Promises, Promises

In 2008, during the thick of now President Obama’s first presidential campaign, he promised he would reduce premiums by $2,500 for those who already have health insurance through their employer. This was not an offhand remark only given in one speech and then walked back by his team, this was a pledge made over and over.

It’s disingenuous at best, and completely dishonest at worst, for a Presidential candidate to even say that they can effect health insurance premiums. Any meaningful federal effect on premiums requires congressional action. Since I believe President Obama understands how the three branches of our federal government work, it seems reasonable to hold him accountable for his claim.

Seven years on, let’s see how well he has done keeping his promise. This data comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-partisan, widely respected, and trusted health policy research organization.

Premiums have not decreased by “up to $2,500”, they have increased by $4,865, or 38%. Average worker contributions to health insurance premiums fared even worse, they increased $1,601, or 47%. I only wish that more American voters recognized when Presidential candidates were intentionally pandering to them, knowing full well that they can not deliver what they are promising.