Tucson, Ariz. The contrast between the two major party candidates is stark on the key issue of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “ObamaCare”). Hillary Clinton promises to build on its success; Donald Trump pledges to repeal and replace it in his first 100 days, notes the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
Key ACA architect Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist, is back in the public eye at a strategic time, stating that the law in no way needs to be fixed.
AAPS points out that Gruber’s and Clinton’s claims are misleading, and that the full impact of the law’s failures will not be felt until after the election. Here are some claims and the AAPS response:
- Claim: Twenty million more Americans are insured. In fact, a lower percentage of Americans have private insurance than in 2007. The percentage with public insurance has increased from 18% to 25%. ObamaCare is really a massive expansion of Medicaid.
- Claim: Only a few people will suffer from the average 22% increase in premiums for Exchange plans because 85% get subsidies. In fact, half of the people with Exchange products report cutting back on care to manage costs. In some places like Arizona premiums will more than double. Of course, the taxpayer burden increases with subsidies, and at some point the subsidy amount will be scaled back, by law.
- Claim: More plans will enter the Exchanges, if the mandate penalty is increased. In fact, as the threat of a harsher tax penalty acknowledges, people are deciding they are better off paying the penalty than outrageous premiums for poor coverage. And at this time, insurers are dropping out of the Exchanges. The Obama Administration refuses to divulge how many people will have their plans cancelled. Already one in five people have only one Exchange plan available.
The outcome of this election will determine whether there is a chance of repairing ObamaCare damage or whether we will continue on a path toward universal Medicaid,” stated AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in virtually all specialties and every state. Founded in 1943, AAPS has the motto “omnia pro aegroto,” which means “all for the patient.”