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  • Side Effects: Obamacare Adds to the Ranks of the Uninsured

    Imagine if Washington applied Obamacare’s regulatory approach to car sales. Forget choosing your ride based on your own needs and what you can afford. Instead, your wheels would be dictated by what Uncle Sam thought was best for you. For example, you might want—and be willing to pay for—a Mercedes, but Obamacare Motors would let you buy only a Daewoo.

    That’s how Obamacare will affect choice in health care coverage. One provision bars insurance companies from putting a limit on how much they will pay in medical claims. This may sound like a consumer-friendly change, but in practice it threatens to abolish lower-cost coverage options.

    Employers who can’t afford to offer their workers gold-plated Cadillac plans often provide limited-benefit plans that are quite adequate for the vast majority of consumers. Such policies are especially prevalent among part-time workers or those laboring in low-profit-margin retail or service sectors.

    Politico writes that “the ban could in effect outlaw the plans or make them so restrictive that insurance companies would raise rates to the point they become unaffordable.” Increased prices would likely cause many low-wage workers with limited-benefit plans—of which there are 1.4 million—to go without coverage until 2014, when they will be eligible for taxpayer-funded subsidies to help them buy insurance in a government-run exchange.

    Yes, you read that correctly. Obamacare could well force hundreds of thousands of currently insured low-income workers to “go bare” for the next three years, and then use tax money to start buying them coverage.

    In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, close to three dozen employer groups explain that “while it surely was not the intent of Congress or the administration to increase the number of uninsured, this provision will likely produce exactly this result for some of the most vulnerable of our population, e.g. lower-wage, part-time, seasonal and temporary workers who can only obtain and afford limited-benefit medical insurance coverage.”

    Last September 9, President Obama publicly vowed that insurers would “no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime.” He failed to mention that caps are one way to provide low-cost insurance to those who might otherwise have none.

    Just how hard this provision hits limited-benefit plans is yet to be determined. It will all depend on the regulations HHS conjures up. Hopefully, they will lean on the side of choice and competition, allowing Americans—not bureaucrats—to choose what plans best meet their needs.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Side Effects: Obamacare Adds to the Ranks of the Uninsured

    1. tim bierbach mc lean says:

      Good article. Everyday more and more is being revealed in the mainstream news print. Keep writing. Tim

    2. Pingback: Side Effects: Obamacare Adds to the Ranks of the Uninsured | Impeach Obama Campaign

    3. Barbara Frances Delo says:

      The article correctly observes "Amercans, not bureaucrats, should be allowed to determine what plan best meets their needs" I would just like to add that 'doctors and patients, not bureaucrats, should be allowed to determine what medical care should be given'.

    4. Bobbie Jo says:

      It’s a take-over when government obligates more expense on less service. It’s a take-over when freedom of choice becomes only what government dictates. it’s a take-over when government reprimands choice. It’s a take-over when government guarantees things that by elementary standards doesn’t add up.
      How about that oil spill, eh Mr. President? Waiting for another to blow?

    5. Dennis Social Circle says:

      Welcome to the world of COMMUNISM, obama is the supreme ruler of all of us. We can not argue because to do so makes us "un-American", a traitor, a terroist, anti-"guvment", or worse. The FCC is now wanting controll of the media, or obama wants this, as he stated in a speech, "there is to much information out there", it causes the people to be stressed. The stress comes from obama and his agenda for this country. Read the history books, government controll is just the beginning for total controll of the country and its people.

    6. June Florida says:

      As a president he is pathetically incompentent. He cares not a whit about his malevolent disastrous actions. I sincerely think he has a serious mental disorder; nobody could be so out of touch with reality and proceed as he does.

    7. BobPDX says:

      "Obama Care" has nothing to do with covering more people, better treatment, more service.

      Just the opposite, the real truth is that it will allow government to have access to our disposable incomes which is really what they are after.

      He couldn't care less about the uninsured who by the way do have the best "treatment" in the world.

      This is just another lie made by a compromised person who wants to turn our country into another Cuba or Venezuela.

    8. Drew Page, IL says:

      The whole point of health care reform was to begin the process of moving to a single payer, government run health care system. With its constant mandates to increase health care benefits and eligibility for those benefits, it has been the federal and state governments that have caused the price of insurance to constantly increase.

      Further, the federal government has continuously increased the regulations on health insurance plans with which employers must comply including ERISA; COBRA; FMLA; HIPAA; ADEA; ADA; Mental Health Parity (buried in the Stimulus bill), Section 79 and other IRS codes. Each of these acronyms stand for comprehensive pieces of legislation that impact on employers and their health insurance plans. Failure to comply with the provisions of these laws can leave to serious fines and civil lawsuits. Many employers hire lawyers, Human Resource professionals and insurance consulting firms to keep them in compliance with these laws and regulations. The number of these laws and regulations have only increased over the years, adding to the costs of health insurance.

      Combined with the ever increasing costs of health insurance, union demands to maintain high benefit levels, ever incresing and complex government regulations with which employers and insurance companies must comply, the impetus for employers to discontinue their health insurance plans continues to grow. And health care reform legislation has made it easier and more profitable for employers to do exactly that. The way the current health care reform legislation is written, employers who don't offer employees health insurance are subject to an annual fine, but the amount of the fine is far lower than the cost of medical insurance.

      There are those in government who know how to eat an elephant — one bite at a time, better known as incrementalism. The tactics are time consuming, but simple and effective. They include:

      * Continual mandates to increase the scope of health benefits and eligibility for those benefits;

      * Continual mandates increasing employer responsibilities with respect to their health insurance plans, subject to financial and tax penalties; and

      * Continual reporting requirements imposed on health care providers (hospitals, doctors, etc) and insurance companies.

      All of these mandates, rules and regulations are of course explained away as "protecting the American public". Follow up all this by villifying those "greedy" insurance companies and dirty exploitative employers. Before long, those behind all this get exactly what they want, government controlled health care, with them in charge. Of course taxes will have to be increased to pay for all this, but don't worry, only the "rich" will be taxed.

    9. Neal, Michigan says:

      Why don't CMS and insurance companies just put a freeze on the negotiated rates they pay out for health care. Start with a 5 year freeze. According to the Federal Reserve there is virtually no inflation (That is until you go buy some groceries). Look at what has happened to prescription drugs over the past 2 years. Generics are lower than copays now but drug insurance premiums keep going up. Wages aren't going up, why should insurance.

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