ObamaCare-Friendly States Prepare For Health Insurance “Rate Shock”

Photo credit: SEIU International / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SAPhoto credit: SEIU International / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SAThe L.A. Times warns that even in states where politicians have enthusiastically embraced President Obama’s health care law, many officials — especially the young — are bracing for unexpectedly high health insurance premiums when the law’s major coverage provisions kick in next year:

Exactly how high the premiums may go won't be known until later this year. But already, officials in states that support the law have sounded warnings that some people — mostly those who are young and do not receive coverage through their work — may see considerably higher prices than expected.

That is because of new requirements in the law aimed at making insurance more comprehensive and more affordable for older, sicker consumers.

Insurance regulators in California, which has enthusiastically embraced the law, cautioned the Obama administration in a recent letter about "rate and market disruption."

Oregon's insurance commissioner, another supporter of the law, said new regulations could push up premiums for young customers by as much as 30% next year. He urged administration officials to slow enactment of the new rules.

A leading advocate for consumers in their 20s, Young Invincibles, sounded a similar caution, suggesting in a letter to administration officials that additional steps may be needed to protect young people from rising premiums. Young Invincibles mobilized in 2010 to help pass the healthcare law.

It is interesting to see state officials continue to support the law despite clearly acknowledging that it will raise some premiums and disrupt insurance markets. This suggests that Democrats, who sold the law on promises that it would lower health costs (or at least hold them in check) and allow individuals to keep plans and providers they already liked, are not actually all that concerned about those effects.  

Still, it’s not surprising considering how the law was designed. Higher premiums for many are baked into the law for a variety of reasons, including community rating rules that effectively force the young and healthy to subsidize the old and sick, coverage mandates that add to the cost of individual market policies, accounting requirements that incentivize insurers to charge higher up front premiums, a multibillion dollar new annual tax on health insurance that the Congressional Budget Office warned would be mostly be passed on to consumers.

The law’s supporters sometimes try to shrug off the hikes by noting that consumers will be paying more, but also getting more in return thanks to the coverage mandates and other regulations. No doubt some consumers will appreciate having more robust coverage. But others almost certainly won’t. ObamaCare offers the latter group very little. It institutionalizes a preference for more expansive, more expensive coverage. And many of those who don’t share that preference are going to have pay for it anyway. 

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  • Pro Libertate||

    Hey, that's great. My premiums are already high, and my insurer covers less and less each year. Glad to know that Obamacare will accelerate the trend.

    Only the government could fuck things up this much.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Only the government could fuck things up this much.

    It takes a very special kind of government to fuck things up this much. The National Socialists didn't even fuck it up to this magnitude.

  • wareagle||

    It takes a very special kind of government to fuck things up this much.

    one whose intent is to fuck things up this much.

    All these articles that hint at unintended consequences are such bullshit. Nothing unintended at all.

  • The Heresiarch||

    I just checked my rates. I never go to the doctor. I have no pre-existing condition (other than living in California). In 2008 I paid $113.00 per month. Now I pay $237.00. Thanks Obama!

  • The Heresiarch||

    I just checked my rates. I never go to the doctor. I have no pre-existing condition (other than living in California). In 2008 I paid $113.00 per month. Now I pay $237.00. Thanks Obama!

  • sarcasmic||

    Higher insurance premiums are a failure of the free market.

  • ||

    ...may see considerably higher prices than expected.

    Expected by whom?

  • John||

    Generation retard. You know, the generation who voted for Obama because he was dreamy and they wanted to be a part of history. And the generation that has never received so much as an hour instruction in economics.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    You're more of a dick lately than usual.

  • John||

    Damn straight I am. Obama is totally screwing over anyone under 40 in this country. And they all seem to be enjoying it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    He meant you are more of an irrational wingnut dick, Red Tony.

  • ||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • John||

    Don't you have some underage hookers to fuck? You are a Democrat, you can do that and it is okay.

  • grey||

    It's okay if you fly out of the US and are involved in helping Democratic cronies. Otherwise it is frowned on, but still allowed.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I understand Randian's apprehension over generational sociology, but I've grown increasing frustrated with my age cohort (the young 20somethings who cast their first vote for Obama in 2008). The skepticism of previous generations seems lost on a generation that grew up being instantly gratified.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This generation really thinks John Stewart is smart.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Those under 40 only remember Bush and Clinton.

    Clear winner = Clinton.

  • Rabban||

    I am under thirty five and I remember Reagan. I have seen a growing economy and a growing middle class, and seen it wash away in the space of my lifetime.

  • SIV||

    So does Nick Gillespie.

  • Brandon||

    To be fair, Jon Stewart is smart. He gives the people what they want, and is handsomely rewarded for it. Principled, ethical? No. But definitely smart. He just happens to pander to retards like Tony and the guy who fantasizes about Sarah Palin's rectum.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    And, yep, unless we majored in it in college or had to deal with scarcity as children (a growing rarity), we never had a proper instruction in economics.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    In college I felt like I had some of the most diverse experiences (despite being a white male) because I grew up doing manual labor on a farm and had to decide between getting a part time job or missing the new movie coming out.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Let me say that, morally, I'm not against parents providing more and more for their children. Theoretically, it could free up their children for more and more specialized tutelage. And frankly, it's none of my business what parents do for their children.

