To The Daily Sun,
Obamacare was supposed to bend the health care cost curve down. That was the main selling point by the law's proponents. Critics pointedly maintained that a large new government program would not reduce overall spending ... it's a government program... duh. The skeptics look to have taken the more correct of the two positions. The cost curve has not been bent downward.
The latest data reported by the Associated Press demonstrates what the reality is: A government report says U.S. health care spending last year grew at the fastest pace since President Barack Obama took office, driven by expanded coverage under his namesake law and zooming prescription drug costs.
After five years of historically low growth, national health expenditures increased by 5.3 percent in 2014, reaching $3 trillion, or $9,523 for every man, woman and child.
Wednesday's report by nonpartisan economic experts at the Department of Health and Human Services found that health care spending grew faster than the overall economy, renewing concerns about affordability.
The numbers may mean the end of an unusually long lull in health care inflation that has benefited the Obama administration. While the president's health care law has debatably increased coverage, the cost problem doesn't appear to be solved.
The administration claimed credit for the fleeting "lull," but the government's own economists now disagree. Costs are exploding. Cost curve: up. Premiums: up. Out-of-pocket expenses: up. This law wasn't primarily sold on coverage; it was sold as a cost-reducer. They called it the Affordable Care Act. That core sales pitch has not panned out on any level. If the law had been marketed as, we're going to spend a ton of taxpayer money to cover millions of people, and that's going to end up costing a butt load more, the legislation would have been dead on arrival.
The law is such a failure that many consumers are turning to a worst-of-all-worlds scenario in which they purchase high-deductible plans to guard against catastrophe while being forced to pay the individual mandate tax, because their coverage isn't Obamacare compliant. Many Obamacare consumers are discovering, "coverage" does not necessarily equal "care." It's working" so well that sticker shock is widespread, enrollment projections are sharply down, co-ops are dropping like flies, the largest insurer in the country is threatening to pull out of the market, and Americans, especially uninsured ones, are unhappy with the law.
Congressional Republicans have advanced a reconciliation bill not subject to the filibuster that guts most of Obamacare and it looks like the Senate will pass an even more comprehensive repeal bill in anticipation of reconciliation.