FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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

 

 

John V. Walsh can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 01, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
Hillary: Ordinarily Awful or Uncommonly Awful?
Rob Urie
Liberal Pragmatism and the End of Political Possibility
Pam Martens
Clinton Says Wall Street Banks Aren’t the Threat, But Her Platform Writers Think They are
Michael Hudson
The Silence of the Left: Brexit, Euro-Austerity and the T-TIP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Marx on Financial Bubbles: Much Keener Insights Than Contemporary Economists
Evan Jones
Ancillary Lessons from Brexit
Jason Hirthler
Washington’s Not-So-Invisible Hand: It’s Not Economics, It’s Empire
Mike Whitney
Another Fed Fiasco: U.S. Bond Yields Fall to Record Lows
Aidan O'Brien
Brexit: the English and Welsh Enlightenment
Jeremy R. Hammond
How Turkey’s Reconciliation Deal with Israel Harms the Palestinians
Margaret Kimberley
Beneficial Chaos: the Good News About Brexit
Phyllis Bennis
From Paris to Istanbul, More ‘War on Terror’ Means More Terrorist Attacks
Dan Bacher
Ventura Oil Spill Highlights Big Oil Regulatory Capture
Ishmael Reed
OJ and Jeffrey Toobin: Black Bogeyman Auctioneer
Ron Jacobs
Let There Be Rock
Ajamu Baraka
Paris, Orlando and Turkey: Displacing the Narrative of Western Innocence
Pete Dolack
Brexit Will Only Count If Everybody Leaves the EU
Robert Fantina
The First Amendment, BDS and Third-Party Candidates
Julian Vigo
Xenophobia in the UK
David Rosen
Whatever Happened to Utopia?
Andre Vltchek
Brexit – Let the UK Screw Itself!
Jonathan Latham
107 Nobel Laureate Attack on Greenpeace Traced Back to Biotech PR Operators
Steve Horn
Fracked Gas LNG Exports Were Centerpiece In Promotion of Panama Canal Expansion, Documents Reveal
Robert Koehler
The Right to Bear Courage
Colin Todhunter
Pro-GMO Spin Masquerading as Science Courtesy of “Shameful White Men of Privilege”
Eoin Higgins
Running on Empty: Sanders’s Influence on the Democratic Party Platform
Binoy Kampmark
Who is Special Now? The Mythology Behind the US-British Relationship
Mark B. Baldwin
Russia to the Grexit?
Andrew Wimmer
Killer Grief
Manuel E. Yepe
Sanders, Socialism and the New Times
Franklin Lamb
ISIS is Gone, But Its Barbarity Still Haunts Palmyra
Mark Weisbrot
A Policy of Non-Intervention in Venezuela Would be a Welcome Change
Matthew Stevenson
Larry Cameron Explains Brexit
Cesar Chelala
How Tobacco Became the Opium War of the 21st Century
Joseph Natoli
How We Reached the Point Where We Can’t Hear Each Other
Andrew Stewart
Skip “Hamilton” and Read Gore Vidal’s “Burr”
George Wuerthner
Ranching and the Future of the Sage Grouse
Thomas Knapp
Yes, a GOP Delegate Revolt is Possible
Gilbert Mercier
Democracy Is Dead
Missy Comley Beattie
A Big F#*K You to Voters
Charles R. Larson
Mychal Denzel Smith’s “Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: a Young Black Man’s Education”
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Four Morning Ducks
David Yearsley
Where the Sidewalk Ends: Walking the Bad Streets of Houston’s Super-Elites
Christopher Brauchli
Educating Kansas
Andy Piascik
The Hills of Connecticut: Where Theatre and Life Became One
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail