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

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  • factsplease SLO, CA
    March 31, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    Time magazine had a very interesting article last year, " Why Medical Bills are Killing Us."

    Everybody should read it.

  • Obe Riverton, UT
    March 29, 2014 6:37 p.m.

    As someone who got a jump on a professional career before having children, I'm a little older than those that one might find (in Utah) with a one year old and starting a family. But still, I'm very young - 28. I make a modest living, doing something that I enjoy. We had okay coverage through work, not the best plan available(and in hindsight a much better plan that I have access to now), but nearly entirely work compensated. Personally, I'm on the losing side of these changes. Our plan has been discontinued and work has stopped offering insurance. Turning toward the Health Insurance Marketplace has been a disaster. The cheapest plan for us is more than double than previously and our deductable went from $4,800 to $12,000. Our baby last year cost a total of $10,875 our obligation was around $4,000. Without a change in income, Obamacare has drastically changed our budget and retirement planning. More money for less coverage.

  • Chellerella Provo, UT
    March 29, 2014 1:21 p.m.


    I don't watch FOX. My knowledge comes from family members working in the industry implementing government healthcare regulations and further researching the actual legislation. I agree there a more problems with the cost of healthcare than just innovation. however,comment size is limited and non-transparent pricing is a big factor. I agree wholeheartedly with your reason #2. Would it surprise you to know that as a general rule I have my babies at home for that among other reasons?

    A real life example of posting prices reducing the cost of healthcare can be be found at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma.

    A real life example of people paying twice in Utah just to get care is found in the services of After Hours Medical in SLC.

    If and when Europe and Canada get single payer designed correctly, then we can consider their lead. At this point we're just
    following them off the same cliff.

    For more info on the expensive government regulations and concerning medical data gathering visit any .gov site found while searching "meaningful use."

    There are plenty of untried options for improving healthcare. ACA is not the answer.

  • arand Huntsville, u
    March 29, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    I really think it is a big mess, but that is just my opinion. I think there could have been better ways to get people insured. In Canada, they have a GST tax (goods and services tax) on just about everything you buy to pay for their free medical. I used to travel to Canada and stay a week at a time renting cars,eating in restaurants and using motels. When I crossed back to the US, I would always get reimbursed about $65 bucks because I was not a Canadian citizen. That seems to be a pretty steep tax for one week and talking to people there, they were not all that impressed with their so called free medical. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I do know one thing---- nothing is free.

  • Sunset Orem, UT
    March 29, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    @ Fitness Freak

    Please run for office so I can vote for you? Our government is full people with connections to the medical field, but even they can't come up with common sense solutions like you did. I appreciate your moderation. I wish more people understood that the problem with our Leviathan of a healthcare system is the obscene cost. While Obamacare helps in some ways, it ultimately fails because it's designed to shift costs, not lower them.

    @ Chellerella

    With all due respect, I think your Fox assessment is flawed. The U.S. is number one in medical costs but mediocre in delivering care to the average person. You are sorely mistaken if you believe that our healthcare costs are high because of American innovation. That is just a nationalistic fantasy. Our costs are high for two main reasons: (1) our government fosters and shields the greed of rich companies and (2) there is so much bureaucracy that separates us from our doctors and from making informed, financially-sound medical choices. The people have no power in this system.

    Yes, the Canadian and European models are flawed. But a single-payer, if designed and implemented correctly, could address these issues.

  • archemeedees Tooele, UT
    March 29, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    My insurance doubled in price. Lose.

  • RayTech Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    I can't afford $5,300 deductible plus $180 per month. It's insane. Obamacare is not for me.

  • Californian Santa Ana, CA
    March 27, 2014 9:56 p.m.

    Here in California, my son (and young family) went from an employer provided Aetna PPO to the comparable ACA conforming Aetna PPO. His payments increased by $200 a month. His doctor was no longer covered. His meds went from $5./month to $1000/month since his doctor wasn't covered. He also has to set up a $5000 HSA.
    I don't know what kind of advertising is happening in Utah, but about every ten minutes there's an ad on television promoting "Covered California" (our state version of Obamacare) and saying the best part is "You'll be subsidized." I cringe every time I hear it. So not only are we paying much more for less (and not keeping our doctor), but we are paying for other folks through our taxes.
    And the President, whose job it is to execute the laws made by Congress, is unilaterally changing the ACA every five minutes to position the Democrats for the November elections. (They don't want people to know how it is going to affect their employer provided insurance until AFTER the election)

  • Ett Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2014 7:43 p.m.

    Our insurance exceeded the minimum required by Obamacare, but our decutible went up $1,000.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    March 27, 2014 7:15 p.m.

    Fitness Freak "to improve healthcare...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?"

    Nobody seems to care what the cost is if it's covered by insurance. That is the problem.

    You may have something, but the Doctor should send the price list to the insurance company to get into their network. But, the insured still isn't going to care.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    March 27, 2014 7:06 p.m.

    And know the other have to fact check both those for and against personal stories.

    JSB Sugar City, ID "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."

    Fact check, if you are eligible for Medicaid, you are not eligible for the exchange.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    March 27, 2014 7:02 p.m.

    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.

  • klr56 Kent, WA
    March 27, 2014 5:50 p.m.

    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.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    March 27, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    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.

  • Chellerella Provo, UT
    March 27, 2014 4:20 p.m.


    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.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 27, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    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.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2014 3:49 p.m.

    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!

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2014 2:14 p.m.


    "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.

  • Billy Rubin akron, OH
    March 27, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    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.

  • Chellerella Provo, UT
    March 27, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    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.

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    March 27, 2014 12:41 p.m.

    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.

    March 27, 2014 11:21 a.m.

    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.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 27, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    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...

  • SS MiddleofNowhere, Utah
    March 27, 2014 10:37 a.m.


    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.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    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.

  • Red San Antonia, TX
    March 27, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    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.

    March 27, 2014 9:46 a.m.


    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.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    March 27, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    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?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    March 27, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    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!

    March 27, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    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.