Obamacare was marketed to lower health insurance quotes for Americans but it is not happening and I don't think anyone is surprised. I'm not. I don't think those who pushed Obamacare really expected it to lower insurance premiums. I doubt they really believed their own sales pitch. In Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is requesting a 62% average premium increase.
Not only are we seeing rate increases among insurers selling on the exchange but the number of insurers on the exchange is decreasing from five in 2015, to four in 2016 to only three in 2017. Those insurers aren't serving the whole state either. People in 60 percent of Tennessee’s counties will only have one insurer on the marketplace. Also the network of doctors within a policy network is shrinking.
With rising premiums, less choice, large deductibles and large copay's, I suspect that even those who initially thought Obamacare was a good thing will become critics. I suspect some will chose to pay the tax penalty rather than purchase an insurance policy. With these healthy people refusing to purchase, premiums will have to continue to rise. It can only get worse.
Obamacare is a failure. If I were a cynic I would believe it was designed to fail. All along, I think what Democrats really wanted was a single-payer national health care system or "Medicare for all." What we have now is not working and it must change. The question is, will we institute market-oriented reform or fully socialized medicine.
One good unintended thing to come out of Obamacare is that there has been a growth of options for people who cannot afford to use their insurance. Walk-in clinics, called MinuteClinics by CVS, are growing. This may help people to get accustomed to paying for their own basic health care. Just as we do not expect car insurance to pay for oil changes, we should not expect health insurance to pay for a child's ear infection. If people pay for most of their routine health care needs out of pocket, then people could get used to the idea that insurance should only cover catastrophic illnesses and there could be less demand for a government take over of health care.
For more on the proposed rate hikes, follow this link.