As the deadline to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act came and went, the website crashed, rendering the deadline void. Again.
As a young person, it is important to be informed, and at the same time, it is easy and often more desirable to remain ignorant. However, I hope to provide here a rational argument against “Obamacare” and present its many faults in a factual way.
As this is an opinion column, I likely will not remain wholy unbiased, but we will see as we move forward.
What the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act does is render it illegal for insurance companies to turn anyone away.
The listed goals of the ACA are to decrease health care costs for both citizens and for the federal government, to provide higher quality care and better coverage.
This all sounds wonderful and pleasant. The problem is, this system is unsustainable and will ultimately result in the opposite of all of those goals.
We have already seen the President’s claims that “Americans will be able to keep their current doctors,” and “Americans will be able to keep their current plans” fall through. The federal government’s own Department of Human Health and Services notes on the the infamous website that, “Depending on the plan you choose in the Marketplace, you may be able to keep your current doctor.”
So there is strike number one — stating something that is blatantly untrue to the American public. In fact, Politico awarded its annual “Lie of the Year” title to Obama’s “If you like your health insurance you can keep it.”
Strike number two comes from harpooning young, healthy individuals with the highest premiums. Effectively, people my age and yours, at least those who buy in to the health care exchange to avoid paying a fine, will be charged more for fewer benefits to “equalize” the benefits and cost of older, sicker individuals.
Now, let me say right here that I am absolutely for everyone having access to health care and I would not wish upon any elderly person that they receive less-than-stellar quality care.
What I am saying is this is not “universal health care” in any sense of the term as so many people tend to complacently believe.
Health insurance does not equal healthcare. It simply creates an inflated demand for the already broken health care that exists today.
Another problem that will result in poorer care is the fact that insurance companies are now forbidden by law to turn anyone away who has a preexisting condition, and they are forbidden to adjust the premium based on that condition.
Preexisting conditions cost more to treat. This is a fact. And the system before was not working either. People could completely drown in debt because of their conditions, or be denied coverage at all.
This health care law is not a solution, and based on economic, scientific evidence (listen to Bob Murphy’s visit on the Tom Woods show) will “exacerbate” the problem.
Allowing everyone the same coverage for the same premiums will not result in fewer sick people. The same money will have to be spent. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
What will happen is that people who now do not have to pay as much will have the opportunity to go to the hospital whenever they want for anything, regardless of if it is a pressing medical emergency or not.
This costs me more money, it costs you more money and it costs the federal government more money — something that should be at the top of everyone’s list to put an end to.
But here we are, passing legislation to increase the deficit once again.
The problem here becomes one that most likely all readers can relate to.
The wait in the emergency room of any hospital is atrocious. It is because people take advantage of the system and abuse their ability to go because they will be covered by insurance anyway.
My lovely and beautiful friend Dr. Amy Beard recently opened up her own concierge health clinic to combat this problem.
Beard is creating a more personal and helpful environment for people to seek medical treatment.
Beard does not accept any form of insurance, which eliminates any allegiance to a third party. This allows her to charge exceptionally lower prices for run-of-the-mill procedures.
Beard understands that seeing a doctor for 10 minutes after a three-hour wait in the emergency room does not constitute adequate health care. But that is what happens today, and what will continue to happen under the ACA.
Another problem is fewer people will want to become doctors. Medical school is strenuous, tumultuous and long. When there is a cap put on how much money a doctor can make, it is likely that fewer people will go through the process.
If an employer is forced to provide health insurance, it is only logical that the employer will simply stop hiring more people in order to save money. They may even fire current employees. This is not good for anyone.
Many doctors and insurance companies are opting out altogether because they realize the harsh consequences that will come with this health care law.
Fewer doctors and fewer insurance providers equals fewer choices for Americans. Fewer choices equals less liberty, which is at the heart of my argument, and the worst consequence of all.
The phrase “government intervention” leaves an awful taste in my mouth, especially when it comes to health care.
Many supporters argue that since car insurance is required, health insurance should be required as well.
You have the choice to own a car. You can easily take public transportation, ride a bicycle or walk. You have options. The logic of this analogy is painfully flawed because you are required to have health insurance simply because you are alive.
So what strike are we on now? I have lost count.
When the government begins dictating what you must spend your money on, many problems arise.
This health care plan relies on the participation of young people. Without it, this system will fail, as there will be no money to pay for anyone’s insurance coverage, since the bulk of that money is supposed to come out of the premiums of healthy young people paying each month.
As I said, I tried to remain as knowledgeable and accurate as I could, and I believe I have done just that.
There are so many more problems I could discuss, but I do not have the room in this column.
There are many thought provoking articles and podcasts by intelligent and economically minded individuals that do discuss the many problems, though, and it is important to acknowledge them.
I hope this column sheds some light on some aspects of “Obamacare” that are unclear.
I am leaving it to readers to form their own decisions and conclusions. But, I cannot lie. I hope some of you form the right ones.
Join me at a YAL meeting sometime to discuss the issue further.