Obamacare is working
by Bob Livingston
If one peels back the layers of deception and duplicity, it’s easy to see that Obamacare is working.
It is certainly not working for the people. But it was not designed for them. Obamacare is not healthcare, and it was never about health, and those who created it did not care about health.
All the carping Obamacare proponents gave us about their caring that the uninsured obtained coverage and that Obamacare would lower premiums and that healthcare costs would decrease and that you could keep your health insurance plan if you liked it has turned out to be — just as we and many others predicted — a large sack of hokum mixed with a heaping helping of folderol.
No. Obamacare was about power, control and wealth redistribution. It’s a big government boondoggle designed to transfer wealth, further enrich the medical-pharmaceutical-health insurance complex, limit choices and steal away medical freedom. And to that end it is working swimmingly.
It’s locking people into a socialistic redistributionist deathcare system controlled by a few cronies and thousands of bureaucrats. But it’s a huge health insurance boondoggle of corruption, waste and heartache for the people.
The Congressional Budget Office has issued a new report showing that Obamacare has missed the CBO’s own 2013 projections of those who would have health insurance in 2016 by 24 million people. On the eve of the Affordable Care Act’s 2013 kickoff, the CBO projected 201 million people would have private health insurance in any given month during 2016. But now the CBO says just 177 million will have private health insurance in 2016.
The CBO’s numbers show that Obamacare has, in fact, led to fewer people on private health plans than would have them had Obamacare not been implemented because that same 2013 report declared that without Obamacare, 186 million would have private health insurance. So Obamacare has caused a net short of 9 million people — with 5 million having lost their employer-based plans and 4 million having lost individually-purchased plans.
And running the numbers out even further, the CBO report shows that between 4 million and 9 million fewer people each year are projected to have employer-based coverage from 2017 through 2026 than would have had Obamacare never been enacted.
On top of that, those who are uninsured have little clue about their health insurance options and obligations (thanks to the mandate) despite billions of dollars of both paid and free media for Obamacare. And a survey released in January found that 11.9 percent of adults were not covered by insurance in the final quarter of 2015. That 11.9 percent comes to approximately 28.8 million adults.
According to numbers touted by Obamcare advocates in the run-up to the law’s unconstitutional passage in early 2010 (laws raising revenue must originate in the House and Obamcare — which is a tax, according to the Supreme Court — originated in the Senate), somewhere between 32 million to 47 million Americans were uninsured. That’s not to say they were uninsurable. They were just uninsured.
Whichever number you settled on, that number, of course, was completely contrived. It was a combination of people who were self-insured, those who chose not to buy insurance, those temporarily between jobs, illegal aliens and a group of about 10 million who were truly unable to purchase healthcare insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
So comparing the pre-Obamacare uninsured numbers to the post-Obamacare uninsured numbers, one can see the massive fraud perpetrated on the people for the government’s $1.2 trillion “investment” (Obamacare’s own numbers). In essence, Obamacare has done nothing to improve the health insurance options of the people, but has done much to reduce them and make them more expensive.
What Obamacare has done, through both disincentives on the one hand and incentives on the other, is drive employers out of the ability to provide insurance coverage and people out of the ability to purchase their own and into Medicaid and the failing public insurance marketplaces. And those who’ve managed to keep their employer-based or privately-purchased coverage have seen out-of-pocket expenses skyrocket.
Deductibles are now running in the range of $6,000 to $10,000 per year, with high co-pays and premiums that have jumped 200 to 500 percent or more. That’s certainly not “affordable.” But one can always count on a government program creating the opposite effect of what its name implies. The ACA is no exception.
It’s also costing jobs – 2 million jobs over the next decade, the CBO predicts.
Meanwhile, Obamacare exchanges are predicting yet another round of steep rate hikes for 2017 and for more insurers to leave the exchanges because Obamacare patients are significantly sicker and need more care than those on employer-based plans.
A study by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association found that Obamacare members have higher rates of costly illnesses such as diabetes, depression, hypertension, heart disease, HIV and Hepatitis C.
As CNN Money reports, this is putting insurers participating in the exchanges into a financial bind. Several, including the UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest insurer, say they may not participate in 2017. UnitedHealth expects that it will lose $1 billion on Obamacare in 2015 and 2016. This despite surreptitiously-provided bailouts to insurance companies written into the Obamacare law designed to cover insurance company shortfalls.
However, it seems the Feds are stiffing them, as the Obamacare co-op in Oregon, Health Republic of Oregon — which announced it was forced to close its doors — is suing the federal government for $5 billion over promised bailout funds it never received.
And then there are the more nefarious effects of government-controlled healthcare. Last month, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended all adults be screened for depression:
The USPSTF recommends screening for depression in the general adult population, including pregnant and postpartum women. Screening should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up.
This recommendation will encourage insurer payment for screening, usually done with a questionnaire. Payment will provide the clinic with an incentive to do it, more financial security — and more reasons to find (or create) the “depressed” among us.
And Medicaid also requires clinics to report on the “Percentage of Medicaid enrollees age 18 and older screened for clinical depression on the date of the encounter using an age-appropriate standardized depression screening tool, and if positive, a follow-up plan is documented on the date of the positive screen.”
A depression diagnosis can be applied very subjectively and broadly. It would serve two purposes for the elites. First, it would allow the prescribing of mind-altering drugs to a whole new host of subjects – subjects who would be forced to comply with the established plan of treatment at the point of a gun. Medicating everyone is the goal of the medical establishment and the statist, controlling central planners. A mind-numbed populace is more easily controlled.
And second, it would serve the desires of the establishment gun grabbers. It won’t be long until the Feds begin comparing depression diagnoses with the gun-buying background check lists and agents will be confiscating guns and denying further purchases by declaring people with depression diagnoses as “mentally defective,” just as they’ve done with hundreds of thousands of veterans.