States like Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida that will play an essential role in deciding the future of the nation on Tuesday should be aware of the potentially inevitable consequences of their vote on the basis of the issue of health insurance.
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (aka “Obamacare”), the healthcare law that is arguably Barack Obama’s single worst and yet biggest accomplishment as President of the United States, will have disastrous effects on many of the very states that he is desperately hoping to win in order to stay in office. From higher premiums to providers refusing to accept Medicare patients, swing state voters should do their homework before casting their votes.
DISCLAIMER – The primary source for this article is Avik Roy, an outside healthcare policy adviser to the Romney campaign and a weekly contributor to his Apothecary blog on Forbes. His analysis of healthcare policy is incredibly insightful and highly objective.
The insurance mandate tax under Obamacare, which defenders of the law claim will fall only on corporations and wealthier Americans, will actually be passed down to everyone, is estimated to increase health insurance premiums by about $500 per family starting in 2014. By itself, that is a substantial increase on the cost of health insurance and an obstacle for greater access.
Individual insurance premiums are expected to increase by approximately 19 percent.
Approximately 29 percent of doctors in Colorado will stop accepting Medicare patients.
Here is a study by Jonathan Gruber, a former adviser to President Obama about the effects of Obamacare on Colorado.
By 2016, individual insurance premiums are expected to increase by as little as 11 percent and as much as 30 percent.
Approximately 44 percent of doctors in Nevada will be forced to limit their acceptance of Medicare patients.
A study by Gorman Actuarial details the effects of Obamacare on Nevada.
Individual insurance premiums are expected to increase by an average of 30 percent. What is more telling is that for more 2 million people living in Wisconsin, premiums will actually increase by more than half of what they are now.
Approximately 22 percent of doctors in Wisconsin will stop accepting Medicare patients.
Another study by Gorman Actuarial studies the effects of Obamacare on Wisconsin’s Health Insurance Market.
If you thought the situations of the above states were bad, it’s even worse for Ohio.
By 2017, individual insurance premiums are estimated to increase by a minimum of 55 percent and could increase for some individuals by as much as 85 percent. The current average annual employee premium in Ohio is $885. That means the premium could increase by $752.25 for some individuals.
Approximately 24 percent of doctors in Ohio will stop accepting Medicare patients.
A report by Milliman explains the effects of Obamacare on Ohio.
Potentially, the most volatile of the states, Florida’s individual market premiums could increase from 19 percent to 85 percent.
What is worse is that approximately 30 percent of doctors will be forced to limit their acceptance of Medicare patients. There are 3.5 million people who benefit from Medicare in Florida, which is approximately 22 percent of the state’s population. It is also the state with one of the oldest demographics in the nation.
A report by the Medical Industry Leadership Institute for the Carlson School of Management in the University of Minnesota outlines the regional impact of Obamacare’s Medicare provisions on Florida.
As a direct result of Obamacare, there is no scenario in which any of the aforementioned states will result in lower premiums or greater access to insurance and care for a substantial portion of their respective populations.
President Obama’s second term will likely be aimed at making the tax increases and insurance mandates for Obamacare permanent. Governor Romney has vowed to issue a waiver from the mandates of the law to all 50 states on day one of hispresidency. The deciding states in this election may have a lot to gain from ousting the incumbent.