Obamacare is creating chaos now because of the way it was set up from the beginning. The President tried to solve a very real problem with a complicated political solution. I assume he felt this is what he had to do in order for it to pass but the results are not what the American people needed. One must realize that America really does not have a healthcare system; we have a disease and accident management system that needed to be fixed. Obamacare just attempts to fix the cost and insurance aspects of healthcare instead of the real problems. We need to place more emphasis on disease prevention, proper nutrition and exercise if we want to see cost go down. We also need to place more importance on education, so people can make informed, educated decisions on their health and that of their families. The current plan excludes this and instead uses mandates, penalties and taxes, which most people do not like and will try to avoid. The law was made too complicated for most people to understand and at 2300 pages most of our politicians did not read it or fully understand it. It should have been common business sense that if you force insurance companies to cover things that they did not cover in the past, rates would have to go up on everyone to offset this. Unfortunately, politics overruled common sense and we find ourselves in a very poor position on healthcare.
Some of the more popular provisions have already been implemented, such as children being able to stay on their parents’ policy until age 26 and forcing insurance companies to accept customers with pre-existing conditions. These may be popular but forced up insurance costs on most Americans. The real problems are many businesses and most consumers do not understand what is going on, so they cannot make informed decisions.
We were told that 30 million people will now have to buy health insurance or pay huge penalties (taxes). These 30 million people buying healthcare would lower the overall cost for everyone. This did not happen yet and now we find out that the penalty (tax) is only $60 if you’re low to middle income and $200 if you are high income. Those figures are per year. Let’s be realistic, with pricing penalties that low, how many people will that force to buy insurance? So the model that was sold to us (that 30 million extra people will join) doesn’t work. Now let’s go to employers – if you have over 50 full-time employees, you must provide insurance at mandated coverage or face a huge penalty. So we have employers not hiring to stay under the magic number of 50, firing employees to stay under the number, switching people to part-time (only full-time counts) and even splitting companies up into separate legal entities. In reality though, the penalty (tax) is only $ 2000 per full-time employee over 30 employees. This means if you have 100 employees or less, it is cheaper to pay the penalty than comply with the mandates. The is why surveys show over 50% of small businesses will drop insurance or use one of the other above methods by 2014 (KAMED DATA). This will increase the number of people without insurance, not increase it as promised. Add to this the fact that the insurance exchanges have been delayed for a year and over half the states have opted out based on the United States Supreme Court decision. So, all these employees that now have no insurance were going into the state exchanges that do not exist and/or are delayed twelve full months. This is where the rates were supposed to be excellent and the subsidies would come into play, making it even more affordable. What are the employees supposed to do now, buy a private policy on the open market? What is the insurance industry supposed to do? They were ready for the exchanges. Where do the subsidies go? Will they work for private (non-exchange) policies?
The senate just passed a vote to disallow the tax on medical devices, with 79 votes (enough to override a veto). How does this effect Obamacare?
The house budget that just passed totally defunded Obamacare, even though we know the Senate won’t go along with it, what will happen? How do you prepare for the unknown?
Add to all this, the new breed of doctor that is rapidly growing, the concierge doctor.
These doctors only accept about 600 patients (families) in total. Each family pays about $ 5000 per year plus whatever their insurance will pay. For this you receive basically a private doctor. No waiting for an appointment, no waiting in the office, the ability to spend an hour or so with your doctor on each visit and the ability to call or email your doctor and get a reply from your doctor. This will be high quality care that only money and time can buy. The masses will use Obamacare and the other 5-10% that have the means will be receiving great care.
Should you get a concierge doctor or will Obamacare work and not lower the quality of care? Should insurance companies work with these concierge doctors and help this new segment grow?
Until the government knows what it is doing and businesses see some of the programs actually working, chaos will reign in healthcare.
The only thing Americans can do is try not to use the system and get and/or remain healthy. Lead a healthy lifestyle, drink enough water, get enough sleep (7-8 hours), eat all natural foods with lean protein and lots of fruit and vegetables. Keep your weight down to a BMI below 30. Ask your employers to institute an approved health and wellness program like Green Box Foods (www.greenboxfoods.com). These programs help keep medical costs down and insurance companies give the employers a premium discount.
Besides this we just have to wait and see if somehow the government can become efficient and think a little more business-like and less political.
This is a preview to an article that will be featured in Leader’s Edge Magazine.
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