As Obamacare Premiums Continue to Rise, Time to Look at Real Health Care Solutions
Obamacare has wreaked havoc on America’s individual and small group health insurance markets.
For the last four years, while lavish taxpayer subsidies insulated low-income people from soaring premiums and deductibles, millions of middle-class Americans in the individual Affordable Care Act coverage markets felt both blasts. At the same time, they lost their old plans and found fewer options available. They also found that, despite repeated assurances, they could not “keep their doctors.”
How bad is it?
From 2013 to 2017, premiums more than doubled. This year, average premiums for standard Obamacare plans shot up by a third. Deductibles now average $8,292 for “standard plan” family coverage, and $11,555 for the lowest cost “bronze” plans. For millions, it’s like paying a second mortgage.
Consumer choice is another casualty. In more than half of all U.S. counties, only one plan is available, and 73 percent of all Obamacare plans have narrow provider networks, reducing patient access to doctors and medical specialists.
With coverage so unattractive and unaffordable, fewer people are buying. Only 10.6 million Americans enrolled in the individual exchanges this year, well short of the 24 million projected when Congress enacted Obamacare.
Why isn’t it working? Because Obamacare runs on centralized regulatory control. Washington controls insurance benefits and coverage levels and enforces national rating rules—always driving costs skyward.
For example, Obamacare’s “age rating” rules require younger people to pay artificially high premiums. As Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar explained, under Obamacare younger Americans must be charged at least one third of what older Americans pay.