Obamacare Predictions: How’d We Do So Far?

Quiet! The secrets of WMB are about to be revealed.
Quiet! The secrets of WMB are about to be revealed.
One of life’s real pleasures, though it lessens us to admit it, is when we get to say I told you so.

Nobody in the world, except those who believe in magic, wants health insurance. Most people, except those who like hanging about in waiting rooms, don’t even want health care. People want health. And not everybody wants that. Many people are willing to trade health for other pleasures or risk health for great rewards. Life, these people say, is meant to be lived and not spent cowering in a corner saving up health points…to be spent where? Hell? Heaven?

The government says all people want health all the time and, by gum, it will force them into it whether they want it or not. Hence bans, such as trans fats, and the monstrosity which is Obamacare.

Obamacare commits many fallacies. The first is obvious: health insurance is not health, nor does it guarantee health. The fallacy that insurance equals health is also embraced by a growing number of citizens, who now won’t venture outside without first checking with the government whether they—and therefore you, too—should wear a sweater.

Here’s a conundrum: if people didn’t spend money on health insurance, which disguises and necessarily increases the cost of health care, they would have either saved it for health care or saved or spent it on something else. Which set of people are healthier? Those who bought (expensive) health insurance? Or those who knew they’d have to pay for their own health care? I say the latter: knowing you have to pay changes your behavior, and towards those activities which are more likely to bring you to the level of health you desire (and not all desire high levels of health).

Now you can say many things to this argument, but what you cannot say is that it is certainly false. Just as you cannot say it is certainly true that forcing people into buying (expensive) insurance makes them healthier. People are going to be required, mandated, muscled into spending not just more, but much more. Hello, stress!

From a friend on Facebook, this image, which shows his Humana insurance went from $80 a month to $350 under Obamacare. I’ll leave for homework what shocking percent increase this is. His poor heart! Luckily he has insurance.

Fallacy two: government experts know the precise insurance which is not only best for you, but for your neighbor. Monstrous hubris, here.

Fallacy three: despite what his robedness (yes, robedness) John Roberts said, being forced by law to fork over your money to another private citizen is not a tax. It is extortion. The mafia was never as efficient. It is crony capitalism at its purest, most vile. Just you watch the bottom lines of insurance companies. Bonuses for everybody!

But enough. Let’s see how our predictions fared, keeping in mind that the other penny hasn’t dropped. That is, the employer mandate strikes next year, which effects more people.

Prediction Scorecard

Back in March of 2010 we made a forecast of the fun which would befall us when Obamacare hit. Lots of material here, so we’ll only cover the two main posts which were entitled “Obamacare Predictions” (Part I, Part II). I introduced only this caveat:

Here are some things I think will happen if Obamacare is passed. When I say “you” or “your”, I mean “people on average.” Obviously, some people will benefit.

Your insurance costs will increase. Nailed it.

I have tried many times to show that insurance is a bet. You are betting you will get sick and the insurer is betting you won’t. If you do get sick, the insurer pays. If you don’t, you pay. This bet is remade monthly. If you bet you’ll get sick and you already are, you are, in effect, cheating. The insurer has to pay and there is no way that the money you give him will make up for his loss.

Your health costs will increase. Got this one, too. Not only are deductible rising, but so is the cost of care. And so will it continue to rise, too. There’s also words about what will happen when the employer mandate strikes:

You or your employer will face higher insurance premiums. Thus, the extent of your coverage will be shrunk. To keep costs down, you will see higher deductibles, lower limits on payouts and such forth.

The costs of insurance paid by your employer will be offset by either cutting pay, reducing future raises, or most likely by hiring fewer workers in the future. That later will be especially true of large employers.

Your taxes will increase This one is an open question, but surely true. The full force of Obamacare has not yet been felt. However, one this is certain: government spending, as we predicted, has increased. Tax increases must inevitably follow, so this prediction will eventually come true.

Taxes are already guaranteed to increase to pay for many of Obamacare’s provisions: this is in the bill. But they will increase more than estimated because the bureaucracy must be fed. All experience shows that bureaucracies grow fatter in time, consuming more tax dollars as they do so. There has never been an instance in history where this was not so. Health bureaucracies especially grow quickly.