    But in a practical sense, the inadequacy of economics education in this country coupled with a protecting kids against scarcity is (at least, I think) re-enforcing a sense of dependence and entitlement that is having a negative consequence with today's young electorate. (Compare it with the young, enthusiastic, Reagan Republicans of the 1980s.)

  • grey||

    Agree. Each generation has been better of than the last, at least with regard to consumerism. Yet, we seem to have reached a tipping point where so many are protected from scarcity and competition that it is having a measurable impact on both the United States competitiveness and our individual liberties (as dependent minded youth vote away their liberty in return for 'security' like mommy and daddy gave'em).

    There is NOT a government solution. The youth will be educated by the real world of supply and demand. There are other solutions to be found in less government: Abolishing public schools, ObamaCare, Social Security, trade licensing, corporate welfare, and Medicare would all be a good start. Everyone needs to touch the marketplace more without government regulation. We're all insulated in too many places from real costs and are in a distorted marketplace that encourages the problem we're discussing.

    Frankly abolishing public schools and the federal student loan program would make a huge difference. Given their own money and an education marketplace, I believe most children would end up with a much better education that includes higher level reasoning skills, deeper understanding of economics, and a variety of life skills. I try to imagine how wonderful a marketplace of education would be without the government, what kind of iphone type innovation would we have in education and how many choices?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The previous generations weren't any more skeptical than the current one. They just like to remember themselves being a whole lot smarter than they actually were.

  • DaveAnthony||

    Agreed -- the "greatest" generation was ready to make FDR President for life.

  • goneGalt||

    Actually, they did! heh... heh...

    Doesn't take anything away from your point all the same.

  • Len Bias||

    "The skepticism of previous generations seems lost on a generation that grew up being instantly gratified."

    See, I think this is a big part of the problem. Young people are used to instantly hearing their favorite band on Spotify, and they somehow envision top-notch health care being as easily accessible. If only the greedy insurance companies and drug companies would just stop hoarding all their riches.

  • ||

    Young people may have been the strongest age demographic for Obama but because we turn out less they are smaller part of his coalition. Even then only about 60% of VOTERS voted for him and of course even more didn't vote for him.

  • John||

    The ones who didn't vote, could have voted for Johnson. I can understand why young people are not conservative. Young people rarely are. But not being Libertarian is inexcusable.

  • ||

    They voted for none of the above. I voted for Johnson but my wife's decision to say "fuck this bullshit" was just as legitimate of a choice. Neither of us are responsible for electing Obama and neither are many of our generation. We also weren't even alive when the seeds of destruction were planted.

  • John||

    A vote against him meant something, even if by itself very little. Not voting is just an implicit endorsement.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That's as stupid as Epi saying that voting at all is an endorsement of the winner (even if you vote against him).

  • $park¥||

    That's as stupid as Epi saying that voting at all is an endorsement of the winner system (even if you vote against him) regardless of whom you vote for.

    I think that's probable more accurate.

  • ||

    No it's not John. Not voting is not voting. For my wife it was an explicit rejection for others it is lazyness or apathy. It is not an endorsement of Obama any more than it is an endorsement for Romney or Johnson.

  • $park¥||

    A vote against him meant something, even if by itself very little. Not voting is just an implicit endorsement.

    Not voting is an explicit non-endorsement of a system that no longer functions the way it should.

  • John||

    So you don't endorse the system? The system doesn't care. Fine, no one vote. the winning politician with a single vote will act just like the one who gets a million or ten million votes. He won't care.

  • $park¥||

    The system doesn't care.

    The sooner people realize the ramifications of this, the sooner something can be done about it.

  • robc||

    Now explain 2008.

  • ||

    Also most people of ALL generations aren't libertarian.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Fair points.

  • ||

    I tried to find the exit polls for here in Texas but apparently they didn't do them. I wouldn't be surprised if Romney broke 50% here.

    Young people rarely are.

    This is absurd too. Maybe John's views are colored by his interaction with young people in DC but there are a lot of young people who are conservative here. Sure plenty are more libertarian leaning than their parents but people who are self identify as libertarian are still rarer than either liberals or conservatives.

    In my experience in undergrad and lawschool which were more liberal leaning than Texas as a whole most people were pretty damn apathetic about politics.

  • John||

    I was speaking more historically Apatheist. Young people tend not to like the old order and tend not to appreciate conservatism in the strictest sense until they are older.

  • ||

    Well "rare" is a pretty strong word. The people getting on with their lives, starting to build a career and thinking about starting a family don't make the headlines and a compelling narrative.

  • General Butt Naked||

    And the generation that has never received so much as an hour instruction in economics.

    You should say your school of economics. It's a social science, so I can teach you just about anything and call it economics. Besides, I know two guys with economics degrees and a guy with a minor and they're all pretty hardcore lefties.

