How Does Obamacare Help Anyone? No Really – How?

Whether Obama’s health care plan is ultimately deemed constitutional or not, the real question we should be asking is “What good is this going to do for anyone?”

It’s supposed to lower the cost of health care, but so far it has done nothing but drive up premiums for everyone, and word on the street says they are only going to go up more once it all kicks in. Over 1000 waivers have been given out (including a waiver for the entire freaking state of Maine) to various companies, unions, and other entities who simply can’t afford to implement the thing. Remember, it’s still 3 years before all of this really kicks in – these 1000 exemptions are the people who can’t afford it today.

What Am I Really Looking At Here?

I don’t want to let anyone think that I don’t understand that there is plenty wrong with the Health Care system in the U.S. Earlier, I wrote an article on Health Insurance Companies being nothing more than gambling bookies and I outlined a big gripe I have there in respects to pricing of health treatments. There are a zillion other specific problems we can look at that are making our system less than adequate.

My point is that no matter how much everyone pitches in, simple mathematics say that there isn’t enough money to cover the costs. So unless we address the real problems, neither the private sector, nor the government can swing the costs.

What I want to look at here is exactly WHAT does the Obama Health Care Plan do that is good – that will actually solve or fix any of the problems.

ObamaCare: The Selling Points

When I talk to people who are pro-Obamacare, and I ask them what is good about it, I always get the same selling points I see on TV. They seem to just buy into the whole thing and then regurgitate it.

You can put your adult children on your health care plan up until they are 26 years old. Great. Sounds good, until you do the math. There was never anything from preventing you from getting health insurance for your kids who are in college. They just couldn’t get that same family rate you were getting when they were children. You had to put them on a plan that is more expensive – why? Well, because once they move out of the house, the risk of health problems makes a substantial jump: Parent’s aren’t there to help them make better life choices, chances of automobile accidents skyrocket during our late teen and early 20′s years, and so on.

Remember, as we talked about yesterday when learning how insurance company’s work, they have to take in enough money, or the money isn’t there. So sure, you can now put your 22 year old on your health plan – but it will cost more. Right now, the adjustment needs to come immediately and rates are going to go up. Eventually, you’ll be paying for that extra risk during the first 17 years of your child’s life, so it might balance out a bit – but we are still working with a net gain in costs. You will have to pay for your young adult somehow, whether it’s all at once, or spread out over their lifetime.

The cost of covering that person is the same. You can either have lower family rates and have to insure your young adult children on a separate, more expensive plan, or you can combine the costs and pay for it in one single plan that a) takes the risk into account over their lifetime and b) brings up the total cost to the level where the insurance company can afford to pay it out. That’s just math!

Preexisting Conditions Will Be Covered – I explained the issues with this in my other article too.

Prohibit the Dropping of People if they Get Sick – Again, on the surface, this sounds great, but how does that get paid for? It’s easy, the insurance companies rework the odds of you getting sick, figure out what the median cost is, and then charge everyone the difference. Again – this doesn’t lower costs, it raises them – tremendously. (I know, I know – you don’t like this answer, but I can’t change the laws of mathematics. I DO care if people get sick, but in order to fix this stuff, we have to work within the realm of reality. Sorry.)

Lower Senior Citizens Prescription Drug Prices – Paid for by decimating the Medicare Advantage program. So basically, you kill the program that allows senior citizens to be able to afford to go to the doctor to get a prescription in order to give them cheaper prescriptions. But wait… they can’t go to the doctor to get the prescription, so that – wait… agh. Nevermind. I don’t want to melt my brain trying to figure out that paradox.

Side Rant... Click To View

Speaking of prescriptions… when this whole plan eventually kicks in, you will need a prescription for aspirin, cold medicine, allergy pills, and everything if you want to see any of the savings promised for drug costs in the new health care plan. So basically, you need to make a trip to your doctor (apparently this get paid for in fairy dust or something) in order to get your credits. So, you add cost to your health insurer to pay for the visit, you take away time from your doctor who could be treating someone with a serious illness, you take time off from work which either takes money out of your pocket, or the pocket of your boss who is paying for your health insurance and all of this puts a few bucks in your pocket at the end of the year. I’m not even going to talk about the new bureaucracy created in order to manage all this nonsense.

Really? This saves money how? Really. Who saves money? Who???

Eliminate Lifetime and Annual Limits in All Plans – Yep. Nice. Yet again – it’s a risk thing. If they have to consider that risk, they need to adjust the rates to cover it, and everyone has to pay for it as if it was going to happen. Live a healthy life and go through it with no problems? Well, you still have to pay for those who party all the time, smoke crack and get heart problems, lung cancer, and all the other stuff that goes it with it.

Plans have to cover preventive services – In the short run, it doesn’t help – plan rates go up because the money for those preventive checkups has to come from somewhere. In the long run, does preventive services really solve anything, though? All they do, really, is change what you are going to die of. Like it or not, no matter what sort of preventive services you have, you’re going to die of something and I guarantee it will almost certainly be dying of something serious.

Tons of Idealistic Things – Nothing Reality Based

I am not a genius. I went to college, but fell short of actually graduating by almost 20 credits. I never took any classes in political science or government. I have no idea how the hell calculus works. I can, though, do basic math and I spend a lot of time trying to keep up with everything that is going on. I’m an average Joe who makes well below the national wage average for this country. I’m certain that I qualify for many government assistance programs, but I don’t sign up for them because there is food on my table and a roof over my head – I don’t want to be a burden on anyone but myself.

I tell you this because if I can take these list of key selling points for how great Obamacare is and I can figure out that reality dictates it won’t actually work that way, then why can’t the rest of us see it? Don’t try to tell me that it’s over my head – I just won’t understand it and that I’ll just have to go with it and let it happen to see what wonderful things it’s going to do. I said I was average and didn’t know calculus. I didn’t say I was a sucker.

