Shared Sacrifice? 1 In 3 Americans Slash Staples Spending To 'Afford' Obamacare

Tyler Durden's picture


Health insurers are in panic mode as the Obama administration, ever eager maximize coverage optics for Obamacare, has, as The NY Times reports, allowed large numbers of people to sign up for insurance after the deadlines in the last two years, destabilizing insurance markets and driving up premiums. This surge in costs, from unintended consequences, has left 1 in 5 Americans with health insurance is having problems paying medical bills; and, as a new poll finds, more than one in three Americans, or 35 percent, said they were unable to pay for basic necessities such as food, heat, and housing because of medical bill problems...

Among people with health insurance, one in five (20%) working-age Americans report having problems paying medical bills in the past year that often cause serious financial challenges and changes in employment and lifestyle, finds a comprehensive new Kaiser Family Foundation/New York Times survey. As expected, the situation is even worse among people who are uninsured: half (53%) face problems with medical bills, bringing the overall total to 26 percent.


While insurance can protect people from problem medical bills, the survey suggests that those with employer coverage or other insurance suffer similar consequences as the uninsured once such problems occur. Among those facing problems with medical bills, almost identical shares of the insured (44%) and uninsured (45%) say the bills had a major impact on their families.


People with insurance who face problem medical bills also report a wide range of consequences and sacrifices during the past year as a result, including delaying vacations or major household purchases (77%), spending less on food, clothing and basic household items (75%), using up most or all their savings (63%), taking an extra job or working more hours (42%), increasing their credit card debt (38%), borrowing money from family or friends (37%), changing their living situation (14%), and seeking the aid of a charity (11%). These shares generally are as large as or larger than the shares among uninsured people with problem medical bills.



Overall, 62 percent of those who had medical bill problems say the bills were incurred by someone who had health coverage at the time (most often through an employer). Of those who were insured when the bills were incurred, three-quarters  (75%) say that the amount they had to pay for their insurance copays, deductibles, or coinsurance was more than they could afford.

And it is not about to get better any time soon, as The NY Times reports, it appears the liberal-leaning establishment will never learn the real "unintended consequences" of tinkering central-planning...

The administration has created more than 30 “special enrollment” categories and sent emails to millions of Americans last year urging them to see if they might be able to sign up after the annual open enrollment deadline. But, insurers and state officials said, the federal government did little to verify whether late arrivals were eligible.


That has allowed people to wait until they become ill or need medical services to sign up, driving up costs broadly, insurers have told federal health officials.


“Individuals enrolled through special enrollment periods are utilizing up to 55 percent more services than their open enrollment counterparts” who sign up in the regular period, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, whose local member companies operate in every state, told the administration.

Of course, Enroll America, a nonprofit group with close ties to the Obama administration, said the government “should not tighten eligibility or verification standards in ways that could place an undue burden on consumers.”

Because - "it's fair..." - though The Iron Lady had it right...

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Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:03 | 7027027 SmedleyButlersGhost
SmedleyButlersGhost's picture

If you want your health, you can keep your health.*

*I didn't say what it would cost.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:19 | 7027111 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture

"My insulin costs so much I can barely afford my weekly 2 gallons of Mountain Dew!" - Murca'

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:41 | 7027209 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Don't tell me I can't have it all!

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:53 | 7027249 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Bend over....... -Barry-

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 00:21 | 7028060 Handful of Dust
Handful of Dust's picture

Piglosi didn't say it came with Supersized premiums!

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:03 | 7027028 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Yup, and just wait until the "refunds" don't come in because they're eaten up by penalties.

Not to mention the 2% taxation (sorry, "fee") on all income if you didn't sign up with .gov.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:16 | 7027095 silverer
silverer's picture

Hey yo!  Whey be my refun?

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:21 | 7027122 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Amerikansky comrade, please, let Boris teach you treachery of Cloward Piven. Here is ticket escape from individual mandate:

Do not pay utility, do not pay hospital bill, and you are not need insurance.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:50 | 7027226 Normalcy Bias
Normalcy Bias's picture

The penalties for not having coverage when they say you can afford it, or individual shared responsibility payments (Orwellian enough for you?) are much higher than most people realize. Lot's of 'folks' are gonna get a nasty surprise with their 2016 Tax Returns.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:57 | 7027273 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

According to info on that site:

What happens if I don't pay the fee?

The IRS will hold back the amount of the fee from any future tax refunds. There are no liens, levies, or criminal penalties for failing to pay the fee.


My question is if the IRS cannot do anything but take your refunds, why not make sure to never have a refund and just not get coverage?


Sun, 01/10/2016 - 21:03 | 7027290 Normalcy Bias
Normalcy Bias's picture

Good question, but if enough people were to do that, they'd change the rules on the fly (as they so frequently do) and hit you with wage levies, passport nullification, seize it out of your financial accounts, etc.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 21:08 | 7027312 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

They will have to abolish cash in order to capture everyone, which I suspect is around the corner......

