Friday, December 7, 2018

Lingering Obamacare Schadenfreude

It's been a long time since I did one of these, especially since President Trump did all but gut Obamacare. On Health Costs, ObamaCare Was A Massive Failure
The latest IBD/TIPP poll shows that health care costs rank at the top of the list of priorities the public has for the new Congress when it convenes in January.

Fully 22% listed this as their highest priority and another 18% listed it is their second highest. That's above immigration, economy/jobs, or national security. It's way above infrastructure and criminal justice reforms (which were at the rock bottom of the priority list). But wait a minute. Forty percent say health care costs should be a top priority for Congress? Four years after ObamaCare went into effect?
. . .
Put simply, because ObamaCare was a massive, colossal failure.

Nothing worked as promised. Family premiums didn't go down, they went up. In fact, the rate of increase in employer premiums has been 4% since 2013, well above the inflation rate.

Premiums in the individual insurance market more than doubled in ObamaCare's first four years. Those massive price hikes forced millions of families out of the insurance market altogether. ObamaCare premiums for a family in Virginia would be more than $2,000 a month for those who aren't eligible for ObamaCare subsidies.

Even the 8 million or so who get ObamaCare subsidies can still find health care unaffordable. That's because the ObamaCare plans typically come with gargantuan deductibles — family plans in Virginia have deductibles ranging up to $14,000. And they feature highly restrictive provider networks. In many ObamaCare plans, if you go outside these narrow networks, you get no coverage at all.

Far from "bending the cost curve down," national health expenditures continue to outpace economic growth. The year before ObamaCare went into effect, health spending accounted for 17.2% of GDP. This year, it will likely come in at 18.2%, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (In the four years before ObamaCare went into effect, health spending as a share of GDP actually went down.)

Despite what Democrats will tell you, none of this is the fault of President Trump or the GOP. It is entirely the fault of the Democrats, who alone crafted the government-heavy ObamaCare and sold it to the public on the false pretense that it would save everyone money while improving quality of care.
Which still doesn't excuse the Republicans in Congress for not cleaning up the mess the Democrats made.

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