Victory of Obamacare
In a recent article, the Star Tribune exults in the successes of health reform brought on by President Obama. It urges us to think twice before we think of repealing this piece of legislation, which has given health insurance to 35,000 children who did not have it before. With uninsured rates dropping from 9.1% in 2013 to 4.3% in 2015, it seems Obamacare is making a very significant impact.
The article points to the importance of how health insurance access strengthens families and communities. It also mentions some of the drawbacks of the legislation, including MNsure’s technological difficulties, high premiums, and lack of awareness of pathways to coverage for those yet uninsured, but the article holds that we are going in the right direction nonetheless.
At first glance, it sounded logical, but upon more investigation I think there is more to this situation. And I think some of use might approach the situation from a totally different perspective altogether.
This article assumes several things. It assumes that everyone wants health insurance. I have to say when I first heard about Obamacare I was really upset. I didn’t want to have to pay for health insurance, because no matter how low the premiums were going to be I was very unlikely to benefit from them. I have had health issues in the past, and have not found much help from western medicine. I see a functional medicine chiropractor and a Chinese Herbalist for most of my health concerns nowadays. None of their services are covered under any plan that MNsure offers. So now I have to come up with the money for the cost of premiums in addition to the money I am already paying for services. Having health insurance just became another financial burden. When ObamaCare first came out I wasn’t able to afford insurance, so I had to pay it out of my taxes as a penalty. Let me say it bluntly, I don’t want health insurance that is biased toward western medicine. This leads me to my next point.
Is the government really the best vehicle to deliver health insurance to all Americans?
The Star Tribune wants us to think that more health insurance means more health care, but in many cases that is not true. They mention that the legislator needs to nail down the price of premiums, but fail to see that the cost of health care is still going to be high because the government is rarely an efficient machine. I can’t say I will be glad when the premiums go down, because the last 3 years I have seen my income stay the same, and my tax refund shrink. Just check out our classmate’s post to see just how inefficient the American Health Care system is.
The bias appears quite obvious when they label anyone for wanting to repeal Obamacare as simply wanting to repeal it because it would be a strike against Obama. In saying this, the Star is declaring anyone against health insurance for all Americans is more concerned about leveling the score with an enemy than the health of the 35,000 children now insured. Are we to think something as important as health insurance has only one solution and all other ideas have to do with political egos?
One solution with many problems
I can see that there could be some advantages to a National Health Insurance plan. If the government was paying for all health care, you could eliminate the cost of insurance and have more to put into the health care. However, this is not what Obamacare is. I think there are other logical reasons for repealing Obamacare. As I have mentioned it is biased towards western medicine. It is also full of thousands of laws that effect practitioners. For instance, my Chiropractor told me it is because of Obamacare that he was forced to raise the price of visits that are paid out of pocket. How strange is that?
What if I don’t want MNsure because I don’t believe the government will ever get it’s act together and I don’t want to spend half my life on the phone with MNsure trying to get my coverage issues straightened out? (It would be frightening to know how many people have died in frustration while waiting to talk to a MNsure representative) Did I mention how easy is is to get bumped between Medical Assistance, MNsure, and private health insurance plans? A friend of mine choose not to take a higher paying short term job because it would bump her off of her familie’s MNsure plan. The temporary increase of pay was not worth the hassle of being bumped off a plan only to get put back on it when the job ended.
The Star Tribune claims that the only reason people are not getting health care is because they are not aware of pathways to coverage, but they are forgetting the people that try to get on a MNsure plan and get turned down. In 2015 I went the whole year without health insurance only to find out I should have been approved for state sponsored coverage. Somehow the system made an error and I was denied. If you know as many people as I do with stories like that, than eventually you begin to look for answers elsewhere.
Lets look at both sides
I am not trying to say I have the answer to this solution, but I think the Star Tribune did a good job presenting one side, their side, of this issue. While they are rejoicing in the triumphant victory of Obamacare, many of us our wondering why we would celebrate more health insurance costs and less care for our health.