One year after ObamaCare was signed into law, a majority of Americans want it repealed. Here are some of the reasons why Pennsylvanians are dissatisfied with the law, even before its tax hikes and individual mandate goes into effect:
- Capitol Blue Cross and Geisinger Health are predicting steady premium increases over the next decade in Pennsylvania.
- Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania requested rate hikes between 12 and 27 percent and was granted premium increases from 9 to 15 percent.
- Highmark raised rates for small business by over 50% in July of 2010.
- Aetna increased Individual Advantage Plan rates by 10%, citing higher costs under Obamacare.
Increased State Medicaid Costs
- Gov. Corbett’s budget proposal—while cutting almost everything else—would increase welfare spending, almost all of which is in Medical Assistance (Medicaid). That is, Medicaid is already crowding out every other part of the state budget.
- A January letter from 30 Governors pleading for more Medicaid flexibility estimated the state will need $2.2 billion in additional Medicaid funding for FY 2011-12. Enrollment is expected to increase by 800,000 under the Affordable Care Act.
- Heritage estimates Pennsylvania will be among the hardest hit, with Medicaid costs increasing by $841.2 million just from higher eligibility requirements.
Cuts by Health Care Providers and Insurers
- Pennsylvania’s version of the “high-risk” insurance program, called PA Fair Care, is enrolling residents below expectations. The state Insurance Department says it has room for up to 3,500 enrollees, but only 1,650 have people enrolled. It only costs $283 a month, but to be eligible an individual must be uninsured for six months.
- Mercy Hospital in Scranton went up for sale, admitting the sale was largely due to the passage of Obamacare.
- In October, Gateway Health Plan took one of its Medicaid products out of circulation in 17 counties in Pennsylvania, affecting 14,500 customers.
- ObamaCare would gut Medicare Advantage plans. As of March 2011, 877,723 Pennsylvania seniors are enrolled. About 2,290,509 are eligible to enroll.
- Health Care Freedom: Representative Matt Baker, who also chairs the House Health Committee, is the sponsor of HB 42 or the Health care Freedom Act which passed committee in early February.
- HSA Tax Credit: Rep. Baker is also sponsoring HB 43 which allows tax credits for HSA’s. In the Senate, Senator Folmer has a similar bill, SB 212, allowing tax credits for small businesses.
- Purchasing Insurance Across State Lines: Again both Rep. Baker and Sen. Folmer have introduced legislation, HB 46 and 47 and SB 216.
- More: SB 217 providing tax credits for unreimbursed medical purchases, SB 215 and 214 for mandate-lite insurance, SB 213 allowing HSA’s for Government employees, and SB 218 to form a state high risk pool (different from the Obamacare pool).