In an NPR interview Nancy Pelosi demonstrated once again that she is either a pathological liar or a lunatic. I’m going with lunatic because I think she actually believes the crap that comes out of her mouth.
Here is the money quote (emphasis mine):
“Most of the people who can’t afford it have subsidies and the rest to cover their insurance in the meantime. But let’s go back to where we were before the Affordable Care Act because that was a time where they wouldn’t even be able to have any insurance. So what was the purpose of the Affordable Care Act? There were threefold – one, to lower cost; two, to improve benefits and three, to expand access for millions more people. And it’s done all three.”
Let’s examine her 3 so-called accomplishments of Obamacare.
1 – Lower Cost
I assume she meant the cost for insurance coverage and that has not happened.
“In 2008, the average employer-sponsored family plan cost a total of $12,680, with employees footing $3,354 of the bill, according to /react-text Kaiser data. By 2016, the cost of the average employer family plan was up to /react-text $18,142 for the year, with workers picking up $5,277 of the tab.”
And from Market Watch article last year:
“President Obama claimed that the Affordable Care Act would reduce annual insurance premiums by $2,500 for a typical family. Yet a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust found that, since 2008, average employer family premiums have climbed a total of $4,865. From 2015 to 2016 the most popular exchange family plan, Family Silver, saw a 10% average increase in its premiums. In some states, premiums rose by nearly 40%.”
But if she meant the cost of healthcare in general in the US has been reduced, that hasn’t happened either.
“The nation’s health care tab this year is expected to surpass $10,000 per person for the first time, the government said Wednesday. The new peak means the Obama administration will pass the problem of high health care costs on to its successor.”
2 – Improve benefits
From the Time article:
“In 2008, high deductibles were the minority: 18% of covered workers had deductible of at least $1,000, per the /react-text Kaiser Family Foundation, up from only 10% in 2006. For workers with employer-sponsored plans at small firms, 35% had deductibles of $1,000 or more in 2008, up from 16% in 2006.”
“Fast-forward to 2016, and high-deductible plans have become standard: 51% of all covered workers, and 65% of workers in small firms, face deductibles of at least $1,000. Workers at smaller firms must pay an average of $2,069 out of pocket before insurance payments kick in, versus $1,238 for workers at firms with 200 or more employees.”
Folks aren’t getting real insurance coverage they can use but instead they are just getting insurance plans with higher deductibles, which make it even more difficult to actually get the health care they need.
3 – Expand access for millions more people
Not as many folks signed up for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges as was hoped:
“Many people would not have jumped on the Obamacare bandwagon if they had known the relatively small number of Americans who would actually be enrolled on the exchanges by 2016. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that between 9.4 million and 11.4 million signed up in 2016.”
“In contrast, in March 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 21 million people would be enrolled on the exchanges.”
And what good is it for the few extra people who signed up for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges if they can’t find a doctor or have such high deductibles that they can’t afford treatment?
Again, I really think Pelosi believes what she says so she’s not a liar but a lunatic.
Let’s all remember what George Costanza taught us in Seinfeld.