The 4 fallacies of Obamacare
As someone who is self-employed, my family decided it was simply too expensive to purchase traditional health insurance. So, we’ve opted to go with health savings account (HSA).
While it was substantially less expensive, it was still more than we had ever paid for health insurance, and as we approach 2014 when the “benefits” of Affordable Health Care for America Act (also known as Obamacare) are supposed to kick in, after paying the increased tax rates for the past three years, I keep thinking, this is not what we bargained for.
The American people were told four things that, as far as I can see, are simply not true.
The first fallacy of Obamacare is that those who have health insurance will not see their rates go up “one dime.” Not only did our healthcare insurance cost increase more than “one dime,” it increased by hundreds of dollars — per month.
And, according to the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) of Fayette County’s school board, the administration was concerned about the, “skyrocketing health insurance costs.” In fact, the administration saw its matching healthcare costs for non-certified employees jump from an average of $162 per month to $287 per month in just two years.
Second, we were told that with the passage of this act, we would be able to keep our healthcare insurance if we wanted to, and we would be able to keep our doctors.
Well, this has not been the case for many families who had health insurance through their employers. As a direct result of responding to this law, employers have had their employees increase their contributions for their healthcare coverage, changed their health insurance carriers, or eliminated their insurance coverage — or jobs — altogether.
Third, we were told that this comprehensive healthcare plan would help cover an estimated 30 million Americans who did not have health insurance at the time. This “law of the land” mandates that individuals and employers have to purchase health insurance, or pay a fine.
Recently, employers were exempted for one year from this mandate, but individuals were not. At least initially, the fine will be less than insurance coverage, and so it is likely millions will opt to pay the fine and lose their insurance.
Finally, we were told that the cost to the American people, over ten years, would be under $900 billion. However, three years later, the CBO has adjusted the estimated costs of this law to $1.4 trillion dollars. That represents a variance of over 50 percent.
I suppose when one is dealing with numbers this large being off by 50 percent seems minor, but I translate it into the number of hours I must work and spend away from my family to pay my family’s increased taxes. So, yet another “unintended consequence” of Obamacare is the added emotional expense.
As is the case with most things I am sure there must be some whom this law benefits, but I have yet to meet such an individual who was not already covered by Medicare, Medicaid, state healthcare plans, or private solutions.
Everyone I know who has insurance through their employer, or who pays for their own health insurance, has been adversely affected by this law.
At the end of the day, this is the law, and it is not enough to simply say, “Stop Obamacare.” One has to provide better alternatives, otherwise it’s not constructive and doesn’t help us deal with what I thought was the whole point of healthcare reform: to provide a societal framework that enables healthcare to be more affordable and accessible for all.
I just hope we haven’t become so politically polarized that we can’t honestly critique the devastating consequences this law is having on working families like mine without being called haters or racists and instead truly listen and work together to achieve our shared goals.
So, over the next couple of weeks I hope to provide a list of these alternate solutions that I do not hear about in the news. And they will not cost trillions of dollars and still leave millions of Americans without healthcare coverage, or negatively impact their employment.
It seems logical to me that giving the American people viable alternatives for healthcare will strengthen the conversation of lawfully defunding and/or repealing the (Non)Affordable Health Care Act.
[Bonnie B. Willis is co-founder of The Willis Group, LLC, a Learning, Development, and Life Coaching company here in Fayette County and lives in Fayetteville along with her husband and their five children.]