The Crux of the ObamaCare Problem

October 27, 2013


Millions of words have been written about ObamaCare. Word garbage has been spewed. And there seems to be no understanding of what the real problem is by folks in the mainstream media and therefore the masses.

It’s not about the website not working, although this Tweet seems to sum up the collective eye-roll by the masses due to yet another government computer program gone wrong.

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WARNING: Lots of fake Obamacare scam websites out there. Just remember, the real one is the one that doesn’t work @Doug_Giles

The real issue is what youngster reporter Ezra Klein puts his finger on, albeit I believe unwittingly,

The problem is precisely that the people who really need insurance will be patient and persistent. The people who don’t need insurance as badly may not be.

The Washington Post wunderkind then predicts what will happen due to people making their choice,

And if that happens, then in year two, costs are going to rise sharply for those sicker, older people left in the exchanges.

It comes down to choice.

The people who don’t need insurance as badly may not be.

ObamaCare fails if not enough younger people cannot be coerced into buying insurance. Actuaries knew this. My hairdresser knew this. These are the same people who did not buy insurance in the first place because they would rather spend their dollars on something else.

In 2009, Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute tracked down the numbers of “uninsured.” Here’s what he found (see piece here):

For example, roughly one quarter of those counted as uninsured — 12 million people — are eligible for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), but haven’t enrolled.

This includes 64 percent of all uninsured children, and 29 percent of parents with children. Since these people would be enrolled in those programs automatically if they went to the hospital for care, calling them uninsured is really a smokescreen.

Another 10 million uninsured “Americans” are, at least technically, not Americans. Approximately 5.6 million are illegal immigrants, and another 4.4 million are legal immigrants but not citizens.

the Congressional Budget Office, found that 43 percent of the uninsured have incomes higher than 250 percent of the poverty level ($55,125 for a family of four). And slightly more than a third have incomes in excess of $66,000.

And most of the uninsured are young and in good health. According to the CBO, roughly 60 percent are under the age of 35, and fully 86 percent report that they are in good or excellent health.

Finally, when we hear about 45 million Americans without health insurance, it conjures up the notion that all of those are born without health insurance, die without health insurance, and are never insured in between. The reality is that most people without health insurance are uninsured for a relatively short period of time.

Only about 30 percent of the uninsured remain so for more than a year, approximately 16 percent for two years, and less than 2.5 percent for three years or longer. About half are uninsured for six months or less. Notably, because health insurance is too often tied to employment, the working poor who cycle in and out of the job market also cycle in and out of health insurance.

When all is said and done, it turns out there are fewer than 10 million people in a country of 380 million who couldn’t truly afford insurance. Why would you structurally change the health care delivery and insurance system of the entire United States of America to accommodate those relatively few uninsured? Why wouldn’t you just cut a check to these folks and tell them to buy insurance?

It comes down to choice. It’s not about health care, friends.

Just as Ezra Klein noted,

The people who don’t need insurance as badly may not be [in a hurry to buy it].

What do you see there? The government has taken away their choice to buy health insurance. It used to be a choice, now it’s a diktat.

That is the biggest problem with ObamaCare. One that the MSM refuses to acknowledge because they refuse to see.