News and Commentary

7 Signs Obamacare Is Totally Failing

President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton both have touted Obamacare in their speeches at the Democratic National Convention. Problem is, Obamacare has been a disaster. Here are seven signs that it’s failing.

1. The co-ops have not been successful. The Hill reported on Monday that out of the 23 co-ops established under Obamacare, only seven are still running. Back in July, The Daily Wire reported that the co-ops were going under as a result of Obamacare’s setup of redistributing wealth from insurers with healthy customers to insurers with sick customers, resulting in over $1.5 billion in taxpayer money down the drain.

2. The state exchanges are bleeding insurers. Among them are Humana, Premera Blue Cross and UnitedHealthcare–the largest health insurer in the country–that are leaving various state exchanges. Insurers like Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield and the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation are also raising questions about the programs viability and others, like Cigna and Anthem, have not been doing well in the exchanges. In fact, the poor results of the exchanges have made it likely that the bronze plans will be scrapped altogether. The reasons for the detrimental quality of the exchanges: high-cost risk pools and…

3. The Obamacare enrollment numbers have not been up to par. The administration has touted 12.7 million people entering the exchanges in 2016 as a success, despite the fact that the Congressional Budget Office had projected 21 million people enrolling into the program this year, and later revised their projection to 13 million. Even then, the 12.7 million number has plummeted due to the fact that 13 percent of enrollees have dropped out of the exchanges because it was more affordable to simply take the penalty instead.

4. Premiums are projected to increase in 2017. The aforementioned problems with the state exchanges are resulting in projected premium hikes in numerous states, including California and Michigan, driven by requested increases from insurers like UnitedHealth and Humana in the exchanges they are still involved in. An executive working for Deloitte told Politico that “a number of carriers need double-digit increases” next year due to the unsustainable nature of Obamacare.

In 2016, premiums increased by eight percent, over three times the rate of inflation. There were also states that suffered enormous increases in premiums, such as an average increase of over 30 percent in Minnesota.

5. The number of uninsured Americans is projected to increase as well. Townhall’s Guy Benson points out that the CBO expects the uninsured to increase “from 26 million to 28 million” over the next ten years and it could very well be higher than that, as Benson cites the following passage from a New York Times article:

“Employers may feel differently if the economy turns down and the labor market is less robust or if there is a sudden spike in health care costs. Because workers can no longer be denied an insurance policy because of poor health, companies may be willing to drop coverage under the right circumstances, knowing that insurance is more available to everyone.”

Additionally, Benson also notes that the so-called “Cadillac tax”–which taxes health insurance plans that are deemed as overly lavish–”was specifically designed to eventually hit virtually all employer-sponsored plans, despite Democrats’ public assurances,” according to the infamous Jonathan Gruber.

“Internal White House figures projected that eventually, 93 million Americans will lose their existing healthcare arrangements under Obamacare — the exact opposite of ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it,'” Benson continues.

6. Health spending has also increased under Obamacare. Forbes’s Avik Roy cites the following data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2014: (emphasis bolded)

A group of economists and statisticians at CMS described the 2014 health expenditure data last week in Health Affairs. The growth rate of national health spending in 2014 was 5.3%, they found: the highest rate since 2007. “The return to faster growth,” they wrote, “was largely influenced by the coverage expansions of the Affordable Care Act.”

Spending growth was up across the board: in private health insurance (4.4%), in Medicare (5.5%), and especially in Medicaid (11.0%), which Obamacare significantly expanded.

In 2014, U.S. government spending on health care neared $1.4 trillion. That’s over $4,500 for every man, woman and child in the country: far more than we would ever need to achieve universal coverage in a rational, market-based system.

The irony of this is that leftists who advocated for Obamacare–and universal healthcare, which is the endgame of Obamacare–cited the country’s health spending as reason for further government involvement in the healthcare sector, and yet more government happened to exacerbate the problem. Imagine that!

7. Most Americans that have had to deal with Obamacare have reported negative experiences with it. A survey conducted by National Public Radio, Harvard and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that while most Americans haven’t been affected by the healthcare law yet, the ones that have are not happy with it all:

  • 25 percent of individuals said it “directly hurt” them while 15 percent said it “directly helped.”
  • 45 percent said they had higher premiums, while only four percent said their premiums were lower.
  • 35 percent reported higher co-pays and deductibles, while only four percent said their co-pays and deductible were lower.

There were a couple of positive signs for Obamacare in the survey–16 percent said they had higher benefits while 12 percent said otherwise, and 35 percent said the law “directly helped” their state’s people and 27 percent said otherwise–but the negatives of higher premiums, co-pays, and deductibles and the higher number of individuals who claimed to be “directly hurt” by the law clearly outweigh the positives in the survey.

And it will only get worse as the law’s tentacles become further embedded into the fabric of American society.

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