Obamacare unable to keep all of its promises
Three years after its passing, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — commonly referred to as Obamacare — is just as bad of a law as Republicans always thought it would be. When the bill passed, President Obama laid out three criteria that it would fill. First, if you like your insurance, you can keep it. Second, premiums will decrease by about $2,500 per family. Lastly, it won’t add a penny to the deficit.
Obamacare fails to keep all three promises. According to a study by the University of Chicago, over half of the individual insurance plans on the market right now don’t meet the standards for basic coverage that Obamacare sets.
This means that if you’re a young, single individual, you can’t buy an insurance plan that just covers catastrophic care. You need a plan with all the bells and whistles that Obamacare mandates; think of it as a car insurance policy that covers gasoline costs and routine maintenance. Single catastrophic care insurance buyers won’t get to keep their insurance, even if they like it.
As for Obamacare’s second promise of affordability, recent study by the Society of Actuaries found that medical claim costs — the largest driver of health insurance premiums — are expected to increase by 32 percent nationwide, and over 80 percent in some states like Ohio.
This happens because more sick people are joining the pool of the insured, as they can’t be turned away now and can't be charged a higher rate than a healthy person. Plans for healthy people will increase to match the cost of sick people.
Combined with the issue of health insurance, this creates incentives for healthy people to not pay for insurance until they get sick and then sign up for a plan that covers their ailments. The only penalty for doing this is a fine that costs much less than actual insurance. This also drives up costs for people who have and need insurance — like those with pre-existing conditions — whom the law supposedly protects.
This market distortion makes health insurance expensive. Premiums are projected to rise 6.3 percent this year, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, and show no signs of slowing down.
Despite including the largest tax hike in American history, Obamacare still adds $6.2 trillion to our long term deficits, according to the Government Accountability Office. The bill was advertised to the American public as deficit neutral by cutting Medicare payments to doctors — to the point that no doctors would take Medicare. Because of this situation, Congress passed the Doc Fix, which extends the current rate of Medicare payments. Congress will probably pass this bill every time it expires, and Obamacare will add tons of money to the deficit.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) famously said, “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” We passed the bill three years ago. We know what’s in it, and it’s terrible. It’s time to repeal this bill and have a serious debate about what will actually fix our far-from-perfect healthcare system.