Will Obamacare Help Middle-Class America?


NoseI am one of the Mucous Minority.  At this time of year I join millions of other Americans who wish they could cut off their noses during allergy season.  The constant sneezing, dripping and sinus pressure we experience each spring can drive us to extreme measures.

To paraphrase my dad, “We want to cut off our noses to spite our faces.”

ELECTION PROMISES

In a sense, that is exactly what Obamacare is doing to the nation.  When Obama was first elected, in 2008, it was due in no small part to his promise to lower health insurance premiums.

Now that Obamacare is about to come into its own, we are finding out that not only are premiums not going to be lowered, more benefit requirements are going to be added and the premium for much of the nation is going to increase.

JUSTIFICATION

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius finally admitted, “These folks will be moving into a really fully insured product for the first time, and so there may be a higher cost associated with getting into that market,”

The federal government will use tax credits to help poorer Americans afford the new, higher premiums for the Essential Benefit Plans.   However, nothing is being planned to help middle-class Americans.

Prior to the sweeping changes made by the Obama administration millions of middle-class Americans were able to pay for only the health insurance coverage they needed.

EXAMPLE

For example, maternity is a very expensive thing to insure.  Hospitals charge $8000 – $12,000 just for delivery.  That does not consider the cost for pre and post-natal Ob-Gyn care.

In addition, although I am aware that there are millions of unplanned pregnancies, I am also aware that there are millions of planned pregnancies each year.  The ones that are planned violate the Law of Chance upon which traditional insurance is based.

Obama’s Essential Benefit Plans require all Americans to subsidize the cost of maternity coverage.  That means that the 45-year-old female who is finished having babies will still be charged for the cost of maternity coverage so that a 25-year-old female can have an insurance company pay for the delivery of her baby.

The new Essential Benefit Plans do not give her the option that she has enjoyed up until now to waive a benefit that she will never use in order to keep her health insurance premiums affordable.

I am all for helping those who have no health insurance get something to help them pay their medical bills.  I am not a heartless masochist who enjoys seeing someone else in pain.  When someone trips and falls down the stairs I wait until I know they are okay before I laugh.

In recent years those in poverty have become the face of America.  It seems that the Obama administration is making all its decisions for their good.  It is apparent that they feel that the “wealthiest Americans” can, and should, pick up more of the bills.

MIDDLE-CLASS EFFECT

What is not being spoken of is the effect that their actions are having on the middle-class.  I am not one of the “wealthiest Americans.”  Neither am I living in poverty.  My wife and I earn a livable income and try to “live within our means.”

Unfortunately, I feel like an American nose. I, and my clients are being cut off in order to make it easier for those in poverty.   I find it hard to believe all the talk about all the good things that Obama has done for the middle-class during the 2012 presidential campaign.

In my opinion, the Essential Benefits Plans that are mandated for all Americans to have cuts off the nose of the middle-class to benefit those who live in poverty.  Rather than work to create a law that benefitted all Americans, the PPACA was pushed through for political reasons rather than common sense.

The poor and uninsured will have their premiums paid for by the government, however, my clients are going to have to sacrifice some of the benefits they have had in the past in order to pay for benefits they will never need.

My hope is that when Obama’s term expires and we get another president, common sense can return.  With any luck a new president and congress in 2017 will be able to create national health care regulations that will benefit both those in poverty and middle-class Americans.

Until that happens, middle-class Americans who wish not to violate the law have no choice but to buy Obama’s Essential Benefit Plans.  My fear, however, is that millions of Americans will not look at the benefits but will buy the plans based solely on price and will end up in worst shape in the long run if they develop a health problem.

The most affordable plans, if you do not qualify for a federal subsidy, are only going to have a 60% actuarial value.  Without a subsidy, you could end up “filing for bankruptcy even though you have health insurance.”

The problem is that even if you buy the least expensive “Bronze” plan, it is likely that you will need to spend so much money in premiums that you will be reluctant to pay any more for supplements to pay medical bills that are not paid by your Essential Benefit Plan or a supplement to help you pay your non-medical bills (e.g. mortgage, car, credit cards, etc.) while you are recovering from a disease.

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