Surprise! Obamacare Premiums Going Up Again!

How often do we have to point out that the Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable?

Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi started their lying about the cost of Obamacare early on in 2009. They stood before Americans time and again promising that their socialized healthcare program would be more affordable and provide better access to more doctors and treatment. Not one word of those promises was truthful and they knew it from the beginning. The only thing they promised that came true was coverage for pre-existing conditions, but they never promised that this coverage was going to be even close to affordable, trust me on that aspect as my coverage would almost be equal to my mortgage payment.

Once the Affordable Care Act was approved by the socialist Congress at the time, numerous insurance companies started jacking up the prices of their premiums. A number of states reported double digit premium hikes. By the time Obamacare actually went into effect, healthcare rates throughout most of the nation kept increasing.

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Last October, as the first anniversary of Obamacare was at hand, a number of reports from various sources indicated how much the premiums for 2015 were increasing. I reported then about the findings of Robert Moffit, a Senior Fellow with the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Police Studies. Not only did Moffit report on how much employer provided healthcare benefits were increasing but he looked at individual policies. I wrote:

“Moffit looked at the costs of premiums which is what Obama promised families a savings of $2,500 a year. In the vast majority of locations, the premiums for single and family coverage increased. Twenty-seven year olds in 11 states saw their premiums more than double and 50 year olds in 13 states saw a 50% increase in their premiums. He also reported:”

“For the ‘group market,’ the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated on February 21, 2014, that 65 percent of small firms would experience premium-rate increases, while only 35 percent were expected to have reductions. In terms of people affected, CMS estimated 11 million Americans employed by these firms would experience premium-rate increases, while about 6 million would see reductions. So much for ‘bending the cost curve down.’”

We’re barely into 2015 and now we are reading reports indicating that 2016 rates will also experience a significant increase. The Congressional Budget Office just released their latest study reporting that healthcare rates will increase by an average of 8.5% each year for 2016, 2017 and 2018.

To put that into dollar figures, let’s assume that you are only paying $2,500 a year for your healthcare as Obama promised in 2009. An increase of 8.5% in 2016 would increase your premiums to $2,712. In 2017 you’ll be paying $2,943 and in 2018 you’ll only be paying $3,193 for the same coverage you have now in 2015. I’m pretty confident that few of us will see our income increase by the same 8.5% annually.

They can’t blame it on inflation as most of the sites I checked all listed the current rate of inflation to be -0.1%.

No matter who studies what aspect of the Affordable Care Act, they all say the same thing; costs are skyrocketing far beyond what millions of Americans can afford. Covered California reports that 90% of their enrollees receive a subsidy to help consumers pay for their premiums. The CBO report I mentioned above states that 87% of Obamacare enrollees receive subsidies, leaving only 13% of the 8.8 million enrollees reported by the White House are footing the bill for their coverage. The bottom line is that a small percentage of individuals will be paying the brunt of premium increases.

So what happens to the entire healthcare industry if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the lawsuit challenging the legality of the federal subsidies? If their ruling makes those subsides go away, millions of premium holders will cancel their policies which in turn will place even more of the financial burden on the small number that are not receiving a subsidy. That 8.5% annual increase could be a minor underestimate on the part of the CBO. That in turn could cause many of the few to also cancel their coverage which like a snowball rolling downhill, could bring the entire healthcare industry crashing down.

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