Why Insurance should be Insurance

The NY Post has detailed how ObamaCare harms the sickest people who can benefit the most from high-quality, albeit expensive, care. In order to save money and comply with various regulatory mandates (e.g. three “free” doctor’s visits per year, “free” contraception, mandatory coverage of those with preexisting conditions), insurance companies are limiting their networks and increasing deductibles for life-saving drugs.

The Post interviewed Michael Cerpok, a leukemia patient in Arizona who had received treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota under his old health insurance plan. ObamaCare forced the insurance company to eliminate that plan; the Mayo Clinic is no longer in his network, and he will have to pay $26,000 in out-of-pocket expenses to keep his physician. (He paid $4,500 last year.)  If Mr. Cerpok is like other cancer patients, his monthly prescription bills will go from $70 to more than $2,500.

Take Michael Cerpok, a leukemia survivor in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Right now, his monthly premium is about half his monthly take-home pay. But the ObamaCare law forced his insurer to kill that plan for one that fits the law’s rules.

Now he’ll have to pay more for drugs, and his Mayo Clinic doctor is no longer in his network.

Last year, his treatment bill was more than $350,000, but thanks to insurance his out-of-pocket was only $4,500. Now, to keep his doctor, the one who has kept him alive for seven years, Cerpok will have to pay $26,000 out-of-pocket.

ObamaCare also stints on drug coverage, severely limiting the medicines plans cover. Many pre-Obama plans just charged a co-pay of about $50-70 a month for cancer drugs. Under ObamaCare, thousands of cancer patients will have to pay more than $2,500 a month for medicines.

Final question: why do single-payer advocates think that a system run by the U.S. government would be any less stingy?  It lacks the competitive forces of a free market and is subject to the same far worse financial constraints. The government must operate within a budget, but its current budget must account for $17 trillion worth of debt.

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Filed under Economics, ObamaCare

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