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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More