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Why Americans Are Demanding the Repeal of Obamacare

Jan 31, 2017 by

by Henry W. Burke

1.31.17

Would you sign up for a healthcare insurance plan (for a family of 4) if the price has increased 140 % in three years? 

Would you choose a family plan with a $12,000 deductible?

Welcome to the world of Obamacare!

 

During the 2016 Election Campaign, Presidential candidate Donald Trump consistently promised to repeal and replace Obamacare.  With an overwhelming election victory in November, President Donald J. Trump holds a strong mandate from the American people to repeal and replace the failed healthcare measure.  President Trump’s actions during his first week in office make it very clear that he is fulfilling his campaign promises.

As the debate over repealing Obamacare intensifies, it is important to remember Obamacare’s most glaring failures.  The Heritage Foundation recently published an insightful article “8 Reasons Why Obamacare Should Be Repealed.” 

http://dailysignal.com/2017/01/23/8-reasons-why-obamacare-should-be-repealed/?ac=1

I used The Heritage Foundation article as a source document and supplemented it with additional information.  The primary reasons for repealing Obamacare are:

  1. HIGH COSTS FOR OBAMACARE

Under Obamacare, healthcare costs have skyrocketed.  The two major segments are the individual market and the employer-sponsored market.  In the individual market, the average nationwide premium increase has been 99 % for individuals and 140 % for families.  In the employer-sponsored market, average family premiums have increased around 32 %.

Monthly premiums for Obamacare plans sold on the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, will increase by an average of 25 % in 2017.  Here is a sampling of Obamacare premiums for 2017:

          The average lowest-cost monthly premium is $366 for a bronze plan, $433 for a silver plan, $538 for a gold plan, and $674 for a platinum plan.

          The monthly premium cost for a family of 4 in a silver plan ranges from $792 in New Hampshire to $2,750 in Alaska.

          The monthly premium cost for a 27-year-old in a silver plan varies from $219 in New Hampshire to $760 in Alaska.

          Premium rate changes will top out at a 145 % increase for a 27-year-old living in Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix and other cities).

          http://dailysignal.com/2016/10/25/in-6-charts-the-rising-costs-of-obamacare-rates/?_ga=1.255132488.1584717867.1451948872

How do these monthly premium increases relate to a typical person on Obamacare?  A 25 % premium increase for a person on a silver plan means that his/her monthly cost jumps from $346 in 2016 to $433 in 2017 ($87 increase).  If she is on a tight budget, that $87 monthly increase would likely mean she cannot go out with her friends.

Similar calculations could be made for a family of 4.  When a 25 % premium increase is applied to a 2016 monthly premium of $1,300, the 2017 premium would be $1,625 ($325 monthly increase).  For a typical middle-class family, $325 is a lot of money.  With a tight budget, this family might have to give up buying school supplies and eating out together as a family.  As people spend more on healthcare, they spend less in stores.  With fewer people eating out, restaurants suffer and the restaurant managers are forced to lay off some of their employees.  Obamacare definitely has a negative impact our economy.

Deductibles keep rising, too.  The average deductible for a bronze plan in 2017 is $6,092 for an individual and $12,383 for a family.  With steep monthly premium costs and high deductibles, many people simply refuse to sign up for Obamacare.

http://dailysignal.com/2017/01/23/8-reasons-why-obamacare-should-be-repealed/?ac=1

  1. LOW EXCHANGE ENROLLMENT

In its original projections, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 21 million people would get their insurance coverage through Obamacare’s exchanges in 2016.  According to the Obama Administration, the average enrollment was only 10.4 million people in 2016.  

People are avoiding Obamacare like the plague!  According to the IRS, 12.7 million taxpayers claimed an exemption from Obamacare’s mandate to purchase coverage and another 6.5 million paid the penalty rather than signing up for coverage. 

Under Obamacare, choice and competition have suffered dramatically.  After Obamacare was implemented, insurer competition has steadily declined, with 2017 being the worst year yet.  In about 70 % of U.S. counties, only one or two insurers are offering coverage on the Obamacare exchange.

