2016 is going to be a pivotal year for the Obamacare healthcare debacle. That’s because it’s already running out of money, it’s already only getting about half the people it needs to survive, and now comes word that United Healthcare, the country’s largest healthcare insurer is going to be pulling out of the beleaguered program.
It’s no wonder, really. This program was a terrible boondoggle from the beginning. Like Hillarycare before it, it’s more of the government trying to grab hold of 16% of the US economy and control it than it is trying to get the 9 million people insurance. For the over $1 Trillion this is costing the taxpayers, you could buy Cadillac plans for each of the 9 million “uninsured” folks for the rest of their lives, and still save money.
As folks have learned over the last couple of years, it’s not about being insured. Just because you have insurance doesn’t mean you have access to healthcare, and with United Healthcare backing out of the program, it shows that access will be harder to come by. United has one of the largest doctor/hospital pools in the country. Industry experts are predicting there are several other healthcare providers (like Blue Cross/Blue Shield) which are already looking at pulling out and will watch United Healthcare’s exit carefully to determine if that’s the path they should take.
This has been the problem with this plan all along. It gives you insurance at a low premium, but as anyone that has shopped the marketplace will tell you, it has raised deductibles and out of pocket maximums, not just for the individual market, but for all healthcare providers around the country. Today, after spending $4,000 on premiums, it’s not rare for a family to have to spend a $5,000 per person deductible with a $25,000 or $30,000 maximum out-of-pocket cost before the insurance really kicks in. And after you’ve reached your deductible, it’s an 80/20 plan, if you’re in the hospital at $10,000 a day, you’re still on the hook for $2,000 until you hit the maximum.
Hospitals are very well aware of that, and are quickly charging patients as much as they can to get through the patients’ charges and get to the “sweet insurance money” that awaits them on the other end. Why are they doing this? They know the insurance companies will pay…something that has been a problem with the patient’s part of the cost. Some studies have shown over 75% of patients that run up large hospital bills are skipping out on them…raising hospital costs. The only way the hospital can afford to get any of the money back, is to charge enough to reach the maximum and make sure the insurance kicks in.
The Republicans in congress have tried almost 100 times to repeal Obamacare, without success (it usually dies in the Senate, but it would never get past Obama’s veto pen anyway). Instead of wasting time on that, they should concentrate on what is going to replace the failing healthcare debacle up the road. That would be a much better use of their time. And besides, it appears that the demise of Obamacare is just a year or so away from happening anyway!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!