Editorials

Obamacare’s masquerade as a market frightens us

Affordable Care Act insurers are limiting hospitals as a way to control costs, meaning patients need to check to see if their doctors are covered by their plans.
Affordable Care Act insurers are limiting hospitals as a way to control costs, meaning patients need to check to see if their doctors are covered by their plans. znizami@bnd.com

Tomorrow is the start of enrollment for the third year of the Affordable Care Act, and it is a little less affordable, needs a little more government subsidy and is a lot less successful than expected.

Federal funding was sharply cut in Illinois for the folks trained to help navigate the Obamacare plans to find consumers the best match for their health needs at the best price. There were 400 plan navigators and there will be 150.

Plan prices are up. The base bronze plans that cover 60 percent of your costs are up 11.3 percent and silver plans that cover 70 percent of your costs are up by 5.3 percent.

Choice is down, with limits on which hospitals are covered and thus which doctors. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois killed their popular plan that covered every hospital in Illinois.

Obamacare covers 297,000 of the 12.8 million people in Illinois. Only about 10 million are covered nationwide and the number is expected to be the same through 2016. That is half the number projected.

Too bad we spent $115 million in Illinois searching for and convincing people to sign up, with such spare results. It might have been more effective and efficient to sign up uninsured folks when they came to medical facilities seeking health care.

Will you wander the neighborhood tonight looking for youngsters without treats, or wait until those in need come to you?

Here’s hoping the new Obamacare year brings substantive congressional reform, and not another set of scary results as the market teaches government new tricks.

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