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Obamacare- Catastrophic care kicks Americans to the curb

Written By | Feb 14, 2015

WASHINGTON, February 14, 2015 – Now that Nancy Pelosi’s admonition “We have to pass this bill, to see what’s in it” has come to fruition, the hidden gems in Obamacare are starting to emerge.

President Obama recently attacked Staples, an office supply company that employs more than 85,000 workers in full and part time positions and in ratios that have remained steady.

“It’s one thing when you’ve got a mom and pop store who can’t afford to provide paid sick leave or health insurance or minimum wage to workers, even though a large percentage of those small businesses do it because they know it’s the right thing to do,” Obama said. “When I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars in profits trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance as an excuse for cutting back workers’ wages, shame on them.”

In this statement Obama acknowledges that the Affordable Care Act has altered opportunities for full-time work and actually raised the expenses of health insurance for middle-class Americans.

Staple’s Public Relations Manager Mark Cautela Sr.  provided a strong response to the President’s (incorrect) statements:

Unfortunately, the president appears not to have all the facts. The initial story was misleading as our policy regarding hours for part-time employees is more than a decade old. It predates the Affordable Care Act by several years.

We are very proud of our associates and offer competitive wages and benefits. Staples is a leader in helping associates build a secure future. In fact, we were recently recognized by U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew for our leadership in helping associates plan for a secure retirement.

Staples offers a range of benefits to part-time associates and provides tools and resources to help associates navigate insurance exchanges and access health care through marketplace options. Staples also offers many opportunities for hourly associates to advance into full-time and management positions.

It’s unfortunate that the president is attacking a company that provides more than 85,000 jobs and is a major taxpayer.

President Obama attacks a company like Staples to emotionally promote Obamacare with the “those evil CEO’s have everything while the workers are treated like peasants” talk even as it is becoming more-apparent why the healthcare and health-insurance industries backed Obamacare.

Americans able to pay for Obamacare under the presidents’s plan will be kicked to the curb, ill, unable to work and unable to afford healthcare. Because they cannot afford to pay for Obamacare, regardless of what Grubernarian economics says.

With the giant deductibles that are more-prevalent this year, health insurers have very low exposure for patients who aren’t getting everything for “free”.  Why? Americans will hold back on using health care since they have to first come up with high co-pays before benefits kick in.

If the costs of providing Obamacare exceeds their estimates and they don’t make enough profit, Obamacare covers their profits.

All that’s great for insurance companies. Healthcare providers could reap benefits as well as their practices become less maintenance oriented and become catastrophic care only.

Health care providers will charge “full price” as incentives to bargain for cash payers erode.


We can no longer walk into a hospital and explain we don’t have health insurance – and negotiate for our care. We pay the rate-card price; no negotiations, no deals.

After all the deductibles are paid and the 60% co-pay kicks in, out of pocket for the “covered” patient is $1400 – four times what it could have been.
Her 40% co-pay is $1400.

What that mean is that people will discontinue routine but necessary treatments, now that they have Obamacare, a situation I have seen personally.

You don’t have to look far back to see that in 2014, an office visit was $25 for a friend who did not have insurance.

Now it’s $125, and it will be $125 until her $4,000 Obamacare mandated deductible is met when the cost reduces to $50 per visit. Only that’s 32 visits from now… after the first of the next year when the deductible kicks back in.

So if she is going to pay taxes, she has to have Obamacare. If she has Obamacare, she can’t afford to go to the doctor, even though she has to pay premiums of $300 per mont to cover the cost of health care for “non-payers”  the IRS can get involved.

As she has a chronic condition, which was being reasonably managed without Obamacare, but cannot be any further, she will get sicker, eventually become unable to work and become a catastrophic care patient.

All the while paying $300 a month for the privilege of paying for Obamacare that she cannot use.

What wan once affordable is now unaffordable.

Back to my friend, her $25 per week care appointments had a total yearly cost of $1,300. The insurance premium alone totals $3,600; the co-pay for the first 32 visits add $4,000 to her yearly costs; and the final 20 visits (with their 40% co-pay) cost another $1000, for a total of $8,600 for healthcare that did cost her $1,300 per year.

No wonder the insurers and providers love Obamacare!

My friend can no longer negotiate, paying cash or paying in advance; she can no longer pay reduced rates because she’s not insured; and the caregivers have no incentive whatsoever to hold down costs – so costs will rise, and rise, and rise.

As a result, she will have no treatment, until things deteriorate so much that catastrophic intervention will be necessary. If her condition never gets to that point, she has paid $3600 in premiums and received nothing at all except for the warm feeling of knowing she has sacrificed her health care to provide for others.

Spock would approve.  So would Karl Marx.

Yes, Nancy, our Congress passed the ACA, and now we’re finding out what’s in it. Congress doesn’t care – they have their own system and will continue to receive premium health care.

The President doesn’t care – he just declares changes in the law whenever it suits him.

It’s just us working peasants who get stuck paying the bill for the masses, which was the point in the first place. It was never about health care. It’s just another transfer of money, from those who earn money to those who take it, manage it, lobby for it, and redistribute it.

Government is too big, and has too much power. Remember, slavery is just regulation, accelerated – and our government’s foot is heavy on the gas pedal.

Tim Kern

Tim Kern taught economics for fifteen years, and discovered that understanding life is easy; it’s recognizing reality that takes practice. He holds a music degree, and later earned an MBA in finance from Northwestern University. He has lived across the US, and now makes his home in Anderson, Indiana.