Following a 19.1 percent-32 percent hike in 2018, 2019 Obamacare rates are expected to rise by double digit percentage points, again. Though speculation by market experts have resulted in a slew of responses as to why premiums have continued to rise, 2019’s increase is one of the most cut and dry responses by insurers to current reform changes. Within this article, we’ll explore the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, which happens to be one of the pillars the ACA was built on: the individual mandate.
As we brace ourselves for undeniable regulatory changes within the healthcare industry, often we neglect conversation about the shortcomings of our current system to ensure we don’t repeat the same mistakes. Although many would agree that the intentions of the ACA (“Expand access to health insurance, protect patients against arbitrary actions by insurance companies, and reduce costs”) were created with social good in mind, experts are strident that the mechanisms used to create this social good have failed to correct the economic epidemic that currently infects our healthcare system.
If you think “economic epidemic” is a hyperbolic term to use in this context, think again. As referenced in my previous blog post about the continuing battle to repeal the ACA, the U.S. domestic healthcare system costs around $3.3 trillion to the American economy each year. What’s less known is that this figure is projected to continue rising as it has almost every year since the 1960s.
Even if you only follow on the fringes of healthcare reform, the inception of the ACA in 2010 may have shed light on the lack of bipartisan effort surrounding reform policies. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you sit, the ACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is widely regarded as the most impactful healthcare policy since the rollout of Medicare & Medicaid by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. Irrespective of the clout this policy holds in the eyes of leaders within our domestic healthcare system, it has not operated within its short eight-year tenure without controversy.
The debate surrounding the longevity of this policy continued last Thursday (June 7, 2018) in unprecedented manner as the Justice Department filed a briefing recommending that the U.S. District Court of Texas (Fort Worth Division) rule the insurance reform provisions of the ACA unconstitutional.