Stanley Feld M.D., FACP, MACE
The gigantic error President Obama is making is trying to force Americans to do something they do not want to do.
It took a little while for Americans to realize the trap they were getting themselves into by supporting Obamacare.
Now that 2014 has arrived Americans are feeling the punitive effects of Obamacare. The consumer outrage is beginning.
We must realize that the healthcare system was unsustainable before Obamacare was passed. Having Obamacare passed by a totally partisan vote by a left leaning Democrats and left leaning President was another mistake.
Obamacare has accelerated the unsustainability of the current healthcare system.
Group and individual insurance policies have skyrocketed in price. Healthcare insurance deductibles have also increased.
Consumers of medical care previously covered by their company’s healthcare plan have had their work hours reduced to less than 30 hours so their company can discontinue their healthcare insurance coverage and avoid government penalty.
The majority of people were not aware of the 10 hidden taxes collected since 2009 for Obamacare.
Since the disaster of the website rollout more people are becoming aware of the potential impending disaster of Obamacare.
In addition to the 48 million people who were uninsured pre Obamacare at least 6.5 million have lost their insurance in the individual insurance market.
President Obama has provided waivers for the group healthcare insurance market for a year. This was done to avoid a much bigger public outcry for the lose of healthcare insurance they liked than what has resulted from the 6.5 million people that lost their healthcare insurance in the individual market.
The Obama administration is spending $600 million dollars to try to convince millions of uninterested and reluctant 18 to 35 year olds to buy healthcare insurance from the Obamacare health insurance exchanges.
So far less the government reports that only 24% of the risk pool population are healthy young people. This is well below the 40% that are needed to pay for the sick and elderly that have already applied. The young are suppose to pay for the older sick patients.
“The heart of Obamacare is coercion. If Americans fail do what the law's Democratic authors believe is best, the federal government will punish them, through the progressively higher penalties of the individual mandate, until it hurts more not to buy coverage than it does to give up and purchase it.”
Incentives work! Punishment does not!
It looks as if these young Americans are rebelling. They mistrust the government and feel they are being used. They feel they are being misled into buying healthcare insurance that might not meet their needs even if the government is telling them it does meet their needs.
What if they continue to refuse to buy the insurance the government is trying to force them to buy at prices they do not want or cannot afford to pay?
Obamacare has a mandate provision. The Obama administration still calls it a mandate even though the Supreme Court called it a penalty tax.
The Obama administration also calls it by a nicer name. It is called “The Shared Responsibility Provision.”
Everyone believes a mandate is a mandate.
Bob Laszewski, a respected health care analyst said it.
"How the hell are you going to enforce a mandate to buy something that people don't think is valuable enough to buy? If the uninsured don't start to see value in Obamacare and buy it, is the Democratic solution to fine the heck out of them until it hurts so much they have to buy it? That is great political strategy!"
The mandate, penalty, tax in the first year is meaningless. It is $95. Neither President Obama nor the traditional media have emphasized the more significant part of the penalty. The actual penalty is $95 dollars or 1% of the mean adjusted income whichever is greater.
The mean adjusted income includes capital gains, dividends, interest and royalties. A young healthy person making $50,000 would be penalized $500 dollars the first year, $1,000 the second year and $1,250 the third year. If they had income from inheritance or other sources the penalty would be higher.
“Your tax penalty (shared responsibility fee) for not having insurance is paid on your taxes at the end of the year. If your taxable income is below 133% of the FPL you are exempt from this tax.”
2014 = $95 per person per year or 1% of your Income
2015 = $325 per person per year or 2% of your Income
2016 = $695 per person per year or 2.5% of your Income
2017 = Tax Penalty will increase by the rate of inflation going forward, or 2.5% of your Income
• The penalty is based on modified adjusted gross income.
• The total penalty for the taxable year cannot exceed the national average of the annual premiums of a bronze-level health insurance plan offered through the health insurance marketplaces.
How is the government going to collect the penalty? The present plan is for the IRS to deduct the money from a tax refund.
Democrats in Congress who passed the bill feared public reaction and political fallout to forcing Americans to write a check to the government to cover the penalty. Therefore this method of collection by the IRS is barred.
If the penalized person is not due a refund the IRS has no legal way of collecting the money.
Obamacare has some good ideas that need to be incorporated into the healthcare system. However their format and implementation are horrible.
The goal of Obamacare is central government control and implementation of the healthcare system.
Community organizers, lawmakers, and bureaucrats designed the bill. The ideology was socialistic. The designers do not believe in the free market. They were influenced and manipulation of lobbyists.
Obamacare is not consumer driven healthcare system law.
If Obamacare had been designed by businesspeople, it might have had many more features that appeal to customers.
Bon Laszewski said "The problem with Obamacare is it’s product driven and not market driven,".
"They didn’t ask the customer what they wanted. And I think that’s the fundamental problem with Obamacare.
It meets the needs of very poor people because you’re giving them health insurance for free. But it doesn’t really meet the needs of healthy people and middle-class people."
I believe it could have been designed to be cheaper and more effective to meet the needs of the poor people without destroying the ability to meet the needs of the middle class.
A government can try to force people to do buy something they do not want. However, throughout history this method has not worked.
Should Americans continue to travel down the proven path of failure at great financial, economic and political cost?
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.
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