You Still Can't Keep (or Afford) Your Insurance Under Obamacare

Healthcare.govU.S. GovernmentAt America magazine, Robert David Sullivan takes me to task for writing "you probably can't keep" your existing individual-market health insurance* under the new Affordable Care Act rules. He objects, "31 million Americans were covered by directly purchased health insurance before Obamacare (in addition to the 171 million Americans who got health insurance through employers), so even hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters don’t translate to 'you probably can’t keep' your existing plan." Sullivan also points out that insurance under the new rules covers scads of cool new stuff, including mental health, and that's a good thing. Except...his points are side-step what I originally wrote, and dodge the very real problems at the core of Obamacare.

For starters, "hundreds of thousands" of cancellation letters (add in another 76,000 from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, in the D.C. area) weren't my sole evidence that many existing policies are noncompliant with the new rules. I also quoted health industry consultant Bob Laszewski to the effect that "about 85%" of existing individual health plans are not compliant and will have to be canceled. The CareFirst cancellations, above, cover about 40 percent of the company's customers in the area around the nation's capital. Florida Blue canceled about 80 percent of its customers' policies. Whether the letters have been sent yet or not, a lot of plans simply don't meet the requirements of the new law and won't survive the transition.

Yes, those new requirements include new coverage, including mental health care. Sullivan emphasizes Kaiser's report that "the new policies will offer consumers better coverage, in some cases, for comparable cost," but skips the line pointing out, "Some receiving cancellations say it looks like their costs will go up, despite studies projecting that about half of all enrollees will get income-based subsidies." The New York Times reports that high premiums on the exchanges is a particular problem in rural areas.

In fact, the requirement for subsidies to bring costs down, and the faliure, in many cases for those subsides to do anything of the sort, are part of the problem with Obamacare. Sold, in part, as a measure to lower the cost of health care, the Affordable Care Act appears instead to be increasing costs and then attempting to shift them around, with the idea that "young invincibles" can be conscripted into the system to bear the burden and subsidize premiums for others. Part of those increased costs comes from mandated coverage (between ten and 50 percent "depending on the state, specific legislative language, and type of health insurance policy" according to the Council for Affordable Health Insurance). The mental health coverage that Sullivan praises is especially costly.

If, despite those cost-shifting subsidies, consumers still experience sticker shock when they go shopping, that's going to drive them away no matter the penalty—especially the young invincibles who don't really want to pay the premiums anyway. That leaves a core of sick patients in the system, driving costs up even higher, which puts upward pressure on premiums... This is what Reason's Peter Suderman calls the "health insurance death spiral."

And you can see some of the evidence for that spiral in the cancellation letters, the mandated "fancy-pants" (as Sullivan puts it) coverage, and the resulting high prices at which customers balk.

*Yes, I know it's not really insurance.

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  • Paul.||

    You Still Can't Keep (or Afford) Your Insurance Under Obamacare

    It doesn't matter. Government healthcare is more efficient than private healthcare:

    Until the cost of medical care bites, Americans won't put a lot of pressure on the healthcare industry to rein in its prices and administer care more efficiently. Taxpayer-supported national healthcare could help us get there. The relative efficiency of Medicare and Medicaid are bellwethers we should pay attention to.
  • rts||

    Link is SFed

  • Paul.||

    I was just testing you. You passed.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kev.....healthcare

  • rts||

    Does that mean I get killed last?

  • Brett L||

    You know that anyone who promises to kill you last is lying, even if they say they like you, right?

  • rts||

    NO SPOILERS DAMMIT.

  • Brett L||

    Let off some steam, rts.

  • Paul.||

    For a second, I thought RTS asked if he gets killed "fast".

    I think we're all hoping that our deaths will be quick after Obamacare fully rolls out.

  • BakedPenguin||

    He didn't say he liked you, rts.

  • Killazontherun||

    Medicare an example of efficiency, that's a good one. No, it has been on a cost run ballooning like nothing ever has in the history of the planet for the last thirty five years. That's a sign of failure, that you have to keep pumping more resources into it on a multiplying upward curve just to sustain your returns. Anyone know where this guy does his standup? I'd like to catch that show.

