How to ruin health care: ObamaCare

I don’t know who the Obama administration consulted when it created ObamaCare, but clearly it wasn’t people who have experience working in health care.

Jessica Nickerson of Winneconne wrote this about the implications of ObamaCare becoming law. The views expressed are her own, but I agree with them:

Do you know that more than half of Americans strongly oppose ObamaCare and favor its repeal? Why would our government pass legislation that more than half of us oppose? Who is our government looking out for: us or the party faithful?

Our families and our economy cannot afford the cost of ObamaCare, or the impingement of our freedom of choice, that this legislation will instill. It is imperative that we vote this fall for legislators who will repeal it and will implement a plan that fosters competition and decreases regulations.

Not only will ObamaCare affect the very fabric of our nation, it will drive up the costs of private insurance to the point that private payers will no longer be motivated to provide coverage.

Currently, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) sets the payment rates to providers for services rendered to Medicare and Medicaid patients, which private insurers then utilize to set their own reimbursement rates. When ObamaCare takes effect, CMS, which has complete price control, will be able to lower reimbursement rates to a point that could make it unprofitable for private insurers to offer their products, ultimately requiring them to exit the market and making the public option for insurance the only choice.

Currently, competition among private insurance companies leads to higher quality healthcare. Competition in the market requires insurance companies to find the best doctors, which increases patient visits, ultimately leading to greater profit. Profit drives insurance companies to improve processes and pay for procedures, drugs and services the patients want and need. If a consumer doesn’t like what services are covered, or the quality of care is undesirable, the consumer’s dollars are spent elsewhere.

Another side effect of this legislation will be the reduced supply of quality physicians. Even though we’d like to believe that doctors practice medicine for completely altruistic purposes, the fact is that doctors make a huge investment into their education and ultimately expect, and deserve, a solid return. When the government lowers reimbursement rates to control costs, and competition no longer exists because private insurers have left the market, what monetary incentive is there to become a doctor? Many of our best and brightest physicians may choose a more financially rewarding career.

Included in the ObamaCare plan is the mandate for employers to provide health insurance or face a “substantial” fine. The fine is predicted to be significantly less than the cost of insurance itself, so employers may opt to pay the fine, or lay off employees, as a way to save money. So will you really be able to stay with the insurance plan that you currently have through your employer, as President Obama has recited repeatedly since the beginning of his first presidential campaign? It doesn’t seem likely.

Not only are employers mandated to provide insurance, individuals and families will also be liable for fines. The fine for an individual will be $695 and $2,085 for a family per year. Again, if the fine for not buying health insurance is significantly less than the cost to purchase insurance, individuals may choose the fine. We already see this happening with auto insurance mandates in states all across the country when the cost of the mandated auto insurance exceeds car owners’ ability to pay.

From the standpoint of a healthcare facility, the demand for treatment will undoubtedly increase when ObamaCare is fully implemented. Right now, people with private insurance think twice about going to the emergency room, because they know they will have to make a large copayment. If the new public insurance is like our current Medicaid program, no copayment will be required for an emergency room visit.

Do you think this will increase or decrease the usage of our emergency rooms? The answer is obvious. The increase in usage will lead to increased wait times for patients to see a doctor. The increased utilization would drive up costs, requiring the government to raise its revenue stream, which we all know is code for higher taxes. Let’s not forget the previous point that the supply of doctors may decrease due to a lowered financial incentive. That point, combined with increased utilization, will more than likely lead for the need to ration healthcare.

A better option to Obama Care is the option offered by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R–Janesville). For people currently on Medicare or older than 55, they will see no change from the current system. Americans younger than 55, in Ryan’s plan, will be given a voucher, based on the amount of money they make, to apply to whatever insurance plan they choose. We see vouchers working to improve school systems across America, and we should learn from their success.

Allowing private insurers to compete across state lines, which would give all Americans equal access to the lowest rates, would drive down costs. Reducing regulations on the insurance industry, as well as within the insurance policies themselves, would also drive down prices. Allowing for the implementation of higher deductibles and lower coverage amounts, as well as further expansion of health savings account, is yet another alternative to ObamaCare.

If you are OK with having the government decide which physician you must see and the treatments you are allowed to receive, then the ObamaCare plan is for you. However, if you want to be able to choose your physician, decide how best to spend your healthcare dollars, or at least be given the freedom to choose, than fight with all that you have to elect representatives that will overturn the current legislation this fall and replace it with a less regulated and more competitively-driven healthcare plan.

