That Popping Noise? The Obamacare Bubble!
Kate Randall in “Obamacare exposed: The gutting of health care for workers” contends that affordable, quality health care will not be provided by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
A true reform of the health care system in the US would provide universal access to high-quality medical care. It would train thousands of new doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. It would dedicate billions of dollars to research into the prevention and eradication of disease. It would improve the quality of life and extend life expectancy in line with the advances in medical technology.
Instead Obamacare will deepen what Randall calls “the class divide.” It will provide ever more profits to the health care industry. It will reduce the medical services for millions of average Americans.
The key feature of Obamacare requires people opting not to have insurance to pay a fine. The idea is to pressure and create millions more customers and profits for the medical industrial complex.
There are no -- repeat NO -- real controls over the prices charged by insurance companies with Obamacare, not on the out-of-pocket costs levied on average Americans, not on all those many tragic -- well for the stricken patients in crisis -- opportunities for price gouging. Why did the "pragmatic" apologists for Obama find this lack of price regulation not a priority? Did they presume insurance and medical corporations (remember, a corporation has the personality profile of a psychopath) would operate according to some kind of honor system? Focused on the common good? Committed to the public trust? No, that is or, rather, should be the responsibility of our government representatives. But they no longer represent us. They represent the fraudsters who fill their campaign coffers and whom they let get away with further fraud and pirate profiteering to do so. Quid pro quo.
Yes, how pathetic the level of technological dysfunctionality of the HealthCare.gov website and those of the state exchanges the ACA has set up. And how embittering the cost of said website and future costs to make it right. Apparently when contractors fail in Bush- and then Obamaworld, they simply get even more money. But the technical problems aside, the real nature of Obamacare itself will have a tragic impact on the welfare of each non-wealthy American citizen.
A celebrated feature of Obamacare is the mandate that people cannot be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, but as Randall discloses: “... there is nothing in the law to prevent the insurance companies from pricing policies on their terms and inflating premiums, deductibles and co-pays to more than compensate for these mandated services.”
More and more working people are reeling from the shock of the so-called “affordable policies” with their massive deductibles, Randall asserts that in many states the lowest level “bronze plan” of Obamacare has deductibles topping $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a family, deductibles which must be paid in FULL before insurance coverage commences. She adds, “Co-pays and coinsurance for doctor visits, hospitalizations and other services have been hiked significantly when compared to the current individual insurance market.”
The consequences in sum? Substandard policies will exist that force working and non-working people to surrender, if they possibly can raise it, thousands of dollars or forgo treatment for themselves or a family member.
Remember the progressives’ mockery of “death panels”?
A child’s infection will go untreated because it is too costly; a hospitalization will be cut short because a family cannot afford the coinsurance. People will suffer and die.
Others will choose not to purchase coverage and pay the fine because either (1) they simply cannot afford the premiums, or (2) the coverage is so inferior—and the out-of-pocket expenses so high—that it is better to remain uninsured and pay the penalty.
Insurers can be expected to jack up their premiums even higher if a dwindling pool of cash-paying customers results in what they consider an unacceptable drain on their profits.
Those Americans who trusted and counted on Obamacare will join the ranks of those already 31 million uninsured Americans that Obamacare was perfectly willing to cold shoulder all along. Those include the very poor (even further doomed, those who exist in states that have chosen not to expand the Medicaid program). Then there are undocumented immigrants and their children barred from government subsidies.
It is also becoming clear that Obama’s lie—“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan”—extends far beyond those who stand to lose their coverage in the individual insurance market. The majority of the US population, some 170 million people, are presently insured through their employers, and this vast market has been targeted by the insurance industry and businesses for a drastic overhaul along the lines of the Affordable Care Act.
Already employers are busily transitioning workers to higher deductible plans Randall discloses, steepening out of pocket expenses. The Obamacare regulation, postponed until 2015, will require businesses with 50 plus employees to provide health care to full time workers. Big businesses will reject such a burden and pass costs on to their employees or they will choose not to comply and simply pay the $2,000 penalty for each employee being denied.
As for private sector retirees and even active workers, many will ultimately be shifted to private insurance exchanges modeled on Obamacare’s or be “dumped” (Randall’s word) into Obamacare exchanges of substandard over-priced policies directly.
Workers who for decades have traditionally received employer-sponsored coverage are now being thrown onto these exchanges to fend for themselves as individuals in the private market.
With these moves, a voucher-type system is being instituted. Big business and its representatives in both political parties eye Medicare, the government-run health program for seniors and the disabled, and Medicaid, the program for the poor jointly administered by the federal government and the states, as the next big targets for privatization and dismantling. The Social Security retirement program is also in their sights.
Did you savvy that? Bye, bye Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. Already on Obama's grand bargain table.
Randall maintains that the corporate financial elite finds workers living longer in retirement and their subsequent health expenses profoundly undesirable. To preserve their profit-making they are colluding with the political cronies they’ve donated to and, thus, bought, that it is better to drastically reduce medical services for average Americans, better to have their health deteriorate or that of their family members, instead of providing them with service to save and prolong their lives, to seriously address and turn around a fate of premature, preventable death.
The Affordable Care Act is of a piece with the entire anti-working class agenda of the Obama administration, which seeks to claw back the social gains won by workers in the course of a century of struggles, while increasing the wealth of the tiny elite at the top.
The government that claims there is “no money” for vital social needs such as health care has spent trillions bailing out the banks and the auto industry and continues to pump out $85 billion a month to prop up the stock and bond markets.
A real solution to the crisis of health care in America looks nothing like Obamacare. Health care is a social right that must be defended by the working class with its own program and perspective. ...
One more time, “a real solution to the crisis of health care in America looks nothing like Obamacare”!