  • ||

    "Relative" efficiency? That's slightly more honest than most people who advocate Medicare-for-all.

  • R C Dean||

    Well, unless they are allocating part of the cost of the IRS (which collects the money funding Medicare), and the cost of all the "fiscal intermediaries (the private firms that administer Medicare), their estimate of efficiency is bogus.

  • Brett L||

    Florida Blue sent out 300,000 cancellation letters today. Link in the AM Links if you care, JD.

  • waffles||

    I'm going to tow the lion and say I guess they didn't like their insurance.

  • Brett L||

    So, yeah. 1% of the self-insured nationally just got cancelled in FL. That would indicate that a significant number of people aren't going to get to keep their plan.

  • Drake||

    This is the funny part. The fucked up website is hiding Obamacare's real flaws.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's all part of the plan.

  • Paul.||

    If they can just keep these problems going until after 2016, Obamacare will be a success.

  • rts||

    Then the jig will be up by Nov 30, apparently.

  • Adam330||

    I can't believe they set a deadline. Dumb dumb dumb.

  • Paul.||

    Deadlines are meant for a'movin'.

  • Tman||

    Just wait until people find out that their hip replacement surgery has been deemed "unnecessary" and therefore "not covered" by the ACA death panels Independent Payment Advisory Board.

    That's gonna be a hoot.

  • ||

    Come the revolution, everyone will have FREE MAMMOGRAMS!

    But, I don't have a family history of breast cancer, I have a family history of osteoporosis....

    Come the revolution EVERYONE will have FREE MAMMOGRAMS!

  • Tman||

    "I'd like one hip replacement surgery please."

    "I'm sorry, but fuck you. Instead HERE'S A FREE MAMMOGRAM!!"

    "But I'm a male."

    "WAR ON WOMEN!!!! Good day sir."

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Nah, you can go ahead and stick your moobs in there.

  • Ted S.||

    Why do you hate titties, Hazel?

  • ||

    Because I have small ones. My tits don't even really fit in the mammogram machine.

  • ||

    God, I hate progressives.
    I hate them with the fire of a thousand suns.

    What kind of fucking asshole do you have to be to implement your Rube-Goldberg machine of a health care system, ostensibly to increase health-care coverage, and then scoff at hundreds of thousands of people having their insurance coverage canceled because it doesn't cover mental health?

    Oh! it doesn't matter that your plan was cancelled and now you have to pay twice as much on the exchange. That extra $300/month covers your therapy, you shill you the insurance industry Rethuglican!

  • Paul.||

    and then scoff at hundreds of thousands of people having their insurance coverage canceled because it doesn't cover mental health?

    Proggies subscribe to the broken eggs/omelette theory of politics.

    How many people did Mao kill to leap the country forward?

  • Brett L||

    Pol Pot will tell you Mao was a softy.

  • Paul.||

    Pol Pot could make a fucking omelette.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    The problem is we never end up with an omelet. Not even a crappy western style one. We just get raw broken eggs.

  • AlexInCT||

    It looks more like some raw eggs on top of a giant shit sandwich to me....

  • Super Hans||

    Raw rotten eggs on a diarrheaic shit sandwich.

  • ||

    Hey subscribe to the theory that if it helps poor sick people then it's good, end of story, no matter what exactly is involved in helping poor sick people.

    If helping poor sick people involved rounding up the rich, executing them in extermination camps, grinding them up and feeding burger patties made of their flesh to poor sick people, they would find a way to convince themselves that was perfectly moral.

  • ||

    They already think that that's moral. Seriously, just go ask one. Make sure you get them loaded first so that they're honest.

    They're sociopaths. Sociopaths don't view other humans as anything other than puppets in their personal theater show, to be cast aside as needed.

  • Paul.||

    This is seen when proggies complain about how such-and-such a social "problem" destroys "x amount" of productivity.

