Op-Ed: Obamacare not doing enough to help with health care costs

Posted Oct 6, 2014 by Calvin Wolf
As the Affordable Care Act comes closer to full implementation across the United States, it is clear that this legislation does not do enough to ensure that citizens can afford health care. Obamacare is insufficient for our needs.
After I got married, I signed my wife and adopted son up for health insurance on a private plan that fit our needs. Though it covered emergency care, it did not cover maternity care, in which my wife and I were interested in. Additionally, there always seemed to be a slew of charges which it did not cover - most doctor visits seemed to result in later charges. Our coverage did not include dental or vision, which I paid out-of-pocket. I was not thrilled, but things worked.
This past week, I got a letter in the mail that this health insurance policy was being discontinued at the end of the year. I have put my wife and son on my employer-provided insurance...for an astronomical sum. As a high school teacher, I have found out the hard way that the "iron-clad benefits package" many people associate with public-sector employees is far from generous. Many Americans may find themselves shopping for health insurance soon, and many may also face the sticker shock I encountered: According to the Washington Post, Round Two for Obamacare sign-up begins next month, with thirty to forty million Americans remaining uninsured.
The Affordable Care Act, which is the official name for the legislative package dubbed "Obamacare," has not helped Americans with health care costs. While it may indeed reduce some long-care costs, too many Americans have not felt their financial burdens diminished. Forbes reports that health insurance premiums have actually risen under Obamacare, ostensibly because insurers are attempting to meet federal standards of coverage. While more comprehensive health insurance may be beneficial to families, especially in the long run, we cannot ignore the detrimental effect on family budgets in the short run.
In summation, Obamacare has yet to achieve full health insurance coverage for America...but has made health insurance more expensive. I will agree that the more expensive coverage may be worth it for many, but the problem is that you only experience this benefit if tragedy strikes.
Obamacare's problem is the same problem with America's bloated system of higher education: We want to combine universal access with profit-seeking providers, essentially creating a paradise for producers. There is little incentive to reduce your price when everyone has to buy. Though supporters of Obamacare argue that the increased number of insurance providers and policies will reduce premiums through increased competition, the assumption is that these insurance providers are not engaging in collusion.
Insurance providers will all make more profit if they all raise their prices similarly.
The only way around this problem? Have the government take over health care funding, like is done in most industrialized nations. We do not need profiteering when it comes to our health and the health of our children.