Betsy McCaugheyBetsy McCaughey

Since 20 million Americans opted not to take either Obamacare or private plans, the cost of the private plans in 2018 will be nearly triple the rates of 2013.

The analysis was made by Betsy McCaughey. She was Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1995 to 1998 under George Pataki. She unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for governor after Pataki dropped her from his 1998 ticket. She later joined the Donald Trump presidential campaign as an economic adviser.

A historian with a Ph.D. from Columbia University, McCaughey has provided conservative media commentary on policy affecting healthcare issues.

She says the 20 million decided they can’t afford Obamacare even though they risk fines for doing that unless they get an exemption. 

The problem with Obamacare, she says, is that while five percent of the population consumes almost 50% of healthcare costs, everyone pays the same premiums. Healthy people are being forced to pay the bills of the chronically ill, she writes.

Some PR firms bolster staff with part-timers to avoid health insurance costs which can range from about $700 monthly for single persons to $1,000 and more monthly for married persons depending on the number of children.

McCaughey Supports Trump Plan

President Trump’s plan would allow consumers to pay according to their own needs and to buy 12-month plans without extras such as maternity and pediatric dental coverage.

Senator Charles Schumer, D-New York, said Trump would “sabotage” the Affordable Care Act and drive up costs for millions of Americans. McCaughey calls this the “Democrats’ Healthcare Lie.” Another “lie” he tells us that private insurance plan hikes are a new problem, she charges.

“Schumer seems exultant over the rate hikes, missing no opportunity to repeat the lie,” she says.

Members of Congress are not suffering, she notes, because they get government insurance for life. “They should be trying to solve the problem for everyone else instead of lying about it.”

Single Payer Plan Pushed

Single-payer national health insurance, called “Medicare for all” by Physicians for a National Health Program, would allow a single public agency to organize healthcare financing, but keep delivery largely in private hands. All residents of the U.S. would be covered for services, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs.

Most industrial nations have such plans.

The program would be funded by the savings obtained from replacing today’s “inefficient, profit-oriented, multiple insurance payers with a single nonprofit, public payer, and by modest new taxes based on ability to pay,” says PNHP. 

The Medicare for All Act, H.R. 676, would establish a single-payer health insurance system.

What about Obamacare?

The Affordable Care Act, says PNPH, aims to expand coverage to about 30 million Americans by requiring people to buy private insurance policies (partially subsidizing those policies by government payments to private insurers) and by expanding Medicaid. However, it notes:

• About 30 million people will still be uninsured in 2023, and tens of millions will remain underinsured.
• Insurers will continue to strip down policies, maintain restrictive networks, limit and deny care, and increase patients’ co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs.
• The law preserves a fragmented financing system, making it impossible to control costs.
• The law continues the unfair financing of health care, whereby costs are disproportionately borne by middle- and lower-income Americans and those families facing acute or chronic illness.

Potter Pushes Single Pay

Wendell Potter, former communications head of CIGNA, left the company in 2008 to become a consumer advocate, authoring Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans.

His most recent book is Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy.

"Most people don't realize how what they eat, what's available to them, is so influenced by special interests who have huge amounts of money to spend," Potter says. "People are very busy. They don't necessarily have the time to do the research and try to find credible sources of information."