U.S. health care costs are going through the roof, largely due to expansion of Obamacare, according to reports.
Obamacare is getting more and more expensive, as health care costs in the United States grew at the fastest rate in eight years in 2015. That’s mostly due to the expansion of President Obama’s law, as well as by expensive prescription drugs.
The growth was 5.8 percent in 2015, which increased total spending on health care to $3.2 trillion, of $9,990 per person. Most of that is spent by the very sickest patients, but that is still a staggering total nonetheless.
The rate of health spending growth was 2 percentage points faster than the overall economy that year, according to the report from the Department of Health and Human Services, which means that businesses will have a harder time affording the same level of health care.
It’s a disappointing finish for the Obama administration, which had made the Affordable Care Act its crowning achievement and a key part of its legacy. The ACA had been meant to get a handle on high health care costs. It will certainly serve as fodder for Republicans who are about to assume power and want to roll back Obamacare as much as possible, although they are likely to find that to be a much more difficult prospect than it may seem.
The Department of Health and Human Services says the following about the ACA: “This Act puts individuals, families and small business owners in control of their health care. It reduces premium costs for millions of working families and small businesses by providing hundreds of billions of dollars in tax relief – the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history. It also reduces what families will have to pay for health care by capping out-of-pocket expenses and requiring preventive care to be fully covered without any out-of-pocket expense. For Americans with insurance coverage who like what they have, they can keep it. Nothing in this act or anywhere in the bill forces anyone to change the insurance they have, period.
“Americans without insurance coverage will be able to choose the insurance coverage that works best for them in a new open, competitive insurance market – the same insurance market that every member of Congress will be required to use for their insurance. The insurance exchange will pool buying power and give Americans new affordable choices of private insurance plans that have to compete for their business based on cost and quality. Small business owners will not only be able to choose insurance coverage through this exchange, but will receive a new tax credit to help offset the cost of covering their employees.”