Do most people have literally no idea what Obamacare does, and just believe the “affordable care” title and the talking point that millions of uninsured people will get coverage? If you voted for Obama, chances are you have said something about how bad greedy corporate fat cats are. Obamacare forces you to buy a product from giant private corporations. So in Obama supporters’ minds, do the new requirements in Obamacare imposed on insurers to cover preexisting conditions etcetera make up for this? And did they think the prices would magically stay the same, while these “greedy” corporations had to spend more? A for-profit company will not simply become a charity because of language in the Affordable Care Act. Currently the government sets limits on what these companies can charge, but only in relation to what they are charging others. For example, insurance companies cannot charge people over a certain age more than 3 times what they charge people under a certain age; but there is no limit on what they can charge the young person. If the government goes one step further and starts limiting what these companies can charge altogether, that will literally be fascism: government not officially owning but completely controlling private industry (versus socialism where the means of production are nationalized and owned by the state).
Young people need to realize that they are essentially being tricked. Remember, these are the same people who gave us financial crises after intervening in the economy, that arguably is the reason so many young people can’t find good jobs right now. Obama looked Americans square in the eye, and blatantly lied to us by saying if we liked our insurance, we could keep it. But now that it was passed, we get to see what is in it, and it’s not pretty. One blogger tells a story, one of many, about how he is losing his cheap catastrophic plan, and being forced to buy a plan which covers more, but has a higher deductible, and higher co-pays. This means even though he will have more coverage (like prescriptions a healthy 34 year old won’t need for decades), there is a disincentive to go to the doctor, because it costs more each time, and includes more out of pocket costs before the insurance kicks in. So who benefits? The company selling him insurance who now earns more profits from him, while providing him with no more actual healthcare—and in some circumstances less.
I am being funneled into the closest equivalent plan under the new California health exchange, and my monthly premium is going to rise by nearly 43% to $214 a month.
My old plan was as bare-bones as they came, so I assumed that even though the new plan would cost more, my coverage would improve under Obamacare, at least marginally.
It did not.
Under my old plan, my maximum out-of-pocket expense was $4,900. Under the new plan, I’m on the hook for up to $6,350. Copays for my doctor visits will double. For urgent-care visits, they will quadruple. Though slightly cheaper plans exist if I decide to shop around on the exchange, I will lose my dental coverage should I switch.
So as usual, the government focuses on the good things in Obamacare (millions will receive coverage) without asking the question that everyone and everything except the government considers before acting: at what cost? There is always a cost on the flip side of every benefit, so why does government ignore the cost and only focus on the benefit? Obviously that method is better for politicians, but bad for the country. How can we make good decisions without considering the benefits and the costs? Even if this blogger made $30,000 a year and qualified for a $40 subsidy, his monthly costs would still be more under Obamacare. Are we seriously okay with people who make that little money footing the costs for others? The cost of Obamacare includes unfair burdens on young and healthy people, who have already been burdened enough by the previous generation whose politicians tanked the economy.
But us right-wing extremists just like to trash liberal ideas without offering our own solution, right?
Actually there is a very sound “right-wing” plan to make sure people have access to healthcare, and to control the costs by making it an individual’s responsibility to budget their own medical expense—though not necessarily pay for it all. Just like a social security number, Americans could be set up with a health savings account from birth which is payed into instead of insurance. For those who qualify state governments could add money to those accounts, which would be inaccessible except for healthcare costs. Healthy people’s accounts would grow and earn interest by providing low percentage rate loans for anyone with medical conditions that are too expensive for the amount of money in the health savings account to cover. Banks offering these accounts could be required to purchase insurance in case anyone could not pay back their loans. Many employers would choose to pay into these accounts as an incentive to work for them, but anyone else could decide how much they would like to put into their health savings account per paycheck. Since the individual would be in charge of what they spend their healthcare money on, costs would remain lower because there would be a monetary disincentive for using more care than you need. Since there is no middleman—the insurance company—costs would also remain lower because money would be going directly to the doctor instead of being skimmed while traveling through the insurance company, and because people in control of their own finances will shop around to save money, and not accept paying ridiculous prices as some insurance companies currently do.
If the left and the media were not constantly arguing against straw men, we may be able to have an intelligent debate about how to get every American access to affordable care, without unnecessarily burdening others. But since the rights’ ideas are not taken seriously, listened to, or even known by most of the mainstream media and liberals, finding a real solution is not currently possible. Right now, it’s “my way or the highway” from the President and his party, who love to focus on the benefits, and completely ignore the costs.