The collaboration of the federal government and private health insurers under the Affordable Care Act has served to create a healthcare cartel that is making healthcare anything but affordable. That, however, was predictable. Cartels are not designed to benefit the public. They are designed to eliminate competition and increase profit for the cartel. This cartel is an exquisite example of both. Consumers of healthcare will see an average increase in premium of 25% in 2017. Many are seeing 50-60% increases.
While the very politicians who voted to impose the Affordable Care Act on us now express outrage over these premium increases, the escalating deductibles, and the very unaffordability of the Affordable Care Act, this outrage is disingenuous at best. The Affordable Care Act provides for a 10% excise tax on the insurers that the insurers pass along to us by way of higher premiums. Certainly none of these politicians ever believed that the addition of a tax to an already costly healthcare system would ever make healthcare more affordable. No, only a fool would believe that. The Affordable Care Act was never about making healthcare more affordable. It was about imposing a tax on the middle class and selling that tax to us as a benefit.
So as we enter 2017 we will all pay more for health insurance that covers less and less. Many of us have deductibles that are so high that we will never satisfy the deductible and are therefore paying an outrageous amount to be effectively uninsured. But rest assured that the cartel is prospering. The health insurers are posting record profits despite their cries of losing money. You have only to follow the share prices of United Health Group to confirm this. And while our politicians in Washington may tell us that they feel our pain, they are counting their profits as they collect 10% of every dollar paid by us to our health insurers. They may object in public to a 50-60% increase in our premiums but in secret they are rejoicing over the 50-60% increase in tax revenue that the premium increase produces.
There is no way to fix the Affordable Care Act to make healthcare affordable. This is not a starter home that simply needs work to make it habitable. This legislation was designed to increase the cost of healthcare and consequently enrich both the insurers and the government that is collaborating with them. That is the very nature of a cartel. The only path to reclaiming affordable healthcare is to repeal the Affordable Care Act and, with repeal of the legislation, destroy the cartel that it created.