Why do People Hate Obamacare?

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
Peregrino
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Why do People Hate Obamacare?

Postby Peregrino » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:39 am

There is a lot of talk in the little bit of news I read about Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. I do not understand what it is all about. How does it affect the common people negatively?

I will be vulnerable here and give a word about our own experience- In 2011 we left an ultra-conservative church where we had no form of insurance. We were part of a home church for a while, but basically were completely without the mutual support structure of the Conservative Anabaptists. My then-pregnant wife had a blood clot in her leg and we went to the emergency room. When they learned we have no insurance, the hospital sent us to a different office where they collected our information, including a copy of my last few 1040s. After several weeks, we received insurance cards in the mail and the ER visit was totally paid for. A few months later, our daughter fractured her leg. Again, we presented our card, and the ER visit was paid for.

When we moved to Minnesota, we were sent to the local office and our info was transferred from Ohio. We had several more ER visits, once with my twin sons for carbon monoxide poisoning, and another time when one of them got a serious gash on his head that required staples. Again, they asked for our card and everything was paid for. One son needed corrective surgery for a structural birth defect. Another son has a vision problem, and I have a severe hearing loss. Surgery, glasses, and hearing aids all were paid for.

My point is, any one of these things would have totally sunk us financially. Add all of them together and we would probably be homeless on the streets today if we had not been cared for by this program, whatever it is. I have no idea if this is Obamacare or what, but it seems to be functioning quite well at doing what it is supposed to, namely relieve the poor of unbearable medical costs.

For comparison, we recently had an ER visit for a slashed foot here in Mexico, where we are currently. We again have no insurance here. Our total cost for 7 stitches, local anesthesia, bandages, and a bottle of antibiotics came to $17.50 USD.

This suggests to me that US medical costs are grossly inflated, the government acknowledges this, and has decided that the poor should not need to shoulder this burden. Is this not what the Affordable Care Act is trying to do? How is this seen as a bad thing? What is the perceived threat?

I don't read a lot of news, and don't follow politics very closely. Could you explain the furor over Obamacare so an unwashed peasant like me can understand what it's about?
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appleman2006
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Re: Why do People Hate Obamacare?

Postby appleman2006 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:59 am

I will let someone from your fair country who knows your system much better than I do explain Obamacare but from what you described I am guessing what you received was under what is commonly referred to in your country as Medicaid or some such thing. If I am not mistaken it is often based differently based on the State you are in and is only available to those under a certain income level. But perhaps I am all wet.

And for those Canadians on here that think our system is so much better. Based on his experience I am guessing at this point that the poor in the US often get as good if not better and faster treatment than most of us do in Canada.
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Robert
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Re: Why do People Hate Obamacare?

Postby Robert » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:01 pm

For me, the big issue is that it promotes the idea that government can and will supply you with what you need.

There are two things that have to be addressed. One is access to health insurance. The other is access to health care. One thing some are doing is blending the two. I think that is not helpful. It is being done for political reasons.

Insurance is really supposed to be about catastrophic coverage. In reality, it has devolved into an entitlement that we can pay little and get a lot. We all want someone else to pay for things.

Health insurance has devolved into a bit of a sin tax too. Someone can live a very unhealthy life and a person can live a very healthy life. Both have to pay the same amount. So the healthy living person is actually paying for the unhealthy living of the other person. In life, though, there are not guarantees. The healthy person can get just as sick as the unhealthy, but the odds are better that they will not. So health insurance is for when you do not beat the odds and you develop a major health issue. It is not about paying for the local doctor when you get a cold.

There is big business in hospitals and health care right now. They are lobbying hard to get what is best for them. They, too, want to get a lot and pay little. In doing so, they will work to find ways to drive down health care costs.

One example is knee surgery. They used to open up the entire knee. Now it can be done laparoscopic. The costs are much less. The government (Medicaid/Medicare) continued payout that paid for the full knee surgery. Doctors did not drop their prices because of the government pay scale and Insurance companies had to pay the higher amount.

Anything paid to a doctor or a hospital has to come from somewhere. If government pays, that means higher taxes. If insurance pays, that means higher rates. I would rather have multiple insurance companies to shop around with then limited to one government who will decide for me.

Lastly, I do not like calling it Obamacare. I think it should be called The Affordable Care Act (ACA). It will remind us that what they thought was going to be affordable turned out to not be for the majority of people. Yes, we can all find people it helped and those it hurt. We have to look at the overall effect and I can not see that it has been overly beneficial at making things more affordable or improving health care access. On the contrary, my family is on Medicaid and we are greatly restricted to the care we can get. It actually makes sense to me, because someone else is paying for it. I should accept that I will not always get what I want, but will find a way to get what I need.
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temporal1
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Re: Why do People Hate Obamacare?

