Obamacare Defender Pissed at Losing Her Policy, Paying Higher Rates

The Chicago Sun-Times reports on the oh-so-ironic reversal of Sue Klinkhamer, 60, who used to work for Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), who lost his seat partly because voters didn't want Obamacare. Klinkhamer wrote her old boss:

“I spent two years defending Obamacare. I had constituents scream at me, spit at me and call me names that I can’t put in print. The congressman was not re-elected in 2010 mainly because of the anti-Obamacare anger. When the congressman was not re-elected, I also (along with the rest of our staff) lost my job. I was upset that because of the health care issue, I didn’t have a job anymore but still defended Obamacare because it would make health care available to everyone at, what I assumed, would be an affordable price. I have now learned that I was wrong. Very wrong.”

On September 1 of this year, Klinkhamer was paying $291 a month for an insurance policy with a $3,500 deductible. Those days are over, though, as of December 31, when her policy goes away. Instead,

"I can have a plan with similar benefits for $647.12 [or] I can have a plan with similar [but higher] pricing for $322.32 but with a $6,500 deductible.”

Read more here.

What arguably makes this state of affairs worse is that the Obama administration seems to have known all along that folks such as Klinkhamer were gonna get screwed. But hey, President Obama won the election, so get over it, right?

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...because it would make health care available to everyone at, what I assumed, would be an affordable price.

    Maybe you, your fellow staffers and your boss SHOULD HAVE READ THE FUCKING BILL.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Before voting on it? How does that work?

  • ||

    Look, they passed it, so now they get to find out what's in it. Just like Nancy said.

  • wareagle||

    in the cult of personality, reading the bill is one of those pesky details best avoided. Sort of like watching Obama's actions rather than fixating on his words. Folks like her got exactly what they deserve.

  • Hugh Akston||

    We all got what they deserve.

  • wareagle||

    and that's really the part that sucks. Pyrrhic victory. Bastards.

  • DaveSs||

    Her old boss was really a giant douche both times I attended his public audiences.
    You could tell who the supporters were vs the opponents by how long they got to talk with him.

    As soon as it was clear I wasn't there to thank him for upcoming vote for Obamacare he basically cut me off, told me to piss off, and said if I didn't like it I could run against him next election, then signaled his aides to tell me to leave.

    The second time I ignored his aides when they told me that my time was up after less than two minutes (the ladies before me had twenty)
    They actually brought in other constituents to talk, supporters apparently since they brought him checks, while I sat there looking pissed and scruffy (I'd been doing messy DIY stuff that day)
    The puzzled looks from them in my direction was worth it. Almost like they felt dirty giving him money.

    After the Obamacare vote he never held court in public again.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Oh, but the opposition party, who pointed this out over and over and over, were dismissed as heartless lying troublemakers who just wanted to spoil things for the average guy.

  • dinkster||

    Even if they read it, the economic ignorance they've clung to for the better part of their lives wouldn't allow them to foresee the unforeseen consequences. I'm surprised she didn't blame the insurance company trying to game the system.

  • DJF||

    I thought that was the purpose of Obamacare, having people who are healthy and paying low rates to pay more so unhealthy people including those with pre-existing conditions could pay lower rates or in the case of the officially poor pay nothing at all.?

  • #||

    It's amazing how little people, including the supporters, actually understood what this law does.

    Making most peoples' premiums go up in order to subsidize an older and sicker minority is the whole point of the exchange/ mandate component. It's about making 25 year olds pay for 55 year olds.

    Anyone who learned the basic premises of the bill in 2009 should have understood that no you couldn't keep your old insurance.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Even that is not the intent.

    The intent is to increase government power.

    Period.

    Any old or sick person benefiting is entirely coincidental to the that intent.

  • AlexInCT||

    ^^^^^THIS^^^^^

  • Rob||

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

  • SusanM||

    And never attribute to stupidity that which can be explained by batshit lunacy.

    Anyone who couldn't figure out that a few people who have money supporting the many who don't (especially those who didn't realize that that meant their money) wasn't going to be for free deserves the sweet salty tears of disillusionment.

  • hotsy totsy||

    "It's amazing how little people, including the supporters, actually understood what this law does"

    But does not understanding or reading or comprehending shut them up about how great it's gonna be? Does it make them hesitate a little bit before attacking people who HAVE read it and warn about what a mess it's going to be?

  • R C Dean||

    The only way to be a supporter of OCare was to either

    (a) be a check-cashing crony;
    (b) be a check-cashing welfare case; or
    (c) not understand it.

  • hotsy totsy||

    You can bet that had her boss not lost his job and she still had hers and her own special insurance, she would STILL be "defending Obamacare" by attacking anyone else who spoke against it as heartless special interests.

  • Carolynp||

    Oh, I don't know, in the process of working with those who work on the website my dad went from being a conservative Democrat to being a conservative Republican. Many of the full throated supporters slapped into the wall a long time ago.

  • Adam330||

    The lessons she will take from this are that the subsidies are not high enough, the regulations on the insurers are not tight enough, and the government's involvement is much too small.

  • sarcasmic||

    Exactly. Just as the stimulus didn't fix the economy because it wasn't big enough, any failings of the ACA are only because it hasn't gone far enough.

    I actually heard some spin-doctor douche on the radio this morning claiming that while unscrupulous insurance corporations claim that the ACA is the reason they're dropping people, it's really corporate greed.

    These people will not be satisfied until it's crappy socialized medicine for all, because it's better to be equally poor than to have someone to envy.

    Those days of America where people generally look up to the rich and hope to become rich themselves (the American dream) are gone.

    The fundamental transformation is almost complete.

  • Doctor Whom||

    My liberal Facebook friends are so far pretty quiet about it. Then again, most of them haven't acknowledged drones. Instead, they're latching onto any distraction they can find (like, OMG, Rand Paul plagiarized from Wikipedia!).

  • Cyto||

    This talking point has been picked up by the change.org folks across the web. Every article mentioning the people getting cancelled is likely to see several comments stating that the insurance companies always wanted to cancel those policies and are just doing it now using Obamacare as an excuse.

    Noted this morning at sites as varied as MSNBC, CBS News local, New York Times and Vice.com

    It is probably astroturf, as it is so consistent and so widespread in such a short time. Although I will say that my Prog friends have a tendency to pick up any meme their team spins out as their own thought within a matter of hours. It really is an impressive skill.

  • Adam330||

    I'm not sure how that talking point helps them. So you passed a law that gave insurance companies a good reason to cancel policies they didn't want to continue? That exonerates you how?

  • Doctor Whom||

    Unintended consquences, not matter how foreseeable, don't reflect on the virtue of the law. They really do seem to belive that.

  • Doctor Whom||

    *believe

    Greedy corporations kept me from proofreading.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's greedy corporations! Not the ACA! Greed! Corporations! Profits!

  • prolefeed||

    Every article mentioning the people getting cancelled is likely to see several comments stating that the insurance companies always wanted to cancel those policies and are just doing it now using Obamacare as an excuse.

    More precisely, it gave the insurance companies a LEGAL BASIS to cancel people who were previously uncancellable.

    They're basically bitching that a law largely written by insurance lobbyists who gave plenty of campaign contributions to the TEAM BLUE legislators turned out to be favorable to insurance companies.

  • hotsy totsy||

    They're basically bitching that a law largely written by insurance lobbyists who gave plenty of campaign contributions to the TEAM BLUE legislators turned out to be favorable to insurance companies.

    Can I plagiarize THIS?

  • ||

    Just after reading this I popped on facebook and my reliably proggie friend had this helpful flowchart.