    This idea that you can educate people into liberty is not supported by the evidence. We've had a few generations of highly educated twats throwing this country down the shitter. I've been in college for about a hundred years now and met one (yes, one) liberty inclined person. And it was a dude working his way through like I was. I'm surrounded by educated people everyday and only hear the most childish twaddle when it comes to politics.

  • John||

    Fair enough. Liberty is about culture and values more than anything else. Past generations may not have known much about the "science" of economics, but they had culture and values that gave them common sense enough to get it right.

  • ||

    What past generation is that? The one who fought the revolution? It's certainly been a while since there has been a liberty minded generation.

  • John||

    The civil war generation. I would say we were probably freest post civil war until the proglodytes came about in the early 1900. If there was a time when America was most free, it was 1865 to 1912.

  • SugarFree||

    A leading advocate for consumers in their 20s, Young Invincibles, sounded a similar caution, suggesting in a letter to administration officials that additional steps may be needed to protect young people from rising premiums. Young Invincibles mobilized in 2010 to help pass the healthcare law.

    If it was just themselves they were screwing over, I'd dance a jig.

  • John||

    So would I. And if they think Obama gives a flying fuck about their problems, they are dumber than I thought.

  • Hugh Akston||

    He already got reelected. I guarantee one of the apps on his phone is the Obama Administration Countdown clock. All he has to do for the next four years is read what's on the teleprompter and field queries from people to write his next autobiography.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Wait, I thought Obama was campaigning all the time? Not sitting by idly waiting it out?

    How do you wingnuts keep your talking points straight?

  • John||

    Wait, I thought Obama was campaigning all the time? Not sitting by idly waiting it out?

    Since no one listens to Obama's speeches anymore, it is hard to tell the difference. And he doesn't just campaign. Sometimes he golfs or goes on the low down with Reggie love when he can get the wookie and the brats to take a separate vacation.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You are bordering on insanity.

    Get help.

  • John||

    Ditching the wife and kids to spend the weekend alone with a sex addict and your closest male friend with no media coverage. Nothing suspicious about that.

  • grey||

    If he did this for the next four years it would be okay with me. He can fuck his way through all of Tiger's seconds, as long as he isn't 'governing'.

  • John||

    I would be fame for that grey, except that his stand in is Valerie Jarrett.

  • grey||

    You're right, I failed to take into account the bench strength government has going for it.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Wait, I thought Obama was campaigning all the time? Not sitting by idly waiting it out?

    Learn to read. Here, I'll bold the relevant part for you so maybe you notice it this time:

    He already got reelected. I guarantee one of the apps on his phone is the Obama Administration Countdown clock. All he has to do for the next four years is read what's on the teleprompter and field queries from people to write his next autobiography.
  • Auric Demonocles||

    Fuck off, Young Invincibles! You don't represent me! I don't even want health insurance for stuff like a checkup. Why? Because I'm in my 20s.

    Anyone else want to put their name to the test?

  • ||

    As one who is invincible, I am extremely offended that these decidedly vincible hipster douchebags are appropriating my proud invincible heritage.

  • ||

    Wait, I thought you were a Fine Young Cannibal.

  • ||

    YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY OH OH

  • ||

    Like no one else?

  • ||

    AND I DON'T STAND A CHANCE

  • ||

    It's "and I can't help myself", dumbass. How did you ever graduate from the special ed program?

  • ||

    I'm sorry, I couldn't concentrate because I was busy banging your whore mother. You'd better go slop her stall now.

  • ||

    It's not my turn to clean the stall, it's NutraSweet's!

  • John Thacker||

    The entire term "Young Invincibles" comes from the idea that healthy people in their 20s and early 30s needed to be forced into buying health insurance so that they could subsidize it for everyone else. They're getting exactly what they wished for. Perhaps they're morons that didn't read the fine print, but it was obvious that the law was going to push up premiums for those in their 20s, thanks to the provisions saying that people in their 20s couldn't be charged less than one-third of people in their 50s.

  • John||

    It was obvious to anyone above shreek level intelligence. The whole law was about fucking the young and making them buy insurance they didn't need so they contributed more to the system.

  • crashland||

    Right. The young get fucked hard which is exactly what they deserve.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Just say "Romneycare", Thacker.

  • John||

    Romney, Boosh, Christfag!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuGtxt84wPQ

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    They sucked so much young people hate them.

    Those ungrateful babies!

  • John||

  • Rasilio||

    Well in their defense most of them really did screw over those just a but younger than them.

    Think about it if you were between say 22 and 28 in 2008 you were ground 0 for the obama campaign but here we are 6 years later in 2014 and you're now between 28 and 34, you've probably "grown up" gotten married and had your first kids and so would have been buying health insurance for the first time in your life anyway.

    Your little brother who was 17 at the time however didn't get to vote ad now he's 23, just graduated from college with no job prospects beyond the barista job he worked to earn spending money during college in sight and he's being told that he now has no choice but to spend more than 10% of his scarce income buying a product he can't afford and doesn't need

  • SIV||

    No, he has 3 years left on the parents plan. If they can afford it.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Sibling-class warfare?

