Up, Up, And Away

March 21, 2016


With the presidential primary season in full bloom, several hot-button topics have received truck-loads of attention—immigration policy, tax reform, job creation, Obamacare repeal. Though most of these policy discussion are crucially important, one policy in particular is making life beyond difficult for Americans—and increasingly so year after year. If you haven’t guessed already, we are, of course, referring to Obamacare.

Considering we’ve been warning and reporting on the ACA’s adverse effects since day one, you probably already know where Palmetto Promise stands on the issue. And we—unsurprisingly—have even more evidence that Obamacare is still unworkable, unpopular, and most definitely unaffordable. This real-life example comes from Christopher Press of Ohio:

“This year my family joined millions of others whose health-insurance premium has become their biggest annual expense. More than our mortgage. More than our property taxes. More than our state income tax. More than our annual food or energy costs. With this year’s $194-a-month premium increase, I could roughly buy a Chevy Sonic or Ford Fiesta. Since 1999 our premiums are up 350%. Bad as this is, the story gets worse.”

Christopher isn’t joking—the story gets much, much worse. And unfortunately, his situation mirrors the crisis millions of his fellow Americans find themselves trapped in.

“Since early 1999 my family’s health-care cost risk has increased 1,190%. Over the same period, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up about 80%, the consumer-price index is up 42%, gold is up 200%, median new home prices are up 74%, and the average cost per gigabyte of hard drive is down 99% to under three cents from $22.

Here’s the math behind my whopping increase. In 1999, having gone into business for myself, I needed health insurance for my then-young family. To enroll, I met a Blue Cross Blue Shield agent at Starbucks. (Quaint, huh?) We insured our family of four for $274 a month with a $250-per-person deductible.

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Our annual health-care cost risk was $274 x 12, plus $1,000 in deductibles for a total of $4,288. My individual risk (that is, my personal share, excluding my dependents) was $1,072. By 2009, those figures had jumped to $10,716 in annual premiums for our family of four, plus $2,000 in deductibles—a threefold increase in health-care cost risk.

Since ObamaCare became law, the increase has been more than fourfold. The kids are “OTP”—off the payroll; just my wife and me now. In December 2014, I shopped on the Internet (not so quaint) for new health insurance. I bought a Bronze plan for two people that cost $1,037 a month and had a $12,600 family deductible ($6,300 each). We were blessed last year; we didn’t have perfect health but never filed a claim.

So I was shocked when my 2016 renewal notice showed a 19% monthly premium increase to $1,231—with a higher deductible. All comparable Bronze plans were within dollars of each other, so I grudgingly renewed. My individual health-care cost risk for 2016? It is $1,231 x 12, plus $12,900 in deductibles, for a grand total of $27,672. My individual share is half—$13,836. Nearly 13 times more than the $1,072 of 1999.”

Fourfold…You heard that right, premiums haven’t just double or tripled, they’ve increase four times since the law’s passage. No wonder millions of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, month-to-month without reprieve. The evidence speaks for itself—the ACA harms South Carolinians and all Americans.

Mr. Press wraps up his article by simply questioning the Washington politicians and big government advocates’ claim that Obamacare successfully helps Americans afford their healthcare:

“How can we claim to have the world’s best health-care system when a healthy family’s insurance premiums are its largest household expense?”

That doesn’t sound like success to us. You can read Mr. Press’ full op-ed here.