It’s that time of year again – when I pick the health insurance options for myself and my family.
Last year – in just twelve months – my out-of-pocket premiums jumped by 20%. This year, the cost increase wasn’t quite so high, but coverage was halved in certain key areas.
One thing became clear – just like every year, I’m paying more to insure my family, and receiving less. Obama’s much-touted health care reform hasn’t done anything to stop the sky-rocketing costs.
But I’m one of the lucky ones. Hitting the newspapers recently have been stories about companies demanding to be excluded from health care requirements entirely. Even McDonalds is amongst them – complaining that the insurance they offer their hourly workers simply can’t meet the cost/service requirements the government has set.
Other companies have simply looked at the math and decided that it’s cheaper to take a $2000 fine for each employee they fail to cover than to actually pay to insure them. The result is more and more American workers unable to get health insurance through their job.
And the result? They join the ranks of the already 40% of Americans who receive their health insurance through the government.
At first glance, the immediate affects of ‘Obamacare’ have been disastrous (and are going to hit the Democrats hard come the November 2nd elections.)
Yet in some ways, it’s actually a tremendous victory for those on the left of the party. Many Democrats, including the late Ted Kennedy, fought bitterly for a single-payer health care system like that of every other first world country in the world. The inadvertent result of ‘Obamacare’ is that they might end up getting exactly that.
20% premium increases year-on-year are simply unsustainable. When I was self-employed, I was expected to pay $1,200 a month for health insurance - which was more than my rent.
The fact is, private health insurance is already on the brink of pricing itself out of existence. There’s no doubt it will do exactly that within the decade, and the majority of working and middle class Americans will then have no choice but to sign up for a government-funded plan.
I estimate the result will be 90% of Americans becoming part of a ‘government’ health care system, and the richest minority paying for private health insurance. Incidentally, that’s exactly the public/private healthcare breakdown for people in Britain (home of one of the only true ‘socialized’ health care system in the world.)
By those standards, a single-payer health care system has already arrived – it’s just most Americans haven’t realized it yet. The question is: Do you think that's a good thing or a bad thing?