As many Americans are aware, the government disaster known as Obamacare continues to plague citizens who are in desperate need of health care coverage that’s affordable for themselves and their families.
The promises made by former President Obama regarding his signature health care legislation have mostly been broken, such as being able to keep your own doctor, being able to keep the health plan you had before Obamacare was enacted, saving at least $2500 per year per family, being able to choose from multiple insurers within the program… the list goes on and on — not to mention the debacle that was the Obamacare website, which crashed upon launching and cost the government an unheard-of five billion dollars.
In the years since Obamacare was initiated, premiums have increased by as much as 223 percent, making the program unaffordable for middle-class families in 94 percent of American cities. Specifically, for families earning just over $80,000 per year annually or more, their income bracket means they don’t qualify for government subsidies for health care. Based on average Obamacare premium increases, these families would have to either earn $30,000 more than they currently do or shell out the equivalent of the cost of a second mortgage to pay for health care.
When less people are able to afford Obamacare’s high premiums and still don’t qualify for subsidies, premiums must rise even higher to pay all the costs of the program — in essence, it’s a self-defeating cycle that can only end in the failure and collapse of Obamacare.
Currently, the government considers health insurance “unaffordable” when premiums for any of the lowest-priced plans in an Obamacare market cost more than 8.16 percent of a particular household’s MAGI, or modified adjusted gross income. At this point, families and individuals can qualify for exemptions from Obamacare’s individual mandate requirement to buy insurance.
Says insurance marketplace eHealth CEO Scott Flanders, “Coverage under the Affordable Care Act is becoming seriously unaffordable for many families, even by Obamacare’s own rules. I find it hard to believe that the framers of the law ever intended the cost of family health insurance to rival that of a second mortgage. Without the introduction of lower-cost options into the market or expanded government subsidies, many middle-income Americans are in danger of being priced out of the health insurance market entirely.”
In a study, Flanders’ eHealth looked at the cost of Obamacare plans in 50 different cities, assuming a 10-percent across-the-board premium increase for 2018. eHealth looked at the lowest-priced Obamacare plans for families containing three people (two adults aged 35 and one child). Using the same model in all cases along with data from the Obamacare website, eHealth and the New York City health care exchange, the study found that in 47 out of 50 cities, the lowest-priced Obamacare plans would be unaffordable for families earning four times the federal poverty level (roughly $82,000 per year — the level at which they would be ineligible for Obamacare subsidies).
Stated another way, a family of three people in Charlotte, North Carolina earning a combined $81,884, for example, would have to spend at least 18 percent of their gross pre-tax income to buy even the cheapest Obamacare issuance plan for themselves in that market. After tax, the percentage rises to over 20 percent. In order for Obamacare premiums to be considered “affordable” for this family by government standards, their income would have to rise to $184,129 or more. In Phoenix, Arizona, this amount would be $173,645. In Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, it would be $149,414. In Lincoln, Nebraska, it would be $149,395. In fact, these amounts are consistently over $100,000 in 27 of the 50 cities in the study — more than half of the locales surveyed.
Given these admissions by the government that Obamacare is rapidly becoming unaffordable, one has to wonder at what point voters will say enough is enough and declare that the program is a failure, forcing legislators to repeal it once and for all. Many observers say that given average premium increases of 16 percent over the last four years — with no end in sight — that day is rapidly approaching.
The number of counties where there’s expected to be only one choice of insurer for Obamacare in 2018 will be 1,388 — roughly one-third of all U.S. counties. At present, in 38 counties across the U.S., 25,000 people are at risk of having no Obamacare insurers at all, in which case they would have to seek out expensive non-Obamacare insurance if they wanted to be insured at all. Since the dysfunctional program began, more than a dozen large insurers have exited marketplace exchanges, and that number will only rise in the future.
Fewer choices mean even higher prices for consumers. With more people choosing to forego Obamacare coverage and instead pay a penalty for doing so, there’s less money to cover the people who are truly ill. The sickest five percent of Americans are responsible for half of all health care costs.
Indeed, as bad word about Obamacare spreads, there will be fewer and fewer enrollments, which creates a “death spiral” that analysts have discussed at length in the press. In the last year, for the first time since Obamacare was enacted, less people enrolled in the program than did in the previous year. Many observers say this is hard evidence the Obamacare “death spiral” is well underway and may be impossible to stop, unless the Trump administration were to give extra incentives for people to sign up for the program or for more insurers to re-enter the Obamacare insurance exchanges; otherwise, it’s hard to see how these trends can reverse.
While it’s difficult to pin an exact date on when Obamacare could be considered a total failure, Americans’ tolerance for insurance premiums they can’t afford is dwindling by the day.
~ American Liberty Report