Obamacare Architect and MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber wants to separate fact from fiction when it comes to healthcare. Despite wide media coverage of rising premiums, Gruber insists Obamacare has actually reduced costs.
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“Let’s start with businesses, 150 million Americans get their insurance through their employer. The cost of employer-insurance today is $3,100 lower than it would have been, that was projected, before Obamacare,” Gruber told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.
On the other hand, for individuals, Gruber insisted insurance costs have not changed under Obamacare.
“Individual insurance, which is paid by about seven million people, is exactly where it would have been, absent Obamacare. The press coverage has been completely misleading on this, Obamacare has actually saved people money.”
Bartiromo then questioned why three major health insurance companies, Humana (NYSE:HUM), Aetna (NYSE:AET) and UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH), are pulling out of the exchanges all together or scaling back offerings.
“They’ve left the exchanges because this is a new and innovative insurance market for which they are not prepared” said Gruber.
Bartiromo then pressed Gruber on reports insurance premiums are rising. Projections by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes average premiums will rise over 20% in 2017.
Gruber responded, “Not for employers Maria, you keep mixing it up. Employers, most of your listeners have employer-sponsored insurance, their premiums are not going up 22%.”
Many, including the nation’s small business owners, say rising healthcare costs are limiting plans to hire and therefore hurting the economy. Gruber disagrees.
“Obamacare is irrelevant to economic growth,” Gruber continued, “There is no evidence at all that Obamacare has anything to do with economic growth.”