Here are five Obamacare predictions:
1. The number of uninsured will remain very significant. One of the major reasons for passing Obamacare was that we, as the wealthiest country in the world, should not have people without health insurance. Well, the Congressional Budget Office recently predicted that within the next decade, the number of uninsured will not drop below 30 million. If true, the legislation only achieved about one-third of its goal on that front.
2. Health insurance premiums will rise. Obama said one of the great benefits of Obamacare was that families would save an average of $2,500 per year on their health care costs. In the media, and in personal communications, one hears many stories of rising premiums. The only study I’ve heard about estimated a $2,500 increase per family per year. So, early evidence indicates that Obamacare is a failure on that front.
3. People will not like it. Obamacare was presented as something that will leave the happily insured content, and provide access or an improved situation to the rest. Now we know, “If you like your doctor,” you can’t necessarily keep your doctor. At some point, there will be a poll about satisfaction with Obamacare and I’m betting the majority of those with insurance prior to the law will say they liked it better before.
4. The health care industry will receive a bailout. Apparently, it is written into the legislation that if the numbers don’t pan out, and the insurance industry takes a hit, the federal government will bail them out. Success of Obamacare relies on the younger/ healthier demographic subsidizing the older/sicker demographic. Early data suggests this will not happen. So, it is likely that the U.S. bailout culture continues.
5. Little or no improvement in inappropriate use of emergency services. The prevention of misuse of emergency rooms by uninsured was purported to be a big money-saver, and significant benefit of Obamacare. As stated above, CBO estimates 30 million uninsured will remain. Also, insured people sometimes misuse emergency services.
Only time will tell if these predictions are correct. If so, one would have to ask: Why did we do this again?