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Why the Affordable Care Act Isn't Living Up to Its Name for Taxpayers

Why the Affordable Care Act Isn't Living Up to Its Name for Taxpayers

Jun 7, 2024

Why the Affordable Care Act Isn't Living Up to Its Name for Taxpayers

Fourteen years since its inception, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), infamously known as Obamacare, still provokes debate. Proponents once lauded its potential to reduce healthcare costs and expand accessibility. However, the actual outcomes paint a starkly different picture, one that's hardly a victory for taxpayers.

When former President ." Obama ushered the ACA into law on March 23rd, 2010, his administration pitched it as a pathway to make health care "a right for every American". This grand vision translated into substantial taxpayer expenditure—an unsurprising move by the government. Despite hefty subsidies masking the actual financial toll, the ACA's impact on insurance coverage and cost savings has been underwhelming.

A study by the Paragon Health Institute highlighted that although 19 million more people obtained health insurance post-ACA, only about 2 million of these were through private insurance plans. The remainder were covered under Medicaid expansion—a far cry from the balanced coverage increase the Congressional Budget Office projected initially.

For those seeking insurance via an ACA exchange—the government-run platforms intended to foster competition and keep prices low—there has been a consistent climb in premiums. The initial cost projection per enrollee was a manageable $6,850 by 2021; the reality was a staggering $20,739. That’s over three times the expected amount, burdening taxpayers further especially given that enrollment figures have not met expectations.

Medic”aid” is not genuine “aid” for the American Tax Paying Public.

Medicaid expansion under the ACA added another layer of financial strain. By extending eligibility to non-disabled, working-age adults earning up to 138% of the federal poverty line, Medicaid grew to overshadow other budget items. For instance, one of the ten states opting out of expansion, Florida spent considerably more on Medicaid than on education in 2022, a trend that expanding Medicaid would only exacerbate.

The financial implications are significant, with Medicaid expansion in Florida potentially costing between $123 billion and $176 billion over ten years. Federal taxpayers foot 90% of the bill, so we're all on the hook for these costs. Moreover, historical data from other states suggest that these figures are likely underestimated, given consistent enrolment and spending per enrollee overruns.

Yet, throwing more money at Medicaid hasn’t translated into better health outcomes, according to multiple studies cited by researchers Blase and Gonoshoroski. Worse yet, expanding Medicaid has correlated with increased usage of costly emergency room care and reduced labor participation among beneficiaries.

Can We Fix Healthcare in America? Well, we are going to try.

The ACA's lofty goals of reducing healthcare costs while expanding access have fallen flat. With costs spiraling and the system's sustainability in question, it's clear that continuous band-aid solutions like increasing subsidies are merely temporary fixes. These subsidies, channeled mainly to insurance companies, offer little incentive for cost reduction, perpetuating a cycle of dependency and inefficiency.

After 14 years of this costly experiment, the ACA’s flaws are evidently deep-rooted. A pivot towards a consumer-first approach seems not only advisable but necessary. Here at Crowdhealth, we are trying just that approach.

At Crowdhealth, the community funds each other. There are no insurance middlemen. We help you with the entire process of every Health Event, and because the payments are made in cash, we can reduce the cost of hospital bills like the one below.

If you want to learn more, you can check out this link.

If you know someone who is looking to save on their health care bills, they can use the promo code "Healthy" to try us out for $89 for the first three months.

Fund people, not health insurance companies.


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