Why does Obamacare suck so much?
ObamaCare "sucks" because healthcare costs have risen faster than GDP or wages while congress has continued to fail to pass meaningful reform since the 60s. This meant the ACA was left to solve the entire healthcare crisis in one law. That law had to satisfy all parties, and corporations, and be palatable to the public, and maintain a free market.
Since the law contains over 400 different provisions it's easy to think, "this sucks". It's a lot harder to take a hard look at the entire economy, the healthcare sector, and the nuanced impacts of each provision.
However, when we do look at how ObamaCare is and isn't working... We see that it is working in many ways. We also see millions of Americans who were previously uninsured get coverage, especially those who were "uninsurable" before due to pre-existing conditions. For these hard working Americans ObamaCare doesn't suck, it was a life saver.
By the end of open enrollment 2015 over 15 million who didn't have coverage were covered.
- There has been an historic decrease in the uninsured. In just one year we’ve reduced the number of uninsured by about 10 million people. Meanwhile, nearly 11.7 million Americans nationwide selected Marketplace plans or were automatically re-enrolled as of Feb. 22, 2015.
- More Americans have access to Medicaid coverage. Twenty-eight states plus DC have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. As another indicator of progress: Since October 2013, more than 10 million more Americans are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP.
- Millions of Americans who already had insurance have seen their coverage improve because they now have access to preventive serviceslike vaccines, cancer screenings, and yearly wellness visits at no out-of-pocket cost. In addition, Americans cannot be denied or dropped from coverage because of apre-existing condition or because they hit an annual or lifetime cap in benefits.
- Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care is finally affordable for millions of Americans and their families: More than half of consumers who are signed up for 2015 Marketplace coverage selected a plan with a monthly premium of $100 or less after tax credits, and about 8 in 10 of these individuals had the option of selecting such a plan. Before the Affordable Care Act, consumers on the individual market often were subject to double-digit rate increases. On average, Marketplace premiums are seeing only modest increases.
- The vast majority – 87 percent – of individuals who are signed up through HealthCare.gov qualify for financial assistance. Almost 7.7 millionindividuals in the 37 states using the HealthCare.gov platform qualified for an average of $263 per person/month in advanced premium tax credits.
- Insurers have decided that the Marketplace is a good place to do business and as a result, consumers have more choices. Twenty-five percent more issuers have joined the Marketplace, and consumers can choose from an average of 40 health plans, which is up from 30 in 2014.
- Consumers have saved $9 billion since 2011, because the law requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 cents of every dollar on consumers’ health care and empowers states to review and negotiate premium increases.
- Millions of seniors are saving billions of dollars on prescription drugs:9.4 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved over $15 billion on their prescription drugs since 2010 – an average of $1,598 per beneficiary.
AFFORDABILITY (HEALTH CARE COSTS)
- Taxpayers are benefitting as costs and spending are held down. Last year, health care spending grew at the slowest rate on record (since 1960). Meanwhile, health care price inflation is at its lowest rate in 50 years.
- And as we build a better, smarter, healthier delivery system, we have seen a historic slowdown in the growth of health care costs that is generating savings for workers, business, and taxpayers. Slow growth in the cost of health care has continued, with health care price inflation remaining at low levels not seen in decades, employer premium growth tying record lows, and Medicare spending per beneficiary essentially unchanged in fiscal year 2014.
- Americans say they like their Marketplace coverage. A Gallup study found that 7 in 10 who signed up for Marketplace insurance during last Open Enrollment say the quality is excellent or good.
- At the same time, fewer Americans are losing their lives or falling ill due to hospital-acquired conditions, like pressure ulcers, central line associated infections, and falls and traumas – which are down 17 percent since 2010. Preliminary data show that between 2010 and 2013, there was a decrease in these conditions by more than 1.3 million events. As a result, 50,000 fewer people lost their lives, and there were $12 billion in cost savings.
- And, fewer of our parents and grandparents are being unnecessarily readmitted to the hospital: Between 2012 and 2013, readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries were driven down by 150,000.