President Obama just finished speaking about Obamacare a few minutes ago. Several of his claims merit specific responses:
- The President claimed that Obamacare was serving as a “check on rising costs.” But what he didn’t say is that Obamacare is actually reducing costs—because it’s not. The non-partisan Medicare actuary concluded that Obamacare would raise national health spending by hundreds of billions of dollars.
- The President claimed that the 85 percent of individuals with employer-provided health insurance are seeing “better benefits.” But there’s a catch—nothing in life is free. For instance, Obamacare’s “free” preventive benefits in most cases will actually raise costs and premiums. And given that then-Senator Obama promised to lower premiums by $2,500 per family when selling his health plan in 2008, it’s another admission of how the law has fallen short.
- The President claimed that those buying health insurance in the individual market would see more choice lower premiums due to Obamacare. But that’s not what the Congressional Budget Office said: The non-partisan agency concluded that individuals would have fewer choices and would be forced to buy more expensive insurance, because Obamacare’s benefit mandates would drive up premiums:
Average premiums would be 27 percent to 30 percent higher because a greater amount of coverage would be obtained. In particular, the average insurance policy in this market would cover a substantially larger share of enrollees’ costs for health care (on average) and a slightly wider range of benefits. Those expansions would reflect both the minimum level of coverage (and related requirements) specified in the proposal and people’s decisions to purchase more extensive coverage in response to the structure of subsidies.
The President claimed that policymakers should not “refight old battles”—and he’s right. Not even rebate checks given to a few million policyholders can hide Obamacare’s failure to meet his pledge to lower premiums by $2,500 per family. He should finally admit that the law has failed to achieve his campaign promises. And Congress should use that failed promise as justification to refuse to spend a single dime on Obamacare.