Originally published September 18 2014
Study finds Obamacare insurance premiums to be unaffordable for many
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, allow for millions of Americans to receive taxpayer-funded subsidies so they can purchase health insurance coverage. Americans with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty rate are eligible for this new entitlement.
But that still leaves millions more Americans who will be forced to pay higher premiums -- yes, they will be higher, thanks to the law's required minimum coverage (like obstetrics care for men) -- because, by law, they will be required to purchase coverage.
Only, many won't, because they won't be able to afford it, according to a new analysis of the ravaging impact that the law is having on American society.
An abstract of the analysis, which was published in the peer-reviewed Annals of Internal Medicine, said, in part:
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires that individuals have health insurance or pay a penalty. Individuals are exempt from paying this penalty if the after-subsidy cost of the least-expensive plan available to them is greater than 8% of their income. For this study, premium data for all health plans offered on the state and federal health insurance marketplaces were collected; the after-subsidy cost of premiums for the least-expensive bronze plan for every county in the United States was calculated; and variations in premium affordability by age, income, and geographic area were assessed.
The researchers found that, despite marketplace subsidies to help make insurance coverage more affordable for most people in the U.S., "many individuals with incomes just above the subsidy threshold will lack affordable coverage and will be exempt from the mandate," the abstract continued.
What's more, researchers found that young Americans who don't make much money will often pay just as much or more, even, for Bronze plans than older individuals. And, researchers concluded, if greater numbers of young, healthy adults choose instead to remain without insurance because of its higher costs, then health premiums for all ages will continue to rise (because young, healthy people paying into the system are not taking any money out of the system, since they are far less sick than older people).
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Casey B. Mulligan, an economics professor at the University of Chicago and an expert on healthcare reform, noted, "Whether the Affordable Care Act lives up to its name depends on how, or whether, you consider its consequences for the wider economy."
He wrote that millions of Americans already pay a great portion of their income for health insurance, so they and their families can get good care when it is required. The depth and scope of this economic sacrifice is a testament to how important health coverage is for most folks.
'Obamacare is weakening the economy'
And while the stated purpose of Obamacare was to help low- and middle-income families avoid some of this financial sacrifice, "no program can change the fundamental reality that society itself has to make sacrifices in order to deliver health care to more people." In other words, nothing is free; while one group of Americans may get government benefits, they are paid for by other groups. It's called transfer of wealth and it is pure socialism.
"Workers and therefore production have to be taken away from other industries to beef up health care, or the workforce itself has to get bigger, or somehow people have to work more productively," Mulligan wrote. "Although the ACA helps specific populations by giving them a bigger slice of the economic pie, the law diminishes the pie itself. It reduces the amount that Americans work, and it makes their work less productive. This slows growth in both personal income and gross domestic product."
So, while millions champion the "free" premiums, what they don't realize is that the law created costs elsewhere that are unseen and largely go unnoticed -- until those receiving health coverage for free actually have to use it. Obamacare has resulted in higher premiums for those who pay, greater numbers of "covered" people without a corresponding increase in providers (leading to higher costs, of course) and longer wait times.
Free? Hardly. As Mulligan noted:
The Affordable Care Act is weakening the economy. And for the large number of families and individuals who continue to pay for their own health care, health care is now less affordable.
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