After Biden's Super Tuesday victories ObamaCare's corporate beneficiaries go long: Rep. Chip Roy

ObamaCare put insurance companies at the top of the power hierarchy and they don’t want the status quo to change

What could be mistaken as tears from Bernie bros across the United States following former Vice President Joe Biden's Super Tuesday victories is really the drops from the rocket fuel that propelled a banner day for big insurance and health care stocks on Wednesday. The leaders of those companies are resting easy now knowing that ObamaCare will continue propping up their bottom lines.

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UnitedHealth Group Inc., Cigna, Humana, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Centene and other insurance companies opened strong Wednesday morning following the news that Joe Biden, who promises not only to keep ObamaCare but expand it, appears much closer to clinching the Democratic nomination. To big insurance, that proposition is dreamier than Sanders’ views of Fidel Castro.

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You see, insurance companies have spent the past decade watching their stock prices soar to new heights following the passage and implementation of ObamaCare. In fact, ObamaCare is so beneficial to their business model it begs the question of whether it was handcrafted for insurance companies, not doctors or Americans seeking care.

Take UnitedHealth Group, for instance. In April of 2013, shortly after the passage of ObamaCare, UnitedHealth’s stock price was $60 and change. As of Thursday morning, the company is trading at roughly $284. That constitutes a more than 300 percent increase in under a decade.

UnitedHealth isn’t a lone wolf. From April 2013 to today, Humana’s stock price is up also up roughly 392 percent, Anthem’s is up about 307 percent, and Centene’s has soared to roughly 412 percent.

ObamaCare put insurance companies at the top of the power hierarchy and they don’t want the status quo to change.

While the value of big insurance stocks skyrockets, Americans are having a difficult time affording the “affordable” coverage ObamaCare promised, let alone the care.

Since 2013, insurance premiums – the cost of having, not even using, health insurance -- have gone up more than 60 percent across the board, while private-market premiums have doubled and even tripled.

Deductibles – the price you must pay before insurance kicks in a dime – are tracking with premiums.

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The bottom line is this: we’ve made insurance companies ludicrously rich in the name of providing coverage for a fraction of the population that in many cases they can’t even use. ObamaCare put insurance companies at the top of the power hierarchy and they don’t want the status quo to change.

Given that Republicans blew their opportunity to repeal Obamacare last Congress, seemingly the only hope for freedom from its massive price hikes lies in court where my home state of Texas is challenging the bill’s constitutionality.

Big insurance isn’t worried, though, because they know that the likelihood of sticking with the status quo is much higher now.

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It’s time we flip the power structure, putting those who provide care (doctors) and those who need care (patients) in power. Insurance should be protecting us from the “big stuff” instead of preventing us from getting access to care in the name of coverage.

There are a number of ways to accomplish this.  But it starts with Healthcare Freedom – empowering Americans with expansive Health Savings accounts that can be funded by employers and used broadly.  We encourage disruption in the market and allowing Direct Primary Care doctors, health sharing organizations, truly catastrophic insurance – to name a few.

Markets are pretty good at sorting through the noise – and the markets know that a President Biden would perpetuate the ObamaCare-driven insurance enrichment scheme. But the only hope for Americans to enjoy affordable care and to control their health care decisions again is to end insurance-run health care, and instead choose health care freedom.

We are three weeks away from the 10th anniversary of ObamaCare. Let’s wake up from its fever dream and get busy creating a system that works for you, not big insurance companies.

Republican Chip Roy represents the 21st District of Texas in the United States House of Representatives.

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