Thursday, September 23, 2010

My medical premium just increased—thanks, Obamacare!

Image found on
A Washington Examiner editorial vindicates many of our warnings that Obamacare would increase the cost of American medical care and limit a number of our coverage options. And, regrettably, a letter I recently received from my insurer supports this contention.

Here are three excerpts from the Examiner, the first dealing with our freedom to choose the plan we like best:
» Obamacare won't allow employees or most small businesses to keep the coverage they have and like. By Obama's estimates, as many as 69 percent of employees, 80 percent of small businesses, and 64 percent of large businesses will be forced to change coverage, probably to more expensive plans.
Now, check out this letter I received from my insurer:
In other words, I should be able to keep my existing coverage options so long as I do not materially alter . . . well, just about anything about my plan. Because if I decide to make any changes or, God forbid, shop around for a better deal elsewhere, then the new Obamacare mandates may butt into my medical choices. Awesome.

Second, the Examiner addresses increases in premiums:
» Obamacare will increase insurance premiums -- in some places, it already has. Insurers, suddenly forced to cover clients' children until age 26, have little choice but to raise premiums, and they attribute to Obamacare's mandates a 1 to 9 percent increase. Obama's only method of preventing massive rate increases so far has been to threaten insurers.
My insurer also confirms this (you'll have to excuse me for redacting my personal information):

So basically, my insurance premiums are increasing in part due to a new set of federal mandates that neither I nor most of the people in this country even wanted. Fantastic. I'm not going to divulge the size of this increase, but I will say that it's substantial enough for me to lackadaisically ponder other ways I'd rather spend that money.

Some Obamacare proponents (are you guys still out there?) may be saying, "Wait a minute. That letter lists a few other reasons your premium is increasing, so don't just blame it on Obama!" Well, wasn't Obamacare supposed to mitigate the outside factors that increase medical costs? But then again, we really shouldn't be surprised that levying extensive new mandates upon insurers—including forcing them to lose money by insuring individuals who are already ill—increases their costs.

Last, but not least, the Examiner reports on a job-killing behemoth of red tape:
» Obamacare imposes a huge nonmedical tax compliance burden on small business. It will require them to mail IRS 1099 tax forms to every vendor from whom they make purchases of more than $600 in a year, with duplicate forms going to the Internal Revenue Service. Like so much else in the 2,500-page bill, our senators and representatives were apparently unaware of this when they passed the measure.
Wow. Imagine all the financial resources that businesses will be forced to divert from making money to hiring accountants to prepare tax documents. Maybe I should have gone into tax law after all.

In sum: thanks, Obamacare!

No comments:

Post a Comment