Barack Obama likes to crow about Obamacare.
It’s the crown jewel in his attempt to fundamentally transform America.
But the message the American people are sending is not one he wants to hear.
A Suffolk/USA Today poll asked Americans to list the greatest failure of the Obama era.
The number one choice – which was selected by 26 percent of respondents – was Obamacare.
That comes as no surprise to many observers.
Obamacare has been a disaster for the American people.
The government takeover of healthcare has caused premiums to skyrocket.
Forbes reports on three different studies showing that insurance premiums exploded because of the law:
“While it is important to look at data for several years after 2013 to assess the impact of the ACA, comparing individual market premiums in 2013 with those in 2014—the year its key changes took effect—provides an approximation of the initial change. The Manhattan Institute compared the average of the five least expensive pre-ACA plans in 2013 with the least expensive plans available on exchanges in 2014. Manhattan’s researchers adjusted the pre-ACA plan premiums upward to account for the population facing surcharges or denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Manhattan estimated that the average state individual market premium increased 41% between 2013 and 2014. A county-level analysis suggested that premiums increased by 49%.
The 2014 Brookings study on this same subject by Amanda Kowalski—and unaddressed by Adler and Ginsburg—used actual pre-ACA individual market premium data, finding that “[a]cross all states, from before the reform to the first half of 2014, enrollment-weighted premiums in the individual health insurance market increased by 24.4 percent beyond what they would have had they simply followed state-level seasonally adjusted trends.” According to Kowalski, the Manhattan Institute estimates are higher likely because they were not enrollment-weighted, and individuals in areas with high premiums likely selected cheaper plans.
Economists at the University of Pennsylvania, also using actual pre-ACA individual market data, estimated that the total expected price of individual market coverage (premiums plus out-of-pocket payments) increased by 14% to 28% as a result of the ACA. According to their findings, “the pre-ACA average premium was lower than the lowest silver plan premium.” Penn’s economists also estimated that plans in the individual market before the ACA had similar actuarial value to silver plans, not an average actuarial value that was 10 percentage points less (and 17% less) than assumed by Adler and Ginsburg. Importantly, all of these studies compare gross premiums before and after the ACA.”
In addition to millions of Americans losing access to their doctors and their health plans, the premium increases gives lie to the two fundamentals Obamacare was built on – that if you liked your health insurance you could keep it and costs would go down.
In this same poll, 59 percent of Americans believe Donald Trump will significantly dismantle Barack Obama’s legacy.
Many Americans are hoping that starts with Obamacare.
And Republicans are signaling they are listening.
From the Vice President-elect, to incoming Chief-of-Staff Reince Priebus, to Congressional Republicans, GOP officials have given every indication that repealing Obamacare will be the first item on the agenda.
Barack Obama may not like it, but many Americans will cheer when Obamacare is repealed.