Don’t blame Donald Trump for Obamacare's failures

Faced with the mounting policy failures of Obamacare, liberals in Congress are desperate to shift the blame to President Donald Trump.

Nonsense. Obamacare is responsible for the problems of Obamacare markets: rising costs, undesirable plans and declining choice.

The problems have been evident since day one. In 2014, insurance premiums exploded by an average of 49 percent. From 2013 to 2017, they increased by 105 percent in the individual markets, while deductibles exploded.

Take coverage. The Congressional Budget Office predicted that by 2019, 24 million persons would enroll in the exchanges, but this year only 12 million did. Enrollment started to decline, under President Barack Obama, in 2016. The mandate penalties were increasing, but enrollment was decreasing.

Or take choice. Between 2013 and 2018, the number of insurers in the individual markets declined from 395 to 181. Today, exchange enrollees in 52 percent of the nation’s counties have only one insurer. Meanwhile, plans have narrow provider networks of doctors and specialists, thus reducing patient access — a phenomenon first noted by the CBO in 2014.

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