    The whole thing is predicated on the fact that you as an individual owe society a certain amount of productivity, and if your obesity or drug addiction denies society your labor, you must be fixed.

    You don't even own yourself in proggie-land.

  • ||

    Again, this is because they are sociopaths. They do not see you as a fellow human, because they are incapable of empathizing with you. You are in essence a puppet that they want to control the strings of, and the fact that you might want differently is an utterly alien concept to them.

    Of course you don't own yourself, you're not a person, you're their puppet to manipulate. Again: they're sociopaths.

  • rhofulster||

    Along these lines: I really enjoyed watching a prog aquaintance's (parent of daughter's friend) head explode when I told her that activist government policies are ghoulish.

  • ||

    Actually, that's not true at all. They are perfectly find with people being totally unproductive, as long as their lack of productivity involves sitting around in community meetings discussing how best to organize the community garden at your local shoe manufacturing co-op without creating an excessive carbon footprint.

  • Paul.||

    meetings discussing how best to organize the community garden at your local shoe manufacturing co-op without creating an excessive carbon footprint.

    Until no one shows up to the hospital to provide them with free healthcare. Then watch how fast they're no longer fine with that either.

  • John||

    RG and I were debating on the other thread about this. RG thinks that the Dem solution to this will be to just print more money and hand out subsidies for all.

    I think he gives them too much credit. They are going to tell the middle class to go fuck themselves and figure they can lie their way out of it. They are sociopaths and narcissists. They have always gotten away with lying in the past. They will think they can this time too.

  • tarran||

    I think there's an opportunity for a second Tea party like movement that is distinct from the first that focuses on the penaltax and the outlawing of high-deductible catastrophic plans.

    It would open up a second front in the political war between the proggies and the rest of society.

  • PapayaSF||

    Hey subscribe to the theory that if it helps poor sick people then it's good, end of story, no matter what exactly is involved in helping poor sick people.

    It's worse than that. All anything has to do is intend to help poor people. Actual results are not necessary.

  • Paul.||

    But if you kill enough poor people while trying to help them, you've reduced poverty.

    Think about it...

  • PapayaSF||

    No chance of that, because other policies are creating or importing poor people faster than they die.

  • Paul.||

    Job security.

  • ||

    Well, to be fair, they really believe that the results are good, it's just that the evil corporate media is lying and telling you they are bad.

    Either that or the evil corporate capitalist system keeps sabotaging their efforts with greed.

    If it wasn't for greed, price controls would work just fine.
    If it wasn't for greed, doctors would work for free.
    If it wasn't for greed, businesses could operate at a loss forever.

  • tarran||

    What kind of fucking asshole

    A zealous one?

  • Raston Bot||

    so even hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters don’t translate to “you probably can’t keep” your existing plan

    Robert David Sullivan is Bo?

  • John||

    I keep having the same debate with people about whether this program will become popular eventually because it will put so many people on the dole it will become like every other welfare program.

    I understand that argument. But I honestly don't think that even the program's worst critics understand how crazy this program is. Even the people getting subsidies are not getting conventional welfare. They are not getting a check. They are getting help to buy medical insurance. That sounds good until you think about it. Imagine if I forced you into my new car subsidy program. You are required by law to buy a car, but since you are poor, I am going to help you out buy giving you a subsidy. That would be a great deal provided you wanted a car to begin with and since my subsidy doesn't cover the entire cost of the car, you are okay with paying the price of the car after you get my subsidy. So for this plan to be popular among any group, the people who are getting the subsidies are going to have to want the health care insurance they are buying at the price that they are getting it after the subsidy. I would submit to you that very few people will find that to be a good deal even after the subsidy.

    Look, poor people were not paying anything for their healthcare before. They could just show up at the ER and get treatment and never pay the bill. Now they are going to be happy to buy insurance? Unless it is free, I don't think they are going to like that very much.

