Is Obamacare a good deal? Yes: The affordable care act will help improve the nation's health

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  • Dr S Purcellville, VA
    Aug. 14, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    Mr. or MS. 2 bits,

    Why, pray tell, are you so opposed to a single payer insurance system? The mathematics it is based on has been around since the 1700's as is known as the law of large numbers. It simply means that the people there are in a risk pool, the easier it is to cover the most expensive cases. Furthermore, standardized billing to one source is far less expensive than what we do now. So why do you insist on paying more as well as making the rest of us pay more than we need to if we had a single pay system?

  • A view from the Beltway Purcellville, VA
    Aug. 14, 2013 3:35 p.m.

    The last time I looked at the professional literature on this subject, about 1/3 of our national health care bill goes for administration and another third goes to cover the risk (health care expenses) of persons who are uninsured. It seems to me that by mandating that everyone has to be insured we could lower the cost to cover the uninsured by about 80% and lower the administrative costs by roughly 50%. It is no wonder why every industrialized county except us already has some form of mandatory coverage and pay roughly half what we do for comparable or better care.

    As far as folks complaining about the insurance mandate, my response is it is way past time that we act like adults and accept personal responsibility for our own health care risk.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    To "Mike in Cedar City" you are wrong about Medicare. Looking at Medicare's overhead is like looking at just the billing department's overhead for a large corporation. The Federal Government runs about 20% to 30% on their overhead. Private insurance companies are typically running at 15% to 20% for overhead plus profit.

    You think a 3% profit is bad, did you not pay attention to the ACA selling points? They originally said it would cost around $900 billion, and would reduce the debt by $200 billion. If a 3% profit is bad, what about 22% profit? Any money not spent on healthcare or overhead is profit. The government sold ACA on the idea of higher profit margins for them than what private companies get. So, if 3% is bad, what about the 22% the government wanted to reap?

    You may think my view is cold, but that is reality. But, I find your point of view highly offensive. Who do you think you are that you know how to run the lives of other people better than they do? Why force people to buy or do something they don't want to do?

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Aug. 7, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    You need to look at overhead costs Redshirt. Medicare's overhead is about 7% private overhead is capped at 20%. That means that the insurance companies must refund premium dollars if they exceed the cap. And they have, so checks are being issue. I am not certain of your profit numbers but a 3% profit means billions in that industry that they are making off of human misery. And, Redshirt the ACA is not "my plan". If it were up to me I would have expanded Medicare over time to include everyone. When that happens imagine the clout a single payer plan would have to control healthy provider costs. Looking at some of my recent Medicare statements the provider for example bills $500, medicare pays $175 and my supp pays the remaining 20% Total cost $210 Premium cost to be for both medicare and the Supp about $225 per month for $0 deductible, unlimited cap, no coinsurance coverage. Try that with a private unencumbered private policy at age 69.

    "..people would only suffer and die if they did not want to pay for their care". What an incredibly cold view. What about those that just can't pay for their care?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    To "Mike in Cedar City" continued....

    Under my view, people would only suffer and die if they did not want to pay for their care.

    You and so many of your ilk fail to recognize that in the US healthcare system the insurance companies do not control the business of the doctors. The doctors control their practices, typically. If a person needed care, they better take their credit card along to pay for the services rendered.

    It wasn't that long ago that if you had maintained insurance coverage that if you started treatment with one provider, then switched to another that the two companies would work out how to maintain continuous coverage. The only people that had to wait were those that did not maintain coverage.

    Your plan allows irresponsible people to remain irresponsible and to never have to suffer the consequences of their choices. Do you ever punish your kids when they made bad choices, or did you just shrug your shoulders and clean up the mess that they made?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    To "Mike in Cedar City" if you look at the profit margins for insurance companies, they have been dropping. It was less than 20 years ago that they were at a 5% profit margin. They are now at around 3% profit margins.

    Here is the trick, that you and your ilk don't understand. It is government that has been driving up the cost of insurance year after year.

    Read "The True Effects of Comprehensive Coverage: Examining State Health Insurance Mandates" by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. They have a really neat graph that shows that between 1979 and 2007 there were about 1350 new mandates imposed by state and federal governments on insurance companies. Currently there are over 2200 total mandates. Those mandates all add up.

