Rick Bartz: Why Obamacare failed – and is failing us

By Signal Contributor

Last update: Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

I did not sign up for medical insurance again this year. Since coming off my corporate career and taking up independent consulting, I’ve learned the realities of ACA.

For my wife and me – late 50s/early 60s, good health, no preconditions, and not qualifying for subsidy – the cost was $1,000-$1,200 per month with $5,000 to $7,000 deductible: $19,000 a year before receiving any benefit.

Last year it would have been in the range of $15,000. I could factor in tax deductions but it doesn’t alter my conclusion.

I’m supportive of the ACA intent and subsidies to those in need, but this is why it’s failing. Healthy folks with decent incomes simply cannot justify it.

And the $1K-$3K we’re punitively penalized for self-insuring doesn’t help anyone. I don’t have the answer to this complex dilemma, but it’s clear to me, as I always suspected, the economics and assumptions behind ACA are fundamentally flawed.

I doubt our present Congress can work together in devising a better solution, but I’m encouraged the Republicans will try.

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Rick Bartz: Why Obamacare failed – and is failing us

A group of 24, Santa Clarita Valley citizens approach the Santa Clarita Valley district office of Congressman Steve Knight to express concerns over the reorganization of the Affordable Care Act in January. Dan Watson/The Signal

I did not sign up for medical insurance again this year. Since coming off my corporate career and taking up independent consulting, I’ve learned the realities of ACA.

For my wife and me – late 50s/early 60s, good health, no preconditions, and not qualifying for subsidy – the cost was $1,000-$1,200 per month with $5,000 to $7,000 deductible: $19,000 a year before receiving any benefit.

Last year it would have been in the range of $15,000. I could factor in tax deductions but it doesn’t alter my conclusion.

I’m supportive of the ACA intent and subsidies to those in need, but this is why it’s failing. Healthy folks with decent incomes simply cannot justify it.

And the $1K-$3K we’re punitively penalized for self-insuring doesn’t help anyone. I don’t have the answer to this complex dilemma, but it’s clear to me, as I always suspected, the economics and assumptions behind ACA are fundamentally flawed.

I doubt our present Congress can work together in devising a better solution, but I’m encouraged the Republicans will try.

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Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor

  • Jim de Bree

    Rick-you are absolutely correct about how you were affected by the ACA. You are included in a risk pool that is sicker than most of America and you are literally paying the price for that. One of the major failures of the ACA is that everyone needs to be included in a single risk pool. That is part of my next column on the subject.

  • pashmak

    I’m sorry to hear you had bad experiences with the ACA Rick, but am heartened that you acknowledge and support the ACA’s intent. I am a recent US citizen, having lived in the UK all my life and having benefited from an imperfect but precious National Health system. I truly believe that the ACA, whilst currently dogged by many flaws, could eventually, with good will and purity of intent, become the precursor of an exemplary health system. I pray that blindly-partisan politics, and maybe, more pertinently, insurance companies, aren’t allowed to ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’, but instead choose reformation and enhancement over destruction.

Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor