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Fact check: 'Obamacare' hasn't yet reduced health insurance costs

October 03, 2012|By Noam N. Levey
  • President Obama speaks during his debate with Mitt Romney at the University of Denver.
President Obama speaks during his debate with Mitt Romney at the University… (Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty…)

President Obama reiterated a claim that his healthcare law will reduce costs, a promise he made when he started pushing for an overhaul as a candidate four years ago.

Then, Obama said he would cut family health insurance premiums by $2,500 by the end of his first term.

Today, this stands as one of the president’s biggest unfulfilled promises. In fact, the average employee share of an employer-provided health plan jumped from $3,515 in 2009 to $4,316 in 2012, an increase of more than 22%, according to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.

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The total cost of an average employer-provided family health plan – shared by the employer and the employee –reached $15,745 in 2012.

When the law is fully implemented in 2014, some low- and middle-income Americans will qualify for government subsidies to help them afford health insurance. And other provisions of the law could help slow the growth in healthcare costs over the long term.

But for now, there is little evidence that the Affordable Care Act has made healthcare any more affordable for the vast majority of Americans.

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noam.levey@latimes.com

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