How Obamacare Is Actually Making Health Care Less Affordable

If you research Obamacare exchanges in most states, for example, in the state of South Carolina, you’ll find that if you make around 13k per year, you can find a fully subsidized plan, such as the bronze plan available to SC residents. One might think this is a good thing, but think again. With a $5000+ deductible, plus a 40% co-pay, those who live from paycheck to paycheck still won’t be able to afford the average cost of a doctor visit. You will have a piece of paper in your hand that says you have insurance, but if you make $300 per week and have Obamacare, you’re still on the hook for a $150 doctor visit. Matter of fact, you would have to visit the doctor 33 times during the year before Obamacare kicks in, and then you’d still be on the hook for 40% of the cost. The unemployed, or those who make less than 100% of the poverty level, are not eligible for ANY subsidies. They will remain without health insurance.

Who exactly does this help? It certainly doesn’t help those who can’t afford to purchase insurance. It basically becomes a very expensive catastrophic policy, one which will require the policy holder to pay the first $5000+ of health care costs and 40% thereafter.

Obamacare doesn’t really help those who can’t afford insurance. All it does is transfer money from the U.S. Treasury directly into the coffers of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, the same companies who were instrumental in writing the law.

It’s a big scam folks!

Combine this with all of the negative effects that go along with the law, such as forcing citizens to purchase a service they might not want or need, privacy implications, pushing folks out of their current insurance plans and onto the exchanges, the limiting of hours by employers to 29 per week, along with the detrimental effect it will have on the jobs’ market, it becomes pretty clear that Obamacare has been a huge disaster. What is also abundantly clear is that it does not deliver the benefits as promised.

The entire impetus for Obamacare was to make health insurance more affordable and allow those who cannot afford health insurance to be able to obtain it. Clearly, this law fails miserably in achieving that goal. Obamacare should be repealed now. It needs to replaced with a system that actually works (like personal Health Savings Accounts), before it does anymore damage to our health care system, and to our economy.

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  1. lylejk lylejk says:

    Going to have to apply for (and will get) an exemption due to lack of employment. I will have a part-time Christmas job but even that should not jeopardize the exemption. Maybe, if I can find more full time work, things would be different. Still, I have my savings and bleeding it down, but at least I’m lucky that I have savings. Hopefully, after the elections, we will have a better potus that will fix the damage. I can wish, can’t I? lol


  2. TLC TLC says:

    As long as democrats control the White House and a only a slight minority in the Senate, obamacare isn’t going anywhere. I’m not even sure if a republican controlled government would end the program.

    The GOP needs to offer the public a good alternative. So far all I hear about are HSA–Health Savings Accounts. One alternative would be regional insurance cooperatives, much like is done with rural electricity.

    • Scott Scott says:

      I do like the idea of regional insurance cooperatives, as long as we are talking “real” insurance and not some kind of quasi-socialist redistribution scheme, where preexisting conditions are covered, as an entitlement (individual mandate does the same).

      One problem we face is that health insurance has become more like a health maintenance plan. I have vehicle insurance but that doesn’t cover break jobs, oil changes, wiper replacement and other maintenance issues. Instead, it covers accidents and other major repairs, which is exactly how we need to approach health insurance.

      We need a true nationwide free market, which will allow insurance companies (or regional cooperatives) to sell inexpensive catastrophic plans. Routine doctor visits would be paid for out of your HSA. The ridiculous premiums, we are now forced to pay, will more than cover both the catastrophic insurance and HSA contributions, with lots of money left over.

      For me, that’s the ideal world. In the real world, lots of people won’t be able to participate and they will have to be provided health care. We have lots of children with major health issues, as well as the issue of caring for the elderly, sick and infirmed. What happens when the young guy without insurance has an accident in the garage and cuts off several fingers? Who pays for the 50K to reattach? Many people believe that whatever system is in place, everyone has to be included. It’s hard to argue in favor of letting someone die when they can be saved.

      I really don’t know the best solution to all the complex health care issues we face. However, I definitely know it’s not Obamacare, which is an unholy alliance between insurance companies, hospitals, pharma and corrupt politicians. We can do much better, at a much lower cost.

      • TLC TLC says:

        I agree with everything you said. We must find ways to keep insurance costs as low as possible. Rates are driven up by maintenance and people rushing to the doctor every time they sneeze. People should have to pay out of pocket for for the small things. The people abusing the system should be the ones carrying a larger share of the burden.

        The best way to help people with little or no insurance is through private organizations. We can support the ones in already in existence or we can create cooperatives for that as well.

        There are doctors to whom you pay a monthly fee and they give you so many visits a year. Hospitals could do the same thing. There are a lot of options, some already in practice, and some not yet though about, but there are many that don’t include government.

  3. Jarrett Luehrsen says:

    “The unemployed, or those who make less than 100% of the poverty level, are not eligible for ANY subsidies.”

    Hmmm. No. If you make less than 138% of poverty level, you probably will qualify for medicaid. Between 100-250% of poverty level, you qualify for subsidies and cost sharing plans (silver plans that have much lower deductibles and out of pocket exposure than someone making more money). And between 250-400% of poverty level, you qualify for ‘normal’ subsidies. This roughly translates to an individual making less than $47k and a family of 4 making less than $90k. This is 80% of us. The SC median household income is around $50k.

