Obama’s cell phone-to-Obamacare cost comparison comes under fire

While appearing on the satirical faux-interview internet show “Between Two Ferns,” Barack Obama made claims concerning the low costs of Obamacare that are open to question.

According to WSB radio (of Atlanta, GA), the Chief Executive claimed the cost of the government (taxpayer) subsidized health insurance available for purchase at HealthCare.gov is essentially the same cost for the average American as the monthly charge for a cell phone subscription. Here is Obama:

HealthCare.gov works great now. And millions of Americans have already gotten health insurance plans, and what we want is for people to know that you can get affordable health care — and most young Americans right now, they’re not covered. And the truth is that they can get coverage all for what it costs you [sic] to pay your cell phone bill.

Giuseppe Macri of the Daily Caller has crunched the numbers on the cost of an “average middle-of-the-road” cell phone plan (defined operationally as including a smartphone, two-year upgrade, unlimited calls, unlimited texts, and an average of two gigs of downloadable Internet data per month) among different carriers. He found the following among the most popular carriers:

  • $90 on Verizon.
  • $80 on AT&T.
  • $70 on Sprint.
  • $60 on T-Mobile.
  • $80 for both Sprint and T-Mobile offer the same plans with unlimited monthly data.

Macri then broke down the cost of an “average middle-of-the-road” Obamacare plan, for which purposes he focused on a “silver” plan.” Selecting the least expensive silver plan  for 27-year-olds and under earning about $25,000 annually, he came up with the following monthly costs, after subsidy, by region:

  • $181.01 for Washington, D.C.
  • $145.00 for Pennsylvania (which is one of the 10 least expensive states in which to purchase health insurance on an exchange).
  • $175.00 for California (which is the largest state-run exchange with the highest number of enrollees).

The least expensive phone-to-insurance comparison is $60 to $145. The most expensive phone-to-insurance comparison is $90 to 181.01.

Wants versus needs …

While appearing earlier on a Spanish-language town hall meeting (video below), Obama was informed by a viewer making roughly $36,000 annually that the lowest cost of an Obamacare policy for a family of three he could find would run him $315 per month. The viewer ended his statement noting “that’s too much for me.”

In response, Obama said:

I guess that I would say is, if you look at that person’s budget and you looked at their cable bill, their telephone … uh, their cell phone bill, uh … other things they’re spending on, it may turn out that  it’s just they haven’t prioritized health care.

I guarantee you, that even at $300 a month, if Heaven forbid, if something happened to him … he will wish that he had paid that $300 a month.


T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman is a retired Master Sergeant of Marines. He is the founder of the blog Unapologetically Rude and has written for Examiner and other blogs.

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