Read the press releases from HHS and the White House and there is no doubt Obamacare is responsible for all that is good in the world.
Twenty million people have gained health care coverage (if you include expanded Medicaid), although to date far lower than original projections. Women who take birth control have an extra $15 a month in their purse and your colonoscopy is “free.”
If that is how you measure success, then Obamacare is a success.
The Administration also tends to give credit for slowing the growth of health care costs to the ACA. However, that is a real stretch; ask yourself, what in the law actually contributes to lower health care costs? The answer is very little, especially beyond efforts associated with Medicare. The way these savings are calculated is questionable. Reports of savings generated by Accountable Care Organizations are optimistic. In the general population the much promoted non-profit, consumer run plans are failures … literally costing taxpayers billions in unpaid loans.
The Center for American progress likes to point out that costs are significantly lower than estimated in 2009; noting that the ACA did indeed save more than anticipated … while they ignore the probability that in 2009 estimates were more like guesstimates with limited information, including of changes made after the law was passed.
Has Obamacare made health care affordable? Can it legitimately be given credit for bending the cost growth curve downward? In my opinion there is nothing that has happened to answer yes to either question.
Costs have been shifted from here to there in several ways, including to average Americans. A giant bureaucracy has been created both federally and at the state level. Thousands of pages of new regulations have been promulgated. The health care system, insurers and employers are burdened with various forms of reporting and compliance (and fees and taxes).
Have you received your 1095-C form (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage)? This is just one example of many new record keeping and reporting requirements imposed by the ACA.
Put it all together and then conclude the ACA has saved money (unless you are paying $89 a month for subsidized health insurance).
Give Congress time and it will cement the growing liability created by Obamacare by failing to pay for it just as it has done with Social Security and Medicare.