Remember Obamacare? The fight is far from over on the future of the Obama-era health insurance overhaul. Republicans are making a list-ditch effort this year to turn the program and the money over to the state. This isn’t full Obamacare repeal, but would make a world of sense because states would be free to experiment and find ways to reduce costs and provide better services.
Democrats are adopting a new political spin, which is that everything is fine with Obamacare. They claim that the only reason premium and deductible costs keep exploding is because President Trump repealed the individual mandate tax — which was nothing more than an unfair penalty on low-income families that can’t afford the high cost of the health law’s mandates. But if Mr. Trump is to blame, why were the costs skyrocketing two years before Mr. Trump even entered the Oval Office?
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Congressional Republicans who repeatedly pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare instead are racing today to rescue the law with truckloads of federal cash.
Their plan: a multi-billion-dollar bailout of health insurers that sell Obamacare policies. In return, the insurers promise to reduce premiums just in time for November’s elections.
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Under Obamacare it is illegal in most cases to charge higher insurance costs to those whose bad health outcomes are not “accidental” and are not “beyond their control.” This rewards bad health.
Here’s the bottom line economics lesson for why America has such a collapsing health insurance market: we reward people for not buying insurance and make people who do buy insurance pay for them. Then we reward people who make bad lifestyle decisions and shift the costs to people who make healthy decisions.
Liberals think that people are too dumb to figure this out and they are deadly wrong. The Republican health reform bill better fix all this or their bill will fail as Obamacare has.
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Republicans won the first skirmish in the Obamacare fight Wednesday, voting to begin debating fast-track budget procedures that, if successful, would allow the GOP to kill the 2010 health care law without having to face a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. The 51-48 vote, on the second day of the 115th Congress, underscores how serious Republicans are in making good on their repeal pledge. But it also signaled that Democrats are just as committed to defending the Affordable Care Act.
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Even progressives are turning against Obamacare as health care costs and premiums skyrocket.
Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, said Wednesday there was strong support for a single-payer system on the Democratic platform committee, and one reason is that progressives blame the Affordable Care Act for rising costs.
“In a world in which people are facing rising costs and they kind of hear the ACA is over here, they’re blaming the ACA for their rising costs,” Ms. Tanden said during a panel discussion at the Democratic National Convention.
“Even progressives who fought for the ACA five years ago are really questioning the affordability issue, and it’s making them move in really dramatic ways,” she said. “Part of this lack of support of the ACA is from the left, not just the right.”
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Americans’ spending on prescription drugs has soared over the past few years. Hillary Clinton has blamed “price gouging” by drug companies and called for more Washington control. A far more likely culprit is actually ObamaCare. The health care law was sold on the false promise that costs would come down if Americans gave Washington more control over their health care. Instead, costs have soared in every aspect of health care, including prescription drugs.
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We shouldn’t be surprised that health insurance premiums continue to rise at record rates — by 15-20% for many employers and their employees in 2016 alone. Between private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, the number of insured Americans has grown dramatically to nearly 90% of the population. While more people than ever before are seeking health care services since the passage of ObamaCare the supply of physicians, hospitals and outpatient treatment facilities has not kept pace.
It is a fundamental concept of economics that when demand is increased and supply is restricted, prices rise. But for more than 40 years, state and federal governments have used a heavy hand to limit the supply of new doctors and hospitals entering the market, as well as facility expansions and equipment purchases.