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.

. . .

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.

. . .

When Illinois’ Obamacare co-op went belly-up last month, Valerie Kincaid faced losing not just her insurance but her team of cancer doctors, too.

For six years, the 41-year-old leukemia patient has relied on doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago to keep her disease at bay. Once a month, she visits the hospital to receive an oral therapy that keeps her chronic lymphocytic leukemia under control and allows her to live a relatively normal life with her husband, Brian, and her 11- and 13-year-old sons.

. . .

ACA proponents perpetually try to make announcements of rising premiums more palatable, but their latest excuse merely highlights the central planners’ failure to deliver on President Barack Obama’s promises. A popular diversionary tactic is to point out federal subsidies under the ACA will significantly offset the rate hikes. Relief from subsidies does not negate the fact that health care costs are increasing–even for individuals receiving subsidies. This is a low bar for a law intended to reform the country’s health care marketplace and protect the uninsured and individually insured.

. . .

Despite significant challenges the Affordable Care Act has imposed on the U.S. health care system, President Obama defended his signature health care law in a speech on Thursday that described his pride in the law and acknowledged significant challenges his successor will face. Republican lawmakers pointed to some of the law’s challenges during the speech. “Obamacare is collapsing. Insurance companies are abandoning the program, leaving stranded families to face higher premiums and fewer choices,” said Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, in a statement sent out about halfway through the remarks.

. . .

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the assumption that the ACA would lead to lower Emergency Room use was wrong as Medicaid expansion in Oregon produced a spike in ER visits. A surge in ER use will likely produce adverse health consequences for many and may be contributing to skyrocketing Medicaid expansion spending, which was 49% higher per enrollee in 2015 than the government expected.

. . .

The end of Barack Obama’s presidency is near, and his most important domestic policy accomplishment is teetering and threatening to fall and smash to pieces.

Obamacare, or at least the most-touted part of it, is failing, and for not for mere technical reasons.

By expanding Medicaid, it got more people insured. But the president’s experiment manipulating private insurance markets has created no net benefit and is headed for disaster unless enrollment miraculously skyrockets.

. .

Bob Kocher and Ezekiel Emanuel, who worked in the Obama White House on health care reform, argue that it’s “misleading” to raise concerns about the fact that individual market health insurance premiums have nearly doubled under Obamacare. “Premiums today,” they say, “are 20% lower than the Congressional Budget Office predicted when the ACA was passed.” Their argument is nonsensically out of touch, and it illustrates why the designers of the ACA got so many things wrong. The unaffordability of exchange-based insurance is the ACA’s most serious problem. As research from Avalere Health has shown, enrollment in ACA-based insurance is alarmingly low among those whose incomes exceed 200% of the federal poverty level.

. . .

President Barack Obama delivered a robust defense of Obamacare on Thursday, but also acknowledged his signature domestic achievement needs fixes as premiums rise and insurers are fleeing the law.

Obama hailed the achievements of the federal health care law six years after passage, providing coverage to an additional 20 million Americans and reducing the uninsured rate to the lowest level ever recorded. And he sought to remind Americans that they likely benefit from the law’s consumer protections, even though just a small fraction of the country actually buys coverage from Obamacare’s insurance marketplaces.

. . .

Major insurers participating in Obamacare have won approval for substantial premium hikes next year in a dozen or more states. The increases range as high as 30 percent to 50 percent, according to new data.

Shaken by the decisions of Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield and other giants to pull out of many states after incurring hundreds of millions in losses, state insurance regulators appear more than willing to go along with these rate increases to prop up insurers remaining in the program.

. . .