Will Obamacare Run You Broke?
Obamacare is perhaps the defining issue of President Barak Obama’s stint in the White House. It’s divided opinion and led to him being referred to as everything from a ‘socialist’ to a ‘quack’ and a number of things not fit for printing. Although the hyperbole, the propaganda, and the exaggerations have been out in force on both sides, is Obamacare really the grand alternative to health insurance people assume it to be? Or is it simple something that is going to drive those who use it broke?
1. Controlling Costs
One of the main weaknesses of the American healthcare system is the lack of control on spending. It bumps up the cost of being treated by your doctor and puts health well beyond the means of millions of people.
Obamacare does not address this issue. Lawmakers in Washington wrote in The New England Medical Journal the legislation takes into account what physicians and economists want. What it doesn’t do is actually put in any concrete spending limits to control the system.
2. Lower Premiums Denied
President Obama once said his healthcare reforms would save the average family $2,500 a year. A few years later, the exact opposite has happened. Premiums have gone up and insurers and healthcare industry experiences predict they will continue to rise as the laws take hold.
3. Emergency Room Usage
Those without health insurance have traditionally gone to the emergency room because they couldn’t afford to see a doctor. Champions of Obamacare claim the legislation allows low-income individuals to use Medicaid to cover the costs of seeing a doctor, and therefore take the strain from emergency rooms.
Studies have shown how having Medicaid doesn’t actually have any influence on emergency room usage. It’s a cultural thing which sends low-income families to emergency rooms now, not cost considerations.
4. Medicaid Doesn’t Help
Half of all healthcare costs should come from Medicaid, according to a number of promises by politicians. Another study dubbed ‘The Oregon Experiment’ showed how Medicaid didn’t change anything for people under the plan. It didn’t make them healthier or happier. Essentially, it just swapped out one type of insurance plan for another.
So it leaves people wondering what’s the point of spending all this money on legislation if it doesn’t actually change anything for low-income families?
5. Uncompensated Care
Hospitals have to provide a minimal amount of care for people without insurance. This law makes sure hospital officials can’t just throw people out into the street. The Federal government pays hospitals for any free care they give to patients. The idea goes the government should take away this money to spend it on insurance for low-income individuals instead.
In practice, the government still has to pay for the same amount of care. Patients without insurance also get the same amount of care under the scheme. This alters nothing. It merely moves money to a different group of people.
And with the costs of healthcare still set to rise, Obamacare looks like it will address none of the major problems without significant changes to the way the law works and which areas it targets.
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