ObamaCare – Worse Than You Thought

Prod a Democrat Party loyalist on the shortcomings of ObamaCare and you are likely to get two retorts: come 2014 at least everyone will be covered; and from the moment when Obama signed the law pre-existing conditions can no longer be used by the insurers to deny coverage.  It turns out, however, that neither of these claims is true.

Let’s take universal coverage first.  It turns out that in 2016, two years into full implementation of ObamaCare, there may be 30-40 million Americans sans coverage. From whence and whom comes such a number?  No less than Dr. Robert Kocher, former special assistant to Obama on health care who directed the simulations to get these numbers in his new post at McKinsey and Co., an international consulting company.  The simulations involved a detailed county by county analysis across the country.

Asked who would remain uninsured, Kocher replied:  “There will always be a residual pool of uninsured that includes the following populations: undocumented [foreigners], people between jobs, those who may lose coverage from either changes in income [or from] rolling off of Medicaid. Also, the [people whose employer-based coverage] was dropped but who haven’t yet purchased insurance; those eligible and not enrolled in Medicaid; and those [who have not enrolled in insurance] by choice.”

OK, then, our Obama loyalist might say, at least as of the moment the president put pen to paper to pass ObamaCare, the insurance robbers were themselves robbed of the ability to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.   Perhaps in theory, but that does not turn out to be the case either.  It turns out that although 6 million Americans are eligible for the “Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan” provided in ObamaCare, only 8011 are enrolled.  Why the shockingly low number? Two reasons emerge.  First, most people and physicians do not know who is eligible or how to enroll, a recurrent problem in a health care system designed for the insurers not the insured.  And, second, the cost, the monthly premiums for the plan ranging from $320 to $570 a month.

So even these minimal benefits turn out to be an illusion.  And as we in Massachusetts are learning from RomneyCare, the model for ObamaCare, costs are not controlled by such programs.   Premiums continue to rise here and now the insurers are beginning to provide physicians with global budgets for their patients with financial incentives for the docs to withhold care.  We can expect more of that under ObamaCare.

But at its core the worst thing about ObamaCare is that it does not provide egalitarian care.  That is, health care is not a right.  We must pay bribes (aka premiums) to the insurers for our health care and better care comes to those who can pay the bigger bribe.  And for those who can’t, who are too poor to pay any bribes, there is Medicaid whose coverage in some states is no different from having no coverage at all, based on the outcomes.

One wonders whether it would not be better if ObamaCare failed in the courts leaving us with the reasonable two choices: Medicare for all, as in Canada and France, or a National Health Service, as in the UK.  Progressives might well want to ponder joining the suits against ObamaCare.

John V. Walsh, @JohnWal97469920, until recently a Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, has written on issues of peace and health care for several independent media. Read other articles by John V..

11 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. Rehmat said on December 29th, 2010 at 8:28am #

    No wonder more and more US heathcare organizations are looking toward Iran for inspiration.


  2. Max Shields said on December 29th, 2010 at 10:21am #

    “One wonders whether it would not be better if ObamaCare failed in the courts leaving us with the reasonable two choices: Medicare for all, as in Canada and France, or a National Health Service, as in the UK. Progressives might well want to ponder joining the suits against ObamaCare.”

    Yes, John, my thoughts frequently go to that possibility. The “compromise” that Obama made may have trapped his twisted check off list of health care reform (i.e., he was able to fraudulently check of “land mark health care reform, even though it is hardly anything ANYONE wants or needs).

  3. Max Shields said on December 29th, 2010 at 11:13am #

    My only other thought is: why do we wait for government (particularly feds) to do any of this? Why do we give over this and then not trust those we have appointed/annoited with so much power over our welfare?

    We are responsible for our well-being…and as long as we expect someone or system to take care of that, we can expect pretty much what we get.

    I hold Obama directly responsible for war crimes. The economy is out of his hands as is much else.

  4. Mulga Mumblebrain said on December 29th, 2010 at 1:02pm #

    One of Obama’s pathetically few ‘triumphs’, one that his Zionazi cheer squad holds up as proof of his bona fides, is a sham? Who’d of thought? Obama is worse, far, far, worse than Bush, because he is such a cynical, posturing, fraud. He’s the Clarence Thomas of US politics, the ruling class’ pet black, whose loyalty to his white bosses is absolute, and whose mediocrity is an insult to all African Americans. Uncle Tom surely does not cover it all. However this is not a case of treachery, of selling-out when power has been gained. No this is a long-term project, a Trojan Horse, a Tel Avivian Candidate talent spotted by Zionazis when at college, and groomed, financed and trained in obedience over many years, to do his masters’ bidding. The only question really is whether he is fully aware of his treachery, or is so well conditioned and so gargantuanly egotistical that he truly sees himself as a man of destiny. He’s a fit, tragi-comic figure for an evil empire in collapse.

  5. hayate said on December 29th, 2010 at 1:05pm #

    Mulga Mumblebrain

    I couldn’t agree more.

  6. lichen said on December 29th, 2010 at 7:13pm #

    Healthcare is a human right, so yes, those of us fighting for single payer healthcare are not blind for failing to accept that supposedly “it is our responsibility” to pay for healthcare on our own, and nor are we naiive for supposedly expecting “the feds to do it for us” when they are obligated to do so. The scum of the obama administration are 100% responsible for all of their right wing economic policies, and they should be prosecuted.

  7. lichen said on December 29th, 2010 at 7:18pm #

    The right wing antizio-nazi’s who don’t give a damn about whether people in the US (or the wider world) have human rights should stop spamming.

  8. Liberte said on December 29th, 2010 at 7:59pm #

    What is “healthcare”?

    Is it the psychotic allopathy of Rockefeller owned pharma? That sort of healthcare certainly isnt a human right, its an assult on humanity.

  9. lichen said on December 29th, 2010 at 9:42pm #

    Yes, actually, it is a human right to choose also your field of medicine; hr676, the single payer bill includes naturopaths and alternative therapies. Making condescending comments about people who have not been educated or taken care of in this land where big business is given free reign to pollute and sicken human bodies as much as they want is clearly a corporatist ploy. If your appendix burst or you came down with a hernia, I don’t think you’d start ranting about allopathy.

  10. mary said on December 30th, 2010 at 1:56am #

    ….One wonders whether it would not be better if ObamaCare failed in the courts leaving us with the reasonable two choices: Medicare for all, as in Canada and France, ++or a National Health Service, as in the UK++

    The neoliberal Conservative Liberal Democrat Coalition led by Thatcher’s protégé David Cameron, will be doing its best to demolish OUR beloved NHS and hand it over completely to private health care companies, following in the footsteps of Blair and Brown who continued with the Thatcher plan in the American model. For instance, there are already privately run polyclinics and PFI hospitals.

    The first stage proposed by this coalition is to close down the strategic area health authorities and primary care trusts who decide where the budget is spent and to transfer their work to consortia of general practitioner doctors. These GPs entered the medica profession to deliver care to their patients and to refer them to hospital specialists if further investigations or treatment were needed. They did not want to become managers sitting at desks.


  11. beverly said on January 2nd, 2011 at 7:57pm #

    Max Shields wrote:

    “I hold Obama directly responsible for war crimes. The economy is out of his hands as is much else. ”

    Obama’s evil pawprints are all over the economy along with every other domestic and foreign policy matter. His administration has willfully and deliberately continued, and in many cases increased, the mayhem, high crimes, and misdemeanors of the Bush/Cheney years. His Clintonista redux cabinet were major players in the financial deregulation, free trade, and telecommunication wildings of the 1990s which contributed big time to the financial and economic train wreck we face today. The man wouldn’t even name a real liberal to the Supreme Court – and he had 2 chances to do so. He promised with a straight face that he’d fight for Net Neutrality and look who he appointed to the FCC and the outcome of that.

    Out of his hands? Don’t go there, please. Obama is as complicit in the mess as the power players who his robotic hustler ass into the White House.