As Originally published in the Cape Cod Times: Why single-payer is a doomed proposal
For the past seven years, the group health insurance rates our company offers to our employees have increased at double digits annually, and we’ve had to increase family deductibles from $1,000 to $6,000. This 2017 renewal we received a 34 percent rate increase. A family premium is now $21,600 per year. Our business pays 60 percent of the family premium, and the employee 40 percent.
If rates maintain 25 percent annual increases for the next three years, the family group health premium will grow to $43,200.
Here are the increases since the Affordable Care Act was passed:
Family premium: 2010, $9,210; 2017, $21,600; variance, $12,390; change, 135 percent.
Employer portion (60 percent): 2010, $5,526; 2017, $12,960; variance, $7,434; change, 135 percent.
Employee portion (40 percent): 2010, $3,684; 2017, $8,640; variance, $4,956; change, 135 percent.
Family deductible: 2010, $1,000; 2017, $6,000; variance, $5,000; change, 500 percent.
Total employee annual out-of-pocket expense: 2010, $4,684; 2017, $14,640; variance, $9,956; change, 213 percent.
Consumer price index: 2010, 216.687; 2017, 242.839; variance, 26; change, 12 percent.
We are not alone; almost every other business is experiencing similar results.
This is unsustainable. Americans cannot afford these increases. From an employer’s perspective, the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is not working to serve American workers. It’s a failed program in light of what President Obama and those who supported this legislation promised:
“If you like your doctor you can keep him/her.”
“If you like your health plan you can keep your health plan.”
“Your rates will decrease.”
None of this is true. The solution is not a single-payer monopoly, a health care version of our Transportation Security Administration, but rather creative ingenuity — a new type of Manhattan Project or lunar landing mission that focuses on providing health care for all while driving down costs. We need to develop effective health care legislation that will unleash creative genius to work for Americans, not against us.
The government didn’t create Google’s search engines, Apple’s iTunes/iPhone, Facebook, Uber, Amazon or other innovative technologies that have transformed how we live, and it certainly won’t create innovative health care solutions under a single-payer system. We as a country can do better than our current health care initiative, working together. Partisan bickering must stop, and collaboration must begin.
All federal politicians should be forced to use the same health care programs common to those that American laborers purchase. It’s arrogant that Congress has exempted itself from the Affordable Care Act and has provide itself such a rich health care benefit.