Nov 02, 2016

Busting Obamacare’s “Mythbusters”

Post by Freedom Partners

The federal bureaucrats in charge of implementing Obamacare used the occasion of Halloween to “put a few ghoulish tales” about the president’s landmark accomplishment “to rest.” Specifically, Health and Human Services’ Sylvia Burwell and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Andy Slavitt attempted to debunk “myths” about Obamacare.

There’s just one problem: They didn’t debunk any myths at all—they simply ignored the real evidence.

Fact: Health coverage on the Marketplace is unaffordable.

In the effort to debunk the claim that marketplace insurance is too expensive—the average federal exchange plan premiums are rising by 25 percent—Slavitt and Burwell say that sticker shock isn’t real because “financial assistance” is available to most consumers.

Yet, even if there are measures to help some consumers cope with premiums that are increasing by 25 percent on average, high deductibles have made coverage “all but useless.” People are paying thousands—on top of skyrocketing premiums—before their insurance “kicks in.”

And even the “financial assistance” they highlight isn’t free. Hardworking taxpayers—including people who are being subsidized—are on the hook for more than half a trillion dollars (at a minimum) in subsidies over the next decade. And with every premium hike, that total only grows.

Busted Myth—Busted!

Fact: Consumers don’t have choices on the Marketplace.

Clearly a Trick-or-Treat sugar high clouded the ability of Slavitt and Burwell to report honestly on consumer choice. They forgot to tell readers that nearly one-in-five consumers located in 31 percent of counties have a single health insurer selling plans on the exchange. No fewer than 17 states only have at most two.

Busted Myth—Busted!

Fact: The Affordable Care Act is killing jobs and driving up costs for everybody.

There’s a lot to dissect in this point.

First, on jobs. It’s clear that Obamacare leaves employers with less money to hire more people, increase wages and innovate. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, there will be two million fewer jobs over the next decade as a result of the law.

Additionally, some of the law’s mandates have forced employers to increase the number of part-time employees or prevented them from expanding, lest they incur significant new costs under the law.

Second, to say that it’s a myth that costs have not gone up is deceptive at best. Not only are the costs of federal exchange plans increasing by 25 percent on average, but people who have employer-based coverage are seeing their costs go up as well. It’s irrefutable proof that Obamacare’s top-down, bureaucrat-driven system drives up costs—as so many people predicted it would.

Busted Myth—Busted!

Burwell and Slavitt lamented their inability to use explosions and car crashes for testing the claims being made about Obamacare. Either would have been a proper metaphor for the disaster that is Obamacare.

The Obamacare experiment has failed—and it’s time for real health care reform that loosens the grip of government and lets the market deliver solutions consumers actually want and can afford.