Remember when ♡bamaCare!!! was going to cover almost everybody while saving the average American family $2,500?
All of the disruption, spending, taxation, and premium hikes in Obamacare has only reduced the percentage of U.S. residents without health insurance by about 2%: a remarkably small number, and far lower than what the law was supposed to achieve.
And because growth in enrollment in Obamacare’s exchanges has flatlined, while premiums continue to go up, there’s little reason to believe that the ultimate reduction in the uninsured will ever reach 30 million under the law.
These basic points have eluded columnists like New York’s Jonathan Chait, who describe skeptics of Obamacare’s health spend-lowering properties as “haters” who are a “testament to the power of the human spirit in the face of all factual evidence.”
Jon will have to include as “haters,” then, members of President Obama’s own administration. A group of economists and statisticians at CMS described the 2014 health expenditure data last week in Health Affairs. The growth rate of national health spending in 2014 was 5.3%, they found: the highest rate since 2007. “The return to faster growth,” they wrote, “was largely influenced by the coverage expansions of the Affordable Care Act.”
Spending growth was up across the board: in private health insurance (4.4%), in Medicare (5.5%), and especially in Medicaid (11.0%), which Obamacare significantly expanded.
The Medicaid expansion has accounted for nearly all of the increase (nearly 97%) in coverage, and could have been achieved without the rest of ♡bamaCare!!!’s disruptions and premium hikes.
But let’s face it. Democrats have grown bored with expanding the welfare state, now that it encompasses, during much if not all of most people’s lives. The real fun is in playing Miss Bossypants over the private sector, harassing citizens, and telling them how to live and how much to spend on what — or else.
By that sole measure, ♡bamaCare!!! is a huge success.