    Everything you need to know to assuage your fears about Obamacare. As far as I can tell it's an abuse of the structure of a flowchart.

    "I'm concerned we can't afford Obamacare."
    "According to the Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare is fully funded, lowers the deficit and will reduce health care costs in the U.S."

    It just gets worse from there.

  • Pelosi's Accommodator||

    There's a box that actually says Fuck You That's Why.

  • ||

    Would that be the "Wait a sec! I'm upper-income!" section?

    "Yeah, sorry about that. Still...45 million people insured... Not bad for 0.85% tax. And, seriously...thanks."

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Funny how the number jumped from 30 million uninsured to 45 million uninsured over the last 3 years.

  • trshmnstr||

    What a condescending piece of shit.

    Yeah, sorry about that. Still... 45 million people insured...

    Not bad for 0.85% tax. And, seriously... thanks.

  • SusanM||

  • MoreFreedom||

    Many of us have expensive medical conditions, and our insurance policies are low because we bought insurance before we got our medical condition.

    The insurance companies are glad to be rid of me and others like me, because Obamacare allows them to renege on my contract. By no longer allowing insurance companies to charge extra for pre-existing conditions (but they can charge more if you smoke???) or to not cover them, insurance prices will go up. Especially for those who have no expensive medical conditions.

    And by covering everything under the sun, insurance companies will bring in more income than they otherwise would, getting a bigger share of the US consumer spending market.

    Insurance companies don't want to cancel policies, they want to get out of non-profitable policies some customers have, and they want more income. Obamacare does exactly this. And it guarantees their profits, in the government created cartel.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Egg-fugging-zactly!

    Many people predicted the outcomes of this law. Down to the letter. People like Ms. Klinkhamer dismissed them as rednecks, ignoramuses and cranks. Now that those consequences have come to pass, they want to pretend there was no record of predictions and push the for even more of the same, again dismissing the very people who predicted the results. Frankly, until Ms. Klinkhamer gets a tattoo on her forehead that says "I'm not as smart as Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin.", I'm really not all that interested in much of what she has to say.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    I still have to put up with her - I live in Kane County and have to watch her trying to find another taxpayer funded teat to latch onto.

  • gaijin||

    Kane county? howdy neighbor!

  • ||

    Good. I'm glad her rates are going up. She deserves the discomfort. So, how many people will lose their homes as a result of these massive increases in expenditures with only a couple months notice? Hopefully, everyone that supported the bill, and subsequently, the law. Real pain moves people to action. Here's hoping people that opposed it, experience less pain. And get ready with their I-told-you-so's.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'd laugh except my contribution is going up almost 40%. May her bitterness last a lifetime

  • JohnD||

    And may her lifetime be short.

  • Mr. Weebles||

    Reading this article makes me wish there was a German word to describe the feeling of joy or pleasure when one sees another fail or suffer misfortune.

  • INFORG||

    A shame really...seems like they have a word that covers just about everything else.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Or a word from an Indic language that expressed the concept that what goes around, comes around.

  • R C Dean||

    Schadenkarma?

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    Karmafreude!

  • MoreFreedom||

    That word is schadenfreude.

  • Great+Grandma||

    The word is schadenfreude...

  • Jordan||

    Man, I didn't realize so many people worked for Home Depot.

  • Lord Humungus||

    lulz

  • Floridian||

    I really hate this law because I graduated in my healthcare related field at the end of 2008. Now this abomination comes along to give the industry a giant nut punch. Awesome. If I knew then what I know now I would have been a veterinarian.

  • Jordan||

    My wife is currently going through residency. We plan to tell our children to avoid the medical field at all costs.

  • Floridian||

    Most docs do, which is really sad because most physicians love what they do. They just don't want to go broke doing it.

  • Jordan||

    We fully expect that doctors will be conscripted into government service in the not too distant future.

  • Floridian||

    I would like to believe that could never happen but I am not as optimistic as I use to be. I think it unlikely but sadly not impossible. I think the future of medicine if reimbursement rates drop will be an attractive salary coupled with free education. $80,000 a year doesn't look as bad when you don't have to pay off 300k in loans.

  • sarcasmic||

    $80,000 a year doesn't look as bad when you don't have to pay off 300k in loans.

    That's how it works in the rest of the world. I don't know about you, but my mommy taught me that if everyone else is jumping off a bridge, I had best fall to my death with them.

  • Floridian||

    Well duh. We are all in this together.

    That bridge... You didn't jump off that.

  • Generic Stranger||

    You were pushed.

  • ||

    Was it a military-style assault bridge?

  • ||

    They (mostly) are in Hungary, a former Communist country, almost a quarter century after the "change".

    Their nominal pay is really shitty; most of them more or less extort so-called gratuities from their patients, and the ones with (partial) private practice use the resources of the state-run hospitals for surgery and complex diagnostics (MRI, CT &c).

    It's the worst possible world of all, but people still cling to the notion that healthcare is "free" in Hungary.

  • John||

    That will never happen. You can't conscript them short of locking them all up. They can always choose to leave the profession.

    Long term, I am optimistic. I think we are not too far away from technology finally reaching the point where it revolutionizes medicine. Instead of paying to see a doctor, we will have artificial intelligence program that can handle all but the really complex diagnosis. Where, thanks to information tech, pharmacists and PAs and nurses do a lot of things we pay doctors to do and where nanotechnology reaches the point that treatment becomes much cheaper and effective.

    It may be a decade or two. But it will happen. And when it does the whole concept of government run healthcare and all this will be completely unnecessary. Sadly, it will probably still exist and be sucking money out of inertia. But not many people will be getting treatment through it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Not when innovation grinds to a halt because government health care provides no incentives to come up with new things.

  • Floridian||

    Think of the auto industry. Cars become more and more expensive year over year because regulations put up barriers to entry. There is no reason you couldn't build a car for 2k to compete with the big boys other than all the BS regulations. Healthcare is much much worse. Any competition to the government model will be regulated out of existence.

  • John||

    But medicine is a bit different than cars. Cars are big. Medicine is in many ways small. And you can't, or will have a hard time, stopping people from going overseas or ordering on the internet.

    For example, you can right now as an amateur diagnose most minor problems like an ear infection yourself and even order the medicine, unless you want pain pills, over the internet. That is only going to become more so.

    I look at public health a bit like public schools under communism. What happened was people just paid for private teachers because the communist schools didn't teach. As medicine gets more advanced and cheaper, the availability of for lack of a better term "underground" medicine will improve. Basically, at some point the technology gets so effective and mobile, even the government can't stop it.

    And one note on cars. Yes, the government makes them too expensive. But the car you buy today is, accounting for inflation, cheaper in real terms than cars 40 years ago, and of course much better engineered. So even with all of the government interference, we are still better off today.

    In the 1950s you paid $30,000 or more in today's dollars for a car that after five years was worth more in scrap than together. Today, you can buy a car for that price that will, with basic maintenance and absent an accident, still be on the road in 20 years.

  • Zeb||

    It's hard to compare new cars with cars from the past on price. New cars really are amazingly better in most ways than they used to be. I'd go back to cars from the 90s, though. They really had reliability figured out at that point, AC was common and they hadn't started to add all of the silly crap that is on new cars now.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'd go back to cars from the 90s, though.

    Had they learned to coat the metal parts to reduce rust yet? Didn't that happen in the early 00s?

