Comments about ‘Health care is no game, but will your family win or lose under Obamacare?’

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Published: Thursday, March 27 2014 5:30 a.m. MDT

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FatherOfFour
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

I have a close friend who has suffered with hoshitoxicosis and severe thyroid problems for the last three years. Because of this illness she missed enough work that the bank she was working for laid her off. She has been in constant pain and unable to work. She racked up a tremendous debt with ER bills. Her family has contributed a huge amount financially. No insurance company would cover her because she was high risk and a pre-existing condition. She was basically left to die by the system. She got insurance through Obamacare for $115 per month. She got in to see a doctor and an endocrinologist. She has thyroid surgery coming up soon. All because of Obamacare. The other option was for her to just die.

I have had benefits through my employer for the last three years. I recently dropped that coverage and went through the exchange. My premiums are lower, my deductibles are lower, and my coverage is better. It took some shopping around on the exchange to get exactly what I wanted. But my accident prone cheerleader daughter loves it.

JSB
Sugar City, ID

1. Under Obamacare my daughter's family is paying significantly more than they did before for less coverage (unless you consider mandatory maternity coverage for her--she's not having any more children; her 4 year old daughter; her three sons and her husband). Their deductible is twice as high as well. Thanks Obama and Nancy.
2. Medicare has approved a back brace for an older widow friend of ours who is in constant pain, but her Obamacare approved insurance company is stalling in paying for it. What ever Obamacare says, the real message is give older people a pain pill and let them die. Thanks Obama and Nancy.
3. Message to the whole nation: Don't vote for anyone who voted for Obamacare!

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

Help me. I no longer working and on disability with family of 6 but I still do have Blue Cross/Blue Shield Federal. Would I be better off to go with Obamacare? My children has Mental disabilites. Is there a place where I can evaluate my option or stay what I have?

FatherOfFour
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

JSB,

If the insurance company does not cover the back brace now, they probably didn't cover it before. Individual insurance companies still get to deny coverage on many items just as they did before. But as you mentioned, Medicare (the government-owned insurance) has approved it. It's the private company in this case that is denying it.

Red
San Antonia, TX

America needs to take some responsibility for voting for obama. The insurance is going up and it won't be coming back down.

It is amazing so many people can't do math and just want to believe anything that obama says.

I know some fairly normal people who voted for him. And that is because the Republicans who should be adding value to the world are too busy serving themselves.

We need some term limits so we can clear out all these ego maniacs.

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

There's a whole lot of things we could do to improve healthcare; unfortunately Obamacare isn't one of them.

Examples: require Dr.'s offices to post a price list at their office that at least show some sort of estimate of what my bill will be. What's wrong with that?
Allow me to show up at a lab (the same lab my Dr. sends the throat swab to)and get my throat swabbed for strep, or whatever! Then, if meds are needed, why can't I buy antibiotics over the counter, (the same as when I'm in Mexico BTW). I can be trusted to buy a gun, operate a vehicle, but I CAN'T be trusted with antibiotics?

Where we used to fight with insurance companies, medical providers, hospitals, etc., regarding our medical care NOW we will get to fight the government also.

All Obamacare does is put one MORE outside entity between me and my Dr.

We need to reduce costs in healthcare - not just figure out someone else to pay the outrageous costs associated with medical care.

SS
MiddleofNowhere, Utah

@FatherofFour,

If that is true, the only way that is possible is because other people are flipping your bill. If you had good insurance before Obamacare, chances are you are now paying higher premiums for less coverage. The whole thing is set up to force everybody to be the same.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

For every person getting "free stuff" under Obamacare, or even reduced prices, there are at least as many people who will be forced to pay more to cover your costs, either for the insurance, or for the reimbursements the government (i.e.- taxpayers) will eventually give.

So, young people with good health habits are being forced to pay to cover people who engage in high risk activities, or very bad lifestyle and diet choices, instead of people being responsible for their own actions.

Anyone who insists that it is responsibility of the government or society to pay for medical case for everyone needs to contribute every dime of their savings to charitable agencies before forcing taxpayers to give money.

And, if taxpayers must provide free healthcare, why not a free car, free housing, free sports tickets and free veterinary care as well. After all, anyone who wants an Obamphone can get one...

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

The Affordable Care Act has had little, if any, effect on the cost of my insurance. I get it through my employer. The premium went up 10 percent this year; but the employer had taken the hit for the last two years. Overall, pretty much the same as in the past.

However, I was able to keep my 25-year-old son on my policy until he completed his degree and got a full-time job with benefits. I currently insure my 24-year-old daughter while she completes graduate school. Pretty big impacts for my family.

slcdenizen
t-ville, UT

I can't tell what these Obama haters are more ignorant of, insurance in general or the ACA in particular. It's a toss up at this point. Let's see if a winner can emerge.

Chellerella
Provo, UT

There are four ways to spend money.

You can spend your own money on yourself. You will likely care most about both the cost and the quality.
You can spend your own money on someone else. You will likely care more about the cost than the quality.
You can spend someone else's money on yourself. You will likely care more about the quality than the cost.
You can spend someone else's money on someone else. You will likely care less about the cost or quality.

Everybody loses with ACA because it can never be the most efficient way to spend money and get quality.

