In case you’re feeling better about inflation coming down, KFF Health News has something to bring your spirits crashing back to Earth: Americans purchasing health insurance during open enrollment for 2024 through the Marketplaces will be paying an average of 5 percent more for benchmark silver-plans and 6 percent more for the cheapest bronze-level plans when compared to 2023 premiums.
Some of us are old enough to remember when the Affordable Care Act was supposed to make health insurance… well, affordable. After all, President Obama told us on the 2012 campaign trail:
You should know that once we have fully implemented, you’re going to be able to buy insurance through a pool so that you can get the same good rates as a group that if you’re an employee at a big company you can get right now—which means your premiums will go down.
But premiums haven’t gone down. KFF claims the marketplace average benchmark premium in 2024 will be $477. That’s a nearly 75 percent increase in the monthly premium since the ACA implementation in 2014 for a single 40-year-old. And employers that provide health insurance as a benefit don’t have it any easier. A recent KFF survey found annual workplace family coverage premiums in 2023 reached $23,968— a 7 percent jump from the previous year, and a whopping 47 percent increase from before the ACA’s implementation.
Ironically, premiums did go down for a few years starting in 2018— the same year that one of the key parts of the ACA, the individual mandate, was repealed. (Most of the rest was due to people not using healthcare during the pandemic.) Unfortunately, once consumers were back in the swing of things, prices jumped right back up. The average employee contribution for family coverage rose $500 to $6,575 in 2023, a 7.6 percent annual increase in direct cost that was far more expensive than the meager wage increase average of 5.2 percent.
None of this is good news for savings accounts and wallets. But wait—it gets worse! Once the ACA passed and we found out what was in it, the average American found himself subsidizing the vehicle for nearly every leftist social policy under the sun, from transgender surgeries to sterilization to abortion-inducing drugs and devices.
So, yeah. When your premium goes up— on top of your rising grocery, electric, and water bills—you can thank the government for being here to help! And when that fails, you know what comes next: expanding the same government healthcare programs that lose at least $100 billion annually.
And when that fails… well, they’ll just say it was the “wrong” kind of socialism, just like Venezuela and Cuba.
Paul Revere is the pseudonym of a conservative writer.