  • Brett L||

    No, John. I get it. I couldn't figure it out until the exchanges open, but now I understand why the insurance guys were totally up for this. The government says your car isn't safe enough, go buy a new one (no used sales), and by the way, if you're poor they'll give you a subsidy that doesn't nearly cover the difference between the cost of your old car payment and your new one, much less the TCO.

  • John||

    The insurance guys may like. But no way are the poor going to like it. I can't see this ever being popular. The poor are expecting free medical insurance. You are never going to be able to explain to them that they need to pay for some of it.

  • Drake||

    What is left of the medical insurance industry is nothing more than government compliance companies. Walk into the main working office of any of them and you will see floors upon floors of lawyers, clerks, and IT programmers. All they do is try to stay in compliance with the states and feds.

    Try to imagine an insurance company entering the medical insurance industry these days,

  • BakedPenguin||

    Compliance was a big thing even in Property & Casualty insurance (as Swiss Servator can no doubt attest). It was a common topic of discussion how the P&C industry vigorously fought any attempts to be regulated at the federal level, even if it meant there would be one set of rules instead of 50.

  • DK||

    But no way are the poor going to like it.

    That's where government reeducation comes in - just as they've done with getting a university degree. The insurers (universities) still get their money and eliminate the need for competition - a win-win for them. The uninsured (students) just need to be sold that health care, now, will pay dividends in the long run - even though, for many, health care (a higher education) is not needed.

  • Drake||

    Good analogy - except it is more like forcing people to lease cars, a stream of payments that ends only with death.

  • ||

    John, we should all be thankful that they're as stupid as they are. If they were smart, they'd have us all drinking Victory gin and would be reducing our chocolate rations. Instead, they're forcing their own constituency to buy something they previously got for free while making tons of other people hate them for canceling their insurance that they liked while also just raising all health care costs a bunch.

    Again, we're so lucky they're as stupid as they are. This way they just fuck things up royally instead of properly enslaving us all like they would if they were smart enough.

  • John||

    We are very lucky. And better still they are narcissist and liars. So they won't try to fix this thing. They will just lie and tell the country it is great and anyone who doesn't think so is just a racist.

  • BakedPenguin||

    And eventually, the middling middle of the country will wake up and kick these stupid twats out of office. (If only to usher in a new, different color TEAM set of twats.)

    The one big hope I have is that this is such an obvious clusterfuck it discredits this type of massive government plan entirely. I think that's entirely possible, but I won't be holding my breath.

  • Raston Bot||

    I fail to see how the $94 penalty is going to motivate someone to pay $94 each month for insurance they won't use.

  • John||

    It won't. And the same thing is true of the subsidies. Why do you care if the government will pay 90% of the cost of something you don't need or want?

  • Fluffy||

    Or even better - you kind of see how you might need it, and you can be talked into thinking you want it - but you just don't have the money.

    Not having the money is fucking definitive. If you don't have it, you don't have it.

    "FUCK YOU, PEON! ENJOY YOUR TAX LIEN!"

  • AlexInCT||

    That's how the feudal system worked... Looks like we are going back to it.

  • Ted S.||

    Considering how student loan debt isn't dischargeable in bankruptcy, aren't we more or less there?

  • Whahappan?||

    Except you're not forced by law to take out student loans.

  • Bo Tulpaplug S||

    and if they do somehow scrape their share of the premium money together and someone gets sick, all they have to do is scrape together the deductible and large copay while living paycheck to paycheck one paycheck from homelessness.

  • RG||

    How many people don't need or want health isnurance? I'm fairly certain that number is very low. The impact of the mandate has been vastly overstated.

    That's the point I've been trying to get across the entire time. Very few people who didn't have insurance as a choice are going to be forced to buy it. And the penalty is fairly low and is only held from your tax return. Poor and don't get a return, no penalty, no problem!

    Meanwhile, many people who did purchase insurance in the first place, will now receive subsidies to cover the increase in costs.

  • Ted S.||

    How many people don't need or want health isnurance? I'm fairly certain that number is very low. The impact of the mandate has been vastly overstated.

