ObamaCare: Worse Than You Thought

by JOHN V. WALSH

Prod a Democrat Party loyalist on the shortcomings of ObamaCare and you are likely to get two retorts: come 2014 at least everyone will be covered; and from the moment when Obama signed the law pre-existing conditions can no longer be used by the insurers to deny coverage.  It turns out, however, that neither of these claims is true.

Let’s take universal coverage first.  It turns out that in 2016, two years into full implementation of ObamaCare, there may be 30-40 million Americans sans coverage.  From whence and whom comes such a number?  No less than Dr. Robert Kocher, former special assistant to Obama on health care who directed the simulations to get these numbers in his new post at McKinsey and Co., an international consulting company.  The simulations involved a detailed county by county analysis across the country. 

Asked who would remain uninsured, Kocher replied:  “There will always be a residual pool of uninsured that includes the following populations: undocumented [foreigners], people between jobs, those who may lose coverage from either changes in income [or from] rolling off of Medicaid. Also, the [people whose employer-based coverage] was dropped but who haven’t yet purchased insurance; those eligible and not enrolled in Medicaid; and those [who have not enrolled in insurance] by choice.”

OK then, our Obama loyalist might say, at least as of the moment the president put pen to paper to pass ObamaCare, the insurance robbers were themselves robbed of the ability to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.   Perhaps in theory, but that does not turn out to be the case either.  It turns out that although 6 million Americans are eligible for the “Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan” provided in ObamaCare, only 8011 are enrolled.  Why the shockingly low number?  Two reasons emerge.  First most people and physicians do not know who is eligible or how to enroll, a recurrent problem in a health care system designed for the insurers not the insured.  And second the cost, the monthly premiums for the plan ranging from $320 to $570 a month.

So even these minimal benefits turn out to be an illusion.  And as we in Massachusetts are learning from RomneyCare, the model for ObamaCare, costs are not controlled by such programs.   Premiums continue to rise here and now the insurers are beginning to provide physicians with global budgets for their patients with financial incentives for the docs to withhold care.  We can expect more of that under ObamaCare.

But at its core the worst thing about ObamaCare is that it does not provide egalitarian care.  That is, health care is not a right.  We must pay bribes (aka premiums) to the insurers for our health care and better care comes to those who can pay the bigger bribe.  And for those who can’t who are too poor to pay any bribes there is Medicaid whose coverage in some states is no different from having no coverage at all, based on the outcomes.

One wonders whether it would not be better if ObamaCare failed in the courts leaving us with the reasonable two choices: Medicare for all, as in Canada and France, or a National Health Service, as in the UK.  Progressives might well want to ponder joining the suits against ObamaCare.

JOHN V. WALSH can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com.  He recommends following the sorry twists and turns of ObamaCare on Dr. Don McCanne’s superb column, “Quote of the Day,” from which some of the info above is drawn, on the web site of Physicians for a National Health Program, www.phnhp.org

 

 

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance
Howard Lisnoff
Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?
John Halle
On Berniebots and Hillary Hacks, Dean Screams, Swiftboating and Smears
Stephen Lendman
Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists
Patrick Cockburn
Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS
Ralph Nader
Sending a ‘Citizens Summons’ to Members of Congress
Clancy Sigal
Scratch That Itch: Hillary and The Donald
Colin Todhunter
Working Class War Fodder
Gareth Porter
Obama’s Version of Iran Nuke Deal: a Second False Narrative
Joshua Sperber
What is a President? The CEO of Capitalism
Zoe Konstantopoulou
The Politics of Coercion in Greece
Vacy Vlanza
Without BDS, Palestine is Alone
Laura Finley
Adjunct Professors and Worker’s Rights
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode Three, Where We Thrill Everyone by Playing Like “Utter Bloody Garbage”
Weekend Edition
July 24-26, 2015
Mike Whitney
Picked Out a Coffin Yet? Take Ibuprofen and Die
Henry Giroux
America’s New Brutalism: the Death of Sandra Bland
Rob Urie
Capitalism, Engineered Dependencies and the Eurozone
Michael Lanigan
Lynn’s Story: an Irish Woman in Search of an Abortion
Paul Street
Deleting Crimes at the New York Times: Airbrushing History at the Paper of Record
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
Making Sense of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Geopolitical Implications
Andrew Levine
After the Iran Deal: Israel is Down But Far From Out
Uri Avnery
Sheldon’s Stooges: Netanyahu and the King of Vegas
David Swanson
George Clooney Paid by War Profiteers
ANDRE VLTCHEK
They Say Paraguay is in Africa: Mosaic of Horror
Horace G. Campbell
Obama in Kenya: Will He Cater to the Barons or the People?
Michael Welton
Surviving Together: Canadian Public Tradition Under Threat
Rev. William Alberts
American Imperialism’s Military Chaplains
Yorgos Mitralias
Black Days: August 4th,1914 Germany and July 13th, 2015 Greece