Date: March 28, 2016
Host: Jim Schneider
Guest: Twila Brase
This past week, the so-called Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) had reached its sixth birthday. Despite repeated promises, many Americans were forced to leave their doctors, premiums and deductibles have increased, state exchanges and co-ops had to close their doors, while some doctors have simply left their medical practice rather than be faced with costly mandates.
Joining Jim to discuss Obamacare as it’s crossed the six-year threshold was Twila Brase. Twila is the president and co-founder of Citizens Council for Health Freedom. Twila is a certified public health nurse, provides testimony at the state legislative level, meets with members of Congress and speaks around the country giving guidance on how people can protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. She is the speaker on the daily Health Freedom Minute.
Twila was not celebrating Obamacare’s sixth birthday because she believes it’s been a disaster on many fronts. Economically, people are feeling this in their pocketbooks. They are being forced to pay for high cost policies and deductibles with low access to care. That’s not to mention what it’s done to the health care system, both in terms of the delivery system and also the insurance aspect of it.
Despite promises made beforehand, premiums have not gone down except for those who are getting taxpayer subsidies and for that reason they aren’t true decreased premiums.
So how has the Obama administration responded? Twila has heard that the administration was cheering the fact that the increases were the lowest in a certain number of years. That’s not very encouraging when the promise was made for lower premiums, not lower increases.
So if you have employer sponsored health insurance, there’s a shift taking place where more of the compensation for workers is going toward their health insurance which employees will hardly ever use because the insurance also has a higher deductible than most people have ever had. One surprising outcome of this is that in some instances, it’s cheaper for some businesses to pay the government penalty than to offer coverage to all their employees. The problem with that solution is that it places some workers into the uninsured category.
Twila believes we should look at individual ownership of policies rather than being tied to employer sponsored plans which can lead some to believe they can’t change jobs.
In the end, Twila believes there’s an Obamacare I and an Obamacare II. Obamacare I is about the premiums, deductibles, exchanges, preexisting conditions, penalties and subsidies that everyone knows about. Obamacare II is about the dramatic transformation of the health care delivery system. This includes the different ways to pay doctors so that they make different decisions about care.
Other questions and points of concern dealt with on this program included:
–Has national opinion shifted regarding the Affordable Care Act?
–Is Obamacare really settled law?
–Are ineligible people being allowed to enroll to pump up the numbers?
–How is the Obamacare web portal doing from a security standpoint?
–The case of Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell.
–Is Obamacare receiving the attention it needs by the presidential candidates?
Citizens Council for Health Freedom