Every time the government attempts to handle our affairs, it costs more and the results are worse than if we had handled them ourselves. — Benjamin Constant (1767-1830)
Once again, it’s time for the fiasco we call the Affordable Care Act to accept sign-ups and parcel out medical insurance to the American public.
Now, I realize my liberal friends will rise up in collective protest — and I fully support their right to do so — but this is my blog, and I have a right to my opinion as well.
So either hear me out or come back another time!
The Affordable Care Act — AKA Obamacare — was passed so all residents of this fine land would have access to medical care.
No longer would folks be denied coverage for preexisting conditions. Young adults could stay on their parents’ policy longer. Insurers no longer can arbitrarily drop people, and they must charge men and women the same rates for the same services. Sounds good, right?
But as this program enters its fifth year, some are saying it’s not working, and another overhaul is in order.
Here are some of the problems:
- Obamacare was supposed to be affordable. “Affordable” to whom? Certainly not to an acquaintance of mine — a self-employed businesswoman — paying $1,000 a month, with a $5,000 deductible. That’s more than the monthly payment for a luxury car, which I bet she’d rather have! And my insurance agent told me rates for 2016 are going up 30 percent for at least one company. Maybe more.
- Obamacare mandates a series of 10 areas for coverage, but why should a person who doesn’t need coverage in one of those areas pay for it? For example, I don’t have a substance abuse problem, nor do I need pregnancy or baby care. Isn’t it reasonable I should balk at paying for these things? Wouldn’t it make more sense to set up a “cafeteria” plan, where I could pick and choose the coverage I want?
- Obamacare mandates that everyone buy into the system. Excuse me, but isn’t this still the United States? How can I as a free American be forced to buy anything, regardless of how “good” it might be for me? Everybody knows education is good for you, but nobody can force you to attain a PhD.
- Obamacare was predicated upon a pool of young, healthy workers paying for older, sicker folks. But haven’t we all known older people who take extremely good care of themselves and don’t want or need care as often as a younger person? Why, then, should that older person pay more for coverage, just because of his age??
- Obamacare was supposed to “improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare.” It was supposed to provide healthcare to rural areas. Okay, then why are folks still showing up at our hospital’s emergency room during after hours for woes that can — and should — be handled by a 24/7 urgent care clinic of some sort?
- “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” Right. But when the policy you have doesn’t comply with the criteria of Obamacare, you’ll still pay a penalty.
- “Have you ever wanted to see rich folks pay their fair share? Now they will.” Hmm, this sounds like class warfare. No way can we all be equal. Even siblings don’t have the same health issues. And if a “rich” person like Oprah wants to buy more healthcare, or chooses to save her money, shouldn’t that be her right?
- Obamacare subsidies, or tax credits, are supposed to lower the cost of health insurance, making premiums more affordable. My agent said most folks are simply going on Medicaid, rather than paying exorbitant premiums. But shouldn’t Medicaid be reserved for the truly needy, rather than, say, a person whose wages just aren’t consistent?
Did medical insurance need reforming? Absolutely, but not like this.
Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer. — Denis Waitley, American motivational speaker and writer