As further proof of Obamacare’s collapse, last week Anthem announced that next year it will be pulling out of the Obamacare exchanges in Wisconsin and Illinois. Anthem, one of largest insurance providers in the nation, also stated earlier this month that it will leave Ohio’s individual insurance market. As the last statewide insurer in Ohio, the move will leave at least 18 counties and approximately 10,000 Ohioans without insurance options in the Obamacare exchanges.
With Obamacare continuing to self-destruct, Anthem joins Aetna, Humana, and other major insurers either completely exiting the market or drastically raising premiums. Until meaningful healthcare reform passes, this growing trend will only continue. Medica, the only insurer in most Iowa counties, just announced it will be increasing premiums by an average of 43.5 percent in 2018. Americans were promised that premiums would be lower under Obamacare, but as many predicted, the exact opposite is occurring. A new federal report states that 47 counties will be without any insurer while 1,200 will only have one option next year. Obamacare promised to increase insurance accessibility, but the law’s many regulations and mandates have led to care that is unaffordable or out of reach for too many.
It was also promised that no American family earning less the $250,000 would pay higher taxes under Obamacare. However, this was another lie. Of the almost 20 new taxes from the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance tax is one of the most egregious, which will cost Americans $14.3 billion in 2018. The American Action Forum estimated that this tax will increase premiums by $5,000 over a decade, directly affecting millions of families and small businesses.
Last Thursday, the Senate Republicans released the Better Care Reconciliation Act, their version of health care reform. It includes measures that put people in charge of their healthcare decisions, like freeing Americans from the onerous individual and employer mandates and almost doubling the amount people can put in health savings accounts. In order to lower costs and expand choices, the Senate bill cuts the burdensome taxes imposed by Obamacare by $701 billion. The proposal also contains needed Medicaid reforms that phase out its expansion and provides states with the flexibility to best serve their citizens.
Republicans also need to fix the system as the public is anxious for reform. 64 percent of Americans, including 53 percent of Republicans, state that Trump and Congressional Republicans are responsible for any further problems with Obamacare. Anthem’s exit adds urgency to the cause and as millions of Americans struggle to find affordable health care under Obamacare, it is imperative that the system is reformed sooner rather than later.
Photo Credit: Dustin Gaffke