No, ObamaCare Is Not a Failure

Health care costs are rising at slower rates than they were before the law: Op-ed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2016 12:17 PM CDT
No, ObamaCare Is Not a Failure
In this March 23, 2010, file photo, President Barack Obama signs the health care bill in the East Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

It's not just the GOP declaring ObamaCare a failure—even Bill Clinton said earlier this month that Affordable Care Act price increases were "the craziest thing in the world." But "reports of ObamaCare's demise are greatly exaggerated," according to Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell. The truth is that heath care price increases have been very small, and on almost all metrics, health care is currently "much cheaper than anyone predicted when ObamaCare was signed into law." Rampell acknowledges that health care is expensive and health care costs are increasing, but ObamaCare's goal wasn't to drop prices—it was to keep them "from growing at the insane rates we saw in the decades before the law."

And, though it's not clear how much credit for this goes to ObamaCare, health care price increases have been at their slowest rate in five decades. Insurance premiums and deductibles are also rising at a slower rate than they were prior to ObamaCare. And as for individual insurance premiums for plans purchased on the insurance exchanges created by ObamaCare, they are lower than Congress predicted they would be. Total US health care spending is also lower than had been predicted, and Medicare is doing better than it was before ObamaCare. The cost-control measures included in the ACA don't fully account for all of these metrics, so other factors are at play. Even so, "those claims that Obamacare would destroy the economy and send health-care prices through the roof? So far that dog hasn’t barked." Click for Rampell's full piece. (Read more ObamaCare stories.)

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