Obamacare unravels: Premiums set to rise sharply

The price of a popular health care plan offered through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is expected to rise by an average of 25 percent in 39 states next year that use the federal healthcare exchange, tripling the increase from 2015 to this year, according to a report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Monday, Oct. 24.

As the administration sought to alleviate growing concern over the ballooning costs, HHS officials announced participants in the ACA would be eligible for expanded subsidies and tax credits to keep pace with monthly increases.

However, declining participation from insurance companies will cause monthly premiums to rise sharply. According to AP, about 20 percent of health insurance participants will have only one policyholder to choose from.

According to White House estimates, states such as Arizona could face increases exceeding 100 percent; in contrast, Indiana will experience a decline of three percent for Obamacare participants.

Despite the expected increases, HHS officials were confident of the value and cost effectiveness of Obamacare for its members.

“We think [consumers] will ultimately be surprised by the affordability of the product,” said assistant secretary for public affairs for HHS, Kevin Griffis.

Analysis

Despite the White House’s incessant boasting of the viability of Obamacare, the law, the only signature of Mr. Obama’s presidency, is a total calamity.

Although the administration has admitted the law has flaws, their solution appears not to be adjustments which would allow greater flexibility for participants, but rather continuing to pour tax dollars into the program to prevent the law from sinking under the weight of its own debt.

Among the most pressing issues related to the ACA disaster is the mere fact such a small number of younger people have opted into Obamacare to offset the financial requirements needed to provide for the larger number of older, chronically-ill people who are forced into the program and whose needs consume a bulk of the outlays required to sustain their medical needs.

Worse, as yearly premium increases continue to skyrocket and the number of mandates are increasingly applied to businesses, the greater the need to increase tax credits and subsidies to keep the law afloat.

Although the administration trumpeted those enrolled in Obamacare would benefit from increased subsidies and tax credits, it refused to admit a large portion of middle-class wage earners would not qualify for the credits or subsidies for the very reason their annual incomes place them above the designated threshold.

This dramatic price increase is the singular reason why congressional Republicans have led a crusade to repeal the bill and, similarly, has encouraged those on the left to push for consideration of a single-payer option to be considered in any overhaul of the law.

The sharp increases for the coming year are providing an excellent case for a repeal.

 

[The Hill] [AP] [Photo courtesy AP via Daily Mail]