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Mike’s Musings- Obama Care a disaster for middle class

Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor

I’ve not been much of a proponent of Obama Care. Sticking with my libertarian tendencies I didn’t want the federal government mandating that I buy health care. Until 10 months ago, my wife and I winged it- meaning we were without healthcare. I did break down and bought an individual policy that was inexpensive and covered major items.

Thus with trepidation and a little bit of cautious excitement, I was looking forward to choosing a new plan on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) site that debuted Monday. I didn’t experience the problems that forbid most people from viewing the site- essentially the site crashed because so many Michiganders were on it, but I wasn’t at all happy with what I saw.

Essentially I’m screwed. My little individual plan is most likely to be cancelled in favor of the new mandated State plans. Unfortunately for people like my wife and I, those plans are much more expensive that my current one. And all the hoopla I read and heard, about the plans offering so much better coverage was just that- government initiated bullshit, because the plans I checked out included very little unless you wanted to pay a whole lot.

Now Obama Care might be better for individuals that qualify for government subsidies. That essentially means those subsidies will provide better health care for the poor and indigent- better health care than the middle class will be able to afford. So if you don’t qualify for subsidies and you’re looking for an individual plan you will pay much more that the poor yet probably end up with a $5000 yearly deductible.

HHS is telling us that premiums at the state exchanges are actually 16% less than they expected. But as one expert points out, that just means the increase in premiums is 16% less. In other words costs are still going us, just less than the feds expected before the health exchanges were set up. Gosh don’t I recall candidate Obama tell voters health care reform that he championed would bring rates down by an average of $2500 per year per family? What the heck happened?

A Wall Street Journal shows that Obama Care will increase rates on average by 99% for men, and 57% for women. Be thankful you don’t live in Nebraska. Rates there are expected to climb on average by 299% for men. That means men will pay 3 times what they are paying now for health insurance. In Michigan the numbers are a little better, but still staggering. Michigan men and women will see a 166% increase on average.

To add insult to injury, someone has to pay for the massive subsidies that will be doled out to those that qualify based on income. Guess who will pay? Most likely you and I, the middle class will be on the hook. Aren’t we always? So we get the double whammy- our premiums are expected to go way up (almost double) and our taxes will probably go up as well so the feds can sustain their promised subsidies.

There has got to be a better way. I might suggest a longer look at the Canadian system, or one that involves “single payer.” With a single payer system everybody is in. It relieves people of anxieties and wasted time spent figuring out often fraud-ridden computerized bills and then having to contest them.

In Canada, full Medicare covers everyone at half the per capita cost that Americans currently pay, despite at least 50 million Americans are without health coverage. In another comparison, the U.S. spends 17% of its gross GDP on health insurance and related administrative costs. Canada spends 10%.

Obama and Hillary Clinton have agreed in the past that they prefer a single-payer system. However they also claim it is not practical because corporate forces against it cannot be overcome. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion if single-payer would be revisited, those forces could be dealt with. It appears no one is truly happy with Obama Care. Maybe we should look elsewhere.

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