By Tom Quiner
It was my birthday yesterday.
I got home from the office anticipating my birthday celebration, feeling good about life. And then I saw it: a big envelope from Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
I knew what was NOT in the envelope: birthday greetings.
I knew what WAS in the envelope: my rate increase. With shaking hands, I tore open the envelope to relatively good news in this era of ‘affordable’ health insurance: my premiums are ‘only’ going up $768 next year. In all, I’ll be paying $5500 more PER year than when the ACA was passed, even though we’re now covering 2 instead of 3 persons and maintain a high deductible.
I’m lucky. Even though the inflation rate is only 1.5%, my health insurance premiums are going up about 9%, but that’s better than a lot of people around the country who are being hit with 30%, 40%, and even 50% rate increases.
The so-called “Affordable” Care Act had good goals, including to cover more people; to allow affordable coverage with people with pre-existing conditions; and to cut rates.
If you recall, President Obama promised us a $2500 year cut in premiums. For me and many others, he missed the mark by tens of thousands of dollars. How could he be so off?
Whenever government subsidizes something, prices go up as market forces are subverted.
The ACA used a top-down, government-centric approach with complex regulations and insurance exchanges that breed bankrupt companies and fewer choices for consumers.
Perhaps it’s time to consider conservative alternatives that do the opposite by putting patients in charge of their coverage, not the Health and Human Services Department.
Nothing revealed the nonsense and corruption of Obamacare than mandates that forced people beyond child bearing years to pay for reproductive health services and contraception, especially when it violated their religious consciences.
The American public didn’t want Obamacare, especially the way it was forced down our throats by Harry Reid and the Democratic Party. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Fred Barnes reminded us of how the outgoing former Majority Leader of the Senate poisoned the well by cramming the HSA down Republican throats:
“Not that bipartisanship concerns Mr. Reid. To pass ObamaCare he brushed aside any thought of compromising with Republicans. When the bill was being drafted in committee, he and the White House feared it would not be liberal enough. So Mr. Reid yanked it from the committee and drafted it secretly in his own office. This shortsighted decision is a major reason the health-insurance program remains unpopular to this day. Zero Republicans voted for it.
With sweeping, nationwide legislation, the longstanding practice is to seek bipartisan backing. This was achieved with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, civil-rights legislation and the interstate highway act. Bipartisanship ensured lasting popularity. “One party can’t jam legislation down the other party’s throat,” Democratic Sen. Max Baucus told the New York Times in 2013. “It leaves a bitter taste.” “
With stiff rate hikes getting ready to hit me and tens of thousands of other victims of the ACA, we’re forced to scramble to see what new cuts we need to make in our household budgets to stay afloat.
If liberal programs are supposed to be so compassionate, why do so many people get hurt?
For the record, Hillary Clinton promises more of the same.
Happy birthday to me.