Repeal has failed in the Senate. ‘Repeal and Replace’ has failed in the Senate. And now, even ‘Skinny Repeal’ failed 49-to-51 last night — thanks to the Democrats and Republican Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
After listening to their reasoning and logic, one thing is certainly clear: these 51 senators care very little about young Americans paying higher premiums or the millions paying large fines under Obamacare.
In 2015, 8 million Americans paid fines for not having insurance; the average fine was $210. In 2016, there were fewer people fined, but average fines were more than double the 2015 rates. 6.5 million people were fined an average of $470 in 2016. The vast majority of those fined were young Americans.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare) also purposefully raised premiums on younger Americans to subsidize the rest of the market using price controls. Obamacare changed the price ratio from 5:1 to 3:1, meaning insurers could only charge three times as much to older enrollees and younger enrollees, despite it being much cheaper to insure young people.
According to the Society of Actuaries, this has resulted in 5-to-10 percent higher premiums for Americans ages 25-to-40. A 24-year-old making 250 percent above the poverty level is paying $600 more per year than they should, according to Oliver Wyman. A Blue Cross Blue Shield Association study said these price controls would force half a million young Americans not to seek insurance. RAND Corporation estimates taking these price controls back to a normal market level of 5:1 would reduce premiums by $2,100 to $2,800 for the average 24-year old.
“If you think about the actuarial value of the premium, then that 24-year-old is getting 73 cents in value for every dollar paid out of pocket,” Kurt Giesa, a partner at Oliver Wyman, said to Inside Health Insurance Exchanges.
So, to summarize, Obamacare raised premiums for young Americans — while at the same time fining them if they didn’t get this more expensive coverage. As if young Americans don’t have enough economic struggles to deal with, between student loans, unaffordable housing, and underemployment.
Any of the Republican repeal efforts would have undone these disastrous and discriminatory Obamacare policies.
But of course, the only talking points these 51 senators brought up were straight from the AARP. Obviously, if the government reverses these policies, it will raise premiums for older, richer Americans (who vote more than young people). Remember, we aren’t talking about seniors or the elderly, who already qualify for Medicare. We’re talking about people in their prime earning years: 45-to 65-years old.
The Democrats’ main talking points against the bills have been the need to keep these policies and to keep Medicaid expansion. One of the bills kept Medicaid expansion while cutting the individual mandate and the price controls. Not one Democrat supported it, and some Republicans opposed it.
The media hasn’t covered this at all. The Senate refused to give relief to struggling millennials. Let it be known that these 51 senators want younger, poorer Americans (who vote less) to pay higher premiums to bailout insurance companies and older, richer Americans (who vote more).