Delving into Obamacare

| February 21, 2013 | 2 Replies

At Occasional Planet, Madonna Gauding takes a careful look at what Obamacare means for ordinary people and big corporations.

A generous (and seriously wrongheaded) view of Obamacare is that it was a progressive bill designed to be a steppingstone to single payer. But, in reality, it was designed to strengthen, expand, and more deeply entrench corporate control of healthcare delivery. What will happen when the ACA comes online in 2014? I think millions will decide (out of necessity) to take the IRS fine rather than go into further debt buying inadequate, high deductible insurance. The insurance companies, limited to a smaller profit margin, and not getting the numbers they want, will decide they can’t make enough money to keep their yachts afloat, and fold. Hospitals, tired of treating people in emergency rooms for free, will push for Medicare expansion, as will the general population. Slowly, in fits and starts, we will move to Medicare for all. That will be a huge improvement. But, in order for us to have humane healthcare for all, the profit taking throughout the system has to stop—the $200 a pill prescription, the $15 box of hospital tissues, the many unnecessary, but lucrative procedures that line the pockets of surgeons. The “free market” for-profit health care industry with its bloated costs is the underlying cancer of healthcare delivery in the United States.

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Category: Health Care Reform, Medicine

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich and his wife, Anne Jay, live in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising their two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Parts of the ACA are already on line.

    But let’s dispense with the “ObamaCare” Bullshit and call it by the more accurate nickname, HeritageCare.

    The individual mandate was first proposed by Stuart Butler of the pro Corporate, Conservative think-tank Heritage Foundation.

    Next, we should look at the games big insurance plays.

    create a spreadsheet, and enter the amount you ( and your employer) pay to the insurance company as premiums.
    you can do this by the month, quarter or year.

    during the period, whenever you pick up a prescription you get a label showing the list price of the drug, the discount price, how much you pay and how much the insurance pays. record this info into spread sheet columns.
    When you visit the doctor, the insurance sends a statement showing how much is billed, how much is discounted under the provider’s contract and how much you pay. record this as well.

    At the end of your chosen period, tally everything up and compare totals

    Here is an example:

    Every month. $400 is deducted from my paycheck for insurance. My employer kicks in $1200 for a total of $1600 per month.
    I have have a $30 copay for a visit to my primary physician. According ti a billing statement from my insurance, my Dr billed $130 for an office visit. Mt Doctor’s clinic as a discount contract with the insurance company the $130 is discounted to $59.88 of which I pay $30, leaving 29.88 for the insurance to pay out of $1600 premium for that month.
    There are 4 in my household and three of us have chronic illnesses. My younger son rarely get sick. My older son is autistic, and the insurance company found a contract loophole to avoid paying for any autism related
    medical care, so he is insured many through TennCare.

    through 2011, my part of the premium was $200, and after doubling at the start of 2112 that translated to 6 Dr visits I can no longer afford. I’ve had to limit my Doctor visits to 1 per month so my wife and kids can have medical care.
    Drugs follow a similar pattern. My best estimate indicates my insurance pays about 38 percent of my premium as benefits.

  2. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    pardon my typos. it can b difficult to type with a partially paralyzed thumb.

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