Insurance

Personal responsibility is imperative if you’re going to benefit from Obamacare.  Regardless of your age, gender, race (except American Indians who are exempt), diseases, disabilities or drug use – prepare to pay more for your care.  You’ll need to learn what your care requires and how much Medicare/Medicaid will pay for your treatments because you’re going to pay for the balance.  Obamacare reduces Medicare funding between now and 2020.  It reduces certain Medicare Hospital payments and it eliminates the Part D drug plan by January 2020.

162 years ago today, Carolyn Ingraham of Madison, New Jersey became the first woman in America to be issued a life insurance policy.   Back then most folks believed in self-insured programs.  They worked with their neighbors or churches to assure their families were taken care of in the event of loss.  Graineries were a primitive form of insurance.  They house food to indemnify them against famines.  Oversight did not begin until 1851 when New Hampshire had the first Insurance Commissioner.

Congress took no significant action about Insurance until the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945  when they proclaimed Insurance Company oversight was the responsibility of the states.  In 1999, the Financial Modernization Act reaffirmed states rights on Insurance Company oversight while it acknowledged a framework to authorize affiliations between banks, securiteies firms, and insurer.  Dod-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act took things a little further.  It established the Federal Insurance Office within the Dept of Treasury.  It adds another layer of beauracracy without enforcement capabilities and the industry continues to escape Anti-trust laws.  It was inconceivable in 1850  so many people would live so long and the financial burden to society would be so great.

Obamacare shifts a large portion of the financial burden to employers and private pay individuals.  When hospitals that accept large numbers of indigents receive less, beginning in October of 2014, cost of services will have to rise in order to cover those reduced revenues.  Eventually indigent and fixed income folks will get less care for more money – when that happens Congress will get to revisit this issue – if not sooner.