Your health care will degrade. Haven’t had enough time for this one, either. This is actually quite a technical prediction, and to save space here I’ll assume you have clicked through to Part II and read the prediction in full, which differs from what some pundits are saying.

Health care must eventually be “rationed,” in the same sense as it is in other countries with socialized medicine…Doctors will receive less money for their services, and this will persuade some that would opt for that career to do something else.

Your liberty will be restricted. Oh, baby! Score will bells on. Man, oh man, did I ever tell you so? I did, I did: I did tell you so. I weep over my own prescience.

Health can mean, and will come to mean, anything which is related to human behavior. Absolutely everything you can think of, or say, or do can be plausibly related to health.

Since the government will be paying the bills, it will feel it has the right to proscribe or tax any behavior that would adversely affect your “health.”

Your sense of paternalism will increase. I’m out of superlatives, but if you have any, here’s your chance to use them. I’m worried my hat won’t fit anymore. Oh, I’m so good, so very good.

But no more. Increasingly, people see “government” as something other than themselves. They see “government” as an entity that somehow exists independently and can be called upon to fix all ills, even personal ones. Resources appear like magic.

People will not be as quick to think that they or their families can take care of themselves. They will more often go to the government and asked to be looked after.

And they will be.

Results

Although you shouldn’t trust me with presidential predictions (too much wishcasting on my part), everybody should come to a hush, just like in those old stock broker commercials, when it comes to my insights into bureaucracy. When W.M. Briggs forecasts, people listen.

If you’re upset over my crowing, be happy in knowing that my reward shall be a smaller wallet and smaller list of freedoms. Same reward you get, coincidentally.

Further reading Search for Obamacare on this site for plenty of juicy words. But don’t miss Obamacare: Sympathy for Homeopathy?, Supreme Court To Rule On Obamacare for other predictions, Mark Twain On The Dictatorship Of Health, My Failure To Purchase Something In The Market Subjects Me To Regulation, Sandra Fluke Mows The Lawn: A Play In One Act.

42 Comments

  1. Earlier this month I went to the disaster they call a web site. One thing became very obvious: the insurance premiums are devilishly hard to determine. Here in the Not-So-Free State of MD, I finally was able to get an estimate, not from the government, but from Kaiser Permanente, an HMO.

    Annually, my trips to the doctor and pharmacy were costing about $1200/year (I have a preexisting condition). Now, under the care of The Big O, my out-of-pocket expenditures will be $6000/year. Mostly because now I have to buy insurance to pay what I’ve been paying all along plus I now have pay for what some else would have had to pay for conditions that I don’t have and never likely will.

    Anybody who thought the cost of insurance would go down is living in a dream world. Just like car insurance, if it’s required then there is no incentive for insurers to decrease premiums to a captive market. And just as the cost of auto repair has gone up because of mandatory insurance, the cost of health care will also rise.

    It’s a win-win only for insurers. Now would be a good time to but insurance stocks.

  2. Briggs “I say the latter: knowing you have to pay changes your behavior, and towards those activities which are more likely to bring you to the level of health you desire”. There are no activities that will bring you to the level of health you desire, not even more likely, especially as you age. There are some extreme behaviours that can destroy health, such as reckless physical activities: extreme sports, bar fights, smoking ten packs a day, alcoholism, etc. But for most people there is little that you can do to improve your health: you either contract a dread disease or you do not. In fact your statement is increasingly the government’s position that it can micromanage your health through behavioural modification, as in your trans fat article and as you state above.

    I have been fortunate in my interactions with the Canadian health care system but I am not unaware of its flaws and perverse incentives. It has not degenerated to the point of the British system. This new American system seems bizarre and poorly thought out even by these standards. Your colleague John Brignell has a new article that bears on this question.

    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/BIG.htm

  3. I think that this whole brouhaha over the inadequacies of the Affordable Care Act is beside the point. I am an American citizen living and working in México and I have been here fifteen years as a technician. My Mexican employer pays for my health insurance but if he didn’t I would only have to pay about six to seven hundred dollars per year. I have also had major surgery to have a tumor removed in my chest cavity and my wife has had a mastectomy due to breast cancer. In both cases the doctors, nurses, and treatment were excellent. How come this can’t be done in the United States without so much negativity and infighting? It is a shameful example for other countries that the greatest nation on Earth can’t take better care of its citizenry.

