November 19, 2013

Mark Begich, Is Copper Worse Than Bronze?

Desperate for any cover from ObamaCare’s fallout, Mark Begich today announced his plan for “copper” level plans that he claimed would create more choice but also result in higher deductibles for consumers.

Begich’s problem is that in 2009, he was touting how ObamaCare would create more choices through the exchanges by complaining how there were only two insurance providers in Alaska.

Begich said he also wants more competition among insurance companies, especially in Alaska where two providers account for nearly the entire market. He plans to propose or support consumer-protection plans along with proposals that would allow people to buy their prescription drugs from other countries, such as Canada, and allowing Medicare to haggle for lower drug prices.

How many insurance providers are in Alaska’s ObamaCare exchange that Begich compared to using Expedia? Two. The same as before. So how is Begich’s plan going to create more choice?

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska also is one of two companies – along with Moda Health – offering policies on the federally run online health marketplace for Alaska.

Begich’s other problem is that just a few weeks ago, he described the canceled plans that Alaskans probably liked and wanted to keep as “junk policies.” Except it’s not clear how his copper-level proposal that results in higher out of pocket costs is any better than the “junk policies” that Alaskans had before.

Someone’s a little worried about 2014.