- Increased costs for individuals, families, and businesses;
- Resumption of excessive health care spending and middle-class taxation; and
- A long series of managerial failures or unanticipated consequences.
In total, 41 states saw average deductibles increase, with 17 states – representing 45 percent of the total exchange enrollment – seeing double-digit spikes. The largest increases were in Mississippi (39%), Washington (31%), South Carolina (26%), Louisiana (24%), Florida (23%), Michigan and Vermont (22%), Arizona (21%), and North Carolina and Rhode Island (20%). Only two states (New Mexico and Oklahoma) had double-digit declines.
That’s to account for lower-than-hoped enrollment, sicker-than-expected customers and problems with the government’s financial backstop for insurance markets.
I could spend a great deal more time highlighting all the failings of Obamacare and its ripples effects. I haven’t even touched on the costs to the American taxpayer, which I’ll save for my post on Debt and Spending. But the bottom line is that this wonderful piece of legislation (insert sarcasm here) has:
- Generated big and surprising out-of-pocket costs;
- Caused insurance costs to continue rising, burdening businesses and families;
- Reduced insurance competition (if you are new to economics, please note that competition actually drives costs down);
- Had a negative impact on job growth;
- Caused the overall cost curve to bend upward;
- Imposed major tax increases on America’s middle class, and;
- Threatened seniors’ future access to healthcare due to Medicare payment cuts.
The over 900-page long Affordable Care Act has regulations, instructions, and standards for pretty much every aspect of health care in the United States. The result is that virtually every major decision in the health care sector of the American economy is either made or constrained, directly or indirectly, by federal officials. Hello, Socialism!
So to answer my initial questions, the quality of healthcare leaves something to be desired, which I can personally attest to, and the cost of the 15 million fewer people without health insurance is pretty darn high. Especially since most Obamacare advocates focus on the 15 million number and conveniently leave out the fact that 10.8% of Americans are still living without health insurance (Gallup Poll) – a mere 4.8% drop from 2008 and two years before Obamacare was passed. The majority of those uninsured are minorities, young adults and low-income Americans. Additionally, 15.5% of respondents to the poll said that they had lacked the ability to pay for their health insurance (those pesky deductibles!) or necessary medications at some point in 2016. And of those Americans with insurance, the number who say they are satisfied with the quality of their health care has dropped.
Trump says that Obamacare is one of the worst pieces of legislation ever. Hillary says we can still fix it. Hey Hillary, you can’t fix what never worked to begin with. Once again, my vote goes to Trump.