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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
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 Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
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 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.

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