The National Journal must be choking on its bile. It has had to acknowledge that the Republicans have been right about Obamacare.
Republicans have long blamed President Obama’s signature health care initiative for increasing insurance costs, dubbing it the “Unaffordable Care Act.”
Turns out, they might be right.
For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data. Adding even more out-of-pocket expenses to consumers’ monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles under the Affordable Care Act.
Health law proponents have excused the rate hikes by saying the prices in the exchange won’t apply to the millions receiving coverage from their employers. But that’s only if employers continue to offer that coverage–something that’s looking increasingly uncertain. Already, UPS, for example, cited Obamacare as its reason for nixing spousal coverage. And while a Kaiser Family Foundation report found that 49 percent of the U.S. population now receives employer-sponsored coverage, more companies are debating whether they will continue to be in the business of providing such benefits at all.
What Obamacare does do is redistribute wealth.
Looking at single versus family-of-four coverage against the federal poverty line, low-income households benefit most from Obamacare and the tax subsidies that defray costs. Those eligible for tax subsidies can make up to 400 percent of the federal poverty line, equivalent to $45,960 for one person and $94,200 for a family of four. The data in the graphic is based on the Covered California calculator, which Senior Vice President Larry Levitt of Kaiser said is a market “roughly in the middle of the pack.”
The truth is, Obamacare is doing what it was intended to do: make health care affordable for the nation’s lowest earners by spreading out the costs among taxpayers.
National Journal just stole a base. Obamacare was not sold as a program to “make health care affordable for the nation’s lowest earners by spreading out the costs among taxpayers.” It was supposed to “bend the cost curve down” and increase access.
The trap is that the exchanges also present a savings for some employers but a rate hike for their employees.
And shifting employees to the exchanges also is just logistically easier than trying to meet the law’s employer mandate.
Ramp up dependence on government, in other words.
President Obama has developed several distinctive policy patterns over the years. Make more Americans dependent on government, make it harder for businesses to create jobs, re-write laws he doesn’t like on the fly, blur the distinctions between citizen and legal residents and illegal aliens (or just elevate the latter above the former two), bypass Congress rather than persuade it, and help the country’s enemies in the Middle East.