ObamaCare Clusterfuck: ObamaCare not so affordable for families at three and four times the poverty line
Who knew? Kaiser Health News:
The lure used to get uninsured Americans to sign up for health law coverage was the promise of generous premium subsidies.
But the promise comes with a catch for almost 3 million people earning between three and four times the federal poverty rate: They may have to pay up to 9.5 percent of their income toward that premium before the subsidy kicks in.
That could take a substantial bite from their budgets — potentially as much as $600 a month for mid-priced plan for a family of three earning between $58,590 and $78,120.
And that's before we talk about the high deductibles, the high co-pays, narrow networks, narrow formularies, and balance billing.
As a result, some middle-class families may decide health insurance is beyond their reach, and pay a penalty rather than buy coverage. While consumers in that income range account for a relatively small share of the 17.2 million eligible for subsidies to buy private insurance, that could still spell political trouble for the law. Insurers could also see problems if premium costs deter the sign-up of healthy enrollees, whom they need to offset the costs of covering the sick. ....
It’s too early to know the big-picture answer because consumers have until the end of March to buy coverage in the federal and state online marketplaces.
But individual families have begun making their decisions.
“Awfully high,” is the verdict of Tim Ross of Madison, Ind., the owner of a light commercial construction firm who canceled coverage for his family of five several years ago during the depths of the recession.
Under the health law, Ross’ income qualifies his family for a subsidy that would cover about half the cost of a mid-level “silver” plan, according to online calculators. There are five silver plans he could choose from, with his share of the cost ranging from $494 to $590 a month.
Ross, 47, would also be responsible for copays for doctor visits and prescriptions and an annual family deductible ranging from $4,000 to $7,000.
“I would love to have insurance,” said the small businessman, who knows he would take a big chance by remaining uninsured.
But he said he is likely to forego buying a policy, hoping that if a family member needs expensive care, he can negotiate lower prices with doctors and hospitals as he has done in the past.
“We are at the point in our lives where if we want to go out to supper,” he said, “we can. “If I want to buy my kid a pair of blue jeans, I can do that. If I had to pay $600 a month out of my income, we could no longer do that.”
Pretty amazing. Claw your way out of a Depression and save your small business, and have to choose between insurance and a night out with the family. Such reckless extravagance!
The law’s drafters set the 9.5 percent benchmark during final negotiations over the health law, mainly to meet a directive from the White House and congressional leadership that the law cost less than $1 trillion over 10 years and contain provisions to pay for that, which included new taxes and fees on drug makers, insurers and high-income Americans. The primary goal was to get the bill passed, not figure out what struggling middle-class families thought they could afford.
Well, naturally (and that's a pretty amazing statement coming from Kaiser Health News). How could Obama bail out the insurance companies if he didn't get the bill passed? Let's be reasonable, here.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that the average household spent about a third of its income on housing, 17 percent on transportation and nearly 13 percent on food, the three largest categories, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Health care accounted for nearly 7 percent, including premiums, drugs, doctor visits and medical supplies.
But averages aren’t how most families live.
The Economic Policy Institute, a ["progressive"] think tank in Washington, D.C., says that housing costs vary widely across the country. Two parents with one child living in Bowling Green, Ky., for example, would spend about $675 a month on housing, while a similar Los Angeles family would spend $1,421. Adding health premiums and deductibles to the plate can be tough – and many families have no savings.
“I would like to live in a world where people didn’t have to trade off health care versus putting food on the table,” said economist Elise Gould at the Institute. “Should it be fixed in the health care law? Or are there other things we could be doing so people don’t have to make those choices?”
Why yes, Elise. Yes, there are. There are "things you could be doing." Single payer would eliminate all this random variation and make health care coverage truly universal. God, "progressives" suck. Such concern. Couldn't you just hear the concern? [gag. spew.]