August 8 2013
ObamaCare: At Least Your Wallet Won't Be Obese
Patrice J. Lee
ObamaCare is about to make healthcare a lot more expensive for many Americans. This is no shocker to those Americans who haven’t swallowed the free-healthcare-for-all Kool-Aid. What raises my eyebrow is just how much and where.
ObamaCare advocates have touted reports saying that in New York and California residents can secure basic plans for half the average price of what they pay now. They are lucky.
Indiana, Ohio and Florida recently released preliminary rate information projecting steep price increases to the tune of 72%, 41% and 35%, respectively. These are states that have taken a more hands-off approach to regulating the health insurance industry. So for example, insurers in these types of states (i.e. Republican-led) offered basic plans that held down costs. ObamaCare requires that insurers must offer “essential benefits” that may not have been covered previously such as maternity, mental health and medications, driving up prices.
CNNMoney looked into why “blue” states like New York and California aren’t predicting such big premium increases and they found that some of them like New York already require insurers to provide comprehensive coverage to all who apply. The current options just happen to be more expensive than what will be offered. So ObamaCare is slyly taking credit for something already in place.
Who will be the hardest hit by the rate increases? The young and healthy. Analysis of Indiana’s projected premium changes finds that a young man’s monthly rate will rise to $214 on the exchange next year, that’s up 63% from today.
If your wallet isn’t in pain at your potential rate increases, your heart should be. The erosion of freedom and choice runs down the ladder from the state to the individual level.
Requiring that plans in each state provide coverage for specific services and coverage for all removes the flexibility that states have to cater to the needs and choices of their residents. As individuals we have all lost our freedom to choose. For pragmatic reasons such as costs and good current health, we can no longer buy basic policies or even take the risk of not having insurance, if we want to live dangerously. And with the stroke of a pen, mandated national healthcare has robbed us of the basic choice of what to do with our bodies.
Perhaps if Americans actually believed that ObamaCare would improve the healthcare situation, we might be more susceptible to its clams. But we don't believe that. According to Gallup, 42% of Americans think ObamaCare will make their families’ healthcare situations worse and 47% think it will make the national healthcare situation worse. The expected spike in the price of our premiums will validate our hunches.
The salve for these higher prices is supposed to be government subsidies available to individuals and families. Government subsidies are just more government spending, which our national government can’t afford and which aren't really free--taxpayers will foot the bills by paying higher taxes.
Here’s the kicker to this subsidy business: they won’t cover all costs so a family may still end up paying a tenth or more of their income to healthcare costs each year. When you go from paying nothing (by choice) to a tithe, many Americans may just skip it altogether and accept the penalty at the end of the year.
As were reported before, to make this Orwellian healthcare system work, it has to be all or nothing. Otherwise ObamaCare just becomes another broken, overleveraged, underfunded federal program that won’t go away.