Democrats have stressed that the GOP’s American Health Care Act would increase health insurance premiums, while Republicans have said it would lower them, both citing the Congressional Budget Office. Which is it? A little of both.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed that “because of Obamacare, premiums on everybody have gone up … whether you’re in an employer-based system or not.” Employer premiums have been affected somewhat, but they’ve been growing at historically low rates for several years.
Donald Trump claimed that a 25 percent average increase in premiums on the HealthCare.gov exchanges was a “phony number,” citing instead increases of “60, 70, 80 percent.” But Trump just as easily could have cherry-picked increases in the single digits.
Hillary Clinton claimed that private insurance premiums have “gone up so much” in some states that didn’t expand Medicaid because hospitals shifted their costs for providing emergency care for the uninsured. But we have found no data to support that claim, and the idea that such cost shifting occurs is debated.
Republicans say the average family health insurance premium has increased by $4,154 under President Obama. That’s right — and it’s a much slower rate of growth than under President George W. Bush.
Several ads make the misleading claim that premiums and health care costs are “skyrocketing” under the Affordable Care Act. Overall, both are growing at historically low rates. Some who buy their own insurance will pay more, but others will pay less.