Survey: one-third of uninsured plan to stay that way

posted at 9:21 am on March 18, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The problem all along with treating the entire bloc of Americans without health insurance as a monolith is what brought us ObamaCare in the first place. The massive reorganization of the health-care sector presumed that 40 million (or 48 million, or 37 million) people lacked insurance all for the same reason — obstacles such as pre-existing conditions or economic hardship. A great many of those were either transitionally uninsured or uninsured by choice. Not surprisingly, a new survey shows that a significant number still don’t want to pay for health insurance, mandates notwithstanding:

A new report finds that one in three Americans who do not have health insurance plan to remain uninsured.

According to the survey done by Bankrate.com, of the 34 percent who say they won’t purchase Obamacare, 41 percent said it was too expensive, 17 percent were against the Affordable Care Act and 13 percent said they were healthy enough not to need coverage.

“It’s hard to generalize, but for some of these folks, it’s a case of, ‘I’m in pretty good health, I don’t think about these things, I know I can’t afford it now,’” Michael Morrisey, professor of health economics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, told Bankrate.com. “I think it’s just rolling past them, and they’re not giving it a whole lot of attention.”

Only 56 percent polled said they plan to purchase health insurance.

The article then quotes a researcher who thinks that the problem is that the White House didn’t emphasize the penalties hard enough. Well, it’s difficult to emphasize penalties when those keep getting delayed, especially by the same White House that would need to do the emphasizing. The penalty for the individual mandate is all but gone for tax years 2014 and 2015, thanks to the latest unilateral change coming from the Obama administration. Penalties that don’t penalize aren’t really all that motivating.

Besides, the survey itself makes it pretty clear that the refuseniks in this case aren’t making that decision out of sloth. More than 40% of them think ObamaCare is too expensive, and another 13% don’t see the need for comprehensive insurance, which is a majority who see the mandate as so cost-ineffective that it’s worth it to pay the penalty instead. Those are rational decisions, which a significant portion of the uninsured population made prior to ObamaCare, too.

How rational? Paul Bedard reports that an eHealthInsurance survey shows it to be a wise calculation (via Power Line):

According to a cost report from eHealthInsurance, a nationwide online private insurance exchange, families are paying an average of $663 a month and singles $274 a month, far more than before Obamacare kicked in. What’s more, to save money, most buyers are choosing the lowest level of coverage, the so-called “bronze” plans.

The firm provided the costs to Secrets through their new online price index, which gives the averages of what people are paying for insurance sold through their system. In California, for example, some families are paying a high of $2,604 a month and in New York, $1,845. …

— Premiums have increased by 39 percent to 56 percent, compared to pre-Obamacare coverage. As of Feb. 24, the average premium for an individual health plan selected through eHealth without a subsidy was $274 per month, a 39 percent increase over the average individual premium for pre-Obamacare coverage.

— The most recent average premium for plans without a subsidy chosen by families was $663 per month, a 56 percent increase over the average family premium in Feb. 2013, which was $426 per month.

This follows on sharp premium increases since the 2010 passage of ObamaCare, too, after the taxes and mandates for coverage began to kick in for insurers. Families are now spending almost $8,000 for an average policy, and that’s before the deductibles. They will have to spend thousands of dollars more before their benefits actually take effect. The same is true for individuals; at the above average, it’s about $3300 for premiums and thousands more in deductibles. So much for “bending the cost curve downward.”

Let’s remember that this market disruption was ostensibly created to entice all of these uninsured into the system. What rational reason do these costs give them to comply? It’s better to pay the fine and deal with routine care with out-of-pocket payments, then get insured late if a catastrophic event takes place.

Maybe, when we finally scrap this system, we’ll design one that offers real cost savings through open competition and reduced government rationing. In the meantime, no one can blame people for making rational choices, except of course this White House.


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Survey: one-third of uninsured plan to stay that way

For the first time in my adult life….

I was cancelled…..

Electrongod on March 18, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Via The Drudge…

[Russian Deputy PM] LAUGHS AT OBAMA ‘SANCTIONS’; CALLS HIM ‘PRANKSTER’…

Obama is a Prankster all right…
To everyone..

Electrongod on March 18, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Maybe, when we finally scrap this system, we’ll design one that offers real cost savings through open competition and reduced government rationing. In the meantime, no one can blame people for making rational choices, except of course this White House.

That’s an awful lot of words for single payer
–Any leftist.

Gatsu on March 18, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Maybe, when we finally scrap this system, we’ll design one that offers real cost savings through open competition and reduced government rationing. In the meantime, no one can blame people for making rational choices, except of course this White House.

