President Obama has said that “the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay....” But it seems that some in mainstream media are finally coming around to see that the naysayers may have had a point after all.
On May 27, the Washington Post published an article about a University of Minnesota study reporting that Obamacare will cause a severe spike in the number of uninsured. Then, the outlet recently featured a story highlighting the growing opposition to Obamacare’s employer mandate.
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It seems the mainstream media has finally admitted that Obamacare doesn’t work. Unfortunately, they are four years too late.
Even before the legislation was actually written, free market health analysts warned about the dangers of the health care overhaul Obama advocated during his campaign and early presidency. Not surprisingly, the usual suspects who see through political shenanigans joined free market analysts in sounding the alarm. All the while, the vast majority of the mainstream media embraced Obamacare.
But a shift seems to be upon us.
Such a shift has been made possible in no small part to undeniable new data. A study published by the Medical Industry Leadership Institute (MILI) at the University of Minnesota predicts that Obamacare will increase the number of uninsured by 489,000 by 2019. The very same Washington Post then went on to feature this story as an exclusive.
In addition to predicting that the number of uninsured will increase by almost a half-million, the Post also reported that the cost of an individual exchange plan (Silver) could increase by $1,375 within 5 years and a family’s by $4,198 during that same time period.
But the most shocking finding might be that the authors are estimating the largest health insurance premium price increases among the lowest-cost options. For example, family coverage under a Bronze Catastrophic plan could more than double from an estimated $10,382 in 2015 to $22,920 in 2024. A single person with the same coverage could see his or her premiums almost triple, to $6,500 in 2024 from $2,266.
The president repeatedly promised that the average American family would save $2,500 per year because of Obamacare. Not only did the President later backtrack on that promise, but an average family of four could face more than $11,000 in premiums alone over the next decade, according to the University of Minnesota forecast. This is on top of likely increases in deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.
But again, to most of us this is not news; only to the mainstream media.
Obamacare has not only failed to address underlying health care costs, but it also continues to drive health insurance premiums higher for many. The Obama Administration’s celebrations touting the health care overhaul as a rousing success were premature, and there will be little to celebrate as Americans face dramatically higher health insurance premiums, more health policy cancellations and increasingly limited access to providers in coming years.
For Obamacare opponents, being prescient is little consolation for the havoc wreaked on the nation’s families and private health care market. Sadly, the damage from this law cannot be easily reversed.
Perhaps it is better late than never, but the mainstream media, by and large, enthusiastically embraced the federal takeover of one-sixth of the American economy in order to “do something” about health care.
One can only hope that the Obamacare calamity might prove to be a “teachable moment” for them.
Naomi Lopez Bauman is the director of health policy at the Illinois Policy Institute (www.illinoispolicy.org). You can follow her on Twitter at @LopezBauman.
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