Obamacare Sucks…Again!

I’ve spoken before about the ‘Affordable’ Care Act, better known as ‘Obamacare’.  As you might remember I wasn’t too keen on it, especially citing the fact that I don’t utilize medical services very often.

Well, a few months ago, right before Tekkoshocon 2014, I suffered a pretty good medical scare.  At first we thought I had an about-to-rupture appendix, but it turned out to be a kidney stone (umm, yay?).  I have discovered that a 3mm stone trying to pass through the 1mm wide passageway between the kidney and the bladder is incredibly painful.  Painful enough that I, who gets regularly praised for my high pain tolerance, finally agreed to let my wife take me to the hospital (of course remember that I thought I was suffering appendicitis).

She was *very* convincing.

She was *very* convincing.

So we’ve gotten the bills for the doctor, the ER, the Urologist, the lab, the lab technician, the pharmacy, and everything else I got billed for (at least I didn’t get charge for a $20 can of soda, this time, like when I had Strep Throat).

All in all, I was looking at about $8,000.

Yeah, I’ll give you a second to take the number into consideration for a three-hour ER.  I wasn’t admitted and put in a bed for the night, I didn’t have any surgery performed, they just ran some tests and said, “Yup, it’ll pass in a few days.  Here’s a ‘scrip for pain and here’s a ‘scrip for nausea.  ‘Bye.”

So...GTFO and pay me eight grand.

So…GTFO and pay me eight grand.

Now here’s the issue I had with Obamacare before: I could pay $120 a month to get a Bronze plan that covers 60% of my bills…after a $5,500 deductible.

Now, a few things have changed since I last made a post about Obamacare.  My wife is no longer working, so our income is lower.  Our household now qualifies for the tax credit to lower the marketplace insurance cost.  That same $120 plan is now only $86 a month.  So now I’d only have to pay $1,032 a year, instead of the aforementioned $1,440 a year.  Of course, the site’s still not sure…one page says yes, the other says no.

So by paying $1,440 a year, plus the $5,500 deductible, I would reduce the remaining $2,500 by 60%.  So I’d only have to pay $1,000.  So all in all, instead of paying $8,000, I would only have to pay a total of $7,940.

 

Yup, because of the premium and deductible I only save about $60 from the original $8,000.  And next year, if I got another kidney stone (blessed fate, please do not be tempted to make that happen?) I’d only save $40, again.  And if nothing happened and I didn’t see a doctor or go to the hospital all year, next year, I’d still have to pay $1,440 for nothing to happen.

 

And if I only had $6,000 worth of costs from the situation, like if I had been able to swallow the chalky crap instead of needing to get the IV-injected stuff for the CT scan, or something like that, then the numbers would be even worse.

Original Cost: $6,000

Premium: $1,440 (or $1,032 with tax credit)

Deductible: $5,500

40% of Remaining ($500): $200

Total Cost to Me: $7,140 (or $6,732 with tax credit)

Difference: $1,140 – $732, depending on tax credit

Wat8

Yeah, so…I’d actually pay out more than I was charged, if I had insurance for more minor things, with the insurance.

 

But what makes the situation even more tilted in my favor is…the hospital I go to has a plan where people without insurance get a 50% discount if they pay their bill on time.  This means that my $8,000 bill was actually only $4,000.

I paid a total of about $4000, with no insurance.  Obamacare will charge me a fine (paid along with my taxes) at the end of the year for not having any insurance; that fine is about $160.  So I’ll pay a total of $4,160 without insurance.

Anybody want to calculate that difference?  Here, I’ll do it for you…I’ll even account for the premium discount for my wife not working…

With Insurance: $7,532 (with tax credit, as mentioned $7,940 without credit)

No Insurance: $4,160

Difference: $3,372 less ($3,780 if I don’t actually get the discount)

 

And before you jump on the same bandwagon as my mother, I’ll address the defensive question I always get when I point out those numbers to her: “But what if something really serious happened?  Like…you got cancer and needed treatment?”

Let’s say I need $80,000 worth of treatment for my cancer.  Guess what?  I’d still have to pay the $1,032, plus the $5,500 deductible.  Then 40% of the remaining $74,500.  That’s $29,800, plus my $5,500 deductible, plus my $1,032 premium.  Grand total cost to me would be $36,332.

Okay, so that is still saving 54% on something that expensive.  Just one problem with that point: It still equals out to 140% of my gross annual income.

If we assume I can afford to pay $3,000 a year on medical costs, then I would never break even on that total.  So spending ~10% of my annual income on paying off my medical bills, after the first year I would go from owing $36,332 to owing, roughly…$37,366.

This is because at 10.99% interest rate, the debt would go up by about $333 a month, whereas 3k a year only equals out to 250 a month.  So each month I would actually go 83 dollars further in debt.

And before you say that such an interest rate on medical bills is ridiculous…Wyoming hospitals charges upwards of 18% interest on hospital bills.  I chose 10.99% because if it was any higher, I’d get a Personal Service Loan from my bank and that’s their PSL interest rate.

If I’m going $83 deeper in debt every month, when I’m already spending more than 10% of my income on the bills; I would have to declare bankruptcy.

You know what would happen in this situation if I didn’t have insurance at all, with or without the 50% discount for uninsured people?  I’d have to declare bankruptcy.  So why not save myself a grand a year and declare bankruptcy, instead of paying some company to force me into bankruptcy for their own profit?

Either way I wind up broke; probably homeless and starving.  Thanks Obama.