  1. MEDIOCRE EXCHANGE WEBSITES

Do you remember how the Obamacare website (HealthCare.gov) was only able to enroll six people on its launch date, October 1, 2013?  By the end of the second day, 248 people had enrolled.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/10/memo-reveals-only-6-people-signed-up-for-obamacare-on-first-day/

Obamacare’s initial enrollment period ended in March 2014.  By April 1, 2014, the individual market grew by 2.2 million individuals, while net enrollment in employer-group coverage declined by 1.7 million individuals.  Thus the net increase in private-market coverage was only 0.5 million people (2.2 million – 1.7 million = 0.5 million people).  This is a far cry from the 10-20 million new insured people predicted by the Obama Administration.

http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2014/7/a-first-look-at-enrollment-under-obamacare

Even though the federal government transferred $5 billion to the states to set up their health insurance exchanges, only 11 states plus the District of Columbia have their own exchanges.  The remaining 39 states use the federal website, HealthCare.gov.

  1. INSURANCE PLAN CANCELLATIONS

Barack Obama constantly repeated these promises: 

          If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period. 

         If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan, period.

These are some of his broken promises.  Under Obamacare, many people have been forced into changing doctors.  For example, a lady with breast cancer had to change from an oncologist who she knew and trusted to another doctor, simply because Obamacare demanded it. 

Due to Obamacare, health insurance companies are cancelling millions of people from their health plans.  When the Obamacare rules took full effect in 2014, insurers were forced to cancel existing plans that did not comply with the new standards.  At least 4.7 million Americans received cancellation notices across 30 states.  The actual number is far higher because 20 states are not tracking the information.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/policy-notifications-current-status-state-204701379.html

  1. HUGE MEDICAID EXPANSION

Medicaid is a failed model and Obamacare has dumped millions of new people into the over-stretched and unsustainable Medicaid program.  After the first two years of Obamacare, an additional 11.8 million people are enrolled in Medicaid.

Why does Medicaid perform so poorly and cost over $500 billion per year?  The program has fundamental design flaws.  The authors of the 1965 Medicaid legislation believed it was morally wrong to expect poor people to pay for their own health care.  Accordingly, the law mandates co-pays close to zero for both primary care and emergency room usage.

Because Medicaid is nearly free, the program enrollees abuse the system by seeking inappropriate care.  In order to cut costs, states are paying doctors less and less to provide the same care.  That has led many doctors into refusing to accept new Medicaid patients. 

Hospitals have a money problem.  Because Medicaid pays hospitals much less than private insurers pay for the same care, many hospitals lose money on every Medicaid patient they see. 

The patients, in turn, may have to wait weeks and make many phone calls to find someone who will treat them.  As a result, many Medicaid patients simply go to the emergency room for their primary care.  Contrary to Obama’s claims, Medicaid increases Emergency Room (ER) usage. 

The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment is the “gold standard” among studies on the effects of health insurance.  It followed 24,646 low-income residents in the Portland, Oregon area over an 18-month period.  The study compared a group of Oregonians who were uninsured (and stayed uninsured) with a group who were enrolled in Medicaid, by virtue of “winning a lottery.”  http://www.educationviews.org/medicaid-expansion-40-emergency-room-visits/

What did the study find?

The Medicaid group made more use of preventive and primary care services, but ER use rose as well.  When Medicaid made health care “free,” these households made 40 % more emergency room visits.

The increase in ER usage from Medicaid was solely in outpatient visits.  The finding that Medicaid increases emergency room use deals another blow to Obamacare and Medicaid expansion.

Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion will add about $969 billion in new Medicaid spending over the next 10 years.  With this additional spending, the federal cost of Medicaid will total $3.8 trillion from 2017-2028.

The Heritage Foundation article concluded with this statement:

          For all these reasons and many more, Congress should repeal Obamacare as soon as possible to clear the way for health care reform that actually works for Americans.http://dailysignal.com/2017/01/23/8-reasons-why-obamacare-should-be-repealed/?ac=1

  1. THE 20 MILLION INSURED NUMBER IS FAKE NEWS

In addition to the above reasons for repealing Obamacare, a related matter should be discussed.  When the repeal of Obamacare is mentioned, the proponents of Obamacare always mention:

          “This will be catastrophic for the 20 million people who were previously uninsured but now have coverage! You can’t take away their health care!”

