ObamaCare's reality: Perpetual flu
Now that ObamaCare likely will remain intact through Barack Obama's second term, here's just a glimpse of what's in store for Pennsylvanians:
• As stipulated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Medicaid eligibility will expand to an additional 800,000 Pennsylvanians — in effect, placing a quarter of the state's residents on government insurance, according to the Commonwealth Foundation. Never mind that Medicaid currently consumes 30 percent of the state's operating budget.
• Care will be tougher to find. Nationally, one-third of Medicaid providers will not take new patients, according to a report in the journal Health Affairs. ObamaCare tightens that noose substantially. The Association of Medical Colleges projects that the U.S. will face a shortage of almost 63,000 doctors in just three years under ObamaCare. And The Doctor's Company, a medical malpractice insurer, estimates that ObamaCare will motivate 43 percent of today's physicians to retire within five years.
• Insurance costs will increase. Highmark raised small-business rates by more than 50 percent in July 2010 and is requesting another 10 percent hike, Commonwealth reports. Nationally, costs are projected to grow by 7.4 percent in 2014, then continue to increase at a rate of 6.2 percent annually through 2021, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Once fully realized, ObamaCare will have all the appeal of a perpetual flu.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.