The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was claimed to be a method to control costs for health insurance and to ensure that more people were able to get access to insurance at a ‘reasonable’ cost. A family in Florida shows how this is not only not true, but a complete joke of a claim, and that this may have been planned from the start.
The Reiter family, Heidi and Richard Reiter and their two children, are Florida residents. They purchased their coverage off of the Obamacare exchange in 2017, and because they bring in too much in income to qualify for any sort of exemption or financial aid, they had to pay $26,000 for their insurance premiums for the family of four. That same plan this year was set to cost $40,000, a price that the Reiter family could not possibly afford to pay, so they selected a cheaper plan, which would only cost $29,000 for the year.
To put that number into perspective, $29,000 is more than half of the median or average income in the United States. As rates continue to go up by 50 percent or more each year, it leaves those who are just too rich to be able to get any government support but too poor to afford the premiums on their own in a strange position. These individuals, many of whom are healthy, are bearing the brunt of costs. As Sabrina Corlette, a professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute points out, “people have every right to be angry.”
Corlette acknowledges that going into the start of 2017, health insurers raised rates, mostly because consumers of their programs were utilizing their health insurance much more than had previously been expected. The price had to go up for EVERYBODY, because under the law, people with serious illnesses including cancers and other chronic illnesses could wait until they were diagnosed with a serious medical issue before ever paying for insurance. How could that system possibly NOT cause prices to skyrocket?
Sabrina Corlette read through the reports that health insurers had to file to justify their cost increases in the upcoming year to the federal government and found a continuing theme; uncertainty about the future of health insurance and its status in law. She states that about 7 million people who are currently purchasing their insurance off of the exchanges are likely to be caught in this ugly situation, where they cannot afford their coverage as it exists, but they also cannot afford to be without it. She also says that the removal of the individual mandate is likely to make the issue worse.
The health law is written so that those who make less than four times the federal poverty line, or $81,000 for a family with one child, will never pay more than a sliver under 10 percent for their insurance premiums. However, if you make $81,001, you are no longer able to qualify for this protection, and suddenly you can be facing immense premiums of up to$40,000 (or just under half of your annual income). What a great law!
For the Reiters, the best answer that they can come to is to cover the cost of their doctor’s visits in cash. But for many Americans, this is just not affordable, especially those with chronic issues. The problem here is that the United States federal government, under Obamacare, dictates so much to so many about what kind of insurance they can utilize.
It tells individuals what their health insurance plan MUST cover. This means that a man’s health insurance must cover pregnancy as well as birth control, even though the man will never be able to make use of this treatment. You cannot choose what kind of coverage you want under the new federally set guidelines.
Further, under Obamacare, insurers cannot decide what to charge people with chronic illnesses. The perfectly-healthy 18-year-old who is seeking insurance is going to pay the same costs as the 18-year-old who has leukemia that will probably cause the end of his life within the next few years, even though one is projected to cost little to nothing in medical procedures while the other is likely to cost hundreds of thousands or even millions a year to treat.
Obamacare was planned to lead here, out of the desire to force America to consider single-payer, government-controlled health insurance for all. The United States needs to go in the other direction, and allow the free market to find ways to provide superior health care at affordable prices, with little to no government harassment to inflate those costs.