    How many people liked the high deductible plus catastrophic care coverage they had, and are now going to be "without" insurance unless they switch to something substantially more expensive because government simply declared their old insurance wasn't good enough?

  • RG||

    I don't know. I'd like to see that number so as to get an idea of how many people will actually turn against the law.

    However, the Kaiser report shows that nearly half of those who buy insurance on the individual market will receive subsidies. And on average, the subsidies will cover 66% of the cost. So if the subsidies cover up the price increase for a majority of these people, they won't complain.

    To be clear, I am not for this monstrosity, I am just of the opinion that they will toss more money in the form of subsidies to cover up the price hikes.

    The mandate is a red herring, virtually no one will actually pay it. It was designed that way on purpose, to avoid too many people directly feeling the pain of this law.

  • John||

    RG,

    Do you know many poor people? They don't think like the middle class. Most of them are not that interested in spending money on things like health insurance.

  • Super Hans||

    I'm pretty well off with a current high deductible, that will probably be illegal shortly. I'm seriously contemplating dropping out of that system and just pay the penalty. It's cheaper and if anything happens, I can sign up later. I'd rather do that than become part of the intrusive government system of begging for a subsidy and probably signing away any rights in the process (much like getting a driver's license).

  • RG||

    How many people don't need or want health isnurance? I'm fairly certain that number is very low. The impact of the mandate has been vastly overstated.

    That's the point I've been trying to get across the entire time. Very few people who didn't have insurance as a choice are going to be forced to buy it. And the penalty is fairly low and is only held from your tax return. Poor and don't get a return, no penalty, no problem!

    Meanwhile, many people who did purchase insurance in the first place, will now receive subsidies to cover the increase in costs.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I'm fairly certain that number is very low.

    How about some proof?

    Very few people who didn't have insurance as a choice are going to be forced to buy it. And the penalty is fairly low and is only held from your tax return.

    Which is going to cornhole a number of families that probably didn't have a lot of disposable income to begin with. The penalties ramp up year-to-year, it isn't just a $95 fine.
    Meanwhile, many people who did purchase insurance in the first place, will now receive subsidies to cover the increase in costs.

    Money that has to come largely from young college grads that are historically on the lower end of their earning years--and considering the loads of student loan debt they're currently saddled with, how is adding another bill going to help them financially.

    Exercise some math skills, here.

  • RG||

    Why do you think they let them stay on their parents' plans until them are 26?

    The best estimate of those who will pay the penalty? 2% of Americans. Now factor in that it isn't actually paid, but rather witheld from a tax return, and that number drops even more.

    The mandate has so many loopholes, that I'm led to believe it was designed not to work.

    "People worried about having to pay a fine for not carrying health insurance coverage got a little more guidance this week with some new federal regulations. The bottom line: Hardly anyone will end up paying the tax when the health reform law takes full effect in 2014"

    http://www.nbcnews.com/health/.....-1B8199226

  • John||

    You are assuming first that people won't miss $95 and that second, they will be willing to plan ahead and give up their tax return and prepay their taxes to avoid the penalty. Doubtful. Moreover, a lot of the working poor qualify for the EIC. They have to file their taxes to get that. And thus will have no way to avoid the penalty.

    And if your position is that everyone will just ignore the mandate, then how exactly are people going to get so hooked on the subsidies that they will demand they never end?

  • Brett L||

    1% of taxable income or $95 whichever is higher. So these fucks are going to be taking $95 off people with less than $9500 in taxable income. Mostly poor people with kids.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    It's $94 or 1% of your income. Sooo, 30K income gets $300 tax. As is typical, it screws the working and middle classes because they're the folks most likely to participate in the individual market AND purchase insurance for themselves AND be subject to the 1% tax AND not earn enough to qualify for a subsidy. The poor will get Medicaid (if their state took the expansion - 35 did).

  • John||

    Thanks Lady Bertrum. I was unclear if that was the lesser of or the greater of the two. If it is as you say, yeah, it is a big fucking deal and people are going to be pissed.

  • Fluffy||

    They spend all their time telling us that millions of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and are one disaster away from being homeless...

