Obamacare will raise medical costs


The first effects of Obamacare will be felt next year. I just learned that the monthly premiums for my medical insurance will increase more than $75. How sad that our nation has a vital necessity that is beyond the affordability of the average family.


It wasn't always this way. My parents, who were farmers, never had medical insurance, until they were eligible for Medicare, but they could afford medical care. While in seminary in 1957, my first medical insurance policy, a private family policy, had a premium of $10.50 a month. It paid about half the medical costs and, although I had a very low income, I could pay the doctors and hospitals because the provided medical care was affordable. I had my first group health insurance in 1965. Before that, I could afford the medical costs for myself, my wife, and my children even though I still worked for slightly above minimum wage.


The medical industry was controlled then by the law of supply and demand. To stay in business they had to charge what people could pay. How different it is today! Most fee-for-service insurance plans pay eighty or ninety percent of the charge. That ten or twenty percent the patient must pay can be thousands of dollars. This is especially significant since so many procedures originally done as inpatient treatments are now performed as outpatient treatments. The law that every family must have medical insurance will not make medical care available. If a poor family buys the least expensive insurance plan with a very high deductible, $2,000 for example, they still will not have affordable medical care.


The media projections are that Obamacare will cause increases to medical and insurance costs. That is very frightening. Why did the Congress subsidize the medical insurance industry instead of investigating the causes for the exorbitant medical costs? Does anyone have the answer?


Lindon Sparks, Barstow