Is ‘Obamacare’ really health insurance?

The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was enacted to fill a ‘need’ to cover pre-existing conditions and provide coverage for even more procedures and conditions. The Act requires insurance companies to cover virtually every medical expense whether you need it or not.

This, to me, doesn’t sound like insurance. Rather than being a medical expense safety net, it sounds like having someone else pay your medical bills. If that’s what’s going on, isn’t that unethical?

Why do we expect people to pay their own bills except when it comes to medical expenses? I’m not heartless. I know a person’s health is vital to them and society as a whole. But the increasing number of procedures covered by insurance increases both the insurance premium and the cost of the procedure.

We see the costs of doing medical business increase every year. There are many reasons, but insurance coverage is one large component. This point should be made clear when we compare the ever increasing costs of medicine and non-requisite cosmetic surgery.

The majority of cosmetic surgeries are not covered by health insurance.  The cosmetic surgery industry is dependent on customers making payments themselves and thus the costs of the procedures continually decrease — unless demand spikes.

So if ‘insurance’ covers virtually everything, can we really call it insurance?  If we expect it to cover virtually everything, can we really complain about increasing costs?

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Though it seems like health insurance companies make obscene profits, this is only true in terms of bottom line numbers.  For example, United Health Group posted $110.6 billion in revenue in 2012, and services 85 million customers.  This equates to $1300 in profit per customer per year.  That’s a mere $108 per month per customer in profit.  Is this obscene?

Comments

  1. It was never intended to be insurance. It was intended for two things:
    1. Use the health insurance industry for providing insurance to everyone – the government will provide no insurance.

    2. Take more government control of our lives – increase socialism

    • I think it was a poorly worded title. The point I am making is if an insurance company is expected or legally required to cover virtually every medically related issue (which is what the ACA essentially did), you’ve moved out of the realm of insurance and into the realm of havjng someone else foot your bills.

  2. Hello John,

    If we’re going to whine about “someone else footing the bill” is it ok if I complain about the trillions of dollars Ronald Reagan wasted on the SDI and the trillions George W. Bush wasted in his own illegal war crimes against the Iraqi people?

    Conservatives are all for spending other people’s money when the money is spent on killing unfortunate non-white people in oil-producing areas of the world. Conservatives are enraged about spending other people’s money when it is actually used to help non-white American citizens who would otherwise suffer sickness and die.

    Of course, Christians are famous for worshipping a poor peasant of a crucified god while at the same time hating the poor, hating minorities and doing everything within their power to increase their own greed and gluttony.

    Is Christianity really a religion of love and peace? Hell, no!

  3. Trolls always have to bring in subjects other than the topic of the post, and they always have to have some slam on conservatives – and it’s always Bush’s fault, and of course the obligatory slam at Christianity. And as usual, just blatant assertions, and proving how ignorant and foolish they are.

  4. Hey, David, if you’re going to troll, could you at least be a bit more original or creative? Because all you’re doing is demonstrating your own vacuous intellect.

    Obamacare is neither an insurance, nor universal health care. If employers are forced to provide it and consumers are forced to buy it, even if they are “plans” they don’t want, need or support, or be penalized with fines, I can’t call that “insurance” in any way such a product/service is generally understood.

    In Canada, we have “universal” health care – and it is a system that is badly misunderstood and misrepresented by opponents of it in the US. Folks I know who are ex-pats were all very supportive of Obamacare, in the belief that it would actually be more like our own system. They could not accept that is was completely different (in the end, I got “unfriended” by every one of them!). I wonder what they think of it now?

    I really do think the US needs something more like the Canadian system (though NOT like the UK system!!!). Before anyone starts blowing a gasket, let me explain what it actually is.

    Our system is a blend of medicare and private insurance. Basic medical care via the health care system is paid for through federal tax dollars, which are distributed to the provinces. The provinces have control of what is or isn’t covered, and some also charge premiums, so there is no “universal” system. Still, most provinces cover the same basic things and, if you travel from one province to another (except Quebec), if you need medical care, it will be provided for and your home province’s system will cover the costs.

    Regular check ups, medical tests, emergency treatment and a range of other care is covered. Eye tests and dental treatment is not. Prescriptions are generally not covered, except for certain conditions, and there are limitations to that.

    About 30% of all medical treatment in Canada is provided through private clinics and companies. For example, the lab we go for blood tests is a private franchise, but the tests themselves are covered by medicare.

    For other things, we still need insurance. To use our current situation as an example, my husband has a range of injury releated health problems. It’s a very complex situation that I won’t go into, but his primary problem is an old back injury come back to haunt him. He has a platinum insurange plan through his job, and we are so grateful for it! He has only a $5 co-pay for each prescription refill. We found a physiotherapist that direct bills, so he’s now going 3 times a week. Our old doctor disappeared (went on medical leave and didn’t come back), so we had to quickly find another. On short notice, we were stuck with a Nurse Practitioner instead of a doctor. I’ve been incredibly unhappy with her, but my husband doesn’t want to make a fuss, but our new physiotherapist is part of a clinic that specializes in his sort of condition. We just got an appointment for him with the doctor there. We are free to change doctors any time we want. He gets is medical care through the system, his pharmacuiticals and physio through private insurance.

    Some things are either/or. I had breast reduction surgery, which is normally considered cosmetic and not covered. Mine was for medical need, so it while it was done by a private plastic surgeon, it was paid for through the system.

