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Here's what she really thinks.

I read that article, and it doesn't really say much about what she really thinks. It has a lot about what Jonathan Cohn has guessed about her insurance options, but not a lot of actual discussion from Ms. Barrette thinks. There's only one real quote on her decision-making, which is here:

When I gave her a broad description of the plans available, she seemed interested. I noted that she’d be paying $100 or $150 extra a month for policies that still had high cost-sharing, so that she would still be a lot of money out of her own pocket. (I also made very clear that I’m not an insurance agent or broker—that, when she finally goes shopping for insurance, she should talk to a real expert for advice.) Here was her response: "I would jump at it," she said. "With my age, things can happen. I don’t want to have bills that could make me bankrupt. I don’t want to lose my house.

That's a strong quote, but based only on Cohn's estimates of the policy coverage and pricing. Look at the only other full quote in the article from her:

Most everyone I talked to said they were paying thousands more to get hospital coverage," she told me, "so I took my chances with what I have now."

So I would be rather surprised if Ms. Barrette actually signed up for insurance under the ACA. Given her income of $30K, and her price sensitivity, she doesn't strike me as someone who has an extra $1,200 to $1,800 in her annual budget to start paying for better health insurance. Nor, to be honest, is it likely that Cohn's noodling around the website is getting her all that accurate a read on the numbers - she's 57, not the 50 years old that the website uses to generate the "browsing" prices.

Maybe she will choose to buy coverage - and the exchanges are premised on the hope that people like Ms. Barrette will voluntarily pay more money if they can get the government to pick up most of the cost of a full plan. I'm skeptical, but one can only hope that she (and millions like her) are willing to pay a little more in order to get that government subsidy.

Albaby
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