The Affordable Care Act’s popularity shouldn’t just be measured by the number of people who enrolled, especially considering the fact that purchasing healthcare was made mandatory at gunpoint.
Another number to consider is how many people chose not to take part in the ACA’s exchanges. It’s one thing to avoid purchasing a particular product because one does not approve of that product. It is an entirely different ball game if that person is willing to pay a fine to the government to avoid participating.
Apparently, 6.5 million Americans believed that paying the fine was a more cost-effective solution to the Obamacare problem in 2016.
Scott Rassumssen of Ballotpedia found that paying the fine was more alluring than forced participation on the Obamacare exchanges.
The mandate has always been the most unpopular part of President Obama’s healthcare law, officially known as the Affordable Care Act. In addition to those who pay the fine rather than buy the mandated levels of insurance, 15 million people would drop their Obamacare coverage if it were legal to do so.
This does not necessarily mean that these individuals want to go without insurance. Obamacare requires every insurance policy to cover a set of what it defines as Essential Health Benefits. The more benefits that a plan covers, the more expensive it is. Some people might prefer to buy less comprehensive insurance at a lower cost. For example, one option might be to buy insurance only for major healthcare costs such as surgeries or hospitalizations.
Another thing that Rasmussen considered was the fact that most Americans receive health plans through their employer. However, increased healthcare costs over the past several decades have put a huge dent into wages taken home.
In fact, Rasmussen found that if the costs of benefits were the same as they were a generation ago, the average worker would take home nearly $3,300 more per year. But more government regulation in the healthcare sector has drastically increased the cost of obtaining medical care; red tape and taxes increase costs and gum up the works.
So there are at least two major overarching problems here: one, it is becoming more difficult to get good insurance without compromising one’s household income; and two, getting coverage through the Obamacare exchange market is simply not appealing to that many people. Those two facts alone create quite a mess of the industry.
Healthcare policy analyst Bob Laszewski believes the ongoing unpopularity of Obamacare insurance coverage raises questions about “stability in the individual-health-insurance market.” He notes that “only about 40 percent of those eligible for subsidies have signed up for coverage. In what other business or government program would such a dismal acceptance by those it was targeted to serve be considered a success?”
National Review summed up the current state of the Obamacare program this way:
- The individual-health-insurance market is shrinking, with the unsubsidized market shrinking 29 percent in the last year.
- The big rate and deductible increases will continue at least into 2018.
- The number of insurance companies participating is on track to shrink by 38 percent in 2018.
- After four years of attempts by the Obama administration, no more than 40 percent of those eligible for subsidies availed themselves of the program.
- But insurance-company profitability might be improving.
If the law is so popular, why are only 40% of those eligible for subsidies signed up for subsidized coverage? Is there something else that maybe people don’t like about it?
Maybe because the plans they offer are just not that great? Or because there is less flexibility and more cost with these plans? Or because the entire apparatus is so flimsy that insurers are withdrawing from various markets because of the unsustainable projections?
The Left will continue to ignore this, and it is becoming increasingly clear that the GOP had no real intention of repealing this mess after all; they just wanted the campaign issue.
It’s Americans, regular everyday folks, who are left to make the difficult choices, while elitist eggheads continue to enjoy their arrogant lifestyles, insulated from the reality that exists outside the Capital Beltway.