Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed Wednesday night during the 2020 Democrat presidential debate that “Obamacare is working” even though premiums, deductibles, and co-pays remain historically high.
Biden claimed on Wednesday that Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is working while he was attacking Sen. Kamala Harris’s (D-CA) latest healthcare plan.
Despite his claim that Obamacare is working, the former vice president proposed a public option plan to compete against private health insurance plans on the Obamacare exchanges. By offering this public option plan, Biden implicitly admits that Obamacare needs reform.
Since former President Barack Obama and Biden helped make the ACA become law, premiums have doubled.
Obamacare individual market premiums more than doubled, from $2,784 in 2013 to $5,712 in 2017, which represents an increase of 105 percent. Further, average health insurance deductibles and the number of Americans with high-deductible plans continued to rise under Obamacare.
Meanwhile, roughly 30 million Americans continue to go without health insurance. In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted that Obamacare exchange enrollment would increase by nine million by 2016. In reality, only 400,000 Americans signed up on the Obamacare exchange, which is 96 percent lower than the CBO’s estimate of Obamacare exchange growth.
However, despite Biden’s tacit admission that Obamacare is not working by offering a public option plan, President Donald Trump offered for the first time in Obamacare’s history lower Obamacare federal exchange premiums in 2018.
Also, some healthcare experts believe that Biden’s public option would serve as a slippery slope to single-payer health care.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma said recently that Biden’s public option plan serves as a “trojan horse” with single-payer health care “hiding inside.”