The Mess That Is Obamacare

Aside from the simple selling points here – we need to look at what this plan creates. I couldn’t scale this down any more or you wouldn’t be able to read it. As it is, some of the stuff is a bit too small to see anyway. Check this out and I hope you have insurance because it’s going to give you an aneurysm.

Find The Savings (click to See the Big Picture)

I disagree with the notion that the government should get into the health care biz. I’m against the public option and all of that, but I understand the desire that the left has for this. The problem I see here is that this plan creates all of that government mayhem outlined in this picture, but it doesn’t even begin to address the things that the left wants. So if it doesn’t do the things the left wants and it doesn’t do the things the right wants and it doesn’t lower costs for anyone – what they hell good is it?

I have asked this question many times and have yet to hear a single answer that actually works. Let me ask it again and you can help me:

How does Obamacare Help Anyone?

Seriously. I want to know. So far, no one has been able to give me an answer that is actually real. It will be great to have preexisting conditions covered for everyone, but reality dictates that we’ll be out of money to pay for this within a generation or so. This plan already specifically says that “the young and healthy” will defray the costs for the “old and sick”. But how does that actually fix anything? All it does is push the problem down to the next generation who will one day be the old who will depend on the young ones to pay for them.

Believe me, I would love for it to be possible for everyone to be covered for everything. And maybe it’s possible (well, if you don’t count the fact that we’re all going to die of something), but I really can’t see one single thing in this plan that actually serves to attain that goal. I see it making mandates saying, “This is going to happen!” but I don’t see where it is going to be paid for. If you work out the real math for everything to be covered for everyone, current health care prices mean that it would cost more than our GDP (gross domestic product) in order to pay for it. So even if every person put in every penny they have now and earn in the future, we’ll still come up short.

With all this talk by the left about “sustainable <whatever>” it boggles my mind how anyone can look at this mess and think that it’s sustainable.

So please, give me one example of something in the plan that actually does take us toward the goal of covering everyone at a price that we can afford. Please don’t tell me that I don’t care – I do care. I would love for all of this to work out the way it has been sold to us.

I would also like world peace and I want Keith Moon to still be alive.

I’m just sayin’…

About Stockbridge Truslow

I'm a 40-something computer geek with a lot of noise in my head. This blog is my outlet. Follow StockbridgeT on Twitter, or come see me on Facebook.
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A single mom says:

I completely agree with your comments.  I live in Michigan and was unemployed for 6 months last year and had to put my son on medicaid.  I finally got a decent job paying just under $50,000.  My employer insures me but not family,  Just try and get a children’s policy in MI?  Thanks to oboma care, insurance companies no longer offer it.  i was told I could apply for mi healthy child, but I get denied because my income is too high.  My son has a chronic condition and takes two medications that cost over $800 a month.  So I guess I am considered part of the 1% since they think I make too much even though I am making less then I made 3 years ago.  What is a middle class income anyway?  With medications alone I will have over $10,000 in out of pocket.  that puts me at $38,000 and God forbid my son needs to be hospitalized.  But I guess when it gets to that, I will have lost my home and have no assetts.  So then I will qualify for medicaid again.  One way or another we are all going to be impoverished with this administration.  BTW:  This goes way beyond Oboma.  Congress is equally responsible for this.  I have lost so much faith in our politicians.  They all seem to becone immoral when they get into office.  Those who appear to have some testicals going into office get there and lose them.  They all seem so center of the isle that they end up quibbling over stupid things to differentiate themsekves to their political party.  I would like to throw them all out of office and start over!  Is there a political party for that?

tls says:

It takes me Two and A Half Years to make what you make in one year. I still pay health insurance every month, live in a 100-year-old house, pay my taxes and bills every month. Go to many kids baseball games…Hey, I’m pretty fortunate and love my country, giving four years in military. There is always people making more or less money. It doesn’t bother me at all.

Tyschev says:

I really liked your article. Like the two below, I came to it by web search (Yahoo), although for a different reason. I called to check about insurance for our daughter today. The insurance person told me that it was not possible without including one of us parents or an older child on the policy because of new Obamacare rules. Now we have to pay even more of what we have very little of to give. Costs go up because of regulations and this new method guarantees more money in. Folks have to see someday that insurance is not a right, it is a for profit industry. They take $1,000 slowly over time and pay out $800. It is just the name of the game. No matter how many rules are put in place a similar ratio will be used. Our best way to less costs is to let the market run itself. Contracts would get way simpler, people could choose and options would be provided to make customers happy. Now everyone is upset, no one pays attention, and all of us get ripped off.

alphaG77 says:

Like Kiluramt, I came here by googling the same question. But, I’ve read a bunch and had a few discussions on this matter. The Healthcare Reform Act, really does one thing, it makes transparent the cost of caring for all those who do not currently have insurance. Despite what AARP or grey panther groups might use as scare tactics, nobody really gets refused critical care in this country.

Currently, and for as long as I have been alive (34yrs), if you don’t have insurance and you show up at a hospital clinic or emergency room, a doctor or GP will see you and you will get taken care of. The real cost of that care goes largely unaccounted for. Tax dollars are used to subsidize or pay for that cost, but it shows up as cost inflation for medicare/medicaid in state budgets, and in the form of other federal aid given to states. In theory, The HRA, creates a mechanism for removing these distortions…but since it gives states the ability to opt-out of the exchange, it’s not clear that even that end will be accomplished.

Kilurant says:

As an disabled retired school teacher without insurance, I’ve been searching the internet looking for an answer to my question, “What can Obama Care do to help me today.” Apparently, not a damn thing. Thanks for the only article I found that answered my question directly.  Kilurant