Could ObamaCare Make The Uninsured Problem Worse?

from Investors Business Daily – John Merline –

When President Obama was selling health reform, he often talked about providing universal coverage. But a Congressional Budget Office report out this week finds that goal getting more elusive.

The report found that despite ObamaCare’s $1.2 trillion price tag, it would only cut the ranks of the uninsured in half, leaving 30 million without coverage. That’s seven million more uninsured than the CBO first projected in March 2010.

The latest downgrade comes in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, which gave states the freedom to reject ObamaCare’s massive expansion of Medicaid. Since then, governors in more than 25 states have said they will refuse to expand Medicaid or are leaning in that direction, despite the generous federal contributions.

But the uninsured problem under ObamaCare could be much worse than the CBO projects.

What the report doesn’t cover is the fact that the other legs of the ObamaCare stool designed to expand insurance coverage — the individual mandate, the employer mandate and the state insurance exchanges — are also buckling.

As a result, ObamaCare will likely cover far fewer uninsured than advertised. There’s even a chance that, if all goes wrong, it could actually make the uninsured problem worse.

The individual mandate, for example, is a cornerstone of ObamaCare’s effort to expand coverage. But tax experts who’ve studied how the IRS will enforce the mandate conclude that it’s likely to be ineffective, because the law makes it virtually impossible for the IRS to collect the tax penalty from those who don’t pay it.

Under normal circumstances, the IRS has broad powers to collect taxes from those who don’t pay what they owe. It can charge civil and criminal penalties, impose liens, and seize assets and bank accounts.

But ObamaCare specifically blocks the IRS from using these enforcement tools when it comes to collecting any unpaid ObamaCare tax penalties.

These restrictions “make it unlikely the IRS can effectively enforce the individual mandate,” according to a detailed analysis of the tax penalty by Jordan Barry and Bryan Camp, law professors at the University of San Diego and Texas Tech University, respectively.

“The individual mandate,” they conclude, “may not actually be mandatory after all.”

The problem is that if the mandate doesn’t work, ObamaCare could make the uninsured problem worse, at least in the individual insurance market.

That’s because ObamaCare’s insurance market reforms — called “guaranteed issue” and “community rating” — force insurers to cover anyone, regardless of their health status, while forbidding them from charging the sick more than the healthy.

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Mary Kate Von Mittel
8 years ago

We are being ripped off! My Healthcare costs have quadrupled in the past 4 years with 2 increases in 2011!! If ya want to regulate something regulate that! Why am I paying more than my Ins. Co. Blue Cross ??! It never used to be this way! These Health Ins. companies are charging what ever they want! I make $13 an hour and I pay $250 per mo. in Health Care + $40-$70 to see a Dr. + 20% + a $2500 deductible!! Four years ago I paid $65 per mo. with no deductible and no 20%. I got a… Read more »

Larry Rambo
8 years ago

A short concise answer-yes. Everything Obama does is in someway beneficial only to him,

Dr. David Bankston
8 years ago

Concerning the “full price” of medical care for those without insurance. I recently was told by a friend that an MRI would be $2000 and I told him to negotiate a cash price which would be around $500. (which my former practice would do) There is an MRI scanner on every corner and not enough business so I guarantee you can negotiate the price of services. As to physicians-a recent Fox survey said 83% of physicians want to quit under Obamacare-and I just did. Good luck to us all finding anyone who will see Medicare.

8 years ago

I am concerned about Medicare. I’m on A&B and have Medicare Advantage. I believe the $500 mil taken out of medicare will affect Advantage program and I may wind up not being able to afford it. Any truth to that?

Eldon Greer
8 years ago

Congress members, government workers, labor union bosses, President and other special interest groups be exempted from any benefits such as medical, retiement or other laws and taxes. Every one should be on the same page. Self interest, greed and power will destroy our country. What happenrd to the integrity, honorabality, moral humanity and true justic for all. Very Conservative Democrats.

Devon Stavrowsky
8 years ago

I had what was essentially lifetime coverage, through a group retirement annuity program that I paid into for 25 years. I paid in about 80,000.00 over that period. When Obamacare came out, the my healthcare rates went up so high (nearly a 100% increase) I could no longer afford membership, and if I’m not in that particular program (i.e., if I buy my own healthcare insurance), I don’t get the benefit from the group annuity. I tried, nonetheless, to buy some level of coverage on my own. I was refused because of a “pre-existing condition”. I know they are not… Read more »

8 years ago

You know there’s something wrong with a law when the people making the rules (Democrats) make sure they don’t have to follow them.

george cuddy
8 years ago

I did not vote for him , i blame the entire republican party for this clown being in the white house.,
no-one knows who he is or where he came from , says he went to college no-one cane back him up on that.
but the truth is that not one GOP senator that i know of would challange him . draft records ??? did he ever vote ?

8 years ago

Don’t forget that O-care will be great for the employment problem!!! If and when you do get to see a Dr. there will be at least 3 government employees sitting in the room with you to decide whether or not the Doctors ideas of needed treatment for you meet the “guidelines” and are “cost effective” for you at your age???!!!

8 years ago

I agree with Jean, the stated charges on all medical bills are crazy. Even before I retired and went on Medicare, I was insured thru my company with Aetna. Every “Explanation of Benefits” form they sent me showed what each medical practicioner “charged” along with a MUCH smaller amount that the insurance company paid, and I usually owed nothing. So if everyone with insurance pays a fraction of the “charge”, is there anyone who pays the full amount? If not, why not put reasonable charages on the bill?

8 years ago

I don’t understand how the Obamacare legislation can provide more services and establish many more gov’t agencies and say that health care will be cheaper.

8 years ago

This is a great article. The original number of uninsured that they threw out was 46 million. Of that number, 16 million were illegals and not even addressed in this bill. Then another 10 million or so were going to be covered under Medicaid expansion. Even with a very liberal count, the mandate was only going to directly affect the 20 million that are now uninsured by choice (at least they make enough income to not be covered by Medicaid now or with the expansion). So basically what this plan does is tear up our healthcare system for 20 million… Read more »

8 years ago

Obamacare is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is about 20% healthcare and 80% transfer of power to the federal government. The 20% healthcare is only there as the misdirestion in this slight-of-hand. More government and power is what it’s all about. My St. James version of the Holy Bible has1500 pages of text, written in somewhat unfamiliar language that theologians and scholars have debated and argued over for hundreds of years. Obamacare is 2700 pages of text, written in an equally unfamiliar legalese, designed to provide government attorneys and lawmakers with the power to do nearly anything and everything… Read more »

8 years ago

Everything this present administration and his entourage of evil touches makes everything worse!!! Takes the good and replaces it with evil. Takes the truth and replaces it with lies. Pray people, pray and fast and make your voices heard.

8 years ago

up front we were told that obamacare (a misnomer since he exempted himself) we could add 30,000,000 people to the health care rolls without any rise in taxes or insurance rates… God help us that we are surround by people who believed it!?

what do we call an IQ below zero?

8 years ago

Now think just for a minute. I know I am preaching to the choir but how many idiots are there in the United States that cheered this 1,400+ pages that morphed from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to the 2,700+ pages of the Affordable Care Act? I heard it over and over again that we need to “do it for the children” or some such nonsense but by the White House Solicitor General’s own admission in front of justices that do what, I have no idea, was that 80% of the population had health insurance that they liked.… Read more »

8 years ago

Medicare and insurance is already confusing as it is! This complicated and convoluted set of requirements is nothing more than a means to push government on of us! I’m not on Medicare(YET), but my spouse is and when I see what it pays compared to what the bill is, it makes me believe that the way Docs and Hospitals bill for procedures is a major area that needs to be looked into. Even with private insurance, with the PPOs and HMOs, the agreements of what is paid vs what is charged gives on pause as to why not just charge… Read more »

Bill Snyder
8 years ago

Covering the “sick” without charging a higher premiumm is known as “adverse selection”; it could put underwriters on the unemployment rolls. Sebelius HHS mandate has already caused Franciscan University inn Steubenville, Ohio to drop student health plans. There are ways to achieve health care for more people. Encourage “pro bono”. especially by retired health care personal. Genuine malpractice needs to be subject to tort type law; but frivolous lawsuits cause higher costs; and discourage some from entering health care. A man whose son is in pre-pharmacy, was told by a pharmacist: “unless you have a burning desire to be a… Read more »

8 years ago

EVERYTHING ovomit touches makes us ALL worse off; this has nothing to do with healthcare, only about control and power!!

8 years ago

Here’s a question nobody seems to know the answer to: I get Medicare Part A, and have chosen not to get any other Medicare. I don’t have any other health insurance. Will I be forced to get more health insurance or pay the mandate?

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