you find this:
These changes make direct comparisons of exchange premiums and existing individual market premiums complicated, and doing so would require speculative assumptions and data that are not publicly available. Therefore, we do not attempt to compare the exchange premiums to existing market rates in this report.In truth, trying to predict those increases is complicated. It is not, however, impossible to figure out the trend.
What drives prices? Supply relative to demand. Tell people they can get something for nothing, or for less than it's really valued in the market, and you increase demand. Everybody wants something for nothing. Obamacare does precisely this - artificially increases demand via government subsidies and other means. (Just because a tax credit or subsidy means the individual is paying less out of pocket - a dubious claim in any event - doesn't mean insurance is cheaper, Cory. It just means somebody else is paying for it.) At the same time, if you tell people who provide the goods or services that they have to charge less, you get fewer willing to supply it. Obamacare does this, too - artificially reduces supply by reducing compensation, increasing taxes and regulatory burdens on providers, etc., etc..
If you reduce supply of competent physicians, nurses, technicians, medicines, medical devices, and so on while you increase the demand for medical services, it doesn't take a mathematical genius to figure out what direction prices will trend. It may take a genius to figure out precisely what that increase will be, but that it will increase is patently obvious.
Oh, and for South Dakota, Roy's analysis (click on SD on the map) indicates a 27-yr-old male will see his rates more than double, a 40-yr-old male will see rates nearly double, and a 64-yr-old male will see a 74% increase. For women, those increases will be about 50% for the younger brackets, and double for 64-yr-olds. Where Obamacare will lower rates is primarily in states like California and New York where the regulations imposed under it manage to be less odious than those imposed by the states in question.
Obamacare can't work. It can't work because it assumes people don't make decisions the way they actually make decisions and that markets can be adjusted simply by government fiat.