Why Obamacare premiums are rising faster than expected
Posted On June 29, 2021
Health care costs for Americans have risen more rapidly than expected, rising at the fastest pace in more than three decades, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The CBO report is the latest in a string of reports from the agency showing rising health care costs, which has been a constant theme in the Republican Party.
Republicans have argued that President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is an overpriced boondoggle that is driving up the cost of health care.
They say that the ACA, which was passed in 2010 and expanded in 2014, is a failure and a hoax that has not delivered on the promise of universal health care, and that the federal government should not be in charge of providing the care.
The report released Wednesday finds that average premiums for a standard plan have gone up nearly 12 percent since the start of 2018.
That rate is more than double the 8.3 percent increase in the national average in 2017, and the highest in three years, the CBO said.
But the CBO’s report also shows that premiums have been rising faster for those with employer-sponsored insurance.
The average premium for a worker with employer coverage increased 2.7 percent, or by more than $1,000, since the end of 2018, the nonpartisan agency said.
It is the first time in the CBO report’s history that average premium increases have exceeded the national rate.
The number of people without employer-based health insurance has grown at a rate that is three times higher than the national increase, the report said.
The biggest increases in premium increases were for the bronze plan, which covers health insurance for people under age 26, and silver plans, which cover people between age 26 and 64.
The largest premium increases for a typical worker were in the group of plans sold through the federal Marketplace, a government-run exchange where people can shop for private health insurance and buy policies from a state or a federal government agency.
The study comes at a time when Republican leaders are trying to convince the American people that the Affordable Care Care Act is working and that they can repeal it.
The GOP has argued that the law is too expensive and that it has caused premiums to skyrocket.
But many experts, including those from the Congressional Budget Services, a nonpartisan agency, have said that the increase in premiums is unlikely to be driven by the law itself.
They said the increase is largely the result of changes to the individual market and to the Medicaid expansion.
CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said in a statement that the findings of its report are important because they provide an update on how the market is operating, and provide additional evidence that the marketplace is working as intended.
“In addition to providing a detailed analysis of how premiums are evolving in the individual insurance market, the analysis also provides a snapshot of trends in premiums as they are expected to evolve over the coming years,” Elmendorff said.