President Trump has been saying for months — years, even — that Obamacare will implode. In fact, former president Barack Obama made sure to back load the whole plan so that the really painful cost spikes occurred after he left office.
And right on cue, here come those massive increases to premiums.
Of course, the cost of health care has already skyrocketed since the passage of the ironically named Affordable Care Act (no, Mr. Obama, we did not each save $2,500 a year, like you promised, nor were we able to keep our own doctors). But now it's all about to jump again.
"Major health insurers in some states are seeking increases as high as 30% or more for premiums on 2018 Affordable Care Act plans, according to new federal data that provide the broadest view so far of the turmoil across exchanges as companies try to anticipate Trump administration policies," The Wall Street Journal reported this week.
"Big insurers in Idaho, West Virginia, South Carolina, Iowa and Wyoming are seeking to raise premiums by averages close to 30% or more," according to preliminary rate requests published Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
And those are just the "average" hikes. Many people will see increases far above that.
Trump warned Congress to act, but lawmakers last week failed to pass a "skinny" repeal of Obamacare, which would have left much of the law intact.
And he threatened congressional members — who, of course, don't have to adhere to the Obamacare law but instead get far better taxpayer-funded health care.
The insurance hikes could be dramatic in some states. "For example, Maryland’s largest health insurer, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, proposed in May an average rate increase of more than 50 percent," The Hill reported.
Rates have been rising ever since Democrats — without a single Republican vote — passed the law in 2010. In 2016, New York state approved an average 16.6% increase for individual policies, the highest in four years, The New York Post reported.
In Illinois, "insurers propose to hike health insurance prices by as much as 43% next year for those who buy coverage through Obamacare exchanges. That's on top of nosebleed-section rate increases of more than 40% for 2017," the Chicago Tribune wrote this week.
New Hampshire is even worse, reported the Union Leader.
The federal government on Tuesday confirmed what many in New Hampshire have feared for months — premiums for individual health insurance policies sold on the Obamacare exchange at healthcare.gov will rise by 44 percent or more for coverage in 2018.
“Today’s news about rates is alarming, especially for the 94,000 New Hampshire residents who obtain their insurance through the individual market, but unfortunately, it does not come as a surprise,” Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny said.
In some states, only one provider offers Obamacare. In Nebraska, for example, the one remaining participating provider plans a an average 16.9% hike — although some will see increases above 50%, Omaha.com reports.
Trump warned it would all get worse. Sadly, he was right.