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The ObamaCare scare: Avoiding doctors

| Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, 9:00 p.m.

ObamaCare's expansion of health insurance to the previously uninsured — as trumpeted by apologists for government-managed care — is of little benefit to enrollees who skip doctor appointments to save money.

A study by the market research group GfK finds fully half of ObamaCare enrollees are ducking their doctors to sustain the well-being of their wallets. By the millions, ObamaCare patients previously were skipping doctor visits, according to the survey. Now, with mid-level exchange premiums scheduled to rise about 25 percent, “preventive care” will take on a new, albeit deleterious, meaning.

Even when it comes to surgery, 12 percent of the ObamaCare enrollees surveyed delayed procedures. Exactly what's the point of federally subsidized health care if those supposedly “served” by it avoid treatments?

“The law made insurance way too unattractive for relatively young and healthy people who are largely choosing to pay the individual mandate tax penalty instead of purchasing coverage,” says Brian Blase, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center.

And as the next open-enrollment period bows, the Affordable Care Act's online “marketplace” in Western Pennsylvania is now limited to UPMC and Highmark. Aetna and UnitedHealthcare have pulled out.

“Health care” becomes a non sequitur when rising costs dissuade patients — the sick and healthy alike — from seeing their doctors.

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