By David Morgan
Originally published July 18, 2013
Hoping to gain the high ground in an escalating war of words over Obamacare, the U.S. administration on Thursday forecast sharply lower than expected insurance costs for consumers and small businesses in new online state healthcare exchanges.
The exchanges represent the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and their success could depend on the cost of so-called "silver plans" with mid-range premiums, which are expected to attract the largest number of enrollees.
A report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said data from 10 states and the District of Columbia shows preliminary 2014 premiums on the lowest-cost mid-range silver plans in those marketplaces to be 18 percent lower on average than earlier administration and congressional estimates.
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