Obamacare…Six Years Later

It has been over six years since President Obama signed The Patient Protection and (un!!)Affordable Care Act. The effects of Obamacare on the nation are coming to fruition, and they prove that the lofty attempt by liberal America to wrest more control of the healthcare industry away from the private sector is bad public policy.

Take your pick of the promises made by the Obama/Pelosi/Reid trifecta and let’s analyze how Obamacare is doing. We can do it with the help of Hudson Institute fellow, Jeffrey Anderson, who wrote an article in the Weekly Standard entitled “The Cost of Obamacare.”

First, President Obama promised that his healthcare law would insure more people. Kind of, but not exactly. Anderson explains:

“Most of the “newly insured”—about 60 percent—have merely been dumped into Medicaid. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare has added only 8 million people—just 2.5 percent of the U.S. population—to the private insurance rolls.”

Second, President Obama promised that his law would reign in runaway healthcare spending and save the taxpayer money that was being spent to provide care to the uninsured. How are we doing on that front? Well, it depends on who you ask. Anderson explains again:

“The CBO says that the Obamacare subsidies for private insurance will cost $43 billion this year alone. That’s an average of $5,375 per person for those who have been added to the private insurance rolls—or $21,500 per family of four. Meanwhile, the typical 36-year-old (or younger) who makes $36,000 a year (or more) gets $0 under Obamacare. Such everyday Americans instead get to help finance that $5,375-per-person cost for those who get private insurance under Obamacare, while facing far higher premiums and significantly narrower doctor networks themselves.”

“As for those who Obamacare has newly enrolled in Medicaid, they are costing taxpayers even more—an average of $5,692 per person for this year alone ($74 billion divided by 13 million new enrollees).”

Finally, President Obama promised that this would be one step in “fundamentally transforming America.” On this aspect, President Obama has kept his promise wholeheartedly. He upended one-sixth of the American economy to cover around 16 million people, a far cry from universal coverage. Before Obamacare became law there were 47 million uninsured Americans. The math does not add up, so it looks like we have more work to do.

Obamacare is only six years old, but it has already done decades of damage. Instead of more government intrusion into an already complicated industry, America and South Carolina need patient-driven solutions to cure what ails our healthcare industry.

Only Congress can rid us of Obamacare and return dollars and decisions back to states. To date, South Carolina has rejected the fiscal disaster of Medicaid expansion, but there are many different steps we can take to help more South Carolinians gain access to affordable, quality care…and we’re working on them!  Ideas like expanding telemedicine, Volunteer Care, and Right to Try are just a few patient-empowering options on the menu of ideas to provide better, cheaper, more effective healthcare. Listen up Washington!

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Adam is a native of Rock Hill, SC and a graduate of Wofford College. Before joining PPI Adam was a Fellow at the John Jay Institute in Philadelphia, where he furthered his studies in political philosophy and the American founding. When not at work, you’ll probably find Adam reading in a local coffee shop or watching sports.