The evidence continues to mount against the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or “Obamacare.” You have probably seen that premiums will continue to rise to higher than expected values in many states, but what does this really mean?.
What we know is that premiums are skyrocketing. I would encourage you to look at the hyperlinked article above because it points out some critical facts. First, many people’s monthly premiums are not actually going up. This is important because many people will not necessarily be paying more out of pocket. However, this does not mean that the care needed by these people on the ACA exchanges is not going up. It very clearly is, but the government is continuing to subsidize plans with “their” money and so actual out of pocket costs are not going up, but costs to insurers and the government most definitely are increasing. In Arizona, the tax credit is going up 256%, Idaho 117%, Kansas 287%, Minnesota 481%, and in the residence of the President himself: tax credits are going up 153% in DC.
However who is paying more? It is not the government – it is you and me. The taxpayers pay more because, ultimately, the government does not have any money, it has our money. So these rises in premiums are being passed on to the taxpayers and few people are talking about that.
Furthermore, the increases in costs for health insurance companies are going to force even more companies out of the market. Only 57% of exchange enrollees will have three or more choices, compared to 85% of enrollees having three or more choices last year. The reality is that the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for both insurance companies and for taxpayers.
So what is the main reason the law has failed? The crux of the problem is that the law inordinately incentivizes unhealthy people to sign up for the exchanges which, of course, raises costs for everyone. We need a health care law that increases competition by opening up competition over state lines and incentivizes all people, both healthy and unhealthy, to sign up for health insurance.
Some of my family friends in Minnesota have recently become very affected by the ACA because of their massive deductible plans with very high monthly premiums. Most of these people are healthy. Therefore, they do not actually use much of their health insurance and it does not appear feasible anymore to participate in the exchanges. Is that really what we want? We should let them design their own plans. The ACA puts unnecessary restrictions on health care options and does not allow people to choose for themselves what is best for their family and their wallet.