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 22:01 | 7027576 new game
new game's picture

i'm so fucking scared i think i'll comply, fuck that and find the two balls you were born with.

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 09:48 | 7039597 weburke
weburke's picture

i know someone who used the social services system money about 20 years ago for about 300 bucks, when they inherited money, guess who came calling during probate.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 21:20 | 7027358 RAT005
RAT005's picture

I'm in that no pay class right now.  The intimidating multi - thousand $ IRS letters are worrisome.  Hoping I can last until Trump and at least the mandate is thrown out. 

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:05 | 7027037 BlueStreet
BlueStreet's picture

The alternative to going without food and heat is to skip the policy, pay the penalty, and hope to god there's no major medical  incident because then you're on the street.  Capping out of pocket is the only reason to buy an Obamacare policy. The coverage and deductibles are a joke. 

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 00:45 | 7028131 yellensNIRPles
yellensNIRPles's picture

That's what my wife and I did. We are on year two with no health insurance. Lost our excellent plan from BCBS and said fine, you fuck us, we fuck you back. Voting with our wallets. 

And think of it this way, we are now pocketing $9,600 a year since we don't pay the out-mother-fucking-rageous insurance premiums and comical deductible. In ten years we're up $96,000.

And try not to worry so much about being on the street. What do you think the gang bangers do when they get lit up in the hood? Think the ER ever sees a fucking penny from them?

Fuck 'em all, I'm keeping MY goddam money this time.

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 02:04 | 7028262 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Bravo to you. If we can get 999,999 more to do ths we might get this turd sandwich tossed.

From my observations, I think there are many like you. How many, I am not sure.

The truth is that WITH Obamacare you were self insuring anyway with a guaranteed loss of premiums every year. The copays and cost are huge. I have a company who is keeping me out of this for now but if I find myself in your shoes I may do the same.

You are officially part of the criminal class now. In America we have always kind of liked the outlaws.

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 08:59 | 7028638 skipjack
skipjack's picture

Doing the same here. Everyone should join us in protesting by withdrawing your premium $$.


Lost my good but overpriced coverage when Aetna cancelled it in October saying they were leaving the individual market in PA. Funny tho, they just happened to have a replacement policy all spun up that increased my already stupidly expensive premium by 83% AND raised my deductible by 430%.


I voted by snapping my wallet closed. I got accident insurance for $100,000 per incident at $67 a month, and upped my auto policy medical to $1 mil per incident for $200/year. I'm healthy, slim, eat right and stay away from all things fast food and sugar and otherwise unhealthy like soy oil and carageenan. I evercise for at least an hour every day by feeding, slinging hay bales, and exercising my horses.


AND I get an exemption from the mandate because the stupidly expensive premium is > 8% of my annual gross. So, fuck you IRS and Obama - piss off. I'm going to be $20,000 per year in the black by not buying insurance. 


Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:06 | 7027039 skinwalker
skinwalker's picture

That's what you get for letting insurance companies write the law. 


And Maggie was a cunt. 

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:07 | 7027045 SMC
SMC's picture

Death is preferable to life under Obummercare.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:15 | 7027089 silverer
silverer's picture

Well, with Obamacare, death is not a choice.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:34 | 7027177 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

If you die, you won't be able to pay the fee.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:53 | 7027251 Normalcy Bias
Normalcy Bias's picture

They'll bill your family. They got the idea from Chinese Communists billing executed prisoners' families for the bullets.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:07 | 7027051 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Fuck Obamacare and the Trojan horse it rode in on.......

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:08 | 7027058 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

I can see it now.

They'll remove discharge thru bankruptcy like studen loans.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:11 | 7027070 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Yep, and change the word/meaning of deathbed to debtbed.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 21:17 | 7027352 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Only out is to die penniless ... and leave a treasure map to a certain lake bottom to your children...

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 22:29 | 7027698 Sanity Bear
Sanity Bear's picture

and if you hate your kids, make it really inconvenient to get to and have nothing there for them to find

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:11 | 7027069 Vuke
Vuke's picture

For goodness sake, how is it so many are suffering under medical insurance bills?  Avoid processed foods, follow a healthy low-glycemic diet, get some exercise, stay away from quacks and their poisonous drugs and be healthy until your eighties. There are herbal remedies for almost all conditions as described in the University of Maryland's (recently voted best hospital in the U.S.) guide to alternative medicine. Get out from the rapacious, money-grubbing hands of Big Pharma before they kill you.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:45 | 7027221 Ms No
Ms No's picture

Don't forget that they are jabbing our kids with needles that have gawd knows what in them and cornering us so that we can't refuse.  I don't know about you but I don't trust the contents of the vaccines, the pesticides, the latest budget, the PPT or any of it.  That doesn't even cover the experimentation that we periodically find out about after the fact.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 21:37 | 7027453 Vuke
Vuke's picture

Familiar with vaccines. Family member died 5 days after a flu shot with every symptom of anaphylaxis. I think vaccines cause disruptive disturbances in the endocrine system resulting in the increased abnormalities we see in people today. Countries withn less vaccines have far lower incidences of autism and other afflictions. Look up the rates in Scandinavia vs. US. Pharma can explain these of course.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:11 | 7027072 deimos178
deimos178's picture

Fuck it, let the whole damn system collapse and start over. I just hope someone is around to film it so I can see what happens in the hood.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:14 | 7027082 Max Cynical
Max Cynical's picture

Can someone tell me who the FUCK came up with the concept of "Open Enrollment"? What kind of a company refuses to sell me something unless it's during some arbitrary period?