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Yet another similarity to feudalism.

  • some guy||

    When government is involved no one ever just screws themselves. Government always turns screwing into an orgy.

  • grey||

    Normally I like orgies, but you don't make it sound like a good thing. Thanks for tainting a good thing with socialism.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Wait, the LA Times is reporting this? My holy...We're screwed!

  • John||

    The Times’s description of the administration’s thinking is priceless:

    The Obama administration is investigating the use of stop-loss insurance by employers with healthier employees, and officials said they were considering regulations to discourage small and midsize employers from using such arrangements to circumvent the new health care law. “This practice, if widespread, could worsen the risk pool and increase premiums in the fully insured small group market,” the administration said in a notice in the Federal Register.

    How exactly the existence of a design flaw in the law somehow empowers the administration to fix it by “discouraging” self-insurance through regulation is so quaint and naïve a question as to not even merit mention—a vestige of our barbarous past

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner

  • ||

    This suggests that Democrats, who sold the law on promises that it would lower health costs (or at least hold them in check) and allow individuals to keep plans and providers they already liked, are not actually all that concerned about those effects

    Uh...ya think?

    No politician gave a fuck about the effects. They voted for or against based on factors like re-election or power-mongering. These fucks are completely insulated from any effects they cause in terms of their own health care, so why should they give a shit?

  • John||

    They voted for or against based on factors like re-election or power-mongering.

    The funniest part of it all is that at least in the House, most of them ended up getting kicked out of office for it. It was like Pelosi formed the Democratic Caucus into a political suicide cult.

  • ||

    I'm assuming the pressure brought on many Dems by the leadership was incredible.

  • John||

    I am sure it was. But what the hell did they threaten them with? For most politicians there is nothing worse than losing an election. Did they threaten to kidnap and kill Burt Stupak's family?

  • ||

    My guess is social and political ostracizing. Normally, once you were in the club, you get all kinds of perks and still have all your connections after you leave. I'm guessing threats of being totally cut off from that were in place.

  • John||

    Along with promises of big paying jobs after they left office. Fucking spineless scumbags.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Vote for this steaming pile of shit and lose you job or else.... What?

    The dumbfucks voted for it because socialized medicine been a religious article of faith for proglodytes for a century. It's the same reason that they'll vote for gun control, even though it's a political death sentence.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Because they love you and just want what's best for you, even if you're too dumb to realize it.

  • Sudden||

    I'm 30, and my policy increased over $300 this year (that I'm paying for, my employer covers half so they've also put up an additional $300). I'm pretty much expecting another $500 increase next year.

  • DrAwkward||

    And as you no doubt realize, you are also paying their half.

  • Rasilio||

    This is not quite true.

    While it is true that the funds that the company uses to subsidize the health care does come directly out of payroll it is not so clear of a 1 - 1 correlation with each employees salary because the company cannot know beforehand which employees or positions will purchase insurance through the company.

    So it would be more accurate to say that all of the employees are contributing equally to that other $300 regardless of whether they actually purchased the insurance or not.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Great point.

    I pay $85/month for Blue Cross/Blue Shield ($1000 deductible).

    I'm sure others subsidize me.

  • Juice||

    I get individual coverage. High deductible, I think $2500. I pay $888 a year, but I just got a letter that says it'll go to $1176 a year. A 32% increase. Lucky me. Thanks, Obama.

  • ||

    I try to be jaded and all, but I can't help but be astounded by how much of a disaster Obamacare already is. An outright nationalization of all hospitals and enslavement of doctors would have been less of a clusterfuck.

  • John||

    Pretty much. It is the worst law ever passed by Congress. I vomit a little every time I think of all of the idiotic shit that was said leading up to that vote. It was going to bend the cost curve. It wasn't perfect but it was better than what we had and something had to be done.

  • ||

    The poor were going to continue to get shitty care, but at least the rich would get shitty care too.

    Oh, wait, my bad, they didn't say that out loud.

  • SugarFree||

    Capitalism may be the unequal distribution of wealth, but socialism is the equal distribution of misery.

  • ||

    Not really. Remember that some animals are more equal than others.

    Socialism is merely the mass distribution of misery upon the proles in varying amounts.

  • SugarFree||

    Your face is misery enough.

  • ||

    My face?!?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Pure idiocy. Obamacare has three tiers.

    1- private insurance for the wealthy/employed
    2- Medicare (optional for providers)
    3- Medicaid (optional for providers)

  • John||

  • Juice||

    Isn't that what it was like before? Except now #1 is private insurance whether you want it or not.

  • some guy||

    It's probably the worst law passed since the Great Depression or maybe since Reconstruction. Those two time periods set the bar pretty damn high. But I could be biased by my relatively amazing, technology-driven quality of life...

  • SugarFree||

    It's only the difference between upfront clusterfuck and downstream clusterfuck. Outright socialization wouldn't have started producing its really toxic effects until doctor supply chain was filled with the middling and piddling instead of the best and brightest and all the medtech in the invention and testing queue ran out.