    What’s ironic is the animosity against democrats when Obama clearly credited the ACA to Massachussets, aka Romneycare. Mitt and his guru Harvard math wizard friend (Jonathan Gruber) constructed the best way to get universal coverage without a public option and working with private insurance companies. It worked so well that Obama and company took the same exact structure and took it nationwide with “Obamacare”.

    Universal coverage is an admirable first goal. People dying of cancer because insurance companies won’t cover them is a nightmare that deserved to go. That being said, cost containment is a whole other animal. Hospital systems, insurance companies, and politicians are all to blame. Summed up quickly it’s greed and lobbyists- the main problem in all major industries. Tighter regulations (the ACA), while far from perfect (the lobbyists made sure of this) is a healthy step in the right direction. Would you have preferred we kept the finance industry deregulated?

    • Scott Scott says:

      With regard to SC, you have your facts wrong. Wisely, South Carolina did not expand Medicare to cover those not eligible for Obamacare subsidies. Doing so would have eventually blown a huge hole in our budget. As Federal subsidies for the expansion were phased out, the burden would have fallen to the already overtaxed citizens of SC.

      Consumers’ Choice Health Insurance Company, an Obamacare cooperative, has went belly up in SC, as well, leaving even less choice for those who can afford to pay the ridiculously high prices the ACA (cough) has ushered in for citizens in this state. One of my good friends lost their job and I helped them check out their options. They didn’t make enough money to qualify for subsidies, so they were looking at $500 per month (smoker), with a $5000 deductible and a 40% copay. Mind you, this for someone who doesn’t even have a job. These rates were for last year and rates have increased by double digits this year.

      What Obamacare actually does is subsidize the sick at the expense of the healthy. In a free market insurance system, the healthy are charged much less than the unhealthy. Under the ACA, it is just the opposite. The unhealthy are heavily subsidized (via taxes). On top of that, healthy individual’s rates are much higher than they should be, in order to cover the costs of the sick. Once covering pre-existing conditions were mandated, health insurance became a government entitlement.

      As I mentioned previously in this thread, we need a true nationwide free market, which will allow insurance companies (or regional cooperatives) to sell inexpensive catastrophic plans,anywhere in the US. Routine doctor visits would be paid for out of the individuals’ HSA. The ridiculous premiums, we are now forced to pay, will more than cover both the catastrophic insurance and HSA contributions, with lots of money left over. Those with pre-existing conditions will need to join high risk pools. Perhaps they can be helped by private sector donations and charities. A responsible person, who has lived a very healthy life, should not be forced to subsidize the healthcare of someone who has used their body as an amusement park.

      • Jarrett Luehrsen says:

        This is too ignorant to constitute any sort of effort of a reply. Call me a lazy moderate. Wish you and your friend luck.

        • Scott Scott says:

          A typical leftist/Alinsky tactic is to attack and belittle those with whom they disagree. Personal attacks are the last resort of those who cannot defend their positions in the arena of ideas.

          I’m surprised you didn’t shout “racist” on your way out.

  4. Jarrett Luehrsen says:

    Sorry Scott but you mentioned a few things that are completely backwards. Sick people are subsidized more than healthy people? Your friend didn’t make enough money to qualify for subsidies? The entire marketplace went up double digits?

    Unfortunately your ideal world of everyone having an HSA doesn’t work. Works great for me, I’m healthy as a horse. Probably works great for you, as I’m guessing if you were in a hospital bed right now or a diabetic on the way to the liquor store you wouldn’t have made the carnival comment. Fact is there’s a lotta sick people out there and healthcare is damn expensive. HSA’s are coupled with high deductible plans, and high deductible plans mean lots of out of pocket exposure for cash people just don’t have.

    As for the mandate, again, this was a conservative idea. They said, look, there’s an implicit agreement between good hearted Americans that says if someone shows up at the hospital with leukemia or a gunshot wound, treat ’em. Even if they don’t have insurance, we’ll figure it out. Who pays for that? Oprah? No, Taxpayers. (by the way SC has the 40th lowest taxes in the country). So what if instead of paying the full burden for those uninsured visits, we paid a smaller amount ‘upfront’ in the form of subsidies to help make sure said person can afford it. And what if we required the healthy horses to buy insurance in order to make sure the insurance companies don’t go under by paying for the sick? And what if we had an online marketplace where private insurers competed for our business online, therefore driving down costs? This competition and individual responsibility aspect of this plan is what caused Mitt to remark it was “the most conservative solution possible”. It just got tagged as ‘quasi-socialism’ by the media because of who happens to be in the White House. Is it perfect? No. Cost containment is a huge issue and I don’t personally think enough reform was done with the hospitals who charge whatever the hell they want. Overall I agree with you here, it’s a big scam. That said, the ACA is better than what we had before and is the only way to get universal coverage while still keeping the private market afloat. If you agree that the gun shot wound patient deserves to die on the door step, that’s a different discussion. Personally I’ve heard and read far too many horror stories of insurance companies screwing over the masses to ever advocate more free reign for those diabolical executives. If you thought Wall Street a la 2007 was bad, read a couple books on the decisions these guys made.

