Appearing on Fox News’ The Kelly File Wednesday, Obamacare architect Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel fought tooth-and-nail to argue that the massive premium hikes Americans are suffering across the country aren’t really that bad. Then, when he realized his argument was faltering, he shifted the blame to Republicans–and, specifically, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).
KELLY: “Stable market — obviously it is not, with this mass exodus of insurance companies, the decrease in competition, the hike — enormous hike in premiums in so many states and counties. Were you wrong?”
EMANUEL: “Megyn, your reporter did a very nice job of cherry picking only the most extreme. They didn’t raise premiums across the board. Some have gone up higher than others…”
Emanuel then noted that “on average, we do not have higher than 15% increases in the premiums.”
A 15% increase on a family whose average monthly premium stands at $413 would amount to an additional $62 a month, adding up to an extra $744 a year. That may not seem like much, but for someone whose budget is already stretched thin, that money could have a major impact.
After being pressed by Kelly on the fact that averages don’t make much difference to those suffering under the most extreme premium hikes, Emanuel pivoted to blame:
“Republicans bear some of the responsibility for this. Remember, Marco Rubio eliminated some of the risk adjustment that actually buffered and helped the insurance companies in this situation.”
It’s true that Marco Rubio and other Republicans spearheaded efforts to remove what are known as “risk corridors” from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “Risk corridor” is a fancy term for what essentially amounts to a government bailout. Under Obamacare, if insurance companies weren’t able to meet all of their costs as a result of being mandated to cover increasing numbers of sick, and often expensive clients, the government would provide them with money to offset those costs.
According to The New York Times, during the insurance exchange’s first year, “losses were so steep that insurance-company requests for risk corridor payments were $2.9 billion.”
Of course, any and all government money ultimately comes from taxpayers, so any and all cost covering measures taken to prop up the ACA would be removed from the pockets of working Americans. However, since many of the so-called risk corridors were eliminated, Americans are seeing hikes on the other end of the spectrum–their insurance premiums.
When all is said and done, the money necessary to maintain the bloated behemoth that is the ACA is coming from the exact same place, it’s simply taking different avenues. Emanuel can blame Republicans all he wants, but he knows very well that regardless of the means by which the money is acquired, it’s all coming from the American taxpayer.