Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Obamacare Can Kill You!

Higher Deductibles Equal No Care For Many
It is interesting how real life can bring truth front and center exposing flaws in policy. One such flaw in Obamacare and the effort to bring better healthcare to millions of Americans can cause your demise. It is a fact that across America there still exist people who are responsible and work hard, these people also pay their bills. This often means they think twice and often three times or more before rushing to create healthcare bills that they will have to pay. At the same time other people use and abuse healthcare for a number of reasons. This includes the psychological feeling of elevated importance or because they are lonely and it is the only time anyone pays attention to them.

While the President and those supporting the American Care Act (ACA) drone on about its virtues they fail to tell you it has probably taken more than a few lives of hard working Americans. If you are at a loss as to how Obamacare can take a life I will soon explain using as an example a real life story. Before, I take you there I must mention that during an interview on a Jan 24th talk show Hilliary Clinton stated we now have 90% of Americans covered by health-insurance. She should haveclarified the percentage means little, to be honest it depends on how you define "coverage." Clearly when to seek medical treatment is a personal issue, but the decision is often impacted by just what kind of coverage a person has. Obamacare has failed to drive non-emergencies to low cost options and we are paying the price.

Today many people have coverage with a deductible so high that they are afraid to use it. In some ways this is akin to having no coverage at all and this poses a massive problem. In many ways many people today suffer the worst of both worlds, not only have premiums rocketed through the roof, but soaring deductibles have made using the coverage a gamble and a painful experience. Horror stories abound as to the cost of medical bills and how just a few hours of care or a short emergency room visit can quickly generate a bill costing thousands of dollars. These high deductibles are a trap set to create bills many people are forced to pay on top of  their already "bone crushing" premiums.

Many ER Visits Are Unnecessary 
Ironically someone paying very little because of Obamacare will rush to the emergency room when they break a finger nail (minor exaggeration) while many people responsible for their own bills hang back in fear they will take a financial beating. The bottom-line is that those supporting Obamacare are delusional if they don't think the sky high deductibles facing so many Americans today are not discouraging them from seeking medical treatment. High deductibles are keeping people away from hospitals and emergency rooms in huge numbers. This extends to times when even their lives are threatened.

The unintended consequences of Obamacare played out in a true story about someone very close to me proving my point, and this I know as a fact because I drove them to the hospital. One night in serious pain this person finally entered the emergency room after sitting in my vehicle for about 30 minutes waiting for the pain to subside. It came in waves so she finally conceded to the idea it was not a silly quest and succumbed to the heavy pressure upon her chest. After about an hour and several tests they found nothing. Of course they advised her to be admitted for more tests, but feeling rather silly and much better she declined. Isn't spending an estimated two thousand dollars enough to be told nothing.

Interestingly, the next night the same song began to play, again after sitting outside the door we took it to the next level and finally entered. This time a heart attack was confirmed and it was go time, or should I say, almost go time. By ambulance she was shifted off to their regional center 20 minutes away where after being stabilized she waited for hours as they kicked several patients ahead of her. They were playing the "triage game" which in medical terms means assigning the order in which treatment is given based on the degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses. It was only during surgery they discovered she was lucky the bomb within her chest had not exploded and if it had she most likely would not have made it. 

Her blockage was in a blood vessel called the left anterior descending artery, the area that causes a fatal attack known as the "widow maker" because of its severity. It is important to note while this was happening she only appeared stable and before entering surgery they did not know just how dire her condition was. It seems that luck is indeed a big factor in healthcare just as it is in Russian-roulette. Understand some of us take pride in not only resisting visiting both doctors and hospitals, but fight such action tooth and nail. Call it stupid pride or stubbornness. It often seems much of the healthcare system would vanish if people used better judgement and were more responsible. An example is how the father of a friend went to the emergency room because he could hardly walk due to pain radiating from his feet. After several tests the diagnosis that his new shoes were the cause of his pain proved correct.

On the completely opposite side of the spectrum I remember a time years ago when I seriously thought I was having a heart attack during a sales call so I quickly excused myself and went to my car to avoid collapsing in my customers office, it turned out to be a false alarm and I never bothered to see a doctor. While several things can be taken away from this article one thing is certain, and that is our healthcare system leaves a lot to be desired. While a basic single payer system may not be ideal, because it would mean healthcare would have to be rationed in someway, if we want to be realist it sure as hell would on average be more fair than what we have today. Of course any system needs to be structured to bring in more personal responsibility and also allow people financially able to buy supplemental and deluxe coverage if they like.

Footnote; Below is an article that delves into how the healthcare system in America is broken. Washington may be underestimating how many people are dropping coverage regardless of the rising penalties.  Americans simply cannot afford to buy what is being served, what may prove even more problematic is if people quit their job and move onto the government rolls. Obamacare is a system that may collapse under the weight of soaring cost.


  1. People don't realize that this is EXACTLY what Obamacare was supposed to do and accomplish. It was always a backdoor to a single payer healthcare system.

    1. Not going to argue that point, however it is a very inefficient back door. Trying to fix this mess will be easier said than done.