August 17, 2016

Obamacare’s Failure Overshadows Clinton’s Economic Speech

Hillary Clinton will speak in Cleveland today on her economic plan, including talk of her health care plans. Yet after the week of bad headlines concerning Obamacare exchanges, it seems likely any mention of that will be edited out.

Infamously, Hillary Clinton has tried to claim credit for Obamacare, casting herself as the progenitor of Obama’s health care law. She also called it “one of the great accomplishments of the Obama Administration” during a CNN town hall:

“I want to defend the Affordable Care Act, not only is it one of the great accomplishments of the Obama Administration, but of the Democratic party going back to Harry Truman… Before it was called ‘Obamacare,’ it was called ‘Hillarycare.'”

Clinton’s claims are unfortunate for her considering the vortex of bad news surrounding Obamacare. Earlier this week, Aetna announced that it would join UnitedHealth Group in withdrawing from most of their Obamacare exchanges, giving Obama’s “signature” achievement a “double whammy”:

“The decision by the nation’s third-largest health insurer to pull out of the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges in nearly a dozen states is a double whammy to President Barack Obama’s signature health law, increasing financial strains on the program while dragging the debate over its merits into the presidential campaign. Republicans opposed to the law immediately pointed to Aetna Inc.’s decision, which followed similar moves by other major insurers, as evidence that the law isn’t working as intended and sought to rally voters.”

Aetna’s withdrawal is so significant for average Americans because it guarantees that consumers that already faced huge premium increases because of Obamacare will likely face even higher ones:

“If insurers continue to lose money, more are likely to withdraw from the marketplaces, a move that would reduce choices for consumers and could contribute to higher premiums.”

No greater sign of Obamacare’s failure can be found then in Pinal County, Arizona. Due to Aetna’s withdrawal, that county faces the possibility that there will be no health insurance options for residents in 2017:

“Aetna’s move means at least one county, Pinal in Arizona, could be at risk of having no insurers offering exchange plans in 2017. ‘This latest news is further evidence of how the misnamed Affordable Care Act is actually leading to less competition and fewer options for affordable coverage despite promises to the opposite,’ said Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.).”

Obamacare was deeply flawed from inception, and Hillary Clinton’s relentless boosterism for the law hopefully causes voters to re-examine her other campaign promises. When Clinton takes the stage in Cleveland today, her campaign promises will ring hollow unless she acknowledges the awful impact Obamacare has had on middle class Americans.