How Real Americans Feel About the Loss of ObamaCare Subsidies

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When the Affordable Care Act passed through Congress and signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, the President promised that the new law would make health insurance more affordable for all Americans including middle class families like mine. The Affordable Care Act, nicknamed Obama Care, expanded public and private insurance coverage by introducing insurance exchanges and mandates. Insurance companies are required to to cover all applicants within new minimum standards and offer the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions or sex. If you do not have health insurance, ObamaCare requires that you purchase from the exchange or pay a fine. The individual mandate was challenged in the Supreme Court in the case National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. On June 28, 2012, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the ACA’s individual mandate as an exercise of Congress’s taxing power.

After ObamaCare was signed into law, health insurance for my family has gone up. My husband and I have to pay $150 out of pocket just for a doctor’s visit. Our monthly premiums deducted out of his paycheck are $500.  We can not afford the family insurance plan from his employer so we are forced to place our children on Medicaid. When we moved to Illinois in August from Washington State we had to apply for new health insurance for our kids. We first researched providers before choosing a plan. Once we found a reputable doctor for our kids, we chose the medicaid health plan for that doctor. Recently, their health plan was switched without our permission and our kids were assigned a new primary care physician who is 45 minutes away from where we live. ObamaCare has made health insurance much worse for my family.

Now, ObamaCare is being challenged once again in the Supreme Court in the case King v. Burwell. This time 8 million Americans might lose their health insurance if the Supreme Court finds that subsidies are illegal outside State Exchanges. What does this mean for real Americans? How do real Americans feel about the loss of ObamaCare Subsidies?

I asked Dr. Jane M. Orient, the Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons a few questions about ObamaCare and King v. Burwell.  This was her response.

Why does medical care cost so much in the United States?

image credit: freedigitalphotos.net

The reason medical care costs so much is third-party payment (“comprehensive insurance”).
ObamaCare drives costs up still more with its expensive mandates.Instead of forcing taxpayers, present and unborn, to pay most of the unaffordable premiums, the sharing ministries can drastically reduce costs, while restoring patient control. The fact is that Americans throw fistfuls of money out the window every month for insurance premiums for care they do not need or want. That money is gone forever. If they develop a problem, the insurer might deny them the care that is best—or, if their policy has lapsed, they might as well have been uninsured the whole time. If they had instead put the money in the bank, they would have it to spend when the need arose.

Does ObamaCare fix the problem of high medical costs or make it worse?

image credit: freedigitalphotos.net


It makes it worse. So should taxpayers throw fistfuls of money out the window for other people’s insurance premiums? Insurance, after all, is a gamble. You gamble that you’ll have a disaster that the insurer will pay for. The insurance company gambles that you’ll pay premiums month after month and never collect. Like in casinos everywhere, the house always wins in the long run. It makes sense to risk $1,000 to protect against the very tiny chance of a $1 million loss. It makes no sense to throw away $10,000 per year to prepay for $248 worth of care, the average payout for 50% of healthy Americans. For 95%, insurance pays out less than $10,000 in a year. And family premiums are heading for more than $17,500 in 2015. The only reason for buying such an expensive product voluntarily is fear of an outrageously high hospital bill. The self-pay patient is routinely billed at the Charge master rate, a multiple of what is paid by Medicare, Medicaid, or commercial insurers. Another reason for buying it, not exactly voluntarily, is to avoid ObamaCare penalties.

How can we get medical costs back in control of the patient?

Health-sharing ministries like Medical Self Sufficiency, Samaritain Ministries, The Self Pay Patient, and Atlas are helping reduce medical costs for Americans.

“A health care sharing ministry is an organization that facilitates sharing of health care costs between individual members who have common ethical or religious beliefs in the United States. Members of health care sharing ministries are exempt from the individual responsibility requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare. This means members of health care sharing ministries are not required to have insurance as outlined in the individual mandate (source: wikipedia.org).”

Should tax payers pay for other people’s medical costs?

No. Why should you have to pay for other people’s care? At three times what it should cost?

Why do consumers purchase expensive medical insurance?

image credit: freedigitalphotos.net

They are afraid of outrageous hospital bills. And they have been sold a bill of goods. They don’t (and likely can’t) do the math.

What will happen to health insurance costs, and consumers if the Supreme Court decides that insurance subsidies are illegal outside the state exchanges?

I hope people will take back control instead of continuing to shovel tax money to predatory “insurers.” Or the money of creditors the government will ultimately stiff. Such as China, people’s pension plans, future Social Security beneficiaries.

People in States without State Exchanges will have a tremendous opportunity if the Supreme Court nixes the subsidies. These are the potential benefits:

  • Many more will be exempt from the individual mandate because of unaffordable unsubsidized premiums.
  • Employers will be relieved of huge penalties that can be incurred if a single worker collects a subsidy.
  • People could exercise a choice for better, more personal care, at a much lower cost.
  • Health-sharing ministries are a vastly underutilized option—and they work in States with Exchanges too. Some require attendance at a Christian church, but Liberty Health Shares only requires sharing a set of common ethical principles—such as individual responsibility.

For example, one plan now under development would have a monthly family share amount, paid on behalf of a patient or family with a need, of $150 per month. This is lower than the 2016 minimum family penalty for opting out ($2,085/year), and members of such plans are exempted by law from the mandate. The individual share amount of $50 per month is half the $107 per month average cost of subsidized ObamaCare. The non shared amount is 50 percent of the Bronze ObamaCare deductible. The plan depends on the members’ negotiating Medicare rates at the hospital. Many hospitals will gladly accept that amount if promptly paid. Instead of bowing to ObamaCare, States could ensure that health-sharing ministries are not misconstrued to be insurance. They could also expedite the approval of Obama non compliant low-cost catastrophic insurance. Without the subsidies, their State, including its low-income citizens, would be far better off.

How can we bring medical care costs down for American Families?

image credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Freedom. See prices at surgerycenterok.com and compare with your local hospital.

Jane M. Orient obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. She completed an internal medicine residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital and University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals and then became an Instructor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a staff physician at the Tucson Veterans Administration Hospital. She has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since 1989. She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. Since 1988, she has been chairman of the Public Health Committee of the Pima County (Arizona) Medical Society. She is the author of YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Healthcare, and the second through fourth editions of Sapira’s Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis, published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. She authored books for schoolchildren, and Professor Klugimkopf’s Spelling Method, published by Robinson Books, and coauthored two novels published as Kindle Professor Klugimkopf’s Old-Fashioned English Grammar books, Neomorts and Moonshine, More than 100 of her papers have been published in the scientific and popular literature on a variety of subjects including risk assessment, natural and technological hazards and nonhazards, and medical economics and ethics. She is the editor of AAPS News, the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Newsletter, and Civil Defense Perspectives, and is the managing editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.


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How Real Americans Feel About the Loss of ObamaCare Subsidies
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