33. State Healthcare Exchanges 1
So Obamacare claims it will insure “everyone”. Well, we’ve already shown that that’s not true. This law plans to expand Medicaid and other government-run insurance programs in order to insure another 30 million or so Americans, but how? Well, through the establishment of State Healthcare Exchanges. Each state is supposed to set up yet another government bureaucracy that will act essentially like an insurance brokerage, helping folks to find an insurance plan that works for them. Sounds good, right? What could be wrong with that? Lots of things!
First of all, we don’t need them! We have thousands of private insurance agents who make their living providing advice and guidance on insurance products that individuals or businesses can access for their healthcare. There are problems with the system, granted, but the agents themselves, and their role, is not one of those problems.
The REAL purpose of the Obamacare exchanges is to distribute our taxpayer dollars to people who go thru the exchange for their health insurance. Unless a patient goes thru the exchange, they won’t be eligible for what is called a “premium subsidy”: money to help them pay for the very expensive policies that everyone will be required to buy under the law. According to Obamacare, a family making up to $89,000 a year can qualify for money to help them pay for their insurance policy—a policy that the government forces them to purchase or face a penalty of thousands of dollars a year. And with an expected premium price of $13-20,000 per year, it’s not a wonder that they’ll need help paying for it!
If an insurance exchange is such a great idea, and so necessary, let the insurance companies, or some other private entity, do it. Oh wait, they already have done it! Ehealthinsurance.com is an online business that already does that! In fact, the state of Louisianna already uses ehealthinsurance.com for their state insurance exchange—they’ve had it running for years. It cost about $1.5 million to set up and about $1 million per year to run. Contrast that to the $45 million that Colorado is already set to spend setting up their exchange—taxpayer dollars mind you. And Colorado doesn’t even know how much it’ll cost in taxpayer dollars to continue to run it every year after that. Do you hear a giant sucking sound? That’s the money being sucked out of your child’s college fund, or your retirement account.
So the government will be spending billions of dollars of our hard-earned money to pay for a bureaucracy we don’t need, to force us to buy insurance we don’t want, at a price that we can’t afford. Are you kidding me??
34. State Health Exchanges 2
The implementation of Obamacare hinges on the establishment of healthcare exchanges in every state. Without the exchanges, Obamacare would be unenforceable, impotent. These exchanges will be either government or non-profit private entities. The policies they will offer will be required to meet the criteria of what they are calling a “qualified health plan”—that is, a plan that includes a set list of mandates or coverages. We already talked about the fact that the more coverages that are included in an insurance policy, the more expensive the premiums are. The final official list of mandates hasn’t been released yet, but when the law was passed, the list included things like emergency care, hospitalization, mental health services, maternity and newborn care, pediatric services and vaccinations, preventive services, things like that. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need maternity care or pediatric services. But anyone getting a policy thru the exchange will have to pay for it. With a few minor exceptions, all policies offered thru an exchange will be the same—there’s almost no flexibility. No policies sold thru the exchange can offer fewer coverages—which would make them more affordable of course—nope, can’t have that.
So, how are all the states doing with setting up these exchanges? The deadline to submit a plan to the Secretary of HHS is November 13, 2012, so they don’t have much time. As of Sept 12, 2012, 18 states and the District of Columbia have agreed to set up exchanges. So 32 states are either refusing to set up an exchange, or they’re waiting to see what happens with this election. But get this—not one state has a completed plan for an exchange that has been approved by the government yet! Not one.
Now, if a state doesn’t set up an Exchange that’s acceptable to Secretary Sebelius, the Federal government will supposedly come in and set one up. So much for states’ rights, the 10th Amendment. Funny thing is tho’—according to the Obamacare law, if an exchange is set up by the Fed, there can’t be any premium subsidies or penalties on employers. Well now, that just negates the whole purpose for the exchanges, doesn’t it! So now, President Obama has decided that he can ignore what the law says and just give the right to distribute subsidies and penalize employers to the IRS—which is apparently not supposed to be allowed under our laws. Does this administration think that they can just make up the laws? Force sovereign states to set up bureaucracies that they’ll have to pay for? Force American citizens to purchase a product just because the Democrats think they should? That’s exactly what they think. And that’s exactly why they need to be voted out of office.
(Note: This commentary is by Dr. Jill Vecchio.)