Who Is Lying About Insurance Now?

It’s a funny thing about facts and newspapers. Many times they don’t get along, This article in the USA Today is called CDC: 1.1 million more Americans lost health insurance coverage in 2018 Here are their highlights but please read the whole thing so you don’t think I am cherrypicking:

  • Efforts by the Trump administration and Congress to challenge and loosen requirements of the Affordable Care Act probably played a role in some going without coverage, analysts said. 
  • Derksen said a strong economy means more low-income people probably moved from Medicaid coverage to health insurance through a job. That won’t necessarily make health care more affordable for those whose health plans shift costs to them through higher deductibles and co-payments.
  • The CDC survey says the number of Americans in high-deductible plans reached an all-time high, covering 45.8% of people with private health insurance in 2018. In 2010, 25% of people with private coverage had high-deductible plans. 
  • Gallup survey found that Americans borrowed $88 billion to pay for health care last year, and one in four people skipped care because of cost. 
  • The CDC survey followed a Congressional Budget Office report issued last month last month that found a similar decline in health coverage after years of gains under the Affordable Care Act. 

So, the headline is supposed to scare you into thinking that something this administration did has left people uninsured. No. The booming economy pushed people off Medicaid and then they realized they cannot afford the UNAFFORDABLE care from the ACA. Those people who try to get insurance have to use high-deductible plans but they are using them just for catastrophic care because they can’t afford regular care.

Oh, and about that last item, that CBO report, I would defer to this article:

  • All of the increase in the uninsured over the past two years — all of it — is the result of the massive rate increases Obamacare’s mandates and regulations caused. According to the Health and Human Services Dept., premiums in the individual insurance market doubled from 2013 to 2017. They shot up again in 2018.
  • For those eligible for Obamacare subsidies, the rate increases were meaningless. The amount they had to pay didn’t change much, and in many cases went down.
  • But for the millions of middle-class Americans who buy insurance coverage on the individual market and aren’t eligible for Obamacare subsidies, the result has been financially devastating.
  • As the table above shows, from 2016 to 2018, the number of people getting subsidized coverage through an Obamacare exchange increased by 100,000. The number enrolled through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion climbed by 700,000.

That list above is from the last cited source. Let’s be honest the ACA was horrific because it gave insurance companies, an integral part of the Medical Axis of Evil, the ability to do what they want. They doubled premiums and gave less care. They suck. End of story. And people are trying to get out of this penalty because they can’t afford it. You can write any headline you want but the exodus of insured people is due to the ACA legislation.

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]

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2 Responses

  1. RSW says:

    “All of the increase in the uninsured over the past two years — all of it — is the result of the massive rate increases Obamacare’s mandates and regulations caused”

    The referenced article offers no evidence to support the claim that Obamacare mandates caused all that increase.

    I’m sure it’s multifactorial – greed on the part of insurers and hospital corporations (we now have $400 facility fees in our area for routine medical care), cost-shifting from more competitive employer insurance markets, and Obamacare mandates (which includes such popular items as coverage for pre-existing conditions).

    Premiums and out-of-pocket costs were sky-rocketing before Obamacare; to claim that they would have been flat without the ACA is a little ridiculous.

    • Private Doc says:

      Well my area had an IMMEDIATE increase in the uninsured. I have more uninsured now than ever as a direct result of the ACA. My area had decent jobs but the employers were small. They couldn’t afford to buy insurance for all their workers and the workers made too much for subsidies so they go without insurance. That’s not “cost shifting” from the employers that’s the fact that the employers could not keep the doors open if they provided healthcare as was mandated by the ACA that included “popular options” such as mandatory maternity coverage for everyone including males and post menopausal females. This happened from the beginning so in my practice I can say without a doubt the number of uninsured increased exponentially as a direct result of the ACA and those that do have insurance have much worse coverage.

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