(The Daily Signal) On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell gave a speech in support of Obamacare proclaiming the benefits of Obamacare and cautioning against repealing and replacing the law, as Congress has promised to do. Unsurprisingly, she left out some critical details from her list of Obamacare “benefits.”
Regarding insurance coverage, Burwell said:
On access, the uninsured rate has dropped below 9 percent—the lowest rate ever in our nation. And that’s partly due to the growth in the marketplaces … It’s also due to 31 states and D.C. that have expanded their Medicaid program.
But Burwell’s uninsured figure isn’t very precise because it is based on survey data rather than actual coverage data.
The Heritage Foundation looked at the actual net gain in insurance coverage from the first two years of Obamacare’s full implementation and found an increase of about 14 million people—not the 20 million that the administration has touted.
Of that 14 million, there was an increase of 11.8 million in Medicaid and 2.3 million through private coverage. Moreover, even after spending $1.8 trillion, Obamacare is still projected to leave 28 million people uninsured.
Burwell continued her critique of repeal, stating:
A second idea you may hear is that we can make coverage cheaper for everyone by lowering standards. Opponents of the law say that you should be able to buy a plan that covers only what you need. At first, it sounds kind of good.
The secretary went on to explain why she thinks this doesn’t work well. But what she didn’t mention is that Obamacare’s benefit mandates and insurance rules are the main culprits in driving up health care costs.
Heritage reviewed the various studies estimating how much these benefits add to premiums and estimated that if these provisions were repealed, “premiums for younger adults could be reduced by as much as 44 percent, and premiums for pre-retirement age adults could decrease by about 7 percent.”