The Department of Health and Human Services is out with a new report today about costs and subsidies in the health care exchanges under the president’s health care law. So how does it compare to other analyses? A recent analysis conducted by Avik Roy in Forbes finds that, “Obamacare increased 2014 individual-market premiums by average of 49%. … Those who face higher premiums, higher taxes, or both, appear to outnumber those whom the law has made better off. That alone isn’t a test of the law’s virtue – but it is a measure of the law’s failed promise.”
It’s not just premiums that are costing more; the cost of the law itself remains a top concern. The Los Angeles Times points out, “the total cost of subsidies could top $16.5 billion this year.” But the Congressional Budget Office said it is throwing in the towel on quantifying the law’s price tag.
The HHS report focuses on the number of Americans who qualify for subsidies in the Federally Facilitated Marketplaces. But, the report ignores whether or not these individuals have actually paid for, and continue to pay for, their plans, and ensuring actual enrollment. HHS also fails to confirm whether or not these individuals are some of the millions with inconsistencies on their applications.
The president promised, “We’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.” The president promised he “would not sign a health insurance reform bill if it raised the deficit by one dime.” Even after abandoning a verification process for the health care exchanges over the July 4th holiday last summer, the administration insisted it had “put in place an effective and efficient system for verification of eligibility for premium tax credits and cost sharing reductions.”
“Sadly, the price Americans are paying for the president’s broken promises continues to soar. From cancelled plans to lost doctors to higher costs, the promises the president relied upon to sell his plan to the American people have not held true, but the bills will be coming due nonetheless,” commented Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA).”