  • John||

    Zeb,

    I think cars hit a peak in the late 60s and early 70s in terms of engineering and reliability. Then they fell off a cliff thanks to the air pollution rules. Manufacturers had to install pollution control technology that hadn't been perfected and detune the engines to lower emissions. The added exhaust controls and detuning made engines that before were in many ways made about as well as you could make a carburated normally aspirated engines into under performing junk. It wasn't until t he late 1990s, when they finally perfected computer controlled fuel injection that cars got powerful and reliable again.

  • 2Sirius||

    I think so too. Back then, as long as you could turn a wrench and had access to a Chilton's manual you do nearly all the repair work on your car yourself. An added benefit was that you (and your car) could survive a pretty good wreck.

  • prolefeed||

    I'd go back to cars from the 90s, though.

    I wouldn't. I owned cars built back then. New ones are way better. I own a big near luxury sedan (a Toyota Avalon) that outperforms most musclecars from the 60s to 90s.

  • John||

    What prolefeed said. My V6 boring Merc C class would leave most golden age muscle cars for dead on a track. For 30K I can buy any number of late model used cars that are just as fast as the "supercars" from my youth in the 1980s.

    In many ways, these are glorious times to live.

  • GregMax||

    Think . . . Dr. Zhivago . . . Doctors will always be fine if they don't mind working for eggs and blow-jobs (from toothless ex-collectivists.)

  • R C Dean||

    You can't conscript them short of locking them all up.

    Yes . . . . interesting. Go on.

  • John||

    Would you like to subscribe to my newsletter RC?

  • Jan S.||

    Instead of paying to see a doctor, we will have artificial intelligence program that can handle all but the really complex diagnosis.

    Isn't that called "Google?"

  • Corporate Serf||

    Will insurance pay for it?

  • hotsy totsy||

    That sounds great, John, but government control freaks just may try to make it illegal to use that technology unless you are a government approved "qualified professional".

    If they do it with taxicabs, they'll surely try it with medical practitioners.

  • Smack MacDougal||

    "... we are not too far away from technology finally reaching the point where it revolutionizes medicine...we will have an artificial intelligence program that can handle all but the real complex diagnosis...treatment becomes much cheaper and effective.

    ~ John

    Oh, that's right. The price of books at Amazon have fallen to almost zero because books are digital, like AI. NOT.

    Economics doesn't work that way, John.

    There is one law that governs the whole of economics and one axiom. That law is the infrangible Law of Prices, which holds the winning bidders of demand in the face of supply set the price. The axiom is the great Axiom of Profit which holds the sum of sales must at least equal the cost of production or a producer goes to ruin.

    If the return to capital isn't sufficient relative to another opportunity, few shall write Prolog programs to make AI diagnostics. The few who do can only remain in business if the winning bidders pay out bids high enough so the sum of sales equal the high costs of writing clever code to express diagnostic algorithms.

  • MoreFreedom||

    There's an article on Reason titled "How Government is Destroying the Medical Profession" http://reason.com/reasontv/201.....he-medical or for the article see http://www.cato.org/publicatio.....profession

    This article discusses Obamacare specifically from the viewpoint of a physician. He ends with this quote from Atlas Shrugged:

    “Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in their operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man whose life they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it—and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t.”

    I wouldn't want to be a Democratic politician seeing a doctor.

  • Jan S.||

    I have a friend who was a podiatrist - a PODIATRIST, of all things - who left medicine because of the malpractice insurance premiums and other government interference. He now teaches science at an "alternative" high school (i.e. thugs and pregnant girls); he says it's more enjoyable.

  • ||

    But, Ms. Klinkhamer, for the low, low, price of only an extra $300, now you can get a FREE COLONOSCOPY!!!

    Isn't that GREAT?

  • ||

    Actually, she should be very happy that she now gets free birth control! After all as a 60-year old woman that's probably high on her list.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    The weird part of this story is her age. With OC restricting age rating to 4x from the youngest to oldest policyholders the oldies should be seeing rate decreases. I would expect anyone under 40 to get a real nut punch, but 60?

  • kinnath||

    Her premium went up 10% and her deductible doubled. That is a modest increase compared to what a lot of people are seeing.

  • R C Dean||

    the oldies should be seeing rate decreases

    Not if the cost of the whole pool goes up because of pre-existing conditions and benefit mandates.

  • ||

    This.

    And the fact that the law doesn't just shift costs from the old to the young. It shifts costs from all relatively sick people to all relatively healthy people.

    If Ms. Klinkhamer is in better-than-average shape for a typical 60 year old, her insurance rates will go up, because she now has to pay the same rates as the average 60 year old.

  • John Thacker||

    Actually worse than that. She'll have to pay the average of the rates paid by 60 year olds, which is a lot higher.

    It's not a normal or otherwise symmetric distribution. So if 10% of people have half the costs, then the rates she'll pay will be what the 90th percentile person pays, for example.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Heh. I know some people who'd be happy to give it to her for free!

  • WC Varones||

    New White House policy on "if you like your health insurance:"

    image

  • Fluffy||

    The new talking point is "Of course there are winners and losers."

    Except that wasn't the story back in 2010. Everyone was supposed to be a winner back in 2010.

    The secret unspoken talking point is "Most of the people who are getting fucked aren't part of Democrat constituencies, so they are just wreckers and hoarders who deserve some 'shared sacrifice' to make up for their privilege!"

  • ||

    Ironically, the people who are getting fucked the hardest are self-employed middle-income single young people.

    Who very much ARE a Democratic constituency. 20-something coastal hipsters with college degrees are EXACTLY the people that voted for Obama in droves in 2008.

  • Fluffy||

    Nonono.

    Only the college educated 20-something coastal hipsters who work for nonprofits are Obama's people.

    If you are self-employed, you're practically a kulak and require liquidation.

  • John||

    Only the college educated 20-something coastal hipsters who work for nonprofits are Obama's people.

    Some of the people who are faring the worst under this are adjunct and nontenured track college professors. They are seeing their hours cut back to under 30 and their health insurance disappear.

    Most of my neighbors are what those 20 something hipsters aspire to be. They work at the top of various do gooder non profits making six figures. And all of them are seeing their health plans go away as their employers cut back in order to avoid paying the "Cadillac Health Insurance Plan Tax".

    There were a lot of Obama signs in my neighborhood in 2008 and 2012. The enthusiasm for him seems to have dimmed a whole lot in the last few months.

    I have no doubt Obama's goal in this was to reward his supporters and punish everyone else. But he is such an incompetent he has managed to create a program that punishes some of his biggest supporters in really nasty ways.

  • ||

    The thing is, that Obama thinks his supporters are poor blacks and hispanics, not white upper-middle-class post-graduate hipsters. He's basically throwing the coastal SWPL crowd under the bus with this.

  • John||

    `They are. And Obama is a nasty Chicago, Bill Ayers acolyte. He hates people like my neighbors. They are just too sheltered to realize it.

  • fish||

    There were a lot of Obama signs in my neighborhood in 2008 and 2012. The enthusiasm for him seems to have dimmed a whole lot in the last few months.

    TOO LATE YOU DUMB FUCKERS!

    You got your change now enjoy it.....good, dry and hard!

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

  • MoreFreedom||

    It's funny all the progressives who want to work for a non-profit, as if earning a profit is immoral. They are morally deluded because they don't they their pay is profit from their investment in time working.

    When it comes to working for no profit, only volunteers qualify. And even they get some satisfaction from what they do.

  • ||

    Less than 50% of the 20-something demographic voted at all. Only about 30% of eligible 20-somethings voted for Obama.

  • Zeb||

    But how many of those who didn't vote lie and say they voted for Obama anyway?

  • R C Dean||

    self-employed middle-income single young people.

    20-something coastal hipsters with college degrees

    I suspect there's not a lot of overlap in these two classes.

