Why Did Democratic Party Operative and Pundit Donna Brazile's Insurance Premiums Increase?

Here's a tweet by Democratic Party operative and pundit Donna Brazile:

What's on your menu? Just got off the phone with my health care provider asking them to explain why my premium jumped up. No good answer!

— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) February 27, 2013

Hat tip: Twitchy.

Here's a pretty good answer: The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.

Over the past couple of weeks, many insurance companies have provided guidance in their investor calls that premiums for insurance plans being sold in the individual market could go up as much as 50 percent on average....

ObamaCare requires insurers to offer benefit plans on the new exchanges that are relatively generous and would include coverage for maternity, prescription drugs and treatment of mental illness.  These are clearly important areas to cover....

A key reason why insurance premiums are going up is because insurance companies will no longer be able to turn away or charge people more with pre-existing conditions. Even more significant is that these companies would only be able to charge its oldest customers three times as much as their youngest.  

Read more.

And read Reason's Peter Suderman on how one of Obamacare's key cost-control provisions is actually working to jack up premiums.

I appeared with Brazile on Bill Maher's Real Time show in 2011. She's smart and fun and friendly - but she can't really be wondering why her premiums are going up, can she?

Here's the Overtime segment from our Maher appearance:

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Hoist by their own retard!

  • WTF||

    *golf clap*

  • LTC(ret) John||

    *joins applause*

  • Tman||

    Came here looking for petard/retard joke.

    Leaving satisfied.

  • Pro Libertate||

    This one just screamed it, didn't it?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    So, you and Donna B. were on with Todd Hoffman of Gold Rush?

  • ||

    Why is that fat man so fat?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Because the government hasn't stepped in and reduced the size of his soft drink.

  • Raston Bot||

    That dude is the government. If I recall correctly (which is unlikely), he's the mayor of the poorest town in PA. He said that a couple times until Nick said, "You must be very proud."

  • ||

    Braddock, PA. I've been there. It's the shithole of all shitholes.

  • Sevo||

    Is there anything left there? I thought it was a hole in the ground where the mine was.

  • WTF||

    It is now after Warty laid waste to it.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I'll see your Braddock, PA and raise you Venice, IL.

  • ||

    He said that a couple times until Nick said, "You must be very proud."

    Did Nick really say that to him? Because that's awesome. Anyone know where I can find this?
  • ||

    Argh. Second paragraph shouldn't be in block quotes.]

  • Raston Bot||

    Yes, Nick said that to him. The mayor replied, "Hey, we can take this outside." To which Nick put his hands (not dukes) up to signal 'no, thank you.' The crowd loved it. Nick later said he was interested in hearing more about what he was doing in Braddock to revive the town. That ended any perceived tension.

  • ||

    Yes, he did really say that. And IIRC, dude literally asked Nick to step outside and fight.

  • ||

    I found it easily via google. The internet remembers.

  • ||

  • John||

    It is just bad luck Donna. Don't let it get you down.

  • Rich||

    Joseph R. Biden ‏@godloveyajoe

    @donnabrazile Awesome, Girlfriend! Been wondering the same thing.

  • ||

    "No good answer" = not the answer I wanted to hear

    "the answer I wanted to hear" = because we're a greedy evil corporation

  • fish||

    You win the thread!

    I bow to your superior snark!

  • JW||

    "So, we'll be bumping that mandatory expenses limit up to 95%, just so you know."

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    At first I wondered if she was truly stupid, or just a blind partisan. Then I decided on both. Now I'm trying to figure out the ratio.

  • kinnath||

    In honor of the Onion: Dumb Cunt is still a Dumb Cunt.

  • wareagle||

    this isn't genuine dumb, it's derp masquerading as victimhood.

  • RPR2||

    she needs to clean the wax out of her ears if she doesn't know why.

  • Rich||

    RACIST!

  • ||

    She can use the Wax Vac!

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    OUCH!