Beyond the penalties, I think the lies hurt those pushing Obamacare. People were promised for years that they could keep their plans and doctors and hospitals. That they would be paying less than their current substandard plan. And that this would ensure that everybody had access to healthcare. All these were lies that, over time, led to a certain set of expectations.

Then came October 1st and the big Obamacare roll-out. What people saw when they were finally able to get into the exchanges was an Obamacare that bore no resemblence to the Obamacare of fiction that they thought they were getting. With documented proof that HHS and the White House were lying about Obamacare from the very beginning. This is not the way you convince people to sign up for your penalty-free healthcare ponzi scheme.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 9:39 AM

For the first time in my adult life….

I was cancelled…..

Electrongod on March 18, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Well, it was a substandard plan. /

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Obama is a Prankster all right…
To everyone..

Electrongod on March 18, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Somehow prankster isn’t high on the list of adjectives that come to mind when there is mention of the lazy stupid rat-eared SOB.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 9:41 AM

For the first time in my adult life….

I was cancelled…..

Electrongod on March 18, 2014 at 9:31 AM

I’m very sorry for you.

hawkdriver on March 18, 2014 at 9:42 AM

For over 2 decades I been self insured (paid myself and invested those monthly premiums) …. when ever I’ve required medical services I’ve reached into my back pocket, pulled out my wallet and paid whatever the nice young lady said I owed for the services rendered. Then I skip and laugh all the way to the Bank.

When I gamble I do it at the Casino, a back room craps game or at the race track ….. I never gamble with the insurance mafia…. that’s a suckers bet.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on March 18, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Families are now spending almost $8,000 for an average policy, and that’s before the deductibles. They will have to spend thousands of dollars more before their benefits actually take effect. The same is true for individuals; at the above average, it’s about $3300 for premiums and thousands more in deductibles.

And that’s just this year. How much will those costs go up next year (if and) when the final real participation numbers come out this year, risk corridors notwithstanding. Low participation rates combined with low young healthies signups will have people wistfully looking back at this years’ rates.

parke on March 18, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Did anyone read the story from the other day about
Kathleen “advocating” for Obamacare in a church??

Maybe the Powers that be here at HotAir can dig that
one up, and make a thread about it.

The shameless violation of any and all established
Rules in our Society by this gang of thugs is
astounding.

ToddPA on March 18, 2014 at 9:55 AM

We can never unring this bell. Obamacare has damaged the health insurance system to the detriment of the public so wholly that even if it is repealed the premiums will stay at the levels currently in place. The insurance companies, Big Pharma and big unions backed this p.o.s. and they have stuck it to the American public good and hard. All part of the plan. They will either get single payer or the system has to be re-worked from top to bottom. We can start with the plain fact that we subsidize the entire world with higher costs for drugs and equipment. Being capped at what they can charge people in other countries for equipment and medication (if at all in some cases) who do you think the equipment manufacturers (I’m looking at you, G.E.) and Big Pharma are going to charge to make up the difference? Us and our insurance companies. Third-party payers always distort the market, too. We are well and truly hosed. The dems and their corporatist cronies have ruined the system and I don’t know how it can ever be fixed.

ClownsToTheLeftOfMe on March 18, 2014 at 9:56 AM

But, but, but, Americans are ‘hungry’ for Obamacare.

Tom Harkin told me so.

Resist We Much on March 18, 2014 at 9:56 AM

And that’s just this year. How much will those costs go up next year (if and) when the final real participation numbers come out this year, risk corridors notwithstanding. Low participation rates combined with low young healthies signups will have people wistfully looking back at this years’ rates.

parke on March 18, 2014 at 9:53 AM

A guy on FNC yesterday quoted one of the “young healthies” who said that she was for Obamacare until she realized that she was going have to pay for it. I suspect that she isn’t the only one with buyer’s remorse for being stupid, trusting, or whatever.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 9:58 AM

But, but, but, Americans are ‘hungry’ for Obamacare.

Tom Harkin told me so.

Resist We Much on March 18, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Well then, consider the source. ;0

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 9:59 AM

The really, really, really fun thing coming here is that Team Obama has pretty much been all-carrot on the under-35 voters so far in trying to get them to sign up for ObamaCare, with moronic brosurance ads and mindless insulting-their-intelligence ‘Get Covered’ tweets. Neither of which is having much of an effect (and what they are having may be negated by the end of the year when the higher 2015 insurance premiums hit), and as a result, we saw the first signs recently of the White House bringing out ‘the stick’, albeit mildly, in Obama telling viewers on Spanish language TV they may have to give up their pricy cell phone or cable TV plans to pay for health care.