  • John||

    More than you think. As Sugar Free always says, hipsterism is by its nature a subsidized lifestyle. A lot of hippsters are "free lance" web designers or reporters or graphic artists working on their own and cashing their parents checks to pay the rent.

  • R C Dean||

    Point taken. Still, I wonder how many genuinely middle-income free-lancers have their parents paying their rent.

  • John||

    You would have to find a geniunely middle income free lancer to answer that question. Good luck with that.

    To the extent they exist, they have employed spouses who raise the household to middle income.

  • ||

    Just FYI, freelance as a single word has become acceptable when used in a non-military context. The OED has example usages beginning in the 80s.

  • ||

    Computer programmers in SF working as independent contractors and consultants.

  • ||

    Also artists, performance artists, people making clothing or jewelry and selling it online, etc. You know the type.

  • AlexInCT||

    The ex-hippies, or those that pine to be like hippies, only they shower more regularly?

  • ||

    Granted many of those people are probably not middle-income, still, as a single person if you are making over $47,000 you don't qualify for subsidies, and given the cost of living in New York and San Francisco, I would bet that most of these people are already earning more than that.

    Even if you do get subsidies, it's a sliding scale. If you're making close to the limit, the subsidies aren't going to make much of a dent in those $200/month premiums.

  • John||

    It goes back to the Democrats believing their own lies. They told the world that everyone really hated their health insurance coverage because if they didn't it would be really hard to justify single payer. The problem is that wasn't true. Most people like their health insurance policies.

    The Democrats still haven't come to terms with that reality. The first talking point was "you can keep your plan". Now that reality has shown that to be a fantasy, the talking point is "well sure some people were going to be hurt". That is very comforting to them because they figure that it won't be many people and most of them are bitter clingers that the Dems hate anyway.

    Over the next year or so the reality that the number of loser is enormous and isn't just bitter clingers but a lot of respectable white, suburban liberals will slowly dawn on them. At that point the gloves will come off and the talking point will be "of course you lost your health plan, it was a bad plan and it was selfish, unfair and unpatriotic for you to have had it in the first place."

    I am not sure that last point is going to sell very well.

  • Juice||

    Most people like their health insurance policies.

    I didn't love it but at least it wasn't a major expense. Now it's worse coverage and will soon be a major expense.

  • John||

    Unless you have unlimited resources, you are probably never going to have a perfect plan. I don't "love" my care. But it was still worth the money I paid for it or I wouldn't have bought it.

    While people will always want more, that doesn't mean they look at their health insurance as a bad deal. Indeed, if health insurance were such a bad deal and everyone hated their policies, providing health insurance wouldn't be basically a requirement for any good paying job.

    You think what you had, while not perfect, is a good deal or at least a deal worth taking. It is unlikely that I or some government bureaucrat is going to be able to come in and unilaterally change your insurance without making you very unhappy.

  • Bramblyspam||

    Isn't it obvious? The spin will be that Obamacare's failures were caused by republicans wanting it to fail. And yes, that spin will work on a whole lot of people.

  • John||

    Republicans with all of them negative waves man.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Now that reality has shown that to be a fantasy, the talking point is "well sure some people were going to be hurt".

    Actually, the talking point is a lot more vicious--it's more like, "It's your fault for not having a better insurance plan to begin with."

    I've also had progs straight up lie and say that the insurance companies didn't have to comply with the law, that it only applied to the ones on the exchanges and/or ones that didn't change during the last three years. The head of Medicare repeated this lie today during testimony. Leave aside the fact that Obamacare makes no distinction of the sort, it's downright sociopathic to blame insurance companies for complying with a law passed solely by Democrats and then having to screw over their customers because the changes mandated by the law caused their customers to lose the requirements for "grandfathered" status, and thus, their plans.

    Honestly, if I lost my insurance plan and someone said this shit to my face, they'd end up needing their new comprehensive plan to replace the teeth that get knocked out.

  • Cyto||

    There was an article over at Vice about a small business owner family who lost their coverage due to Obamacare and couldn't sign up for new coverage at heathcare.gov.

    The change.org/obamacare team is out in force. There were a plethora of comments helpfully suggesting that you could simply call in to sign up, or head down to the Social Security Administration. It's easy!

  • ||

    I wonder how they are going to deal with the 'but your benefits will be better" argument, when people have to actually downgrade to a bronze plan to keep the same rates.

    I.e. Klinkhamer points out that she could keep about the same rate, but she'll have a higher deductible. So her benefits actually got WORSE.

  • Cyto||

    It appears that they are dealing with this by attacking the messenger. The Vice article comments start with "Obamacare is great, and Easy! Just call to sign up!" From there they take pains to point out how much better Obamacare is, with much better benefits and prices for everyone!

    Further down it morphs into "this article is full of inaccuracies and is misleading", even though it is a first person narrative of one family's experience, not really making any broader claims. From there it devolves to "Murdoch owns Vice now, so this is Faux news!!!"

    So deny and deflect, then go on the attack!

  • Zeb||

    But she won't have to pay out of pocket for birth control, so that makes everything better.

  • Bobarian||

    Well, considering the fucking we're all gonna get from ACA, maybe birth-control is a good thing.

    Any babies birthed from this will be vessels for the Old Gods.

  • John||

    No amount of lying can hide reality here. People know you can't call and even if you could they are going to find out the Obama plans that are available are expensive and horrible.

    I feel sick at all of the suffering this is causing. But watching liberals die on this hill is going to be so fun. They have spent their entire lives convincing themselves and the world that they and only they care about average people. And now thanks to Obamacare, they are going to spend the next God knows how many years arguing that people losing their health insurance is a good thing.

  • MoreFreedom||

    The liberal narrative is "you're not losing your plan, you're in transition to a new plan." Costs aren't mentioned.

    I expect they'll get the website fixed eventually, with probably a delay allowed in signing up. But then most will be paying more and won't be happy about it. Then the government will take years to make medical delivery as good as the website is today.

  • R C Dean||

    There were a plethora of comments helpfully suggesting that you could simply call in to sign up, or head down to the Social Security Administration.

    I practically fell over laughing when I learned that applications by phone, mail, or in person all have to go through the website. Its just a different person entering the info.

  • John||

    Someone at PJ media called the infamous 1800 number that Obama was hawking in that press conference. They got a recording referring them to the website. No kidding.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Hey, you fucked up. You trusted them.

    Fucking dummy.

  • Kid Xenocles||

  • The Late P Brooks||

    When the congressman was not re-elected, I also (along with the rest of our staff) lost my job.

    Poor, poor little lamb. Perhaps you should have learned a useful skill, like washing windows.

  • John Thacker||

    Worse thing is, he regained his seat in 2012. Did he rehire her? Absolutely not.

  • Drake||

    This is what was called in the Marine Corps "believing your own bullshit".

    It is a failure to distinguish reality from hype.

  • John||

    She worked in Congress, sold the plan and yet didn't know what it actually would do. Even the people who voted for this thing in Congress had no idea. It really is the height of the Obama cult. Big daddy told us this was a good idea, so it must be wonderful.

    It has been over 30 years since the 70s when things got so bad that no one could ignore it anymore. Most people don't remember that. These people grew up in the 1980s and 90s when we had after the 1982 recession, one tiny recession in 1992, one bigger but still small one in 2001 and that was it. They have no idea that things can ever get bad or that government policies can have real and bad consequences.

  • kinnath||

    I remember stagflation (Nixon) and the misery index (Carter). Obama is trying to top them both.

  • John||

    I remember it too. But if you are much under 40, you have no idea unless your parents told you about it.

