Premium increases for the Obamacare healthcare reform law may depend on the type of coverage a person receives, and in accordance with the laws of the state and regional location. While some areas of the country will proffer great changes in their co-pays, deductibles and service providers, others might bare witness to a minimal amount of alterations in costs and coverage. In order to reduce premiums, insurers have configured a narrow selection of doctors and hospitals. Private, government-subsidized plans, in essence, offer less of a choice for consumers. With the enrollment deadline of March 31 fast approaching, over 5 million people have signed up since Oct. 1. That, says Obama, is potentially enough people to see that the new law he put into place actually works.
According to the law, annual and lifetime caps on essential coverage are to be removed; coverage is to be provided for dependents up to the age of 26; 85% of premiums are to be spent on medical costs; and the exclusion of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions is banned. Obama went on the record last week to support his politically inflamed attempt at reforming this county’s healthcare system. He claimed that as the exchanges and marketplaces grew, the costs would drop. Younger consumers, he said, could end up paying as little as $50 a month, with government subsidies in place, and for good coverage.
The average premium increase in the individual marketplace saw an increase of 15 percent in the year before Obamacare. Five years prior to Obamacare, an increase in employer-based family premiums, on average, showed a 4.8 percent increase; since the implementation of the “Affordable Care Act,” there has been an average annual increase of 5.9 percent in employer-based family premiums. The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimated that, by 2018, 158 million Americans will be receiving coverage through their employers — 7 million less than if the law had not been passed. Most of the political in-fighting and public consternation with the bill, perhaps, is related to each and every individual’s cause for concern, with how much or how little they will be medically covered, or how different, if at all, this all-encompassing law will eventually be costing them.
Yet to be fully discerned are the results of these new changes, on each side of the political spectrum, as they are slowly realized upon the rest of the population. Into the future, as Obamacare is executed throughout the Union, the outcry and the compliance is sure to differ among the people of this dividing nation, which was founded upon the rights to freely exist, and to be wholly expressive of speech, opinions and values. Whether premium costs increase or not is beholden to the economic interests of supply and demand. If the people want to discredit the president for a law that they are against, it is their right to redress for their grievances. However, when such laws are implemented, they are expected to be followed. Arguably the greatest point in the foundation of this country was the explicit freedom of choice. If that is perceived to be hindered upon by a law that intervenes so privately in the lives of the average American, then it is the duty of the individual to achieve what he or she feels necessary to change. Deciding to participate in the discourse and reform of a constitutional Republic is the platform of democracy that this law is purported to preserve, a fact that continues to be disputed.
Opinion By Bryan William Myers