  • fish||

    Donna Brazile....? She'd better not her skull might collapse!

  • John||

    http://www.businessinsider.com.....oms-2013-2

    Yahoo CEO expects her employees to actually show up to work. Mothers everywhere outraged, because you know expecting a woman to show up to work for a paycheck is just the patriarchy.

  • kinnath||

    Salon was bitching about the female CEO at yahoo setting feminism back a decade.

  • John||

    And I am sure those women are just as productive home with their three year old kids as they would be at work. A three year old is never a distraction.

  • wareagle||

    I actually had to tell a woman at the office that even though her kid was pretty well behaved, we were still not running a day care center and several businesses in town would be glad to help her.

  • Way Of The Crane||

    They should all just do what she did and build a nursery next to their office/cubicle so they can be closer to their kids and pay a nanny to watch them while they work.

  • fish||

    A little laudanum in the Grape juice and they're perfectly content!

  • ||

    I take it your agency doesn't offer telework? It is not a benefit for parents, it' a benefit for everyone. Including the company itself. I think it was a bullet-in-foot move, especially for an fucking INTERNET COMPANY. But, it's their dime. Eliminating telework will add to the company's expense sheet at a time when they're desperate for a better bottom line.

    We have a team here that consistently out-performs their goals and SLAs - they're 100% virtual office. I haven't even met most of them.

  • John||

    This women disagrees. And time will tell if she is right. But it is a business decision not a "you hate women decision". I can see arguments both ways. But what determines the decision is what is best for the company not what makes life easier for the employees.

  • ||

    I'm just saying I think she's dead wrong about the business decision. Morale and productivity increase, overhead decreases.

  • John||

    http://www.businessinsider.com.....ome-2013-2

    Apparently it has become a bit of a boondoggle at Yahoo. It can work sometimes. But it can also get out of hand.

  • ||

    At my work we have incredibly strict telework rules (sign in at the beginning of the day, out at the end of the day, sign in and out for a 45 minute lunch break, always provide your home and cell #s, come into the office if your internet connection is down or if the VPN is down, no telework if you or a family member is sick, etc.).

    If shit wasn't getting done at Yahoo (and it clearly wasn't, given their current situation), telework was likely a very small part of a larger culture of apathy. Her best move would be to clean house, starting with VPs and moving on down the line from there.

  • John||

    My sense from reading the article is that ending telework will get a lot of dead wood who were just sponging paychecks to quit. I bet they bring it back after a few months of getting everyone to show up and running all of the slugs off.

  • Raston Bot||

    What would be their motivation for quitting? If they're slugs, then they have fewer options than the productive. Now if this is a setup so the managers are forced to do their jobs and actually manage their teams, and the slugs are identified and RIF'd, then it could pay off.

    But I'm thinking the highly effective workers will quit over this and go somewhere flexible.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    At my work we have incredibly strict telework rules...

    We had one: Meet your deadline with quality code.

    If shit wasn't getting done at Yahoo (and it clearly wasn't, given their current situation), telework was likely a very small part of a larger culture of apathy.

    I think this is exactly right. If you hired crappy employees who had to be constantly monitored, where they do the work is the least of your problems.

  • wareagle||

    maybe, maybe not. Looks like she has inherited a cluster and sees face to face as a means of fixing the larger systemic problem.

    On a societal level, it is amazing - and not a little bit sad - that a boss saying "show up for work" is seen as revolutionary.

  • John||

    On a societal level, it is amazing - and not a little bit sad - that a boss saying "show up for work" is seen as revolutionary.

    Exactly. Like Yahoo or any other employer owes people time with their little snowflakes.

  • WTF||

    Like Yahoo or any other employer owes people time with their little snowflakes.

    They will after the mommy brigade lobbys congress to pass a law mandating they do so.

  • SugarFree||

    I think they'll wait for a big push until after they get every worker mandatory paid sick leave. The flu season has all the left-blogs rubbing one out on the subject.