  • kinnath||

    I never listened to my parents ;-)

    I don't expect today's young-whipper-snappers to either.

  • John||

    I did but just ignored it later. And it still pisses me off how the old farts always turned out to be right.

  • kinnath||

    yup

  • kinnath||

    In some ways, I am happy this is happening now. I am supposed to retire in about 10 years. So if Reagan II takes office in 2016, then the economy should be booming when I retire and remain secure until I die.

    That doesn't necessarily make life good for my kids and grandkids, but they'll have to fix the world for themselves.

  • wareagle||

    twin new talking points have emerged: 1) that Obama didn't really say what we all heard him say, that instead, he had caveats that addressed changes that insurance carriers might have to make and 2) all those bullshit policies are going to be replaced by something far, far greater.

    Here's what is required: https://www.healthcare.gov/what-does- marketplace-health-insurance-cover/ I count at least five things that are inapplicable to me, but O-care says gotta have them. O-care may usher in the age of Peak Derp.

  • wareagle||

    the link was split to account for the 50-character word limit. Clearly, I should be a contractor on the website rebuild.

  • R C Dean||

    And when you cut and paste the whole link, you get a "Sorry, we can't find that page" message.

    Delicious.

  • Corporate Serf||

    That's because the browser is inserting a in the middle, where the line break is. Just delete enough characters to make it readable to a human, and you should be good.

    (Message brought from your robot overlords, like us on facebook)

  • kinnath||

    I have now learned that I was wrong. Very wrong.

    We
    Told
    You
    So!

    Wow, that was totally unsatisfying.

  • johnl||

    Yes it is.

  • Urk||

    Just a thought experiment I had on the way to work: I feel like fighting for what I want (free market healthcare) is a losing proposition. But do you think people would go for this:
    Hospitals and other facilities must post all of their prices online or in a "menu" in their lobby or upon demand.
    Allow for inter state health insurance purchases.
    Eliminate Medicaid and Medicare as we know it (more on this in a second).
    A new program where every year every citizen (or family) has a "deductible" equaling the national family median income. Above that- the Feds cover for truly catastrophic. Below that- and each citizen can choose to get whatever insurance they deem necessary, or self insure.
    To cover for the complete f*ck ups who don't insure- a direct fed loan would be available to low to middle income people (like student loans, I know, which I abhor)with similar payments and benefits.

    This is not what I want- but I think it's what we could get. Is this a compromise and deal with the devil worth pursuing (I know it won't happen)? Tear it apart- find flaws (besides it being run by the fed gov). Do you think it could lower prices? Do you think it would satiate joe american's hunger for free shit and calm jill american's fear of complete freedom?

  • John||

    Lets start small. "Lets give everyone the health insurance they want, not what the government says they want". It is a simple slogan. Lets start by repealing all of the mandatory coverage provisions. You can buy the insurance you want. And lets get rid of the tax on generous plans. And lets get rid of community rating and let people buy insurance based on their risk, not their neighbors' risk.

    That would be a start to unfucking the insurance market and would undo really the most damaging aspects of this train wreck.

  • ||

    Yes, just let ANY kind of insurance qualify to avoid the penalty. Catestrophic, hospital-only, you name it. No mandatory minimum. No free preventive care. No maximum out of pocket costs. Let people decide what level of coverage is right for them.

  • wareagle||

    when you start to peel the onion, it becomes apparent how deeply embedded govt already is:
    --allow interstate purchases. So self-evident and yet non-existent. Govt distorts the market.
    --in many states, various coverages are already mandated for group plans based on which specialties have the best lobbying arms and/or give big campaign dollars.
    --tort reform...who could be against that, other than people put through meaningless tests as a hedge against the unknowable popping up.

    it's not an accident that the things most subsidized by govt have the most price inflation. For further evidence see: tuition, college; housing, financing for.

  • Alice Bowie||

    When you have tort reform, and the doctor no longer pays $150k year in malpractice insurance, do you think the doctor will LOWER his price? Of course not, especially if you continue the health insurance crap.

    Tort reform will not lower cost.
    People don't go to the cheaper doctor.
    They don't care what the doctor cost.
    THATS the PROBLEM!!!

  • From the Tundra||

    You, my dear, are insane. When doctors are forced to compete for customers, will price not become a factor?

    People don't go to the cheaper doctor? Thousands of (happy) lasik customers think you are full of shit.

    As wareagle said, remove the government distortions, watch the magic.

  • Urk||

    They may care if it's their money they have to front or use. I googled veterinarians by me and 2 of them had prices listed. Imagine if all of them had it. Or even better- for humans.
    Now for emergencies I don't know where I'll be or where I'll be going- and that is where insurance would come in (and the Feds being sugar daddy if shit gets catastrophic). For scheduled procedures (like lasik- but imagine other procedures, really, any procedure that isn't an emergency)- why not look up price? I can use kayak.com for a flight, hotel, car in one week- why not for a surgery?

  • Urk||

    The docs with glowing reviews would get business. The docs with cheap prices but so-so reviews would get business. Even the shitty docs with cheap prices would get some business.

  • wareagle||

    some doctor IS going to lower his price, right after noticing that he's the only one doing so and consumers noticing it, too. People are funny that way. So are business owners, which is what docs basically are.

  • John Thacker||

    They don't care what the doctor cost.
    THATS the PROBLEM!!!

    So are you in favor of high deductible health care plans to solve this?

    Because I don't think that government mandating that people just go to cheaper doctors will work, when people aren't paying for the doctor's cost, but insurance or government is. People will raise hell.

  • PR||

    Hogan!!!!!

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    BHOgan!!!!

  • Alice Bowie||

    It's official guys. I am AGAINST the ACA.

    So, I signed into my state (NY) site and filled out everything.

    Naturally, i didn't expect a subsidy as I probably make too much.

    However, the PLATIUM Plan, at $1950/month
    with a $250/500 person/family deductible
    with a $3000/$6000 out of pocket max
    with a 5% copay for just about everything
    with NO COVERAGE out of Network

    REALLY REALLY REALLY SUCKS.

    The SUCKED.

    This had to do with Obama reaching his stupid hand across the Isle.
    He should have just made the MANDATE force anyone that doesn't have insurance apply and be covered by Medicare or their state-runned Medicaid. If you ask me, they should get rid of Medicaid and just have Medicare.

    The ACA should had done nothing with Private Insurance (which is part of the problem).

  • Floridian||

    Good. Now you agree government sucks at managing healthcare. Now extrapolate that to mean government should get completely out of healthcare, instead of trying again harder, deeper, and drier next time.

  • SugarFree||

    No, he's just being the same old troll cunt. Pay attention to the last two paragraphs. A POS law passed on the most partisan terms possible is all the Republican's fault. Single payer is the only fix, of course.

  • PR||

    ALICE BOWIE: Doc, it hurts when I do this.

    DOC: Stop doing that.

    ALICE BOWIE: I can't

  • Alice Bowie||

    I disagree with my libertarian friends on Free Market Healthcare.

    Unless you are willing to just let people that can't afford it go broke or not get medical treatment (I think most of you would be a-ok with that), there's no other solution than to have the government deal with it in some way or another.

    However, we've bent over backwards to try to incorporate a Market Solution. That has not worked.

    I want a FREE Market solution for everything EXCEPT catastrophic care (this is the part that is inelastic).

  • sarcasmic||

    there's no other solution than to have the government deal with it in some way or another.

    False. There is charity. For example many hospitals are run by religious organizations that make a point of giving care to people who can't afford it.