    Incentives are a mystery to people who will never make anything of their lives other than a mess.

  • sarcasmic||

    Understanding incentives requires being results orientated.

    When intentions are all that matter, results and incentives are incomprehensible.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Socialized medicine fucks over old and sick people who are a relatively small part of the electorate and removes anxiety about paying for healthcare for younger and healthy people, which is why it has long term political viability.

    Obamacare is going to fuck the young and healthy and old and sick.

  • Len Bias||

    "Obamacare is going to fuck the young and healthy and old and sick."

    It really was designed to fail, AFAICT.

    And, shit's likely to get really ugly when it does.

  • ||

    best and brightest

    Someone doesn't know any med students or young doctors. Ass-kissing pencilnecked dipshits, all of them.

  • SugarFree||

    Well, yes. But at least they are motivated by good old self-interest. Doctors now may not be all that, but they are certainly better than frat-bros who decided to be a doctor because they never puked at a kegger, brah.

  • NoVAHockey||

    I think we're just going to import them.

  • SIV||

  • some guy||

    ...doctor supply chain was filled with the middling and piddling...

    Nationalized doctors are to market doctors as public defenders are to market lawyers. Would you like to have a public defender represent you against murder charges? No? Then why do you like the medical equivalent of a public defender doing your heart surgery?

    Try this argument the next time someone pushes the virtues of nationalized healthcare on you...

  • grey||

    But Obmacare isn't working because we haven't gotten rid of the profit that makes healthcare expensive.
    /God save us that this shit doesn't even get challenged.

  • NoVAHockey||

    just wait to Medicaid implodes.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I am starting to think Obamacare will be to the Dems, Liberals, and maybe even the whole US proglodyte movement what the Russian campaign was to Napoleon. Before Ocare, the various problems of US healthcare all got blamed on a bare-ly existent free market and anybody who proposed fixing those things was a wingnut with no political chances. Now they've lit that powder and it backfired massively and unendingly. It's like a volcano of shit.

  • John||

    I am a little more optimistic than most. I said at the time that this thing was going to be a disaster. I never believed the idea that it would get more popular like medicare and social security. Those programs really do help a lot of people. They send checks out to millions of people and hide the cost very effectively.

    Obamacare in contrast is literally going to make everyone's healthcare worse. I can't think of a single group that is going to benefit from it. Even the poor are worse off. They were already getting medicaide. And now that will be worse.

    So I just can't see it ever being anything but despised.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The Supreme Court could have killed this abomination, but it was too taxing.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Sometimes your feeble old mind manages to come out of senility and deliver a good quip.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I read somewhere that you have no understanding of economics at all.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    If you had had your reading glasses on, you'd have realized that was from John. He's like, over 100 years old so we don't have to listen to him.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You were apparently too busy baling hay to take even an hour of economics. I'm going to have to consider blackballing you from libertarianism.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I outsourced my homework and spent the time earning more money by cutting down natural resources. What's more libertarian than that?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Did your work result in a net loss of resources to Gaia? If not, you have failed again.

    See, this is why I thought you wanted to support manned spaceflight. To deprive Gaia permanently of her precious resources and fluids.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I was stock piling all the resources so that it wasn't available to the environment. It's not my fault they later took it back out of storage.

    See, this is why I thought you wanted to support manned spaceflight. To deprive Gaia permanently of her precious resources and fluids.

    That's not right at all. I want to explore and find new, interesting, and peaceful worlds. You know, steal their precious resources.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's great and all, but if you're not also stealing from Earth, you aren't doing your job. Go waste something!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Does stealing the ship count?

  • NoVAHockey||

    I think the only group that benefits is the so-called "uninsurable" population. the train-wreck cases (and IIRC, it's about 1% of the population). so it's such a small group that you could have done any number of things to get them health care w/o destroying the rest of the system. but that probably would have been unfair or something.

  • John||

    True. But that 1% is nothing like the number of people who benefit from Social Security and Medicare.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    All the dumbass GOP had to do is come up with a solution to keep insurers from dropping those with pre-existing conditions.

  • John||

    And deprive us of the genius of Obamacare?

    Isn't this the greatest achievement of his Presidency? I mean next to drone striking that American teenager, but Obama likes to be modest about that.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Could we deliver medical services via drone?

  • $park¥||

    Could we deliver medical services via drone?

    In the looses sense, dealing death is a medical service. So, yes!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ideally, drones could deliver life or death. Perhaps extending the telepresence to include a physician paired with the drone controller. Obviously, the drone would have to be equipped with scalpels, drugs, and other medical paraphernalia , but that's just a detail.

  • $park¥||

    Obviously, the drone would have to be equipped with scalpels, drugs, and other medical paraphernalia

    What could go wrong?!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Why nothing, nothing at all. The best part for the government is that if the surgery goes wrong, they can always just claim that the patient was a terrorist.

  • SugarFree||

    I think the only group that benefits is the so-called "uninsurable" population.

