Much of the excitement about Obamacare boils down to the reality that we have found another way to hide the cost of health care. The nice low premiums that we will have to pay on the “exchanges” do not include the amount that the government pays in subsidy and do not reveal the deductibles or copays. In point of fact, the cost of one’s health care is not covered by the amount stated.
“I will pay only $74.75 per month for health care,” a writer gleefully crows. Actually, the writer will pay that for health insurance, without ever receiving one drop of actual health care. The government will pay a good deal more than that to complete the payment for health insurance, and still no health care has been delivered. When actual health care is required, the writer will incur additional expense for the deductible, and even after the deductible is met, the insurance will cover only a percentage of the health care cost.
We rant about how expensive health care is and about “bending the curve” of that cost, but we are actually happy if we can merely hide the cost and/or let someone else pay it.
One correspondent was rejoicing over obtaining a policy on the exchange at a lower premium than he had been paying. When questioned further, it turned out that the old policy had a $1000 deductible and the new one had a $5000 deductible. He was saving $2200 per year to obtain a policy with a $4000 higher deductible, and so while he would pay $2200 less in premiums he would pay $4000 more in out-of-pocket cost, so the only way he saves money is if he doesn’t get sick. He was basing his health insurance decision on the assumption that he would not incur health care costs, and getting all excited about health insurance while assuming that he didn’t actually need it.
Our decision making ability in this country is badly impaired.