Obamacare may be more confusing than many people realized. Apparently even the NYT is unable to get it straight.

In an article that detailed the cost of the plans in the exchange for various types of families in each of the 50 states, the NYT told readers:

"The figures, almost by definition, provide a favorable view of costs, highlighting the least expensive coverage in each state."

This is clearly not true. The numbers featured in the article were for the second lowest cost silver plan in the exchanges. Silver plans are supposed to cover approximately 70 percent of patients' medical expenses. By definition they would be expected to cost more than bronze plans, which target 60 percent of patients' health care expenses. The silver plans by definition are not the least expensive coverage in the state. (To get a bit technical, the second lowest cost plan is also more expensive than the lowest cost plan.)

The numbers featured in the article (which apparently are being highlighted by the Obama administration) are likely to be typical of the costs that patients will see. As the article notes, there are variations within states and people will have an option to find both higher and lower cost plans, but these numbers are not obviously skewed to either the high or low side.