Comments about ‘Affordable Care Act: Is it affordable?’

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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Lost: Poor business models and greed are no way to run a business, if you look at companies who treat employees as an important resource instead of a replaceable commodity, they're doing great. I can only hope this trend that Costco uses will catch on, but probably not at walmart or hobby lobby.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

Hospital charges out of line? No question about it. There is no effective competitive forces to keep health provider charges in line with real costs, especially now that so many hospitals are "for profit" institutions. But even the so called "non profits" charge based upon what they think they can get away with rather than actual costs.

It is alao true that the ACA does not address that problem in any meaningful way, because it is essentially limited reform of the Health Insurance Industry, not the Health Provider Industry. But it does control costs somewhat by limiting the profit margin of the health insurers. And we do have one example of a payer system that does more to control provider costs, and that is the single payer Medicare system.

UT Brit
London, England

@2 bits

I was in the States last year, I saw plenty of people with messed up teeth. I can play the stereotype game too, shall we start with some classic American ones? No, because it is a very silly game to play.

Statistics wise American kids have more rotten teeth than UK kids, in a 2006 OECD study, American 12 year olds on average will have 1 decayed, filled or missing tooth. In the UK it is 0.6.

I was mainly pointing out that you in fact didnt know how the UK system worked while professing that you did.

Salt Lake City, UT

Neither, the exchanges, subsidies, and most of Obamacare hasn't gone into effect yet. Obamacare has had a trivial impact on costs in either direction the past couple years because only small pieces of it are in place right now. Ask the question again 3 years from now.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

labor IS a commodity. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.

UPS is a poor business model? how long have they been around?

Olive Garden is a poor business model? How many of those do you see in every town?

yeah, poor business models may not be an excuse, but they have no bearing on the examples I cited.

Cambridge, MA

I can proudly report that even with Obamacare my insurance rates have not increase. I just wish that I could say that I had the same benefits.

What people don't see or have not been commenting on is that the insurance companies have had to cut what they pay for down to a minimum. Just a year ago I could take a sick child into the doctor and have my child looked over and it only cost me $25. Now, I have to pay $5000 out of pocket first, then the insurance will start to pay 80% of the bill.

Now that was before full implementation. I can only imagine how much more will be cut when it all comes online.

So, in order to maintain a similar coverage that I had before Obamacare I now need to add a HSA to my medical plan.

tranquility base, 00

The current trends without the ACA is obviously unsustainable. My insurance rates have increased faster than inflation for the last 15 years. And now, to boot they are cutting benefits.

The regulation is absolutely HELPING the medical community right now make record profits. There is no place on Earth were the wages and profits are higher than in the US. It's time for the regulations to bring it back down to a global average among industrialized nations.

There are NO market forces at all right now, or when was the last time you were offered a price list? When you ask, they can't even tell you the price. You have to literally sign a blank check when you sign the hospital admission papers of financial responsibility.

salt lake city, utah

Lost, that was the point generally people who pre ACA didn't have health care because they were part time employees are now still being classified as part time. Pre ACA part time was 32 hours or less. Post ACA is >30 hours. My expertise 40 years of senior HR work. Most of those losing an hour or two are not losing health care they once had.

UPS isn't dropping family coverage. They are telling some employees that if their spouse has or is eligible for coverage else where they won't cover them. This is an old, old, old, corporate trick and has been around for a long time.

Also if you can show where I called Howard a liar please do. I said he needs to be fully honest and admit that his friends who are losing some hours (probably one or two) were part time in the first place and not getting health care.

Poplar Grove, UT

No, that doesn't prove Obamacare doesn't work. Ancedotes don't prove that things are happening on a large scale. If there was a study that showed employer insurance increased, and there was proof it was Obamacare I would look at it, but it doesn't exist as of now. My guess is that one of the many other factors that can raise your premium occurred. From what you said it sounds like your employer has a group policy. A member or two of your group with high priced claims can cause an increase in premiums, similar to the way a claim on auto or home insurance increases premiums. Because you aren't buying an individual policy this can effect premiums for the whole group. The other thing that happens is many times people blame massive increases on an insurance company, when it's actually an employer cutting their premium contributions, so even if the total cost is similar the employee pays more. Finally, premiums have been increasing each year for decades, much longer than Obamacare has been around.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

you seem to be missing the point.

thanks to Obamacare, MORE people will be pushed into part-time; more people will lose employer provided insurance. not only will fewer obtain it, but more will lose it.

and we know from the failure in MA that universal insurance does NOT mean increased access to health care. Obamacare is, was, and always will be a lie!

Cambridge, MA

To "Noodlekaboodle" here is some proof that Obamacare is not working:

From National Review "Over 100K New Jersey Residents to Lose Their Affordable Health Plans under Obamacare" I think that making more uninsured people is not a stated goal of Obamacare.

From CNBC "Companies sweating Obamacare tax—and acting on it: Study" There they found that over 80% of the businesses surveyed expect some icrease in the cost of insurance or else cuts in benefits.

CBS news found that "Obamacare to raise claims cost 32 percent, study shows".

So lets go over the goals of Obamacare. First, is to make it cheaper. Its second is to get everybody covered under insurance.

The results of Obamacare has been to make it more expensive for both businesses and individuals. It has also made it so more people have lost their insurance coverage.