    Will charity help everyone who needs it? No it will not. And neither will government. But at least with charity people are helped without government coercion.

  • Floridian||

    Also allow healthcare providers to deduct non-payment from their taxes. It would make it so they don't have to pass on as much of the loss to their paying patients.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Only you guys along with other conservatives stop the govewrnment from helping all.

  • Floridian||

    Like the government just helped you with your insurance. Help like that I can do without.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Charity is CRAP.

  • sarcasmic||

    The crap provided by government is better?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Yeah, Medicaid is grand.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah, Medicaid is grand.

    My sarcometer is having a sargasm.

  • johnl||

    Charity has always been part of the system and still is. The Shriners are still make important contributions to child limb delivery, even though counties pay for kid limbs.

    Look there are people who have a need to help other people, either for spiritual development, ideology, or community.

  • From the Tundra||

    Been around for awhile, but Penn's take on charity is good:

    http://imgur.com/P3H7Z

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I have a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She lives paycheck to paycheck, and has no insurance. She had a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, lots of drugs, and physical therapy. All provided by the fine doctors and administrators at Cedars-Sinai. Charity works you twit.

  • wareagle||

    no other option totally explains the Shriners and St Judes and and and.

  • johnl||

    Poor people always got healthcare. They walk into ERs, free clinics, and even fire stations and get treated. Counties pay for it. Poor people aren't going to be much better off with insurance.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    This is exactly right. The biggest lie going is that Medicaid provides access to healthcare that isn't otherwise available. Medicaid provides below cost reimbursement to docs and hospitals. Let me repeat, doctors and hospitals lose money for every Medicaid (and many Medicare) patients they treat.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's if they reimburse the hospitals.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    The country I live in has a clinic located in our city municipal building. They publish a list every month of office hours and services provided for free. They provide well-visits for seniors and children as well as vaccinations. They'll get meds from charity organizations for conditions like diabetes. Granted, it's not comprehensive but it is free.

    The soup kitchen I work at provides 150-300 lunches every day. We receive no government funding. Every dollar comes from individual or corporate donations. We have community health days when nurses and docs see patients free of charge.

    In my experience private charity is superior to public services because it's given with free will. Those who give want to give it and are typical very flexible and generous unlike public employees who are frequently incredibly begrudging.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Yikes. the county I live in....

    Stay in school, kids.

  • John||

    Yes JohnL. This is why the people who say that Obamacare is going to be popular once the gravy train of subsidies start rolling are wrong. The poor don't want or really need health insurance. Giving them anything but free health insurance is never going to appeal to them.

    It also puts total lie to the fantasy that giving people health insurance will cut overall costs. No, it is going to drive costs up. Before, the poor went and got care if they really wanted or needed it. Now, they are going to be paying for insurance they don't want. What is the rational response to that? To use the living hell out of the insurance and go to the doctor a lot more than you would have otherwise. I mean, hell you are paying for it, why not?

  • ||

    On the plus side, they will be provided with free birth control.

    The silver lining in this whole thing is that birth rates among poor, welfare-dependent, moochers will PLUMMET. Say goodbye to those demographic trends, Ds.

  • John||

    You are assuming they are smart enough or conscientious enough to use birth control Hazel. People who are poor and stay poor, as opposed to just being poor for a bit after a stretch of bad luck, are poor because they make stupid choices.

  • ||

    They will use birth control because Obama gave it to them. They will think of it as free shit and go get it just because they can. For some people, all you have to do is frame it as a free handout and thier attitude towards it will immediately shift to "i got's to go get me some of those freebies!"

  • Zeb||

    Catastrophic care is where private insurance can actually work. Before all of this crap started to kick in, high deductible catastrophic plans were quite affordable.
    And there are other possibilities besides go broke or do without care for poor people. There is charity, payment plans, safety net programs and even bankruptcy if you really have tons of bills you can't pay. If you are truly poor enough that you can't afford and kind of insurance, or save enough for an emergency, I have no major objections to a real safety net program for people who really need it. But if you could afford insurance, or could have saved enough for an emergency and you didn't, then it's your own damn fault and tough shit.

  • #||

    ^^ This. An actual insurance system with a modest safety net would be much less expensive and much higher quality than the socialized cost mess we have now.

  • John||

    Catastrophic plans work for some and not for others. They are not a one size fits all solution. The reason why the ACA is screwing so many people is community rating and mandated coverage. The ACA was a huge payoff to the insurance companies. Before the ACA, the insurance companies had to tailor coverage to their customer demands. That means they couldn't sell birth control coverage to old women because they wouldn't pay for it and would go to a competitor who offered lower rates. But thanks to the ACA, all of the companies have to include coverage for things like birth control and mamagrams and all sorts of other kinds of treatments that only some people need.

    Think about it. Selling birth control insurance to 70 year old widows and mammogram coverage to 50 year old single guys is a great fucking business. Insurance is all about risk and numbers. And thanks to the ACA's mandated coverage, insurance companies no get to sell coverage to people who have zero risk of ever using that coverage.

    Don't let them fool you about forcing them to treat pre-existing conditions. That is overblown. They are fine with that since they get big money raising everyone's insurance rates in return for providing coverage that will never be used.

  • sarcasmic||

    Imagine what an oil change would cost if it was covered by car insurance. The standard twenty dollar job for a car would probably be closer to a hundred, and the insurance rates would be that much higher.

  • John||

    Oil is covered by car insurance, they are called extended maintenance plans. You can get all of your oil paid for by BMW if you buy a new BMW. Car repairs are covered by insurance too. It is called an extended warranty. You can even go to private companies and buy a warranty on your existing used car.

    Warranties are insurance sarcasmic. You can buy insurance for anything, as long as the cost can be figured through some kind of actuarial table. I don't understand why so many people on here find that so hard to grasp.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're missing the point, John.

    Most of us pay for oil changes out of pocket, as opposed to giving them our insurance card. Because of that you can get an oil change for around twenty bucks, depending on what you drive.

    Contrast that with visiting a doctor. Because very few people pay out of pocket, no one knows are cares what the visit costs. They just plop down their insurance card.

    If oil changes worked the same way, I can guarantee you that they would cost a lot more than twenty bucks.

  • John||

    Most of us pay for oil changes out of pocket, as opposed to giving them our insurance card. Because of that you can get an oil change for around twenty bucks, depending on what you drive.

    So? If rich people for some reason decided to change their oil every 500 miles and were willing to pay big money for oil, you know what would happen? The price of oil would go way up.

    Again, insurance companies do not print their own money. If they are paying more money for services to give to their policy holders, those costs are being passed along in the form of higher premiums. So what is really happening here when you talk about insurance driving up the price of medical care is that some people have money and are risk adverse and are willing to pay high premiums in return for having in insurance that spares no expense taking care of them.

    That is called "demand". And yes it drives up the cost of things. But that is how the market works. Sucks for you.

  • Jordan||

    Nothing you wrote contradicts what sarcasmic wrote. This is a market whose demand curve is heavily distorted by coverage mandates, tax policy, and other regulations like community rating. If the car insurance market was like the health insurance market, it would be illegal for me to buy a policy which doesn't cover oil changes.

  • John||

    Jordan,

    Coverage mandates are bullshit. And yes, the problem is government intervention. I totally agree with that. But the problem is not insurance. And even without government intervention, a lot of people would still want health insurance that was better than just catastrophic.

    I honest to God have no idea where libertarians got this retarded idea that medical insurance is the problem or the people who want anything but good coverage are somehow acting irrationally.