I can no longer find a single practice OB or Pediatrician in the area. Never get same doctor twice. They get better rates from the insurance companies in groups. The quality of care has plummeted in the last few years, but the costs have skyrocketed. My 2008 baby was $4,000-paid out of pocket because we didn't hit the full deductible. My 2014 baby is $16,000- paid $5800 out of pocket. Nearly identical deliveries: No complications. No epidural. Quick labor and delivery. Same hospital. Same doctors.

Still $2900 to pay on family out of pocket max this year.

Billy Rubin
akron, OH

Unlike other taxes and penalties, the ability of the IRS to enforce and collect the mandate tax is constrained. Under § 1501(g)(2) of the ACA, the agency is precluded from using its traditional means of collecting fines and back-taxes. The law provides that those facing the penalty “shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty” for nonpayment. Moreover, liens and levies cannot be placed on the property of the uninsured. Therefore, the only means of collection at the IRS’s disposal is the garnishment of the uninsured person’s income tax refund. This narrow window affords intuitive would-be tax-avoiders the opportunity to flout the system.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@Chellerela

"Everybody loses with ACA because it can never be the most efficient way to spend money and get quality."

So should we go with single payer healthcare then? The US has one of the most expensive health systems in the world and those socialist European nations have it much cheaper and more efficient while still getting quality outcomes without the leading cause of bankruptcy status the US has with medical bills.

Grover
Salt Lake City, UT

Two points need to be made here:

1. To summarize the comments so far the ACA is "great, terrible or the same as always." That range of opinion is no different than the range of opinion in 2013 (before the ACA came into effect). There are winners and losers and those who see no difference.

2. No one mentions the travesty of the system before ACA. 50 million with no insurance, annual increases averaging over 8% a year for the past 12 years and bankruptcy for thousands per year even if they had insurance. How much worse can it get? If the ACA is not the answer, neither is the status quo. Let's hear some suggestions about how to fix the ACA since it took us 70 years to get it through Congress we can't afford to dump it now...FIX IT!

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Same same. We really didn't get out of the ACA what we needed. One of the reasons I maintain dual citizenship (and pay taxes in Canada) is to get health care. Here in the US, I purchase insurance for catastrophic events and evacuation.

Kimber
Salt Lake City, UT

I agree with Grover and I would like to add that as a previous insurance worker, I know that some years were better than others in insurance. There have always been very good advantages to insurance, and there have always been the disadvantages. But the ACA (Obamacare) is trying to make insurance more fair for people and give more people access to insurance that didn't have it before. It's a work in process and will change as the needs dictate. It is here to try and fix the worst in insurance (denials and pre-existing conditions) and is not anybody's enemy. (As a many in politics around here would have people believe). It is here to help more people similar to how Medicare came to be in 1965. And I would doubt that anyone wants Medicare to go away. Most of us have elderly parents or grandparents this helps tremendously. And now, people that haven't had insurance will have the help they need too.

Chellerella
Provo, UT

@Schnee

No, single payer would not be better. That is the likely outcome of ACA though,

The US is expensive because we are paying for both care and innovation ( as well as those who refuse to pay.) Research costs money, we invent the cures and then share them with the world,

Socialist Europe does not have a cheaper better system. I have family in Germany, when I was a kid they would bring us chocolate and we would bring them aspirin. It took months to get doctor appointments, so you just didn't go unless it was life or death.

Years ago the laws were changed so that one could buy private insurance on top of the socialized insurance the people already supported. My cousins worked for a company doing that.

Let me repeat: people are willing to pay twice, just to see a doctor.

Do you know that Canada routinely sends high risk maternity patients to the US? They stay in the hospital here, racking up huge fees, paid for by the Canadian people. If they had the resources in Canada they would be home with their families.

Not exactly efficient.

Lower prices come from competition through transparent prices.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

@jsb
Something about your medicare story is fishy. If a person is on Medicaret the ACA doesn't change anything for them. If they have pure Medicare part A(hospital) and B (professional services like doctors and physical therapists) than private insurance has nothing to do with what medicare pays. They may have a supplement plan, but that is something they chose to do, the ACA doesn't require additional insurance past Medicare. If they are choosing to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan(a plan where private insurance is paid a per member stipend to a private insurer that agrees to maintain Medicares minimum coverage levels) than that is still their choice, and they can always choose to drop back down to a pure Medicare policy. But what you describe simply isn't how Medicare works. And Advantage plans were not created because of the ACA, that was during the GWB administration.

klr56
Kent, WA

The problem is that the ACA is about insurance, not healthcare. Everyone in the US could get healthcare. As a nurse, we treated everyone who walked into our dept. whether they could pay or not. They had great healthcare. The rising costs with healthcare will NOT be "cured" by the ACA. On the contrary, speaking to a healthcare financial accountant, the costs will go UP. So for those who say they have been "helped" by the ACA there are more who have been hurt and more to come since the employer mandates have been "delayed" until 2016.
Can anyone really think that healthcare costs will go down because you add a government layer of bureaucracy? It frightens me to think that people can be so illogical. The method that the ACA uses to enforce the "mandates" will change as they will not be able to allow people to not pay their TAX.
The ACA is a small nudge toward a government one-payer system. Speaking with a nurse in England, she was at the burn-out stage. She had too many patients and not enough resources. That's the direction we are headed with the ACA.

Razzle2
Bluffdale, UT

FatherOfFour "I have had benefits through my employer for the last three years. I recently dropped that coverage and went through the exchange."

Fact Check - You are not eligible for the exchange if you are already covered by your employer.

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