Two years ago, the Obama administration called the near-total, initial meltdown of the Obamacare federal exchange a technical “glitch.” The term was widely ridiculed at the time, especially since it took weeks to fix the exchange’s website, healthcare.gov.
At Saturday night’s Democratic debate, front-runner Hillary Clinton called soaring health care costs and deductibles “glitches” resulting from the Affordable Care Act.
Her comments prompted quick reaction on Twitter, and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said, “Clinton’s claim that premium hikes from Obamacare are just ‘glitches,’ was an insult to working families struggling to pay their health care bills.”
Clinton was responding to a question from debate moderator Martha Raddatz about how she would fix Obamacare considering the 27% increase in health insurance costs over the past five years and a 67% jump in deductibles.
Clinton then outlined some of her proposals to lighten Americans’ health care burden, including a refundable tax credit for families with high out-of-pocket costs and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
The rising cost of health care is more than just an Obamacare problem. While the growth of health care spending is near record lows, employers and insurers have been shifting more of the cost burden to enrollees.
Workers with job-based coverage have seen their premiums rise 83% since 2005, according to the 2015 Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust survey. Since 2010, the workers’ share of premiums have risen more than twice as fast as wages.
Meanwhile, employees have to pay steeper deductibles before their health insurance even kicks in. Some 81% of firms have deductibles now, up from 55% in 2006. And 46% of workers with single coverage face deductibles of at least $1,000, up from 10% in 2006.
Obamacare premiums are on the rise, as well. The cost of the benchmark silver plan rose 10.1%, on average, for 2016, according to a Kaiser analysis.