  4. Bob Mrotek,

    “It is a shameful example for other countries that the greatest nation on Earth can’t take better care of its citizenry.”

    What happened to the idea of taking care of yourself? Who needs the government for this task?

  5. Well, DAV, perhaps you are right. We could just revert back about 300 yeas in time and step around the corpses waiting for the guy with the handcart to come by and pick them up. Why do I have the view that we are all in this together? Maybe it is because I read “The Mask of the Red Death” by Edgar Allen Poe when I was in the fourth grade. I am sure that Dr. Briggs has read it. He is a very avid reader 🙂

  6. Bob Mrotek,

    The Red Death, eh? IIRC, it was an incurable disease and further Poe’s point I believe was that death comes for us all without exception. All the insurance and government nannying won’t stop it.

    Why is it you equate taking care of yourself and not playing the part of a pampered puppy with Poe’s tale? Do you really think your master cares about you or can even save you from the inevitable?

  7. So DAV, Bob should have removed his wife’s breast and his wife removed his tumor? What, exactly, are you saying should have been the outcome? He should have saved for these two major surgeries? I had minor surgery on an outpatient basis to repair a ruptured biceps tendon. this was in 2007 and, between out-of-pocket and insurance payments, the cost is approaching $20,000 and random bills continue to come in to this day.

    My son had a compound fracture of his forearm in 2009 and, between insurance and out of pocket expenses, the total is approaching $40,000 and random bills continue to come in to this day. I make significant money but there’s no chance that these could have been paid. I suppose that I should have repaired my son’s arm and he mine?

    Yes, insurance covered much of the expenses and I have good insurance, then and now. But for many this is not possible. What, exactly, do you propose?

    And, for the record, Obamacare is an ongoing debacle in my opinion.

  8. “So DAV, Bob should have removed his wife’s breast and his wife removed his tumor? ”

    How silly. I’m referring to Bob’s desire that the government should provide for his health care (It is a shameful example for other countries that the greatest nation on Earth can’t take better care of its citizenry.) instead of him taking steps to provide it for himself.

    There’s nothing wrong with obtaining insurance but there’s plenty wrong with someone dictating how much and what kind I should have.

  9. DAV, I don’t disagree in general. But for many, insurance is unaffordable within their income. Such people still get tumors and heart disease and break their arms and rupture their tendons. If they can’t afford to pay out of pocket, they can’t have afforded insurance, then what? Tough darts, live with it as long as they can?

    I don’t even contend that “live with it as long as they can” is an irrational or unacceptable answer but, if that’s your position, it should be clear up front and not hidden.

  10. Obama care has nothing to do with insurance. It is simply a wealth transfer, i.e. rob Peter and give the money to Paul to pay his doctor bill. As Frederic Bastiat said, “The state is the great fiction by which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else.”

  11. Rob Ryan ,

    The solution to that existed long before ObamaCare. ACA is just a way out of the government directly providing what it provided before which will only result in cost increases across the board. Exactly how does increasing the rates of insurance for many and health care in general solve the problems of those who couldn’t pay before? The “Affordable” part is a joke. In my case it quintuples what I already pay. Granting a boon to insurance companies isn’t fixing anything.

  12. Ray, I don’t know if you’re responding to me. Obamacare (which I don’t support) is not insurance but it certainly has something to do with insurance. And all insurance is, in a sense, robbing Peter to pay Paul (collecting from the losers of the insurance bet to pay off the winners). It’s also, without doubt as Dr. Briggs points out, a bet. The odds are that I will lose my bet that my house will burn down but I make that bet anyway because the consequence of my winning it (my house burning down) would be devastating were I not to place the bet, whereas the cost of the bet is tolerable. I’d carry it even if the holder of my mortgage didn’t insist.

    But my question for DAV remains…

  13. DAV, there’s no way I’ll be backed into a corner of being portrayed as supportive of Obamacare (ACA). I’m a business owner (275 employees) and I detest it. We provide insurance for our employees.

    My question is broader than “Obamacare yes or no?” My question is what to do (if anything) to make it possible for those who don’t and can’t get insurance when they suffer terrible injuries or sickness? Again, a rational (if not necessarily humane) answer is “if they can’t pay for care, then they suffer” just as one might plausibly say “if they can’t afford food, they starve.”