  • sarcasmic||

    John, I can see you're stubbornly digging in your heels, but here's something that explains better than I can.

    http://www.cato-unbound.org/20.....-insurance

  • Jordan||

    Most people don't pay for their oil changes with maintenance plans because they rightly recognize that they are a scam. And BMWs are luxury cars for which an oil change will run you upwards of $150 without a maintenance plan.

    Extended warranties are analogous to catastrophic insurance, ie actual insurance.

  • Jordan||

    Oh, and I'm pretty sure BMW forces you to buy the maintenance plan when you buy a new or certified used car.

  • John||

    So what if they decided to buy oil insurance Jordan? All you guys really are doing here is bitching about people having money and being willing to spend it on something. You are just blaming insurance companies for the totally predictable and logical results of people's choices.

  • Adam330||

    Who is making the free choice to buy insurance loaded with coverage for routine expenses? Certainly not anyone in the US today. That type of coverage exists and is purchased because it is mandated, subsidized, and incentivized by the government.

  • John||

    Who is making the free choice to buy insurance loaded with coverage for routine expenses? Certainly not anyone in the US today.

    Bullshit. If you have kids or maybe get sick a lot and have disposable income, you will totally buy such a plan.

  • From the Tundra||

    True, but right now my car insurance allows me to insure against catastrophes, while enabling me to manage the routine maintenance myself. That's how I can shop around for good deals on oil changes, etc.

    Can't we just please have this same arrangement for health care? Pretty please?

  • John||

    True, but right now my car insurance allows me to insure against catastrophes, while enabling me to manage the routine maintenance myself. That's how I can shop around for good deals on oil changes, etc.

    Sure. And you can also buy insurance that insures against every possible cost and has a zero deductable if you are willing to pay for it.

    Can we just let people buy whatever insurance fits their tolerance for risk and disposable incomes? Please pretty please?

  • ||

    John, I don't see anyone here suggesting that people can't buy whatever insurance they want. I see people making descriptive statements about decreased price sensitivity for individual goods and services in markets with high rates of third-party payment.

  • Jordan||

    Can we just let people buy whatever insurance fits their tolerance for risk and disposable incomes? Please pretty please?

    Nobody here (except for Alice) has suggested otherwise. Now can we stop pretending that the demand for health insurance isn't heavily distorted by government policy? See my response above at 12:28.

  • John||

    Nobody here (except for Alice) has suggested otherwise. Now can we stop pretending that the demand for health insurance isn't heavily distorted by government policy?

    I don't see that at all. People want health insurance because they are risk adverse. You people get the causality backwards. Health insurance isn't an expected benefit because of some evil FDR plot. It is a benefit because people want it.

    You guys assume that the tax benefits of employer provided health insurance causes people to demand more health insurance. What you and the nitwits at CATO don't understand is that that is only true if the demand for health insurance is cost sensitive. And the fact is that it is not. People who have enough income to buy health insurance are very risk adverse and are willing to pay a lot of money to avoid health care costs. You could get rid of the tax advantages tomorrow. You could ban employee provided health insurance, and people would just take that extra pay and go out and buy pretty much or close to the same health insurance.

    This is a classic case of Libertarians thinking everyone thinks just like they do. You guys love and want catastrophic plans, so everyone else must too. Ah, no.

  • From the Tundra||

    John, I have purchased a shit-ton of insurance for different reasons throughout my life. I like it. I don't like being told a) I have to buy it, or b) I can't buy it.

    I want options. AND I want you to have options. I'm even ok with Shreek having options.

    Choices, even.

  • John||

    Sure Tundra. I agree with you on that. No government should be mandating what gos into a health insurance policy. We absolutely should get rid of the mandates.

    But after you do that, you are going to find that a lot fewer people want catastrophic plans than you think. And whatever the effect on costs that insurance has, will continue just as they were.

    The bottom line here is that demand for medical care, because it can sometimes be life and death and often can directly affect someone's quality of life, is very cost inelastic. That means it is always going to cost more than it should. It is never going to be like an ordinary good that people can at some price point just refuse to purchase altogether.

  • Jordan||

    How many people could afford a policy that covers routine care without their employers or the government picking up at least some of the tab? You need only look at the state of the individual insurance market to answer that.

  • John||

    Jordan,

    If their employers are paying for the coverage, the person can afford it. Healthcare coverage is just another form of compensation. It is not free. You earn it. It is part of your pay.

    It is possible that the tax break causes people to spend more on insurance than they otherwise would. But that is true only if the demand for health insurance is price sensitive. And I think that is, given the nature of health care, very unlikely.

  • From the Tundra||

    I think we're coming from the same place, but I am confused on why, should some form of sanity be imposed on the industry, wouldn't supply increase? With increased providers comes innovation and creativity (by necessity - more competition). Hybrid plans - lifetime care options, who knows? The point is, when people are not cost-isolated anymore, won't that sramtically affect the market as well as people's approach to their own health?

    Wow, we're gonna need a PM links hockey thread after all this.

  • John||

    Tundra,

    Yes, a free market system would result in changes in insurance. But not in the way CATO or the people on here think it would. Health insurance is just like life insurance. When you are young and unlikely to need it, it is cheap. When you are old and need it, it is expensive.

    The only reason that fact doesn't play out as much in health insurance is because regulations and medicare prevent old people form paying the full price of their insurance. If they ever did, what would happen is you would essentially end up buying term medical insurance. There you would sign up for health insurance when you were young and in return for keeping it and paying higher premiums when you were young, you would get access to insurance at a reasonable rate when you were old. You basically would pre pay your health insurance costs for when you were old.

  • Jordan||

    People want health insurance because they are risk adverse.

    Who here has said otherwise? People want catastrophic plans, of course. Catastrophic plans aren't the problem, and they are now illegal. There's your demand distortion right there.

  • John||

    There's your demand distortion right there.

    I disagree. It is only a demand distortion if a significant number of people would buy such policies if they were available. And I say they wouldn't. Most people are willing to pay a high premium up front in return for the security of a plan that covers a lot.

    Again, you guys are assuming everyone is like you. And they are not. If you don't mind assuming some risk and you don't think you will have a lot of small and persistent health expenses and you value your disposable income, catastrophic plans make sense. But they make no sense if you have the money for something better and for whatever reason fear having a lot of costs that don't qualify as catastrophic.

    Just because you offer such plans doesn't mean many people are going to buy them. I think few people would. Most of the people who are so concerned about the cost of insurance are willing to take the small risk of something really big happening and just forgo the costs altogether. I don't see catastrophic plans as being that appealing to many people. If I don't have any assets, what do I care if I incur huge medical bills? I can just walk away from them in bankruptcy. So why pay anything to avoid that when it is a very small risk anyway?

    And if I am really concerned about risk and I have a good income, I am better off buying a policy that has a lower deductible and covers me for costs that are high enough to hurt but not so high that I can walk away from them.

  • Jordan||

    You could ban employee provided health insurance, and people would just take that extra pay and go out and buy pretty much or close to the same health insurance.

    Do they have a choice? If I want to manage my risk for unforeseen expenses, I have to buy a plan that covers routine expenses as well.

  • John||

    Do they have a choice? If I want to manage my risk for unforeseen expenses, I have to buy a plan that covers routine expenses as well.

    For the 10th time, get rid of the mandates. I have never said otherwise. But saying that we shouldn't tell people what kind of insurance to buy is not the say as saying "insurance is the problem". That is all I am saying.

  • sarcasmic||

    Can we just let people buy whatever insurance fits their tolerance for risk and disposable incomes? Please pretty please?

    That would be nice. Except that I can't. I can choose from what my employer offers (or take a huge financial hit), and even then it still must be government approved.

