Monday, January 25, 2016

January, 2015, Part 3, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care:Costs Are Up, Competition Is Down, and Personal Stories Of Obama Care Disasters

Every month for years now we have had to discuss how bad Obama Care is turning out to be under the continuing theme, “the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care.” This month is no different. As the legislation continues to march through America, driving up health care and health insurance prices as it serves as dead weight on economic growth, it cements it rightful place as the worst piece of legislation Washington has ever produced.

It never had a chance to be successful since it really never addressed the underlying root causes of our ever increasing health costs in the country:

  • Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, resulting in obscenely high obesity rates for the country.
  • Our food chain is infested with overdoses of high fructose corn syrup, salt, and other unhealthy additives.
  • Americans smoke too much.
  • Americans do not exercise enough.
  • The country is in serious need of health care tort reform.
  • Barriers to insurance company competition across state lines need to come down.
  • Obama Care never “followed the money” to find out who is actually profiting from the ever escalating healthcare costs in this country and how to get those factors under control.
  • Obama Care never got the immense amount of fraud and abuse in current government healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, under control in order to save money to efficiently fund other government health care initiatives.
  • Obama Care never put serious research money towards curing the major diseases that drive high healthcare costs such as high frequency cancers and dementia type diseases.
  • You cannot resolve any problem unless you understand and address the underlying root causes. No difference here but with a big exception: Obama Care legislation never addressed these listed root causes and thus, has no chance of ever being successful.
But it is not just missing the root causes of our healthcare costs that makes Obama Care so horrible. It resulted in millions of Americans losing access to their favored doctors, hospitals, and insurance policies. It has caused deductibles and co-pays to escalate substantially. It will likely add trillions of dollars to the national debt. It has exposed millions of Americans to higher than necessary identity theft chances. It has created government bureaucracies that are wastefully spending taxpayer wealth and being exploited by criminal elements. It has stifled economic growth and job creation.

These are just a sample of the types of idiocy that we have been reviewing for the past several years in this blog relative to Obama Care., To read those past posts, just enter the phrase, “the unfolding disaster,” in the search box above.

For the past several days we have been reviewing the latest unfolding disasters from the worst piece of legislation ever written by Washington:

1) The Freedom Works website recently had an interesting graph in an article on its website (click on the graph for a larger view):

It is my understanding that this is the per person cost that governments paid in 2012 for health care in their country divided by the number of people in their country. As you can see, with the exception of Norway and the Netherlands, no other country spent more government money and wealth on health care for their citizens than the United States.

By 2014, the U.S. government was spending almost $1.4 TRILLION of taxpayer wealth on health care or about $4,500 per U.S. citizen, every man, woman, and child. Thus, in just two years, in the presence of Obama Care which was supposed to reduce healthcare costs as promised by the President, U.S. government spending on healthcare increased by almost 8.2%, orders of magnitudes higher than the overall inflation rate in the country. Thus, by this measure, government spending on healthcare per capita, Obama Care has failed to accomplish a main goal of its original intent, reduce healthcare costs. It has not “bent the cost curve” like Obama promised.

2) The best way to keep costs down in any market is to ensure that there is a healthy and large mix of competitors in that market that compete for customers. Basic economics: fewer competitors, higher costs for consumers, more competitors, lower costs for consumers. Which is what Obama Care should have been trying to do, increase the competition in the health care industry and let market forces drive down costs.

Of course, given how the legislation was written, it did the exact opposite. We have already reviewed how the largest insurers in the country have gotten even larger by merging with their large competitors. We have already reviewed how hospital groups have merged with their competitors in order to compete with the now larger health care insurers.

And now a recent Businessweek article discussed how drug companies are getting into the larger and larger mode when last November, two drug company giants, Pfizer and Allergan were merged in a mind boggling deal worth $183.7 billion. Thus, in all aspects of the American health care industry, insurers, hospitals and now drug companies, the competitors are getting fewer and fewer and remaining competitors are getting larger and larger, the exact opposite of what one would want from an economic perspective. Fewer players = ever higher costs, all due to Obama Care.

3) We will end today’s discussion on Obama Care disasters and this month’s discussion with a series of heartbreaking stories of how Obama Care has messed up the lives of Americans and their families. These stories are self reported and collected on the website,
They tell the stories of Americans losing access to their favored doctors, insurance policies, and hospitals, of Americans paying ever more for insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. They tell the stories of people changing doctors, insurance companies, and hospitals in the middle of cancer treatments. These are the real stories of what Obama Care did to America, beyond the macro financial, economic results and numbers, it screwed Americans all over the country.PATRICIA - MINNESOTA: In order to keep my monthly payment the same, I had to raise my annual deductible from $3,000.00 to $5,000.00. I also lost the three times each year that I could go to the doctor for a $30.00 co-pay. I also lost the flat fee I paid on prescriptions of $10.00 for generic and $25.00 for non-generic. These items I now pay from dollar one. This conceivably could cost me a lot of money each year.REBECCA - KENTUCKY: I know I can't keep my plan, which I liked, but as I'm trying to decide what to do going forward, I've spent weeks, with days on the phone getting confidently delivered wrong answers, conflicting information, it's becoming quite obvious to me a lot of agencies, almost everyone I talk to, is having a lot of trouble figuring out the new rules.DENNIS - FLORIDA: I had great insurance for my daughter and myself. In 2008 I paid only $200 a month. On December 31st I lose my insurance because it is to good for the law. I have an autoimmune disease and will not have access to my medications since the managed plans do not cover them. I only see specialist which will end since I will need a referral every time. The price of the new plans $450 a month for less coverage. President Obama is a liar.RON - MICHIGAN: His name is Ron Byelich from Higgins Lake. He is semi-retired and had insurance with BC/BS of Michigan for $179/mth with a $1,000 deductable. He was about to have neck surgery, but received a letter that his insurance was cancelled because it didn’t meet the HHS requirements. He went on the site and found out that a similar policy would cost $640/mth with a $1,000 – 1,500 deductable. So now he has no insurance and can’t afford the neck surgery.JOHN - NEW HAMPSHIRE: I was probably one of the very first victims of the Affordable Care Act. I was a self employed entrepreneur who was purchasing in the state of New Hampshire a major medical insurance policy, "that I liked". And that worked for me in my budget, I paid for my own medical, eye and dental exams. Because I believe that regular doctor visits precluded serious medical injuries and am insuring myself only in the event of something serious happening with the major medical policy.I was notified in the early stages of the ACA when all the states were being told what the insurance regulations required had to be at a specific level. Mine was not an except able level and was not being offered again by my insurance carrier. The new regulations required a plan that was not cost effective, though I'm sure it would have covered many things, prenatal exams, pregnancy tests, Viagra, birth control pills and even the doctor visits that I was already paying for out of my pocket because it's cheaper. Yes! Thanks to the wonders of Obamacare.I have been with out any catastrophic medical coverage for the past few years, in which I have had to pay out an $8,000.00 medical expense because of an emergency room visit while on vacation for kidney stones, which would have been covered under my original major medical coverage. Yes I'm in favor of repealing the ACA! I want to be I charge of my body, not be forced to do things that will encumber my life. "It's my body, I want the government out of it!"Sad, sad stories. More unfolding disaster from Obama Care next month, the worst piece of legislation passed by the worst set of Washington politicians ever.

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