Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gee, apparently Obamacare not working out for the middle class nationwide--who knew?

I can remember a lot of my liberal friends telling me that the conservatives were wrong in trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and that they should instead allow Obamacare to go into effect and--if it was as bad as they said it was going to be--collapse of its own weight.  The smug self-assurance behind that suggestion was that once Obamacare became a going concern (as they were so sure it would, right from the gate), it would become the new third rail of American politics.

More people would have insurance.  Insurance costs would go down.  Quality of treatment would go up.  If you liked your policy, you could keep it.  And everyone would get a unicorn.

Only if you consider a unicorn's horn to be ... the shaft:

More than half the counties in 34 states using the federal health insurance exchange lack even a bronze plan that’s affordable – by the government’s own definition – for 40-year-old couples who make just a little too much for financial assistance, a USA Today analysis shows. 
Many of these counties are in rural, less populous areas that already had limited choices and pricey plans, but many others are heavily populated, such as Bergen County, N.J., and Philadelphia and Milwaukee counties. 
More than a third don’t offer an affordable plan in the four tiers of coverage known as bronze, silver, gold or platinum for people buying individual plans who are 50 or older and ineligible for subsidies. 
Those making more than 400 percent of the federal poverty limit – $47,780 for an individual or $61,496 for a couple – are ineligible for subsidies to buy insurance.
I actually like the truth of this comment:
“The ACA was not designed to reduce costs or, the law’s name notwithstanding, to make health insurance coverage affordable for the vast majority of Americans,” said health care consultant Kip Piper, a former government and insurance industry official. 
“The law uses taxpayer dollars to lower costs for the low-income uninsured, but it also increases costs overall and shifts costs within the marketplace.” 
The only way that the ACA actually makes sense is if it was intentionally designed to be this awful so that Americans could be convinced that the only reasonable step was to move toward single-payer healthcare.  I doubt that only because I look back at the people who gave us this mess and I don't think they're that smart.

The problem now is that you can't repeal Obamacare any more.  It is like trying to take back the bullet once you've sent it downrange.  The problem is that now you have to take a situation that President Obama and his Congressional allies made worse, and find some way to fix it in the most polarized government we've had in decades.

Good night and good luck.


Delaware Watch said...

Yes, we should all return to a system where the uninsured increase the projected costs of the insured at a higher rate than they would without the implementation of the AHA. After all, it's never economically wise to take on increased near term costs in order to avoid staggering long term increased costs.

Scott said...

"Yes, we should all return to a system where the uninsured increase the projected costs of the insured at a higher rate than they would without the implementation of the AHA."

Interesting. Do you have any numbers to support this? I'd also like to get a better definition of 'cost'. I have not heard one constituent tell me that the care they had, and lost, was more expensive than the options on the exchange. Nor, have I had one constituent tell me that their employer provided healthcare has 1) gone down in price 2) provided better healthcare options 3) has had their deductibles NOT rise.