Healthcare Costing More, Obamacare Limiting Access
February 15, 2013
Throughout the debate on healthcare reform, the President and Congressional Democrats promised that the reforms they were seeking were being done in the name of lowering costs and increasing access to care. Now that Obamacare is finally being implemented, the opposite has become true – healthcare costs have risen, and the exchanges promised to expand access to millions.
According to a survey conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust, the cost of employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums jumped increased for 2012. Specifically, the cost of buying health insurance for a family of four increased 4% to $15,745 in 2012,
In 2011, insurance premiums rose 9% from the year before.
The impacts of rising insurance costs fell heavily on lower-income families. At companies where at least 35% of workers earn $24,000 or less, employees paid an average of $1,000 more each year than workers at companies where at least 35% of employees earn $55,000 or more, the joint report found. In addition to sky-high premiums, those same workers were also more likely to pay high deductibles. The survey found that 44% of workers at companies with many low-wage employees face an annual deductible of $1,000 or more, compared with 29% of those at companies with many high-wage workers.
According to a new report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, Congress’ official bean counters are concerned with the implementation of Obamacare, and the legislation’s ability to open access to care to more Americans. The report issued recently has found that fewer uninsured people will get coverage, insurance options will be more limited, and more employers will stop covering their workers. In addition, the report suggests that the new health insurance marketplaces set to launch later this year are unlikely to be completely ready in time. These are the same exchanges that were setup to compete with private sector insurance companies.
This latest news of increased costs and lessening access to care shows what many opponents to the method of healthcare reform had said from the beginning. Sweeping changes to the way our nation operates its healthcare system is having the opposite effects of what was originally intended. Not only is the overhaul in need of its own reform, it makes the previous system seem more transparent, accessible and cost effective.