For the second year in a row, my health insurance plan, like that of millions of other Americans, was discontinued because of the federalization of health insurance, known as “Obamacare,” inconveniencing me into again having to find another plan by a deadline on relatively short notice.
See my post from May of last year, The Victimization of Cinfici by Obamacare, http://williamcinfici.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-victimization-of-cinfici-by.html, in which I note the dramatic increase in both my premium and deductible for relatively little advantage.
I also experienced this year how non-user-friendly the federal website for shopping for health insurance is, as it repeatedly led me in circles, among other problems, such as its inability to allow the visitor to go back to certain previous pages. The site had infamously crashed at its inception and caused other problems, but the media has not reported any ongoing problems.
The premium of the new health insurance plan is 25.85% higher than the old one, meaning that my premium has increased 175.67% in only 17 months, which represents an annualized inflation rate of 124.43%. The pre-Obamacare plan I had until mid-2014 did not cover as many unnecessary items as are required under Obamacare, and I had the option to exchange a higher deductible for a lower premium, which I am not permitted today. The increases in the premium are greater than the value of more covered preventative care benefits. I would not have chosen such an expensive plan, as lower premiums would have made any necessary care more affordable and I did not need to be incentivized by a paternalistic federal government to seek preventative care. Like my current plan, my previous plan was cancelled, even though I was satisfied with it and liberal Democratic President Barack Obama had promised that people could keep their health insurance plans if they liked them.
Obama’s quasi-socialist federalization of health insurance is a thinly-veiled form of wealth redistribution, even apart from the massive increase in subsidization through Medicaid, as the increases in premiums on the middle class and wealthy are paying for those who are poor, and those who take care of their health are forced to subsidize those who do not adequately take care of themselves, instead of being rewarded with lower premiums for being less of a risk. There are numerous other problems associated with Obamacare, such as higher costs for the federal and state governments, a tax on medical devices, less choice for patients of healthcare providers and other interference in the doctor-patient relationship and the providing of care.
Conservatives should continue to work for the total repeal of Obamacare and the elimination of the federal restriction on interstate purchases of health insurance, as well as for federal and state tort form. In addition, federal and state tax policies should encourage the complete separation of health insurance from employment, by at least taxing employer-provided health insurance as income, which would eliminate the current unfairness for those who purchase their own insurance; such changes would make many patients appreciate better the costs of health care and thus to incentivize them in a non-paternalistic way to be healthier by avoiding unhealthy lifestyles and seeking preventative care and to make more fiscally-responsible decisions by avoiding unnecessary healthcare spending.