The Affordable Care Act Isn’t So Affordable

Business Insider has a new interesting article summarizing the results of a recent Urban Institute report. The results shouldn’t surprise those on the political right, because it confirms what we have been saying all along: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) hasn’t made healthcare any more affordable.

The following image comes directly from the article.

obamacare premium map

While some states, including the state in which I currently reside (New Mexico), have seen a decline in premiums, the overall trend seems to be up. The average increase, according to the report, is 20%. 12 states have seen increases above that average, and sometimes significantly so (AK at 40%, OK at 41%, and TN at 38% are the most extreme examples).

The results of the report are similar to studies emanating from the Manhattan Institute, which also finds large increases in health care costs (see here and here).

The authors of the Urban Institute study conclude that the wide range of price changes can be explained by differences in competition. Business Insider writes,

“However, the most important factors associated with lowest-cost silver plan premiums and premium increases are those defining the contours of competition in the market,” the report concluded. “Rating areas with more competitors had significantly lower premiums and lower rates of increase than those that did not.”

Indeed, conservatives have a solution to this: By empowering the consumer and reducing barriers to competition, we can usher in a period of health care cost reductions while maintaining state of the art medical care.

An advanced copy of a new study by Dr. Scott Atlas has been released by the Hoover Institution. The report explains how to do just that: empower the consumer and increase competition.

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