    I don’t contend that this is your position (though it might be). My question is “what IS your position on this?” You’ve clearly stated that the government shouldn’t provide it, if they can’t afford the out of pocket costs or insurance then how is it to be provided, IF it is to be provided?

  14. I think you can claim victory on the “Taxes go up” prediction. In fact it is a no brainer. It was built into the investment tax structure from the beginning.

    As for what insurance really is, I take an economic view: Insurance is paying someone else to take a risk you do not want to take. In any event we do not have that in Obamacare.

  15. Well,Rob, I’m not sure what you’re asking. There were programs before that dealt with people who get tumors and heart disease and break their arms and rupture their tendons. They weren’t left out in the cold. It’s one of the reasons ER’s are (and still will be) filled with people having migraines. It’s — get this — FREE!

    ACA is a solution to a non-problem and now people who couldn’t buy health insurance before will be required to do so in the future. Additionally, the costs are multiplied for everyone else in order to continue to provide what was already being provided!

    So exactly what is the “this” in the question: “what IS your position on this?”

  16. I like the part where an insurance co is mandated to spend 80% of the take on health care for its members. Let us say that due to none of the young and healthy buying insurance they reach that figure in, oh say April. Then everyone with a need for hospitalization or maybe cancer care will be SOL(sorry out of luck for those of you too young to have heard of that)until more money comes in. Then the government pays? Sure they will. This happens in England and I am sure Canada. Once the budget is spent you go on the waiting list for next year. This is the biggest scr*w up the government ever foisted on the citizenry. Well, maybe outlawing liquor was close but I think this will be an even bigger disaster.

  17. DAV, the “this” is what to do about those who cannot afford out of pocket medical procedures, don’t have/can’t afford insurance, and suffer catastrophic health issues. You’ve answered in the form of “such people can afford free emergency rooms.”

    True, this is what has been the “solution” but it’s non-optimal (in most people’s opinion) and it’s also robbing Peter to pay Paul. The lights have to be on, the equipment powered, the drugs purchased, the doctors paid etc. This is paid by those who can afford out of pocket costs or insurance, or some component of some government’s program. And the users of this “free” service (paid for by the insured, the wealthy, and various government programs) are dunned for the money to the extent that they can be contacted at all.

    It’s hard to view this as an ideal solution.

  18. True, this is what has been the “solution” but it’s non-optimal (in most people’s opinion)

    Maybe because they’ve been lulled into this opinion by receiving insurance through employment and never realized the true cost?

    it’s also robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    I seem to recall someone above who owns a $150-200K airplane remarking how nice it was to share the cost of a $40,000 bill for a compound fracture, which BTW, strikes me as rather high. Also, BTW, the bills are inflated by nearly a factor of three. Many don’t realize insurance only pays about 1/3 the quoted bottom line. I long ago discovered that if I said I had no insurance the bills miraculously descended to what would have been received from insurance coverage — a whopping 67% decrease.

    Who knows. Maybe if there weren’t any 80/20 co-pays (soon to be 70/30 for many) then people would quickly come to the conclusion that a trip to the doctor for a Tylenol-3 prescription every time they get a headache isn’t all that necessary,

    What I don’t particularly understand is, if insurance and medical costs are increasing, how ACA can make it affordable to those who thought the before-ACA cost was too high. Oh, wait! It does this by forcing people who knew they didn’t really need insurance to buy it (or else).

    It would have been far cheaper just to increase taxes all around but, of course, that wouldn’t sell and of course it wouldn’t increase the bureaucracy by nearly the same amount. Now the door is opened to forcing people to live in the manner the government deems desirable. ACA is only the first step.

  19. Yup, that someone was me. I do own such an airplane (though I think that, right now, it might be worth $135K but still…). As to the bills, they included the ambulance, surgeries to insert the rods, remove the rods, anesthesiology, etc. They are what they are. Quite likely they are inflated, I have no clue what the insurance carrier actually paid vs. what was shown on the documents I received from them so I’ll stipulate your one third. But yes, I won the bet that someone in my family would be catastrophically injured and received a payoff from those who didn’t win such bets. The “robbing Peter to pay Paul” is in response to Ray, though the case can be made.

