(image via flickr by Cubosh)
By Rick Amato
This week Republicans and to some degree the Trump administration itself sent conflicting signals as to what its’ plans are for repealing Obamacare. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said congress will move swiftly to repeal and replace Obamacare this year (though he was short on specifics), Vice President Elect Mike Pence said “the first order of business” will be to repeal Obamacare, while President Elect Trump warned his fellow Republicans in a tweet:
“Massive increases of ObamaCare will take place this year and Dems are to blame for the mess. It will fall of its own weight — be careful!”
Trump is right. Americans are already feeling the pain of increased premiums and those costs are only going to go higher in 2017. Underscoring Trump’s point, Democrats have already paid a steep price for Obamacare. As pointed out in my previous article over the past eight years since since Barack Obama’s election Democrats have lost a staggering 1,042 Congressional, Senate, Gubernatorial and state legislative seats. If the president’s signature healthcare law is so popular and so well liked by the American people- as the elite media would have us believe- why then do they keep losing elections?
It’s because it isn’t. Insurance premiums have risen a painful 40% on the Obamacare exchanges over the past two years. For example, a plan that cost $3600 in 2015 will now cost $5040 in 2017. That’s real money to a lot of American families.
Much of what is causing the rising costs is the Affordable Care Act’s so called ‘community rating’. ‘Community rating’ requires health insurance providers to offer health insurance policies within a given county at the same price to all persons without medical underwriting, regardless of their health status. So in other words, if someone’s health status is poor and they are being charged the same rate as someone within their county whose health status is good, then the rates on the healthy individuals must be increased in order to make up for the cost of insuring the unhealthy at the same rate.
Another way to look it is like auto insurance. It would be insane if Congress passed a law requiring everyone to pay the same premium for auto insurance- regardless of their driving record- then causing those with clean driving records to pay increased rates so that everyone could pay the same rate. The same concept applies to Obamacare under the ‘community rating’ provision.
Democrats are now mocking republicans daring them to try and come up with a better alternative. Paul Ryan has said republicans will move swiftly, Mike Pence has said it will be the first order of business. But Trump is right massive increases are coming and republicans should make them own it. In politics politicians often live and die by their policies. Just ask 1,042 democrats.