We all knew this was coming. Guy has written extensively about the looming premium hikes for health care plans under Obamacare, which has reached a point where Americans see paying the tax to remain uninsured as cheaper than enrolling for insurance (via NYT):
Mr. Murphy, an engineer in Sulphur Springs, Tex., estimates that under the Affordable Care Act, he will face a penalty of $1,800 for going uninsured in 2016. But in his view, paying that penalty is worth it if he can avoid buying an insurance policy that costs $2,900 or more. All he has to do is stay healthy.
…[P]lenty of healthy holdouts remain, and their resistance helps explain why insurers are worried about the financial viability of the exchanges over time. They say they sorely need more healthy customers to balance out the costs of covering the sicker, older people who have flocked to exchange plans.
Many holdouts have made their decisions after meticulously comparing the cost of insurance premiums and deductibles with paying for doctor appointments, lab tests and prescriptions themselves. For some healthy people, the combined cost of premiums and deductibles, which can exceed $10,000, makes the penalty seem a better deal.
For 2016 and beyond, the penalty will be $695 per adult or 2.5 percent of household income, up from $325 per adult or 2 percent of household income last year.
Susan Reardon, 61, of Kalamazoo, Mich., said she was leaning toward going uninsured this year. She calculated that she would have to spend more than $12,000, including premiums of nearly $500 a month and a $6,850 deductible, to get anything beyond preventive benefits from the cheapest exchange plan available to her.
Ms. Reardon, whose husband is old enough to be covered by Medicare, said she would rather pay out of pocket for the drugs she takes for fibromyalgia and the handful of doctor appointments she tends to need each year.
If something catastrophic happens, she said, “I feel like it’s better just to die.”
As for the tax penalty, which could approach $1,500 for her?
“Come and get me,” Ms. Reardon said.
New NYT/CBS poll: #Obamacare approval underwater by double digits, w/ majority disapproving. Strong disapproval 2-to-1 over strong approval.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) January 13, 2016
It’s no wonder why this big government health care program is unpopular. It has done nothing to control costs, which was the main selling point for the president’s signature domestic achievement back in 2009-10. It’s no wonder why this bill was passed by the then-Democratic-controlled Congress via reconciliation to ensure simple majorities could pass the measure, unfettered by the various legislative mechanisms that could have log jammed it. It’s not working. And apparently, people are signing up for health insurance under Obamacare after finding out they’re sick and need expensive care, according to Politico. In short, the insured pool becomes what the Times alluded to in their piece–one that has more sickly enrollees that causes premiums to go through the roof.
Also, the fact that an American thinks it’s cheaper to die than enroll in Obamacare should be a huge red flag that we need to go back to the drawing board on health care reform.