New Insurance Numbers Show the Importance of the Trump Administration’s Health-Care Reforms
New reports from the Census Bureau show that President Trump’s health care reforms are working.
Why is Congresswoman Lauren Underwood so determined to undo the President’s progress?
Underwood and her political partner Nancy Pelosi are determined to pursue Big Government health care policies.
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September 11, 2019 by Brian Blase
The latest Census Bureau survey shows a sizable increase in the number of Americans without health insurance. The number of uninsured climbed from 25.6 million in 2017 to 27.5 million in 2018. Only two demographic groups saw significant declines in coverage: 1) people in Medicaid-expansion states with incomes below the poverty line (about $25,000 for a family of four) and 2) people with incomes above 400 percent of the poverty line (about $100,000 for a family of four).
Democrats were quick to argue the Trump administration is sabotaging Obamacare. The truth is that the administration has worked aggressively to increase options for affordable health care and address Obamacare’s failings. In fact, the Census Bureau numbers are further proof that the administration has taken the correct actions to date.
Just before Obamacare took effect, government experts projected it would lead to nearly 30 million people being insured in the individual market by now. The new exchanges were supposed to offer attractive coverage. At the time, there were around 11 million people covered in the individual market, so the projected increase was substantial. But Obamacare pushed up costs dramatically and caused insurers to leave markets. Rather than 30 million enrollees, only about 14 million enrolled — many of them shoved out of the plans they liked. Nearly 70 percent of those enrolled now receive huge subsidies to afford their expensive policies, and millions of middle-income Americans who don’t qualify for subsidies have been priced out of the market. Federal taxpayers now are paying more than $50 billion a year in Obamacare subsidies, and new individual-market enrollment is up only about 3 million people.
Obamacare contains a major incentive for people to wait until they need health care to purchase coverage. People can buy insurance after they are sick and still get the same rates as healthy people. Others stop paying premiums in the fall and, because of Obamacare’s design, can stay covered for the rest of the year. As they’ve learned more about how Obamacare works, it should not be surprising that more people have figured out how to game the system, causing higher premiums for others.
The number of uninsured Americans in households with income above 400 percent of the poverty line increased by 1.1 million from 2017 to 2018, and the number of uninsured in households with income above 300 percent of the poverty line — about $75,000 for a family of four — increased by 1.6 million. (Most other income groups saw small year-over-year changes in the number of uninsured.) These are people in the middle class, often without an offer of employer coverage, who are playing by the rules and simply can’t afford Obamacare plans since they don’t qualify for a subsidy — people the Trump administration’s health-care reforms are designed to help.
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