In Part I of this post I discussed the predicted winners from ObamaCare as discussed in my 2013 book The ObamaCare Train Wreck, and how they have fared in the last three years. Now we’ll discuss the predicted losers and summarize the current results.
- Seniors with Medicare – There’s no doubt that those on Medicare will continue to see declining benefits and healthcare choices as the government cuts back on Medicare spending. Cuts to Medicare Advantage and rising drug costs are causing major increases in spending for seniors. This will only get worse, putting seniors in essentially the same category eventually as those currently on Medicaid.
- Individuals Without Insurance Ineligible for Medicaid – About five million Americans between the ages 18 to 64 find themselves caught in a coverage gap because they earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid in the states where they live, but not enough to be eligible for government subsidies. The result is they cannot receive Medicaid nor can they afford insurance on the ObamaCare exchanges since they are not eligible for subsidies. The Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated five million people fall into this category, mostly in southern states.
- Individuals With Insurance – They still have their insurance, but they are amongst the biggest losers since most are paying much higher premiums and deductibles for that insurance. Even those who receive their insurance through their employer are “paying” for those increases through lower wages than they would have otherwise. Furthermore, though the premiums may be paid by their employer, the deductibles that continue to rise are not.
- Young and Healthy Americans – They have been asked to bear the largest burden in this healthcare makeover because they are forced to pay much higher premiums than their good health actually costs. Many have wisely chosen to forego the cost of the premiums and accept paying the nominal tax for failing to have insurance.
- Healthcare Providers – Doctors are certainly losing in this new healthcare law but hospitals are actually profiting, at least for the moment. They have been allowed to charge higher rates for the same procedures done in doctors’ offices so they have hired the doctors on their staff. This temporary windfall for hospitals will eventually be withdrawn as the government gains greater control over the doctors and the hospitals.
- Taxpayers and the Constitution – Both continue to be losers as taxes must rise to cover the exorbitant costs of ObamaCare and President Obama makes unilateral changes to the law without Congressional approval. Look for both of these to be even bigger losers under a Clinton administration.
The list of winners is shrinking, as original winners become losers with the evolution of ObamaCare. In my opinion, anyone on Medicaid is a loser since they are forced to live with second-class healthcare with predicted health outcomes even worse than the uninsured. Therefore my new list of winners is limited to the following:
- Previously uninsured with pre-existing medical conditions
- Congressional and White House Staff
- Information Technology and Marketing Companies
- Trial Attorneys and Identity Thieves
The only real benefit of this healthcare train wreck has been to address the problem of pre-existing medical conditions. But a way must be found to solve this problem that doesn’t allow individuals to “game the system” by dropping coverage when they are healthy and buying it after they are sick. Simply giving people a “window” of time to buy coverage at regular rates but forcing them to pay higher rates if they fail to keep themselves covered can do that.
For the rest of us, we are all losers under ObamaCare!