    Nope, the "children" that get to stay on Daddy's insurance dwarf that group. The hard-luck uninsurables were nothing but a bloody shirt to wave. That's why arguments to just make them eligible for Medicaid were waved off with horseshit like "hurr durr libtertardians don't want Medicaid to exist, derp."

    Witness the triumphalism of "Finally the poor have health care!" when the truly poor have had health care since the 60s.

  • NoVAHockey||

    forgot about them.

  • John||

    Hard for little snowflake to have insurance if his parents don't. And that is what is going to happen.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That's why arguments to just make them eligible for Medicaid

    That sounds much too simple.

  • SugarFree||

    The blame for healthcare industry problems will be Zeno's Arrow. The fault will always be in whatever infinitely small fraction of healthcare that continues to be in private hands.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Fucking libertarian monopoly.

  • $park¥||

    Hopefully one day the Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian parties will vanish into the dust where they belong.

  • grey||

    Say what you want about Democrats, but they are world class experts at never taking responsibility (blame). Somehow, the rise in healthcare costs and coming calamities will not be their fault. Perhaps this will result in some backlash and we get more of team red team's false choice. But I'm pessimistic of even of that.

  • Rasilio||

    Yes it would have.

    As bad as a NHS level nationalization of Health Care in the US would have been it would have been far better than Obamacare which simply took every single bad idea embedded in our existing health system and multiplied them while taking the handful of good ideas and either eliminated or seriously cut them back.

  • SugarFree||

    Obamacare is nothing but a fetid womb to bring forth nationalized healthcare.

  • John||

    I am sure that is the plan. But national bankruptcy is going to be one hell of an abortionist. There is no money for nationalized healthcare. You will never see another NHS like system created again. Those are things that were created back when the West had money to spend.

  • grey||

    I consider it more like the Alien egg, it will split out of our economies chest killing the host.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I've often wondered if nationalized, single-payer health care was the better "reform" alternative. At least it would have leveled all of the blame for the costs squarely on the government. Now, the failure to reign in costs will be blamed on the private insurers, while the government that enacted the legislation gets off scot-free.

  • wareagle||

    it may have been but no one had the political balls to push single-payer. So we have this which might be a back door means to single-payer but a whole lot uglier.

  • sarcasmic||

    BUT, BUT, BUT... GOOD INTENTIONS!

  • prs130||

    what are the coverage mandates, specifically? Anybody know?

  • NoVAHockey||

  • tarran||

    Well, apparently I have to pay for a birth control rider in case I get a sex change operation, and ovary and uterus implant and then decide I don't want to get pregnant...

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Are you paying to get the sex change operation covered?

  • ||

    You're going to change back to being a woman?!? I thought the first sex change was enough!

  • tarran||

    Damn, chico. One more upgrade and I'll be more lady than you can handle. Why you so stupid, stupid?

  • Sevo||

    "Young Invincibles mobilized in 2010 to help pass the healthcare law."

    The same ignorant assholes who'll blame the insurance companies for the rate hikes.
    Neither they nor their dreamy guy ever made a mistake!

  • fish||

    Neither they nor their dreamy guy ever made a mistake!

    C'mon Sevo you remember the first time you were in love....really really in love....that person could do nothing wrong in your eyes!

    The Young Invincibles are just desperately in love, they can't help that they taken leave of their senses.

  • John||

    And they wanted to be a part of history. You know like their parents were when they passed the civil rights act in 1975 and broke the Watergate Scandal in 1954. Come on, Kennedy was killed in like 1981 and that was a long time ago. They needed to have something of their own. They needed their time.

  • fish||

    Well you would too if you were the ones you were waiting for.

    (it actually hurt to compose that sentence)

  • John||

    If you are the one you are waiting for, why were you waiting? Aren't you already there?

  • fish||

    I thought that we had ample evidence the logic and reason weren't their strengths.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I've heard Obots talk about their dreamy guy in the same terms that someone suffering from obsessive-love syndrome would use.

  • Fluffy||

    "Why don't the insurance companies just keep last year's premium and make less profit?

  • Sevo||

    Yeah, why don't they?

  • Fluffy||

    The clock has been ticking on this one since Reagan decided to tell hospitals they couldn't refuse non-paying customers and reroute their ambulances to charity facilities.

    Basically to spare people with no insurance extra time in their ambulance, the fuse was lit on destroying health care in the US for everyone.

    Just about every development since then has been a reaction to unintended consequences arising from that act, and the unintended consequences arising from all subsequent attempts to fix the accumulating damage.

    As you can imagine just from reading that sentence, the damage and the desperation eventually goes parabolic. We're just about there now.

    I loved the guy at the time, but damn. It's funny that one of the acts of his presidency that had the most long-term impact is one that virtually no one remembers. In long-term impact, this action is up there with all the Cold War stuff AND the tax cuts, but it's totally unknown.

