News / USA

Policy Cancellations Threaten Promise of Obamacare

Policy Cancellations Threaten Promise of Obamacarei
X
November 07, 2013 10:30 PM
While technical problems with the web site have plagued the initial implementation of the Affordable Care Act - President Obama's health care program, there are other consequences of this complex system of private insurance and government subsidies that are coming to light. VOA's Brian Padden reports that thousands of healthy Americans are losing their current insurance and may have to pay higher premiums for new health care coverage.
Brian Padden
While technical problems with the web site have plagued the initial implementation of the Affordable Care Act -- President Obama's health care program, there are other consequences of this complex system of private insurance and government subsidies that are coming to light.  Thousands of healthy Americans are losing their current insurance and may have to pay higher premiums for new health care coverage.  

Andrew Leonard is a 26-year-old information technology consultant.  He's losing his health coverage because it does not meet the standards required under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  Leonard says a new plan will cost him three times as much, and the only expanded coverage he will receive is for medical care for children.

“I don’t have any kids, and, when I do have kids, I would probably get their own insurance plan or change it at that point," said Leonard. "Why do I have to change it now?”

More than three million Americans are now losing insurance plans that do not comply with the new health care law, seemingly contradicting a promise made by President Obama during his reelection campaign that ‘if you like your health care, you can keep it.’”

Dr. Kavita Patel, a health care reform expert at the Brookings Institution, says in many cases new policies are required under Obamacare to ensure equal coverage for men and women, with children or without, to equally share costs.

“You shouldn’t have to pay more just because you are a woman, which is what had been happening before. So, as a result, we have a much more nationwide policy that does not necessarily penalize you for being a woman, and as a result of that we’ve got benefits that apply to both men and women," said Patel.

But she says these changes should not significantly increase the cost of plans and that most young people will qualify for a government subsidy when they enroll.

Critics of Obamacare, like Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, say the law is too complex and gives government too much control over the system.

“It's a law transforming our health care delivery system in the wrong direction, we believe, by increasing premiums, canceling insurance plans, destroying relationships with doctors, raising taxes," said Alexander.

Andrew Leonard says if he can’t find an affordable alternative, he may drop his insurance completely and pay a fine for not having coverage.

“I haven’t researched it enough, but if it ends up being that it is cheaper to go without health insurance, I just won’t go to the doctor most of the year. And if something happens, you know, I’ll hold off as much treatment until open enrollment comes along," he said.

Dr. Patel says these technical glitches and policy cancelations could threaten the entire system if they discourage young and healthy Americans from enrolling.

“I think all of this is causing, causes me great concern that people are now feeling that the promise about having affordable health care is not attainable," she said.

She says over time Obamacare will stabilize costs if these problems are addressed and more people enter the marketplace.

You May Like

US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Activists for Peace Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified boarder, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs