President Barack Obama is visiting Milwaukee today to tout the alleged success of the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, the 2009 government takeover of the national health insurance industry. But while the President praises his signature domestic policy accomplishment, it is worth revisiting the numerous ways in which ObamaCare has harmed Wisconsin.
1) ObamaCare cost Milwaukee 1,200 jobs
Assurant Health, the Milwaukee-based individual health insurance arm of a national insurance company, announced in 2015 that it was closing, a move that cost 1,200 Milwaukee-area employees their jobs. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, “Assurant Inc. executives cited the challenges of running Assurant’s health-insurance business under the Affordable Care Act.”
2) ObamaCare raised Wisconsin insurance premiums
After the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2013, Wisconsin consumers saw their now-mandatory health insurance premiums increase. On the federal health insurance exchange, a healthy 21 year-old Wisconsinite saw his premium jump 135% for the cheapest coverage available. A hypothetical 35 year-old in Wisconsin saw a premium increase of 107% according to data compiled from both the ACA website and pre-ObamaCare plans. Those premium increases didn’t just stop after ObamaCare went into effect, annually news reports emerge showing premium prices continuing to rise in Wisconsin.
3) ObamaCare limited insurance options for Wisconsin consumers
In order to be eligible for the oft-touted subsidies of ObamaCare, insurance consumers need to purchase their coverage via the ObamaCare exchange. In Wisconsin, the plans available on the exchange to consumers in some counties were sometimes limited to a single health insurance provider. When the ObamaCare exchange launched in late 2013, 13 counties were served by only a single insurance company, and another 17 counties were served by only two insurance providers.
4) ObamaCare Co-op in Wisconsin costing taxpayers millions
Common Ground Healthcare, a health insurance co-op established under ObamaCare and funded in part by government handouts is struggling to stay solvent. Taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars worth of subsidies to the co-op and it does not appear that the organization will turn a profit anytime soon. The MacIver Institute reported in August of 2015 that Common Ground had received $108 million in government funds but was running a $36.5 million deficit. Health insurance co-ops in other states have already been shut down.
5) ObamaCare shutdown health insurance plans in Wisconsin
Not only did the Affordable Care Act lead to limited options on the health insurance exchange, but the ongoing impact of the law’s regulatory burden continues to cost Wisconsin options in the health insurance. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield announced last year that it was cancelling some individual insurance plans across portions of Wisconsin.
It is unlikely that any of these negative effects of ObamaCare will be mentioned by the President in his visit to Milwaukee.