By Tom Quiner
I got the bad news this week. My healthcare premiums are going up $720 the next twelve months.
My wife and I are self-employed and own a high-deductible health savings account (HSA). This type of plan make sense in many respects. We essentially pay the first $5000 of our medical costs. So we have incentive to shop for medical services and to be sensible in how we spend our money. Prior to Obamacare, HSAs allowed us to pay the first $5000 with pre-tax dollars. Post Obamacare, that amount has been reduced to $2500.
Obamacare is driving insurance companies out of the business, so consumers have fewer choices when it comes to shopping for good plans.
Contrast this with car insurance that has radically less government intrusion in their marketplace. Between Geico, Progressive, State Farm, and others, car insurance ads are on the air constantly. Consumers enjoy a ton of choices and, as a result, rates have remained competitive and stable.
When’s the last time you saw a health insurance company advertising their competitive rates?
Unlike with car insurance, the government does not allow health insurance companies to market their services across state lines. Even more, state governments pile on mandates that force consumers to buy coverage they may not want.
So despite everything Mr. Obama has said, we have less choice and higher costs. I’m taking a real hit with the reduction in how much I can pay in pre-tax dollars on top of the increase in my premiums.
If we eliminated every health insurance mandate and allowed companies to market across state lines, we’d see rates begin to stabilize and even drop.
Absent that, I like former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s idea. The House should defund Obamacare.
You know, if the President doesn’t want to defend a law he doesn’t like (the Defense of Marriage Act), I think the House should follow his lead and close the purse strings on a law they don’t like: Obamacare.
In the meantime, I’m one of the multitude who is taking a financial hit because of Obamacare and government intrusion in the market place.