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Obamacare 'choices'

October 30, 2013 - Jim Anderson
One thing that seems to go unnoticed in the recent discussions of Obamacare is this: Who ever had a choice about their health care coverage in the first place?

My employer determines my coverage. I’m guessing that’s the case for most of us who are fortunate enough to have employer-assisted plans.

Once a year, the company explains my limited options — how much they’re going to pay, and how much I’m going to pay. Take it or leave it.

Years ago (before Obama was an Illinois state senator) my paycheck contribution to our health plan was zilch.

Of course, that’s no longer the case. Over the years, the cost of coverage has climbed (to put it modestly). In my case, it’s been true through the second Bill Clinton term, through the entire George W. Bush administration and, yes, through the Obama administration.

Financially, for so many Americans, it’s been one whack after another.

I’m happy to have insurance.

But forgive me for detracting from the controversy over Obama’s “if you like your plan you can keep it” pledge.

Again, when did we have a choice?

As for people in the individual market, there are basically two categories. Those who are new buyers (some because they shunned insurance; some because insurance shunned them) and those who must look for a new plan because theirs is substandard by Obamacare’s requirements.

Agreed, a new plan may well be more expensive, but also the coverage should be better. (And many will qualify for subsidies.)

The effect of Obamacare on everyone’s premiums in the long-term is the great unknown.

But let’s not pretend it’s all sea shells and sunshine today.



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