When the supermajority of Democrats in the Senate passed the ironically named Affordable Care Act in 2009, one of the chief requirements of the bill was to force health insurers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and health care centers to share in the staggering $2 trillion cost over the next decade. But once made law, President Obama pushed off the cost until well, just later — certainly not before the 2012 election.
That later is now, or Sept. 30, to be precise. Remember when the president said the 10-year cost for his health care reform would be $850 billion and that no one would pay an additional penny in taxes? Ha. Insurers will have to pony up some $8 billion on the last day of September, and guess where they’re going to get the cash? Straight from your wallet, your purse.
Here are some numbers, straight from my own checkbook register. In October 2011, before the start of Obamacare, I was paying $386 a month. Yes, fairly reasonable, but less so when you factor in my $10,000 deductible (and two teenage children who keep falling off things). The following October, the premiums rose 23 percent to $474.
In October 2013, my monthly rate rose again, nearly 32 percent, to $623. Same exact coverage, just more money. Then, this year, come Sept. 30, my new premiums will be $1,097. That’s a 76 percent increase from the previous year, and, all told, my premiums have risen 184 percent in just three years.
But that’s not all. My deductible has also jumped to $12,000 (but my out-of-pocket expenses are, under some complicated formula my Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield health adviser couldn’t really explain, going to be higher than that, maybe substantially so).
Now, in order to get a break on my costs (a federal subsidy paid, of course, by other taxpayers), I’d have to make less than $62,000 for a family of three. That means someone making $62,001, which means about $46,500 a year or $3,875 a month after taxes (if he’s lucky), will be shelling more than a quarter of his money for health care.
And back to why. Although Mr. Obama said he would hold those bad old insurance companies accountable and make them pay, pay, pay, there are no mechanisms within the law to keep providers from doing just what they’re doing now — passing the cost on to you in the form of new, much higher premiums.
What’s more, after Mr. Obama uttered what Politifact called the “Lie of the Year” — that if you liked your insurance, you could keep it — implementation of many of the more onerous parts of the law were delayed. Now, though, all those so-called “subpar” insurance policies are being eliminated.
That is putting Obamacare right back on the front burner for this midterm election, just as it was in the 2010 midterms. Then, voters mobbed summer town halls to vent, and Republicans went on to trounce Democrats, pulling off the largest seat swap in any midterm since 1948.
Right about now, across the country, Americans are either getting their monthly bills for drastically higher premiums, or they’ve already got them and are beginning to shop for new insurance in preparation for the coming open-enrollment season this fall. But they’re no doubt finding that the new policies mandated by Obamacare are raising costs sky-high — there’s nothing cheaper.
And there’s more. But here’s a question: Which experience have you had – the one where your costs go down or stay about the same, or the one where they skyrocket? In our household the monthly went up about 20% and the deductible more than doubled (only possible in Massachusetts because of the federal plan; our previous state law kept it to something like $4000 per year for a family). BUT, our co-pay dropped from $40 per visit to $35 per visit. Sweet!!!!
So tell us what you think. I am hoping that the writer is correct, that Americans will move to the Right, but I am not counting on it.