And now, an essential bookend to my post this morning on the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the House's American Health Care Act. Obamacare supporters and AHCA opponents are on the attack, based on CBO's exaggerated and questionable claims. What they never want to answer for, however, are the deteriorating failures of the Democrats' crumbling experiment. The Department of Health and Human Services released an analysis this week demonstrating that in the 39 states using the law's federal exchange (this number has grown as costly state exchanges collapsed), average premiums have spiked by more than 100 percent since the "Affordable" Care Act went into effect:
The cost of an individual ObamaCare policy has increased by an average 105 percent from 2013 to 2017 in all 39 states that have used the federal exchange, the Trump administration said Tuesday. A senior Health and Human Services official said the findings are significant because they look at the increases from the time key ObamaCare provisions took effect, compared to most year-to-year studies that fail to show the 2010 law’s “true effect.” The average monthly premiums increased from $224 in 2013 to $476 in 2017, according to the report. The HHS official said the cost doubled in 20 of the states and tripled in three of them.
Obamacare apologists say that this comparison isn't fair because the law forced all plans to cover a wide array of "essential health benefits," so people are paying a lot more to get more. But that wasn't the sales pitch. The sales pitch was the Affordable Care Act, under which everyone would have substantially lower rates. Remember?
Lie upon lie -- especially the Big Lie on "affordability." And as for the notion that the Obamacare plans are better than the "junk" people could afford in the past, many Obamacare victims (who have consistently outnumbered beneficiaries) can't even use the souped-up new coverage because deductibles are so high, and due to access problems. Coverage is not the same thing as care. One of the least credible aspects of the CBO assessment is the claim that Obamacare's markets are "stable in most areas." We already know that one-third of US counties are down to one or zero "choices" of carriers on the exchanges, with major national, regional, and statewide insurers abandoning the law. Multiple healthcare executives have warned of a developing death spiral as risk pools worsen and premiums spike. To pretend that the states quo is stable is to deny reality -- and to attribute artificially-minimized instability to Trump-era problems is disingenuous. Serious systemic instability obviously pre-dates the new administration, as displayed in stark relief in data furnished by the previous administration. And here's the latest example of Obamacare's slow-motion, escalating implosion:
Blue Cross Kansas City quitting Obamacare — affecting both Missouri and Kansas. https://t.co/exZoovutlp— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) May 24, 2017
Obamacare isn't working, and its endemic flaws are deepening. The Affordable Care Act is an insulting misnomer. I'll leave you with Vice President Mike Pence highlighting HHS' devastating findings, correctly pointing out that his predecessors didn't want the American people to see the bird's-eye view of triple-digit average rate hikes across the vast majority of states: