Obamacare: It’s Not As Bad As You Think – It’s Worse
Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, admitted the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, may not be quite as affordable as President Obama promised it would be.
During his sales pitch to the American people, President Obama repeatedly said that by the end of his first term, healthcare reform would “bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family.”
The unfortunate thing for the typical family is, math may not be President Obama’s strength.
It is the beginning of the President’s 2nd term, and rather than premiums decreasing by $2,500, the typical family’s health insurance premium has increased by $3,500 annually. In 2008, the average cost for family coverage was $12,298, increasing to $15,545 in 2012.
For the mathematically challenged, President Obama, this is a 60% shift from the promised result enacting Obamacare would bring to premiums paid. Not to worry though, Obamacare is not as bad as you think – it’s worse.
In January, Forbes.com reported Aetna’s CEO, Mark Bertolini, warned that “many consumers would face premium rate shock with the advent of Obamacare’s major insurance regulations in 2014.” Mr Bertolini suggests premiums paid by those ineligible for government subsidies will rise, on average, 20 to 50 percent.
For those of us in the know, the “premium rate shock” is well, not so shocking. By design, Obamacare was front loaded with goodies – kids insured to age 26, no exclusion for the pre-existing conditions of children, senior prescription discounts, free preventative care services, and Sandra Fluke’s favorite – free birth control.
The intent of the freebies was to endear the public to Obamacare and make any premium changes acceptable. The only problem, is that some Americans actually bought the Obama sales pitch and expected premiums to drop.
In 2014 additional insurance regulations begin and are expected to further drive up healthcare insurance costs. They include:
- No exclusion for anyone’s pre-existing conditions
- No surcharge for those with pre-existing conditions
- Limitations on the amount carriers can collect for deductibles and co-insurance
- No annual dollar limits on the amount of coverage an individual may receive
While the above mandates may seem like a good idea to consumers of healthcare, covering everyone for everything, comes with a price, and it is in the form of “premium rate shock.”
Expecting pushback from evil health insurance carriers, the Obama administration drew up regulations requiring carriers justify double-digit percent premium increases. The intent, to protect consumers from higher rates, charged by greedy insurance carriers looking to benefit financially from the publics increased skepticism of Obamacare.
However, justifying a business requires additional payment for increased demand as a result of being forced to accept higher risk individuals at fixed pricing while including mandated free services should prove an easy task for the carrier’s actuarial division. The result: higher premiums for all!
As a rule, liberal policies tend to be judged only by their intention and not by the results, however, given the dismal results to date Obamacare may be the lone exception.
In the story Election Have Consequences, we examined why employers like Walmart drop, or are contemplating dropping healthcare for full-time employees, opting instead to pay the penalty set much lower than the cost to a business for offering employee health coverage. Another Company Reducing Hours Due To Obamacare Mandates examined why employers like Wendy’s, either have reduced, or are contemplating reducing employee hours to avoid being subjected to the healthcare law.
With Sebelius’s confirmation that Obamacare is responsible for increasing insurance premiums with additional hikes likely to follow, many more Americans are beginning to realize Obamacare is much worse than they thought.
What additional goodies should the American people expect? Doctor shortages, free care for illegal immigrants, and Obamacare’s fatal penalty flaw – encouraging higher risk individuals to opt in while healthy people opt out all but ensuring the rate increases continue.by