The 20 million insured number is fake news!  For starters, the 20 million number is based on survey data, not actual sign-ups.  The actual net gains amount to 14 million over the past two years since Obamacare was fully implemented.  Out of that 14 million, 11.8 million (84 %) were people given the “gift” of Medicaid.  (This ties into point No. 5 above – Huge Medicaid Expansion.)

In 2014, for example, 9.25 million people enrolled in the federal and state-run exchanges.  A whopping 97 % of those people (8.99 million) enrolled in Medicaid.

http://dailysignal.com/2017/01/13/why-obamacares-20-million-number-is-fake/?ac=1

http://dailysignal.com/2016/10/20/fact-checking-7-claims-in-the-presidents-speech-on-obamacare/?_ga=1.254806984.1584717867.1451948872

After Obamacare is repealed, even fewer people will be left without insurance.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, it is estimated that 2 to 7 million people now on Medicaid would have qualified for the program even without Obamacare.  This further discredits the Obama administration’s claim of 20 million more Americans having health insurance because of Obamacare.

While the elected officials in Washington are moving toward the repeal and replacement of Obamacare (Affordable Care Act), the officials must understand that “We want all people to have access to affordable, quality health care.”  Also, the President and Congressmen should strive to make sure that the patients covered by Obamacare never experience a gap in their coverage.

http://dailysignal.com/2017/01/24/how-to-talk-about-repeal-and-replace-of-obamacare/?_ga=1.247990215.1584717867.1451948872

 

CONCLUSION

Numerous reasons can be cited for repealing the government-mandated Obamacare.  

Americans have experienced sticker shock over the high premium costs for Obamacare insurance. 

The average nationwide premium increase has been 99 % for individuals and 140 % for families.  Monthly premiums for Obamacare plans will increase by an average of 25 % in 2017.  

The average lowest-cost monthly premium is $366 for a bronze plan, $433 for a silver plan, $538 for a gold plan, and $674 for a platinum plan.  The monthly premium cost for a family of 4 in a silver plan ranges from $792 in New Hampshire to $2,750 in Alaska.

The impact of a 25 % premium increase on a family of 4 is quite significant.  When that increase is applied to a 2016 monthly premium of $1,300, the 2017 premium would be $1,625 ($325 monthly increase).  For a typical middle-class family, $325 is a lot of money; and numerous sacrifices must be made to pay for the $325 higher insurance expense. 

Deductibles keep rising, too.  The average deductible for a bronze plan in 2017 is $6,092 for an individual and $12,383 for a family. 

Under Obamacare, choice and competition have suffered dramatically.  In about 70 % of U.S. counties, only one or two insurers are offering coverage on the Obamacare exchange.

Due to Obamacare, health insurance companies have cancelled millions of people from their health plans.  At least 4.7 million Americans received cancellation notices across 30 states.  The actual number is far higher because 20 states are not tracking the information.

Medicaid is a failed model and Obamacare has dumped millions of new people into the over-stretched and unsustainable Medicaid program.  After the first two years of Obamacare, an additional 11.8 million people are enrolled in Medicaid.

Because Medicaid is nearly free, the program enrollees abuse the system by seeking inappropriate care.  A huge study involving thousands of patients found that Medicaid patients made 40 % more emergency room visits.

Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion will add about $969 billion in new Medicaid spending over the next 10 years. 

The 20 million insured number claimed by Obamacare proponents is fake news!  The actual net gains amount to 14 million over the past two years since Obamacare was fully implemented.  Out of that 14 million, 11.8 million (84 %) were people given the “gift” of Medicaid. 

Americans are demanding the repeal of Obamacare and the Trump Administration will deliver on that promise!

Under President Donald J. Trump and a Republican House and Senate, the repeal and replacement of Obamacare will soon be a reality.

=======================================

Bio for Henry W. Burke

Henry Burke is a Civil Engineer with a B.S.C.E. and M.S.C.E.  He has been a Registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) for 37 years and has worked as a Civil Engineer in construction for over 45 years. 

Mr. Burke had a successful 27-year career with a large construction company. 

Henry Burke has served as a full-time volunteer to oversee various construction projects. He has written numerous articles on education, engineering, construction, politics, taxes, and the economy.

Henry W. Burke

E-mail:  hwburke@cox.net

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