Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D
Of course you’ve heard of “liar loans”—in the heyday of subprime mortgages, unscrupulous lenders handed out mortgages to practically everyone with a pulse. “So you’re saying you make $100,000 a year? Great, check this box titled ‘McMansion.’”
We all know how this charade ended. Now Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D., an acclaimed expert on the subject of Obamacare, warns that the delay of the employer mandate by one year will force Americans into a single-payer system, raising insurance premiums and encouraging “liar subsidies” that might prove fiscally devastating. Not to mention that under the new health care system, you may well end up dead… — Dan Steinhart Editor, Casey Research
Obamacare is a hodgepodge of new regulations, requirements, and penalties. I’d like to start by defining three terms, which, while obscure today, should begin to enter our everyday vocabulary as Obamacare continues to take effect:
The individual mandate requires that individuals purchase health insurance that meets the new, expanded federal requirements. Individuals who do not comply face a financial penalty. Individuals who fall below minimum income levels will be eligible for taxpayer-funded subsidies to buy health insurance.
The employer mandate requires that businesses with more than 50 full-time employees must provide health insurance for all employees, and that insurance must meet the new standards set forth in the new law. Businesses that do not comply must pay a financial penalty for each employee, which for large companies can run into the millions of dollars annually. This is the piece of Obamacare that has been delayed by one year.
This is not a secret:
Here, Rep. Schakowsky is suggesting that the “public option” will lead to their desired goal of a single-payer healthcare system. Single-payer proponents no longer use this term, since the public has clearly and consistently opposed it.
The “public option” has been renamed “Medicaid expansion,” which serves the public-relations purpose of confusing the public and avoiding calling taxpayer-funded healthcare “single payer.”
Hacker nicely sums up the underlying goals of Obamacare: not to increase competition or patient choice, but to drive people out of private insurance as a stepping stone to a government-run, single-payer system.
Stepping Stone to Single-Payer
This represents a doubling of the number of workers forced to get health insurance on the exchanges.
Importantly, the IRS has ruled that if workers have access to affordable health insurance through their employer, their dependents are not eligible for taxpayer-funded subsidies on the Obamacare health insurance exchanges.
Now that businesses will not be required to offer health insurance until 2015, workers and their dependents will be eligible for taxpayer-funded subsidies to purchase health insurance on the exchanges.
This will cost taxpayers an estimated $60 billion dollars in 2014 alone to cover the increased costs of subsidies—and the loss of revenue from employer penalties.
This $60 billion figure is before we take into account the “liar subsidies” that will invariably occur now that the administration has quietly removed eligibility verification for taxpayer-funded subsidies.
Community organizers are already being hired around the country to sign people up for the health exchanges. There are no penalties for failing to verify eligibility, and no penalties for signing up people who cannot afford to pay the monthly insurance premiums.
It is set up for disaster, much like the “liar loans” that helped topple the mortgage industry when people were not required to verify their income to qualify for a mortgage.
Remember, by enacting the dual mandates, Obamacare ostensibly was designed to ensure that its costs were borne by businesses, not taxpayers. But when the president decided to enforce only certain portions of the healthcare law and delay others, he shifted the cost of health insurance onto the backs of taxpayers.
This is all on top of the burdensome costs Obamacare has already created. Various studies have projected that private insurance premiums will rise between 20 to 60% in 2014, and some as much as 100%.
How long will the private-insurance market survive with such exploding costs? People will not be able to afford such massive premium increases. That seems to be the point: drive up costs and drive everyone into the arms of government-controlled medical care.
Jeff Smith from Seattle summed it up nicely in a Wall Street Journal letter on June 12:
How Obamacare Affects You and Your Medical Care
- Your private insurance premiums will cost more and more each year.
- You will lose the choices and flexibility in health insurance policies that we have had available up until now.
- As reimbursements continue to drop, fewer and fewer doctors will take Medicare (for those 65 and older) or Medicaid (people younger than 65).
- Fewer doctors accepting Medicare and Medicaid causes an increase in wait times for appointments and a decrease in the numbers and types of specialists available on these plans. Consumers would be wise to line up their doctors now.
- Studies from various organizations and states have consistently shown that Medicaid recipients have longer waits for medical care, fewer options for specialists, poorer medical outcomes, and die sooner after surgeries than people with no health insurance at all. Yet an increasing number of Americans will be forced into this second-class medical care.
- As more people enter the taxpayer-funded plans (Medicare and Medicaid) instead of paying for private insurance, the costs to provide this increased medical care and medications will escalate, leading to higher taxes.
- With no eligibility verifications in place, millions of people who are in the US illegally will be able to access taxpayer-funded medical services, making longer lines, longer wait times, and less money available for medical care for American citizens… unless taxes are increased even more.
- Higher expenditures to provide medical services lead to rationing of medical care and treatment options to reduce costs. This is the mandated function of the Independent Payment Advisory Board: to cut costs by deciding which types of medical services to allow… or disallow.
If you are denied treatment, you have no appeal of IPAB decisions; you are simply out of luck, and possibly out of life. This is a radical departure from the appeals process required for all private health insurance plans. Further, the IPAB is accountable only to President Obama, and cannot be overridden by Congress or the courts. IPAB is designed to have the final word on your health.
- Under current regulations, if medical care is denied by Medicare, then a patient is not allowed to pay cash to a Medicare-contracted physician or hospital or other health professional. Patients who need medical care that is denied under Medicare or Medicaid will find themselves having to either: 1) look for an independent physician or hospital (quite rare these days); or 2) go outside the USA for treatment.
- Expect a loss of medical privacy. Beginning in 2014, if you participate in government health insurance, your health records will be sent to a centralized federal database, with or without your consent.
The bottom line is that Americans are losing more and more of their medical freedom. By 2015, so many workers will be trapped in the government-run health insurance exchanges that there will be no going back to the private plans we have today. At this rate, single-payer proponents will drive private insurance companies out of business, which has been their intention all along.
Americans need to become far more proactive about taking charge of their health. The healthier you are, the less vulnerable you are to our degrading healthcare system. It’s also wise to consider proactively planning for medical treatment options outside the US.
Dr. Vliet will share her thoughts on what Obamacare will do to medical freedom and privacy—and the steps Americans can take now to preserve both—at the upcoming Casey Research Summit 3 Days with Casey, October 4-6 in Tucson, Arizona.
This article first appeared at Casey Research
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