“There’s an ever-growing chasm between the number of Americans who receive government subsidies — meant to offset the cost of buying health insurance on the individual marketplaces — and those who don’t under the 2010 law known as Obamacare,” Colby Itkowitz writes over at The Washington Post. “Fresh enrollment data released Monday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show a troubling trend that began to emerge under the Obama administration: As monthly premiums for marketplace plans rise, more unsubsidized Americans drop out of the marketplaces, because, most believe, they find the monthly costs of buying a health plan increasingly unaffordable. The figure that caught our attention in the newly released data was just how wide that gap has grown over the past several years. In 2014, the subsidized portion of the market was 23 percent larger than the non-subsidized piece of it. In 2017, that share was 61 percent larger, according to the new CMS enrollment analyses. That means that more people with fewer financial resources are getting their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, while others who don’t qualify for such assistance are opting out — either for private insurance, or presumably no insurance at all. It’s a costly trend as it means the government is increasingly picking up the tab for the bulk of Americans insured under the ACA. … Republicans argue Democrats created an unsustainable model that places an undue burden on middle-class Americans who earn too much to qualify for subsidies but too little to afford premiums in the marketplaces. It is true that under the Obama administration the marketplaces have been plagued by insurers raising rates on their plans — and some insurers have even dropped out of the marketplaces altogether.” Colby Itkowitz, “The Health 202: Those who don’t qualify for government aid aren’t buying Obamacare plans,” The Washington Post.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded... More by Jeanne Pinder