  • John||

    And the whole thing was based on a bullshit media scare campaign. It wasn't even a problem. And yeah, it is one of the mother of all lessons in unintended consequences.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    But when ever anyone answered the "what are you going to do to make it more free market" they were deemed pure evil for suggesting that hospitals be allowed to turn away people that can't pay.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Haven't hospitals traditionally provided charitably financed services to the poor? Especially those affiliated with religious institutions?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    You're going to force religious charity on the poor? You're literally Hitler.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I know that receiving assistance from the religious is exactly the same as slaughtering millions, but I'm surprised that the government balks at that.

  • wareagle||

    everything with Obama is based on scare campaigns. Sequestration? Oh noes; we'll have cops and teachers cast into the streets. Drones? Well, you don't want the Mooslims coming here to kill us. And we saw teh idiocy behind guns as personified by the Chicago PD guy, who put a whole new level of ooo into buffoon.

  • SugarFree||

    I think that sped up the process considerably, but the linking of employment and health insurance lit the fuse. Once deferred compensation was able to be consumed in health care, the 3rd party payer problem doomed the free market. And led to the remarkably popular delusion that health care could only be obtained with health insurance.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Just like having our employers handle our taxes worked out so well for us.

  • SugarFree||

    Withholding is the longest slow boiling pot there has ever been.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The fact that I spend months of my life paying for government bullshit makes me ill. Serfs contributed less than we do to their manor lord.

  • Rasilio||

    This is actually factually true in most cases.

    With total (Federal, State, and Local) effective tax rates running between 40 and 50% for a good chunk of the upper and middle classes far exceeds the number of work days plus the taxes owed to a lord which generally ammounted to about 30 days a year and a ~20% tax (30% if you include the mandatory 10% tithe to the church), which would put the total effective tax on a medieval serf at somewhere around 28%

  • Pro Libertate||

    Amazing that we tolerate this theft.

  • grey||

    Sometimes I dream about the uprising that would occur if the Supreme Court ruled employer withholding illegal or unconstitutional (I know/won't happen). Talk about a government funding problem - imagine people told to write Medicare, Medicaid, SS, fed tax check each month to the order of the United States Treasury?

    /uncontrolled laughter

  • Auric Demonocles||

    This is a good point. What I wouldn't give for my company to drop my insurance and provide me with the equivalent in extra cash.... Though for me to like that, it would require the government to stop preventing from getting *gasp* only catastrophic coverage.

  • $park¥||

    The problem is, as long as every other company is still doing it you're going to be fucked by prices higher than they should be. Making everyone buy their own would be a good start to lowering costs.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    What about *gasp* directly compensating your physician for their care. I shadowed a Birmingham-area family physician one time, and he gave me the single greatest piece of advice by asking me to observe how many of his patients ask for prices on their medication.

    I saw 24 patients, and not a single one wanted to know what their medications cost.

  • John||

    I saw 24 patients, and not a single one wanted to know what their medications cost.

    Their insurance company sure as hell did. Why do libertarians hate health insurance?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Concentrating the power to compensate physicians in the hands of insurance companies allows for easier regulation from the state. Regulation breeds cronyism, which further restricts the freedom of patients (the individual mandate, for instance). It is much harder to regulate, and therefore freer and less expensive, if 300 million individual patients were responsible for their care.

    I think you could make a case for why it insurers should be a component of a free market system, but they shouldn't have protected status, which, unfortunately, is inevitable with our current, corrupt political system.

  • John||

    I think you could make a case for why it insurers should be a component of a free market system,

    Ah yeah. Look at it this way. No one ever pays to have their home rebuilt after a fire. Most people have insurance and the insurance just pays for it. Yet somehow the cost of rebuilding homes has not skyrocketed.
    Same with auto body work.

    There is nothing special about health insurance. It is no different than any other kind of insurance.

  • From the Tundra||

    The difference being, that I don't pay for my routine maintenance through my insurance. Home and auto is really just catastrophic insurance, right? What would happen to the price of an oil change if it had to be processed through your auto insurance?

  • John||

    Tundra,

    There is nothing to stop you from purchasing such insurance. They actually have auto maintenance insurance. And yes, people should be free to buy whatever insurance they want. To believe that insurance causes prices to go up is to believe insurance companies print their own money and are not sensitive to price. That is nonsense.

  • From the Tundra||

    Yeah I get it, my point was worded shittily. I think all and any insurance is groovy, provided that there is an option to deal directly with the provider on a cash basis. I look at LASIK and other services, where there are generally no insurance options, and I see competition and falling prices. That doesn't seem to be the case elsewhere in healthcare.

  • Adam330||

    That's because the market for home building is not dominated by third party payors. Most homes are built by developers for sale or private individuals with their own cash, not using insurance company proceeds.

    In fact, even when your property insurer pays for a new home after a fire, they do not reimburse the cost directly to the home builder. Instead, they estimate the cost, cut you a check, and then you go get the home built, with the risk that it may cost more. That creates a massive difference in incentives.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    What about *gasp* directly compensating your physician for their care.

    That's what I'd be doing in 99% of cases if I had catastrophic coverage...

  • fish||

    I saw 24 patients, and not a single one wanted to know what their medications cost.

