ObamaCare is collapsing. Its utter failures become more obvious by the day.
We all remember the promises of ObamaCare, chief among them that the “Affordable Care Act” would lower health care costs. The opposite has occurred.
In his 2008 campaign for president, then-candidate Sen. Barack Obama repeatedly promised to cut annual health insurance premiums by $2,500. When he took office in 2009, annual family premiums for employer-provided coverage, the most common of private insurance coverage, cost $13,375 according to Kaiser. In 2016, those premiums are $18,142. That’s an increase of $4,767.
ObamaCare exchanges were setup with the intent of providing access to private health insurance to those Americans not currently offered health care coverage through an employer, Medicare, or Medicaid – a group otherwise left without any additional financial support to purchase coverage.
Despite the offer of subsidies through the exchanges, enrollment in ObamaCare has been dismal.
Back in 2010 just before ObamaCare became law, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services forecast there would be 24.8 million individuals in the exchanges by 2016. The actual figure at the end of 2016 according to Avalere Health will be 10.1 million.
In short, the exchanges are failing. The plans available are too expensive and come with too few choices. Younger, healthier individuals have little interest in paying exorbitant premiums for insurance plans that come with $5,000 deductibles. The result has been an unbalanced insurance pool where insurers must charge ever-increasing premiums to continue offering coverage.
Predictably, as the risk pools worsen, premiums skyrocket and insurers withdraw.
Just in the last two weeks, we have seen Minnesota’s average 2017 premiums go up 56 percent. Oklahoma’s are up 76 percent. The average increase is 24 percent across the 37 states that have officially approved rates for 2017.
When pressed for a response to this affordability issue, one Obama administration official essentially said it is not a problem because people get subsidies to cover the increases. This mentality assumes, falsely, that taxpayer dollars are infinite, and that it is okay to ignore the dangerous dynamics that are leading to a failing insurance market. Bill Clinton was right to call ObamaCare a “crazy system.”