(A version of this Health Alert was published by RealClearHealth.)
Largely absent from the vigorous debate over reforming the nation’s health care laws is the understanding that simply being covered by health insurance does not reduce health care costs.
Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in March 2010, President Obama repeatedly promised that the typical family’s health premiums would go down by (sometimes “up to” but frequently “on average”) $2,500. That decline did not occur because the ACA strengthened the control that insurance companies—as opposed to patients—have over health care spending. In fact, Americans’ increasing dependence on health insurance over the last seven decades has been a major contributor to exploding health costs.