  • Fluffy||

    I've seen those claims, and it's extraordinarily difficult to believe.

    Morale I can see, but productivity?

    If your employees' productivity rises when they aren't in the office, you should invite every one of your in-office managers in for a meeting and tell them they're fucking fired.

    And then find whoever designed your workflow and stuff a printed copy of the project plan down their throats.

  • Hyperion||

    I often get more done when I am at home, it's quiet, no meetings, and no one comes by my office for idle chatter.

  • John||

    Then your managers are failing you badly.

  • Hyperion||

    She's a fucking feminazi tyrant, John, not the Yahoo savior. There is no savior for Yahoo, they will just keep sucking all the way to their demise.

    So you think the queen bitch is correct, building a fully staffed daycare center onto her lavish office, for her private use only, and then ordering all the peons back to the office? The word CUNT is strong with this one.

  • John||

    I am not saying she is right or wrong. And yeah she probably is a cunt. But even if she is, she has every right to demand that her employees show up for work.

  • sarcasmic||

    I save ten bucks in gas every day I work from home.
    Too bad they only let me do it when there's a blizzard. Like tomorrow for example.

  • WTF||

    ...your girl would not and had no plans whatsoever to help the American workforce pave the way for a newer, more modern employment paradigm for working mothers.

    Because of course that is the primary function of a corporation, not to generate icky profits.

  • Raston Bot||

    "Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home,"

    "We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together."

    Obviously, it's their company to run as they please and if the new moms don't like it, then they can work somewhere else buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut it's Yahoo!. Can't everyone there except for maybe corporate office folks work remotely?

  • Raston Bot||

    http://www.businessinsider.com.....ice-2013-2

    Then she built a nursery in her office so she could bring her newborn to work.

    Nothing like kicking a little sand into the vaginas of the other working moms to build good PR.

  • John||

    It is good to be king. But tough shit. She is the CEO. She also makes ten times what the other women make. Is that not just as "unfair"?

    Frankly, I would never hire a CEO who is a woman with a newborn. That is just too demanding of a job to also care for a newborn.

  • Raston Bot||

    Yeah, I agree w/ you.

    Has the new CEO asked herself this question, "What if the effective remote workers are the ones that quit?"

  • ||

    Just another example of retarded shit that higher ups do that piss off the "99%".

    Not saying they shouldn't be sweeping the sand from their vaginas, but you can kinda understand the frustration of people when CEO's do shit like that on top of making buku dollars.

  • Bam!||

    I forget: Didn't you advocate for Sarah Palin, who had a newborn, as Vice President? Or was that someone else?

  • Brandon||

    I'd hit it.

  • Brandon||

    This comment would never have gone unanswered when Postrel was the editor.

  • ||

    Here's a radical idea: Don't punish everyone because some people are fucking stupid, lazy slugs.

    Treating employees as individuals, now there is a novel idea.

  • Brandon||

    I think Yahoo! is too big, and has too many HR people, to do that.

  • ||

    You would think managers would know which of their immediate employees was being productive and which ones weren't though.

  • John||

    Better alttext.

    Mr. Robinson explains to Ms Brazile what "tossing your salad" means in prison.

  • WTF||

    Holy shit that made me LOL!

  • Tman||

    Donna might want to ask around. Everyone has had their premiums go up substantially as Insurance companies prepare to deal with the costs of Obamacare. My premiums have doubled in two years and I don't even want to talk about my deductible.

    What amazes me is that people like Donna expect us to believe she's "surprised" by all of this. Give me a fucking break. Everyone knew what was going to happen, and to act surprised is disingenuous bullshit.

  • WTF||

    Especially when they derided everyone who was saying that this would happen before the damn thing was actually 'deemed' into law.

  • sarcasmic||

    Part of being a politician is focusing so much on stated intentions that the surprise when results don't jive is actually real.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It wouldn't surprise me in this case if she really didn't know. Weren't we just talking the other day about how progressives may just be people who don't understand incentives and second-order effects? I've had some very intelligent people tell me how Obamacare is going to make their insurance cheaper. They truly have no clue.

