Rising medical costs creating psychological damage, says new poll

Federally-mandated insurance for Americans was intended to help, but, unfortunately, it has done more harm than good – if a new poll is to be believed.

A survey conducted for Bankrate.com shows that 55% of Americans (out of the poll of 1,006 participants) are concerned that their medical costs will soon outweigh their annual income. Forty-four percent of low-income Americans (those that make less than $30,000 annually) say that their current medical debt already outweighs their income, and 25% of American surveyed say that their medical costs outweigh their emergency savings.

Fifty-five percent of Americans surveyed (ages 30 to 64) say that their main concern is that health insurance premiums will rise, and health insurance will no longer be as affordable in the next few years. Two-thirds of survey participants claim that their ability to afford health insurance has remained stable, while 14% have noticed an improved ability; 19% of Americans surveyed say that their ability to afford health insurance is worse now than it was a year ago.

Over half those surveyed said that their feelings about the Affordable Care Act have not changed from a year ago, and sixteen percent report that their feelings have gotten better. Unfortunately, twenty-eight percent report that they are more bitter about the Affordable Care Act than they have been in the past before the changes took place.

One reason related to bitterness regarding the Affordable Care Act pertains to insurance premiums and benefits. Some single adults in their late 20s and early to mid-30s have low insurance plans, but out-of-pocket deductibles are through the roof (at least $5,000-$6,000 out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in).

Take someone who is seeing a professional counselor for mental wellness (due to stress, grief over the death of a loved one, and so on). Even if the individual pays insurance (which could stretch to $160 monthly), the individual still owes $6,350 out-of-pocket before insurance will cover the remaining medical costs. In other words, the thirty-something who pays $160 a month (nearly $2,000 a year) still owes $6,350 on top of their health insurance premium – eliminating the need to even afford health insurance in the first place.



And, unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act has only proven affordable for a few, with others who cannot afford health insurance to struggle to pay it. It is also the case that for those who do not carry health insurance, they are subject to a tax penalty by the federal government – except in cases where the individual is not a tax liability or can demonstrate that he or she cannot afford health care.


Trying to afford health care and falling under the weight of it all can send the insured to counseling for help. Unfortunately, if counseling sessions require a hefty out-of-pocket bill that the insured cannot afford, there is no way to cope. How ironic is it that a bill, designed to help so many, has only added psychological damage?



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  • This poll shows that propaganda against the ACA works.

    Those who make under 30K a year will find that the government subsidies cover most of the costs…so they ca n only benefit, but they have been brainwashed to avoid the actual law, which was written for their benefit, and concentrate on expectations created by anti-healthcare propagandists.

    Anyone whose lowest policy is more than 8% of their income is waived from the mandate to purchase insurance. They are free, as in the past, to purchase or not, from private insurers.

    The ACA is the model designed by the Koch funded Heritage Foundation in 1989 and promoted by the Republicans in Congress as an alternative to the Clinton healthcare proposal. It was implemented by Governor Romney in Mass.

    It is designed to reward the private insurance predators with captive and subsidized customers, but it has within it the seeds of transformation. States can create non-profit systems, public options, and single payer plans, as Vermont has done (which will go into effect in 2017).

    Private insurers have an overhead of 20%, compared to govt overhead (Medicaid, Medicare, etc) of 2%. With a national healthcare spending of nearly 3 trillion a yr, that 18% difference (in wasted overhead) amounts to over 500 billion a year, more than the deficit.

    Canada, province by province, came to see the savings and adopted a national single payer system, which now provides superior healthcare at half the price. Canadians are, as a result, now wealthier AND healthier than Americans, and thousands of American jobs have migrated to Canada, due to lower healthcare and production costs for automobiles.

    The private insurance industry extracts over 500 billion a year in wasted overhead, while contributing nothing to our health research, healthcare, or health. The US spends twice as much as any other country and ranks 40th in results.

    Support single payer and non-profit systems (such as the other advanced nations have) and eliminate the parasitic profits of the private industry. In 2009, as our jobs and equity were being destroyed, the CEO of United made 106 million, 98% taxed at 15%…so he came home, during a national economic collapse, over 80 million. This is the kind of waste we can eliminate.

    If you are a fiscal conservative, all the evidence demonstrates that a single payer system would wipe out the yearly deficit. What’s to oppose?