Obamacare Replacement Could Pull Plug on Coverage

Photo by Karen Roach.

Photo by Karen Roach.

By: Bryan Boggiano

Patients in Century Village, a retirement community in Deerfield Beach that see podiatrist Dr. Robert Charnam pay more for insurance due to being at a higher risk for illness, and a price hike due to the new proposed healthcare bill may leave some of his patients uninsured.

“It’s going to be very expensive for people in their late 50s and 60s,” he said. “A lot of people won’t be carrying insurance.”

House Republicans introduced a new bill that, if passed, would repeal the Affordable Care Act. The American Health Care Act, the replacement for Obamacare, could increase overall health insurance prices for older clients and phase out Medicaid expansion.

The new legislation would cap the amount of money a state receives for Medicaid coverage and allow insurance companies to charge older clients five times more than younger ones. Obamacare does not allow insurance companies to charge three times more, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Charnam believes the most important parts of this issue is the fact that everybody needs health insurance and that providers need to get paid. He is not worried about losing patients, but he is worried older clients may not be seen.

“Providers, both doctors and hospitals, need to get repaid, and patients need to afford a premium that provides that payment,” he said.

Charnam believes that insurance agents and government contributions should be set fairly to complete the equation.

According to Evan Tunis, owner of Florida Healthcare Insurance in Coral Springs, a change will be needed to in order to have sustainable health care in the future.  The current system rewards those making less than 400 percent of the poverty level by giving them subsidies to help offset insurance costs.  While this is noble if a person does not get a subsidy, it is costly.

The average cost of a non-subsidized family policy in Broward County for an off-exchange plan is close to $800, he said.

Tunis said this would decrease by offering more choices to consumers.  There needs to be underwriting and more options in plans allowed such as catastrophic plans and those for pre-existing conditions.

The ACA has a one-size-fits-all approach, and this leaves clients with fewer options, according to Tunis.

“Every person has different needs,” he said. “Some people only want hospitalization coverage whereas other people have cancer and they are going through treatment. You have two different spectrums of wants and needs.”

Tunis believes that regardless of whether the new plan is ideal, people still need to be covered and get the right type of coverage.

Charnam believes that there should be a balance between the risks and benefits of being insured.

“Hopefully, it will work out for everybody,” he said. “But there will be winners and losers.”

Bryan Boggiano, is a Coral Springs resident and graduated salutatorian from JP Taravella in 2014. He is currently a journalism student at the University of Florida.

  • kilroy

    sweet can’t wait

  • Puty

    Great point, and exactly why it never came to a vote in the House! As long as the Federal gov’t dabbles in Health insurance there are going to be winners and losers, which is why they need to get out of socialized medicine that Obama brought us into and go back to Insurance companies, hospitals and doctors competing against each other nationwide…..no state lines. This will be the only way to get prices down and if DC is involved only with a few regulations (i.e.; Tort Reform), or it will be screwed up like most federal programs. WE DON’T NEED SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, and we all must understand there are always winners and losers.

    Bryan, Dr. Robert Charnam will just have to discount his price then, and as for elderly at more risk for illness it isn’t because of their feet, it’s because they are old and worn out; this comes from experience! Don’t be fooled by letting a Doctor tell you how we are at risk, WE AREN’T SNOWFLAKES and will take care of ourselves one way or another!! I have to go rest now…….

    • Fred

      Um, no. That’s not the only way to get prices down. It’s not even A way to get prices down.

      Socialized medicine is exactly what we need and it’s exactly what we’ll have.

    • tjb

      Puty, how much would competition bring the cost of healthcare down?

    • tjb

      I have Medicare (socialized medicine) and it has been a good program. Also, Tort Reform would have a miniscule effect on cost reduction.

