It happened again last week, this time on a golf course. A fourth was added to our group. Our new friend, Ken (name changed), is a businessman from the Akron area. It only took a couple of holes for him to learn what the rest of us did for a living and only another before he started to complain about Obamacare.
I can’t offer my employees health insurance because of Obamacare.
My Insurance went up 400%!
That seems odd.
My premium jumped to $3,000!
For just you?
And my deductible was $10,000. It was worthless insurance.
You had an individual deductible of $10,000? That’s not possible.
What really ticks me off is how all those people are getting free insurance, great insurance, for doing nothing!
It always devolves to a complaint about the poor. There are winners and losers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). There had to be. We can look back to September 1993 when then President Bill Clinton went before Congress to explain that it was inevitable that some people would be forced to pay more if we were to overhaul our healthcare system for the betterment of most.
The Obamacare winners are easy to list:
- The unhealthy
- The poor
- The working poor
- Anyone stuck in a job or marriage to retain health insurance
- Young women
The losers, mostly due to additional premium or taxes:
- Young healthy males
- Businesses employing unskilled, low income workers
- Individuals earning over $200,000
- Healthy middle income wage earners purchasing their own coverage
There has to be winners and losers. Republicans constantly cite President Obama’s claim that insurance rates were going to decrease and that if you liked your doctor you can keep your doctor. Yes, Obama oversold Obamacare as he confused goals with deliverables. But these same Congressmen give Trump a pass on his sugarplum and rainbow description of his non-existent health plan. Would there be winners and losers if Trump, Ryan, and McConnell ever pass an alternative to Obamacare? Of course. There has to be.
But what galls me are the politics of resentment. Being poor is a full-time job. I recently helped a young woman apply for coverage. She had aged off her parents’ policy and we went through healthcare.gov to get her a new policy. She qualified for Medicaid. This was a huge relief. Her expensive prescription would be covered. Her premium – $0. That was in March. Today is June 6th. She is still waiting. No word from the State of Ohio. No Rx card. No help.
Not only are my tax dollars helping to provide Medicaid to the poor and the working poor, I am also losing commissions. Some of those people were or would be clients. I am no longer paid to be their agent. That’s a trade I’m happy to make. Do we really believe that people want to be poor? Are we better off as a society by punishing the sick and the hungry?
The problem with Obamacare isn’t that the Medicaid expansion extended access to healthcare to millions of Americans. The problem is that millions of Americans are still uninsured. The problem with Ken? Who cares?