That’s a place the Democrats don’t want to go, but may have no choice but doing. They think they own the younger demographic because they’ve done such a good job over the years at demonizing the right as being against any new (youthful) ideas or simple freedom of expression. But if Team Obama starts telling that group you will buy health insurance, or else, odds are ObamaCare is going to start looking to the under-35 crowd about like Pleasure Island did to Pinocchio after the trip with Lampwick to the pool hall.

jon1979 on March 18, 2014 at 9:59 AM

The massive illegal, insane, and un-Constitutional reorganization of the health-care sector …

Edited for accuracy.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 18, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Maybe, when we finally scrap this system, we’ll design one that offers real cost savings through open competition and reduced government rationing.

Would be nice, Ed. But with feckless RINOs we’ve got and an outright stupid electorate (let alone voter fraud and third-party support courtesy of the left), I’m not getting my hopes up.

MisterElephant on March 18, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Only 56 percent polled said they plan to purchase health insurance.

In what year of which decade?
Last I heard, only 11% of “enrollees” were in the ‘previously uninsured’ category.
“Planning” to purchase coverage means diddly-squat.

lynncgb on March 18, 2014 at 10:45 AM

ClownsToTheLeftOfMe on March 18, 2014 at 10:01 AM

States are paying Xerox to run the payment management systems for Medicaid. No wonder why costs are so high. Insurance companies/carriers, intermediaries, government. Way too many players.

Hat Trick on March 18, 2014 at 10:47 AM

A drop OT:

When the shirt hits the fan

Shy Guy on March 18, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Count me among those who refuse to submit to Obamacare — even though I, the uninsured FlameWarrior, because of a life-threatening medical condition, would clearly benefit from having Obamacare.

I refuse to submit to Obamacare because I am a free man, not a possession of the government. I will decide for myself if, when, where, and how to be insured. Government will not be permitted to make that choice for me.

I refuse to submit to Obamacare because I think Obamacare is criminally overpriced crap.

I refuse to submit to Obamacare because I do not want my private health and financial information to end up in the hands of Nigerian email scammers and the like.

I refuse to submit to Obamacare because the system is so incompetent and destructive that my odds of dying for want of medical attention under Obamacare are actually greater than they are if I go without Obamacare.

I refuse to submit to Obamacare because I’ve better things to do with my time than visit and become entombed by the Kafkaesque Obamacare website.

Bottom line: without medical insurance, I cannot access the type and quality of medical care I need to stay alive. But too bad for me.

I believe in the credo “Live Free or Die.”

Only, with me, it’s now “Live Free AND Die.”

FlameWarrior on March 18, 2014 at 11:42 AM

I don’t know how he did it… but thank Gawd …. Barry was there and showed that cave man how to harness fire… and helped Al Gore invent the internet.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on March 18, 2014 at 11:51 AM

For the first time in my adult life I will have no insurance starting June 1. I want insurance, but I have to be able to afford it. And before anyone asks, while I have a cell phone and cable, each is the basic, low level packages. In fact my phone is over five years old and is a flip phone that mainly makes phone calls. My TV has a picture tube that I bought in 2006. So I have cut my budget to almost the bare bones with little extras.

Tinker on March 18, 2014 at 11:53 AM

The article then quotes a researcher who thinks that the problem is that the White House didn’t emphasize the penalties hard enough.

Um, correct me if I’m wrong (and I very well could be wrong)…

1) The “penalty” is part of your taxes.

2) The IRS can’t come after you for this “penalty”… so it only applies to the refund part of your taxes. So they just take some or all of your refund.

3) If you don’t generally get a sizeable refund, you don’t have much of a “penalty”… because this whole thing was greased in through a loophole that doesn’t have a true enforcement mechanism at all.

The penalty isn’t really that big, unless you do your taxes very strangely. And could be avoided by changing your withholdings with your employer…

Is that not correct? I’m not certain on this (currently insured, so I don’t know) but I thought that was how they got around the “we’ll send someone to jail for not buying insurance” problem.

gekkobear on March 18, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Me, for now.

Insurance is (was!) all about risk allocation – who is willing to undertake the risk that a certain event will or won’t happen.

Right now, I’m willing to undertake the risk that I have a high-cost medical event, rather than spend in excess of $12k/year to shift that risk to an insurer (premiums plus those fantastically high O-care deductibles).

Of course, if insurance is mandatory, it’s not really risk allocation anymore, is it?

Lance Corvette on March 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Maybe 0 should sanction 7 of them…..

t on March 18, 2014 at 1:44 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.
libfre
eordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 1:48 PM

…but…But!….BUTT!…………..

KOOLAID2 on March 18, 2014 at 2:14 PM

2) The IRS can’t come after you for this “penalty”… so it only applies to the refund part of your taxes. So they just take some or all of your refund.

Keeping in mind that in an instant Congress can change this legislation to make it a crime.

I seem to be the only person who realizes this.

Lance Corvette on March 18, 2014 at 3:17 PM