March 31 was the last day to begin the application for health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges, but those who've already signed up are finding that Obamacare fails to deliver on its promises in at least three key areas.
Fewer Pennsylvanians are insured today because of Obamacare.
An estimated 250,000 Pennsylvanians have had their health insurance canceled because of compliance issues with Obamacare. In contrast, only 160,000 have signed up for exchange plans as of March 1.
"There's been a net loss of 90,000 insured Pennsylvanians because of Obamacare," Elizabeth Stelle, senior policy analyst for the Commonwealth Foundation, commented. "So far, more people are lacking insurance thanks to a law that promised exactly the opposite. The ratio of canceled plans to sign-ups could change, but one thing is clear, the law is doing a terrible job of helping the previously uninsured. One national survey found only 14 percent of exchange enrollees were previously without insurance."
Young people recognize exchange plans are not affordable.
As of March 1, young adults accounted for just 25 percent of exchange enrollees, while the Obama administration had targeted 40 percent to avoid future premium hikes.
"Young adults who don't see health insurance as a priority are balking at the price tag for coverage on the exchange," Stelle said. "That's bad news for Obamacare. If too many young and healthy people opt out, there is no way to offset the older, less healthy who consume the most benefits. Without an influx of young people, dramatic premium hikes will be unavoidable."
Exchange plans offer higher premiums and less choice.
Even with government-subsidized premiums, industry experts and Obama administration officials agree that Obamacare premiums are set to rise dramatically. Stelle commented:
The Affordable Care Act is proving itself less affordable seemingly every day. Exchange premium rates are expected to double or even triple next year because of new mandates and fewer than expected young enrollees.
Even worse, many top-tier hospitals and world-renowned cancer centers are not covered by many exchange plans. It's also extremely difficult to find out if particular providers or prescriptions are covered.
My colleague, Priya Abraham, who suffers from a chronic illness, signed up on the exchange and couldn't get pre-authorization for her pain medication before her prescription ran out. She had to drive 50 miles and rely on free samples from her doctor as a consequence-that's not the level of care promised by Obamacare.
Solutions exist at the state level.
State-based healthcare reforms like creating a state high-risk pool would benefit those with pre-existing conditions by offering targeted subsidies rather than restructuring the entire insurance marketplace as Obamacare does.
Removing coverage mandates would enable people, not states or the federal government, to choose what their health insurance covers. Before Obamacare, Pennsylvania health plans included approximately 50 mandates, Obamacare added even more, driving up costs and causing a rash of cancellations.
Elizabeth Stelle and other Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment on why Obamacare is doing more harm than good in Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth Foundation, founded in 1988, crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.