Friday, September 23, 2016

September,2016, Part 4, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: Less Choice, Higher Costs, and Less Doctor Time

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 its 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: 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 insurance premiums, 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.

I thought yesterday would be our last discussion on the unfolding disasters that is Obama Care for this month but by the time I write a post, more disasters show up, requiring another day of disaster discussions:

1) The Americans For Prosperity website recently had a short article which reported on the Obama Care reality that doctors now spend more time on government bureaucracy paperwork than with their sick patients. Details of their reporting include the following realities:
  • The findings are based on a recent research study that was published in the publication, “Annals Of Internal Medicine.”
  • It found that, on average, for every hour that a doctor spends with a patient, they spend two hours doing paperwork.
  • Obama Care was supposed to make reporting paperwork much easier since everything would be mechanized but the government design and requirements has had the opposite effect, taking valuable healing and patient time away from doctors and replaced it with with burdensome paperwork.
  • And even when doctors are in an examination room with their patients, they spend only 52.9% of the exam room time doing doctor-like work and the rest of the time doing paperwork and reporting.
No wonder that doctors retirement rates have accelerated under Obama Care, they are serving the government bureaucracy more and more and their patients less and less, much of it as a result of Obama Care’s rules, regulations, and nonsense.

2) Warner Todd, writing for the Breitbart website on September 16, 2016, reported on a new study that concluded that health insurance premiums rose faster this year than at any time over the past 32 years:
  • Research by Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits reported on September 14 that the average American family’s health insurance plan is now over $18,000 a year.
  • This is up 3.5% from 2015 and is substantially higher than the growth in household wages over that same time period.
  • CNN MOney reported that: “Employees are paying a whole lot more for health insurance than they did a decade ago. The average family plan cost $11,480 in 2006, of which workers had to pay $2,973.” 
  • And it is not only health insurance premiums that are going up quickly, deductibles are also rising rapidly since over half of American workers now have at least a $1,000 deductible, a number that is up 31% since just 2011.
  • Employees of small businesses, according to the New York Times, now average an even higher deductible, $1,800 a year, and 20% of workers pay over $2,000 a year in deductibles.
So much for the constant Obama promise that American families could see up to a $2,500 DECREASE in their annual health insurance costs. Instead, costs have risen quicker and quicker rather than decreasing. And as we have reported previously, 2017 is likely to see another massive increase in health insurance costs.

3) We have often reported on how Obama lied to the country when he promised that if you liked your current insurance policy, doctors, or hospitals, you could keep your current insurance policy, doctors, and hospitals. This, of course, was a lie from day one, since at no time in the development and rollout of Obama Care was that promise valid. In fact, millions and millions of Americans lost access to their preferred, current plans, doctors, and hospitals explicitly as a result of Obama Care.

In case you forgot about those broken promises/lies, go to the following link where in a mere 95 seconds you will hear Obama make the same faux promise about two dozen times in different settings: if you like your current plan, you can keep your current plan:

4) Beverly Hallberg is a small business owner and she recently wrote a short piece for the Heritage Foundation that laid out some of the problems with Obama Care from a small business perspective:
  • As a small business owner, she has to purchase her own health insurance plan.
  • Her annual premiums tripled since the onset of Obama Care even though her health and her use of her insurance has not changed.
  • She claims that other small business owners she knows have face similar increases and challenges.
  • Her writing also reviews the other broken promises of Obama Care including the vow that you can keep your current plan if you like it, families making less than $250,000 would not see any tax increases, Obama Care would not add to the national debt, and insurance premiums would decrease, all of which never came to pass.
  • Instead, we got stuck with higher premiums, dropped plans, possibly over a trillion dollars added to the national debt, more narrow doctor and hospital networks, higher taxes, and less overall choice in every aspect of our health care.
Another voice checking in from real America, not the fantasyland America that the Washington political class lives in.

5) We have previously reported that with major and minor insurance companies pulling out of the Obama Care program, many counties across the country have fewer and fewer choices for healthcare insurance for county residents. In fact, residents of Pinal County in Arizona now have NO choices since all of the Obama Care insurers have pulled out, leaving no insurance company available to write policies for those folks.

Adding insult to injury is the reality that not only do these folks have any choices for health insurance, according to the Obama Care legislation they still have to pay an Obama Care penalty for not having insurance even though they cannot buy insurance. So much for Obama Care increasing choice for Americans relative to their health insurance.

But in one of the few instances where there is a little bit of good news in the Obama Care world, some Republican Senators are trying to fix this problem that Obama Care created. An article for the Daily Caller website by Julie Grace Brufke on September 7, 2016 reported that Senate legislation is being proposed that would void the mandate that citizens have to pay a fine for not having health insurance if they live in an area with minimal health insurance company options. Minimal options is being defined as areas with no or only one insurance company serving that county or area.

The legislation is entitled, “Protection From Obamacare Monopolies Act,” and would not require citizens in those counties with minimal options to pay the $685 per person fine or 2.5% of a household’s income fine, whichever is higher, as required by the Obama Care tenets. 

Not surprisingly, Arizona’s two Senators, Senators McCain and Flake, are sponsors of the legislation since the article reports that 13 out of 15 counties in Arizona either have only one insurer serving that county or none. 

Senator Flake: “Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster in Arizona. The administration continues to defend this failed law, we will not wait around for them to fix its mess, which is why we have introduced this legislation to help protect those in Arizona and across the country from unjustifiable financial penalties when they are left without healthcare options.”

Want to bet that Arizona is not the last state to find itself in this sort of Obama Care hell: little or no insurance competition which will eventually drive up costs, the exact opposite of what Obama promised?

That will definitely do it for this month: higher costs, broken promises, less competition, less choice, etc., etc., etc. It seems to never end, the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care. More disasters for sure next month.

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