If you’ll recall, it was just last week I speculated that the declines in consumer spending, for three months running and despite falling fuel prices, might have something to do with ♡bamaCare!!!’s tender mercies.
Deductibles are an element of any insurance product, but as deductibles have grown in recent years, a surprising percentage of people with private insurance, and especially those with lower and moderate incomes, simply do not have the resources to pay their deductibles and will either have to put off care or incur medical debt.
The chart above, based on a Kaiser Family Foundation study published Wednesday, shows that about a quarter of all non-elderly Americans with private insurance coverage do not have sufficient liquid assets to pay even a mid-range deductible, which at today’s rates would be $1,200 for single coverage and $2,400 for family coverage. We found that more than a third don’t have the resources to pay higher deductibles. Among low- and moderate-income households, even fewer are able to meet deductibles. It’s no wonder that collections for medical debt represent half of all bill collections. The estimates are conservative because they assume that people have all of their liquid assets available to pay their health-care bills. But most people must tap into their liquid assets to meet other obligations, such as their rent or mortgage, car repairs, or educational costs.
It’s difficult to spend more when you’ve got to pay more for basic medical services — and Lord help you if you get really sick. ♡bamaCare!!! plans basically provide catastrophic coverage at Cadillac prices.
The theory behind increased deductibles and copays is to force people to have more skin in the game, and to shop around more for better prices. The problem is, that just doesn’t work under a insurance-for-everything system.
There’s not much of an incentive to shop around when the savings go to the insurance companies rather than to the customers. And how exactly are we supposed to shop around when ♡bamaCare!!! creates narrower and narrower coverage networks from which to choose?
Imagine insurance covered grocery shopping — I’m sure there’s a liberal with some boneheaded scheme very close to that already. Anyway, the same plan will pay for choice meats at Whole Foods, or for the sad, wilted vegetables at Walmart. Any savings you get while shopping at Walmart go directly to your “food insurer,” and the deductible and the copays remain the same at either place. There are other grocery stores in town less expensive than Whole Foods and with a better selection than Walmart, but they’re outside of your grocery network.
Are you going to go for the grass-fed ribeye at Whole Foods, or those turnips at Walmart that look like they hit their sell-by date over a week ago?
That’s essentially the system ♡bamaCare!!! has set up. It’s expensive for you and for me, but Whole Foods and the organic beef producers just love it.