The Obamacare oxymoron
January 26, 2016  //  By:   //  Op-Ed  //  No Comment

You can’t afford to pay for healthcare, but you’ll have to pay us. That’s us, as in the US government.

It’s hard to wrap one’s head around the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance. Those who can’t afford to buy insurance are forced to pay a penalty, one that increases for each year a person remains uninsured. Make sense, doesn’t it?

The biggest slap in the face is that those penalties are kicked back into to Medicaid, leaving those penalty-paying uninsured to pay for the insurance of others.

When Mr. Obama first sought the White House, many Americans jumped on the winds of change that he promised, thinking they were going to receive free health insurance. No one questioned how it would be paid for, and no one really cared. The word “free” was enough of an enticement. Socialized healthcare was heading to America–but it didn’t work that way. Hard working people with good insurance saw their premiums and deductibles skyrocket, some as much as tenfold. Employers not able to afford insuring their entire full-time workforce scaled back many to part-time.

There are exemptions to the health care penalty, but most are moot to the working poor unless they’ve experienced a utility shut-off or some other dire need. But as with most everything in America today, it’s the working poor and middle class who get stuck with the greatest burden.

Some state offer low cost insurance, however, the coverage may not be so great. Still, it may be better than paying the government a penalty, and as penalty costs rise, it may be the least costly.

For the 2105 filing season, many uninsured opted to pay the penalty because they found it cheaper than paying for insurance. This year, it’s most likely a wash but in subsequent years the insurance will be less expensive than the penalty.

When the government tells people who can’t afford insurance to buy insurance or be fined, well there’s something to it that just doesn’t make sense. But if we expect sensibility, the last place we should look is Washington.

Image: Flickr/Charles Fettinger

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