If one listens to progressive/statist/altruists one leaves with the impression that if you must “pay” for a medical encounter from you own wallet it is unconscionable. Why is that, ask you? Because, answer I, it is possible that my wallet is thicker than your wallet.
The Affordable Care Act was pushed down our throats based on the principle that we had a moral obligation to expand medical coverage to the uninsured. Add this to the list of “do-gooder” ideas that isn’t working out as it was draw up in Washington.
There were two principle reasons that progressive/statist/altruists believed that millions of Americans did not carry health insurance. Some of the uninsured Americans could not afford health coverage because their incomes were insufficient. Others had medical conditions that made insurance too expensive or simply unobtainable.
[Source: Obamacare Coverage Is Worse than Nothing for Most People, by Devon Herrick]
So, did Obamacare solve these problems or make them worse? Despite having Obamacare coverage, many Americans still can rack up huge medical bills. The only coverage many people can now afford are plans with both an excessively high premium and excessively high deductibles, as well.
[From the Herrick article] Earlier this year, a report from the University of Pennsylvania found all but the most heavily subsidized Obamacare enrollees would be better off financially if they skipped coverage and pay for their own medical care out of pocket. The people whose incomes fall between 1.38 and 1.75 times the poverty level will spend about three times the amount on premiums for a Silver plan as they would have out of pocket had they remained uninsured. For those earning more than 250 percent of poverty, most will be worse off financially compared to having remained uninsured… Except for the unlucky few who experience catastrophic health complaints, the vast majority of Obamacare enrollees would be better off uninsured.
The mandate of Obamacare to make care cheaper for those with preexisting conditions has had the effect of making it worse, or at least, more expensive for everyone else. Paradoxically, they are even worse off than being uninsured. This is why “altruism” (I am my brother’s keeper) sounds nice, but is no way to run a government.
Deductibles of $5000 or more are common. This means that most enrollees pay their annual expenses from their deductible, never calling on their “insurance.”
[From the Herrick article] Obamacare is becoming little more than a sickness tax on people who don’t expect to reach their deductibles. It’s an unofficial tax on most enrollees to reward insurers and offset some of the cost of insuring the few people with major health conditions. That is not an efficient way to subsidize medical care… The Rand Health Insurance Experiment of the 1970s found when people were exposed to significant cost-sharing, they consumed about 30 percent fewer medical services on average. More recently, research by the Kaiser Family Foundation found the uninsured consume only about half the care of those with coverage ($2,443 vs. $4, 876).
The plan of Obamacare was to “insure” 30 million uninsured Americans. It has nowhere near met its goal. However, it has made everything worse for the remaining 286,000,000 Americans.