Is it difficult to understand the health care debate? Do you wonder why your insurance company cancelled your policy? How could your insurance rates skyrocket after President Obama promised his health care reform would lower premiums?
Since World War II, most Americans received health insurance from employers, had limited choices and, therefore, were often not very knowledgeable about marketplace forces. Insurance companies were viewed solely as the managing company that determined what resources were covered. When health insurance companies began canceling policies this year due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many people sought to blame the companies rather than the law which required the policies to be canceled.
Imagine if you obtained your car insurance in the same way health insurance is mandated under the Affordable Care Act:
1. All car owners will be required to purchase car insurance. (That sounds reasonable enough.)
2. But … all car insurance companies must provide exactly the same coverage for every car — and that coverage will be the “Cadillac” coverage.
a. Everything needed to maintain your car will be covered — oil changes and oil filters, automatic transmission fluid, brake repairs.
b. There will be no deductible, or up front costs, for these routine maintenance costs.
c. The car will be provided with a trailer towing mechanism, even if you never intend to use it.
d. No “vacation rates” will be available for those who have cars that are rarely driven.
e. No higher deductibles for collision coverage for those who have a good driving record and think they can afford a higher deductible.
f. No option to choose the amount of coverage you want for bodily injury, medical payments, comprehensive coverage or collision.
g. No ability to lower the cost of the insurance premium by choosing less expensive coverage.
And because the federal government has determined that each driver must receive exactly the same coverage, whether or not it is needed or desired:
i. Rates must therefore escalate to cover all these additional benefits.
j. And … policies that do not meet these requirements will be canceled.
3. Those who cannot afford car insurance must have the exact same coverage as those who have the resources to purchase insurance.
a. If you are employed and have a regular income, you will be required to subsidize those who cannot afford to purchase this expensive car insurance.
a.i. You drive a Ford Focus because it is more economical, has lower repair bills and better gas mileage, but notice your unemployed neighbor is driving an SUV. When you talk with your neighbor and question how he can afford to drive a gas-guzzling SUV while unemployed, you find out that you are subsidizing your neighbor’s car insurance.
a.ii. Then you learn your neighbor has been involved in several accidents.
a.iii. If your neighbor failed to purchase car insurance prior to his accident, he can still enroll in the government car insurance program even after he has been involved in the accident.
b. Your car insurance rates must escalate to cover these costs, too.
4. Since the federal government now controls the car insurance companies, under the guise of attempting to keep car insurance costs lower, the government can:
a. dictate the production of safer vehicle models and eliminate some models from production, so consumer choice is limited;
b. monitor driving records of citizens;
c. force car insurance companies to turn over accident records — and personal information of drivers;
d. monitor the automotive repair businesses, dictate their policies, state which repairs are covered and which repairs are deemed “unnecessary”;
e. determine that your older vehicle is not worth repairing and deny your repair bills, despite the fact that you are still paying your car insurance premiums;
f. require that your mechanic document how he spends every minute of his working day. (This will require that he install an expensive new computer and expensive new software, and he will spend hours inputting data for which he will not be compensated.);
g. require that your mechanic provide the government with information about your vehicle;
h. determine how much your mechanic will be reimbursed for the repairs performed, without regard for cost of living in your area of the country, your mechanic’s expertise, business expenses or the amount of work required to repair your vehicle.
Soon you notice that mechanics are closing their shops due to the long hours and high business costs and are leaving the profession. Then you realize that when you do need your car repaired, there is a long wait at one of the few remaining automotive repair stores still in business. Surely this was not the desired effect of the Affordable Car Insurance Act!
Now you may begin to understand the unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act, which dictates what type of insurance must be held by everyone in America, regardless of their medical needs or desires. Physicians are already leaving their practices due to the enormous cost and long hours required to implement electronic medical records that can provide all your health care information to government bureaucrats. Yes, the ACA requires rationing of services – and we have not even mentioned the 525 new committees and organizations the ACA requires to monitor every aspect of your health care.
[by Jane E. Anderson, M.D. , a retired pediatrician and clinical professor of pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco. See AMERICAN CURRENTSEE for original article.]
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis