The impact of ObamaCare on doctors and patients, companies inside and outside the health sector, and American workers and taxpayers
According to a Blue Cross Blue Shield Association report, people who enrolled in health insurance through the ACA appear to be sick than expected. People who enrolled in individual health insurance plans after 2014 were less healthy and used more healthcare in 2014 and 2015 than those who were already enrolled in individual plans and those who receive insurance through their employer.
The report isn’t without its shortcomings. It looked only at BCBS plans, not the entire universe of Obamacare insurers. But that’s still a sizable sample. BCBS companies participate in the exchanges more than any other insurer.
In a report, the Department of Health and Human Services said Monday that there are around two million low-income, uninsured people in those 20 states who have a mental illness or substance abuse disorder.
Medicaid has long been a joint federal-state program that offers near-free care to the very poor. Under the health law, Washington pays almost all of the costs of insuring people who have slightly higher incomes.
Opponents of expansion argue that neither states nor the federal government can afford to further swell the program, and that a shortage of providers to treat the newly insured poses an additional challenge in trying to enroll more people in it.
Gonshorowski and Haislmaier examined the effects of the law’s new insurance regulations they found the three most costly ones—age rating restrictions, benefit mandates, and minimum actuarial value requirements—increased the cost of the previously available least expensive plans in a state by 41 percent to 51 percent for younger adults (the group most likely to be uninsured), and by 1 percent to 18 percent for pre-retirement-age adults.
Many have blamed the increase on the Affordable Care Act, which expanded health insurance coverage to millions more Americans through Medicaid — known as Medi-Cal in California — and government-run health exchanges.
Last year, a national survey of 2,099 emergency doctors by the American College of Emergency Physicians reported that 28 percent of respondents said the volume of ER patients in their hospitals “increased greatly” since the health law took effect. And 47 percent said the volume “increased slightly.”
ObamaCare’s “Millennial mandate,” the requirement that employers who offer health coverage for employees’ dependents continue to offer such coverage until the dependents turn 26 years old, is one of those supposed free lunches.
This mandate’s benefits unquestionably come at a cost. Expanding health insurance coverage among adults age 19-26 leads them to consume more medical care. When those people file insurance claims, health-insurance premiums rise. Yet ObamaCare does an amazing job of hiding those costs from voters.
Obamacare was a badly designed law. We could have achieved gains in insurance coverage without Obamacare’s regulation-heavy approach; we could have addressed the health-care system’s discrete problems without trying to overhaul it from Washington, D.C. Those without access to employer health plans could have been given enough money to buy a policy that protected them against catastrophic expenses — and that offered more protection if they put some of their own income into the policy.
More Americans think the law has hurt them than think it has helped them. And as flawed as the law already appears, worse days may be ahead for it.
Americans have found that health-care expenses for many individuals and families are higher, their insurance costs are higher, their choice of doctors and insurance is diminished, and the total costs of the program are burdening a weak economy. Had members of Congress known then what they know now, they would never have passed Obamacare.
Obama’s claim that the ACA has reduced the number of uninsured by 20 million, implies that state and local governments have $650 million in additional resources to spend on illegal immigrants, whether it be for health care, education or anything else. The ACA has increased the amount of resources dedicated to health care of illegal immigrants–the explicit legal prohibition against this notwithstanding.
This is just one of many reasons why Conover believes a nation of 320 million people is much better off letting such resource allocation decisions be made at the state and local level rather than by federal taxpayers. That way people can vote with their feet if they don’t like the idea of their tax dollars being used to pay for people who have come to this nation illegally.
Health insurance subsidies are expected to cost the federal government about $660 billion in 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Much of the $136 billion in extra health spending stems from “significantly higher” enrollment in Medicaid, the federal health program for low-income people, according to the CBO’s latest annual report on healthcare spending. The estimates do not include spending on people over the age of 65.
The CBO figures also show an 11 percent increase in the cost of ObamaCare subsidies.
When federal lawmakers wrote the act overhauling the nation’s health-care system six years ago, they ruled out any possibility of extending health insurance to illegal immigrants.
Local officials where many of those immigrants live are treating them anyway.
A Wall Street Journal survey of the 25 U.S. counties with the largest unauthorized immigrant populations found that 20 of them have programs that pay for the low-income uninsured to have doctor visits, shots, prescription drugs, lab tests and surgeries at local providers. The services usually are inexpensive or free to participants, who must prove they live in the county but are told their immigration status doesn’t matter.