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Health Insurance Costs Rising Question & Answers

2013 December 29
by Sarah Fields

Carol asks…

Most discussions about health care reform focus on efforts to expand the?

Most discussions about health care reform focus on efforts to expand the number of people who are covered by health insurance. Yet the current system does not work well even for those who do have coverage. Costs continue to rise at an unsustainable rate even though health plans increasingly shift costs to patients and restrict coverage. In your opinion what are the implications of health care reform on ambulatory care services? You may select one setting and describe the potential negative and/or positive effects.

Sarah Fields answers:

Number of people on Medicaid
I have a couple of questions about that: first, will there be an asset limit, or just an income limit? Traditionally one was not eligible for welfare programs like Medicaid if one had more than a certain amount of assets, including savings and the value of ones vehicle. I have not found anything regarding asset limits in any discussions of the proposed health plan. It is possible for someone to have significant assets but low income- they should have to contribute to the cost of their coverage.

Secondly, will there be any real attempt to get adults with severe disabilities, who qualify for Medicaid, off of waiting lists for services they need (I am talking about waiting lists for waiver programs) before expanding Medicaid to other, non-disabled individuals? If not, why not?

I do hope they finally crack down on fraud- like when people with assets move them around so they can qualify for welfare (Medicaid) long-term care. The easiest way to do this would be to expand the interval between giving away assets and qualifying for Medicaid. 10 years ought to do it. Why would any older person in their right mind want to give away assets they might need for their future long-term care??? I do not intend to and I certainly do not expect my parents to do so (not that they would!). Their money is theirs to do whatever they want with.

Richard asks…

Are health care costs rising only in certain states but not in others?

Unless health care costs are rising in only some states whereas other states have seen no difference isn’t the conservative proposal of competitive deregulation oops I meant allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines not solving the problem at all?

Sarah Fields answers:

Well, you’re one of the few liberals I’ve read that seems to understand that insurance is not the problem. The problem is health care costs. As health care costs rise, insurance rises since it is insurance that pays these costs. Insurance does not increase the cost of health care, it is merely symptomatic of it.

And no. Allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines will not solve the problem. In order to solve the problem you need to address the underlying issues that are resulting in the increase in health CARE costs that insurance is responsible for paying.

And, as you point you…although it was not your intention…nothing that the democrats have done addresses this fundamental, core issue. And, until we do, both health care costs and insurance will continue to rise.

That is why I opposed every line of the democrat’s bill. It costs a trillion and buys us nothing. I can’t help but think that they knew this going in. They’re not THAT stupid, are they?

Sandy asks…

Can any of you prove your health insurance premiums went up because of ObamaCare?

“Leading Republicans in Congress are blaming the new health care law for double-digit rate increases being sought by insurance companies in Washington state, New York and Connecticut. But insurance regulators, leading health care experts and the companies themselves mostly blame an old culprit: rising medical costs.

“Improved benefits required by the new law are responsible for a relatively small portion of the increases. Furthermore, the increases apply mostly to those buying policies individually, not the majority who get private insurance through employers. Those with employer-provided plans won’t see as much of an increase in premiums, since many of their policies already include the required benefits, a spokesman for an insurance trade association told us.”

Sarah Fields answers:

ObamaCare was done BECAUSE the health premiums have been going up so much.

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