Insurance premiums up by nearly $3,000 since 2009

During his presidential campaign in 2008, Barack Obama promised Americans that he would cut insurance premiums by $2,500 in his first term through his healthcare reform proposals. But Investor’s Business Daily notes that insurance premiums have actually risen by nearly $3,000 since Obama took office:

The average employer-provided family health insurance premiums have climbed $2,976 since 2009, according to an annual Kaiser Family Foundation survey released this week. They’re up $3,671 compared with the year before President Obama took office. That’s despite Obama’s repeated promises that the health care reform law he championed would cut premiums by $2,500 in his first term.

And while annual premium increases have moderated over the past two years, that’s due to trends in the insurance market largely unrelated to ObamaCare, and trends the law could actually reverse.

The Kaiser survey found that the average family premium this year is $16,351, up 4% over last year, and up 22% since 2009. After adjusting for inflation, premiums climbed an average 3.2% a year in Obama’s first term, higher than the 2.7% average during President Bush’s last four years in office.
Officials cite the fact that national spending on health care climbed just 3.9% in 2011, the same as the previous two years, and the slowest increase since the 1960s.

But the trends driving the slowdown in health spending have little to do with the Affordable Care Act.

ObamaCare has been cited as a reason for the rise in health insurance premiums, which is happening in both the individual and group markets. Ninety percent of states can expect to see premiums increases, according to the Heartland Institute, and premiums are still rising faster than wages.

Rising health insurance premiums and implementation problems have been a soft spot for both the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress. Confusion about various provisions of ObamaCare and delays have continued to drive Americans to disapprove of the law and favor its repeal.

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