- Americans have no idea that they are benefiting from Obamacare. Most of the 20 million Americans who have gotten health insurance in the last 3 years have no idea that Obamacare made that possible. They don’t know that lifetime caps on covered costs no longer exist. Medicare recipients don’t know they are paying less for prescription drugs because of Obamacare. In short, most people have no idea what Obamacare is or how it’s helping them.
- Costs are higher than anticipated:
- Newly insured people are sicker than the Obama Administration thought. This is driving health care costs up and is contributing to premium increases and higher than anticipated deficit spending associated with Obamacare.
- Enrollment is less than projected. Making this worse, the enrollee are older and sicker than anticipated. Younger, healthier people have not purchased insurance as anticipated.
- The penalties for not purchasing insurance have not worked. Penalties are scheduled to increase this year and may be part of the reason health care enrollment is ticking up this year.
- Nineteen states are not participating in Medicaid expansion. This was a decision made by the state governments but it has left up to 4 million Americans without access to insurance.
- As people gain coverage through Obamacare, it is straining medical services already in short supply. The shortage of primary care doctors and nurses has been growing for years. These shortages are being felt from the emergency room to doctors offices.
- Many people just don’t like that the Federal Government is making them buy insurance.
These are just some of the things people don’t like and/or are causing problems with Obamacare. The new Trump administration has pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare while keeping some key pieces of the legislation.
What that looks like is very unclear at this time. As Republicans work through this very complex policy issue, Democrats need to be prepared to support positive changes and push back on changes that will hurt Americans. It goes without saying that it is a tough tightrope to walk for both parties.