My View From The Country

The Simple Math For Obamacare Just Doesn’t Pencil Out

The U.S. isn’t the first country to move toward socialized medicine, and there is good data upon which to base our conclusions on the outcome.

The Obamacare math seems pretty simple to me. On Jan. 1, anyone who wants to sell health insurance in the U.S. must take anyone who applies, whether they weigh 500 lbs., abuse cocaine and alcohol, etc. They can’t reject these people or charge them more than anyone else.

Meanwhile, the government says Obamacare will squeeze out untold savings and eliminate inefficiencies. However, I can’t help but think of the government’s purchase of $2,500 toilet seats and its management of the U.S. Postal Service and be anything but skeptical of these claims. In fact, the disastrous website launch of the insurance exchanges is one heck of a testament to such incompentence.

Additionally, under Obamacare we’re going to insure somewhere between 15-30 million people who were previously uninsured, and that will somehow reduce prices? Let’s face it, we’re not the first country to move toward socialized medicine, and there is good data upon which to base our conclusions on the outcome. The only way to deal with the costs of Obamacare is to ration health care and downgrade the quality of service received.


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What is more difficult to project, however, is Obamacare’s ultimate effect on further health discoveries. The American health care system was somewhat market-based in the past, and the big pharmaceutical companies continued to develop new drugs that the rest of the world then used without bearing the developmental costs that the U.S. system absorbed. The U.S. was also a center for technology improvement, the training of doctors, etc. Without the U.S. system being able to fill that role, is the rate of advancement in human health care doomed to decline?

On the positive side, there soon won’t be any more conjecture regarding Obamacare or this nation’s ability to shoulder more debt. That’s because, once implemented, Obamacare will tell us whether government-run health care is more efficient or not. And that answer will likely provide insight into just how much debt this country can sustain.

In fact, Until the budget deal reached earlier this month to end the government shutdown, the cap on U.S. debt was fixed at $16.69 trillion. I saw a report this week that said, at the current spending pace of $375 billion/week, U.S. public debt would reach $22.70 trillion by the next debt ceiling deadline on Feb. 7, 2014. I really wonder just what it will take for Americans to wake up to our nation's unsustainable fiscal path.

But to President Obama’s credit, he did not nibble at the edges; he said he would transform America, and he has gone about doing it. If he is successful in implementing his version of immigration reform, as he pledged to do after the budget battle was settled, he could well change the electoral climate in this country for decades to come by forming a new coalition that essentially will constitute a new supermajority.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 13

PETA people hater (not verified)
on Oct 25, 2013

Our family has had claims upon our health insurance in the recent years and for a family of 3 we have seen our yearly premiums go from $4800, to $15700 to $$27000. Obviously unaffordable and when we started asking the questions the answer is that because of government mandates for future coverage, theses premiums will be the new norm. First, we have the insurance we chose, then the government dictates everybody must get what we had, then tell us, "don't worry, you can buy from an exchange and it will save you money"
I don't want to be forced to change, I want back what we had.
By example, I don't drive a luxury car but do really want one. Those who do should be forced to subsidize my desire.
Let's all push for that also.

Doug (not verified)
on Oct 25, 2013

I was going to make this long thoughtful comment but then I realized Troy said it all, “The Simple Math For Obamacare Just Doesn’t Pencil Out”. I just wish the ruling class would also make that observation.

ATD (not verified)
on Oct 25, 2013

Obamacare is not Government run. It is Government mandated private care. That is very different. In checking out my options on the state website, I can see that the same company I currently have is offering better coverage (lower deductable and no limits on coverage) for $200 dollars less per month for me and my husband. Rather than speculating on what your premium might be - check it out officially and you might be surprised.

Doug (not verified)
on Oct 25, 2013

I am a little puzzled how you can claim it is not government run it is government mandated. What is the difference? The government tells the insurance companies who they will cover and what conditions they will cover. I am also curious in what your age is, perhaps your quote is cheaper because the government has mandated what an insurance company can charge older people and they young people are supposed to make up the difference. If your quote is honestly cheaper with no government (taxpayer subsidies) and no government mandated price controls, I am totally amazed. You are the first person I have heard that could claim that.

