Several years in, Obamacare isn't as bad as you thought... it's worse

Last night John wrote at length about how the true cost of Obamacare matches up against traditional employer offered plans. That’s all true, but there’s more to consider here. Even if you get your healthcare coverage through your employer, the creeping tendrils of Obamacare are hitting you in the wallet and they’re hitting hard. One of the lingering questions which has yet to be fully answered is how employers would react to the costs imposed under the system, particularly when the employer mandate is taken into consideration. Forbes recently published an analysis of the situation which shows that not all employers have reacted with immediate job cuts, but there’s been a lot of shuffling going on to try to keep these expenses under control on their end.

[E]ven if full-time jobs are growing relative to part-time jobs, ObamaCare could still be inhibiting the growth of full-time work by slowing the growth of full-time jobs. The survey offers some evidence to suggest this might be the case. Four percent of large employers are “reducing or planning to reduce the number of full-time employees that they intended to hire because of the cost of providing health benefits to them.”

No matter what the impact on employment, those fortunate enough to have a job which offers benefits will continue to pay rates which are increasing at an historic pace. If you want to dig into precisely how much more you’ll be paying in 2017 for your work based health insurance, check out The Cost of Obamacare. The estimated increase in premiums for each state is available and while there’s no good news for employees, precisely how bad it is varies from state to state. You’ll see cost increases which range from 7.5% in New Jersey to 38% in Arizona. Here in New York it’s more than 17%.

Keep in mind that these are increases in a single year. How many of you got a raise of more than 17% this year? Unless you invented a new miracle drug which cures cancer or launched the latest hot app for smartphones, odds are you didn’t. Even if you received a modest increase in your paycheck, there’s a good chance that it will be completely negated (and then some) when you see your new premium costs.

Are people paying attention to this, what with all the other dire news occupying their minds during this election season? A new poll indicates that patients still have this on their mind as a priority.

The big takeaway is that Americans are deeply unsatisfied with their health coverage and with the general state of health care these days. That’s not shocking. But what sets this poll apart is that it compiles data from over 22,000 interviews and breaks down the results by state…

  • 77% report that they or someone they know had trouble using their health insurance in the past year
  • 73% say it’s very important to have more transparency when it comes to costs at the hospital (top concern)
  • 43% say costs have increased in the past year

One of the big talking points from the Democrats (up until this year) was the derisive observation that Republicans had tried so many times (unsuccessfully) to repeal or modify Obamacare. We were told that this “huge waste of time” was an effort to take away people’s health insurance and that it was obviously a racist attack on the Historic First Black President. You don’t hear much about the subject this year, mostly because the program has proven to be as much of a disaster as conservatives predicted and the last of the Obamacare exchanges will probably go under by next year at the rate things are going.

Why isn’t this being discussed in the news? And will it come up at the debates? I, for one, am not holding my breath.