October 26, 2016

October 26, 2016 | Commentary on

Commentary: Obamacare Critical, Getting Sicker

President Obama says that Obamacare is a “success,” but has “real problems.”

Hillary Clinton also says that Obamacare is a success, but needs “fixing.” Her prescription: create yet another government health plan to enhance the competition.

Former President Bill Clinton, meanwhile, recently described Obamacare as “the craziest thing in the world.” Great timing.

The Obama administration and its allies say Obamacare is a success largely because more than 20 million people are newly enrolled in heavily subsidized coverage or Medicaid, a welfare program. But polls show most Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Obamacare because it has failed to control cost.

Expanded insurance coverage is a desirable, but secondary, consideration.

At the inception of the debate, Obama repeatedly said that his plan would reduce the typical family’s premium by $2,500 per year. Not for the middle class.

Look at the pattern. In 2014, the first year Americans enrolled in the exchanges, premiums jumped skyward in the individual market, far beyond what most Americans anticipated.

In 2016, rate increases were projected to average 12 percent in the exchanges, but The Heritage Foundation estimates that the premiums will average at least 14 percent. And for 2017, based on the incoming exchange data, Heritage forecasts a national average increase of between 22 percent and 25 percent.

For deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, exchange enrollees were treated to shock and awe. In 2015, about 90 percent of enrollees signed up for either “silver plans,” with an average deductible of $2,500, or “bronze” plans with deductibles exceeding $5,300.

Now, the latest list of liberal remedies for an ailing Obamacare is pretty much the same old stuff: more spending and more regulation.

Then, they say, Obamacare will get better.

No, it won’t. Politicians who’ve incurred a credibility deficit cannot solve the mess they created by a surplus of promises.

America needs new thinking and a new direction in health policy — a system that will empower individuals, families and businesses with direct control over their healthcare dollars and decisions.

 

About the Author

Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Senior Fellow
Center for Health Policy Studies

This commentary first appeared in My Journal Courier.