Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar claimed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) broke more promises than just the promise that American’s could “keep their doctors.”
The ACA, more commonly known as Obamacare, was the health care policy put forward by President Barack Obama. The former president received Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” award after promising that Americans would be able to keep their current doctor under the ACA, but Azar claims there were many more broken promises that were tied to the policy.
During an interview with Fox News, Azar claimed that the “every single promise” of Obamacare was broken throughout the policy’s implementation.
Watch Azar’s comments:
“It still doesn’t work for people. Obamacare doubled premiums and reduced access to health insurance for people. It drove people out of the individual insurance market. It betrayed basically every single promise that was made to the American people. Heck, the very people who sponsored the legislation are now admitting it’s a failure, saying that we need complete government takeover of health care through Medicare for all.”
Azar noted that President Donald Trump has made some strides is driving down premiums. As IJR previously reported, Trump signed an executive order to expand HRAs, which could greatly expand the individual market to drive down costs.
Now, the Trump administration is taking aim at Obamacare in the courts where federal attorneys believe they can flatten the policy, given the constitutionality of some of the provisions.
As Azar explained, the Trump administration believes the individual mandate — the portion of the ACA which required all Americans to get health care or face a fine — is unconstitutional.
“Should the courts invalidate all of Obamacare [with their pending ruling], we’ll certainly work with Congress to ensure that we keep what’s working — such as protecting pre-existing conditions — but replacing it with a system that really delivers for the American people.”
While Azar seems optimistic that Congress could come up with a comprehensive replacement for the ACA, history would say otherwise. Republicans have struggled to replace Obamacare even when they had control of the House and Senate. The late Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) blocked the “skinny repeal” of the ACA and neither party has touched the issue since.