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Scorecard on Obamacare

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As we are getting closer to the open enrollment period for Obamacare, it might be good to go back and evaluate the claims made during the debate on the Affordable Care Act. We were told that the costs would go down, competition would increase, millions would enroll, and policies wouldn’t be cancelled.

Robert Moffit, writing in The Daily Signal, says that health care costs have increased significantly. “Huge increases in deductibles in policies sold through the exchanges were a big story in Florida, Illinois, and elsewhere.” The promise during the congressional debate was the premium costs would drop by $2,500. They increased dramatically, and even doubled for many Americans, especially of younger age.

Robert Moffit also explains that the law actually reduced competition in many health-insurance markets. “A limited analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that in 2014, large states like California and New York were more competitive, but Connecticut and Washington were less competitive.” Another study found that on the county level, more than half (52%) had just one or two health-insurance carriers.

The Obama administration claims that over 8 million people enrolled in health-insurance exchanges. But we should remember that exchange enrollment is not the same as insurance coverage. And there are 700,000 fewer persons in the exchanges than previously thought.

Americans were also promised that Obamacare would stop health insurers from cancelling policies. Merrill Matthews, writing in Forbes, reminds us that: “more health insurance policies have been cancelled under Obamacare than ever before.” He also goes on to explain that more cancelations are on the way.

The president twice postponed the deadline to have Obamacare-qualified coverage in the small-group and individual markets, but only if states wanted to extend the deadline. Some did. Some did not. More cancellations are coming but “the notices will emerge in drips and drabs and likely won’t get as many headlines.”

I think it is safe to say that Obamacare hasn’t lived up to any of the promises made when the bill was being debated.


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