Obamacare: Promise vs. Reality

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When the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 after long and brutal political fight in Congress, President Obama and his allies said the law would provide new insurance coverage to more than 30 million Americans. Three years later, as the online health care exchanges that are a centerpiece of the law debuted on Oct. 1, the reality is proving to be far different than the promise. The cumulative effect of political opposition, public confusion and the sheer complexity of launching the largest new entitlement in almost 50 years means many americans who stand to benefit from Obamacare don’t realize it, while millions of others who are uninsured will get no relief at all. and it may be years before anyone can measure success or failure. In the meantime, many Americans are left trying to figure out just what the massive reorganization of the U.S. health care system means for them.

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13 comments
interiorgal
interiorgal

launching the largest new entitlement. Ugh our downfall ENTITLEMENT. I very much dislike that word. sigh..... 

tv_22
tv_22

We had to pass it to know what was in it after all, right?   What a surprise that the media is now reporting on things that opponents to the ACA have predicted would happen all along. 

AaronAM
AaronAM

The promise / lie: "If you want to keep your current health care plan, you can."

The result: The largest class action lawsuit in the history of the United States.

prieten
prieten

Why is Time Mag mindlessly repeating the propaganda that Obamacare has violated its promise? One has to dig in the article to find out it is the Republicans state legislatures, which have refused to expand their Medicaid coverage to the working poor as called for by Obamacare,  that are responsible. Many of these Republican states are in the South, where the working poor like Ms. Cooksey are African-american. We are now once again allowing the Southern States to discriminate against their Black populations, preventing them from participating in Obamacare. Thank you for that, Supreme Court. I hope you are proud to have turned the clock back by allowing these Republican states to opt out of expanding Medicaid.

Llordevil, you are contradicting yourself when you say government health care systems are cheaper because of price controls, but then you say those are not effective at lowering cost. A common characteristic of most government systems (I have experienced both the one in Germany and now in Japan) is that the government negotiates prices with pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment suppliers and doctors. The government has a lot of clout and that is why average per person health care costs are less than $2500 in those countries, compared with $7500 in the USA. That is what the vaunted "fair market" has gotten us. In the USA, you have doctors/hospitals/pharmaceutical cos. in a monopolistic position which they are fighting tooth and nail to defend. I personally think a single payer system like in the UK would have been better than Obamacare, but the insurance industry and the medical industrial complex was too strong.

I wonder why some progressive-minded entrepreneur doesn't step up and create a single payer plan for us to join? Maybe the Democrat controlled states could come up with such a plan, relieve companies of the burden of employee health care coverage, creating incentives for companies to relocate there from the Republican states. They would just have to expand their Medicaid programs to cover all citizens. Doctors, hospitals and the rest of the medical industrial complex could then negotiate prices with the state.

LlordEevil
LlordEevil

People that don't understand healthcare economics needs to leave healthcare alone!  This specially includes Pres Obama.  Since passage of the HMO Act of 1973 people have gravitated toward insurance and the consumer cash market has slowly faded away.  With this prices have risen drastically.  Up until then healthcare inflation stayed roughly equal with normal inflation.  

There are only 2 main reasons prices stay low in healthcare around the world and that is people shopping and/or price controls.   Canada, UK and other European countries aren't cheaper because they have single payer.   They are cheaper because government systems HAVE to use price controls.  We could put the same price controls in our own system if we wanted to, but their are disadvantages to price controls.  One is it is not that effective at lowering cost.  Contrary to popular belief Canada, UK, and many other European healthcare systems have healthcare inflation above that of normal inflation.  It only looks good compared to ours.  The best way of lowering prices is to get the consumer market working on the bottom half of what we can afford and put whatever system in place people want for what people can't afford.... Obamacare, single payer.... whatever....   

Now stop messing with my healthcare you clueless #$*$s! 

DavidM.Higgins
DavidM.Higgins

Young People are being Urged NOT to Sign-Up for Obamacare in an attempt to SABOTAGE the System for Everybody.     THOSE who remain Uninsured who WANT to get Insurance are NOT kept from doing so by OBAMACARE but by EVIL STATES LEGISLATURES that are more Concerned with Playing Politics than the LIVES of People in their State. 

BrennanKing
BrennanKing

Why does this article claim the promise of Obamacare is falling short?  3 of the 4 people pictured will have health insurance, including 1 who thought he wouldn't.   And the fourth is being denied coverage by her state which refuses to expand Medicaid purely in order to oppose Obamacare.  If she were in a state that accepted the Medicaid expansion offered by Obamacare, she'd also be covered.  We will see most of the states that initially refused the Medicaid expansion quietly reversing their position over the next few years as Obamacare becomes a fact of life and there is no more political gain from opposing it.  Or, if she's lucky and Wendy Davis wins the governorship, it could happen quite soon in Texas.  

shouldacouldawoulda
shouldacouldawoulda

Sorry, this lady being a dancer and artist is a choice of a low paid profession.  Hell I'd love that job, but then I am logical enough to know it's not going to put bread on the table.  Instead of taxpayers  supplementing her artistic lifestyle, perhaps she ought to find an art patron.   It amazes me that so many singers. musicians, and artis seem to have an expectation that we should assist them in a career that is hyper competitive, overcrowded, and has an abundance of "free product".   What we need with ACA is more nurses and doctors, not artists with entitlement expecatations.  Earn your own way if you are an artist.

shouldacouldawoulda
shouldacouldawoulda

No one ever asks why daddy isn't pitching in any support money.  Why should the people of Texas spread their already thin medicare dollars due to a unfunded mandate?  Why doesn't this young lady go to the church and the pantry for assistance.

tv_22
tv_22

@BrennanKing It's funny that even though loopholes like this exist in the law, the President and the Democrats refuse to talk about any of it as part of the budget process, which is the only process the House has to bring them to the table (by design in the Constitution). 

Tokalona1a2a3
Tokalona1a2a3

"Why does this article claim the promise of Obamacare is falling short?  3 of the 4 people pictured will have health insurance, including 1 who thought he wouldn't.   And the fourth is being denied coverage by her state which refuses to expand Medicaid purely in order to oppose Obamacare". This comment (and many like it) is what really irks me about ACA supporters.  A state may not want to expand Medicare because it COSTS MONEY which ultimately will be paid by higher property/income/sales taxes. Provisions to subsidize lower income individuals, cover kids longer under parents insurance, nullify pre-existing illness exclusions, tax medical devices etc. COSTS A LOT OF MONEY. Who pays that? HUH? Most ACA supporters and the press in general think ACA detractors and states that do not expand Medicaid are crazy because of all the FREE Federal MONEY. GEEZ! The story did get one thing right: This IS the biggest entitlement expansion in 50 years. I actually would not be as opposed to the ACA if it was equally as radical with health care cost reductions but no such luck. Healthcare expenditures will be 80% of GDP before long.

tv_22
tv_22

@JamesKringel You seem to forget that Boehner is the one that wants to talk about the ACA.  You may have read that there's a government shutdown over this?