    There are innumerable (well, probably technically just a large number) of such “robbing Peter to pay Paul” examples in government. Childless people pay for public schools, people pay for highways they don’t use, etc. Food stamps, the air traffic control system, and National Endowment for the Arts are other examples.

    I never understood either, and still don’t, how it could be contended that ACA would reduce health care costs.

    Again, I’m not making a case in support of ACA, but I am stating my opinion that what the state of affairs was in, say, 2006 is unsustainable.

  20. By the way, just so as to assure Dr. Briggs’ readership that I don’t belong on some Forbes list, I owe $105K on the loan I took out to pay for the airplane. I can afford the payments on the loan, which are right at half of the mortgage payment on our house. The lien holder on the airplane insists that I have “hull insurance” to cover a total loss of the airplane, so I’m betting each year that I’ll destroy the airplane. If I win that bet, I’ll likely also win a few other large bets I’ve placed that I’ll die. My wife and children will have to enjoy the proceeds of those winning bets though.

  21. Supporters of ObamaCare do not engage on the features of the program; they respond with blather such as “At least people who didn’t have insurance can now get it.”

    In the same way believers in AGW never engage on the science or the economics (often the same people who support ObamaCare). They respond with blather such as “Even if the science is wrong, getting rid of fossil fuels is a good thing to do.”

    In either case, I do not have time to get such individuals off the wall, even though they are a majority.

  22. I owe $105K on the loan I took out to pay for the airplane.

    Well, then you really don’t own much of it even if it’s registered in your name. Stop making payments and you may find “your” plane starring inn an episode of Airplane Repo.

    The lien holder on the airplane insists that I have “hull insurance” to cover a total loss of the airplane, so I’m betting each year that I’ll destroy the airplane.

    Not in this case. It’s more of an assurance (to the bank) than an insurance. Oddly, the same is true of life insurance –something you can’t collect (at least until you are 100 for most policies and then only for whole life). However, over time the airplane does become more yours. Oh, and if for some reason your coverage is under-valued you will still owe the balance to the bank if you should win your “bet” before full equity.

  23. Sure, I own more of it than I do of my house though! Of course it’d be repossessed if I stopped making payments. I’m not sure what the point is there. I also miss your points on “assurance (to the bank).” It’s a policy for which I pay that will pay the hull insurance value to the bank if I somehow destroy it (or it’s destroyed in its hangar by fire or whatever). If I didn’t have the insurance and destroyed it and died, the bank would make a claim against my estate (which would have been increased significantly by my other winning bet). If it was destroyed by fire or some such and I was fine, they’d not even necessarily know, they’d just see the payments coming (or not). If not, they’d attempt to repossess it, find it didn’t exist, and pursue the loan balance legally.

    I know all of that’s pretty obvious but it’s still a bet that, somehow, the airplane will be destroyed and, if it is, I or my estate will be able to pay the bank with other assets intact.

    Anyway, we’ve strayed far and I know the answer to the original question. I certainly don’t think that the system of having the uninsured go to emergency rooms for what they couldn’t afford to purchase, health-wise, with cash was functional. Neither do I think that the ACA will be functional. I know it’s going to hurt me and my company. My solution? Don’t have one…

  24. “I also miss your points on “assurance (to the bank).”

    You aren’t being indemnified — the bank is. However, over time you will also be indemnified. The bank requires it and if they discovered you didn’t keep it up you might find yourself in court over breach of contract. It’s really the way you have assured the bank of its recovery of your loan. You can’t collect on your “bet” when you win. Again, over time, that changes. If you’re feeling lucky, you really only need to cover your loan balance to meet the bank’s requirements.

    certainly don’t think that the system of having the uninsured go to emergency rooms for what they couldn’t afford to purchase, health-wise, with cash was functional.

    It’s only dysfunctional if you think you should be able to run willy-nilly to the doctor’s office for every little ache and pain. If what you have is truly life threatening you were covered (if you live here — can’t say for elsewhere) and didn’t need ANY cash. The state guaranteed it.

  25. Oh, I wish I could find the story but recently I read about a man who had passed out and wake up 2 weeks later to discover he had a $75,000 bill from the hospital. Turns out he had insurance but NOT for the hospital he was in. His wife had been told that the emergency coverage would cover him but apparently ONLY if he was uninsured. Because he had insurance, he wasn’t eligible.

