Democrats are increasingly acknowledging that the Affordable Care Act has an affordability problem.
Former President Bill Clinton said recently that people who are ineligible to get subsidies to buy ObamaCare insurance are “getting killed.”
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said this month that “the reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people.”
Even President Obama said in a speech last week that “there are going to be people who are hurt by premium increases.”
The 3.5 million uninsured people that the administration hopes will sign up for Obamacare this year generally worry about cost and may lack knowledge about the marketplace, according to analysts and advocates.
The Affordable Care Act has put the nation’s uninsured rate to a historic low, but there are still roughly 24 million uninsured people in the United States. Of that group, the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 10.7 million will be eligible for financial assistance this year. Officials expect about one-third of that group to sign up for an Obamacare plan during the three-month open enrollment period beginning Nov. 1.
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Donald Trump jumped Monday on an announcement that ObamaCare premiums will spike by double digits next year, saying “it’s over for ObamaCare.”
“In case you haven’t heard today’s news, it’s just been announced that Americans are going to experience yet another double-digit spike in your premium for ObamaCare and it doesn’t work,” Trump said at a rally in Tampa, Fla.
He was referring to the announcement from the Obama administration Monday that the benchmark ObamaCare plan’s premium will increase by 25 percent in 2017.
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President Obama took a health-care victory lap last week in Miami, celebrating “all the progress that we’ve made in controlling costs” and portraying the law’s critics as “false and politically motivated.” Does that apply to the actuaries at the Health and Human Services Department too? On Monday they reported that ObamaCare premiums will soar 25% on average next year, and this is “progress” all right, in the wrong direction.
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The core problem with President Obama’s most recent speech in defense of his health care law was not that he simply overestimated the merits of Obamacare. It’s that he refused to acknowledge that conservatives have reasonable disagreements with him about the direction of health care policy. President Obama claims that Republicans have offered no alternatives to the health care law when they have in fact outlined their own far-ranging plans for health policy. President Obama believes that only comprehensive insurance policies are real insurance. Conservatives generally believe, by contrast, that people should be free to buy cheaper policies that protect them only from financial catastrophes arising from their health needs.
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Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama’s health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That’s sure to stoke another “Obamacare” controversy days before a presidential election.
Before taxpayer-provided subsidies, premiums for a midlevel benchmark plan will increase an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally run online market, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Some states will see much bigger jumps, others less.
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Insurer defections and rising premiums in the individual insurance market are spurring Democrats and Republicans alike to talk about changes to the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
For now, the conversations are largely aimed at their party’s base. President Barack Obama led his party’s cry on Thursday with suggestions that would further entrench the law, including the addition of a government-run health plan in parts of the country with limited competition. GOP lawmakers have continued to call for gutting the law, including proposals to waive its penalties for people who forgo coverage in areas with limited insurance options.
In each of these proposals, both sides have been largely talking past one another. Come January, they will have to talk to each other instead.
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States are beginning to turn to hospitals to cover the cost of Medicaid expansion once the federal match begins to drop next year. The Affordable Care Act provides 100% federal financing for those made newly eligible for Medicaid under the law. The federal match rate falls to 95% in 2017, 94% in 2018, 93% in 2019, and then 90% in 2020 and beyond. Starting next year, eight of the 32 states that have expanded Medicaid planned to use provider taxes or fees to fund all or part of the states’ share of costs, the report said. These states have chosen to implement a new or modify an existing provider assessment specifically for the purpose of covering the costs of expansion.
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Though the debate over accessible and affordable health care may appear to be a debate over health care, it is really a debate over what type of economic system delivers the care patients need at the best price. What our country has now is a system of government mandates and price controls, which looks nothing like a real market. What we need is a true marketplace, where families can choose the coverage they need, not the coverage a bureaucrat in Washington thinks they need, and shop and negotiate for the best price. Unfortunately, Obamacare has done the opposite.
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Democrats are already looking beyond ObamaCare’s slow-motion failure, and Colorado is showing where many want to go next: Premiums across the state are set to rise 20.4% on average next year, and some have concluded that the solution is more central planning and taxation. Voters will decide on Nov. 8 whether to try the single-payer scheme that blew up in Vermont.
Amendment 69 would alter the state’s constitution to create a single-payer health system known as ColoradoCare. The idea is to replace premiums with tax dollars, and coverage for residents will allegedly include prescription drugs, hospitalization and more.
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