Saturday, August 13, 2016
On ObamaCare Anger
Anyone can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not easy.
Aristotle (384-324 BC)
Anger hangs heavy in the air everywhere. Anger is behind Donald Trump’s populist movement against the establishment. Anger dominates the presidential debate, with both sides hurling insults. There is anger over the slow growth economy, the worst recovery from a recession since World War II. There is anger over the drop of median incomes.
There is even anger over ObamaCare, supposedly a good thing since it covers 20 million uninsured Americans, bringing the rate of uninsured down from 16% to 9%. But as a consequence, premiums are soaring, insurers are incurring heavy losses and are ending coverage in exchanges, the ObamaCare exchange pool is smaller, older, and less healthy than anticipate. Everybody seems matter than health except of course for the newly covered, who comprise 6% of the total population.The Magnitude of Anger
If you doubt the magnitude of this anger for much of other 94% of the populace, I invite you to consider the following headlines.
· “ObamaCare Sticker Shock: Why Average Premiums are Soaring 18% to 23% across the Country,” Wall Street Journal, August 13-14, 2016
· “Taxpayer Anger over ObamaCare Penalties Set to Boil Over,” NewsMax, February 2, 2015
· “The Dilemma: Anger at ObamaCare; Angrier without It,” Real Clear Politics, May 10, 2015
· “Anger over Narrow Networks, “ Politico, July 22, 2014
· “Just How Angry is Justice Scalia over ObamaCare Ruling,” The New Republic, June 22, 2015
· “ObamaCare: Middle Class Anger over Sticker Shock,” Townhall, Novemer 4, 2013
· “ObamaCare Anger: It’s Not about Sticker Shock: It’s about Pillage and Plunder, “ Pwerline, August 4, 2013
· “New Health Plans Limitations Anger Enrollees,” USA Today, July 27, 2014
The Madded Crowd
Everybody, right, left, in the middle, subsidized and unsubsidized, is mad.
· Consumers, in and out of the exchanges, who are concluding ObamaCare isn’t good value for the money, as insurers narrow networks of doctors and hospitals and shrink drug formularies.
· Low income citizens who don’t qualify for the exchanges. Only 2% of people earning over 400% of poverty have joined the exchanges.
· People in 664 of America’s 3007 counties have only one insurer to turn to, making a farce of the argument that competition will lower premiums.
· Dissenting Supreme Court judges who sought to declare ObamaCare unconstitutional .
· Middle class , the young and healthy, and taxpayers , upset over redistribution policies that favor others over themselves.
· ObamaCare progressives and elites who are confounded at witnessing their cherished health law and compassion being challenged by the unwashed masses.
· Insurers, big and small, for-profit and not-for-profit, who are suffering heavy losses and bankruptcies because they are unable to predict premium levels until losses occur.
· Physicians, hamstrung by punitive regulations declining reimbursements, and rising expenses of 40% or more, often tied to IT documentation requirements.
· The young and healthy who are angry at the individual mandates, its penalties, and the unaffordable policies they are being forced to join.
· Small and medium sized employers, burdened by more than 600 major new regulations, and feeling victimized by the employer mandate forcing them to insure employees who works more than 30 hours a week.
At the Root of It All
At the root of this pervasive and widespread discontent are the realities, that modern health care in inherently expensive, that everybody wants access to the best technologies and best doctors and best hospitals, that members of the medical industrial complex must operate at a profit to stay in business, that the sluggish economy is funneling more patients into state and federal safety nets, and that ObamaCare promises, that you can keep your own doctor, health plan, and hospital while paying lower premiums are not being met.
The bottom line? With health care, you cannot have your cake, the best and latest in personal health care, and eat it too when the cake is smaller than anticipated , and when the eating is not a sweet as thought when the cake was baked.