    Here is one example of how premiums are raised by all of those mandates. Read "Clay's Law passes Utah Senate" in the examiner. That one mandate would increase premiums by 1%. While that doesn't sound like much, imagine what happens to your premiums when 10 of those mandates are added in a single year, in addition to just increases due to inflation.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Aug. 7, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    Redshirt1701. Improve business for the insurance companies.? What does that mean. Let them obtain higher and higher profits margins? Who do you think will pay for that supposed "improvement" in business. I watched the insurance companies increase rates annually by rates of 15 to 40 percent per year over the last 10 years of my working life. I was directly responsible for that function in the firm I worked for. That was not due to some nefarious unstated regulations prior to the ACA. That was pure greed and the ability of the health insurance companies to pass on rising costs with little incentive to control them In fairness, they did try to do some cost controlling with the so called HMO's but that attempt eventually failed. Why? because when all is said and done it is about profit with the health insurance industry. That is why the ACA had to put a cap on the profit margin, and why a whole bunch of citizens and businesses are getting rebate check under the

    By the way, under your view people could die if they had to wait the 9 months for preexisting insurance coverage. And many needlessly did.

  • BigLebowski Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 6, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    I have a hard time believing that a currently uninsured healthy young 28yr old individual, the target demographic who is currently uninsured and that the ACA is relying on to make this whole program more cost efficient, will opt to pay $3500/yr for health insurance when the penalty for not doing so is only $500. Especially when there is no penalty for pre-existing conditions. So what's to keep this person from paying the $500 penalty and then when they get sick, apply for insurance and start paying then?

    I hope that insurance costs do go down, especially since mine are almost twice as expensive today as compared to 2009 when this law was first passed (monthly premium for my family in 2009 $470, today it is $910. Thanks ACA for that little gem). But for today, I will remain skeptical about the ACA saving me any money.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 6, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    Back to my likening the game of "Life" to real life...

    There may come a day when you play that game with your kids, and when you come to the "Stop and buy Health Insurance/Life Insurance/Fire Insurance/etc space... your kids will ask, "What's Health Insurance"? And you will obliviously have to answer, "This game is about making decisions... We don't have to make decisions now days... our Government takes care of all of that for us".

    Maybe Milton-Bradly will come out with a new game, called "Cradle to Grave", where you don't have to make any decisions for your family, becuase every event that happens in life has printed on the back of the card, "Don't worry, your benevolent government has taken care of this for you". The old game may make absolutely no sense to our kids in the future.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 5, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    To "Mike in Cedar City" first, to help those that couldn't afford insurance before the ACA, I would cut regulations and mandates on insurance back to the 1980's levels. That alone can cut costs by up to 50%.

    As for Pre-existing conditions, that is easy. We let the companies do what they have done for a long time. Include a mandatory waiting period where pre-existing conditions are not covered for 6 to 9 months. Nothing needs to be changed for new born babies since insurance companies cover them at birth anyway. For the freeloaders, that is easy. We cut off the free-stuff. Allow hospitals to have the choice of providing free care (tax break for charity work) or to work out a payment plan with them.

    Any true improvement to the insurance regulations will improve business for the insurance industry, so it doesn't matter who writes the regs as long as there are fewer regs.

    To further control costs, the lawyers must be reigned in, so that Doctors will stay in practice longer and will go into the specialties that typically are more expensive to use.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Aug. 5, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    All you right wing naysayers. What in your infinite wisdom would you do with the 40 million plus or minus that could not get or afford health insurance before the ACA. What would you do about those that could not get insurance because of a pre-existing condition, including new born babies? What would you do about the freeloaders that get their health services in the emergency room? What would you do to prevent health insurance lobbies from writing legislation favorable to their bottom line? What would you do to see that rising health costs be controlled?

    You all seem to have a lot Fox News talking point criticisms but offer little to solve the problems that we have been experiencing for the last 10-20 years. And 2 bits, if single payer is the "end", I like it because I have it,it's called medicare and I am sorry everyone does not have it.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    In the game of "Life" (by Milton Bradly)... you are always eventually rewarded or escape disaster IF you took advantage of your opportunities to get insurance (life, heath, fire, car, etc) early in the game.

    I assume the game was designed to teach us something about life. And one lesson I learned when playing the game as a child were:

    1. Always take the college route (instead of the short-cut to the early Pay Day).
    2. Always buy insurance (it will pay off BIG later in the game)
    3. Have kids... it pays off throughout the game, and especially at the end.

    And now that I'm playing the real game of life... I've noticed that the lessons taught were true. Insurance really IS a good thing. And the minimal cost of insurance really does pay off when you need it. And even if you don't need it... it doesn't hurt you.

    My problem with the President's plan is... from his own words when he doesn't know he's being recorded is... that the ACA is not the "end". It's the "Start". And he admitted the intended "End" is single-payer government healthcare nation wide).

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 5, 2013 8:23 a.m.

    @Mountanman: "Their (unions) premiums will explode!"

    And, of course, they will figure a way to make the employer pay for it.

    @Mountanman: "Oh, and the IRS is only in charge of collecting fees for non-compliance."

