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Watch Insurance Premiums Soar

Enactment of ObamaCare will open the floodgates for new federal mandates that insurers cover expensive wellness and alternative care services and send health insurance premiums soaring. While the New England Journal of Medicine says 50% of physicians will leave medicine because of ObamaCare, it’s more likely that the number of practicing physicians will shrink by 10% to 15% over the next five years. This will force Congress to boost payments to physicians to keep them in Medicine and to get them to accept more Medicaid and Medicare benefiaries. So taxes and Medicare premiums will rise even faster. ObamaCare encourages more people and employers to drop health insurance and game the system. Therefore, we’ll see as many uninsured Americans citizens who aren’t covered by various government programs as we see now. But they may be the higher-income folks who are smart enough to game the system.

Meanwhile, the hospitals who think that they will be the biggest winners because there will be fewer uninsured and few patients whose bills won’t be covered by the government will wind up the big losers. State and federal legislators will tax the not-for-profits and cut margins for the investor-owned hospitals to the bone. Long-run, they’ll lose physicians and money. Same for drug companies. Now that politicians control health insurance companies and markets more than ever, they’ll use the insurers and various forms of price and utilization controls to make the pharmas unprofitable.

Democrats who lose their seats in November will become rich lobbyists until Republicans take power and put them out of business.

People Who Are Smart About Money Won’t Buy Health Insurance Until They Get Sick

ObamaCare will give working Americans who are smart about money strong financial incentives to become and stay uninsured until they need catastrophically expensive health care. If they recover and no longer need insurance, they’ll drop it until the next time. The number of people who can afford to buy health insurance today but don’t is about 15 million. In five years, it could be several multiples of that.

Economists are just figuring it out here and here. Even liberal bloggers are getting it.

Don Johnson blogs at The Business Word Inc. Between 1976 and 1986 he was editor of Modern Healthcare magazine. As its top editor, Don helped build Modern Healthcare, a Crain Communications Inc. publication, into the hospital industry’s leading business magazine and one of the top magazines in the country.

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Kenelmmatt marksburyfactcheckeradonisDr Leader Recent comment authors
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Kenelm
Guest

Wham bam thank you, ma’am, my questions are anwseerd!

matt marksbury
Guest

If this goes into effect before the republicans can sink it the Individual Health Insurance market will definately see increases in premiums, especially once the sick start getting coverage with preexisting conditions

factchecker
Guest
factchecker

Quoting Don:
“While the New England Journal of Medicine says 50% of physicians will leave medicine because of ObamaCare..”
The New England Journal of Medicine said no such thing.
Take a minute and get the facts:
http://mediamatters.org/blog/201003170036

adonis
Guest

“People Who Are Smart About Money Won’t Buy Health Insurance Until They Get Sick” yes, you are right. And those people understand the importance of health insurance when they lose their health.

Dr Leader
Guest

Perhaps people who are smart about their money will stop donating to politicians who do not do their jobs.

Vikram C
Guest
Vikram C

While premium may soar, a very useful outcome will be the closing of the loophole that let near seniors and very sick onto streets and lobby of SSA.
That was an easy exit. Hopefully, Republicans will take it further and reduce cost of care, thereby reducing premiums.

ExhaustedMD
Guest
ExhaustedMD

Even if only 10% of physicians leave the field en masse in the next 3 years, that will have an impact. Re Mark Spohr’s comment, you just wait until you are sick to then buy health care insurance. That is assuming you will have the income stream to afford it! And why is everyone ignoring the plain FACT that Obama and those involved in crafting this legislation are exempt from participating in it? The Senate was so quick to reject the admendment adding everyone to be a participant? Speaks volumes to me. But, hey, defenders and apologists have to spew… Read more »

Gregg Masters
Guest

It’s always in the footnotes to the proforma. Way too many movings parts to make this unidimensional forecast. What if physicians actually step up and lead?
What if patients are actually empowered by health 2.0 technologies?
What if we actually leverage best practices, proven integrated delivery system models or the quality and efficieny promise of EHRs/PHRs and connected medical communities?
No, the label here, ‘Obamacare’ says it all.
See: A Physician Call to Action: ‘Stop Whining & Lead’ http://2healthguru.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/a-physician-call-to-action-stop-whining-lead/

inchoate but earnest
Guest
inchoate but earnest

Don wrote: “….the New England Journal of Medicine says 50% of physicians will leave medicine because of ObamaCare….” Pssst – Don – there’s this thing called the internet that allows practically anyone to check the veracity of such eye-catching assertions. Run your search here using, y’know, NEJM.org’s search utility. Naturally, no phrase so obtuse as “50% of physicians will leave medicine because of ObamaCare” shows up in NEJM’s archive. But try – try hard – to find any NEJM story Don could actually be referencing with this “truthy” reference. No luck? Imagine that. Turns out this “fact” is an hallucination… Read more »

MG
Guest
MG

“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass
hysteria! …”
How about something with a bit more substance instead of just what is mainly a partisan rant that is almost devoid any substantial facts or comparisons. More than willing to read something at AEI or CATO if it has some numbers/reasoning behind it. This fight into the “partisan hackery” commentary bin though.

Wendell Murray
Guest

“Whether 10% or 50%, I think it is excellent that physicians whose primary career motivation is money will be moving on to something that suits them better.”
I agree. Also there will never be a lack of supply of competent physicians. Of course the features of the recent law are not going to make the administrative hassles of the physician or for the patient for that matter any better, but that might come with improvements through further legislation. Unlikely that will happen, but it could.

Hand Gel Geek
Guest

Donald
If you’d managed to contain your partisanship for more than three words I might have more respect for your perspective.
My conclusion:
Bile is better contained in the body than posted.

Mark Spohr
Guest
Mark Spohr

Good points and an accurate view of the various incentives in the current legislation. I am 62, unemployed, and in good health. I recently looked into buying a ‘catastrophic’ insurance plan ($5000 deductible) which would cost $8000 a year for me and my wife. Why should I spend $8000 for insurance that I won’t use and will cost me another $5000 before it pays for anything? I like the new legislation. I can wait until I get sick to buy insurance. After age 65, I’ll have Medicare. The Republicans did me a favor by opposing universal health care. I would… Read more »

Peter
Guest
Peter

“if someone gets solid C’s in medical school they are less likely to be able to solve the puzzle of how to make a patient better. Be careful what you wish for…”
I didn’t know docs posted their test scores with their graduation certificate. That would be nice, then maybe we could get a discount from the “C” docs. Dr. Weinstein, should we pay “C” docs less?

Yana
Guest
Yana

Dr. Weinstein: Your point is well taken. Years ago I came across a doctor in another city who was already fed up and saw what was coming. He refused insurance, had a diagnostic imaging clinic, and charged 1/4 of the cost for a pelvic ultrasound as compared to our local imaging center. I went out of town for his services. I was trying to communicate that I don’t want a doctor who gets straight C’s, because to me that means he is in the wrong profession. And running up a $300,000 debt is the height of foolishness, and that kind… Read more »