During his bid for reelection in 2012, then-President Obama tried to defend ObamaCare in a campaign speech, telling his supporters, “[Y]our premiums will go down.” It has been about five years since he said that and they have gone significantly differently than the President intended. Evidence has actually found that the reverse happened and that premium prices went up.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the Department of Health and Human Services has released its findings on health insurance premiums since ObamaCare was implemented. Unfortunately, it found that premiums have gone up significantly between 2013 and 2017. This is not what was intended.
According to the ASPE, the average health care premium has actually increased by an average of 105 percent in 39 states that have adopted Healthcare.gov. The median premium increase meanwhile has been about 108 percent so overall that amount is pretty close to what is being felt across the country. Overall, about 62 percent of states that have adopted Healthcare.gov saw their premiums double.
To put those numbers in greater context, only 16 of those 39 states saw increases go up by less than the average of 105 percent. However, 20 states saw increases of between 105 percent and 200 percent. However, three states saw increases of more than 200 percent so this means Alabama, Alaska, and Oklahoma saw their states’ premiums more than triple.
To use concrete numbers, the average monthly premium was about $232 in 2013. However, it has more than doubled to about $476. That’s a raw increase of about $244, which is overall more than the amount that premiums were in 2013.
It is not just exchanges under ObamaCare though that are facing these increases. eHealth found data that said health insurance premiums outside the exchanges were projected to rise by roughly 39 percent to 56 percent. The consequences of the law seem to have seeped into areas they was supposed to remain separate from.
It is not all that surprising then that key portions of ObamaCare are unpopular. Polls found that Americans are divided on ObamaCare, but the Cato Institute found that support for ObamaCare erodes if you focus on the negative effects of the legislation. It is not all that surprising then that President Donald Trump was elected in 2016 while promising to repeal ObamaCare.
Overall, the premiums increases have been a significant problem and evidence that ObamaCare failed to accomplish some of its goals. It is not all that surprising then that Congress has now been trying to repeal it and start over.
Granted, there has been some criticism that Congress’s current plans do not go far enough and that more healthcare reform is necessary to address premiums, but for now this is evidence that more needs to be done. This is arguably one of (if not the) best cases for reform so not is a good time for Congress to get to work on exactly that.