The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Affordable Care Act Arrives

Oct 14, 2013

The Affordable Care Act went live for enrollment across the U.S. on October 1. Some information became available on the costs to individuals buying insurance through the Michigan Health Insurance Marketplace. It depends on their age, county, and smoking status. It also varies based on how much co-insurance the individual will get stuck with, from 10% for a “platinum” plan to 40% for a bronze. And some services won’t be covered at all.

None of the plans are “affordable.” A single 35-year-old Wayne County (Michigan) resident making just $20,000 a year will pay almost $2,200 a year, plus 30% of covered services. A 55-year-old Wayne County smoker could pay almost $13,000 a year for a plan that still makes them pay 10% of medical costs.

At these outrageous prices, many people will choose to go without and pay the tax penalty, which starts around $100 in 2014, and rises to almost $700 by 2016. The only ones smelling like roses in this garbage heap are the health insurance companies.

1700 Products Don’t Make ACA Affordable

In every state, there are at least two plans available, in most states many more. When you look inside the system, you see 100 insurance companies who between them are offering 1,700 products.

Supporters of the system, especially the insurance companies, say it means a wide range of “choice.” But is it really feasible that human beings who have such similar physical make-ups could be 1,700 ways different when it comes to health care?

No, it has little to do with choice and everything to do with what is and isn’t “affordable.” Does anyone “choose” to have a cheaper “bronze plan” that pays only 70% of services if they can afford a complete plan (not offered by ACA at all) that protects them from unforeseen catastrophic liability?

Like a huge roulette wheel, their latest insurance scam is turning, offering the same limited benefits to the uninsured and last to be insured, correcting some inequalities. But the profit system is ruining any true opportunity for real, affordable care.