    As a final point, the whole premiums being too expensive is a gross generalization. I help companies paying for group insurance switch to individual insurance, and in the process both employer and employee are saving 30% average. Group of 14 I crunched numbers for yesterday will save over $90k annually and keep the same strength of coverage by switching from group plans to “socialist” individual plans. Once more business executives realize how the ACA can actually be used in their favor, adding a LOT of cash to their bottom line while better appeasing their employees, I predict a major paradigm shift. With any luck we can become more objective, and less political, about our healthcare. Maybe like the rest of the entire free world.

    Ok, back to my rugelach. Myself and the rest of America will wait on your solution to top what the Harvard boys came up with.

    • Scott Scott says:

      Thanks for returning to the discussion, Jarrett. Let me respond to a few of the assertions you’ve made.

      Once preexisting conditions were mandated, the premiums (and care) of the unhealthy became heavily subsidized by the taxpayer. Before Obamacare, it was very expensive for someone with preexisting conditions to get coverage. Some were not able to be covered at all. That’s the way real insurance works. As an analogy, it would be like wrecking your vehicle, taking out collision insurance after the fact, then expecting the insurance company to pay. Currently under Obamacare, you cannot be “discriminated against” or charged more for having a preexisting condition. Apparently, the only preexisting condition that increases your rates is tobacco addiction.

      So, who actually pays for all the unhealthy people under Obamacare? For one, it’s to be paid for by healthy, younger citizens, who are now forced to purchase whatever insurance the government says they must purchase at whatever rate the government says they must pay (or pay an ever increasing fine). The 2nd source of funding for Obamacare comes from a myriad of new taxes that we are all forced to pay. The 3rd major source of funding comes from robbing Medicare of $716 Billion.

      What happens when the government can’t confiscate enough money from the young and healthy to pay the higher premiums required to insure the older, less healthy? You guessed it. There’s subsidies and bailouts for the Insurance companies.

      138 million people paid a total of $8.7 billion to a reinsurance fund. Only 16.3 million people were in the risk pool that this money was set aside to fund claims. The money in this fund was supposed to reimburse insurance companies 80 percent of the large claims. Instead the government paid the insurance companies 100 percent of the large claims. link

      Many do not qualify for Obamacare subsidies because they do not meet the minimum earning requirements, which in SC, is approximately 13K per year. You do understand how Obamacare works, right? Also, many of these people do not qualify for Medicare/Medicaid either, as the qualification criteria varies from state to state.

      Obamacare premium increases also vary from state to state. Minnesota is up 34-50% for most plans and Mississippi is up over 60%. This is a far cry from the promise of 20%-25% decreases in premiums and the lies about “You can keep your doctor”.

      Your argument against HSAs doesn’t hold water. The reason heath care costs became so out of control is because insurance became a health maintenance system, where no one really had any skin in the game. Most people had no idea what the costs were and didn’t even care. Their insurance covered it. Creating the monstrosity we call Obamacare was the opposite approach that should have been taken. It was a partisan bill, passed in the middle of night using a parliamentary gimmick, even though the majority of Americans opposed it. A much better approach would have been a true free market system, where HSAs were encouraged and companies/co-ops could have sold inexpensive catastrophic plans, tailored to the individual. There is no need to have insurance cover routine doctor office visits and basic heath care maintenance. If an individual wants to pay a premium for that kind of coverage, they can, but no one should be forced to do so.

      You mention that law makers decided anyone could simply walk into a hospital and receive the minimum amount of care that would keep them alive. I’m OK with that, but I don’t believe it required socialization of the insurance industry, forcing all citizens to purchase really expensive insurance policies they might not want or need.

      Hopefully, you followed along, read the cited references and you now understand that Obamacare is nothing more than socialized health insurance. It’s actually a terribly convoluted and unmanageable version of socialized heath insurance, destined (many would argue designed) to collapse. It’s an unholy public/private partnership that gives us the worst of both worlds. We get a sledgehammer mandate from an incompetent federal government, enforced by the heavy hand of the IRS, while the “too big to fail” Insurance companies skim from the top. A nice, tidy arrangement for everyone involved, except of course, the taxpayer, who is taking it on the chin.

  5. Jarrett Luehrsen says:

    Scott there’s at least 100 more extremely right wing websites you forgot to reference! I’m not going to argue politics like a 14 year old. You’re talking about this like Obama is sitting in the Oval office picking rates for people. He had no desire whatsoever to implement the mandate, he even called Hillary out on it when he was running against her. But again, the proof is in MA and that’s what the ACA was based off of. Their plan was the only way to get universal coverage without a public option and while appeasing the insurance companies. Saying HSA’s are the answer to universal coverage is like saying Jesus is the answer to cure all mental health problems. Great for some! Not gonna fly for everyone.

    • Scott Scott says:

      I knew, before I responded, that you would not speak to the substance of my positions. You, and those of your ilk, find it easier to simply attack the source, rather than address facts.

      Good luck getting the sand out of your hair.

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