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  • Side Effects: Under Obamacare, 29.4 Million Americans Will Change Health Plans Each Year

    Obamacare’s massive Medicaid expansion—combined with its new system of subsidies for government-defined coverage for additional millions of Americans—will force 29.4 million Americans to move from one form of health coverage to another each year, a recent study shows.

    The effect, called “churning,” is the involuntary movement of individuals from one type of coverage to another. While some churning existed before Obamacare, the health law makes the problem much worse, making continuous coverage less likely for many Americans.

    New research by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute concludes that 29.4 million Americans under the age of 65 will be forced to change their coverage from year to year under Obamacare. That represents 31 percent of the estimated 95.9 million people that will either be in Medicaid or receive subsidies in the exchanges in any given year.

    According to the study, churning will include “6.9 million people who move from Medicaid to subsidized coverage in the exchange or vice versa; 19.5 million people who move between Medicaid and ineligibility for all insurance subsidy programs…and 3.0 million people who move between subsidized coverage in the exchange and ineligibility for all programs.”

    This churning will occur because eligibility for both Medicaid and the new subsidy system are based on family income and family size. Thus, people will be forced to move in and out of different government-run health programs when their incomes or family size change. That churning will make the programs more complex and expensive to administer.

    Moreover, consumers will have to learn about a new type of coverage every time they transition. Finally, the authors point out that “churning can lessen health plans’ incentive to invest in long-term wellness if insurers know that today’s enrollee may soon be served by a competitor.”

    The authors refer to churning and its negative consequences as “inevitable,” but that is simply not true. The additional churning that will result from Obamacare is a side effect of the legislation’s poor design.

    In contrast, The Heritage Foundation’s vision for health care reform would enable both current Medicaid-eligible individuals and working Americans to choose the health plans they like and then stick with them even as their circumstances and the types of assistance they qualify for change.

    The plan transforms Medicaid and restores its original purpose as a safety net for the most vulnerable, disabled Americans. The Heritage plan would provide low-income families who are otherwise healthy with federal subsidies to purchase private coverage, as their fellow Americans do. Families up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) would receive the full subsidy, which would be gradually phased out for those between 133 percent and 200 percent of FPL.

    This approach avoids churning by getting rid of the sharp eligibility cutoff in Medicaid today. If a family’s income rose past the subsidy eligibility level, they would be able to keep the same plan and receive a tax credit to offset its cost, since the Heritage plan also provides tax credits for the purchase of health insurance for all but the wealthiest of Americans.

    These reforms would put the decisions and dollars back in the hands of the consumer, decreasing dependence on government and allowing individuals—not the government, their employers, or anyone else—to decide what kind of health insurance they have.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Side Effects: Under Obamacare, 29.4 Million Americans Will Change Health Plans Each Year

    1. Bobbie says:

      the "affordable health care act" an inappropriate title to all America, is an attack on our personal health care control. An attack on all that's medical. An attack on doctors and his assistants. An attack on the core principles of America radically, expensed by the unconstitutionalities of this government.There is absolutely no benefit. Any one believing it's a benefit has been wrongfully manipulated with a false sense of security. Everywhere government controls opens the door to corruption and fraud without appropriate corrections as long as tax payers are forced to take on their expense.

    2. Bobbie says:

      How did people all of a sudden need insurance cost paid by someone else without a thought to paying for their own? Why aren't people expecting to be responsible to their own health care expense when one controls their own livelihood? People who chance their lives without health insurance have to know they are still responsible for the full cost of their personal/parental medical bills if it comes to that and grow wiser to get insurance after that. No constituted reason for government force. People figure it out developing personal resources, as long as they expect full responsible to and for their own.

      I've a disease before I could start employment and like responsible people, I looked for a job that had insurance benefits and made the best of it. No one denied me. I paid in for three months before any benefit kicked in and my medications were covered 80/20. Hospital/procedural the same. 2 Dr. visits free and at my will. It's gotten so much worse, corrupt, costly and uncertain what insurance is really benefiting? It's a slap in the face with insults to injury under Obama not within my control or favor. Some government regulation is making me go where I don't fit the criteria to need.

      Where does the health circumstances of a person's life constitute the obligation of the tax payers to cover? Especially if the circumstances are brought on within the persons lifestyle they control. I don't believe ones health constitutes government mandates in any areas of drs' authority and personal judgment or consent. It's unethical to be charged extra to attempt cost cover when I do with less.

      Ever since complaining (approx. 15 years) about prescription and medical costs escalating for no reason, more noticeable government involvement has done nothing but made it worse. Please remove the unconstitutionality of pricing, government, their special interests, all costs from pharmaceuticals, health institutes and providers. Costs will reduce when people take their rightful responsibility to pay their own.

      • Miranda says:

        My daughter was BORN with a pre-existing condition. As was I, but we did not find out I had it until I was pregnant with her. I had a job that I had been at for ten years. I had what I thought was excellent health coverage for myself and my family. I had 7 weeks of paid vacation per year and a 401K. When the insurance company refused to pay for her treatment because she was BORN with the condition, she got sicker and sicker the more I couldn't pay. The sicker she got, the more work I missed. When I was fired, I was offered state paid medical. Now if I get a job, I will lose the state paid medical. And no amount of insurance will cover her. Without Obamacare, I am forced to keep sucking money off of the state in order to keep my child healthy. Just sayin'

    3. chris says:

      Antibiotics should be over the counter. People can google the proper medication. no medicaid no doctors nothing like other countries. and no car insurance too!

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