As reported by Western Journalism, Obamacare has failed to live up to many of the promises made by former President Barack Obama and the Democrats.
Perhaps the most infamous promise broken was Obama’s claim, both before and after the bill’s passage, that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”
Politifact named this promise the “Lie of the Year” in 2013, as over four million cancellation letters went out to policy holders that year, and such letters continued in the years thereafter.
Despite the insurance mandates contained in Obamacare, the former president promised that premiums would go down an average of $2,500 a year per family of four, thereby living up to the name “Affordable Care Act.” However, the opposite proved to be true, and Politifact listed Obama’s assurance as a “Promise Broken.”
The average nationwide premium cost has increased by 99 percent for individuals and 140 percent for families from 2013 through February 2017, according to an eHealth report.
Moreover, the Heritage Foundation determined that 70 percent of U.S. counties have only one or two insurers offering coverage through the Obamacare exchange. Some areas of the country could face having no insurers on the exchange at all in 2018, according to Bloomberg.
Despite the law’s major failings, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., joined with Pelosi in arguing that the only solution is to fix Obamacare.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Durbin pointed to the Republican plan to provide Medicaid funds to the states in block grants as something he could not support. He added that the Republican plan would result in 23 million less people obtaining health insurance, which is what the Congressional Budget Office projected would be the result over 10 years.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., responded, “The amount of dollars going into Medicaid continues to go up year after year. So if Senator Durbin refers to a cut, only in Washington is giving more each year, something you can conceive as a cut, if it doesn’t go up as fast as he would like it to go up.”
Under Obamacare, the Medicaid rolls grew by approximately 12 million people, thanks to new eligibility guidelines. Over 70 million are now enrolled in the program, or about one in every five Americans.
Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies with the Cato Institute, told Western Journalism that even the so-called cuts designed to slow the growth of Medicaid should be viewed with skepticism.
Cannon explained that proposed legislation does not call for true block grants, but rather matching grants based on the number of Medicaid enrollees in each state. States can increase the grant cap simply by increasing the number of enrollees.
Further, Cannon noted, in both the Senate and the House plans, the restraints in the increase in Medicaid spending are not due to take effect until the 2020s, after multiple intervening federal elections. Therefore, he believes the chances of them being repealed is high, particularly since many Republican governors support Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
“This is a Medicaid expansion repeal that was designed never to take effect,” he said.