    Why should they! Under Obamacare it's all free!!!!!!!

  • Fluffy||

    That is very true.

    Even worse than the deferred compensation issue was the fact that our insurance system for many years meant that most health care patrons never even saw a bill or a price list for anything. Even talking about pricing was considered scandalous and essentially unethical.

    But as soon as hospital ERs became default uncompensated care clinics for millions of free riders, the system was doomed. You could probably have kept the insurance system going for a while if it stood entirely on its own. But it didn't. It stood in between massive uncompensated care for millions of people on one hand (with any attempt to restrain growth in this area illegal) and incompletely-compensated care for millions of people with government insurance on the other hand. That's what was untenable.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    What Fluffy said.

  • John||

    Even worse than the deferred compensation issue was the fact that our insurance system for many years meant that most health care patrons never even saw a bill or a price list for anything.

    But the insurance company sure as hell did. And they have just as much reason to keep costs down as you do. I have never found the argument that insurance makes healthcare more expensive compelling at all. Insurance companies react to price too. Employers also react to price, which keeps insurance companies from just passing all of the costs on to employers.

    Insurance makes perfect sense for healthcare. It is not a predictable cost. And it is something that can range for zero to completely unaffordable depending on your luck. That is why you buy insurance and pool your risk and fix your cost. Why libertarians hate health insurance is beyond me.

  • Adam330||

    Insurance companies are at a huge informational disadvantage vis-a-vis the patient and doctor. They can't assess in particular cases whether there are other cheaper alternatives, whether tests are really needed, etc. They also cannot decide in an individual case that the patient should take a cheaper treatment that will get only a good result compared to a very expensive treatment that will get a slightly better result. At best, they can approve tests and treatments on a policy basis.

  • John||

    Insurance companies are at a huge informational disadvantage vis-a-vis the patient and doctor.

    So what? They just price that uncertainty in their rates. If doctors could just charge insurance companies anything they wanted, there would be no insurance companies. They would all be out of business.

  • Adam330||

    And by pricing that uncertainty into their rates, the price of health care is driven up over what it would be if patient paid directly. Doctors of course can't charge insurance companies whatever they want. What they can do though is order a few more tests, tell the patient to come back for a follow up, etc.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Physicians are licensed by the state. Patients cannot legally seek medicine from anybody else, which gives them strong economic protection. They are also often time the only person a patient interacts with. So, they are charged with representing the interests of physician, insurer, and state in the form of a single person. They therefore wield an enormous informational advantage over the patient.

  • John||

    Of course they do. They have the knowledge. What are you going to argue with them? Same way an auto mechanic wields huge power over those who don't know cars.

  • Adam330||

    "What are you going to argue with them?"

    Get a second opinion perhaps? Of course, no one does that in a world where insurance covers it all.

  • John||

    Get a second opinion perhaps? Of course, no one does that in a world where insurance covers it all.

    People get second opinions all of the time. And for the fourth time, insurance companies don't print their own money. They have just as much motivation to keep costs down as the individual.

  • Adam330||

    For the fifth time, they have the motivation, but not the ability and information. And people don't get second opinions all the time so that they can save their insurance company a few thousand bucks.

  • Calidissident||

    The problem is John, unlike other kinds of insurance, health insurance is also used to pay for routine, predictable costs that shouldn't be paid by an insurance company. In many ways it functions as prepaid health care than actual insurance. This is largely due to government mandates and incentives

  • From the Tundra||

    Does anyone know if there are provisions in this clusterfuck that prevents actual, real, retail healthcare? I assume they would go out of their way to punish any provider who said fuck it - cash only.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Exactly, fluffy.

    EMTALA by Reagan lit the fuse. Damn, I am no parrot but that is worth repeating.

  • John||

    Damn, I am no parrot but that is worth repeating.

    But you will never admit that Obma provided the explosive and ensured it blew up. But you will admit Reagan lit the fuse. Go die in a fire retard.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No, because despite the crappy mandate Obamacare eliminats the Free Rider problem (in theory) that Reagan initiated.

  • John||

    First he just signed a bill that was passed by and demanded by liberals in Congress. And get back to me when you can show me you ever gave a shit about this problem before now.

    This is why you are a retarded sock puppet.

  • fish||

    I am no parrot......

    C'mon shreeky you are a tremendous parrot.

    Hey Super Financial Analyst......instead of larding up the medical system with more Romney/Pelosicare cholesterol why not go back and fix EMTALA?

    Didn't think so.

  • R C Dean||

    Too true, Fluffster. Just about every conversation we have in my "safety net" health care system eventually comes back around to the fact that we cannot, really, manage our customers because they know all they have to do is walk in the ER door and they have us by the curlies.

    EMTALA drives a whole lot of what we do, and not, for the most part, for the better.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Young Invincibles? Their ignorance is probably invincible at least.

  • Anton2013||

    It is important for government to think of people not only themselves, people are suffering and government need to take this in consideration. Government can think of alternative or any good option to stop this and take better action to reduce such hikes.
    Find Me An Advisor - Certified Financial Advisor

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