In case you needed any more proof that Obamacare has been a spectacular failure, a new report from the Children’s Health Fund shows that more than one fourth of American children do not get the health care they need. According to the report, 3.3 million American children are uninsured.
Making matters worse, there are 20 million children in America who do have insurance but still do not have access to the necessary health care. More than 10 million children are insured but do not have access to primary care and regularly miss checkups as a result. 6.7 million kids on CHIP or Medicaid have access to primary care, yet they are not getting their subspecialty care needs met, such as those that need to see a pediatric endocrinologist or pediatric cardiologist.
Report co-author Dr. Irwin Redlener said that some children live in communities that have fewer than one doctor per 3,000 people, while others do not have access to affordable transportation to go to the doctor when needed.
Incredibly, he expressed concern about president-elect Donald Trump’s plans to repeal Obamacare! It’s hard to imagine why he would want to hold on to a program that leaves a quarter of the nation’s children without health care. His own report actually points out the ways that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) needs to be amended:
The ACA should be amended to reduce copayments, premiums, cost-sharing, and out of pocket payments for lower-income families, as well as increase subsidies and fix existing “glitches” that prevent families in need from gaining marketplace tax credits.
These are not minor fixes, and it’s clear that the system is failing to deliver on its promises. Children have been more adversely affected by the premium increases caused by Obamacare than any other group, with their premiums tripling. This is due in part to the fact that this age group is considered the healthiest segment of our population, which means they saw very low premiums when they were charged based on their risk. In fact, a family in Kansas could pay for insurance for three children in 2009 for less than it costs to insure just one child in 2016.
The report also calls for the ACA to increase the reimbursement rates for providers who treat communities that are underserved to help decrease access barriers. In addition, it calls on policymakers to provide incentives to health providers who are willing to serve poor communities.
Where has Obamacare gotten us so far? Under the Affordable Care Act, premiums have skyrocketed by as much as 67 percent in some cases. Seventeen of the country’s 23 Obamacare co-ops have collapsed so far because they cannot attract enough members to stay afloat. This year, 8 million Americans were hit with more than $3 billion in penalties from the IRS for not buying health insurance, and deductibles are soaring.
Even Bill Clinton referred to the Affordable Care Act as “the craziest thing in the world” at a rally, pointing out that some people were paying double in premiums for half of the coverage they once had.
This is the plan that Dr. Redlener is so concerned that Trump wants to get rid of?
It’s pretty clear to anyone who looks at the facts that the system is not the wonderful solution that Obama promised it would be. Drastic changes are in order, and with the situation being this dire, it’s hard to blame Trump for wanting to scrap the Affordable Care Act entirely and try a different approach.