Obamacare affordability seems iffy

At a recent Baton Rouge Press Club meeting I attended, speaker Jim Donelon, Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance, in answer to a question, said that under Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, 800,000 poor people in Louisiana would then be eligible to buy health insurance.

When asked by another questioner how many of those 800,000 would actually then be able to afford health insurance at the Obamacare discounted rate for them, he said, in effect, it’s anybody’s guess.

So, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, all those people who will continue to be so poor that they will continue to have to choose between buying food or buying medicine, choices for which no penalty is assessed, will then have to choose between buying medicine or buying food or buying health insurance, in which case, if they choose not to buy health insurance, they will have to pay an annual fine each year they choose not to buy the insurance. Excuse me, but where’s the affordability in that? Seems iffy, at best, to me.

The thing that is certain is that premiums will go up for all those who can afford to buy health insurance now. Therein lies the demagoguery of those who push for the Affordable Health Care Act. That increase will invariably make health care unaffordable to some of those who currently can afford health insurance, the numbers of which are as unknown as the number of those who, continuing to live in situations whereby they have to choose between buying food or medicine, will be able to afford to buy health care under Obamacare or afford to pay the annual fine assessed under Obamacare for not buying it. Again, where’s the affordability there?

But, after those for whom premiums will rise under Obamacare to the point that they can no longer afford them, have no alternative but to buy at the Obamacare discounted rate, those who push the need for the Affordable Care Act will be able to say, “See! We told you so! Look at all these people who once couldn’t afford health insurance now flocking to buy insurance under the affordable Obamacare plan, which they can afford.” What a brilliant, built-in marketing plan and justification for the sale of any product!

From a marketing standpoint, and as a registered Independent voter who is reserving judgment, waiting to see how Obamacare, if passed, impacts my premium rates, I am truly impressed.

Mike Bourgeois

writer

Baton Rouge