Calling the national healthcare scheme the “Affordable Care Act” has to rank among the most Orwellian names every hung on a piece of federal legislation.

Since its passage, the ACA has served to make health insurance increasingly unaffordable, and it looks like millions of Americans will suffer another round of Obamacare sticker shock in the upcoming year.

According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services, premiums for a midlevel benchmark plan will increase by an average of 25 percent for consumers across the 39 states utilizing the federal online health insurance exchange. Some states will see even larger jumps. According to the Los Angeles Times, unsubsidized premiums for a 27-year-old buying a benchmark “second-lowest cost silver plan” in Arizona will jump 116 precent, to $422 from $196. Oklahomans will experience the next biggest increase at 69 percent..

On top of that, about 20 percent of Americans will only have one insurer to chose from in the exchange. The total number of insurers will drop from 232 to 167 in 2017, Having to switch insurers can create big problems for patients, especially for those managing chronic conditions with specialists. If their doctor does not accept the single insurance option available on the exchange, patients could find themselves out in the cold.

“Consumers will be faced this year with not only big premium increases but also with a declining number of insurers participating, and that will lead to a tumultuous open enrollment period,” Larry Levitt, who tracks the healthcare law for the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, told the Los Angeles Times.

None of this comes as any surprise. It was inevitable that increased federal regulation of healthcare would cause price increases and squeeze insurers out of the market. Many Republicans in Washington D.C. actually warned of this. But when they had the chance, they failed to do anything about it.

Now, in the midst of campaign season, Republicans once again promise “full repeal.” Of course, they want to replace it with their own version of federal control. The fact is, waiting for Congress or a new president to “fix” Obamacare is an exercise in futility (See HERE, HERE and HERE),

State, local and individual action remains the last hope of ridding ourselves of this unconstitutional, economically disastrous federal healthcare program.

The Obamacare plan depends on state cooperation for implementation. States don’t have to provide it. The Tenth Amendment Center has developed a four-step plan to effectively undermine the federal healthcare plan. You can learn more about that HERE.

Oftentimes, supporters of Obamacare criticize opponents for not having any alternative. Market solutions such as direct primary care offers some.

These direct patient/doctor agreements allow a system uncontrolled by government regulations to develop. It makes doctors responsive to patients, not insurance company bureaucrats or government rule-makers. Allowing patients to contract directly with doctors via medical retainer agreements opens the market. Under such agreements, market forces will set price for services based on both demand instead of relying on central planners with a political agenda. The end-result will be better care delivered at a lower cost.

By incentivizing creative healthcare solutions, the market will naturally provide better options, such as the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, This facility operates completely outside of the insurance system, providing a low-cost alternative for many surgical procedures.

A more open healthcare marketplace within a state will help spur de facto nullification the federal program by providing an affordable alternative. As patients flock to these arrangements and others spurred by ingenuity and market forces, the old system will begin to crumble.

Mike Maharrey

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