    I wonder how that would work out under ACA if your insurance only works in certain hospitals. Who would be better off then?

  26. “From a friend on Facebook, this image, which shows his Humana insurance went from $80 a month to $350 under Obamacare.”

    You should find this link interesting:

    http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20130924/PRIME07/309240089/?nclick_check=1

    These letters are misleading for many people since there are other product not mentioned in it that can be purchased. Surely this is not the only plan that Humana provides.

    How do you provide heath care to the 50 millions uninsured?

  27. “How do you provide heath care to the 50 millions uninsured?”

    Provide subsidies or buy it out-right for them… (If you have the political will and the political power —or the wealth, yourself!— to do so.

    It seems to me to be a bad strategy, making “everything” worse, in the hope that -given enough frustration- the polity will opt for the sort of system that is failing almost everywhere…

    (Perhaps, something else is intended by PPACA? :()

  28. Ok, now I’m just getting steamed, so here comes a rant. But first, to establish my anti-ObamaCare bonafides, I can sum up my attitude with two Thomas Sowell quotes:

    “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

    “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

    In other words, ObamaCare will necessarily cause health-care prices to rise and people to die, at least in the short term.

    Whaddya mean, “at least in the short term”?

    What I mean is that ObamaCare is clearly designed to fail. It was designed to sweep out the old (or slash and burn it, if you prefer) to create an unstoppable demand for something new.

    Discussions of “fairness” in the future-of-US-health-care debate annoy the heck out of me. “Shut up, shut up, shut up, just SHUT UP”, he explained. No matter how powerful the government, it cannot legislate that a business lose money. Imposed costs will be passed on, or the business will go out of business. C’mon, people, THINK! As I used to tell the kids when they were growing up, whoever told you life is fair did you a grave injustice. Human nature is unfair at it’s core; a workable societal system harnesses that inherent unfairness to achieve the greatest good for the most people. An unworkable system myopically focuses on eliminating the unfairness, squashing our most powerful tool for improving the human condition, making everyone equally miserable.

    And QUIT comparing health-care insurance to other types of insurance! If your car gets wrecked or your house burns down, your insurance company pays out, and afterwards is still motivated to keep you as a customer, even though you just cost them a bundle. But if you get cancer or suffer a heart attack, your insurance company pays out, and afterwards is highly motivated to drop you. People innately understand this. In the past, insurance companies have been prohibited from dropping these now hugely expensive customers by state laws and contractual obligations. In exchange, there was a strong motivation for people to buy-in young and lock in coverage for post-existing conditions. Then along came the Democrats. ObamaCare doesn’t just give insurance companies free rein to drop these expensive customers, it actively encourages it by presenting them with a bleak future of even larger losses from new customers with pre-existing conditions they can no longer turn away if they remain in that market segment. “Unfair!”, you exclaim, forgetting that amazing secret knowledge you just learned, that you can’t legislate that a business lose money.

    The question we should be concerning ourselves with is “ok, that’s a disaster, now what?”. There can be no doubt that Obama and his fellow elitist Democrats have a definite plan in mind, and that it is to be feared. They have repeatedly proven themselves to even the remotely observant to be devilishly evil, if debatably not in intent, certainly in outcomes of their policies, ruining countless lives and indirectly causing many needless deaths.

    Yes, the Democrats broke it. And it’s now broken so badly that we can’t realistically resurrect the old system. But it is extremely important for the future of the country that we disregard that old adage “you broke, you fix it” this time.

    (Sorry for the rant – few things bother me quite so much in a debate as obvious and important causalities getting left unsaid while folks twaddle on about fairness and selfishness. It’s a sad state of affairs when it falls upon someone as unqualified as me to have to bring them up.)

  29. Hold on here. Ostensibly, the ACA covers people who don’t qualify for Medicaid and cannot afford medical insurance. This is realized through forcing those without insurance to buy it on the exchanges and generally raising rates to pay for it all. The reasoning, I think, is that medical insurance is a “right”.

    Well I disagree. I don’t think medical insurance is a right, I don’t think I should pay for someone else’s health insurance. Now, given that I didn’t get my way here, why didn’t the administration just expand Medicaid to include those who cannot afford insurance?

    The answer is that the ACA is designed to lead inevitably to a single payer system similar to what Canada has (or suffers).

