The Obamacare Costs No One is Talking About

by Nathan Nascimento, Senior Policy Adviser

It’s no secret that Obamacare is hiking health-care costs for hardworking Americans. Nowhere is this more evident than with premiums for insurance plans on the law’s exchange — we found they’re nearly 15 percent higher this year alone.

But there’s another disturbing Obamacare cost trend that’s receiving far less attention: skyrocketing deductibles.

A health insurance deductible is the money you must pay — after premiums — before your coverage kicks in. Just like premiums, this amount is rising from coast to coast. My organization, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, recently released the 2016 Deductible Increase Tracker — a tool that gives a comprehensive look at the severity of these sneaky cost increases.

Looking at the data, it’s amazing that the issue has flown under the radar thus far. Americans in forty-one states face higher deductibles in 2016 than they did last year. And these aren’t minor increases we’re talking about. The average 2016 deductible increase across bronze, silver, and gold plans offered on the Affordable Care Act exchanges was $265 or 8.4 percent — and that’s on top of the hundreds or thousands of dollars it cost already. Seven states offered at least one plan that contained average deductible increases of over $1,000.

Most Americans don’t have hundreds or thousands of extra dollars to fork over for sub-par health care, but the plans are only getting less affordable with every year. A recent report revealed that health care deductibles are growing seven times faster than wages.

No wonder the New York Times recently said that Obamacare plans “all but useless” for Americans struggling to make ends meet.

Sure enough, Americans are noticing that their costly health care “coverage” doesn’t actually cover much of anything. A recent survey shows that over half of voters oppose the Affordable Care Act. Last November, one women faced with high deductibles told the Boston Globe:

I cannot get anything with this insurance. Nothing. I just pay my monthly payments, try to take care of myself, go to work, and hope something serious doesn’t happen to me.

Whether on the front end through skyrocketing premiums or on the back end with skyrocketing deductibles, Obamacare is increasing health care costs and placing a huge burden on hardworking Americans. This one-size-fits-all federal health-care law simply isn’t working. If lawmakers truly want to decrease health-care costs and unleash innovation, it’s time for them to empower states and patients — not D.C. politicians and bureaucrats.