Nothing 'Free' About Obamacare

Friday, 24 Sep 2010 02:53 PM

By Betsy McCaughey

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Whenever you hear the word “free,” you’re forewarned that someone is trying to play you for a fool. Supporters of Obamacare are telling us that the new law offers “free” preventive care. But read the fine print.

What the law actually says is you have to pay 100 percent upfront, in your premium, for any preventive care services such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and quit-smoking programs.

If you decide to get one of these services, insurance companies can’t charge you a copay. But that doesn’t mean you get it for free. You’ve already prepaid.

If you buy the $25 all-you-can eat buffet, the restaurant can’t claim dessert is free.

You may be one of the millions of Americans who just got a premium hike in the mail. One reason is “free” preventive care. Another reason is the ban on lifetime caps.

Until now, most health plans put a lifetime limit on what the insurer will pay. Obamacare outlaws that limit. That’s an attractive change for people with chronic illnesses. But it’s not a freebie either.

In fact, it is the single biggest reason your premium is going up. If you got rid of the cap in your auto insurance or your homeowner’s plan, those premiums would soar too.

Essentially the new law takes away your decision about how much insurance you’re willing to buy. You’re forced to buy the sky’s-the- limit policy and pay the higher premium, whether you want to or not.

When you get more, you have to pay more. There is no tooth fairy.

Premium hikes in the mail, and more down the pike. According to the administration’s own projections released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid on Sept. 9, your premium is going to be higher than if the law hadn’t passed every year through 2019. As far as the eye can see.

Don’t let your Congress member act surprised by this bad news. Members of Congress were warned by the Congressional Budget Office last March, before they voted for the Obama health law, that it would raise premiums.

They knew they were casting a vote to take money out of your pocket. That’s something to remember on Election Day.

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