Slate had an interesting article arguing that ObamaCare was working until Trump’s sabotage of the health care plan. New data shows that, in 2017, the market finally stabilized. For every dollar they collected in premiums last year, insurers paid out 82 cents on medical claims on average, according to a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s down from 96 cents in 2016 and $1.03 in 2015. “After several years, the remaining insurers figured out how to earn a profit in the individual insurance market,” Kaiser Senior Vice President Larry Levitt said.
Insurers adjusted their premiums high enough that insurers could finally make a profit, and would set the market up for much gentler, single-digit price increases in the future. However, thanks to Donald Trump’s decision to stop paying key subsidies to insurers, premiums shot up once again this year. Early evidence suggests they’ll rise by double digits once again in 2019 in order for insurers to avoid losing money, largely because Republicans chose to repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate, which kept insurance prices down to some degree by requiring all adults to obtain coverage. Middle class families that don’t get financial help are going to take a hit, and many could be priced out of the market.
Again, this could have easily been avoided, had Republicans just left the law alone, instead of trying with every ounce of their power to wreck it. For a hot second, Obamacare was working roughly as intended. And now it’s broken again, and the uninsured rate and cost of health care is on the rise.