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Charles Gaba has been diligently tracking requests for 2019 Obamacare premium hikes, and he’s got good news and bad news. The good news is that insurance companies are requesting lower rates this year. If things were normal, rates would be going down about 5 percent next year.

The bad news is that things aren’t normal. Republicans have been busily sabotaging Obamacare as best they can, partly by refusing to pay Cost Sharing Reduction payments and partly by eliminating the tax fine for not being covered. Insurance companies have to account for these uncertainties, and as a result the average premium request is about 4 percent higher than last year.

So there you have it. We could have had a 5 percent cut, but thanks to the endless Republican bitterness toward Obamacare, we’re getting a 4 percent increase instead. For those of you who are my age and aren’t receiving subsidies, that’s a difference of about $1,000 or so per year. Be sure to thank the Republican Party when you write the check.

For those of you who do receive subsidies, nothing much should change either way. Your premium will max out at a percentage of your income, and that’s that. Drink a toast to the Democratic Party when you write your check.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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