~RCS

youre welcome

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Obamacare: What Does It Do For The Poor?

I’m sure you’ve all heard about this thing called the Affordable Care Act, and if you’re one of the 37% of Americans who don’t know it’s also known as Obamacare.  Now if you’ve been here for a while you know that I’m pretty critical of Republicans, and also of Democrats, and of Independents, and Gr—okay, y’know what I’m just pretty critical of anyone in office, running for office, or voting.

Now during the presidential election I wasn’t too keen on Mitt Romney, because I think there are few things worse than a Republican president.

Unfortunately one of those few things worse than a Rep. president, is a Democrat president.  Here’s my philosophy:

I am in the poorer multitudes of the nation.  I was born poor, I was raised poor, I am still somewhat poor, I support minority and female equality, and I’m not particularly religious.  Republicans come right out and tell you that they hate the poor and non-religious, and especially minorities and women.  Everything they say and do suggests that.

Democrats come out and say that they love the poor, non-religious, women, and minorities…and they jump right in line with the republicans to favor giant, fanatical-Christian, corporations and organizations.  When a Democratic president appoints a Spiritual Adviser, you know you voted for the wrong person.

Anyway before I start a riot let me to get to my point: Obamacare.

Obamacare sucks.  I don’t have health insurance and in the past 5 years I have only been to the doctor once, and it was Emergency Care.

So let’s look at and compare getting insurance versus not getting insurance.

When I wound up in the emergency room, the prices were ridiculous: $230 just to talk to the doctor and another $430 just to be taken to a back room and have a nurse check my pulse.  So that’s $660, total.

So I’ll admit, in 5 years’ time, I’m $660 in the hole to start.

So now let’s look at what an Obamacare plan would get me…

If I get a Bronze plan which pays for about 60% it would cost me roughly $119.19 a month, that equates to $1430.28 a year.

So in 5 years’ time that would equal…$7151.40 that I would have paid for insurance coverage.  And before you talk about the premium subsidy, my state doesn’t cover my income level for the subsidy, so I have to pay 100% of the premium (trust me, I’ve checked).

But, on the positive side, my $660 hospital bill would have only been about $264.

So in 5 years’ time I would have only spent $7415.40 in medical costs.

Whereas in real life I only spent $660 in 5 years’ time.

However, the Obamacare law makes it required to have insurance.  If you don’t, you have to pay a penalty, based on your income.  My particular penalty would be, as of 2016…$650 a year.  That winds up being $3250 in 5 years’ time, but I’d have to pay 100% of my medical expenditures.

So without insurance, under Obamacare, I pay $3910 in the same 5 years’ time.

Before Law: $660

With Insurance: $7,415.40

Without Insurance: $3,910.00

Cost Difference: $3,505.40 more with insurance

Now the argument I always hear is, “What if you get hurt really bad or really sick?”

What’s it matter?  If I get hurt at work, workman’s compensation covers it.  If I get hurt in a business, their liability insurance covers it.  If I get hurt in the car, my car insurance will cover it.  If I fall off a ladder replacing a light bulb, I have medical liability coverage on my homeowner’s insurance.

Basically as long as I don’t get hit by a meteorite while jaywalking in another borough, there’s something out there that covers my injured ass in case of an accident.

Now illness is a real issue, that’s what took me to the ER a few years ago.  I had a throat infection (Strep Throat) and it caused my esophagus to swell shut, I began to asphyxiate and had to get antibiotics and steroids to keep from blacking out (and eventually dying).

There’s cancer, strep, hep, food poisoning, malaria, bronchitis, all kinds of things that can go wrong.  So let’s go for gold…I get cancer and it costs me $50,000 in treatment.

Well guess what?  My Bronze plan only covers 60% of that, so I still have to pay $20,000 out of pocket, not to mention the $7,415.40 for the premiums.

That’s a total of $27,415.40 for 5 years of cancer treatments.

After taxes, that equates to 186% of my yearly income.  So that means, if I saved 1% of my post-tax income every year…it would take me 138 years to pay that off, and that’s assuming they aren’t going to charge me interest or up my premiums for having cancer.  Remember, Obamacare says that an insurance company can’t refuse me for having a pre-existing condition, but it doesn’t say they can’t charge me higher premiums for having cancer.

So if I don’t have insurance, there’s a chance I’ll wind up broke and penniless.  But if I get the insurance, I’m guaranteed to wind up broke and penniless.  And now Obama’s stupid law has weighed things down to make sure I wind up broke and penniless a little sooner.

All the Affordable Care Act does is help insurance companies.  If the government is going to require a free citizen to own or have something, then it should be paid for by the government.

You can reason the legal requirement for car insurance because owning a car is not necessary to life.  If you don’t want to pay car insurance, don’t drive a car.  If you don’t want to pay homeowner’s insurance, then rent.  If you don’t want to pay health insurance…uhh, then die, I guess?

If health insurance is required, then it should be free; regardless of income.  I don’t care if you make ten grand a year or ten million a year, you should be able to walk into a hospital and receive free medical care in a timely and efficient manner.  I’d rather just pay an extra 2.5% of my yearly income in taxes and be able to see any doctor, any time, for any reason.

Republicans call Obamacare the worst thing to happen to America since the birth of the Democratic party; Democrats call it a stepping stone to a better system.  But in truth it’s somewhere in the middle: It’s certainly not what we need and it’s actually moving in the wrong direction.

~RCS

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