President Obama promised a lot of things when he entered the Oval Office six years ago. At the top of his list? Affordable health care. However, under the complicated, one-size-fits-all Affordable Care Act, health care costs have risen — and are going, going, going up.
One in three insured Americans have put off getting medical treatment because of cost — the highest amount in 14 years. And for the uninsured, over half — 57% — have put off health care costs.
Costs for specialty drugs for rare or severe illnesses are increasing, too. For many of these prescriptions, patients practice co-insurance, paying a percentage of the cost rather than a blanket copayment. This past year, co-insurance charges rose from 27% to 41%.
Even the cost of insurance itself has risen. Many, if not most, of the seven million people who purchased insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchange can look forward to higher premiums or deductibles this year — in some cases, an increase as high as 28%.
And if you don’t want Obamacare? Too bad. President Obama has made sure to implement fines for those who don’t sign on to his plan. For some families this could be almost $1,000 a year — not an ideal use of the family budget.
Part of these high costs are because of the rushed nature of the bill’s creation and the mass confusion that still surrounds it. Just this week, two top Senate Democracts lamented their decision to create and pass Obamacare. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) admitted that health care reform — like Obamacare — should not have been attempted, and that “about 85% of all Americans were fine with their health care in 2009,” before President Obama forced his health care agenda, and now American families are being hurt.
Sen. Tom Harkin, one of the coauthors of the Affordable Care Act told The Hill:
“We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn’t do it. So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all.
“What we did is we muddle through and we got a system that is complex, convoluted, needs probably some corrections and still rewards the insurance companies extensively,” he added.
So six years after the President’s promise of “affordable health care,” Americans are saddled with a complicated, costly, and unnecessary law. Oh, and another broken promise.
House Republicans know health care reform is imperative. By examining the Affordable Care Act piece by piece, we can make access to quality health care easier, lower costs, and reduce the red tape that so many American families are now wrapped in.
America’s New Congress is ready to answer the requests of the people who elected them — and this starts with real reforms that put more money back in the pockets of American families.