Monday, September 29, 2014

Gov. Jindal Op-Ed: Obamacare’s Failure to Control Costs

When evaluating Obamacare, it’s important to define what “success” means. Success isn’t getting a website to work—even though government auditors recently found that still remains subject to lax security controls. And success isn’t forcing people to buy health insurance they might not need or want, under threat of IRS penalty—even though the Obama administration is already working overtime to lower expectations for next year’s enrollment numbers.

No—Obamacare’s prime metric of success, as defined by President Obama himself, should be whether the law reduces health care costs. And on that count, the president could not have been more clear, promising on numerous occasions in 2007 and 2008 that his plan would reduce premium costs for the average family by $2,500 per year. His campaign advisers further told the New York Times that “we think we could get to $2,500 in savings by the end of the first term, or be very close to it.”

A clear definition of Obamacare’s success prior to its enactment allows for an equally clear assessment of the law after its implementation—and on that count, Obamacare has failed miserably. Americans have faced cumulative increases of $6,388 per individual, and $18,610 per family, in higher premium costs because the president failed to achieve the reductions he promised from his health plan.

One year ago this fall, during the fiasco, then-Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius famously testified before Congress: “Hold me accountable for the debacle—I’m responsible.” But the real debacle is Obamacare itself: Its mandates, regulations and new government spending have failed to lower health costs, and instead have increased them.

The American people deserve better than Obamacare, and the health care plan I released this spring can provide the relief from rising costs that Americans so desperately need. Rather than focusing on a massive expansion and re-structuring of the health care system, the America Next plan focuses on reducing health costs, using proven methods—competition, more choices for patients, an emphasis on prevention and wellness and no new government mandates—that can lower premiums by thousands of dollars per family.

It’s high time we finally work to enact true health-care reform, one that gives struggling American families relief from rising health costs. That’s the reform President Obama promised, but has singularly failed to deliver.

This post was originally published at Politico.