by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
March 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. In its first decade, ObamaCare has failed to solve many of the health care problems it was supposed to address. Even worse, it has compounded many of the issues it was meant to fix — the law of unintended consequences in action.
First, then-candidate Barack Obama said his namesake act would “cut the cost of a typical family’s premiums by up to $2,500 a year.”
In reality, the opposite has occurred. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “premiums have doubled for individual health insurance plans since 2013, the year before many of Obamacare’s regulations and mandates took effect.”
Even more shocking, HHS reports, “Average individual market premiums more than doubled from $2,784 per year in 2013 to $5,712 on Healthcare.gov in 2017—an increase of $2,928 or 105%.” Needless to say, ObamaCare has fallen woefully short in its grand ambition to slice health insurance premiums by $2,500 per year.
Second, ObamaCare supporters claimed it would drastically reduce the uninsured population. Unfortunately, this also has not happened. As of this writing, there are roughly 28 million Americans without health insurance. And the number of those without health insurance has increased in recent years. And now that the individual mandate (a dubious provision forcing Americans to purchase health insurance) has been repealed, this number is expected to rise even more.