Voters no longer believe Obamacare promises

Byron York:
In April, Real Clear Politics' average of polls showed that 47 percent of Americans opposed Obamacare, while 41 percent supported it — a 6-percentage-point edge for opponents of the president's health care law, which at the time was still months away from implementation.

The latest average of polls, less than two months into the law's rollout, shows 57 percent opposing Obamacare, with 38 percent supporting — an enormous 19-point gap between opponents and supporters.

The two numbers explain why Republicans made little progress when they tried to warn Americans about Obamacare. For years, GOP warnings about Obamacare were about something that had not yet arrived. People had not experienced Obamacare, did not have friends who had experienced it and didn't fully understand what it was. Many tuned out the Republican alarms.

Now that has changed. Millions of Americans are unhappy with what they have experienced under Obamacare — canceled policies, higher premiums and sky-high deductibles. They are also much more likely to believe predictions of future problems. They've seen what has already happened and now know it can get worse.

So how can it get worse? So far, Obamacare has upended the individual market for health insurance, which covers about 10 million people. The next step, according to the respected health care analyst Robert Laszewski, will likely come in the small-employer market, meaning businesses with anywhere between two and 50 employees. That covers about 45 million people.

"Obamacare is impacting the small-group insurance market in many of the same ways as the individual health insurance market," Laszewski writes. Under Obamacare, the small employers who offer their workers health coverage will be "required to comply with the same essential benefit mandates, age rating changes, and pre-existing condition reforms the individual market faces. That means essentially all small group policies cannot continue as they are — they have to be discontinued."

When the individual market began to roil, Obamacare's defenders were quick to point out that it was a relatively small part — about five percent — of the total U.S. insurance market. The assurance was that everyone else would either be unaffected by Obamacare or benefit from the new law.

It now looks like that will not be the case. In the small-group market, Laszewski predicts many employers will use a feature in the law that allows them to keep their current plans for about a year. But then: "They will likely increase employee premiums and deductibles to keep the wolf from the door for maybe another year." And after that: They will "hope for a rescue party." Not a particularly encouraging scenario for those 45 million people in the market.

And that is why there is more and more talk about Obamacare's "winners" and "losers." It has become impossible to defend President Obama's promise that his health care scheme would make the system work "better for everybody." It's also impossible to defend his claim that Obamacare would "cut the average family's premium by about $2,500 per year." And now even Americans who receive health coverage through their jobs are growing worried that Obama's if-you-like-your-coverage-you-can-keep-it promise, proven false for millions in the individual market, will prove just as false for them.
...
I think it will also take another hit when the large employer market starts raising employer contributions are starts sending its employees to a healthcare exchange where they will have to pay high deductibles which make it possible that many healthy young people will just opt out and pay the fine, which will cause rates to go up even more.

With up to 80 million people possibly losing their employer paid healthcare things can still get worse.  Colorado is the latest blue state to report that its exchange sign ups are barely half of their worse case projections.  The director of Hawaii's healthcare exchange has resigned after it has been plagued with poor performance and turnout.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Russia attacking Iranian forces in Syria

Shortly after Nancy Pelosi visited Laredo, Texas and shook hands with mayor of Nuevo Laredo this happened