A repeal of various provisions of Obamacare have been voted on numerous times by the House and Senate, but today the House is voting on a reconciliation bill that would send an Obamacare repeal bill to Obama’s desk for the very first time. Yes, our GOP-led House finally put on its big boy pants!
Ronald Reagan famously said in his “Time for Choosing” speech, “if government planning and welfare had the answer — and they’ve had almost 30 years of it –shouldn’t we expect government to read the score to us once in a while?”
Thanks to a new fact sheet from the Republican Study Committee, we can read the score on Obama’s healthcare promises – and it isn’t what the president wants us to see.
The Individual Mandate’s Bad Math
Obamacare was expected to enroll the young invincibles – young Americans who lacked health insurance but were relatively healthy. They make up a large chunk of the base of uninsured Americans. By insuring them, they would in theory be paying premiums but not using any health care, thereby subsidizing costs for everyone else.
But many are finding that with rising health care costs and coverage requirements imposed by the law, the federal fine is actually cheaper than buying health insurance that covers services many don’t want or need. According to one analysis, more than seven million people would pay more each year for health insurance plans than the individual mandate fine, and half wouldn’t qualify for federal subsidies to defray their insurance costs.
Costs Have Not Been Contained
Candidate Obama promised that his health care plan would reduce the cost of healthcare by $2,500 for the average family. Anyone who pays attention to their premiums knows that to not be the case.
The average deductible for employees jumped 9 percent in 2015. In the last 10 years, the average deductible for employees “has more than tripled from $303 in 2006 to $1,077 today,” increasing seven times faster than wages.
Even Those Already Insured Are Harmed
Just because you haven’t taken an interest in Obamacare doesn’t mean Obamacare hasn’t taken an interest in you. A study of Americans who were insured prior to Obamacare found that as a result of high deductibles:
Around 20 percent of those surveyed with health insurance still had trouble paying their bills in 2015. Among that number, “63 percent said they used up all or most of their savings; 42 percent took on an extra job or more work hours; 14 percent moved or took in roommates; and 11 percent turned to charity.”
Insurers are Bailing
The private sector is starting to wise up to the fact that Obamacare wasn’t the deal they thought it was.
Last fall, the nation’s largest insurer announced they would scale back marketing for their health care plans on Obamacare’s exchange after suffering larger than expected losses. UnitedHealth Group then signaled that it might pull out of Obamacare entirely in 2017, taking with it one of the lowest-cost options for individuals purchasing plans. “In recent weeks, growth expectations for individual exchange participation have tempered industrywide, co-operatives have failed, and market data has signaled higher risks and more difficulties while our own claims experience has deteriorated,” the group’s CEO said in a statement.
Repealing Obamacare Saves Taxpayers $500 Billion
Here was a ridiculous claim we heard during Obamacare’s passing: that it will reduce the deficit. There was even a CBO study to back the claim up.
So how does a spending bill reduce the deficit? You have to get a bit creative with the math. Obamacare was passed in 2010, but the key spending provisions didn’t take effect until 2014. So when the CBO projected out 10 years into the future from 2010, only 6 years of spending were captured, but 10 years of collecting taxes to fund the law were.
Projecting out from today, we do find that Obamacare has increased the deficit, and that its repeal would reduce it.
Partially repealing Obamacare through reconciliation would save taxpayers a whopping $516 billion over the next 10 years, according to a new estimate from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The new figure is $42 billion more than previous estimates. This bill not only saves a half-trillion, it is promise kept for American families and taxpayers.
So government spending doesn’t reduce the deficit after all. I guess it takes a president who doesn’t think there are 57 States to figure that out.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]