Review: "Obamacare Deploys New Apps, Allies to Persuade the Uninsured" – NPR
This interview was posted on NPR's Morning Edition by Alison Kodjak.
The push to obtain insurance is a red herring because insurance does not guarantee access to health care. So for the government to spend millions of dollar to market apps and run a Web page – well, it all seems incredibly wasteful.
"[HHS] plans to use email, text messages, Facebook and online ads to convince the holdouts to get insurance." Doesn't this all seem a bit of a government overreach for an outcome that's not guaranteed?
The article goes on to explain that people drop their ACA plan when they become employed, which sounds great but is super expensive for the business owner and decreases job mobility for the employee. They also make the point that there are lots of people who aren't signing up and are "harder to lure – and harder to keep."
One ear-catching paragraph says, "others say they dropped their Obamacare health coverage because they found the plans too confusing, too expensive or not worth it."
I cringe when I see it referred to as Obamacare because I am a big fan of this President; but then I remind myself that expanding a broken system, however well-intentioned, only leads to more brokenness.
P.S.Y.C.H. will promote a clear understanding of costs. Between the state-established charge master and clear "menu pricing" by providers, patients will know beforehand what they are agreeing to when they are receiving care.
Under P.S.Y.C.H., the article's comment that "several people say they were dropped from their health plan's rolls without warning" won't be an issue because there will be no universal insurance system. You can elect to have personal catastrophic insurance if you choose, but that will be your personal decision based on your income and lifestyle choices.
The $695 per adult penalty that will be levied at tax time next year is pretty steep. When I think about that figure –
There are 318,000,000 people in the U.S. (as of 2014, according to Census bureau)
73,458,000 are under 18 years old and 46,110,000 are over 65.
If you subtract these folks from the total, you have 198,432,000 adults.
Let's say 98,432,000 are exempt from the penalty due to disability, etc.
That leaves 100,000,000 to pay $695/year.
That's a $69.5 billion threat.
Couldn't people use that $69.5 billion for their own health needs throughout the year?
The best paragraph in the whole piece speaks to the fact that Americans are indeed smart enough to manage their own health care decisions. This is the very core of P.S.Y.C.H.: "'I only visit two doctors a year, and only receive one monthly prescription that – prior to having insurance – cost me 80 bucks a month,' Higgs writes. 'I think paying directly for the doctor visits and prescriptions is cheaper right now than having insurance.'"