Research

New Report: The Not-So-Affordable-After-All Care Act

Despite Obama’s Promises That ObamaCare Would Make Health Insurance Coverage More Affordable To Families, Obama Is Leaving More Americans On Their Own

As A Candidate, Obama Promised That His Health Care Reform Would Save American Families $2,500 A Year By The End Of His First Term. OBAMA: “If you are ready for change, then we can stop talking about the outrage of 47 million people without health insurance and start doing something about it. I’ve put forward a plan that says everybody will have the same health care if they want it that I have as a member of Congress, that you can’t be excluded for pre-existing conditions, we’ll negotiate with the drug companies for the cheapest available prices. If you’re 25 or younger you can stay on your parents’ health insurance. If you’ve got health insurance, we’re going to work with you to lower your premiums by $2,500 per family per year. And we will not wait 20 years from now to do it or 10 years from now to do it. We will do it by the end of my first term as president of the United States of America.” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Columbus, OH, 2/27/08)

Under Obama, Employer-Sponsored Health Care Premiums Have “Skyrocketed.” “Nationwide, the cost of health care has skyrocketed. Premiums for employees rose 3.8 percent at the end of last year, and the cost of insuring a family on an employer-sponsored health care plan is expected to surpass $20,000 for the first time ever this year.” (“Health Insurance Ruling Won’t Make Coverage Cheaper For Most Americans,” The Huffington Post, 6/28/12)

  • Employer-Sponsored Health Care Premiums Rose 3.8 Percent In The Fourth Quarter Of 2011. “Costs also grew for people who get health insurance from their jobs, according to Thomson Reuters. Health insurance premiums for workers rose 3.8 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to a year before. Hospital costs again led the way, increasing 5.6 percent, based on insurance claims data analyzed by Thomson Reuters.” (Jeffrey Young, “Health Care Costs Rise Nearly 6 Percent Nationwide: Report,” The Huffington Post, 4/20/12)

As Health Care Costs Rise, Employers Will Be Forced To Pass On The Higher Costs To Their Employees. “First, consumers are expected to remain sensitive to rising health costs, particularly given continued low projected income growth. In this environment, consumers are likely to continue to be judicious in their use of health care services. Second, employers are expected to continue to focus on controlling costs through tighter management of care within health plans, narrow network availability, or higher cost sharing.” (Sean P. Keehan, Gigi A. Cuckler, Andrea M. Sisko, Andrew J. Madison, Sheila D. Smith, Joseph M. Lizonitz, John A. Poisal and Christian J. Wolfe, “National Health Expenditure Projections: Modest Annual Growth Until Coverage Expands And Economic Growth Accelerates,” Health Affairs, no. (2012))

As ObamaCare Continues To Raise Uncertainty, The Cost Of Health Care Coverage Remains A Concern For Employers And Families

“More Than Two Years After President Obama Signed The Law, The Employer’s Obligation To Dependents Is Unclear.” “The law says an employer with 50 or more full-time employees may be subject to a tax penalty if it fails to offer coverage to ‘its full-time employees (and their dependents).’ However, more than two years after President Obama signed the law, the employer’s obligation to dependents is unclear. In explaining how the penalty is to be computed, the law does not mention dependents. Employers pay a penalty only if one or more full-time employees receive subsidies.” (Robert Pear, “Ambiguity In Health Law Could Make Family Coverage Too Costly For Many,” The New York Times, 8/11/12)

Despite Being Called “The Affordable Care Act,” “Democrats In Congress And Advocates For Low-Income People Say Coverage May Be Unaffordable For Millions Of Americans.” “The new health care law is known as the Affordable Care Act. But Democrats in Congress and advocates for low-income people say coverage may be unaffordable for millions of Americans because of a cramped reading of the law by the administration and by the Internal Revenue Service in particular.” (Robert Pear, “Ambiguity In Health Law Could Make Family Coverage Too Costly For Many,” The New York Times, 8/11/12)

Under New Rules Proposed By The IRS, “Some Working-Class Families Would Be Unable To Afford Family Coverage Offered By Their Employers.” “Under rules proposed by the service, some working-class families would be unable to afford family coverage offered by their employers, and yet they would not qualify for subsidies provided by the law.” (Robert Pear, “Ambiguity In Health Law Could Make Family Coverage Too Costly For Many,” The New York Times, 8/11/12)

The IRS Proposed That The Definition Of “Affordable” Should Be Calculated Based On Individual Coverage, Not The More Expensive Family Coverage. “The law specifies that employer-sponsored insurance is not affordable if a worker’s share of the premium is more than 9.5 percent of the worker’s household income. The I.R.S. says this calculation should be based solely on the cost of individual coverage for the employee, what the worker would pay for ‘self-only coverage.’ Critics say the administration should also take account of the costs of covering a spouse and children because family coverage typically costs much more.” (Robert Pear, “Ambiguity In Health Law Could Make Family Coverage Too Costly For Many,” The New York Times, 8/11/12)

  • “In 2011, According To An Annual Survey By The Kaiser Family Foundation, Premiums For Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Averaged $5,430 A Year For Single Coverage And $15,070 For Family Coverage. The Employee’s Share Of The Premium Averaged $920 For Individual Coverage And More Than Four Times As Much, $4,130, For Family Coverage.” (Robert Pear, “Ambiguity In Health Law Could Make Family Coverage Too Costly For Many,” The New York Times, 8/11/12)

Even Obama’s Best Allies Are Criticizing His Administration’s Decision To Leave Families With Higher Health Insurance Costs

A Letter Sent By Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) And Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) Said “This Wrong Interpretation Of The Law Will Be That Many Families Remain Or Potentially Become Uninsured.” “The debate over the meaning of affordable pits the Obama administration against its usual allies. Many people who support the new law said the proposed rules could leave millions of people in the lower middle class uninsured and frustrate the intent of Congress, which was to expand coverage. ‘The effect of this wrong interpretation of the law will be that many families remain or potentially become uninsured,’ said a letter to the administration from Democrats who pushed the bill through the House in 2009-10. The lawmakers include Representatives Henry A. Waxman of California and Sander M. Levin of Michigan.” (Robert Pear, “Ambiguity In Health Law Could Make Family Coverage Too Costly For Many,” The New York Times, 8/11/12)

Bruce Lesley, President Of Child Advocacy Group First Focus: The Obama Administration’s Affordability Definition “Is A Serious Glitch.” “Bruce Lesley, the president of First Focus, a child advocacy group, said: ‘This is a serious glitch. Under the proposal, millions of children and families would be unable to obtain affordable coverage in the workplace, but ineligible for subsidies to buy private insurance in the exchanges’ to be established in each state.” (Robert Pear, “Ambiguity In Health Law Could Make Family Coverage Too Costly For Many,” The New York Times, 8/11/12)

The SEIU Said The Obama Administration’s Affordability Definition “Discriminates Against Marriage And Families.” “The Service Employees International Union said the proposal ‘discriminates against marriage and families.’” (Robert Pear, “Ambiguity In Health Law Could Make Family Coverage Too Costly For Many,” The New York Times, 8/11/12)