It is a failure based on the goals that we were told about.

sandy, ut

Yes it is affordable... if you are rich or poor. Thats about it. the plan doesn't make sense - getting uninsurable people insurance is great, but making people do it if they don't want it is rediculous. It makes married people who both work pay twice the amount that 2 people living together but not married would pay. How is that fair?

Salt Lake City, Utah

Whenever the government takes over something and gives it a name, you can be sure it means just the opposite. I don't care who comes up with a system - Obama, the Democrats, the Republicans, Libertarians, etc; our basic sick-care system is broken everywhere you turn. Our medical education system is outdated and under the control of the pharmaceutical industry. As is the FDA. There are few if any doctors who spend the time or have the skill to ferret out causes, they treat symptoms with drugs, surgery or radiation while less expensive more effective treatments are shunned.
Then go to a typical grocery chain and the food is of such poor nutritional quality and so laden with pesticides, preservatives, dyes, and artificial ingredients they should put the ingredients list in a drawing of a test tube with noxious vapors bubbling out - then add a big question mark for what they are hiding.
Then there is all the gene tweaking and monocropping by the megafarm$ leading to major destruction of our soil and food supply you've got to hope nature has a miracle recovery plan.
Is the Affordable-Care-Act affordable?! WRONG question, wrong road.

Sandy, UT

You all are missing the upside of Obamacare. It will create millions of new jobs. 4,000,000 full-time jobs will become 6,000,000 part time jobs (without insurance).

I know having the government take care of us sounds nice. However, ask any small business owner how likely they are to hire over the next few years. Most I know are sitting things out until they see just how bad things are going to be.

UT BRIT - I visit Europe regularly and if I ever got sick in England - I would take the next train to France. Of course in France, they have started offering health insurance because the government cuts back on what they will cover each year.

You cannot get something for nothing and, when the government is involved, your more likely to get nothing for a lot of something (new taxes).

West Jordan, UT

While it may be too early to judge how ACA will really affect us, to prepare, hours ARE being cut in the work places. Yes, this is done mostly to people who don't already qualify for health insurance (i.e. they work part-time). Under the old plan, employees who worked part-time had more flexibility in their work hours than they do now, collectively speaking.

Under ACA, my employer has to scrutinize through extensive documentation and reporting how long each PT employee works and has to retain a record of it for auditing purposes - an administrative nightmare. If PT employees work anything over (even one minute over) 125 hours during a calendar month, they would immediately qualify for benefits and would have to be enrolled. From a business perspective, it's tedious to track and lethal to the pocketbook if a PT employee goes over. Therefore, cutting back hours makes business sense, but there is still great expense to set up the procedures and policies & there has to be accountability & training established to those who track time - the supervisors who sometimes think/feel they have better things to do. Is ACA affordable? From my arguments here, not for business.



Kalispell, MT

Put me in the skeptics camp. Last year they also reported a "modest" increase in insurance premiums of around 5%. My company is insured through Aetna, one of the 3 largest providers in the country. Our premiums jumped over 50% and the other two largest providers followed suit. Other insurers completely withdrew from the California market. My sister, employed in SLC at a health care provider firm had their rates jump a similar amount. So first, the numbers being reported are fiction. Second, look at all the news stories for the entire year about employee hours being cut and spouse benefits being eliminated, sweetheart deals for Unions (not sweet enough, they are screaming) and certain corporations and it is impossible to believe that health care is becoming more affordable and accessible. Finally, look to the quote from Senator Reid who basically said, "Of course it was designed to force a single-payer system." "

If your coverage jumped up 50% that is insane!!! My company also uses Aetna and ours only went up 4%. Something doesn't seem right in your area of the country.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT



Kalispell, MT

Put me in the skeptics camp. Last year they also reported a "modest" increase in insurance premiums of around 5%. My company is insured through Aetna, one of the 3 largest providers in the country. Our premiums jumped over 50% and the other two largest providers followed suit.


Tell me, did your health change?, did your costs to them suddenly go up 50% over nothing?
They [insurance companies] are gouging you while they still can,
because under ADA, the mean old nasty Government will regulate then and can and will limit their premiums at modest rates.
[Like the mean old nasty Government does with your adjustable mortgage loan rates 1%+/- maximum per year, or your Utility rates must also get approval from the mean old nasty Government.]

What you are witnessing is called greed - let the "free" market decide.

Gettin' 'while the gettin's good!

They are giving you healthcare just to make you happy or healthy.
They are a "BUSINESS"
and healthcare is the widget they are selling you.

It's what businesses are in business to do, make money - the more money, the better.

Care about you?
Only in their commercials.

South Jordan, UT

to 2bits .... There is one thing that will work to control how the money is spent, if not the actual cost of healthcare services and products. If a for profit insurance company doesn't spend 80% (85% for non profit) of all the premiums on actual healthcare ..then they MUST refund the extra money collected back to the customers! Wow, to think that an insurance company can't direct huge amounts of the premiums on paying shareholders profits, executive bonuses and pushing sale pitches... but actual healthcare to humans -- what a concept. I believe it will help hold costs in check to the consumer.

I think that healthcare is a basic societal right just like how we have determined access to electricity is a basic right... a regulated cost-managed public utility. Clear out the profit motive for insurance providers... let them live with a certain good return like they do in most every other developed nation on earth, and just like the public utilities companies do in this country.

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