Yesterday I did some grousing about Obamacare, this morning I did some research – how many people are still uninsured? Last year they predicted over 30 million people would fall through the numerous cracks in the American Healthcare Act.
Here’s why – according to the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, “Over the past 25 years, with the exception of several years in the mid-1990s, increases in health insurance premiums have been substantially larger than increases in both workers’ earnings and in overall inflation.”
In the very beginning of the ACA discussion, Obama promised to make healthcare and insurance more affordable – those promises have gone along the wayside. Both are going up at an alarming rate.
In 2009 the Social Security Advisory Board warned that ” the rising cost of health care represents perhaps the most significant threat to the long-term economic security of workers and retirees,” urging the government to ” take action to restrain the rising cost of health care. ” Last spring, another report warned that even while prices for medical services had somewhat “flattened” over the past 5 years, with an average .5 percent increase, more Americans were seeking healthcare, and government costs were going to be higher than expected.
I don’t know about any “flattening” of rates. When I took a patient to the ER at Enloe, the bill showed $7,000/hour for the ER. When my husband got sick, Enloe told us his room would be $7,500/day. I’m assuming those prices have gone up – telling me the increase has slowed somewhat is not very comforting. Let’s do the math – 10 years, at .5 percent per year – so now they’re only charging about $7500/hour in the ER, and maybe $8,000/day for a room? Oh, well, that’s so much better, I don’t know what I was so worried about!
That would be why, again, according to the RWJF, “nearly a fifth of insured Americans report skipping a trip to the doctor when they’re sick or injured to save money, and only 36 percent are confident they can pay for a major, unexpected medical expense.”
That’s me – the Bronze Plan has me paying $800/month, there goes the money I would have spent seeing a reasonably priced provider. I see my dentist regularly, I’ve kept my kids going in all these years, and I’ve paid at the time of service, because dentistry is priced more reasonably. I won’t say I haven’t complained, but at least it’s doable.
When I tried to get in to see a doctor a few years ago, I was asked what insurance I had over the phone. When I told the receptionist I was “self pay,” she made the appointment. I drove all he way up to Paradise to see a doctor, who left me in the waiting room and skipped out the back door. I sat and sat, the receptionist tried to pretend she didn’t notice me. At 5pm I got up and reminded her I had a 4:30 appointment. She acted very flustered, then told me the doctor had left. I was astounded that a grown man would pull a stunt like that – I asked her if it was because I was uninsured, she assured me, oh no!, but when she looked in her appointment book, she couldn’t find anything for over a month. I had been told I had a serious condition, and had told her that when I’d made the first appointment. She suggested I go to the ER at Feather River Hospital.
Okay, so I pay my $800 a month – that should at least entitle me to a doctor visit. Not necessarily – have you seen the ad in the News and Review – I featured it in a previous post – a woman doctor here in Chico who says, “I’m sorry, I don’t accept Covered California,” right in her ad!
Obamacare is a failure, Covered California is a failure. The real intent behind this scam, and it has worked somewhat, was to get more people signed up for insurance to pay the rising healthcare costs of the already insured – mostly public workers. Public workers’ health policies have driven up the cost of everything for everybody, and now they want to force healthy people to sign up but they want to exclude older people whose health and earnings are naturally decreasing.
This is what we’ve walked into, along with the contracts that guarantee defined pension benefits.