Postby temporal1 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:11 pm

i wish i had answers.
even more, i wish i could think that others have answers. :?

my daughter lived+worked in Greece for a time. BEFORE the 2007 bank fails.
while there, during Christmas time, she was quite alone for a couple of weeks.
her apartment was on the 3rd floor, no elevator.

she became very ill with some sort of flu.
i was so worried!
eventually, she was so ill she had to go to their ER.
she was so weak, no cabs operating.

somehow, a local friend found out. his family had a local restaurant.
he went there, took her to the ER, she had lots of tests, including chest X-rays, very thorough care, was given antibiotics, went home and recovered.

when she left, she asked about her bill.
the young woman there, smiled warmly and told her,
"there is no bill! no one pays for anything in Greece!"

we were stunned. this would have cost hundreds, possibly thousands, in the U.S. :-|

Greece has been one of the hardest-hit by the bank failures.
i read no optimistic news about Greece since 2007.

i have no idea what the answers might be.
i do read that obamacare has helped some, but has hurt many others.
i believe both sides.

i'm not convinced its replacement is/will be the horrible, mean change that is being screamed everywhere. i believe that is ugly political mud-slinging, not fact.
further, even if Dems had won in 2016, the problems would have existed, it was not working.
they are unwilling to admit it, which just makes their political screams emptier.

so, somehow, things will work out.
i expect costs (to me) to rise+rise, while i have little hope for increased income.

this year, my doctor's office has been able to help me with some med samples. it's a great help, but, it's a band-aid, no knowing if next year will continue (??) .. i do not have a lot. evidently, if i had just a little less, i could reap many government benefits, not just medications, "free."

what is "free?"
we live in a time when all things are remarkably relative. :?

[i see appleman and Robert posted. this is not a response to either. i will now read their posts!] :D
Last edited by temporal1 on Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Why do People Hate Obamacare?

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:17 pm

Robert wrote:On the contrary, my family is on Medicaid and we are greatly restricted to the care we can get. It actually makes sense to me, because someone else is paying for it. I should accept that I will not always get what I want, but will find a way to get what I need.


Would you object to extending Medicaid to everyone, assuming people could also purchase private insurance if they want to?
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Bootstrap
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Re: Why do People Hate Obamacare?

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:31 pm

Peregrino wrote:I don't read a lot of news, and don't follow politics very closely. Could you explain the furor over Obamacare so an unwashed peasant like me can understand what it's about?


A lot of the hate is just everyday political hatred, the kind of furor that fuels American politics. If you put a bunch of accountants in a room, they could make things work. Keeping people outraged is an important part of the political process. On any political question, if you ask what all the furor is about, a big part of the answer is that politicians love furor.

Here's what you don't see right now: any discussion of what the goal is and how we plan to reach that goal. It's clear who the enemy is, and what we want to demonize, but there's very little discussion of what we want to achieve in healthcare. Lots of emotional one-liners, very little accounting or goal-setting. We don't have a lot of adults running the country right now.

Peregrino wrote:This suggests to me that US medical costs are grossly inflated, the government acknowledges this, and has decided that the poor should not need to shoulder this burden. Is this not what the Affordable Care Act is trying to do? How is this seen as a bad thing? What is the perceived threat?


US medical costs are certainly grossly inflated. Neither party is taking a serious look at reducing these costs - I think that's one of the weaknesses of Obamacare. If an average cost of childbirth is $18,329 for a vaginal delivery and $27,866 for a C-section, part of the solution has to be bringing these costs down, not just deciding who pays for it.

We need both parties to work together, think seriously about what the goals are and come up with a plan. That plan should look not only at who pays for the costs, but how we bring costs down.

I had great medical care in Germany for a fraction of the American price. And I'm counting both what the government pays and what I paid. It doesn't have to be this expensive. I think Obamacare was a good start, but we can do better, and looking at the cost is an important part of that. Personally, I would like a much simpler system, such as extending Medicaid to everyone. It's less vulnerable to lobbyists who drive up the cost of medical care.
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Robert
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Re: Why do People Hate Obamacare?

Postby Robert » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:35 pm

Bootstrap wrote:Would you object to extending Medicaid to everyone, assuming people could also purchase private insurance if they want to?


I have thought about and talked to some about an idea of having a 2 tiered system. One that is Government and provides for everyone basic care. Another that will include premium service. I have never spent the time to hammer it all out or even if it would be doable.

My father, who is retired, has medicare and enough to cover insurance chooses to go to the VA because it is "free." He could get better care elsewhere, but he likes hanging with his warmongering pals. :lol:

I also think that expecting to get premium care, and not paying anything and living a unhealthy life is not fair to society. The laws of the universe and God are there are consequences to actions. If there were none, there would be no sin. Someone pays a price of our actions.
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Re: Why do People Hate Obamacare?

