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Obamacare: Americans know a bad deal when they see one

To The Daily Sun,

Have you ever stopped to wonder if Obamacare is so good, why does it have to be mandatory? Think about it. The question is often posed by people who question the need for government to dictate our purchases ... but it does not seem to get answered and when it does, itt usually amounts to a variation on "people are too stupid to make their own decisions." Obamacare is a mandatory program that is supposedly "for our own good." It's a monster of a law that provides a good example of the futility of trying to force people to do something against their own best interests. It is Prohibition relived.

Universal health insurance coverage has always been the stated goal of Obamacare. It is a foolish policy goal even it were possible. It would be far better to respect individuals and to focus on reducing health care costs, and the need for insurance. By focusing on coverage and not cost, we end up forcing people into plans that don't actually benefit them simply too count them as "covered" despite the meaninglessness of the term.

Most Americans are sophisticated enough to see through this nonsense. Despite rising penalties in 2016, there are still many, many Americans who would prefer to go uninsured than sign up for Obamacare. In 2016, the penalty for not signing up for coverage is $695 per adult or 2.5 percent of household income. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that this will average out to about $969 per household. So why are people willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to avoid signing up for a program that supposedly benefits them?

There are a couple of reasons: First is the cost. Premiums for Obamacare insurance plans are high. Second, and by far the larger killer, is the deductible. For many people, especially those who the plan is designed to "help," they can afford only the plans with the least expensive premiums, deductibles on those plans have climbed to nearly $7,000. After factoring in premiums for the whole year, you're looking at a five-figure expense before you see dime one from your insurance plan. That's why people would regard this as a government rip-off and opt to pay the penalty instead.

Aside from the cost of coverage and deductibles, consumers have other issues with the options presented to them by Obamacare such as: the lack of emergency care outside of a particular network, or the restricted ability to see one's own doctor. This has been a deal-breaker for some, who argue that there is no point in paying for a service with such limited options.

It's also important to take into account that the IRS can't actually collect the penalties from people. The most it can do is withhold tax refunds. But for families not entitled to a refund, there is no need to fear a tax collector knocking at your door for failure to pay the Obamacare penalty.

All this shows that Americans know a bad deal when they see one. There is growing resistance to the government's efforts to force the people into a program that clearly isn't working. That raises the issue of enrollment. The plan needs high enrollment to be actuarially sound. The reluctance of consumers to opt in only accelerates the inevitable demise of this failed experiment, a vanity piece with the president's name on it.

Marc Abear

Meredith

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'Don't answer the foolish arguments of fools, or . . . '

To The Daily Sun,

I have only a brief comment in reply to Mr. Earle's second response to my letter.

As written in (the Old Testament Book of) Proverbs 26:4: "Don't answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are."

Paul Punturieri
Moultonborough

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