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ObamaCare Careens Off the Tracks

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As October 1 approaches, Americans are getting a closer look at the cost of dysfunction on Capitol Hill. The promises about Obamacare, such as “you can keep your own doctor” and “the average family will pay less,” have all been exposed as fraud.

The cold, dark reality is that employers are dumping coverage. Networks of physicians and hospitals are scarce. And increased deductible payments are taking a chunk out of what’s left of the middle class.

As I write, it’s a beautiful fall day here in St. Louis, where I’m attending a board meeting and visiting close friends. But the newspaper is full of stories about upset parents whose Obamacare-sanctioned Blue Cross plan won’t include access to the excellent St. Louis Children’s Hospital or the highly rated Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

In St. Louis, as in most other metro areas with more than 500,000 people, the top-rated institutions have decided they don’t want the revenue cut that comes with servicing the Obamacare clientele.

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Sadly, this reaffirms something D.C. insiders have known for a while: Obamacare is creating a de facto two-tiered system of healthcare. The wealthy, the government officials and the connected will be served at different facilities than the rest of us. The best doctors and the newest drugs will only be available to those outside the Obamacare exchanges.

And as time passes, the gulf between these two systems will grow. Healthcare companies that are experts at controlling costs – many of which currently administer Medicaid for the poor – are lining up to write policies in the Obamacare exchanges. On the other hand, old-line health insurance companies and other respected leaders in employer-based policies aren’t even participating in the exchanges.

Sadly, on Capitol Hill, our leaders are turning a deaf ear to complaints. They won’t even make adjustments to the bill despite millions of telephone calls asking for change. Senator Ted Cruz has become something of a folk hero for speaking for 21 hours in hopes of turning the tide. But his cynical fellow senators just laughed and ignored the people’s outrage.

The Worst is Yet to Come

When the plans kick in this January, the really disturbing revelations will come. That’s when Americans will see out-of-pocket costs soar, even after they’ve ponied up for the higher premiums. A family could have to pay as much as $12,700 before they see the annual cap on out-of-pocket costs.

For those under 65, you’ll pay more for lower-quality care. Period. And unless you’re really connected or rich, you won’t be seeing the best doctors. If you’re over 65, get ready for the cuts in Medicare to really hurt, particularly Medicare advantage plans. Doctors are moving in droves to cut the number of Medicare patients they see.

One solution to the problem is to consider concierge medicine. But if you can’t afford the concierge system, expect to wait longer and have fewer choices in the future.

Punch, Counterpunch

Do you believe, like I do, that Obamacare was built to fail? I sincerely believe that the cynical socialists who crafted the Obamacare bill wish to end health insurance and replace our system of healthcare delivery with a single-payer, government-run system.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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