Another Biden Stumble: Obamacare

Obamacare forced insurers to cover preexisting conditions when other, more sensible policy solutions like the previous high-risk pools in 36 states were available. 


Source: Christopher Wright,

The Biden administration is taking a victory lap after a record 14.5 million people signed up for Obamacare this year.  The White House can pretend this is some kind of great victory, but it’s not, and here are the reasons why:

In the first place, when this turkey passed, the Democrats promised 21 million people would sign up for it, it was so great.  That never happened.  The best they’ve ever done was this year, and they’re still almost 50 percent short of the goal they set for themselves.  What kind of victory is it when you’re 50 percent short of your goal?

Secondly, the record number of sign-ups only came after the Democrats super-sized Obamacare subsidies with COVID relief money.  Average premiums went down 23 percent as a result, but what happens after the COVID relief money runs out?  Premiums will go back up, that’s what, and enrollment numbers will go back down to their previous even more dismal levels.  Even if the Democrats manage to make the jumbo Obamacare subsidies permanent, what kind of victory is it when it can only be achieved by bribing people?  If Obamacare were so great, people would be thronging to it voluntarily without subsidies, but they’re not.

Lots of other things are wrong with the jumbo subsidies, as well.  The cost to the taxpayer has been estimated at $20,000 per new enrollee.  That’s more than $34 billion when you add it all up.  Subsidies used to stop at around $100,000 in annual income, which was crazy, but now it’s even crazier.  You can make over $200,000 a year and still get over $10,000 in Obamacare subsidies.  What kind of crazy system is it when well-off people making over $200,000 a year get that kind of money from the federal government on top of the oodles of money they already make themselves?  It’s not working.  Something’s wrong.  We need to go back to the drawing board.

But that’s not all.  Almost 75 percent of the new spending goes to people who already had private insurance.  They got subsidies to move to Obamacare exchange plans and rewarded to let themselves get captured by the federal government.   The jumbo subsidies do nothing to address Obamacare’s notorious and long-standing narrow networks problem.  You can get an Obamacare plan, but you will lose access to the best doctors and hospitals in the process.  Exchange plan deductibles are way up – over $4,800 a person, an increase of almost $2,000 from 2014.  Some victory.

Finally, all the Obamacare regulations that drove up the cost of insurance are still in place.  Obamacare forced insurers to cover preexisting conditions when other, more sensible policy solutions like the previous high risk pools in 36 states were available.  The government forced insurers to stop assessing risk – that is, true underwriting – and treat everyone old and young, sick and healthy, more nearly the same even though their risk profiles are wildly different.  Obamacare incentivizes insurers to pay out more for medical care, driving up prices for medical services.  All these regulations, new in Obamacare, drove up the price of insurance.  But it was by design.  It’s what the Democrats always do – First, they create a problem.  Then they turn around and say, ‘Oh, but we’ll HELP you,’ first with subsidies, then with jumbo subsidies.  They’ve done this in other arenas like college tuition.  We can’t afford any more Democrat dependency machines, either financially or morally.

The Biden administration and its Democrat friends in Congress bribed everybody they could and still came up 50 percent short of what they promised in terms of enrollment.  So the picture you should have in your mind is not Joe Biden taking a victory lap.  It’s that famous picture of Joe Biden stumbling up the stairs of Air Force One.  That’s the Biden administration and Obamacare in a nutshell.