Obamacare Makes Cost-Shifting Fun!

Comment: Obamacare(tm) supporters insisted Obamacare’s(tm) magic was needed to end “cost-shifting” (that’s when uninsured people get care, and the public gets stuck with their bill).  But, their health-control-plus-horrible-website law makes it easier than ever to shift your costs onto Obamacare(tm) suckers purchasers. Just go without insurance, then buy it if/when you get sick.

In other words, like cost, choice, quality, and competition, Obamacare makes something it was supposedly needed to fix, worse.  Again. Government never gets anything right.

“Before Obamacare, choosing not to buy health insurance, [...] saved thousands of dollars per year, [...]”

“Under Obamacare, choosing not to buy health insurance can save you even more, and the downside is much, much smaller.”

“First, the savings. Obamacare increases premiums for healthy people – in some cases, even if you qualify for a subsidy. So dropping coverage will save you even more money than before. (You can avoid the toothless penalty for people who don’t obtain coverage by ensuring the IRS won’t owe you a refund.)”

(examples below are paraphrased from the linked article)

Obamacare strategies for shifting your cost on everyone else, if you get sick:

  • Drop your income: If your state expanded Medicaid (like California), just reduce your income below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $16,000 for single adults) and jump on the Medicaid wagon. Once January rolls around, you can enroll in an exchange plan and boost your income back to where it was. Depending on how often the state verifies Medicaid eligibility, you could return to your previous income even sooner.
  • Move: If you don’t live in a Medicaid—expansion state, you can get covered immediately by moving to one.
  • Give birth: If you’re pregnant, you can get exchange coverage for both you and your child effective the day your child is born. You can enroll while you recover in the maternity ward. If you prefer immediate coverage for prenatal care and such, you can use one of the above strategies to enroll in Medicaid.
  • Marry: Newly married couples can get exchange coverage beginning the first day of the month following their nuptials, or even sooner. Just as some married couples get “Medicaid divorces” to qualify for government nursing—home subsidies, we may soon see uninsured singles with a sudden need for coverage entering into “Obamacare marriages,” and then divorcing when they become eligible to enroll on their own in January.
  • Move: If you move to another state, or even within your own state, you can get exchange coverage beginning in about a month or less.
  • Parents’ plan: If you’re under age 26, you may be able to get coverage before January under a parent’s health plan.
  • Get fired: Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik adds you can also get exchange coverage immediately by “get[ting] yourself fired.” But then he falsely accuses Cannon of “advis[ing] Americans not to sign up for Obamacare because there’s no downside to going without coverage.”

Obamacare Makes It Easier than Ever to Free-Ride
Michael F. Cannon, May 5, 2014

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