“Obamacare is working as designed” — except for the part about “individuals free-riding the system,” according to Jonathan Gruber, one of the chief architects of Obamacare. His assertion is that Obamacare doesn’t need any kind of overhaul; the people are the problem. They aren’t doing what they are supposed to in order to make Obamacare work.
“We have individuals who are essentially free-riding on the system, they’re essentially waiting until they get sick and then getting health insurance. The whole idea of this plan, which was pioneered in Massachusetts, was that the individual mandate penalty would bring those people into the system and have them participate. The penalty right now is probably too low and I think that’s something that ideally we would fix.”
Not enough people want to participate in the government run healthcare system, so the solution is to punish them more by levying a greater tax/penalty/fee to pay for the spiraling costs.
For tax year 2016, the penalty will rise to 2.5% of your total household adjusted gross income, or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, to a maximum of $2,085. For tax year 2017 and beyond, the percentage option will remain at 2.5%, but the flat fee will be adjusted for inflation.
So, people aren’t using Obamacare because it’s expensive — premiums this year are rising at an average of 25%. So they choose to forgo insurance and pay a penalty, and then it’s their fault for not paying into the system, so we need to raise the penalty rates higher to force them to choose between insurance with high premiums or no insurance with high penalties. This doesn’t sound like it’s about healthcare. It sounds like it’s about more money for a healthcare system that is hemorrhaging funds at an alarming pace.