NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Six Major Hurdles to Implementing ObamaCare

January 21, 2014

If the Affordable Care Act does not fail because of flaws in the law, it will likely be changed by Congress due to voter pressure. Already, the administration is delaying implementation of certain parts of the law because it is unworkable, says Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor and director of Economics21 at the Manhattan Institute.

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act appears to have six major problems:

1. People are not signing up.

  • A new report shows that only 2.2 million people enrolled for plans in the exchanges in October through December, compared to a forecast of 7 million.
  • Of those 2.2 million, 24 percent were younger Americans aged between 18 and 34. The administration had forecast that 7 million people would sign up, and that 38 percent of them would be young people.
  • Without more customers, especially more young people, whose health costs are low, insurance companies will suffer losses that will be paid for by the federal government, raising the costs of the program.

2. Numbers of uninsured will remain high. Even before the administration released its low enrollment figures, the Congressional Budget Office forecast that the Affordable Care Act was not going to achieve its goal of universal insurance.

3. Premiums are pricey.

  • One reason that people are not signing up is that premiums are higher than expected.
  • Paul Howard, Yevgeniy Feyman and Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute found that ObamaCare will increase underlying premiums by 41 percent, nationwide.

4. Deductibles are expensive.

  • For a bronze plan, the basic plan, deductibles can reach over $6,000 annually for singles and $12,700 for families.
  • That means that to access the plan's benefits, after preventive care, families have to spend $12,700.

5. People cannot keep their plans, despite President Obama's promises.

6. People cannot keep their doctors. In order to keep costs down, insurance companies are reducing the numbers of doctors on their insurance plans, and eliminating some of the more expensive hospitals in the networks.

Source: Diana Furchtgott-Roth, "Six Major Hurdles to Implementing ObamaCare," MarketWatch, January 16, 2014.


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