    ...but they also want to impose new monthly obligations of hundreds of dollars a month on those very families.

    So they want to impose one disaster a month on the families that are one disaster away from being homeless.

    KNOCK IT OUT OF THE PARK A-HOLES

  • PapayaSF||

    But they'll have really good insurance that covers pre-existing conditions, mental health, and free birth control!!

  • John||

    They also tell us how even asking a poor person for an ID is disenfranchising them. But then they make sure the only way a poor person can get a subsidy is to log on a website. You know the world wide web, that thing Progs have been claiming the poor unfairly can't access.

  • FYTW||

    I think the "sure, maybe it'll cost a bit more, but the coverage is better!" argument derives from the left's disgusting habit of viewing humans as abstractions rather than as individuals. If you're designing health-care policy around a Hypothetical Human who could theoretically manifest the entire range of human conditions or maladies, then the simple-minded more=better calculus has a certain appeal.

    But individuals have discrete circumstances. An individual may (for example) have no history of mental health problems and thus have no reason to want to pay for mental health care coverage. Forcing him to pay for what he doesn't need is in no sense "better" than the alternative.

  • PapayaSF||

    Progressive reformers love one-size-fits-all solutions. They are easier to comprehend than letting a bunch of individuals and the messy market solve things. Plus, they're "fair."

  • SweatingGin||

  • BakedPenguin||

    Thank you, thank you. All my life, I never understood who I really was. *sniff*

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    So apparently the new talking point from the left on this is that "TEAM RED WAS CALLING FOR PATIENCE WITH MEDICARE PART D ON ITS ROLLOUT AND NOW ITS SUPER-POPULAR SO OBAMACARE WILL BE ALSO!!!"

    When you point out that comparing the deficit-adding Medicare Part D (a feature the left was more than happy to highlight just a couple of years ago) to Obamacare isn't exactly a point in Obamacare's favor, they're typically reduced to babbling that "YOU MISSED MY POINT!!!"

    No, I didn't miss the point, progtard, other than you're just as much of a special pleader as Team Red.

  • SweatingGin||

    I definitely remember all those taxes they nailed the old people with for not buying a product on a website that didn't work.

  • PapayaSF||

    One problem with that argument is that Medicare Part D only applied to people in Medicare. It didn't mess with everyone else's health care the way Obamacare does.

  • ||

    Also Medicare part D is optional. You aren't penalized for not signing up.

  • John||

    I have thinking about how anyone, even a leftist, ever thought this thing was a good idea. And here is what I think happened. The progs have always wanted single payer. Single payer is essential if you want to transform society. If the government controls healthcare, it can control lifestyle and that and education is where the money is when you are trying to transform society. But they couldn't come out and say that is why wanted single payers. So they invented lies to tell to the public to justify single payer. The two primary lies were that biggest problem in American healthcare was that millions of people didn't have insurance and were suffering and dying from lack of healthcare as a result and even those who do have insurance hate insurance plans because they don't give enough benefits and they are constantly oppressed by the evil profit making insurance companies. At some point in the last 80 years, the progs forgot those things were lies made to cover the real purpose of single payer and started to think they were true. And since they live in a hive and control the media the lies became articles of faith.

  • John||

    Part II

    So here comes 2009 and they finally get real power but still can't quite get single payer. What do they do? They create a program designed to solve the problems that exist in the lies they have been telling. So they create a program to make sure everyone buys health insurance, since not having insurance is the biggest problem, and replaces everyone's old crappy insurance policies with the new and better prog designed policies. What are seeing here is the lies of prog world colliding with reality. The whole program is based on lies the progs told themselves and is designed to solve problems that didn't exist in anywhere near the level progs had convinced themselves.

    The reality is that most people in this country who don't have insurance do so by choice. They figure it is worth the risk and they don't have many assets to lose anyway. And the truth is the country has always been charitable and no one ever dies because they can't pay for medical care. If it is really needed you will get it. So a lot of people rationally chose not to have insurance.

