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Obamacare Premiums Set To Skyrocket




Obamacare premiums will rise by an average of 22 percent in 2017, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  That’s more than triple last year’s premium increase of 7.2 percent.

News of the devastating hikes is the latest bad news to befall U.S. president Barack Obama‘s signature domestic policy achievement.

What happened?  Easy: The plan doesn’t work.  Despite the threat of constitutionally-dubious government mandates, young, healthy enrollees have simply not enrolled in sufficient numbers to balance out the influx of older, sicker consumers.

As a result, the law that was supposed to create competition in the marketplace is instead destroying it.

Five states – Alaska, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming – will offer only one Obamacare provider in 2017.   This year only one state (Wyoming) fell into that category.

That’s a far cry from the “more choices, more competition” Obama promised in rolling out his new law.

Beyond the broader lack of competition, insurers offering coverage within the marketplace are scaling back provider networks – meaning more Americans who like their doctors will no longer be able to keep them.

“If you like your doctor or health care plan, you can keep it,” Obama famously promised in promoting his law.

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(Pic via The White House)

Higher premiums also mean a higher cost to taxpayers, who must dole out increasingly larger subsidies to keep the plan afloat.

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has proposed repealing Obamacare and block granting federal Medicaid monies to the states.  He also wants to extend employer tax exemptions for insurance coverage to individuals – and apply market-based reforms to the prescription drug market.

Trump’s campaign said the latest premium hike data “shows why the entire program must be repealed and replaced.”

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has vowed to “defend and expand the Affordable Care Act.”  Earlier this year in South Carolina, in fact, Clinton embraced Obamacare as “one of the greatest accomplishments of President Obama, of the Democratic Party, and of our country.”

Clinton’s husband, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, has expressed different views.  In fact he called Obamacare “the craziest thing in the world” during a campaign stop in Flint, Michigan earlier this month.

“You’ve got this crazy system where all (of a) sudden 25 million more people have healthcare and then the people are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half,” Clinton said.  “The people who are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little bit too much to get any of these subsidies.”

The ex-president attempted to walk back his comments the following day, although he seemed to do even more damage to his wife’s campaign by obliterating the myth of the Obama “recovery.”

(Banner via iStock)