Christopher Press details how ♡bamaCare!!! helped to increase his family’s healthcare cost exposure more than fourfold, to nearly $28,000 a year, and concludes:
I never thought I’d look forward to Medicare. If I were eligible today, my premium would be $122 a month, about one-tenth of my current premium. I have 21 months to go.
Many in the workforce have been shielded by their employers from the full effects of these changes. Small businesses, the self-employed, pre-Medicare retirees, part-timers and the unemployed have no shield. Who can be surprised if they go uninsured? If you can’t afford $14,000 in premiums, why pay them when all it buys is the exposure to another $14,000 (in deductibles) you don’t have?
I know the idea is that, over time, higher premiums and deductibles will lead to lower health-care prices, more competitors and better value.
It’s a damn shame when anybody who used to be able to afford their own insurance now finds themselves looking forward to going on the dole. Though I suppose for the collectivists in Washington and elsewhere, that’s more of a feature than a bug.
Then there’s unlikelihood of “over time” ever becoming “right now.”
Healthy families with money enough to afford up to $28,000 in medical costs are being driven off the exchanges, and either onto the dole or just taking their chances and paying the individual mandate penalty (“It’s a tax!”). That leaves the exchanges trying to make a profit on the sicker and poorer, which just can’t be done. Not even health giant Blue Cross can make a profitable go of it. And so rather than bringing in new competitors to drive down prices, most of the exchanges are either stagnant or seeing insurers drop out of their marketplaces.
Now maybe the exchanges will manage somehow to muddle along, rather than enter the dreaded Death Spiral. Still, it’s becoming clear that the critics were right all along, and that ♡bamaCare!!! contains too many loopholes, perverse incentives, and contradictions to ever deliver on its promise to bend the cost curve down.