by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Democrats and the media have repeatedly accused President Trump and the GOP Congress of “sabotaging” Obamacare, claiming that changes to the “Affordable Care Act” would result in unprecedented premium hikes in 2019. In July, for example, Nancy Pelosi made the following claim: “Their latest assault on health care will significantly increase premiums for millions of hard-working American families across the nation.” Meanwhile, ever eager to disseminate Democratic propaganda, “news” outlets like the Los Angeles Timeshave published stories with tendentious titles such as the following: “The costs of Trump’s sabotage of Obamacare already are showing up in rate hikes.”
It goes without saying that the Democrats and the “news” media were deliberately attempting to mislead the public. In reality, 2019 will be the first year ever in which Obamacare premiums will decline. In 12 states, according to Obamacare.net, the average rate charged by insurers selling plans through federal and state exchanges will actually be lower than in 2018. The largest cut will be in New Hampshire, where the average premium will drop by 13.47 percent. The smallest reduction will be in Wyoming, where the decrease will be about 0.25 percent. In the 38 remaining states, premium hikes will be far less than they have been since Obamacare was enacted. The average increase nationwide will be around 4 percent.
To put this in perspective, the average premium for plans sold through federal exchanges doubled during the first four years we were subjected by the “Affordable Care Act.”