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Categories: US business, US politics | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “How to ruin health care: ObamaCare

  1. jacksmith

    REALITY!! And A Fix for Unemployment, Homelessness and Hunger

    In addition to fixing healthcare the right way we need a NewDeal. We need a permanent and updated FDR WPA (Works Progress Administration). A Full employment act requiring the government to provide a job for everyone able to work that wants to work at a living wage or better. At safe, meaningful work where they live. Guaranteed by the US government. With free or very affordable excellent healthcare and free or very affordable education and training for advancement or just personal enrichment.

    ( http://my.firedoglake.com/iflizwerequeen/2011/05/16/how-about-a-little-truth-about-what-the-majority-want-for-health-care/ )

    ( Gov. Peter Shumlin: Real Healthcare reform — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yFUbkVCsZ4 )

    ( Health Care Budget Deficit Calculator — http://www.cepr.net/calculators/hc/hc-calculator.html )

    ( Briefing: Dean Baker on Boosting the Economy by Saving Healthcare http://t.co/fmVz8nM )

    START NOW!

    As you all know. Had congress passed a single-payer or government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one, our economy and jobs would have taken off like a rocket. And still will. Single-payer would be best. But a government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! that can lead to a single-payer system is the least you can accept. It’s not about competing with for-profit healthcare and for-profit health insurance. It’s about replacing it with Universal Healthcare Assurance. Everyone knows this now.

    The message from the midterm elections was clear. The American people want real healthcare reform. They want that individual mandate requiring them to buy private health insurance abolished. And they want a government-run robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. And they want it now.

    They want Drug re-importation, and abolishment, or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. They want back control of their healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. And they want it NOW!

    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL NOT, AND MUST NOT, ALLOW AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE TO STAND WITHOUT A STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.

    For-profit health insurance is extremely unethical, and morally repugnant. It’s as morally repugnant as slavery was. And few if any decent Americans are going to allow them-self to be compelled to support such an unethical and immoral crime against humanity.

    This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

    Further, we want that corrupt, undemocratic filibuster abolished. Whats the point of an election if one corrupt member of congress can block the will of the people, and any legislation the majority wants. And do it in secret. Give me a break people.

    Also, unemployment healthcare benefits are critically needed. But they should be provided through the Medicare program at cost, less the 65% government premium subsidy provided now to private for profit health insurance.

    Congress should stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on private for profit health insurance subsidies. Subsidies that cost the taxpayer 10x as much or more than Medicare does. Private for profit health insurance plans cost more. But provide dangerous and poorer quality patient care.

    Republicans: GET RID OF THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE.

    Democrats: ADD A ROBUST GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION TO HEALTHCARE REFORM.

    This is what the American people are shouting at you. Both parties have just enough power now to do what the American people want. GET! IT! DONE! NOW!

    If congress does not abolish the individual mandate. And establish a government-run public option CHOICE! before the end of 2011. EVERY! member of congress up for reelection in 2012 will face strong progressive pro public option, and anti-individual mandate replacement candidates.

    Strong progressive pro “PUBLIC OPTION” CHOICE! and anti-individual mandate volunteer candidates should begin now. And start the process of replacing any and all members of congress that obstruct, or fail to add a government-run robust PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! before the end of 2011.

    We need two or three very strong progressive volunteer candidates for every member of congress that will be up for reelection in 2012. You should be fully prepared to politically EVISCERATE EVERY INCUMBENT that fails or obstructs “THE PUBLIC OPTION”. And you should be willing to step aside and support the strongest pro “PUBLIC OPTION” candidate if the need arises.

    ASSUME CONGRESS WILL FAIL and SELLOUT again. So start preparing now to CUT THEIR POLITICAL THROATS. You can always step aside if they succeed. But only if they succeed. We didn’t have much time to prepare before these past midterm elections. So the American people had to use a political shotgun approach. But by 2012 you will have a scalpel.

    Congress could have passed a robust government-run public option during it’s lame duck session. They knew what the American people wanted. They already had several bills on record. And the house had already passed a public option. Departing members could have left with a truly great accomplishment. And the rest of you could have solidified your job before the 2012 elections.

    President Obama, you promised the American people a strong public option available to everyone. And the American people overwhelmingly supported you for it. Maybe it just wasn’t possible before. But it is now.

    Knock heads. Threaten people. Or do whatever you have to. We will support you. But get us that robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one before the end of 2011. Or We The People Of The United States will make the past midterm election look like a cake walk in 2012. And it will include you.

    We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. They have already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.

    Spread the word people.

    Progressives, prepare the American peoples scalpels. It’s time to remove some politically diseased tissues.

    God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.

    See you on the battle field.

    Sincerely

    jacksmith – WorkingClass :-)

  2. Pingback: A Curious Notion: What is Insurance For? « Cyndacation

  3. Pingback: Real Health Care reform NOT Obama sCare | The Tiara Theory

  4. Pingback: Are You Willing To Give Up Your Freedom For Barack Obama? | The Insurance Barn

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