    The problems we have with this are twofold. 1) who gets to decide what is or isn’t covered? Diabetics have to pay for their own insulin, test strips and lancets, but some provinces will pay for sex change operations. Abortions are covered by the system, except in New Brunswick, and they are almost all elective. That sort of thing. Then, 2) there is the bureaucracy. That is where the money gets wasted the most. There is so much red tape, politics and idiocy, it’s rediculous.

    That is where our system fails. Not in the level of care (that’s an individual thing, not a system thing), and not in technology (we have it – we just can’t necessarily use it). I do believe the US needs something like our system. Obamacare sure as heck isn’t it!!!

  5. For the poor person, what you say might be true. But insurances companies are raising rates so much on account of ObamaCare that most folks are going to be paying out more than they use. Barring an accident, it’s quite likely that you, John, won’t require any major medical procedures for many years, and yet look how much you’re going to have to pay for you and your family – THANKS TO OBAMA.

  6. Hello Kenoichi,

    You say, ” I do believe the US needs something like our system. Obamacare sure as heck isn’t it!!! ”

    I’d accept the Canadian or UK or any European health care system over the capitalist monstrosity that exist in the US of A.

    Socialism is better than capitalism.

    • “I’d accept the Canadian or UK or any European health care system over the capitalist monstrosity that exist in the US of A.

      Socialism is better than capitalism.”

      Wow. Way to completely misinterpret what I actually said.

      Though, given your other laughably ignorant comments, that seems to be your thing.

      As a troll, you’re remarkably inept.

  7. Hello Terrance,

    You say, “Barring an accident, it’s quite likely that you, John, won’t require any major medical procedures for many years … ”

    Has Terrance become a prophet? His predictions are about as trustworthy as Jesus’ prophecies (failed for two thousand years running and promise to fail for at least another 100,000 years).

    John Barron’s unwillingness to make sacrifices on behalf of his neighbors reveals that he really hates Jesus and Jesus’ example. I really do feel pity for Jesus as he choose to die on a cross to save people from a pre-existing condition (that is, Original Sin, according to the Catholics) and to save them from a fault which he didn’t possess (he was sinless … well, actually not, but mythological Jesus is sinless as all nonexistent entities cannot sin).

    Where are the Christians on this blog? There probably aren’t any. I love Jesus myself but I’d never believe in him. How could you believe in the founder of a religion which has committed so many horrendous crimes for the last two thousand years and continues to generate populations of hate-filled bigots who are greedy and gluttonous even in their impoverishment, bowing down to mammon while claiming to love a peasant god, bowing down to power although they claim to love an unjustly crucified god, and living in a perpetual state of warfare though they boast that Christianity is a religion of peace.

    John Barron doesn’t love Jesus. John Barron would hate Jesus and spit upon him if he ever happened to meet that poor powerless peasant loser. Christianity has been crucifying Jesus for two thousand years.

    That’s why Jesus isn’t ever coming back. Don’t hope for Heaven, John, because there is no Heaven for you!

  8. Hello John Barron,

    You ask, “Seriously david, whats your problem? Why come here if you hate Christians and Christianity? ”

    Come on, John, you pretend to represent Christianity while all you talk about is hatred, prejudice, bigotry, greed and selfishness.

    Who is the one who hates Jesus on this blog?

    I say: A person who really loved Jesus would actually — you know, just a wild hypothetical here — love his neighbor. For example — in this case — a Christian wouldn’t actually complain when his spending on medical insurance was spent providing actual medical care to the millions of poor Americans who have been deprived of medical care for decades because our medical industry is thoroughly devoted to preserving its profits instead of actually caring for the well being of humans.

    Christians love their guns and warfare but they hate their neighbors, hate the poor, and hate everything their supposed god actually stood for during his brief ministry on the Earth.

    What would Jesus do? Tax cuts for the wealthy, trillions for a military, a gun in every holster! Christianity blasphemes Jesus and has done so for over two thousand years.

    That’s one reason why your god isn’t going to return. A better reason: your god doesn’t actually exist.

    • Quote my hatred, bigotry, greed, and selfishness.

      Just a warning, I will be removing your ability to comment here if you continue the tone youve been using. Its your call. You can be civil, or you can harass someone else.

  9. Legitimate criticism is a reality for every religion – especially Christianity. And I don’t mind that Christianity is always in the cross-hairs. It has more followers than any other, so bringing it down would be a gargantuan win for atheists. Christians should accept the criticism as a badge of honor.

    The frustration Christians feel is understandable, however. Atheism is fashionable and enrollment is open to all, including halfwits like David. In his mind his criticism is justified, even juridical. But in truth it’s pathetic. It is one fallacy stacked on another, and nothing more.

    It is simply a fact that no other group of people does more for the poor and downtrodden in this world than Christians. Christians do good works because it is the will of Jesus Christ. And though not all Christians behave as such, nobody can intelligently argue that Christians behave badly because of Christianity. I think that’s one of the biggest problems with the sort of criticism we see on this blog so often.

    Some Christians may not behave like Christians, and for whatever reason. But they certainly don’t behave badly because the Bible tells them to. Christianity, if nothing else, is a religion of love, peace, and forgiveness. We don’t blow ourselves up or shoot children, screaming, “Allahu Akbar!”

    Perhaps, David, your criticism is better suited to another religion. And since no adherents of that religion are to be found on this blog, you ought move along.

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