Have You Saved $2,500 Lately?
by Amy Payne, Heritage Foundation, March 21, 2014
President Obama recently admitted that Obamacare will cause some Americans to lose their doctors. Some have suggested that his promise “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” should be 2014’s “Lie of the Year.” But what about his promise that Obamacare would lower premiums by $2,500 per family?
As we—what’s the opposite of celebrate?—the fourth anniversary of Obamacare’s passage this weekend, Americans have already seen their premiums double or even triple. And premiums aren’t finished going up.
Next year’s rates won’t be released until this summer, but The Hill recently spoke to insurance company officials and got a frightful preview of where they’re headed. One “insurance official, who hails from a populous swing state, said his company expects to triple its rates next year on the Obamacare exchange.”
This year’s pricing in the new Obamacare exchanges raised premiums for people buying in the individual market in at least 42 states.
>>>See how much their premiums went up, by state
But none of this has been a surprise to Heritage’s health care experts.
Back in 2010, Heritage experts said that “one of the major impacts” of Obamacare was that “individuals and families will see higher health insurance premiums.” In fact, they listed 12 reasons premiums would be going up. Obamacare’s mandated benefits topped the list:
Obamacare mandates that insurance companies cover a minimum package of benefits. The more comprehensive and generous the insurance, however, the more expensive it will be.
At that time, Heritage’s Brian Blase and Rea Hederman cited the president’s promise of the $2,500 premium discount—and said sorry, this is merely wishful thinking.
Despite this promise, President Obama’s wishes do not trump basic supply and demand or common sense. If government requires that a product be made more generous and be available to more individuals, its cost will increase. There is no way around the fact that the vast majority of Americans will be paying higher prices for their insurance because of Obamacare.
The administration is still living in the dream of yesteryear’s promises. A White House set of frequently asked questions on “health reform” still assures visitors that their premiums and health care costs will not go up—and that they can keep their plans and doctors.
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