Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February, 2017, Part 5, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: Real Life Disasters, The Failure Of Government Healthcare In England and More

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.

Today we will focus on some of these root causes to show how they are the main drivers of our high healthcare costs, causes that Obama Care never addressed and which still stay unresolved:

1) We often talk about the high level numbers and results of Obama Care. How premiums and deductibles have increased dramatically over the years for Obama Care policies. How millions of people lost access to their preferred doctors, policies, and hospitals. How 18 out of 23 Obama Care co-ops have already gone bankrupt with more to follow. But consider the personal agony and stress below the high level numbers that Obama Care has caused a typical American:

  • James Rogers, writing for the Heritage Foundation on February 17, 2017, documented the harrowing Obama Care trip of Kim Quade.
  • Ms. Quade left her job as a school speech pathologist after 17 years to work solo, knowing that she would have to replace her school provided health insurance with an individual health insurance policy.
  • She did her research and found a plan that suited her particular needs for $188 a month with a $5,000 deductible and health savings account, terms she could afford.
  • She liked the concept of a health savings plan since it empowered her to take care of herself: “It was something that I was able to take care of on my own and I was happy about it. It’s the way I was raised: You take care of yourself.” 
  • By 2015, her monthly premium cost had more than doubled to $188 (despite Obama’s promise that Americans could see an up to $2,500 annual reduction in their health insurance premiums).
  • But despite the whopping increase in premiums, she kept the policy since she liked the doctor network that it covered.
  • But shortly after the doubling of the premiums, they went up another $200 a month, at which point she switched to an Obama Care policy.
  • She ended up getting a policy with monthly premiums of $773 a month which was reduced to $333 after Federal subsidies, cheaper but still much more expensive than her original policy of $188 a month.
  • And that original policy covered flu shots and physicals, which her Obama Care policy did not, and after a bout with pneumonia, her Obama Care policy paid out only $50 towards the cost of two x-rays.
  • And now she has to go back out into the market again since the original Obama Care policy she took on is no longer available as insurance companies have left the area she lives in outside of Kansas City.
High costs, lower quality, fewer choices, higher turnover, that is how Obama Care played out for a regular American who just wanted some affordable health insurance coverage.

2) Michael Tanner, writing for the National Review recently, pointed out that the average cost of prescription drugs rose 11% last year and are expected to rise at least that much in 2017. So much for Obama Care reducing healthcare costs in the country. It has not worked for insurance premiums and insurance deductibles, and apparently it has not worked to stem the tide of ever rising drug costs.

3) Obama Care, along with Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration, have proven how poorly government performs when given health care responsibilities. Medicare and Medicaid are hurtling towards fiscal insolvency and the Veterans Administration’s inability to serve our veterans’ healthcare needs is an ongoing scandal. But some people still think that giving government even more control over our healthcare needs is a good idea, often pointing to other countries that have total government control over their citizens’ health care needs.

One of those countries is England but according to the Foundation For Economic Education, for those in England, where government controls all aspects of one’s health care needs, it is not a good idea:

  • In the United States, the age-adjusted breast cancer 5-year survival rate is 88.9%, compared with just 81.1% in England.
  • The United States leads the world on the equivalent stat for prostate cancer (97.2%) vs. 83.2% in England.
  • Lung cancer: 18.7% in the United States vs. 9.6% in England; bowel cancer: 64.2% vs. 56.1%.
  • U.S. survival rates are also better for leukemia, ovarian cancer, stomach cancer, and liver cancer.
  • The age- and sex-standardized 30-day mortality rate for ischaemic stroke is just 3.6% in the United States vs. 9.2% in England; for haemorrhagic stroke, the figures are 22% vs. 26.5%.
Thus, real data shows us that giving the Federal government more control of our health care needs, going even beyond Obama Care, would not be healthy for us. Just ask the English folks, those have not died prematurely already vs. what would have happened in the U.S. 

The Foundation quoted a line from The Guardian newspaper summary of a Commonwealth Fund Report where the report found that England’s health system was “the best in the world” with “the only serious black mark against the NHS was its poor record on keeping people alive.” In other words, the operation was a success even though the patient died. Obama Care is dying, replacing it with a program that is even more like Obama Care would be fatal to so many Americans.

4) Vox considers itself a new age news operation but it really is nothing more than a liberal, Democratic Party, left leaning cheerleading organization. Several years ago, Ezra Klein, the founder of Vox, put out an article that tried, and failed, to show how successful Obama Care was despite the reality of the legislation’s failing numbers.

But having not learned from that failure, it recently tweeted out a request to its readers to send Vox success stories as it related to Obama Care. Unfortunately, it kind of blew up in its face as Obama Care policyholders shared their failures relative to Obama Care, not their successes with Obama Care:

Mccahill told Vox: my family premium went from $789 a month w/1k ded. to $1929 w/8k ded. In 3 years. We also lost several key doctors.

Adam Prenger told Vox: I have given several thousands of dollars to a company and a service that I have never used.

ClemsonGrl told Vox: the hospital I work for is freezing raises because insufficient reimbursement for services rendered. The ACA needs to go.

Alexis In NH told Vox: We lost our insurance and I became a Republican as a result. 

Never ask a question you do not want the answer to or you have not wired the right answer in advance.

More real life stories tomorrow relative to the unfolding disasters that is Obama Care.

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