The Centers for Disease Control says the health insurance uninsured rate has remained unchanged for three years in a row, meaning despite massive taxpayer costs, the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare is tapped out.
It’s time to try something better says Investor’s Business Daily.
Quoting figures from the CDC, IBD says the overall uninsured rate last year was 9.1%, unhanged from 2015.
Remove retirees, who are automatically covered by Medicare, and the uninsured rate was higher — 10.7% in 2016 — just a fraction from 10.5% in 2015. And IBD says Gallup, which surveys far fewer households than the CDC, showed the uninsured rate climbing in 2017.
ObamaCare defenders point out that the numbers are well below where they were in 2010, at 16%, when President Obama signed the ACA into law. But CDC data says “despite the hoopla over how ObamaCare would ‘fix’ the private insurance market, all the gains in coverage under ObamaCare came because more people are enrolled in Medicaid.”
Thus ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion reduced the uninsured rate, “not the guaranteed issue rules, benefit mandates, the multibillion dollar ObamaCare exchanges, the failed co-op experiments, the insurance bailouts or the tens of billions of dollars each year in premium subsidies.”
CDC data also shows that the uninsured rate among those under age 65 declined from 16.4% in 2007 to 12.4% in 2017. Those covered by private insurance in these years dropped from 66.8% to 65.4% while those covered by government insurance increased from 18.1% to 25.3%.
“If all ObamaCare did was expand Medicaid, it almost certainly would have achieved the same reduction in the uninsured,” says IBD.
While expanding Medicaid, which desperately need reform, to millions more, premiums in the private insurance market soared, pricing many middle class families out of the market altogether. So, says IBD, “if ObamaCare’s combination of government regulation and huge taxpayer subsidies can’t boost private coverage, perhaps another approach would work better.”
Reforms it suggests would rely on private sector competition to keep health costs low and quality high. This would also mean less federal regulation along with more options for cheap insurance, not less, and more incentives for consumers to economize on health care spending.