  • John||

    Part III

    The other truth is that despite 70 years of progs trying to destroy the free market in healthcare, the market is incredibly resilient and survived despite being warped beyond recognition in some areas. So most people who have insurance where happy with their insurance. Health insurance isn't an essential benefit in any good job because everyone hates t he policies. And no one is going to be happy to see their current policy replaced by the new improved prog policy they just got in the mail.

    So no one is going to like this. Not the poor, not the middle class, no one. And what is really amazing is how the prog lies have been internalized even by the right. The Right is convinced the poor are going to love being forced to buy subsidized insurance because we all know no one ever rationally chooses not to have insurance.

  • PR||

    the left and right think the poor are stupid, especially about money.

  • John||

    Yes. The Right is a bit different in that they think everyone thinks like they do. Since most on the right are responsible middle class people who are risk adverse and think buying healthcare is the rational thing to do, they assume the poor thinks the same way and are just dying to do the responsible thing and buy healthcare. The idea that the poor might not think like them or even if they do, may have different circumstances and considerations driving their decisions, never occurs to them.

  • ||

    I think you attribute far to much intelligence to them, John.

    In my experience, most of them navigate purely by instinct. To them "Single Payer" just means "Free stuff", since they are assuming that the government will just tax the rich more to pay for it.

    The more intelligent ones actually have a plan for getting free stuff from the rich to the poor, and so they may have a strategy for how they are going to bankrupt and then nationalize the insurance companies, but that's as far as it goes.

    As far as controlling lifestyle and health choices, they already think that "we're all interdependent", because they have no fucking clue how economics works, so it's all an indistinguishable mush as far as they can see. So as far as they are concerned, they already have the right to control your food and health choices because your actions get all mixed up in a big blob of complexity and somehow have an effect on them. They aren't exactly sure what it is, but they are sure it exists because - interdependence, bitches!

  • John||

    I was speaking more about the original progs back in the early 20th Century who came up with this stuff. The current ones are exactly like you describe. They have no idea why they want single payer. They just want it. And they also believe the two lies I describe and designed this whole goofy program on those assumptions.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Sullivan also points out that insurance under the new rules covers scads of cool new stuff, including mental health, and that's a good thing.

    A. If I wanted that shit, I'd already have it. B. My policy now covers maternity, and that's a fucking retarded thing.

  • John||

    See my long post above. One of the lies Progs told to try and sell single payer was that insurance policies were all evil oppressive documents imposed on America by the profit seeking insurance companies. Nitwits like Sullivan believe that. So he is totally shocked that anyone would be unhappy with the new improved Obama policy. How could they not be happy? Doesn't everyone hate their insurance coverage?

  • ||

    This is true. They have been selling this line for years and years about how insurance companies were always trying to screw you over and dick you out of claims. But in reality, most people were fine with their insurance. Those stories were really almost entirely propaganda.
    Nobody wants to pay twice for insurance as much just so they have a zero co-pay on their annual mammogram. Fuck that shit.

  • ||

    Er twice as much for insurance.

  • R C Dean||

    Its not just the people who are getting cancellation notices who no longer have their pre-OCare health plan that the liked.

    Unless your pre-OCare plan provided all the benefits mandated by OCare (and none of them did, just on the mandatory 26-year-old coverage alone), you lost your pre-OCare plan when it was amended to become compliant. At that point, it stopped being the plan you used to have, and became a different one. One that cost you more, BTW.

    So the number of people who didn't get to keep their old plan is . . . all of them. Every. Single. Fucking. One.

  • R C Dean||

    Slight correction: There is a theoretical possibility that there are people out there who's insurance hasn't changed at all, not one bit, since OCare passed. Those people can keep their old policies as they satisfy the grandfathering safe harbor.

    But there aren't many, and fewer every year. Pretty much any change to a policy subjects it to the mandates, after all.

  • ||

    They are deliberately modifying your policy so they will have an excuse to cancel it, to get people off the cheaper grandfathered plans, and force them to buy a more expensive policy from the exchange.

