Ever since it was signed into law in 2010, defenders of Obamacare have dismissed staggering surges in annual premiums by highlighting only the rates paid by those fortunate enough to receive subsidies. In fact, last year we wrote about Marjorie Connolly’s, from Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services, response to the Tennessee insurance commissioner’s fear that the exchanges in his state were “very near collapse” after a staggering 59% premium surge:
“Consumers in Tennessee will continue to have affordable coverage options in 2017. Last year, the average monthly premium for people with Marketplace coverage getting tax credits increased just $2, from $102 to $104 per month, despite headlines suggesting double digit increases,” said Marjorie Connolly, HHS spokeswoman, in a statement.
We’re unsure whether Connolly’s comment was just propaganda intended to defend a failing piece of legislation or an intentional, blatant admission that the Department of Health and Human Services just doesn’t care about the majority of Americans, the so-called 1%’ers, who are facing debilitating increases in healthcare costs simply because they manage to live above the poverty line. We’ll let you decide on that one.
Be that as it may, as the Miami Herald points out this morning, roughly half of all Obamacare participants, nearly 9 million people in aggregate, don’t qualify for the subsidies that Connolly praised and have been forced to absorb debilitating premium increases for the past several years.
Meanwhile, the pie chart above from 2017 doesn’t count the 1,000’s of unsubsidized “millionaire, billionaire, private jets owners” making over $50,000 per year who have already been forced to drop their healthcare coverage because it was simply unaffordable…a move which the Reiter family in Florida was forced to consider for 2018 after the premiums on their policy surged 54% to a cost of $40,000 per year.
As open enrollment for Affordable Care Act coverage nears the deadline of Dec. 15, and Florida once again leads all states using the federal exchange at healthcare.gov, Heidi and Richard Reiter sit at the kitchen table at their Davie home and struggle to piece together the family’s health insurance for 2018.
The Reiters buy their own coverage, but they earn too much to qualify for financial aid to lower their monthly premiums. For 2017, they bought a plan off the exchange and paid $26,000 in premiums for family coverage, including their two sons, ages 21 and 17.
Keeping the same coverage for 2018 would have cost the Reiters $40,000 in premiums, a 54 percent increase. So they selected a lower-priced plan that covers less but costs $29,000 in premiums.
“That’s more than a lot of people’s mortgage payments,” Richard Reiter said. “For me, it’s a crisis situation.”
Of course, while the Herald attempts to blame the Trump administration for Obamacare’s continued premium hikes in 2018, we would just remind everyone once again that premiums surged an average of 113% across the United States during Obama’s last term…
But sure, it’s all Trump’s fault.