READER COMMENTS ON
"Health Care Spending Flattens Since Passage of 'Obamacare', Corporate Media Fail to Notice"
(14 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 11/24/2013 @ 9:27 pm PT...
Healthcare Spending is down because of the economic crisis, not obamacare. Millions of people, however, are about to have far less discretionary spending power directly due to the largest tax increase in our history: obamacare.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 11/25/2013 @ 10:20 am PT...
As Ipsophakto pointed out spending is down due to the rapacious Republican policies which led directly to the Republican Recession the Nation is still mired in today.
Coupled with Conservative Vulture Capitalism and Americans are suffering from the effects of having right-wing nut jobs run the Nation solely for the benefit of the 1%.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 11/25/2013 @ 12:25 pm PT...
I'm in WA. State and just got info yesterday about the added benefits to my current health care starting January 1st 2014. I have Dental again, expanded Mental Health coverage plus some others. It's better than the road we were on and the more people who find out the better! And Cheers to Vermont I believe who has gone to a full Single Payer system!
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 11/25/2013 @ 4:24 pm PT...
Hells Bells, I'm a nurse and I've helped my parents and now friends dye so I might know some thin GGGG. The dysfunction in this country can be made clearer by DIRECT VOTE BY BALLOTS. It is much harder to fake an election by ballot stuffing, WHEN YOU HAVE THE SMARTS TO COUNT THE BALLOT AT THE PRECINCT BY US FOLKS.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 11/25/2013 @ 4:29 pm PT...
GET RID OF ELECTRONIC VOTE BY CITIZEN PARTICIPATION. Seriously.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 11/25/2013 @ 5:49 pm PT...
It is not beyond us to do our own best work, making elections on paper ballots and counted by citizens of all parties! The tally should be sacred...and verifiable.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 11/26/2013 @ 7:06 am PT...
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 11/26/2013 @ 10:33 am PT...
Ipsophakto @1 wrote:
Millions of people, however, are about to have far less discretionary spending power directly due to the largest tax increase in our history: obamacare.
Where did you come up with that one?
Low and lower middle income Americans (those making $26,000 to $94,000/year) are "eligible for tax credits to help cover the cost of a plan. The tax credit caps the amount an individual must pay for the second-lowest-cost silver plan at a certain percentage of family income, ranging from 2 percent of income at the poverty level to 9.5 percent of income at four times the poverty level."
While Brad cited a number of my articles that were highly critical of Obamacare because the subsidies flow to the coffers of the private health insurance industry when what is truly needed is a single-payer system that eliminates those parasitic and unnecessary middle men, the fact is that the ACA represents a marked improvement over the so-called free market alternative that the GOP would have us return to.
Brad points to the fact that insurance premiums rose far more rapidly pre-ACA. What he didn't directly note, but what is truly worthy of mention is that Republicans want us to return to a system that was so corrupt and dysfunctional that, per a 2009 Harvard University study, nearly 45,000 Americans were dying each year simply because they can't afford coverage.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 11/27/2013 @ 12:37 pm PT...
better than it was,yes but for my household the premium plus yearly out of pocket is 33% of our pre tax income
before aca we were uninsurable due to pre existing conditions,now the cost makes us uninsurable
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 11/27/2013 @ 5:12 pm PT...
Karen: My comment @8 solely addressed the fact-free claim by Ipsophakto @1 that the ACA would produce "the largest tax increase in our history."
My comment, by no means, was intended as an endorsement of the ACA, which I previously described as a "legislative obscenity."
At the time the ACA was enacted, there were 47 million Americans who had no coverage whatsoever. The ACA was designed to expand coverage only to 18 million of the 47 million, at a cost of $461 billion in insurance company subsidies.
Republicans offer nothing but a return to the previous, so called "free market" system that was killing some 45,000 Americans each year because they couldn't afford coverage, while others, who were insured only to find their carriers would not authorize a procedure if they claimed there was a pre-existing condition.
My position on what is truly needed can be found in Single-Payer and the 'Democracy Deficit'
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 11/29/2013 @ 11:21 am PT...
first please know I have followed your work ,respect it and agree single payer is what we need but while the aca cost may not technically be called tax increases, since the money goes to insurance and health care providers, not the government, it is the biggest government mandated spending increase in my lifetime.........we clearly need to have a national dialogue about what percent of income is responsible and reasonable to pay towards healthcare,,,
because the writers of the bill clearly got it wrong
the article about the speakers premium cost kind of illustrates the problem, even tho his house makes 100 grand more in income (just from his house salary) than my house,we would be charged the same premium
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 11/29/2013 @ 4:48 pm PT...
No, Karen. The biggest mandated spending increase in your lifetime were the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, whose estimated cost is now $6 trillion.
Compared to that, federal spending on the ACA, Medicare and Social Security combined amounts to pocket change.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 11/29/2013 @ 7:25 pm PT...
Ernie & Karen - Allow me to slide in the middle here...
Ernie, I don't think spending on the wars makes the various social programs you mention look like "chump change" at all. Those social programs are much larger and cost much more --- unless you're talking about increase in spending. By that measure, yes, increase in spending has been higher for the wars during our lifetime than that for Medicare, Social Security etc.
Karen - How much do you currently pay per month for health care insurance? (You don't actually have to answer.) Whatever that cost, if it is anything, your "mandated increase" is almost certainly zero, as it will be for the vast majority of Americans. Moreover, taken as a whole, Americans are likely to find a decrease in overall spending on healthcare per capital via the ACA. At least if it works as designed (and I see little reason to believe, at this point anyway, that it won't.)
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 11/30/2013 @ 8:44 am PT...
Brad: The words I used were "biggest mandated spending increase" as opposed to percentages of the federal budget.
The $6 trillion price tag for the Iraq/Afghanistan wars is in addition to the $681 billion annual Pentagon budget.
Obviously, the combination of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid account for the largest portion of the annual budget, but those items were not increased by reason of the ACA.
So the notion that the ACA accounted for the largest tax increase in our lifetimes is flat out wrong. The $461 billion in insurance subsidies per the ACA pale in comparison to the $6 trillion squandered on those two wars of choice --- with neocons still pushing for a third war with Iran.
As to whether the ACA will produce a decrease in per capita healthcare spending, the best that can be said is that the jury is still out on that. It has certainly slowed annual increases.
The only system that would guarantee a reduction in per capita healthcare spending is single-payer, especially one that entailed strict price controls for prescription medications and medical procedures.
While the ACA contains significant improvements over the GOP "free market" alternative that left 47 million uninsured, killed nearly 45,000 Americans each year simply because they couldn't afford coverage, and killed untold more when carriers denied authorization for vital procedures based upon, among others, preexisting conditions, there is no escaping the reality that the ACA was the product of a fool's errand.
Obama and Baucus sought the impossible by attempting to simultaneously increase affordable coverage, yet satisfy the insatiable greed of the health insurance industry which accounts for 31% of U.S. healthcare spending as opposed to administrative costs of 1% to 2% in single payer countries.
Former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis famously observed: "We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
The same rationale applies to healthcare.
We can either have a national healthcare program that treats the health and lives of our citizens as paramount, or we can have a wasteful system where the profits of the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries (not to mention the wealth of their CEOs and Wall Street investors) are paramount, but we can't have both.