The Affordable Care Act is getting more unaffordable with premiums going up astronomically this year.
Linda J. Blumberg, John Holahan, and Erik Wengle at the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute, decided to find out just how much prices were increasing and why. They found that going by national averages is meaningless.
“The focus of attention should be on understanding the wide variability by identifying the characteristics of markets that have experienced high premiums or high growth in premiums and of markets with lower premiums or lower growth in premiums.”
Five states – only five – saw a decrease in premium costs while 12 states had increases over 20%, with the Midwest getting hit hardest. Almost every region got hit with price jumps.
The largest increase came from Alaska, which saw premium prices surge 40.2% this year, while on the other end, Indiana’s prices decreased by 12.1%.
In all, about 48% of the population lives in areas where prices decreased or increased by less than 5%. 26.3% of the US population lives in areas that had an increase of more than 15%.
There are many reasons for this but the biggest was competition.
“However, the most important factors associated with lowest-cost silver plan premiums and premium increases are those defining the contours of competition in the market,” the report concluded. “Rating areas with more competitors had significantly lower premiums and lower rates of increase than those that did not.”
We might add it’s big government intruding.
Where regions had Medicaid, the companies couldn’t compete which is understandable. Medicaid has the endless taxpayer ATM from which to draw. We are heading for Single Payer and the taxpayer would simply pay what the insurance companies could not.
Since it’s obvious it’s unaffordable, services will have to be cut.
Doctors have told me they estimate half of the average person’s salary would have to go to healthcare to keep quality the same under a Single Payer system.
The push to expand medicaid in lieu of the unprofitable state exchanges will lead to Single Payer or Medicaid for all as Bernie likes to put it.
The nation’s largest insurer, United Healthcare, has already dropped out, leaving more Americans with one or two choices.
We can’t resurrect Ronald Reagan but at least we can replay his speech on the issue.