Postby MaxPC » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:35 pm

I can share from the experiences of our family members. Before Obamacare we had insurance benefits through our workplace. We also paid a set premium for the package and had excellent coverage for all medical needs.

Under Obamacare the premiums jumped 475% for a plan with 60% less coverage than the old plan. To get the same coverage we had before, we would have to pay premiums that are close to 1000% more than before Obamacare. Our prescription costs have like-wise skyrocketed.

Our incomes don't qualify us for Medicaid or other subsidized programs. The end result is that under Obamacare we have less coverage for 475% higher premium payments. We have become poorer as a result. "Blessed are you poor ..." so perhaps we're now blessed. :roll:

We don't "hate" it but we feel Obamacare has made the situation much worse. We also have a couple of relatives who were administrators in rural hospitals. Those small private hospitals were meeting the needs of the rural poor through endowments provided by churches. Nearly all of their patients received reduced or free medical care.

Under Obamacare rules, hospitals are fined if they provide care for too many patients without insurance. Those small, faith-based hospitals had no choice but to close their doors because they had no choice in the numbers of poor they served, thus leaving that population without any medical facilities for 100 miles or more. Furthermore, Obamacare is trying to force faith-based institutions to provide abortions and abortion-coverage which is against their beliefs.

Should government be micromanaging healthcare? Based on our own experiences and the experiences of other countries with socialized medicine, it doesn't have a very good track record. The government can't even run its own business well. :lol:
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temporal1
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Re: Why do People Hate Obamacare?

Postby temporal1 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:32 pm

Robert wrote:I also think that expecting to get premium care, and not paying anything and living a unhealthy life is not fair to society.
The laws of the universe and God are there are consequences to actions.
If there were none, there would be no sin. Someone pays a price of our actions.
already so many good points in this thread. thanks, Peregrino. :D
there is a good accounting of different experiences coming out of the one "system."
imho, it's not a system yet!

Robert, your point about expectations/demands is important.
it makes me think of my example above, my daughter's experience in Greece, before the 2007 banking calamity. they happily provided premium care - at no cost.

is it human nature to always expect more?! it seems so.
esp when the "deep pockets" of taxpayer dollars are involved! - gov will pay for it!
i hear this daily .. people expecting/demanding premium care - paid by others.

politicians win real votes by promising to spend OPM/Other Peoples' Money. right into bankruptcy.

i believe there are people who are working on resolutions, but, as usual, these will not get air time in the daily circus. too boring.

i also believe the majority of people want vast improvements, i.e., real and stable improvements, these will not be heard in the daily circus.

also, that the system is being exploited by loads of special interests, who really want their interests to take high priority, when those interests have little/nothing to do with the overall good. me-me-me-me.
these are deeply divisive, emotional, and get lots of circus time.

ACA vs obamacare: a number of people are referring to it as the UCA/Unaffordable Care Act. :-|
for many, it is very unaffordable.

U.S. government has not proven to reduce operating costs, or any costs, of anything it is involved with. which makes it puzzling that so many seek after it for answers. U.S. gov, with the (myth?) of deep pockets of taxpayer money, supports that which is not viable. as problems worsen, the single response is to throw more money at the problem, while expanding the margins.

gov does not "fix" or cure problems. it creates ongoing chronic "forever" problems. to truly fix a problem essentially means putting yourself out of business. politicians will never ever do that.
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Re: Why do People Hate Obamacare?

Postby Wayne in Maine » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:22 am

What you are describing is Medicaid, not "The Affordable Health Care Act" (Obamacare).

Obamacare requires that all people purchase a uniform type of medical insurance, with subsidies available to people in some income brackets and Medicaid available to the poor (As it was before Obamacare). Proponents of Obamacare tend to conflate the objections to it with Medicaid and Medicare. That is, liberals assume that if you object to Obamacare you do not want to help the poor or elderly to have medical care. This is not true.

Since the Affordable Care act went into effect I have gone from a Health Maintenance organization where I had reasonable co-pays for doctor's visits, medicines and medical treatment. Now I am paying higher insurance premiums and I have a $6000.00 deductible before my insurance even begins to cover any treatment. In other words, I have to spend $6000.00 before my insurance pays a penny (we hit that limit last year and they ended up paying for part of my daughter's surgery).

Obamacare mandates that we must buy products we do not want or need. A man must buy insurance that covers pregnancy! A religious society must pay for contraceptives which they oppose on religious grounds. And if one wants to forego insurance (which, with my deductible, I would be better off doing) he has to pay a tax/fine to the government.

Oddly enough, when I was unemployed I could not get Medicare for my family. I guess I was expected to sell my house in order to pay for any medical treatments or the drugs that keep me able to be employed.

The medical system in this country, including Medicare and Medicaid, worked quite well before Obamacare (that was so in 2011 when you got medical treatment for free because you were poor). The "Affordable Health Care Act" made healthcare less affordable to many people.
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