Monday, February 9, 2015

UNINSURED BALK AT OBAMACARE BITE




Half of ACA eligible adults still lack coverage due to cost.  Yes, and they will pay a penalty starting in 2015 for not being able to afford the  Affordable Care Act.


When it became obvious a couple of years ago that Obamacare would accelerate health care inflation, the law’s boosters began claiming that cost control was never its primary goal. PPACA’s promoters had previously promised that it would reduce annual health care expenses by $2,500 per family while improving access and quality of care. But the facts forced them to abandon that pledge and adopt a safer party line. As expressed by the New York Times, the new story goes thus: “At its most basic level, the Affordable Care Act was intended to reduce the number of Americans without health insurance.”
A new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation may cause Obamacare partisans to regret retreating to that position. According to the KFF study, 53 percent of ACA eligible adults who remain uninsured cited cost as the main reason: “When asked why they lacked insurance coverage, more than half of adults who appear to be eligible for assistance volunteered that coverage was too expensive.” That’s right. A law that will cost $2 trillion over the next decade is unable to fulfill the one promise “reform’s” advocates still admit to making on its behalf. Obamacare’s last claim to legitimacy has vanished.

We are told by the President and his fourth estate flunkies that millions have enrolled via Obamacare’s exchanges and, presumably, at least a few have actually done so. But this administration’s habit of promulgating fraudulent enrollment figures makes it difficult to know how many legitimate sign-ups there have been. The folks at the Kaiser Family Foundation, on the other hand, have a good handle on how many failedto make the cut. And a lot of Americans lacked coverage when KFF finished its survey in December: “30 million people reported that they were uninsured as of the date of the interview.”
Adding insult to injury, millions of these people will be forced to pay fines for failing to buy health insurance coverage that Obamacare has rendered unaffordable. As theWall Street Journal explains, “About 2% to 4% of tax filers are expected to have to pay the fine for not having carried insurance in 2014, which is $95 per adult, or 1% of family income.” And the White House is getting nervous. Robert Pear writes in theNew York Times, “Obama administration officials… say they worry that the tax-filing season will generate new anger as uninsured consumers learn that they must pay tax penalties.”

Such is the genius of our Beltway masters. They pass a law that distorts the insurance market so badly that coverage becomes unaffordable, then fine people for failing to buy it. Next, of course, these brilliant statesmen will try to escape the consequences of their meddling by giving special dispensations to those whose lives they have disrupted. Robert Pear continues, “The White House has already granted some exemptions and is considering more to avoid a political firestorm.” The Obama administration is like a drunk driver offering money to someone he has sideswiped so she won’t telephone the police.

Meanwhile, beyond the walls of the Washington rehab ward, the Kaiser Foundation survey contains more bad news about the President’s “signature domestic achievement.” Contrary to the claims of Obama and his media mouthpieces, the fortunate few who can still afford coverage have continued to experience problems finding their way through the labyrinthine Obamacare sign-up process: “Nearly two-thirds of uninsured adults who sought ACA coverage said they had some difficulty with finding out how to apply, filling in the information, assembling the paperwork, or submitting the application.”

All of which suggests that those “news” reports in the legacy media about the rapidly declining uninsured rate should be taken with several metric tons of salt. The Kaiser survey certainly confirms the wisdom of such skepticism. In fact, no less than 20 percent of the uninsured individuals interviewed by KFF lost their insurance after the implementation of Obamacare: “[O]ne in five uninsured adults actually lost coverage in 2014.” Perhaps this is why public opinion surveys have consistently shown that the vast majority of uninsured Americans view the “Affordable Care Act” with a jaundiced eye.


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