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Canary in the Obamacare Coal Mine


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Despite What the White House Says, Obamacare Is Deeply Troubled

 

Open enrollment on Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges is in full swing. Consumers in most states, including the 33 that use the federally operated HealthCare.gov, have until Jan. 15 to sign up for coverage for 2022.

 

The Biden administration says things have never been better, and that premiums are declining, more insurers are participating in the markets, and enrollment is at an all-time high.

 

Dig a little deeper, and Obamacare’s troubles become evident. Premiums are ticking down only after rising for years. Much of the coverage on offer confines enrollees to narrow networks of covered doctors and hospitals. And enrollment is up largely because the government is picking up a major share of most beneficiaries’ premiums.

 

Rather than fix these problems, the Biden administration wants to obfuscate them—by lavishing even more taxpayer money on the exchanges.

 

Premiums have retreated slightly over the past three years. Yet the average monthly individual exchange premium nationwide doubled between 2013 and 2019—and tripled in five states.

 

Many enrollees haven’t noticed because taxpayers are covering a significant share of their premiums. Nearly 90% of the exchanges’ 10.7 million enrollees received federal subsidies in 2020.:snip:

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