There are opposing forces at work in our healthcare system. On the one hand you have individuals who guide their decisions based on financial considerations. Individuals are choosing to forgo obtaining healthcare insurance and are willing to pay the relatively modest penalty.
And on the other side, insurance companies, attempting to maintain their profit margins, are raising premiums in order to manage the expanded risk pool of relatively sicker patients now entering the system.
So what we find are the following two reports from the AMA daily:
Millions Choosing To Pay ACA Penalty Rather Than Enroll In Health Care Plans
"In a front-page story, the New York Times (10/26, A1, Pear, Subscription Publication) reports that the creators of the Affordable Care Act believed “they had a blunt instrument to force people – even young and healthy ones – to buy insurance through the law’s online marketplaces: a tax penalty for those who remain uninsured.” That, however, has not proven to be the case. The full penalty will not take effect until April of 2017, and even then, it may not compel millions of consumers to enroll in health care plans, because the penalty could be cheaper than high premiums and large deductibles."
Analysis Indicates Deductibles For Lowest-Priced ACA Plans Exceed $6,000
"On its website, CNBC (10/26, Mangan) reports that according to an analysis conducted by HealthPocket, individual deductibles for the lowest-priced Affordable Care Act “plans will average more than $6,000 in 2017, the first time that threshold has been cracked in the three years” since ACA marketplaces were established. Deductibles for families are expected to average $12,393. The analysis also revealed that “average premiums, or monthly payments, for bronze plans nationwide will increase 21 percent next year for people who earn too much to qualify for Obamacare subsidies.” The article points out that HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell explained that “72 percent of customers of the federal Obamacare marketplace HealthCare.gov will be able to find an insurance plan that will cost them $75 or less in monthly premiums after subsidies are factored in.”"
My take on the whole debacle is that the ACA has enabled people who otherwise could not afford insurance to do so. It has helped sick people in need of care find it and obtain it. But unfortunately, the overall cost to the system is massive and, in my guesstimate, unsustainable.
Therefore, the logical conclusion is to reform or, where necessary, repeal much of the ACA. This suggestion comes with the caveat that doing so would require a monumental feet of political compromise. As we know, Congress is reticent to come together and attempt to problem solve. there in lies the main problem, the willingness to work together.