Americans who don't qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, but still need to purchase their own insurance off the Obamacare exchanges will likely see yet another premium price hike at the end of 2018, after Congress let its last chance to curb rising costs slide.
According to The Washington Times, last week's massive omnibus spending bill was supposed to provide some relief to those caught in Obamacare's crunch, but Democrats "balked" at the idea of a cost curb, likely on the theory that continually rising premiums will help spread the blame for ACA's failure to the Trump Administration.
Republicans had included a measure, tied to the spending bill, that would have stabilized rates with a short-term subsidy to insurers until the 2019 health care reforms, passed earlier this year, kick in in January. But Democrats refused to support the addendum, and the omnibus bill passed with no Obamacare reforms or relief packages attached.
This means consumers can expect another yearly hike, on top of already sky-high prices, spurred on by Obamacare's requirement that all Americans receive insurance, whether they want insurance or not, and whether they qualify as a good risk under existing insurance rubrics.
Some states are looking to offer relief; a handful of governors are considering bills that would give their respective state exchanges a one-time influx of cash so that insurers can keep rates stable. But that's not a long-term solution. Some states are hoping to help healthy individuals by creating carve-outs of the individual mandates, and finding ways to support individual insurance collectives that meet ACA's requirements but don't require participation in the national health program.
Until then, though, Obamacare consumers who aren't eligible for the program's subsidies will find themselves paying much more out of pocket.