They Thought We’d Get Over Obamacare

March 25, 2015

 
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They thought we’d get over Obamacare. Yesterday during my interview with ABC News in Washington, D.C., I said the five years of opposition is unprecedented. It’s also wise. As I wrote in an op-ed published by THE HILL there are nine “takeover elements” of Obamacare.

We’re not safe under Obamacare, and the public is uneasy. The LA Times editorial board says, “surveys show little love for it – a view that hasn’t shifted much over time.” They conclude, “it’s not exactly a happy birthday for Obama’s landmark legislative achievement.”

Just wait until 2017.

At the end of 2016, three years of ACA reinsurance and risk corridor payments to health plans disappear. This mandatory nationwide redistribution of dollars between health plans (subsidies) was intended to soften the initial financial blow of all the sick people enrolling for coverage until all the well people followed them.

But that plan isn’t working. Most of the well are staying away. And as The Wall Street Journal reported a few days ago, many people are choosing to pay their penalty-tax to the IRS rather than pay the high cost of coverage.

No one yet knows how the Supreme Court will rule. Regardless, after premiums skyrocket in 2017 there probably won’t be enough premium subsidies to convince the public to enter the exchanges in sufficient numbers to pay for the cost of running the exchanges. This means more uninsured people, high premium prices, insurance “death spirals,” and disillusioned Americans. Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said last week in a hearing:

“I think it’s going to be an awful mess as the future goes on.”

If President Obama is going to take the country into this kind of crisis, we should at least use it to get more than just a repeal of the ACA. We need to aim for health freedom for all -- and that includes senior citizens.

Do you ever wonder….What is the federal government doing in health care anyway? How many bureaucrats snatch our tax dollars before they pay for a drop of government health care? And why do we lose private insurance at age 65 and become dependent on beltway politics for access to care?

Whatever else we do, Obamacare must be repealed and its rules rescinded. Until the law is gone, we’re just trying to screw new light bulbs into sockets that don’t work.

After repeal, we must focus the harsh light of reality on Medicare: 1) Medicare recipients are not allowed to pay cash for care denied; 2) If you refuse to enroll in Medicare to protect yourself, you lose your social security; and 3) Medicare, has a $43 trillion unfunded liability – more than twice our national debt!

Expect rationing. The ACA created at least three organizations (CMS Innovation Center, IPAB, and PCORI) along with new payment systems and other policies to ration care in Medicare and Obamacare. Repeal is essential and an escape hatch from Medicare is critical.

The time for freedom in health care is now.

 

Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder