Senator Bernie Sanders has suspended his presidential campaign, leaving the nomination unchallenged for former Vice President Joe Biden. But you can be sure Bernie’s still pushing his progressive agenda.While Sanders wants to ram socialized medicine down our throats (Medicare for All), Joe Biden prefers to “protect and build on ObamaCare.” Is that a better choice?
ObamaCare was supposed to increase health care coverage for uninsured Americans while lowering insurance premiums by $2500 per year for everyone else. It did increase the number of Americans with healthcare coverage – but mostly by expanding Medicaid to able-bodied adult males who were never supposed to be covered in the first place. Medicaid was designed as a program for the disabled, pregnant women, adult caretakers and poor children, but ObamaCare made it available for anyone earning up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). The losers in this deal are the taxpayers.
Also, that $2500 reduction in your health care insurance never happened – but you know that! That’s another promise made by President Obama that never came to pass. Just like his famous promise, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
Grace-Marie Turner, writing in Forbes, gives us her top three reasons why the law failed to fulfill its political promises and why it is the wrong platform for reform:
- Health insurance premiums more than doubled – The reality is that healthcare premiums doubled in the first four years while deductibles and co-pays sky-rocketed. Many people who now are “covered” by insurance still can’t afford to visit the doctor due to the high deductibles and co-pays.
- Millions of families are losing their insurance because of costs –The people in the worst situation are those who earn more than 138% of FPL (not eligible for Medicaid) and more than 400% of FPL (not eligible for subsidies). One father in Fredericksburg, Virginia, said his health insurance premiums cost $4,000 a month. That’s more than his mortgage! No subsidies means no health insurance for his family.
- ObamaCare’s “Essential Benefits” – These requirements of every ObamaCare approved policy unnecessarily raised premiums while providing worthless benefits such as mammograms for men and prostate exams for women. To keep premiums relatively low, insurers jacked up the deductibles and co-pays to $6000 to even $10,000 per person per year. That’s really no insurance at all.
The result is the expansion of Medicaid to people who don’t really need it at a cost of billions of dollars to taxpayers. Moreover, the same taxpayers are spending billions more to provide subsidies to roughly eight million people who purchase their insurance on the exchanges. Many of these had lower cost premium plans before ObamaCare but now are forced to purchase expensive plans with benefits they don’t need.
In summary, ObamaCare has provided:
- Medicaid for people never intended to receive it
- Subsidized expensive insurance for those earning slightly more
- Unaffordable expensive insurance for those earning slightly more than that
- Unnecessarily expensive insurance for everyone
We cannot afford to “protect and build” on a healthcare plan that is fundamentally flawed, artificially expensive, and functionally useless for millions of Americans. ObamaCare is a failed healthcare system, and it’s time Joe Biden accepted this reality.