  • John||

    Yes. It goes back to my post above RC. The progs forgot that "everyone hates their insurance plan" was a lie told to justify single payer not an assumption to base your healthcare plan on.

    You tell me who benefits from this monstrosity and is going to like it and demand it never be repealed.

  • ||

    Here is why policies are getting canceled:
    The more expensive plans make the insurance companies MORE MONEY.
    Let's say your old plan was $300/month.
    Under the new insurance regs they can now FORCE YOU to upgrade to a more expensive plan that costs $550/month.

    Why would the insurance companies not love that deal?
    It's like if we had a car lease mandate, where the president says "if you like your old car you can keep your old car". But then says "All new car leases must be at least a BMW, no more leases on Honda Civics".

    What are the car companies going to do? Let you keep renting a Honda, or cancel your Honda lease, so you'll be forced to upgrade to a BMW?

  • ||

    Moreover, if you're forced to upgrade to a BMW, the government pays half the cost, so the insurance company still gets $550, you're still only paying the $300 you were paying before, so the insurance company gets a free $220 out of the gravy train.

  • John||

    It is a question of risk and numbers. Forcing every policy to cover more things, means more people who are in no danger of using that provision of the policy can be charged for it. It is pretty good business to sell birth control insurance to old women and single men, provided the government forces them to buy it.

  • ||

    Right, and all the people who previously had policies that *didn't* cover that stuff, probably weren't using it either. So there's a good chance that your previous policy holders aren't going to use the new services that they are going to be forced to pay for now.

  • ||

    Also, how much to you want to be they are selectively canceling the lowest-priced policies - because they know those people will be forced to buy a new policy at a higher price.

    Note how they aren't cancelling ALL policies. I'll bet anything they aren't cancelling the pricier policies that were sold to the higher-risk people.

  • R C Dean||

    Here is why policies are getting canceled:

    Because any policies sold on the exchanges or the individual and small group markets are required to have the essential minimum benefits as of, well, now.

    That's why.

  • XM||

    There was a party that wanted President Bush to fail like, ALL the time.

    The question is, who were they?

  • JPohl||

    Don't the Democrats know that the ACA is the "law of the land". They just told everybody it cannot be delayed. Just wait till you see the doctor waiting rooms in a few years. THe http://ObamaCareACA.com web site explains some pretty grim outlooks for the future.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    Its a pretty simple theory really, the more middlemen you put between a product and the consumer, the more expensive it is. now the government is trying to add hundreds of thousands of "navigators" and other infrastructure costs and they are trying to say it will cost less?

    They are trying to get away with this lie by subsidizing the cost and not showing the end-user the amount of the subsidies. Subsidizing does not lower the cost it just screws the taxpayers.

  • Duelles||

    Our individual policy is cancelled as of 12/31/13. The offerings are 75% higher premiums, 250&300;% higher co-pays and deductibles. I am not rich, but wealthy enough to have retired at 58. I go on MediCare and will be happy if I can find doctors. That is still TBD! My bride of 44 years is 6 months behind, so will have to cough up extra cash for premiums and bracket our checkups around the ObamaCare craziness.
    America?!?! Wake the hell up. This is madness.

  • concerned cynic||

    The health insurance death spiral has a name: adverse selection.

    Many people will opt out, legally or otherwise, because of the following 3 facts:

    1. If you're shot or involved in a car accident or have a heart attack or acute appendicitis, an ambulance has to pick you up, and a hospital has to treat you regardless of your ability to pay.

    2. More and more employers are going to drop health care as a fringe benefit. So more and more people will find themselves facing the individual mandate.

    3. If there is a serious illness in your family, and you make a belated application, you can neither be turned away nor be charged a higher premium.

    The result of these facts is that many young invincibles will stay out of the system, resulting in overall premium rises and insurers ceasing to underwrite health care. But the higher the premiums and the scarcer the providers, the more vicious the death spiral.

  • thorax232||

    Force demand to go up for specific companies and prices go up? Whhaaaatt???

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