      • Puty

        Medicare, a program YOU paid into and still do and are forced to utilize when you turn 65 if you are employed by a company that employs less than 20…..small business. My cost of going to a Dr. has actually gone up with the same coverage I have had for years and now my secondary. Anyway, if you don’t believe in competition bringing costs down then I guess you also don’t believe in capitalism so you win. Tort reform, I must be arguing with a lawyer, as no matter the results of the cost reduction it all adds up and to defend these senseless lawsuits everywhere you go is ridiculous.

        BTW, how long do you really think Medicare will be around the way our government has run it and continues?

        • tjb

          Again, how much will competition bring the cost of coverage down? How much does senseless law suits increase the cost of coverage? Rhetoric is meaningless, give me the FACTS from a reputable source.

          For the record I am a capitalist and not a lawyer.

          Also, yes, I am using Medicare and I have been happy with it’s coverage. For a few dollars more a month I have supplemental coverage … together I have great medical coverage.

        • Fred

          Medicare will last indefinitely if people like you stop voting to destroy it.

  • tjb

    Yes the repeal would allow for choice but at what cost to you. When Fred talks about the 1%, is he talking about the huge tax breaks that the very wealthy would receive from Trumpcare?

    • barb

      What exact huge tax breaks? And really why is everyone so hell bent on wealthy people paying so much more than us.

      • Fred

        Oh, let me google that for you.


        Everyone is so hell bent on a progressive tax rate because it actually works. For everybody. Including the wealthy. It’s not exactly rocket science. Then again, it’s not difficult to understand how increased access to birth control is good for all parts of society either so your mileage will likely vary.

      • tj1950

        Because they have a lot more money than us. They can afford it. Why have the middle class pay a higher percentage of their income compared to the wealthy

        • barb

          That is not a reason, everytime some election comes around they complain about the top 2%. They already pay percentage wise a whole lot more than me and you combined easily. If they live in NYC they probably pay close to 50% of their income in taxes between Federal, NY state, NYC, real estate taxes, sales tax how much more do you think someone who works their butt off just like us should have to pay. Especially when their are so many who are just sitting around paying nothing because it isn’t cost effective to work. I think we should be more than a little grateful that we have people who have those incomes and can bear a lot of the burden for us. But it is time to stop everytime something comes up to say lets go get more out of the rich.

          • tj1950

            Are you saying the working class folks such as myself don’t work our butts off? Also, lets take a look at the wealthy New Yorkers paying 50 % of their income. Do you really think the wealthy Donald Trump is paying 50% of his income on taxes.

            The reality, The wealthy often have more tax loopholes than others thus their effective tax rate is lower than those making less income ; also who are the people people sitting around paying nothing?

          • barb

            How much do you really pay after everything…the ones who get screwed are the single 25-35 year olds who have no deductions and are probably the only ones who pay 30%. The people sitting around doing nothing are those able bodied adults playing the system. Living in their parents home, getting welfare, food stamps, medicaid etc., close to 60 grand a year if played right.

          • tj1950

            Again, why should the wealthy pay a lessor percentage of their income for taxes compared to other income groups ?

  • Fred

    Then isn’t it a real shame that you voted for a band of inept clowns that aren’t capable of repealing anything even when they have all 3 branches and have had 7 years to plan how to do it?

    Join sane people, put on your adult pants, and demand Medicare for all.

  • Fred

    Do they effect everyone equally?

    You actually have to read and comprehend the data there in order to understand how the tax cuts primarily benefit the wealthiest among us. That doesn’t seem to be something you’re capable of so I’ll leave you to your ignorance.

  • Carlos

    I applied for my wife medical insurance, right now $299 without taxes only for her, my wife have to spend several hours to communicate with different doctors , a lots of doctors are not giving services to new patients and when they do, you have to pay $50 or $60 for only 5 min of services, They treat you very rude and never give explanations, you are only a number for doctors in this country, so, Obama care have to end, why I’m paying like a premium services and I’m getting a miserable service, something its wrong, I supposed to have a premium services for what I’m paying

    • tjb

      What is the solution if ACA is not working? Trumpcare or Single Payers?