October 21st, 2013
The letter from Blue Cross/Blue Shield landed with a thud. It was addressed to my wife, informing her that the current health insurance plan that she has had for the last few years was to be cancelled, and, unless notified otherwise, she would be enrolled in a new Obamacare compliant plan as of January 1. Premiums were to more than double, and the deductible was was to be increased from zero to $6,200. Let’s see now, $8,400 in premiums and $6,200 in deductibles raised from $3,600 in premiums and zero deductible is a four-fold increase in potential medical outlay.
The letter gave us all the encouragement to attend the ‘Obamacare 101 Town Hall’ on October 16th, to hear from professionals who have had first hand experience on the physician side, and from the cost/impact perspective.
The first speaker was a physician, an OB/Gyn with many years experience, who discussed the impact Obamacare will have on the availability of doctors. There is already a shortfall of about 10,000 physicians per year due to the rate of retirement being much greater than the new doctor graduation rate. Furthermore, because of the loss of funding, far fewer doctors will have the opportunity to become residents, and really learn how to practice medicine. This will have a serious impact on the quality of doctors in the future. The outlook is pretty dismal. Obamacare promises (though does not deliver) affordable health insurance, and will insure (though does not admit to) a serious decline in health care delivery. The number of practicing physicians that will continue to accept Medicare patients is declining, due to signficant reductions in payments to the doctors, while the number of medicare patients is growing quickly as the baby boomers continue to retire and sign up. Fewer doctors seeing many more patients is sure to result in a dramatic decline in the quality of health care.
Another speaker showed us the projections for the cost of health insurance going forward. In addition to the actual out of pocket for health insurance policies, there is the incalculable cost to the economy of people losing jobs, forced to work reduced hours, and being driven into Medicaid and a third world experience.
Those who dare to try to interact with the Obamacare registration process are requird to give all of their personal information to ‘navigators’, many of whom are untrained, and have not been background-checked. Can we trust the government with all of that information? Is their system secure enough to protect it? Will they misuse it? Recent experience suggests caution.
We also learned that there are already scammers who will phone and say that they are from the government, and will enroll you in the system. Once they have that information, it is a short path to identity theft.
We also learned that the ‘subsidies’ that are available to some in the form of tax credits, can, under certain circumstances, be reclaimed by the IRS, who have the power to just take it.
The bottom line of what was learned is that one should avoid getting entangled with the government web site, or the ‘navigators’ and find alternatives. There are options worth exploring, such as catastrophic insurance combined with concierge or self pay. Even paying the penalty makes it less costly, and leaves us out of the grip of the Obamacare/IRS/KGB monster.
Obamacare is nothing but an enormous Wealth Transfer program, designed to pick the pockets of the younger generation, and all others who have worked hard to provide well for their families, and subsidize an ever enlarging voter pool.
Look for options. They are out there
Work to elect a congress that can overturn this. Never give up.