    I play this game with my kids all the time. They make a comment about how something should be some way (or how some politician thinks it should be that way) and I ask them how people might respond. What if we raise taxes on millionaires, how might they respond? What happens with students and schools if it's really easy to borrow money for any college major? I want them to learn not just specific instances, but to know to ask the question in the first place. Unfortunately this is NOT taught in most schools, or by parents who would never think to ask, either.

  • Aresen||

    You Socratic bastard!

    Your children are going to be troublemakers because they always will look at CONSEQUENCES.

  • Art Vandelay||

    Best of luck when your kids are expelled from school for asking "inconvenient questions".

  • Aresen||

    What amazes me is that people like Donna expect us to believe she's "surprised" by all of this. Give me a fucking break. Everyone knew what was going to happen, and to act surprised is disingenuous bullshit.


    Doublethink is a talent that many 'progressives' possess.
  • DWC||

    Hey Nick, you apparently have some access to Bill Maher. Would you mind please requesting that he have Tom Woods on? If there is anyone who can expose Maher and his typical guests as the dimwits they are it is Tom. I realize you probably detest Tom, since he kind of detests you guys, I suspect, but he will not feel any particular need to play nice with these imbeciles. It would be nice to see Maher seriously, fundamentally challenged on his conceits. As it stands now the show is nothing but a self righteous smug fest for "progressives".

  • Sevo||

    "Why Did Democratic Party Operative and Pundit Donna Brazile's Insurance Premiums Increase?"

    Because KORPORSHUNS!

  • lap83||

    Why do we not require a basic economics comprehension quiz to vote?

  • WTF||

    Because RACISM!!!111!!!

  • Paul.||

    Just got off the phone with my health care provider asking them to explain why my premium jumped up. No good answer!

    She would be absolutely correct. There is no good answer. There's a right answer, but it ain't good.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Kathleen Sebelius has warned insurance companies against telling customers that higher prices are due to Obamacare. And Donna Brazile wonders why she can't get a straight answer.

  • ||

    It's their GREED! That's the problem. These rich fat-cat corporations have the temerity to transfer costs to healthy customers so they can cover all the sick ones with pre-existing conditions they have to take on. Why can't they pay for those sick people out of their PROFITS? How dare they make OTHER PEOPLE pay for sick people. It's the health insurers job to pay for medical treatment for sick people, not to make healthy people pay for it!

  • #||

    This is sarcasm right?

  • ||

    Does it sound too realistic to be sarcasm?

  • #||

    That's why im not sure. It sounds like something your standard lefty college student would say.

  • Virginian||

    It's really hard to parody them, because they're that stupid.

  • ||

    If you'd posted it on a Gawker website it would've been quoted here as evidence that Gawker commenters are retarded.

  • Brandon||

    If you'd posted it on a Gawker website they would've made you an editor.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Gawker commenters don't need any help from us to prove that they're retarded.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    I had to stop reading Gawker when they posted an article advocating that the government set limits on how big a house your were allowed to own, prefacing it by asserting that, of course, everyone except a small fringe of Ayn Rand worshippers agrees with them.

    Pity, I wanted to go back and ask how that whole OWS thing was working out for them, if they were past the "first they make fun of you" stage yet, but my blood pressure just couldn't take it any more.

  • Virginian||

    Well Gawker commenters mostly live in apartments in big cities that are paid for by their parents so that's understandable.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Why can't they pay for those sick people out of their PROFITS?"

    Seriously, though. I've heard that the problem with the healthcare system is all the profits a hundred times already.

    Guess what? Last I checked, more than 50% of the hospitals in this country are non-profit...

    http://www.aha.org/research/rc.....acts.shtml

    ...and if you did it by number of beds (instead of number of hospitals), that percentage would go way up.

