Dan Calabrese Doesn’t Do His Homework About Obamacare, and It Shows
Screw Obamacare proclaimed the headline to Dan Calabrese’s editorial on Herman Cain’s website last week. Directly following his bold statement of civil disobedience were the words: "Why I’m leaning toward staying uninsured (and many of you should do the same)." Calabrese’s title is quite misleading since his argument is not “Screw Obamacare,” but instead, “Screw Health Insurance.”
Calabrese makes a lucid and logical argument against buying comprehensive health coverage for he, his wife, and 13-year old son, all of whom he states are “healthy and we do not consume a lot of health care services.” He reasoning is sound, and provides a simple financial analysis to support his decision:
We could purchase the type of family coverage that a lot of people typically get through their employers, but coverage that comprehensive would cost us at least $400 a month, which means we would almost certainly pay close to $5,000 a year for a third party to pay our medical bills. Simply paying out of pocket, we spent less than $2,000 over the course of the past year. Why would I want to spend an additional $3,000 for nothing?However, his math gets a little fuzzy when he admits that he is indeed shopping for health insurance to cover possible catastrophic circumstances. A policy in which he would prefer an annual deductible of $27,000. For this catastrophic coverage, he expects to pay less than $200 a month. So let’s put his monthly premium for catastrophic coverage at well under $200, let’s say $150 per month, or $1800 a year.
All of sudden his savings for not buying comprehensive coverage has fallen from $3000, to just $1200 a year. About to turn 47, Mr. Calabrese is closely approaching the age of 50, when incurring an additional $1200 a year in health care is not just likely, but almost inevitable. If, when he turns 50, he undergoes a colonoscopy, as recommended, that $2400 procedure alone will put him in the hole by $1200.(1)
But Mr. Calabrese has an answer for not even buying catastrophic insurance:
But thanks to government policy, I'm not sure that's a rational decision either. First, we live in Michigan, where the state's mandatory no-fault auto insurance includes unlimited lifetime benefits if you are injured in an auto accident. So if the catastrophic situation were to occur in that manner, we're already covered. Of course, it could happen in other ways. I could fall off my bike. A tree branch could fall on me. I could get cancer. Stuff could happen. But since ObamaCare bans insurance companies from denying you coverage in the event of a pre-existing condition, why get the coverage now? If something happens, I can always just front the first $27,000 and get the high-deductible coverage for whatever comes after that. They can't deny me, right?Seems so easy, right? Just wait until something happens, then waltz into an insurance company office and demand immediate insurance for any calamity you have been stricken with. But even under Obamacare, it’s not that easy. But Mr. Calabrese hasn’t done his homework, and it shows. Under the “government policy,” he speaks of, catastrophic health plans will not be available to people over age 30.(2)
Mr. Calabrese is right that he will be guaranteed insurance under Obamacare, and it will actually be far better, and cheaper than shelling out the first $27,000 every year.
But here’s the rub: in both the Obamacare exchanges and the private market outside the exchanges, there will be “open enrollment” periods, likely between October 15, and December 31. Similar to how employer group plans now operate. So if Mr. Calabrese, or any member of his family suffers a medical calamity in June, he cannot purchase insurance at that time, he’ll have to wait until October 15, and then the coverage will likely not start until January 1.
But in a pure mathematical sense, Mr. Calabrese will most likely not be faced with a medical calamity. The odds are in his favor. But we do know that if even a small percentage of the American public take the advice of Mr. Calabrese and his ilk, thousands, and ten of thousands of families face financial devastation.
If just a million couples decide to not purchase health insurance, the stats are pretty clear. Of those in their 40’s, 14,500 women will get breast cancer, and 3,400 men will get prostrate cancer. In their 50’s, over 23,000 women will suffer from breast cancer, and the same number of men from prostrate cancer. (3)
65,000 uninsured people with cancer. That would be the result of Mr. Calabrese’s ridiculous advice.
This story relates to Dan Calabrese’s Editorial at Caintv.com:
(1) Detriot, MI: Colonoscopy Cost Comparison http://www.newchoicehealth.com/...
(2) Federal Register/Vol. 77, No. 227/Monday,November 26, 2012/Proposed Rules
(3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention