I know it sounds crazy, but I would like some economist to do some back of the envelope calculations. It seems to me that Obamacare is unprecedented in that it damages the country and its economy in several different directions at once.
One direction is described by Charles Hugh Smith. Here’s a part of his argument.
The Obamacare Gold Plan would cost us $8,640 more per year. This is a 60% increase. It could be argued that the meds coverage is worth more, but since we don’t have any meds that cost more than $8 per bottle at Costco (i.e. generics), the coverage is meaningless to us.
The real unsubsidized cost of Obamacare for two healthy adults ($23,244 annually) exceeds the cost of rent or a mortgage for the vast majority of Americans. Please ponder this for a moment: buying healthcare insurance under Obamacare costs as much or more as buying a house.
A close examination of lower-cost Obamacare options (Bronze) reveals that they are simulacra of actual healthcare insurance, facsimiles of coverage rather than meaningful insurance. The coverage requires subscribers to pay 40% of costs after the deductible, which is $9,000 per family. Total maximum out-of-pocket expenses are $12,700 per family. This coverage would cost us $1,150 per month, and considerably less for younger people.
How many families in America have $9,000 in cash to pay the deductibles, plus the $13,800 annual insurance fees? That totals $22,800 per year. If some serious health issue arose, the family would have to come up with $12,700 (out-of-pocket maximum) and $13,800 (annual cost of insurance), or $26,500 annually.
More than buying a house? Right now, as Smith points out, the average family income is $50,000 a year. How does the middle class survive that? And we know that democrats (and Republicans!) are even looking for ways to “increase revenue.”
But then from another direction, the New York Post:
The not-so-good news is that 1.46 million of them actually signed up for Medicaid. If that trend continues, it could bankrupt both federal and state governments.
Medicaid is already America’s third-largest government program, trailing only Social Security and Medicare, as a proportion of the federal budget. Almost 8 cents out of every dollar that the federal government spends goes to Medicaid. That’s more than $265 billion per year.
Indeed, already Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid account for 48% of federal spending. Within the next few years, those three programs will eat up more than half of federal expenditures.
And it’s going to get worse. Congress has shown no ability to reform Social Security or Medicare. With ObamaCare adding to Medicare spending, we are picking up speed on the road to insolvency.
There was a time when Obama actually claimed that the Affordable Care Act would “not add one dime” to the deficit or even reduce the deficit by $100 billion over a decade.
Is the Affordable Care Act the perfect storm? It seems to be eviscerating the economy in many ways at once. How do we survive it?