    Want to keep hospital costs down? Introducing the profit incentive can help with that.

    No seriously!

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Next thing, you will be expecting gravity to make things fall and fire to burn!

    Things only work a certain way if the Government announces that it intends them to work that way. Everything else is the fault of Rush Limbaugh.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "Things only work a certain way if the Government announces that it intends them to work that way. Everything else is the fault of Rush Limbaugh."

    I see you have found our resident troll's manifesto. Do return it to him, now that you have made your comment!

  • R C Dean||

    Just got off the phone with my health care provider asking them to explain why my premium jumped up. No good answer!

    Perhaps she didn't get a good answer because she was asking a health care provider why the premiums charged by a health insurer went up.

    Why the fuck would anyone expect their doctor, or doctor's receptionist, to be answering that question.

  • sarcasmic||

    Because so many people do not understand that health care and insurance are not the same thing.

  • Blueman||

    "Because so many people do not understand that health care and insurance are not the same thing."

    OMG, this, one trillion times this.

  • Sevo||

    For the same reason Obozo surrounded himself with (supposed) MDs when he was flogging the thing.
    See, MDs know how their trade should be paid for just like you'd invite cobblers if you wanted the taxpayer to pay for shoe repair.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Why the fuck would anyone expect their doctor, or doctor's receptionist, to be answering that question."

    That actually makes more sense to me than asking Barack Obama to solve your insurance problems for you.

  • Paul.||

    Good catch, RC.

  • Paul.||

    In fairness, I have to presume she meant Insurer. But then again, this is Donna Brazile.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Just got off the phone with my health care provider asking them to explain why my premium jumped up. No good answer!"

    Why can't they just give us free lunches?

    In a perfect world, when you ask a stupid question, the answer always includes something about how stupid you are.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    There are no stupid questions.

    Only stupid people asking them.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Hey Donna, who did you think was going to pay for Sandra Fluke and her friends condoms?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'd be willing to pay for them--as long as I get to participate in the...um...

    No taxation without representation, you know.

  • Adam330||

    Why the heck is she paying premiums to her health care provider?

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Because she is just that stupid. When the top line on your resume is that you found some way for Al Gore to lose the 2000 election, your IQ is losing the fight against room temperature.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Hell, her IQ would lose a fight with a walk in cooler's temperature.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    BTW - "your IQ is losing the fight against room temperature." is pretty darn good.

  • Virginian||

    Off topic: http://www.nbc12.com/story/214.....ads-habbit

    What is sadder, the fact that the kid thinks taking daddy's weed is helping him, or the fact that the school has rewarded the little stukach with expulsion?

  • John||

    The school rewarding kids for ratting out their parents is pretty much the low point of society.

  • R C Dean||

    That just doesn't add up at all.

    He took it to school and showed it to his teacher to keep his dad from smoking it?

  • Public Citizzen||

    Since Obummercare requires that there be a mental health care benefit the insurance company actuaries are going to have to figure out what the present and future treatment costs of the mental illness being recognised and classified as 'liberalism' are going to cost them.
    Since they can't refuse coverage or charge extra for this obviously pre-existing condition then we are all going to have to bear the increased cost burden until a cure for 'liberalism' is found.

  • ||

    Insurance companies are among the oldest legal casinos in the world.

    You bet each month that you will not suffer misfortune. The insurance company carefully calculates the odds and then puts up an asymmetric counter-wager that you will be unfortunate. The amounts of each wager are the result of a complex calculation of many factors. If you suffer a misfortune during the following month, you "win" and the wager money is paid to you. If you don't suffer a misfortune, the company wins the money. And then the next month, you make another wager.

    The company makes money in volume; They might lose money on individual customers at the casino, but overall they gain money by carefully calculated wagering.

    The Affordable Care Act seeks to ensure that no one can be judged to be too high a risk for a wager. So the cost to the company per wager they make has gone up. And the company passes the costs on the the customer.

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