Mar 23, 2016

New Report: Obamacare’s Failing — by the White House’s Own Metrics

Post by Derek Yale

March 23 is the Affordable Care Act’s 6th anniversary, but a new Freedom Partners analysis shows that with health insurance premiums growing as fast as ever, there’s not much for Americans to celebrate.

In 2009, the Executive Office of the President (EOD) released a report highlighting rising health care costs and then promised that the Affordable Care Act would slow these rising costs. The report, titled “The Burden of Health Insurance Premium Increases on American Families,” showed skyrocketing premiums for employer-sponsored health care plans in the five years up to 2009. President Obama used the findings of the report to sell the American people on the promise that the Affordable Care Act would slow, or even reverse, the growth of health care costs.

Today, Freedom Partners is releasing an update to the administration’s 2009 report . This report uses the exact same data source as the White House report and looks at employer-sponsored health insurance cost trends in the five years on either side of the law’s passage.

Read the new Freedom Partners report here.

The Freedom Partners report shows that, contrary to the president’s promises, health insurance premiums have grown at a faster rate since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Over the five years before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the average employer-sponsored family health insurance plan saw annual premium increases of 4.8 percent. During the five years following the passage of the law, annual premiums increased slightly faster – by an average of 5 percent.

Even worse, wage growth has slowed during the five years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, meaning Americans are now facing more rapidly growing health insurance premiums with stagnating wages. Census Bureau data shows that average wages increased by 12.2 percent between 2004 and 2009, when the EOP first released its report. But the increase during the five years since 2009 was only 7.8 percent. With wages growing more slowly and health insurance premiums growing as fast as ever, millions of Americans are forced to spend a larger percentage of their budget on health care costs.

Our analysis shows that the law is a failure by President Obama’s own standards. The Affordable Care Act was passed with the promise that it would end the era of skyrocketing premiums, yet it has only made health care even less affordable. The longer it takes President Obama and his allies to admit that the Affordable Care Act has failed to bend the cost curve, the more they hurt the very people they claim they’re helping.