Comments about ‘Letter: High premiums or fines?’

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Published: Sunday, Oct. 28 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

When the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, your mother will also be eligible for subsidies provided her income is low enough. I think you've been misinformed on the workings of the program.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

You left a few pertinent details out of your letter: How much is the additional prescription premium?

How much does your mother currently pay, per month, out of pocket?

What are your mother's plans to deal with a catastrophic medical event?

When the cost of the insurance, any co-insurance costs, and the cost of the deductible are added up for an entire year, and your mother's annual medical expenses are deducted from that, will the answer be negative or positive?

"When the Affordable Care Act becomes fully enacted in 2014 she has to make a choice to either pay the high premiums or be fined. Is that really a choice? The middle class, once again, is being looked over in this new government "fix all" program.

"Am I the only one who sees it?"

That depends on what you are seeing - which depends on the answers to my questions.

(PS - how close to 65 is your mother? Because that changes everything.)

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

OK Andrea, lets take a look. We will need to make some assumptions as you provide little info.

First off, I assume that you meant that your mom was on Medicaid (income based) vs Medicare (age based).

Was she on Medicaid when she got her kidney transplant? That is easily a $100K surgery. (and dialysis prior to?)

So, today she makes enough money that she no longer qualifies for Medicare, but does not get insurance thru work. Not an unusual scenario.

Sounds like she is currently uninsured and not wealthy.

Future costs will be picked up by someone. I would bet that she can either afford the insurance, be eligible for medicaid, or will not be fined.

Regardless, in her current situation, any expensive medical needs will likely be covered by the taxpayers, (or the hospital that will pass on her costs)

Why do you think that a smart businessman like Romney recognized that people should be forced to buy insurance or pay a fine?

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

No, I see it too. The affordable care act was crippled by republicans before it came into being, and it is not a good policy for us now. We need single payer health care, which would look after people in situations like this without even considering this mess of premiums and pre existing conditions. It's not free, everyone contributes. But then we'd have health care, not insurance.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Your mother will be given aid via the ACA. Folks who cannot afford health insurance will be aided to avoid the fine. If I remember right she'll be given subsidies to be able to afford health insurance.

It's not a perfect system. A better solution would have been a single-payer system. Get everybody slappin some skin into the system and helping each other out. Just like in public school and police. But the ACA is a step in the right direction. Far better than the previous system of which the repubs did nothing to fix or change when they had the white house for 8 years.

Ya snooze ya lose, right repubs???

Your mother will be aided not punished.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Obamacare seems to have been written for business interests just like every other law, regulation and legislation that comes from the government. And like many of the other acts of government, it contains some help and benefit for the people. Put there to make it more palatable to voters.

Whether it is a good law or no for people remains to be seen. However, the screams and moans of businessmen is a good sign.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

We need to insist on a single payer healthcare system. Stop protecting United Healthcare, Blue Cross and the like. They have never healed anyone. We are all subsidizing your mother's healthcare anyway why not simplify it all and demand that we all become eligible for Medicare. It would be simple. Imagine us all in the same insurance pool. No one would have to hire lawyers and CPA's just to protect yourself from double billing or force the insurance company to pay it's obligation. No one would be forced into bankruptcy for healthcare reasons which when they do they include all their debt and in turn we as tax payers and healthcare recipients pick up the costs. Wouldn't it be nice that when you go to a provider you wouldn't have to be subject to paying a rate that they make up as they go because of the type of coverage you have? Funny how slow we are in the USA when the rest of the world has figured this all out.

Sorry Charlie!
SLC, UT

o, at some time in the past your mother benefitted from taxpayer-funded-government-provided medical care and now you are upset that she is going to have to pay premiums or fines to help cover her current and future medical costs instead of relying solely on others in the event of a major medical problem?

I can see why that would upset you.

Melanna
Salt Lake City, Utah

Medicare spends an average of $19,000 per year for a kidney transplant recipient.

If those costs are constant after the 3 years of coverage currently provided by Medicare for kidney transplant recipients, your mother is paying an average of $1583 per month for her medication and doctors' visits related to her transplant.

If she chooses the highest premium ($733) and has deductible and co-insurance costs equal to $3,500 per year, she will be paying approximately $12,296 per year for insurance (assuming she is hospitalized or something else occurs that leads to her paying the deductible and co-insurance). That still leaves approximately $558 per month out of pocket for the extra medication premium and medication co-pays before she hits what she could be paying out of pocket now.

And that is assuming that she currently never goes to the doctor for anything other than her kidneys.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Why not eliminate all this concern and just get a single payer system

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

Lets just do a simple economic analysis.

What happens to the cost of healthcare in the nation when you add 30 million people to insurance rolls, don't add any new Doctors, cut Medicare reimbursements, add all sorts of taxes to healthcare providers and medical device manufacturers, and require insurance companies to cover more things? Will that make the cost of healthcare cheaper or more expensive?

Even under a single payer system, the amount of money currently spent on health care would be the same, unless you limited access to care. Who wants the job of deciding who gets care and who does not? How about being the one to decide which treatments may be covered, and which are not?

You lemmings who want a single payer system, please explain why Canada and England are going away from that system. If it is so great, why is it that within the countries with single payer systems, the private systems offer better care?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"Will that make the cost of healthcare cheaper or more expensive?"

We spend twice as much on health care as the next country. It's obvious that we need to cut the waste... Cut the middle man who is making profits at our ill fortune.

"Who wants the job of deciding who gets care and who does not?"

I agree, so that's why we need to get rid of health insurance companies! Redshirt it's just so simple! Why are we letting folks in suits and ties decide who lives and dies? Why should you live or die depending on your ability to pay, genes, and germs? How many folks die because they begin to receive treatments (like Chemo) and then lose their health insurance because they are unable to work while undergoing treatment? How shameful is this?

"You lemmings who want a single payer system, please explain why Canada and England are going away from that system."

Simple, they aren't. You're misinformed (as usual)

Why do repubs say have billions to flush away in Afghanistan and Iraq but get all upset when we talk about saving American lives and spending money here?

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ RedShirt: I was going to type a response to you and then I decided there is not enough space to explain all your thinking errors and correct your misunderstanding of economics, insurance, and the ACA.

Plus, facts have never changed your mind before - I am sure they won't this time either.

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