Ethics & Religion
A Column by Michael J. McManus


For Current Column
See the Home Page


About the


Search this


Column Archives
List of all columns 









For 2003 and earlier
only the title is listed.
Use the Search Function
to find the article.








About The


October 24, 2013
Column #1,678
The Danger of Obamacare
By Mike McManus

Headlines about the rollout of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare have focused on the difficulty people have experienced enrolling due to complex computer glitches. They are so bad Consumer Reports has warned people “to stay away from” for a month or two.

However, the technical chaos obscures the real danger of Obamacare - that “too many healthy people will exit or never sign up…leaving only the people who are most expensive to insure,” asserts John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

“Healthy people (will) leave the pool because they are being overcharged. Sick people remain because they are being undercharged,” adds Goodman as quoted in the “Washington Update” of Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council.

What compounds the problem is a secret in the nature of health insurance. Because young people need insurance less than older people, their premiums are much less – one-fifth that of their elders. However, instead of a 5-1 ratio, Obamacare has only a 3-1 ratio.

Why? The law includes new mandates for insurance companies. No one can be excluded because of previous health problems. Young people up to age 26 can get free coverage on their parents’ policies. Finally, birth control, sterilization and abortion drugs must be included at no cost. Those factors drive up the cost of insurance.

Of course, there is no free lunch. So premiums charged to 21 to 27 year olds will be $850 higher than under the 5:1 rating. However, 57-64 year-olds save $1,770. These figures will be somewhat offset by federal subsidies.

However, economic incentives will clearly lead many older and sicker people to sign up and will persuade few young to do so. One of the great hopes of Obamacare was that millions of young people without health insurance would sign up and pay the bills of older, sicker people.

That is naïve and overly optimistic.

Another dark economic cloud on the health horizon is that employers – who pay the biggest share of health costs today – are dropping coverage.

UPS dropped health insurance for 15,000 of its employees’ spouses. In a memo to employees, UPS said it expected the cost of medical care to rise 7.25% in 2014 due to the Affordable Care Act requirement to cover dependent children up to age 26. Similarly, Premier Health will no longer cover spouses of its 14,000 employees.

What’s more serious, the 55,000 employees of Securitas, the nation’s largest security guard provider, will lose their health insurance altogether, even though the firm only offered basic coverage, capping employee benefits at $3,000.

When White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about this trend, he dismissed them as only “anecdotes” which contrast with the “overwhelming facts” that employers are not eliminating health insurance. Yet The Wall Street Journal reported 1,200 firms plan to drop health insurance.

At present, one in 10 employers plans to drop health coverage for workers as the federal law begins, according to the consulting company Deloitte. Its rival, McKinsey & Co., puts the figure at 30%.

U.S. companies provide health care insurance to 162 million employees. Thus, tens of millions of workers could find that the only coverage they can get is federally subsidized Obamacare.

The Federal Government will charge employers who drop coverage a $2,000 fine. However, for large employers of workers earning below $65,000, there is a substantial incentive to drop coverage. Smaller employers will find it in their self-interest to drop workers with incomes below $80,000, according to a Washington insider.

Since 58% of households have an income less than $60,000 – the numbers of people added to the federal dole could be very substantial – and horrendously expensive.

The call to repeal Obamacare by Sen. Ted Cruz and Tea Party leaders was brushed aside by senior Republicans in Congress, not to mention stout opposition by Obama and Democrats.

However, consider some international comparisons. The percentage of men and women who survived cancer five years after diagnosis is 65% in America but only 46% in England and 42% in Canada – which offer national health insurance.

Of patients diagnosed with diabetes, 93% of Americans received treatment within six months, but only 15% in England with its socialized medicine, according to Investor’s Business Daily. Of patients needing hip replacements, 90% of Americans got them vs. 15% in England.

Repealing Obamacare could be a major Republican issue in 2014. Socialized medicine could become very unpopular.

  Since 1981...
2000+ Columns
  Febrary 9, 2022: Column 2113: My Farewell Column: Happy Valentine's Week
  Recent Columns
  Writing Columns About Marriage
  Will Abortion Be Made Illegal?
  Restore Voting Rights to Ex-Felons
  Progress in Black-White Relations
  Marriage Is Disappearing
  Catholic Priest Celibacy Should Be Optional
  Blacks Must Consider Marriage
  The Need to End Catholic Priest Celibacy
  More Lessons For Life
  Lessons For Life
  Rebuilding Marriage in America
  How To Reduce Drunk Driving Deaths
  The Value of Couples Praying Together
  A Case for Pro-Life
  End The Death Penalty?
  Christian Choices Matter
  The Biblical Sexual Standard
  The Addictive Nature of Pornography
  Protecting Girls from Suicide
  The Worst Valentine: Cohabitation
  Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
  Sextortion Kills Teens
  Cohabitation: A Risky Business
  Recent Searches
  gun control, euthanasia, cohabitation, sexting, sextortion, alcoholism, prayer, guns, same sex marriage, abortion, depression, islam, divorce, polygamy, religious liberty, health care, pornography, teen sex, abortion and infanticide, Roe+v+Wade, supreme court, marriage, movies, violence, celibacy, living+together, cohabitation, ethics+and+religion, pornography, adultery, divorce, saving+marriages
©2022 Michael J. McManus syndicated columnist
Ethics & Religion at
Site Sponsored by