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Thirteen Years of Obamacare Increasing Healthcare Costs

President at Paragon Health Institute
Brian Blase, Ph.D., is the President of Paragon Health Institute. Brian was Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House’s National Economic Council (NEC) from 2017-2019, where he coordinated the development and execution of numerous health policies and advised the President, NEC director, and senior officials. After leaving the White House, Brian founded Blase Policy Strategies and serves as its CEO.

The Affordable Care Act turned 13 last week, and I was asked to provide testimony before the House Committee on Ways and Means on how the law, as well as several recent expansions of it, failed to make healthcare more affordable. Here is a slightly modified version of what I told Congress.

The ACA has caused premiums to soar. Individual market premiums more than doubled in the first four years after its implementation, yet plans covered fewer doctors and hospitals. By 2021, the average ACA plan premium plus deductible for a family of four was about $25,000.

Since coverage is cost prohibitive, most enrollees need extremely large subsidies to afford these plans. Taxpayers pay for more than 80% of the premium on average and pick up almost all the cost of premium increases over time. This gives insurers significant pricing power and in turn leads to higher premiums — an inflationary spiral.

To understand the ACA’s effects on our healthcare system, it’s important to acknowledge some basic truths. First, the U.S. does not have a free market for healthcare. Half of U.S. healthcare spending comes from the government. Most of the rest is heavily impacted by government policy.

The full article can be found in the Washington Examiner.

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