If you really want to understand why the Affordable Care Act hasn’t gotten more popular you should look at this graph. The number of Americans who say they have put off medical treatment continues to rise even after the ACA’s coverage expansion was implemented. From Gallup:

Percentage of Americans Putting Off Medical Treatment Because of Cost

The “Affordable” law was sold as a way to help all Americans afford health care but that is not how it has worked out.

Looking at the numbers we see things, like the Medicaid expansion, have made an improvement for the poor. The percent of households making less than $30,000 a year who said they put off medical treatment went from 43 percent 2013 to only 35 percent in 2014. Yet at the same time things have gotten worse for everyone else.

Among middle income families the percent putting off treatment jumped from 33 percent in 2013 to 38 percent in 2014. Even among families making over $75,000, in the past year the number jumped from 17 percent to 28 percent.

When President Obama kept talking about “bending the cost curve,” I suspect most Americans assumed that meant the law was going to help them pay for actual health care. In reality what Obama meant by “bend the cost curve” was that the ACA contained provisions to actively encourage the increase of their co-pays and deductibles with the goal of bending national health expenditure but often at the expensive of sick middle class families.

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com