  30. All riiiiighttttt Milton. A great treat with my second cuppa coffee. Really enjoyed and I am afraid you are right.
    And if they point to Medicare as a success story, from which they took out 760 Billion dollars to help float the current boat, let me point out one thing that Medicare has that Obamacare does not have. A group of people who are homogenous, including their work history and less inclined to game the system than the younger people who pay nothing into the system (yet) but are taking plenty out. Ask any hospital who it is that pays 70+% of maternity bills if you don’t believe me. And medicaid is used by the bored for ingrown toenails, trust me or ask any ER.

  31. Excellent article! I think the single most important point that may have a ghost of a chance at changing some people’s mind is that what we call health insurance is not insurance. How would we insure against home fires if everyone’s house was certain to burn to the ground?

  32. I wondered how long Sylvain would take to arrive. She bravely tries to defend obamacare, the disaster is irrelevant compared to defending the party line. Yes you stupid people, don’t make a choice yourself and when the idiot democrats ruin it, blame them. Just be quiet and do what you are told! Just buy even more expensive healthcare under the affordable care act!

    The 50million without health insurance already have access to healthcare.

  33. Andy,

    Why does it cost a lot more in the US for health coverage than all the other “communist” developed country in the world?

    Country %GDP Per capita Per capita
    total spending Total Government
    spending
    Canada 11.3 4404 3104
    United Kingdom 9.6 3480 2919
    France 11.9 4021 3130
    Norway 9.5 5426 4552
    United States 17.9 8362 4437

    Source: http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/jun/30/healthcare-spending-world-country

    The US healthcare cost about twice as much as Canadian healthcare yet the quality of service are very similar.

    “The 50million without health insurance already have access to healthcare”

    False. They have access to last resort healthcare. They need to be dying to have access to healthcare and they are sure to lose any money they might possess.

    Access to health care means access to diagnostic test that can detect the risk of a heart attack before it occurs. Or detect a cancer before it can spread like in my father’s case.

  34. All,

    I have a bunch of friends who gratefully, willingly, and eagerly swallowed the official explanation of “Obama didn’t lie.” A friend of mine insists that the policies which wouldn’t be canceled had to be canceled. She said living with the old policies was like living in a house that didn’t pass building inspection.

    Only the government knows what’s best for you.

    Strange sheep who begged to be fleeced.

  35. Sylvian, the Guardian is far left minority rag, i really would not quote from it. Quite simply healthcare is expensive, very much in the states (not affordable as the liar obama said), very expensive elsewhere, as for the UK, the state of the NHS is very poor given the money spent on it. Communist? I suppose you think Democrats care about blacks as well. Chortle!

    Access to last resort healthcare is access to healthcare. Think of it as a set within a set. And no you do not need to be dying, this is simply untrue. No you may define healthcare like that. I don’t, and if you do exactly how does this work with millions of people losing their access to healthcare because of obamas incompetance?

    Does obama have obamacare?

  36. I think we tend to mix a lot of things into this debate…

    I, personally, would like to see affordable healthcare. I dont care how it comes about. We can all agree that the current system that we have is utterly broken.

    Essentially, the only people who have a good time in this system, are the well to do, or the really poor. People in the middle class have a terrible time.

    Insurance, by definition, is a pool where you pay premiums, in the hope that you will be covered if an incident occurs. These pool works on the premise that payouts will be low. Imaging if only drunk drivers signed up for car insurance? The insurance company would go bankrupt very soon.

    Some of you assert, that there is a free alternative for people who cannot pay which is called an ER. This is not entirely true. While it is correct that they will give care, it wont be free. The bill collectors will be after you for the rest of your life.

    If it were up to me, I would have insisted that doctors and hospitals advertise how much they charge for procedures and visits. This would allow the patient to compare costs, and it might help keep the costs in check. The fact that my doctor charges $50 to insurance, and $200 if I go without insurance, for the same visit, is utterly broken. But if such a thing was proposed, the republican party would be against it, complaining that we are turning into a nanny state.

    Lines, and waiting in ERs happens even today, with or without insurance. It is not that just because you have insurance, or can pay out of pocket, that they are giving you instant service.

    People in UK and Canada do complain about their health care system, but they never said that they want to get rid of it.

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