I’m opting out of the Affordable Care Act.
I don’t feel invincible. But I do live a health-responsible life that includes proper diet, exercise, moderate alcohol consumption, and no smoking.
I spend a minimal amount on medical stuff to keep healthy. But that money spent is for types of care that wouldn’t be covered or reimbursed by any plan.
It just makes sense to pay the tax penalty. (Unless the most basic health care plan would cost me more than 8% of my income which would mean I’m exempt from the ACA mandate.)
Pooling resources to cover healthcare isn’t a bad idea. I’m pro-National Health. But for health insurance to be effective and affordable, three things have to come together.
- The insurance company, its doctors, and its hospitals, all have to be non-profit. That’s doable.
- The doctors have to give individual care that is safe, effective, and appropriate for that individual. According to a recent study by the Mayo Clinic, that’s far less doable, so doctors are best avoided.
- Insureds have to be health-responsible people who only through unpreventable misfortune become ill. This last point being doable or not is really the crux of the matter.
As a nation we spend 18% of our GDP on healthcare. The CDC says 75% of that is spent on chronic diseases caused by 100% preventable behaviors like excessive drinking, smoking, eating a poor diet, or lack of sufficient exercise.
If people simply changed their habits, we could drop healthcare spending 75%. Will they do it though? Obviously not.
That said, it’s quite bizarre that the ACA includes tax penalties only for people for who are uninsured. There are no tax penalties for people who are insured but create their own sicknesses or for doctors and hospitals who provide poor care that harms or kills those in their charge.
All the ACA mandate seems to do is demand uninsured people buy expensive but useless plans so insured but health-irresponsible people can continue to live destructive lifestyles unabated and bad doctors can continue to be paid for giving those irresponsible people costly but merely palliative care.
I’m not using hyperbole here, it’s what Mr Obama himself said. “If healthy young Americans don’t buy plans, the ACA will collapse and fail.”
The ACA is simply perpetuating a broken system that doesn’t address or confront or penalize any of the people who are actually responsible. It’s bailing out those causing the problem without fixing the problem. If that’s sounding familiar to you, it should. Apparently US health care companies are also considered “too big to fail.”
So for me? I won’t dance. Don’t ask me.