(BigGovernment.news) One of the myriad of promises made regarding the Affordable Care Act – and probably, if we were to guess, the most important of all them – is that it would dramatically reduce the cost of health care, both to individuals and to hospitals and providers.
Well, Obamacare has failed to accomplish this lofty goal as well, and yet few in Washington – including Republicans who never voted for the law to begin with – are serious about repealing portions of the law that have devastated free-market health care delivery.
As noted by the National Center for Policy Analysis, while other sectors of the economy are undergoing mild deflationary pressures, the healthcare sector is not one of them. The Producer Price Index slipped 0.4 percent in October, but of the 14 sub-indices for health-related goods and services, only three declined month on month.
NCPA further noted:
Outside health care, producer prices for both final and intermediate demand goods have declined precipitously since September 2014. This makes the increases in producer prices of health-related goods especially disturbing. Pharmaceutical preparations increased in price by 8.4 percent year on year, versus a 4.8 percent decline in prices of final demand goods. That is, using final demand goods as a baseline, prices for pharmaceutical preparations increased 13.2 percent! Price increases for other health-related goods have not been so dramatic.
Besides services and Big Pharma, other health-associated costs that President Obama insisted would decrease under his plan have also risen, many dramatically – like health insurance premiums and deductibles.
As noted by The Wall Street Journal in August, many insurers around the country are being granted double-digit premium hikes because they are being forced to cover sicker people who are able to sign up for coverage under Obamacare’s individual mandate.
And as NPR reported in September, the average American worker now has to pay nearly $1,100 out-of-pocket before their health plans begin to cover them – a whopping 67 percent increase in the five years since the ACA passed:
The higher deductibles — combined with more modest but consistent increases in premiums — mean health cost for consumers are growing faster than income, and taking an ever larger bite out of household budgets.
“Deductibles have been going up so much faster than wages, almost seven times faster than wages,” said Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “When out-of-pocket costs are going up at a time when wages are flat, the pain level is still pretty high.”
Repealing and replacing Obamacare has come up during the 2016 presidential debates, but only among top-tier Republican candidates.
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