By Senator John Thune
More than three years ago, Congress was embroiled in a debate over how to best address the growing cost of health insurance in our country. ObamaCare, which was signed into law in March of 2010, was pitched to the American people as a way to lower the cost of health care. Throughout the 2008 election cycle, candidate Obama repeatedly claimed that his health care bill would cut premiums by an average of $2,500 per family. Unfortunately, while the president got his health care bill, the American people did not get lower premiums, and instead the "Affordable" Care Act is projected to increase medical claims costs in South Dakota by 29 percent in the individual market according to a new study by the Society of Actuaries.
While the nonpartisan Society of Actuaries report is the latest study examining the rising cost of premiums due to ObamaCare, it is not the first. The American Academy of Actuaries also published a report with similar findings in the fall of 2012. Even the Obama Administration has recently acknowledged that some people could see their premiums rise under the health care reform law. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters that, "Some people purchasing new insurance policies for themselves this fall could see premiums rise because of requirements in the health care law." For some young and healthy Americans who choose to purchase low-cost coverage, ObamaCare could nearly triple premium costs according to a survey of insurers conducted by the American Action Forum.
As President Obama campaigned around the country in support of his health care law in 2009 he famously said, "If you like your plan you can keep it." Yet the higher cost of premiums is already preventing people who liked their plan from keeping the coverage they previously had. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, due to the increasing cost of employer sponsored coverage, seven million Americans will lose the coverage they enjoy today.
ObamaCare has been built on a series of broken promises to the American people. Health insurance premiums are going up, not down; millions of Americans are set to lose the health insurance the president promised they could keep; and the bill's promised $900 billion price tag is estimated to increase to $2.6 trillion. It's time to repeal this broken legislation and replace it with real health care reforms that will give Americans access to the health care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost.