Just wait ’til next year.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, former George H.W. Bush Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Michael Boskin outlines in stunning detail the horror set to unfold as Obamacare really starts to kick in next year.
Hide the children. Here are the gory details.
Didn’t read the fine print on you insurance? Took the “do nothing and automatically re-enroll” option and renewed your plan without looking at next year’s rates?
Well, get set to find out about those higher deductibles as you stand at the doctor’s office reception desk. And then learn of your new deductible when you get the Explanation of Benefits and a bill – yes, a BILL – for the full amount of your procedure.
Meanwhile, the shock of losing your doctor goes from the realm of theory to the harsh cold world of reality as insurers try to limit their losses from the older, less-well patients likely to over-enlist in Obamacare. Networks will become more restrictive as insurers jettison the best doctors and hospitals, reducing the quality of your health care.
That’s business. Which of course is a concept ignored by Obamacare, which assumes people will offer the same services for a lower price.
There will be suffering – physical suffering – among those who currently have insurance, implies Boskin:
Next year, millions must choose among unfamiliar physicians and hospitals, or paying more for preferred providers who are not part of their insurance network. Some health outcomes will deteriorate from a less familiar doctor-patient relationship.
Just try calling for an appointment in January, and you’ll get that sound over the phone we all love . . . “His first available is in June.”
There will be longer waits for hospital visits, doctors’ appointments and specialist treatment, as more people crowd fewer providers.
But you’ll have more time to call around, since you might be working part time – or not at all – as your company attempts to pare its workforce to escape Obamacare mandates.
And watch for that exciting, little known new feature of Obamacare that we’ll all soon behold, The Insurance Company Bailouts! Step right this way!
That’s right. If insurers’ costs are too high because they’re taking care of all those new patients in poor health, you, taxpayer, must foot the bill.
If, as many predict, too few healthy young people sign up for insurance that is overpriced in order to subsidize older, sicker people, the insurance market will unravel in a “death spiral” of ever-higher premiums and fewer signups. The government, through taxpayer-funded “risk corridors,” is on the hook for billions of dollars of potential insurance-company losses. This will be about as politically popular as bank bailouts.
Further malaise in coming after 2014.
Your local services will go down – less for education and transportation – and taxes will go up as states struggle in a few years to pay for Obamacare’s vast Medicaid expansion.
The medical profession will become a wasteland.
On the supply side, medicine will become a far less attractive career for talented young people. More doctors will restrict practice or retire early rather than accept lower incomes and work conditions they did not anticipate. Already, many practices are closed to Medicaid recipients, some also to Medicare. The pace of innovation in drugs, medical devices and delivery is expected to slow significantly, as higher taxes and even rationing set in.
There is, of course, a silver lining. The failed Obamacare website is actually an emblem of the atrocious thinking that has gone into our new health care system. It is government planning gone too far and finally revealed for what it is.
This is all going to get so bad, so fast, that repeal will become a very real and popular option. But not before 2017, when Obama is gone, and the misery has already piled up far too high.