Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Obamacare is a Lie

I'm really trying to be positive and look for the good that will come from the Affordable Care Act. Everyone has a story about how they've been devastated by exorbitant medical care costs and increasing health insurance premiums. I think everyone would welcome some change in this area.

President Obama said recently, "The bottom line is we are making the insurance market better for everyone."

I don't know about everybody else's bottom line, but in 2014, I am losing my existing health insurance plan and being forced into a high-deductible plan with higher premiums, and less choices. My employer admits that the changes are being driven by new federal regulations and states that the new plan will give us all "a way to get smarter about using health care and be more thoughtful about managing costs." That's a nice way of saying, "You're going to pay more." So much for keeping that health care plan.

Our family's out-of-pocket health care expenses rose 40% from 2012 to 2013 (as of August 2013), and we still anticipate more health care expenses this year, which will make that percent increase even higher. In 2014, our family deductible (in-network) will increase by 67%, and our family out-of-pocket maximum (in-network) will increase by 80% compared to 2013 amounts.

I know this is a "first world problem," and that I really need to just be grateful for what I have. Maybe I need to shop around and just buy my own health insurance plan rather than take the one offered to me by my employer. If only there were a web site where I could access a central marketplace of offerings. There are a lot of promises being made about how the ACA will make things better for everyone. Let us be wise and consider the impact these changes are really having on us. Trust the math.


  1. I share some of your same pains. Part of the problem could be your employer. Part of it is that while premiums are going up for many, they'll also be going down for some (how many, I'm not sure!). My employer's "standard" plans have gone up drastically, but they still offer very reasonable HSA and "HealthFund" plans that are just as good or better than last year's plans. Helps when your employer will contribute to your HSA.

    I still haven't been able to view the available plans on healthcare.gov. Maybe someday their website will work.

  2. It's an enormous transfer of wealth from the taxpayers to the insurance companies. What do insurance companies do? They stand between the patient and the doctor and take a cut of the transaction. For-profit companies have a legal obligation to maximize profit for their shareholders. This means insurers have every incentive to not offer coverage to people who aren't likely to be profitable (like old people, which is why the insurance industry dumped them all in the government's lap and called it Medicare, and sick people, which is why you get denied for pre-existing conditions).

    Personally, I vote for single payer. Why should your ability to access health care depend on your employer? If you want to be a waitress or a dancer or run your own small business, you should be able to get the same access to health care as somebody who works for a big company.

    Obamacare is not a great system, but there are some nifty features in it that will protect individuals and limit some of the abuses of the insurance companies. The cost of these nifty features means that everybody will pay more and that the insurance companies will rake in record profits (as they are obligated to strive for).

    Personally, I work for a small business and can get a better, cheaper policy on the exchange than I can at work. I also qualify for a small subsidy, so that'll help some, too.