There is a lot about the ACA that is good, but every single good point raises costs, as you point out. It’s not just emergency care. Removing the lifetime cap, imposing out of pocket maximums, mandating preventive care (not birth control), allowing children on plans until 26, prohibiting carriers from cancelling plans because of obscure incorrect answers on questionnaires are all good things. All needed things. BUT, they all add cost.
One intriguing aspect of obamacare is this.
By and large, employment-based plans are better deals than Obamacare; lower deductibles, lower co-pays, and the employee only pays a part of the premium.
Obamacare seems to me an encouragement to employers to “match” the Obamacare deals with larger deductibles, larger co-pays. What’s the employee going to do about it?
Paul, those costs were always there. The bankruptcy courts were full of mostly underinsured patients and basically denied payments to doctors and hospitals for their treatment.
There are lots of people in bankruptcy who end up there because they can’t make their obligations in other ways. Imagine oneself with expenses and payments to the utmost of one’s ability to pay them, (as many, if not most are) and then seeing one’s cost of health insurance double.
And, too, if one can’t make one’s deductibles under Obamacare and/or can’t pay the 40% under the bronze plan, the recourse is what?
The 17-20 million new Medicaid patients will not have that problem, though they might have trouble getting a doctor at all.
They still are and it’s not going to get better. Raising deductibles & premiums won’t help the situation. Individuals might file for bankruptcy with lower amounts of debt, but there could be a lot more people filing. Not to mention those that file every 7-10 years because even after bankruptcy they never quite get out of the hole.
Medical Bills Are the Biggest Cause of US Bankruptcies: Study
“I don’t think Obamacare is going to get rid of the situation,” LaMontagne said. “The data suggests that already-insured Americans are struggling. With the expansion of insurance, it doesn’t seem like that problem will go away entirely. It’s not a panacea.”
Yes, I understand that. But, those costs are mainly at the hospital. Inpatient stays are by far the most costly, but unless you yourself have an inpatient stay, you don’t see the recouping of costs that the hospitals engage in. In the new law, we are all paying for that care through increased premiums, tax penalties, and other assorted fees.
I am really on the fence about this. As a Catholic, I don’t think that anyone should be bankrupted by medical treatment. But, as someone who believes in self reliance and limited government, I think that the penalties and taxes and such are wrong. Very conflicted.
We don’t presently know how many people are going to be bankrupted despite Obamacare, or perhaps because of it. First of all, 30 million won’t have insurance at all. The deductibles and co-pays under Obamacare are huge if one doesn’t get the gold or platinum plans. And some people won’t be able to pay the higher premiums Obamacare requires.
I recall something my grandfather said about the Depression when reminded how low costs were then. “It doesn’t matter if a hamburger costs 5 cents if you only have four cents. Nor does it matter if a hamburger costs $50.00 if you have $51.00.”
I think a lot of us are going to have four cents when it comes to five cent care.
That’s why I said downthread that we have a care problem, not a coverage problem. I don’t want single-payer, but I hate the fact that we are spending all this money and disrupting so many lives for what could be very little gain.
Point taken. Where I see a possible benefit, and this probably isn’t due to Obamacare per se, is the savings of commission fees and underwriting charges involved in processing applications. And I know those commissions were sizable and annual. Of course, the website expenses have exceeded some of those expected savings. But hopefully some of those expenses were one-time only.
I expect they’re just built into the premiums now. One thing insurance companies are good at is knowing what they have to charge in order to cover costs. They don’t have “up front” charges for administering medicare and medicaid, but they do administer those programs.
Just a weird thought. Since the government doesn’t feel itself capable, at least so far, to actually administer any health program other than VA, one wonders whether the insurance companies would even be called on to administer “single payer” if that’s what’s down the road.
I think you’re mistaken. The government THINKS it can administer ANYTHING. It just, in reality, is incapable of managing big programs. Without a profit motive and entrepreneurial spirit, you instead have government agencies that can’t actually provide great service, but can sure spend money for lavish conferences and such.
I haven’t done much reseasrch on single-payer scenarios, but I would imagine you would have to nationalize the health insurance companies (their actual insurance divisions) or they would take on the role of Third Party Administrators. One of the benefits of single payer, though, is the lack of need for administration since everyone is eligible…
As I recall, before all of this push for the ACA, 85% of people had insurance thru their companies. Don’t think that is going to be anywhere near that now. I think the big push is to get rid of Obamacare and go to a single payer. IMO that was the ides from the git-go.
This thread seems to have wandered from initial post. That is understandable since there are so many, many things problematic with Obamacare.
When I think of “Top Hospitals”, I think of those research hospitals that take on the toughest cases. Many of them are affiliated with major universities. If those institutions can’t get paid enough to cover their costs for tough cases under Obamacare, they are going to take fewer cases. This is not emergency care that hospitals are already required to provide. Most of these cases are referrals from other hospitals that cannot provide the necessary treatment.
A government policy that limits advanced care to very sick people might be called a DEATH PANEL.
Since Pres & Mrs Obama are exempted from Obamacare they can get treated @ these hospitals.