    Doesn't matter which government agency, whether the IRS or HHS's Kathleen Sebelius. It's still the government.

    @louie: "it is amazing that people are quick to ridicule Obama Care when it mirrors the Romney plan."

    Romneycare is a state program... authorized by the US Constitution. Obamacare is a federal program not authorized by the US Constitution.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 5, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    To "louie" the ACA only superficially mirrors Massachussetts. Romney's bill was just a couple of pages long. The ACA was over 800 pages long.

    Beyond that, we should look at the disaster that occured in Massachussetts.

    After the mandated insurance there took effect, the ERs were flooded with people needing minor help.

    Nationally, the ACA is discouraging people from becoming doctors because of the paperwork involved. The ACA has also made things more expensive from insurance, to medical devices, to overhead costs a insurance companies.

    Tell us, how is it a good thing if everything is looking like it will make things more expensive and harder to comply with.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 7:24 a.m.

    National Romney care is needed. That will be his legacy.

  • Liberal Today Murray, UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 10:58 p.m.

    We should have public yachts too. Let's face it, it isn't fair that rich people have yachts and poor people don't. Poor people have no chance of ever getting a yacht.

    We could improve everyone's' mental health if we made sure everyone had access to affordable yachts for quality recreation. It would definitely be a good deal.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Aug. 4, 2013 7:38 p.m.

    Mountainman 6:13 p.m.:

    You say you never took a dime from the government, but I'm guessing that you relied upon either family members and/or the LDS Church when you needed help. What are nonmembers (who are the vast majority of Americans) without family resources supposed to do? Go hungry and hope they don't get sick?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 4, 2013 6:13 p.m.

    QuercusQate. No hysterics here. I have been unemployed a few times but I never took a dime from the government. I have worked two jobs much of my life to make ends meet and never considered myself a victim. I guess that's the difference between us and I think you are right, Obamacare is for "victims"!

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 5:36 p.m.

    it is amazing that people are quick to ridicule Obama Care when it mirrors the Romney plan. In Massachussetts the plan has been very popular and was successful in covering 98 percent of population. So why not take a step in that direction. Because opponents really do not care about any solution or attempts to make 1) health care affordable to the less fortunate and mandate 2) a greater level of participation among all sectors of our population. If I am wrong tell me where the republican solutions are.

  • QuercusQate Wasatch Co., UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 4:40 p.m.


    Under Obamacare, you have the option to keep your current insurance program.

    BTW, I'm unemployed because of Republican austerity measures which have cut education budgets in Utah...and I'm very much looking forward to Obamacare. I'm currently uninsured. Oh, and the IRS is only in charge of collecting fees for non-compliance. You can check your hysterics at the door to the ER.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 4, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    @ alt. Not true, Under Obamacare, those with "Cadillac" healthcare programs, like union members, will be forced to pay more! Their premiums will explode!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    Bottom line all income levels need to have decent health care not just a middle class or the rich.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    " Even union members know their present healthcare is far better than what Obamacare will be! "

    A union could, you know... just keep it's present health insurer if they like it. Obamacare doesn't change that...

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 4, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    If Obamacare is so great, why do so many people and organizations want to opt out? Even union members know their present healthcare is far better than what Obamacare will be! Obamacare may improve healthcare for some of the uninsured and illegal aliens but it will not be better for the vast majority of Americans, especially taxpayers! Ask millions of Americans who can only find part time work because of Obamacare mandates! Higher unemployment, more poverty, higher deficits, rationing, massive fraud and abuse and what's worse, the IRS is in charge!

  • KDave Moab, UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    It is hard to fathom how adding tens of thousands of paper shuffling beaurocrats to the system is going to make it cheaper or better.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Aug. 4, 2013 7:03 a.m.

    In a perfect world, don't get sick or fall ill either but this is not a perfect world. The only way Obamacare is successful is if everybody is forced into the system. If you take away our free agency, it might just work as long as medical people never expect a higher income in the future.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 4, 2013 4:45 a.m.

    ObamaCare is NOT a good idea when you simply study the scope and purpose of the federal government. The People have not authorized Congress to force them to buy any type of health insurance. The duties assigned to Congress where the people have agreed to be taxed are enumerated in Article 1, Section 8. ALL OTHER DUTIES are to be left to the States or to the People.

    ObamaCare may be perfectly legal if implemented on a State by State basis (depending on the Constitutions of each State), but it is not authorized by the Constitution of the United States. No matter how the President or Congress twists and turns the Constitution, ObamaCare is not an authorized duty of the federal government.

    That is all that we need to know about ObamaCare. Forced health insurance and federal government duties are two concepts that must never be allowed to be used together unless the Constitution is amended.