The Problem With Obamacare Isn’t the Premiums

This graphic from The Nation unintentionally demonstrates who gets hit hard by the ACA:


In a display of historically odd comity, it’s not the “potential losers” section that’s in trouble, but the blue and the gray. What everyone seems to be focusing on are the premiums and the requirement to pay them. But in Massachusetts, we’ve essentially had Obamacare, and the problem isn’t the premiums. The problem is the deductible and the co-payments.

In Massachusetts, the Boston Federal Reserve has observed that people in Massachusetts still have to pay many thousands of dollars out of pocket for healthcare. Admittedly, that’s better than many tens of thousands of dollars, but it’s still not affordable by any conventional meaning of the word.

Until we remove the insurer’s profit motive, the ridiculous administrative costs (due to too many plans), and reduce drug costs (that is, move to a Medicare for all system), all of us–even if we can afford it–are paying too much for health insurance (which is not the same as healthcare).

This entry was posted in Healthcare, Massachusetts. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Problem With Obamacare Isn’t the Premiums

  1. Robert L Bell says:

    Two remarks.

    First, I have it in mind that we could save 300 billion dollars a year in administrative overhead by eliminating the multitude of insurance providers and going to a single payer system. The obvious downside is that a lot of paper pushers with relatively pleasant jobs would be added to the roles of the unemployed.

    The second concerns copays. I remember back when HMOs first hit the scene, they were going to revolutionise the health care business by giving doctors an incentive to keep people healthy in the first place. Copays were added to the financial mix when it was found that unlimited “free” office visits resulted in over use of the services, but that a modest (emphasis on modest, typically two to five dollars) copay induced people to avoid unnecessary visits.

    Fast forward to the present, and these idiotic “copays” have become a major expense. My favorite example is how I fork over $40 to my physical therapist, who then submits a bill that gets reimbursed precisely $0. The insurance company provides no service, other than playing gatekeeper and forbidding treatment when some bureaucrat thinks I not in enough pain.

    So you are absolutely correct, this nonsense has got to go.

Comments are closed.