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Debate Highlight: Obama's Failed Record On Health Care Premiums

- October 17, 2012

Mitt Romney: The Middle Class Have Been Crushed By Increasing Health Care Premiums Under Obama. "And -- and the reason I want middle-income taxpayers to have lower taxes is because middle-income taxpayers have been buried over the past four years. You've seen, as middle-income people in this country, incomes go down $4,300 a family even as gasoline prices have gone up $2,000. Health insurance premiums -- up $2,500. Food prices up, utility prices up. The middle-income families in America have been crushed over the last four years. So I want to get some relief to middle-income families. That's part -- that's part one." (Mitt Romney, Presidential Debate, Hempstead, NY, 10/16/12)

The Obama Record On Health Care Premiums Leaves Much To Be Desired

Under Obama, The Average Cost Of Family Health Care Premiums Has Increased By $3,065 From $12,680 To $15,745, A 24.2 Percent Increase. ("Employer Health Benefits, 2012 Annual Survey, Exhibit 6.4" The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012)

  • "The Average Annual Premiums In 2012 Are $5,615 For Single Coverage And $15,745 For Family Coverage." ("Employer Health Benefits, 2012 Annual Survey," The Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/11/12)
  • "Average Premiums Increased 3% For Single Coverage And 4% For Family Coverage In The Last Year." ("Employer Health Benefits; 2012 Annual Survey," The Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/11/12)

Americans Aren't "Better Off" As The 4 Percent Increase In Health Care Premiums Has Outpaced "The Rise In Wages." "Slower growth in health insurance premiums doesn't mean workers are better off, however. The 4 percent increase in the cost of job-based health benefits is still higher than the rise in wages, which went up 1.7 percent, or inflation, which was 2.3 percent, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Health Research and Educational Trust and the journal Health Affairs noted in a press release." (Jeffrey Young, "Health Care Costs For Workers Almost Doubled Since 2002, New Survey Finds," The Huffington Post, 9/11/12)

  • "The Rise In Premiums Easily Outpaced Workers' Raises And Inflation." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Premiums For Family Health Plans Hit $15,745," The Associated Press, 9/11/12)

As ObamaCare Continues To Be Enacted, Premiums Will Rise And Health Care Will Become Unaffordable

Once ObamaCare Is Fully Implemented, Family Health Care Premiums Will Increase $2,404 Annually. (Douglas W. Elmendorf, CBO Director, Letter To Senator Evan Bayh, 11/30/09; "Updated Estimates For The Insurance Coverage Provisions Of The Affordable Care Act Updated For The Recent Supreme Court Decision," Congressional Budget Office, 7/24/12)

  • The CBO Estimates That Premiums "Will Be 2 Percent Higher Than Those Estimated In March 2012." "The additional enrollees are likely to spend more on health care, on average, than those previously expected to purchase insurance through the exchanges because people with lower income generally have somewhat poorer health. As a result, CBO and JCT now estimate that the premiums for health insurance offered through the exchanges, along with premiums in the individual market, will be 2 percent higher than those estimated in March 2012." ("Updated Estimates For The Insurance Coverage Provisions Of The Affordable Care Act Updated For The Recent Supreme Court Decision," Congressional Budget Office, 7/24/12)

FactCheck.org: ObamaCare "Falls Short Of Making Health Care 'Affordable And Available To Every Single American,' As Promised." "Furthermore, the law falls short of making health care 'affordable and available to every single American,' as promised. The law provides subsidies to help some Americans buy insurance, expands Medicaid and doesn't allow insurance companies to exclude persons with preexisting conditions. But still, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected 23 million persons will remain uninsured - some because they can't afford coverage."(D'Angelo Gore, "Promises, Promises," FactCheck.org, 1/4/12)

  • FactCheck.org: ObamaCare Is Actually Making Health Care "Less Affordable." "At the moment, the new law is making health care slightly less affordable. Independent health care experts say the law has caused some insurance premiums to rise. As we wrote in October, the new law has caused about a 1 percent to 3 percent increase in health insurance premiums for employer-sponsored family plans because of requirements for increased benefits. Last year's premium increases cast even more doubt on another promise the president has made - that the health care law would 'lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year." (D'Angelo Gore, "Promises, Promises," FactCheck.org, 1/4/12)
  • The Washington Post 's The Fact Checker: "Moreover, at this point it is debatable whether the law has made health care more affordable. Insurance premiums have gone up, in part because of new benefits mandated by the law." (Glenn Kessler, "The Fine Print In Obama's 'Promises Kept' Ad," The Washington Post's " The Fact Checker," 1/6/12)
  • The Washington Post's The Fact Checker: "Bad News … Premiums Almost Certainly Will Go Up." "But the bad news is that, on average, premiums almost certainly will go up - with some people really getting hit with increases." (Glenn Kessler, "President Obama's Claim That Insurance Premiums 'Will Go Down,'" The Washington Post's " The Fact Checker," 8/10/12)
  • The Washington Post's The Fact Checker: Young Adults Will "Have Sticker Shock When They See What Happens To Their Premiums Starting In 2014." "The law's provisions, especially the requirement for essential benefits, will almost certainly increase premiums, though tax subsidies will help mitigate the impact for a little over half of the people in the exchanges. But a lot of other people - such as a young male who currently has a plan that does not include all of the required benefits - are likely going to have sticker shock when they see what happens to their premiums starting in 2014." (Glenn Kessler, "President Obama's Claim That Insurance Premiums 'Will Go Down,'" The Washington Post's " The Fact Checker," 8/10/12)

"Hang On To Your Wallets," ObamaCare Has Failed To Tackle Unaffordable Health Care Costs. "But hang on to your wallets. Premiums averaged $15,745, with employees paying more than $4,300 of that, a glaring reminder that the nation's problem of unaffordable medical care is anything but solved." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Premiums For Family Health Plans Hit $15,745," The Associated Press, 9/11/12)


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