The Unaffordable Care Act: the Gift That Keeps on Taking


It seems to be a non-story in the mainstream press, but ACA premiums and out-of-pocket costs are soaring even as doctor and plan choices contract. “Employees are being forced to cut back on their retirement savings in order to meet the skyrocketing cost of their health insurance. Based on the numbers being bandied about by the Kaiser Family Foundation, it seems average families will soon have to decide between food and healthcare,” according to a post by “The Burning Platform.”

Families are paying $300 to $400 per week for barely acceptable coverage.

“Obamacare is an unequivocal disaster that has resulted in less job growth, small business closures, worse care, less options for consumers, higher health insurance premiums for all, and soaring profits among mega-insurers, mega-hospital corporations, drug conglomerates, drug stores, drug wholesalers, and the political campaign coffers of corrupt bought off politicians. It’s the gift that keeps taking from hard working Americans.”

The amount taken is three times as high as the Obama Administration claims. The real increase in premiums for exchange plans is 20.3%—almost three times the claimed 7.5%. Partly because of cost and narrowing choices, 1.8 million people (more than 10%!) allowed their coverage to lapse between January and September of this year by not paying their premiums.

Increases in 2016 will eclipse those of 2014 and 2015. Senate Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, “Everything we predicted is coming true. Higher premiums, higher co-payments, higher deductibles, lost jobs.”

The worst sticker shock for many is not the premiums but the bills that roll in if you get sick. One family of two spent half their annual income on insurance and deductibles courtesy of the “Affordable” care act.

The socialist idea of course is to take from the rich to give to the poor. To maximize social welfare, the optimal tax rate on high earners should be set between 50 to 70%, say economists Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez. But the taking doesn’t result in significant change in income inequality, writes Aparna Mather.

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