Friday, April 22, 2016

April, 2016, Part 2, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: MIssed Enrollment Projecttions, Increasing Taxpayer costs, And Higher Premiums

Every month for years now we have had to discuss how bad Obama Care is turning out to be under the continuing theme, “the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care.” This month is no different. As the legislation continues to march through America, driving up health care and health insurance prices as it serves as dead weight on economic growth, it cements its rightful place as the worst piece of legislation Washington has ever produced.

  • It never had a chance to be successful since it really never addressed the underlying root causes of our ever increasing health costs in the country:Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, resulting in obscenely high obesity rates for the country.
  • Our food chain is infested with overdoses of high fructose corn syrup, salt, and other unhealthy additives.
  • Americans smoke too much.
  • Americans do not exercise enough.
  • The country is in serious need of health care tort reform.
  • Barriers to insurance company competition across state lines need to come down.
  • Obama Care never “followed the money” to find out who is actually profiting from the ever escalating healthcare costs in this country and how to get those factors under control.
  • Obama Care never got the immense amount of fraud and abuse in current government healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, under control in order to save money to efficiently fund other government health care initiatives.
  • Obama Care never put serious research money towards curing the major diseases that drive high healthcare costs such as high frequency cancers and dementia type diseases.
You cannot resolve any problem unless you understand and address the underlying root causes. No difference here: Obama Care legislation never addressed these listed root causes and thus, has no chance of ever being successful.

But it is not just missing the root causes of our healthcare costs that makes Obama Care so horrible. It resulted in millions of Americans losing access to their favored doctors, hospitals, and insurance policies. It has caused insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays to escalate substantially. It will likely add trillions of dollars to the national debt. It has exposed millions of Americans to higher than necessary identity theft chances. It has created government bureaucracies that are wastefully spending taxpayer wealth and being exploited by criminal elements. It has stifled economic growth and job creation.

These are just a sample of the types of idiocy that we have been reviewing for the past several years in this blog relative to Obama Care., To read those past posts, just enter the phrase, “the unfolding disaster,” in the search box above.

Yesterday and today, and possibly longer, we will be reviewing the latest unfolding disasters from the worst piece of legislation ever written by Washington:

1) Remember that President Obama promised numerous times that the average American family could see annual reductions in their family health insurance costs of up to $2,500. This lie and/or deception has been proven wrong so many times in the real world and in this blog since the legislation was enacted. For the most part, health insurance costs have gone up steeply and rarely, if ever, decreased. 

Drew Gonshorowski, writing for the Heritage Foundation on March 21, 2016, provided an update on how badly these costs have been going up across the country:
  • The insurance premiums for Obama Care policies purchased through the exchanges increased by 25.1% in Kentucky over the past year.
  • The cost rise was also significant in Ohio, 14%, and in Michigan, 11%.
  • The largest Obama Care insurer in Idaho, Blue Cross of Idaho, raised its premium rates by 23%.
  • In New Mexico, some plans were pulled out of the Obama Care options since the premium costs had gotten too high.
  • Overall, the Heritage Foundation estimates that overall the Obama Care premium increase in 2016 will be about 15%, a far cry from Obama’s $2,500 reduction.
  • Their analysis is congruent with others’ analysis of the data.
  • The Heritage analysis also came to the same conclusion as others in that sicker and older people signed up for Obama Care policies than expected.
  • In Tennessee, monthly health insurance premiums in 2014 for a 27 year old cost 70% more than what the same policy would have cost prior to Obama Care taking effect, possibly explaining why younger and healthier Americans are not signing up for Obama Care as expected.
  • In 2015, that same average 27 year old from Tennessee would have seen another 18% increase in Their Obama Care premium costs.
  • A 50 year old person in Tennessee would have seen his premiums increase 31.6% in 2014 and another 9.8% in 2015.
Significantly rising costs for more narrow networks of doctors, such a mess and disaster.

2) Again, remember that Obama Care, as promised by this President, was going to REDUCE the health care costs for all Americans by up to $2,500 a year per family. Thus, for example, a family paying $10,000 a year for health insurance should have seen their annual $10,000 bill be reduced down to possibly $7,500, especially several years after the legislation was passed.

But as we saw in the first point above, in yesterday’s post, and many previous posts in this blog, this Obama promise could not have been farther from the truth. And according to a recent analysis that was published on the Eagle Rising website, not only are Obama Care policies not getting cheaper as promised, but the costs of employer based insurance plans is also skyrocketing, in direct contrast to that the President promised:
  • According to the non-profit organization Freedom Partners, the cost of employer provided health insurance has continued to rise unabated despite Obama Care.
  • Between 2005 and 2010, prior to the enactment of Obama Care, the annualized employer provided health insurance premium increase was 4.8%.
  • Following the enactment of the law, those annualized employer provided health insurance premium increases were 5%, unaffected by the law and Obama’s promise to reduce premium costs.
  • In the first year after Obama Care was enacted, the annualized employer provided health insurance premium increase was a whopping 9.4% from 2010 to 2011.
  • That upward trend in premium cost increases for employer provided health insurance continued with the increase in 2015 vs. 2014 being 4.2%.
  • Health insurance premiums for employer provided policies have gone up up much faster than wages with premiums increasing by an average of 27.9% while wages increased by just 7.8% between 2009 and 2014.
Thus, no matter how you cut the data and reality, absolute dollars, percentage increase, percentage increase vs. wage increase, health insurance today is less affordable than it was prior to Obama Care was passed. This is the definition of failure.

No matter where you look, nobody can seem to find the $2,500 reduction that Obama promised, be it in Obama Care health insurance or employer provided health insurance. As a result of Obama Care, we are all still paying more and more for health insurance coverage, quite possibly, as we described above, because the architects of Obama Care never understood the root causes of our escalating healthcare costs. And when dealing with any problem, if you do not understand the root causes of that problem, the potential of resolving that problem become very, very small.

3) Last bit of disaster for today. The Washington Free Beacon, in an article by Ali Mayer on March 29, 2016, recently reported on the latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyses relative to Obama Care enrollment:
  • The estimated number of Americans covered by Obama Care insurance policies has been reduced by one million enrollees relative previous CBO estimates.
  • In January, the CBO said that 13 million Americans had Obama Care policy coverage but has since downgraded that estimate to 12 million.
  • Recall from previous posts that Obama and his Obama Care advocates told us, falsely, that over 20 million Americans would have Obama Care health insurance coverage by now, a 40% shortfall.
  • The latest CBO estimates say that by 2026, 28 million Americans will have Obama Care health insurance coverage, tens of millions of people short of providing affordable health insurance to all uninsured Americans, as promised by Obama.
  • This 28 million estimate is 2 million higher than previously estimated.
  • But this seemingly bit of good news is really not good news since that additional 2 million covered by Obama Care policies is because the number of people covered by employer provided health insurance is estimated to go down by 3 million, i.e. the additional 2 million expected to be covered by 2027 is churn from existing insurance coverage options, not newly insured people that were previously uninsured, the whole purpose of Obama Care.
  • More bad news from the latest CBO analysis is that the annual cost increase to the Federal government is expected to be 5.4%, hardly the reduction in national health care costs that Obama promised, not even a “bending of the cost curve” that Obama promised.
That will do it for today’s unfolding disasters from Obama Care. Missed enrollment projections, mounting costs to the Federal government and American taxpayer, and higher and higher premium costs for both Obama Care policies and employer provided health insurance coverage. Seems you could not have devised a worst, less effective way to control escalating healthcare costs if you tried.

And we are not close to finishing up this month’s update on the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care, our sad stories to continue at least through tomorrow.

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