Barack Obamacare, the Theft of Middle Class “Wealth”
Barack Obamacare may have brought health insurance to millions of people in the US, many in the program finding that the medical care they need is too expensive to actually use.
Many people with Barack Obamacare have plans that feature high out-of-pocket up front costs that often puts health services out of reach. That’s because the insurance coverage they have purchased is designed not to kick in until patients have spent thousands of their own dollars.
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has pushed the uninsured rate in the US near a record low, a Commonwealth Fund study this year found that about 4 in 10 adults in ACA plans are not confident they could afford care if they got sick. So, that is paying for coverage that one will never get or be able to use ever, that means the people are insured and name only, another Progressive Democrat fraudulent misrepresentation aka lie.
Affordability has become a major issue in the Presidential campaign.
Donald Trump, the GOP candidate, points to rising premiums as a sign that the ACA does not work, and promised to repeal it.
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, pledges to fix it, in part by boosting subsidies to buy insurance, leading to a single payer plan. Socialized medicine, no good for anyone.
Key changes in Barack Obamacare need action by the US Congress.
In the meantime, patients are assessing their options.
“A lot of people are still one catastrophic illness away from really feeling the financial impact of this,” said Jonathan Oberlander, a health policy professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. “They are underinsured, and that means they are not going to get all the services that they want or that they need.” It has also impacted the rest of the healthcare system — when patients get sick and cannot pay, hospitals or other health providers wind up with bloated unpaid bills.
The Obama Administration is keenly aware of this.
Earlier this year, it highlighted “Simple Choice” plans covering services like doctors’ visits and drugs with small upfront payments.
The HealthCare.gov website where people shop for coverage also features a calculator to help figure out how much people will pay.
Deductibles are typically highest in the cheapest, or “Bronze,” level of insurance sold under Barack Obamacare. The plans usually have lower premiums but also higher out-of-pocket costs. Plans with higher premiums at the “Silver” and “Gold” levels have more comprehensive coverage.
It is simply a market gimmick and not really helpful.
The ACA sets limits on out-of-pocket bills, capping costs at $7,150 for an individual and $14,300 for a family for next year. While that can alleviate catastrophic debt, it can be less helpful in paying up front. You can get a $7 to 14-K for a “hang-nail” in today;s bloated system.
The affordability problem is a middle-class one, one designed to strip them of their hard earned wealth and subsidize the have nots.
While the law provides tax subsidies to help buy insurance, and extra help with out-of-pocket costs for low-income individuals, it restricts the most generous subsidies to those who earn less than about 2X the poverty level, Mr. Oberlander said. At higher income levels, customers are asked to pay almost 10%of their income for a mid-level insurance plan. Nutz!
Compounding the problem, premiums rise as people grow older.
A 60-year-old making $48,000 a year, just too much to qualify for ACA subsidies, would need to spend 22% of his or her income to buy the average mid-level plan, according to a study from HealthPocket Inc., which helps people buy health plans.
Ezekiel Emanuel, who advised the Obama White House on the Affordable Care Act and is now a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said that while some people still have to put up big sums, the situation is an improvement from before.
Individuals no longer face annual or lifetime limits in their insurance plans, and ACA plans offer some services before the deductible kicks in.
A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the NY-T’s found that people still face financial difficulty when they get sick. About 20% people with insurance said they or someone in their household had a hard time paying medical bills, compared to 50% of those without insurance.
Individuals with higher deductibles were more likely to report difficulties.
Next year, the cheapest plan, from Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI), will cost about $40 a month more, with a deductible of $6,650, Silly.
Vote to elect Donald Trump President, repeal this middle class income theft.