Article contributed by: Michael Scott Hollash
When the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, was signed into law in March of 2010, President Obama touted an affordable working system for citizens in need of health care. He stated that everyone should have access to affordable quality health care, and with the plans being offered, people would be able to go to doctors of their choosing, with some plans costing as low as $50 per month.
ObamaCare has consistently seen premiums go up with each passing year since being implemented. Fast forward to enrollment for 2016 coverage. Federal officials stated a 7.5 percent average rate increase in premiums, yet analysis by The Daily Caller News Foundation showed that the average rate increase soared to 20.3 percent. In some parts of the country premiums doubled. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield proposed a 50% hike in premiums in the state of New Mexico, and Florida Blue raised many premiums over 50% in the state of Florida.
The Affordable Care Act had a difficult time from the start getting enough people enrolled to cover sustained lower premiums, and insurance companies have shown record losses. Aetna, the third largest health insurer in America, stated, due to consistent financial losses with ObamaCare plans, that it will only offer insurance through the government-run marketplace in just 4 states this upcoming enrollment for 2017. They will be backing out of 11 states that they are currently offering insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Aetna’s decision follows Humana, United Healthcare, and others, which have cited similar concerns about record financial losses.
The presidential election this November involves different choices between two very different candidates, American health care being a large part of both platforms.
Clinton has stated that she plans to continue the current trajectory of ObamaCare. If continued on its current path of insurers backing out and price jumps, it moves the insured closer to monopolized healthcare with premium increases each time enrollment rolls around.
Donald Trump has stated he wants to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a system that allows full competition in the market and expands insurance sales across state lines. He proposes a price transparency from all health care providers, where people can shop around for the best prices for what they need. Trump clams illegal immigration reform will also help sustain affordable healthcare for citizens. He has stated that providing healthcare to illegal immigrants costs taxpayers roughly $11 billion a year, money that could relieve cost pressures on state and local governments if immigration laws are enforced. Most importantly, Trump wants to abolish the individual mandate for health care, saying no one should be forced to buy health care coverage if they don’t want to.
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