With the failed attempt to overturn Obamacare last June, the controversial individual mandate and the state-based health insurance exchanges will likely be in force by January 1, 2014. The promise of Obamacare is to reduce the number of uninsured Americans through extending affordable health care coverage to more than 47 million individuals, without changing the health care protection that the insured currently have. However, analysts say that the health care reform law will hurt the very people that it is intended to help.
Obamacare is not exempted from the law of unintended consequences. Critics argue that although there would be some good consequences, most of them will turn out bad since Obamacare limits contractual freedom in a huge way. Even Obamacare supporter Robert Pear said that implementing the health care reform law could result in millions of low-income dependents of employees losing health insurance coverage.
The law states that employers should provide health insurance coverage to their employees or face penalties. However, when it comes to the employee’s dependents, their status remains unclear under the ruling. Since including dependents would cost more than 9.5 percent of their income, these employees with dependents would not be eligible to buy affordable health care coverage via the health insurance exchange.
When it comes to Medicare, Obama plans to reduce the budget deficit by reducing payments made to hospitals and doctors. This would be a major dilemma for a lot of seniors. Reducing Medicare payments will force more than 40 percent of hospitals to go bankrupt and decrease the number of physicians accepting Medicare patients. These Medicare beneficiaries will experience difficulty finding a physician that will provide them the health care services that they badly need.
The budgetary implications of Obamacare cannot be assessed at this time until all rules are in place. One thing is clear, though. Obamacare cannot possible reduce costs by increasing both the number of covered individuals and the level of coverage. The future of our health care system remains bleak. We’ll have to wait for the November elections. This will definitely be a turning point for Obamacare especially if a new president will be elected.