Health Care Thoughts: If you like your health care plan……
by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt
Health Care Thoughts: If you like you health care plan……
“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like you health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
quote President Obama
A bold claim when made, highly unlikely then and very demonstrably false now.
If you like your health care plan, if your health care plan fits your needs, if your health care plan is priced right but does not meet “essential coverage” requirements, it is being canceled (or repackaged and repriced). Up to 85% of the individual policy market may be in jeopardy, with policy holders scrambling to find coverage by January 1. Some small businesses will fall into the same trap.
The convergence of a mediocre economy, a weak labor market and ACA is causing employers to embark on a massive “risk shift,” pushing higher deductibles and co-pays down to employees. Maybe the same policy number, but decidedly different economics.
Can I keep my doctor? Maybe. As coverage networks are redrawn, and in many cases narrowed, many will not be able to keep their physician coverage. Period.
The blow up of healthcare.gov may turn out to be one of our smaller problems.
What in ACA is the reason for all of this that was occurring when an Obama administration was a dream in the womb of a mother?
I think the main manner the ACA could be held responsible in any fair manner is it provided an excuse for insurers to speed up rate increases on policies, employers to speed up raising co-pays, deductibles, other cost sharing, and to speed up the eventual collapse of the employer based health insurance coverage system. This was coming anyway regardless of Obamacare and maybe, just maybe, will speed up VA/Medicare for all at birth and kill off employer based health care for good.
At the time I thought the “promise” was pretty impossible. I suppose the most honest way to have said it would have been “The new law will not take your current policy, doctor etc away from you.”
But turn this around. How secure were Americans before ACA in their health plans, insurance coverage, doctors or anything else? Oh, I am sure than many Americans FELT secure in these things, just as we might feel secure about our balcony so long as we never went out and stood on it. But then one cancer diagnosis, one heart attack, one child with leukaemia, and how secure was their coverage then?
I am even sure many Americans, maybe most, actually had a good strong balcony when they really needed it. But, was anyone 100% sure?
Maybe you can fill me in. No having lived in the states since 1974, perhaps I have too harsh a view of the pre-ACA system. I would be interested to hear from actual experience, rather than the thousands of horror stories I’ve read in the past 15-20 years.
I certainly would not defend the prior system, and have been critic for 3 decades.
I can’t defend ACA though.
I suppose the only defence for the ACA is that it might have been the only way to get from here to there — from a fragmented, arbitrary, extortionate system to a system that is less so. And as Americans have more transparency, more choice, and a real opportunity to change insurers or even acquire coverage, we can hope it will continue to simplify and moderate in costs. It is execrable in what it is, but hopeful in what it may lead to. An indication that I am correct in this likely progression is that the insurers were fighting this law like a terrified cat trying to avoid a bath. If they had just gone “La la la, whatever,” then I would have worried.