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:35 | 7027181 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

Think of it as Open Season. And you are the game.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:46 | 7027222 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

It wouldn't be a government "plan" if there were not arbitrary terms and conditions.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 22:23 | 7027670 Sanity Bear
Sanity Bear's picture

It comes straight from ivory tower academia, where there are things such as "enrollment periods".

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:14 | 7027083 silverer
silverer's picture

All I want to know, are all those people who are dead broke, hungry, and struggling to pay their medical bills still willing to support Obama for a third term?  Because stupid is as stupid does.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 22:56 | 7027808 JohnGaltsChild
JohnGaltsChild's picture

Yes. Indeed they are that stupid. Except it won't be called a third term. It will be called a temporary suspension of elections in response to a national emergency.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:16 | 7027096 MATA HAIRY
MATA HAIRY's picture

may the iron lady rot in hell....obamacare is a mess, but nationalized healthcare is a must

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:22 | 7027125 logicalman
logicalman's picture

There are no words to describe my absolute loathing of that fucking hag.

I lived in an industrial city in the north of England - Sheffield, to be precise, while she was exporting people's livelyhoods and criticising them for complaining and trying to do something to stop it. I saw the miner's strike close in. Sheffield was a police state, as the miner's union headquarters were there.

It was as much about destroying communities who would help each other out in hard times as it was about corporate profit.

If hell exists, she should be in one of the hotter corners.

Rant Off.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:51 | 7027241 Ms No
Ms No's picture

I hope when that old bitch got dementia that she at least ate a couple of her diamond earings and took a crap on a closed toilet seat a few times.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 21:11 | 7027327 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

I can imagine ANYONE rejecting socialism in a socialist Utopia like England would be hated. I can also imagine they have been exporting jobs much like America has been doing, by their citizens happily buying cheap imports and importing low wage foreigners. England, as with much of Europe, has been content with an increasingly more powerful government to make them into what they cannot become otherwise....a well oiled consuming machine backstopped by unending debt and wealth transfer, not from rich to poor, but from future to the present. We can see this with their current immigration policies which they openly admit are as much about economics as humanitarian issues. Their only path is through cheaper and cheaper labor to offset their entitled mental illness. They have long believed that work was beneath them, and as this disease has taken hold, the citizens of Europe have stopped working, stopped reproducing, and settled into complacent eating. The Muslim influx however, will be not the medicine they hoped for but a lethal dose, that once swallowed only then will reality be faced.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 21:30 | 7027420 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Ever live there?

I doubt it.

I think you are missing something important.

There are good people on every continent who are all being fucked over.

Some see it some don't.

The 'human condition' doesn't recognize the artificial lines called countries.

That, along with race and religion are the 'go to' divide and conquer techniques used by the psychopaths who think they have the right to impose their will on others.


Sun, 01/10/2016 - 22:23 | 7027664 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Your artificial lines have been fought and died over for many centuries. Open borders and "free trade" always sound reasonable and in a perfect and fully transparent world would be. But it is not, and as always it is the change, the transition, that is the bitch. People cannot import cheap goods and hire cheap foreign labor and NOT see their jobs and lively hoods eventually destroyed. The desire for open and free trade is reasonable when it is pursued with people's lives first in mind, but it is not, and people's greed and ignorance is used against them. People are not told or reminded of the hazards of their actions. Far from it as instead we are encouraged to buy more without regard to its impact to our own long term economy, and when considering immigration, it now goes far beyond simple cultural adaptations but actual cultural cleansing, a deliberate elimination of domestic cultures in favor of a more virulent and destructive, backward one of Islam.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:17 | 7027097 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Here's a really effective and inexpensive health plan.


Good food is actually cheaper than crap, but it does require a little thought and effort.

...........apoloigies, i now see the flaw in my previous sentence.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 20:52 | 7027244 Spiritof42
Spiritof42's picture

In a way you are right. Little thought and effort goes into diet and exercise.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 21:10 | 7027325 RAT005
RAT005's picture

And the socialist nanny share-the-wealth Obamanation gov. Has criminalized that lifestyle because no gov. Or corporate benefit.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 21:19 | 7027367 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Sure, hunt deer. Good lean meat, you gotta walk to find it, then drag it back.

Deer - the perfect food.

Sun, 01/10/2016 - 21:22 | 7027386 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Should use a bow, though.

Firearms seem so unfair.

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