One way for Aetna to satisfy Wall Street was to begin shifting more and more of the cost of health care -- and health insurance -- to their customers. That meant that sick policyholders in particular would be paying more out of their own pocket for their care. Our marketing folks came up with an almost Orwellian name for this cost shifting: "consumer-driven health care."
Why can't everyone shut up about Obamacare? Because now the real problems will start to surface. People who thought their monthly premiums were too high may drop out and stop paying, thus losing their insurance. The lucky ones will end up on Fox complaining about it. The rest will just "go bare," which is where they started in the first place. Those who chose a Bronze plan but have some serious medical expenses will face some pretty hefty costs before any insurance kicks in. The fact that there is a cap on annual and lifetime out-of-pocket costs will be small comfort when facing $5,000 or $6,000 in deductible costs. Then there will be people who go to their doctor only to find out he or she is not in their plan. Or they just didn't read the fine print and figure out they have to pay a deductible for their prescription drugs. The potential for keeping this thing alive until the November elections is nearly endless.