Also Doug (not verified)
on Oct 25, 2013

By your logic the government runs all transportation because they mandate the security and safety provisions associated with it. Cut the hyperbole and look into the costs/benefits of 2013 vs 2014. That is all it takes.

My prediction for myself is that my costs will go up but the benefit structure is much more comprehensive. I will reserve my value judgement on that for when I know the details for my situation.

One value judgement I do not have to delay is the past system squeezed out folks with no fault of their own got sick. And that system lead them to choose from 2 or 3 of the least financially ruinous options available.

You may believe you have a responsible handle on this but that is just a fairy tail you keep telling yourself.

Remember the past system does not preserve a job with pooled healthcare costs nor does offer affordable insurance rates when you are on your own with a preexisting condition.

What is your plan when facing insurance costs over $20,000+ per year?

Anonymous (not verified)
on Oct 27, 2013

Plenty of difference. Government run is found in Great Britain, with government ownership of everything in the medical system. Government mandated is found in Canada with government being the single payer as in our Medicare.

Albertaguy (not verified)
on Oct 25, 2013

I will enjoy my free doctor/hospital visits, while it takes the USA years to figure this healthcare thing out. It has worked in Canada for decades! Maybe the USA should hire Canada to consult on how to make this work....You must pay up front though,must make sure we get paid.

A Vega (not verified)
on Oct 25, 2013

Here we go again; Troy is writing about politics, and this time he is also showing he is an expert in health care. O yeah!

on Oct 25, 2013

Our insurance has been canceled because Obamacare made it obsolete. That's what the company told us. We have had trouble buying health insurance because of my wife's condition but we have had health insurance on her for 40 years. I have a separate single policy with a high deductible.
Her's is being discontinued as of January 1 and we just don't believe anybody is going to insure her.

Obamacare is going to fail, as are social security, medicaid, and most other public assistance. The bill for these entitlements is just to big.

Young people are not going to enroll in the government program because private companies will make them offers more competitively priced due to their age and good health.

I'm hearing the price of insurance through Obamacare has been "sticker shock" for many of those who've managed to get through the web wreck of enrolling. Substantially higher priced than what folks had before.

When the Chinese decide to collect on their T-bills they are going to own everything in this country that has any debt against it. Who's ever in the White house will have to pay the Chinese rent.

avatar (not verified)
on Oct 28, 2013

Your insurance has been cancelled probably because it does not meet some of the minimum requirements of the new program. You may be able to qualify for a better plan at little or no increase, especially if you are eligible for a subsidy.

Bob Viering (not verified)
on Oct 25, 2013

I would agree that the new healthcare web site roll out has been a disaster. But, don't place all the blame on the government. That web site was created by private industry not, government employees.

For what it's worth, I like ATD am seeing my cost (and availability) improve under the Affordable Care Act. People like Doug need to sit back and acknowledge that some people are getting benefit from the law and not look for some excuse to explain away anyone actually getting benefits. For PETA people hater, they are the victim of the current system not of the Affordable Care Act. As they admit, they had claims. That's the reason their cost went up. Insurance agents are quick to blame the government when the real reason is that like all insurance, the more claims you make, the larger your premium or that you just get cancelled.

PETA people hater (not verified)
on Oct 25, 2013

Bob, you were to quick to make an assumption. I said we had claims but didn't elaborate. What I did say was and you overlooked in your haste to defend Obama care was, we did assume it was because of the claims against our policy that the premiums jumped so. The explanation provided to us was that there was an increase to offset future required coverages and the costs were being passed down the chain. That was straight from the horses mouth, our agent.
Say what you will, if we are forced to buy from an insurance exchange I will feel no better than if I had to go on food stamps. This is all a direct result of government meddling.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Oct 27, 2013

"Obamacare will tell us whether government-run health care is more efficient or not."

That is not the question. This country long ago decided it is not going to refuse medical care. So the question is what is most efficient, providing care in emergency rooms for those not insured (which the insured pay for) or working them into the insurance system.

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.


Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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