Chris Woodward   ( Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Economic value is something that is getting lost in the equation when it comes to controversy and concerns over ObamaCare.

Hadley Heath Manning, director of health policy at the Independent Women's Forum, says it's important to consider not just what people are getting in ObamaCare, but the value of the service based on the price they're paying.

"One of the hard things about measuring this, especially as individual consumers, is about 80 percent of the people who are enrolled in ObamaCare coverage through the exchanges have some kind of subsidy paid on their behalf to the insurance company,” she says.

“When you take into account their unsubsidized premium and then you look at what kind of coverage they're getting, what kind of out-of-pocket cost they're left with, and the type of provider network that they're getting, then it's a question of value."

Manning says it's very difficult for those consumers to actually gauge the value of the insurance they’re paying for because one of the problems encountered before and after the passage of ObamaCare is transparency in healthcare.

"A lot of consumers don't know exactly what they're getting, they don't know what kind of network they're signing up for, and they don't know even what taxpayers are paying on their behalf so they can pay only a subsidized portion of their premiums," she says. 

Manning says at the end of the day, the goal of health reform should be to maximize efficiency so that every consumer gets the highest value for his or her healthcare dollars.

"And I think if we look critically at the world before ObamaCare, and the world after ObamaCare, value is something that is getting lost in the equation,” she tells OneNewsNow.

“Too many people want to focus on just one metric [such as] how expensive it is or how many people are insured, but they're not paying attention to whether consumers are actually more satisfied. And that's a difficult evaluation to make as well, because every individual family consumer will have a different desire, preference and need when it comes to their insurance."

Speaking of consumer satisfaction, a Gallup poll around the start of the current enrollment period (November 15) found 37 percent of Americans approve of the Affordable Care Act. Another 56 percent disapprove.