The Health Care Reform debate will just not end! We have had to listen to self-righteous, liberal clap-trap for the last 4 years. Obama and his cronies were able to force a piece of legislation on America that almost half of the nation abhors. Still the liberals will not shut up.
I have studied Obamacare in depth. In my opinion, the law does not benefit all Americans. It is not fair legislation.
Obamacare benefits only the poor at the expense of the middle and upper classes in American society. It also benefits those in the medical professions at the expense of every other laborer.
1. Existing State Laws
Before candidate Obama created this “Health Care Crises” the states regulated the insurance industry.
State laws, that were already on the books before Obamacare, require insurance companies to collect enough money from their members to pay for all the anticipated medical claims for that year. Insurance companies rely on investment returns to help hold down the amount they must charge to members. However, state laws dictate that insurance companies must invest primarily in very safe bonds. When interest rates are as low as they are, insurance companies cannot earn investment income like they used to be able to do. The difference must be made up some place. That place is typically the amount of premium that is charged to you and me.
Do not be fooled. Insurance is not Health Care. It is nothing more than a bill paying service. As a service, insurance companies have over-head expenses. Obamacare’s MLR restricts the amount of money that insurance companies can use to pay the salaries of employees and over-head expenses. In order to meet the limits of Obamacare insurance companies have had to choose between laying off employees or raising premiums since the PPACA was forced on America.
You have already seen your premiums increase. It will get worse. One company slashed my commissions by 85% in 2011. Although my passion and interests have been on health insurance for the past 25 years, I have been forced to specialize on insurance for retirees in the past 3 years if I have any desire of having a career after 2014.
However, even with an 85% cut in income, I feel fortunate. Hundreds of thousands of people who used to work in the offices of insurance companies have been laid off.
3. Taxes & Fees
Not only are existing state laws and the new MLR limitations putting upward pressure on premiums, Obamacare places new taxes and fees on insurance companies. Those who say, “The new taxes and fees will be paid by huge insurance companies and not we citizens,” do not understand how the economy works.
Companies do not pay taxes and fees. Consumers do. The insurance company executives do not have to worry about the new taxes and fees. Those money for them to pay those new expenses will just be added into the calculation for the premiums that we Americans must pay thanks to Obama’s Individual Mandate.
4. Essential Benefit Plans
As if everything above were not enough to increase premiums, section 5000A of the PPACA mandates that every American, who is not exempt, is required to buy one of 5 Essential Benefit Plans (EBP). That means that Americans no longer have the freedom to choose which plans and benefits they want. A tea-totaller is required to pay for coverage for substance abuse. A 35 year-old female, who has had a hysterectomy, is still required to pay for maternity coverage.
One of the techniques that Americans have used to hold the cost of health insurance down is to buy only the benefits they felt they needed. The Individual Mandate and Essential Benefit Plans remove that option.
There is a cost for every benefit in a policy. Maternity and substance abuse coverage is pretty expensive. Since Obamacare does not give Americans the chance to eliminate those benefits if they do not feel they need them, the premiums will increase.
There is no question that health insurance premiums are going to increase next year. Supporters of Obamacare point to the Subsidies that will be in the Exchanges. There are a couple of issues that they either do not understand or care about.
- The “Subsidies” are paid for with tax dollars. They are a transfer of wealth from the middle and upper classes to the lower classes. They just use the I.R.S. to facilitate the transfer.
- The “Subsidies” are based on a sliding scale. Middle class Americans who accept a subsidy will still probably have to pay more for health insurance than they are used to or accept a plan with a lower actuarial value. The average American has a plan with an 80% co-insurance today. Subsidized plans will have a 70% actuarial value.
One thing that really, as we say in Texas, “chaps my hide” is that Obamacare is so obviously one-sided. If the PPACA were the only thing an alien from Mars read about our culture he would be convinced that all health insurance must have been demons and medical professionals gods.
While Obamacare requires insurance companies to pay millions of dollars in new taxes, limits their profits for providing a service and forces many Americans to buy health insurance benefits that they do not need, it only slaps the wrist of those who actually provide health care. Hospitals, doctors and other health care providers are free to increase the amount they charge.
Each year the congress increases the amount that doctors are paid under Medicare.
Until congress limits both health care providers and insurance companies, the health care reform activities by congress and the president are only going to be a bad joke.
THE LIBERALS ARE STILL NOT HAPPY
Obviously, I am not happy with Obamacare. I think that if congress truly wanted to solve a problem and not buy votes from special interests, a more sensible and less radical solution could have been found.
Never-the-less, the PPACA is the law of the land, whether or not I or millions of Americans like it. My hope is that when we get a new president and congress in 2016 it will be repealed and replaced with a system that actually works and is fair to every American.
This morning I read and article from Kaiser Health News. They claim that they are a neutral agency specializing in health news. I disagree. In my opinion, they are one of the most liberal organizations around.
The article I read just made me mad. Apparently, some of the insurance companies are petitioning the state departments of insurance to allow them to change the anniversary date for existing policy-holders to December.
If they are successful, their policy-holders will have a choice to enroll in one of the Essential Benefit Plans during the national Open Enrollment or keep their existing plan and delaying the premium Rate Shock that is coming with Obamacare for another year.
Apparently, the people who are Pro-choice when it comes to abortion are not willing to give Americans a choice when it comes to paying health insurance premiums.