When President Obama laid out his plans for the Affordable Care Act, he was famous for saying, “If you’ve got health insurance, you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you.”

Now three years since the act was signed into law, we learn that phrase is true, unless ...

You can keep your plan, unless your employer decides to eliminate it. You can keep your plan, unless you had a Cadillac plan. You can keep your plan, unless you can no longer afford it because your premiums go up substantially.

Once you add those exceptions, your health plan sure is not going to look like what it used to.

The idea of health care for all and the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare or whatever you call it) has merits. If everyone had health care they could catch major diseases like cancer before it’s too late. It protects people who may not otherwise be able to get insurance because of a pre-existing condition. It would help reduce the amount of charity care that hospitals have to pay for, which gets wrapped into all of our bills.

But as we get closer and closer to the law’s full implementation on Jan. 1, we are learning that this law does a lot more than was advertised. It messes with some things that are working.

For instance, if a company opts to give its employees a Cadillac plan and pay high premiums to keep good employees, then it is going to get taxed for that.

Those plans are expensive for employers. If they choose that plan, then let them.

The supposed logic is that with expensive plans with very low to no deductibles, people spend more on health care because it doesn’t matter to them how much they spend.

Maybe that is true for some people, but most people don’t particularly enjoy getting poked and probed if they don’t need it. If you have a Cadillac plan for multiple years, it’s not like you are going to sign up for 10 tests a year. It’s more likely someone would spend more on tests and other expenses if they have a high-deductible plan, and they meet their deductible one year. Then they figure it’s a good chance to get that exam they were putting off.

But while the government doesn’t want you to have too low of a deductible, it doesn’t want you to have too high of one either. In the law, there are provisions that limit deductibles to $2,000 per individual and $4,000 per family. The specifics about who exactly that affects are still unclear, as are many things. But, inevitably, those lower deductibles are going to mean higher premiums. Heaven forbid it raises premiums so much they become Cadillac plans. Then what would our great lawmakers do?

If the government was truly about helping reduce health-care costs and access for all, then it shouldn’t be messing so much with plans that are working for people. So far, local employers are not planning to eliminate insurance because of new provisions, but under the new law no one really gets to keep their current insurance. And there are still a lot of unknowns out there.

(13) comments

bighead
bighead

This editor makes the statement "The specifics about who exactly that affects are still unclear, as are many things. But, inevitably, those lower deductibles are going to mean higher premiums" which means he has no ideas as to what he ius talking about. If it is unclear then dont write about it. I have been uninsured,had bad coverage(high deductables) and now great insurance. While I enjoy the benefits of great insurance,I realize it will not be around forever. The president didnt start the deterioration of great insurance,corporate greed did. So lets get honest as to who is responsible in the first place. ACA will have problems as do all goverment progarms,but its a start to have what we deserve, to not have to go bankrupt or die due to corporate greed.

It's the UN-Affordable Care Act; don't buy into alternative language that suggests anything less than the truth, that the legislation is UN-Affordable.

Textbook case of Good Intentions being driven straight off the edge by government intervention. Every time someone calls it something else, don't stand by in silence as they tell that same lie over and over again; stand up and point out the fact that, regardless of original intent, the correct term for this lousy legislation is the "UN-Affordable Care Act."

Even Racine's liberal Journal Times editorial board is finally getting it ...

The law is UN-Affordable and has so many serious "unintended" and "unanticipated" consequences because too many of our liberal lawmakers didn't READ that lousy legislation before passing it.

Call it what it IS: the UN-Affordable Care Act!

Blindman
Blindman

Stop calling it obamacare...It makes it sound like obama cares...He could care less about the people of this country,all he wants is power,and to push his political agenda.

whateverusay
whateverusay

Sympathy for those with "cadillac" insurance plans is an odd angle when thousands of people in Racine have no insurance at all. Apparently Rob Golub doesn't figure they read the JT.

Joeboy5471
Joeboy5471

The example of the cadilac health care plan is really bogus. If an employer provides the plan, the law taxes the difference. They have taxed excess life insurance provided by an employer for the last twenty-five years? The ACA will not survive under the current system. Healthcare is not a free market item where competition will drive down the costs. It is eveident up to now that it doesn't work. The country will have to go to a single payer system eventually.

Zorro
Zorro

Yes, under Obamacare your employer can get rid of your health insurance JUST LIKE YOUR EMPLOYER ALWAYS COULD GET RID OF YOUR INSURANCE before Obamacare. Only difference now is you'll be guaranteed the right to get another insurance plan, when under the old way, that guarantee was only good for 18 months.

Zorro
Zorro

Sorry about that last part. You're not eligible for COBRA if your employee eliminates your health care plan. All the more reason we need Obamacare so you're guaranteed the right to buy health insurance coverage anyway.

USAGC
USAGC

That's buy another insurance plan.

Joeboy5471
Joeboy5471

People always overlooked the obvious in their arguements on the ACA. We have been arguing about it for three years.

Whisper
Whisper

Here's a thought, let Medicare negotiate the prices for prescription drugs, you know like the free market, and use that to fund the parts of the ACA that are objectionable.

GetYourIdiotVaccination
GetYourIdiotVaccination

And this is why I would NEVER pay even 1 thin dime for your "news" JT. Keep beating that dead horse though Righty...

Gearhead
Gearhead

JT is kinda late to the party. Spinning straw into gold is the stuff of fairy tales. The rest of us knew you can't make chicken salad out of chicken (feathers). This won't end well.

outoftowner53105
outoftowner53105

Just another one of many, many lies that this President has told.

Here again, this statement was pointed out as a lie when it first appeared, but the low information voters that were in love with Obama wouldn;t listen.

Now what have we got? Another disaster in the making.

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