As the fateful date of Obamacare’s arrival in 2014 approaches, an in-progress review seems in order. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s main stated purpose was to make medical care more affordable and/or available to Americans, and the unstated reality is that it needs to do so in a sustainable fashion. While some will try to find success stories in the former prospect starting next year (particularly with many more Americans enrolled in substandard government-run health care) as to the latter there can be no doubt: Obamacare cannot survive and will hurt many before its ultimate demise.
One will likely recall that the hybrid Obamacare emerged out of the primordial legislative soup of the single-payer model (a la the Hillarycare proposal of the 1990’s) and our current private sector one. The promise of Obamacare was that you could keep your private coverage if you liked it. Additionally, in order to make coverage more accessible, the federal government would step in and provide subsidies for individuals earning from 100 percent to 400 percent of the federal poverty level to purchase insurance on health care exchanges and also expand Medicaid to include all those earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
As to the first leg of the Obamacare stool, the health care exchanges, only eighteen states and the District of Columbia having reviewed all the information have decided to move forward to date. The other states have opted to allow the federal government to create an exchange. There is already solid evidence the health exchanges will not lower costs, but raise them due to the mandates of the types of coverage those exchange qualified insurers must provide. The estimated cost of the government subsidies to those purchasing insurance on the exchanges has skyrocketed from last year’s estimated $367 billion from 2014 to 2021 to this year’s $606 billion, a 65 percent increase. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that exchange subsidies will cost taxpayers $1 trillion over the next ten years.