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HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Obamacare: Look at the cost

Written October 25th, 2013 by Hasso Hering
"Long live Oregonians"? Another slogan might be: "Check the price tag."

“Long live Oregonians”? Another slogan might be: “Check the price tag.”

Despite the problems of the federal health care website, something useful is coming out of the start of Obamacare, especially in Oregon. It is giving people a glimpse of what health insurance actually costs. And the news may come as a bit of a shock to people accustomed to being covered at work or through Medicare or Medicare Advantage programs.

You can get a look at what different insurance providers charge on Cover Oregon, the online marketplace set up by the state under the Obamacare program. Take a family of four, with the parents in their mid-30s and the kids aged 12 and 9, and a household income of $54,000.

An advance tax credit would help pay their premiums, and still the cheapest plan available to them in one of the Albany ZIP codes would cost them $223 a month. If they need care, their deductible would be $5,250 per person or $10,500 for the family. Their maximum out of pocket medical expense would be $12,700.

The actual premium would be $480 a month, but $257 of that would be paid by the government, or the taxpayers. Some 600,000 people in Oregon are said to lack health insurance. If they all were in families of four in that income bracket and picked the cheapest policy, the tax subsidy alone would total at least $462 million a year. And that’s just in this small state.

Where’s the government going to get all that additional cash? (hh)

Steven Zielke, on Facebook:  Hasso, you ask how the government is going to pay for this. How do they pay right now for all of the uninsured people who need care? The answer is we all pay. We all pay extra each month so that people who don’t have insurance can be paid for.

Tom LePage, on Facebook:  Many of us were vilified for predicting the disaster this has turned out to be. Sadly, it is even worse than I had feared. Let’s face it, one of the few things that the federal government has any real business being in charge of — national defense — they still haven’t got right after 200+ years. We have all heard, and continue to hear, the stories of waste, fraud, and corruption in military contracts. One has to be willfully ignorant (or exceedingly uninformed) to believe they can improve health care.



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