    That's hardly a free market.

    The point is that if the norm was to pay out of pocket for predictable care, like it is with car maintenance, it would likely cost much less.

    Doesn't matter. You've dug in your heels.

  • John||

    I can choose from what my employer offers (or take a huge financial hit),

    Get a different job then. No one says your employer owes you the plan you want.

    No question we need to end all of the mandates on coverage. Employers should be able to offer whatever coverage they want. But you are kidding yourself if you think that ending mandates will necessarily mean your employer will offer the coverage you want. Maybe they will or maybe they won't. Depends on what is best for your employer.

  • sarcasmic||

    It would be better if I could take the money my employer contributes to my plan and spend it on the plan of my choosing.

  • sarcasmic||

    As in give me my full fucking compensation and let me do with it what I wish. Alas tax laws give my employer no incentive to do so.

  • John||

    I don't have a problem with that, although only if you cut tax rates so people are not just paying more taxes. The problem with ending the tax exclusion is that without lowering rates to compensate for that, it will just end up fucking people by forcing them to pay more taxes because they now have a higher taxable income.

    But again, for most people the demand for health insurance is pretty price inelastic. That means that tax benefit isn't changing their behavior much. So even if you get rid of it and people no longer get to pay for their health in pretax dollars, people are still going to want health insurance policies that cover a lot of stuff and be willing to pay for it.

  • Jordan||

    I'm sure everybody would like a BMW instead of a Honda Civic as well.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm sure everybody would like a BMW instead of a Honda Civic as well.

    I don't know what that has to do with the third party payer system driving up prices, but whatever.

  • John||

    Jordan,

    Health care is not cars. Not every market is the same and not every demand curve looks the same. Some markets, like cars, the demand curve is very price sensitive. Some people don't even want cars or can go without them. Other people just want the most basic car possible. Health care in contrast tends to be more uniform and people much more willing to pay for it.

    The rich guy wants a BMW but the middle class or poor person, while they may want a BMW is not going to sacrifice to get one. IN contrast, everyone wants the best medical care and are much more willing to forgo other things to get it than they are willing to do so to buy a fancy car.

  • sarcasmic||

    people are still going to want health insurance policies that cover a lot of stuff and be willing to pay for it.

    So the Healthcare Exchanges are going to work without any problems. Good to know.

  • John||

    So the Healthcare Exchanges are going to work without any problems. Good to know.

    No. What does that have to do with anything? Just because people don't want some ludicris one size fits all policy that covers a bunch of things they are in no risk of ever needing covered, doesn't mean they will demand a catastrophic plan and won't want a low deductable plan that covers the expenses they are in danger of incurring.

    See above, catastrophic plans don't' make a lot of sense for most people. Sure, they should be available. But it seems very unlikely many people would want them. Unless you are prone to cancer or some other serious disease, you are probably better off not buying insurance and chancing it than buying a catastrophic plan. What is the point of buying insurance that never pays for anything? And to the extent that it does pay for a really big expense, you can just declare bankruptcy in that unlikely event.

  • sarcasmic||

    What is the point of buying insurance that never pays for anything?

    My car insurance has never paid for anything. My home insurance has. Electric company fried half of my appliances. But that's not something you expect to happen. It's unexpected, which is what insurance is for.

    I still stand by my point that if it was standard practice to use insurance to pay for oil changes, that those oil changes would cost more.

    People are more likely to shop around when they shop with their own money, resulting in price competition.

    When people pay for everything with insurance, they've got no incentive to shop around, resulting in those providing the services having no price competition.

    No price competition results in higher prices. I don't see how that is debatable.

    How much higher is up for debate, but I don't see how there can be any debate over the third party payer system causing prices to go up.

  • John||

    My car insurance has never paid for anything. My home insurance has. Electric company fried half of my appliances. But that's not something you expect to happen. It's unexpected, which is what insurance is for.

    And you don't mind because if you put off fixing the odd gutter or dent in your car is a pretty easy thing to do. But putting off getting your should put back in its socket or getting that migrane medicine that costs $50 a pill is a bit more difficult.

    That is what you people don't get. Not every market looks the same. Not every demand curve is like the others. Health care is not automobile care. The demand for it is not the same. So your analogy doesn't work. You guys know just enough about supply and demand to be dangerous. It is not so simple as "well I don't insure for everything on my house, why would I insure for everything any other time". UGH!!

  • sarcasmic||

    I get that you don't shop around in an emergency situation, but not all medical care is emergency care.

    You're arguing as if all medical care is emergency care. People can shop around for tests and procedures. They don't because there's no incentive. The insurance is paying for it. But if there was an incentive they might.

    In my case I've got (for now) an HSA where the employer puts a fixed amount in every year. When it's gone I pay out of pocket until it hits a magical number where insurance kicks in.

    This gives me an incentive to shop around, and, despite your economic proclamations, I do.

    My lying eyes have seen that prices do vary, greatly.

    But I must be wrong because John said so.

  • John||

    but not all medical care is emergency care.

    Just because it is not emergency care doesn't mean it is something you will be willing to forgo or not pay a hell of a lot to treat.

    Lets say I have bone spurs on my heel and it hurts like hell to walk. Is that an emergency? No. Would surgery for that be covered under a catastrophic plan? Probably not. But it would still cost thousands and be a really big expense. And more importantly, it would be an expense I would really not want to put off. Sure, I can limp around if I have to. But I will be willing to pay a hell of a lot not to have to do that.

    So my demand for everything except the most elective medical treatments is not the same as my demand for fixing a dent in my care or a broken window in my house. I can drive with a dent in my car forever or keep that card board over my window forever if I have to with not a lot of sacrifice on my part. But I am not going to want to limp around with bone spurs or suffer from migraines or any number of other non emergency yet not quite catastrophic but still expensive medical conditions. And for that reason, provided I have the income, it probably makes sense to insure against the medical costs where it wouldn't to insure against the home or car repair costs.

  • sarcasmic||

    Just because it is not emergency care doesn't mean it is something you will be willing to forgo or not pay a hell of a lot to treat.

    Now we've gone from shopping around to just skipping it entirely. Way to move the goalposts.

    Lets say I have bone spurs on my heel and it hurts like hell to walk. Is that an emergency? No.

    It's also not routine care. That's a case where insurance is used to cover the unexpected.

    Would surgery for that be covered under a catastrophic plan?

    Now we're full-on catastrophic instead of high deductible. Goalposts go *whoosh*!

    You have totally Tulpafied the thread. Fuck off.

  • sarcasmic||

    Your response to my saying third party payer drives up prices is that people don't want to pay out of pocket.

    Duh!

    But that ignores the point.

    Then you point out that it's impractical to shop for emergency care.

    Duh!

    But that ignores the point.

    Then you tell me I'm ignorant and stupid.

    Fuck you!

    That still ignores the point.

    Now I've provided an example.

    What's next? Dismiss it as an anecdote so you can continue to ignore the point?

  • John||

    Sarcasmic, I am arguing none of that. I don't know where you get any of that. What I am telling you is that you cannot forgo medical treatment the way you can fixing your car. And there is a lot of medical treatment that wouldn't be covered under a catastrophic plan that is none the less very expensive yet very needed. For that reason, buying a plan that insures against such expenses is not irrational at all. In fact it makes a lot of sense if you have the disposable income to do so. It makes more sense than a catastrophic plan.

    For 4th time, medical care is never going to be exactly like other goods. It is unique in the sense that people cannot forgo it as readily as they can other goods and the cost of it for a given person is totally unpredictable. So people are always going to be willing to pay more for it than other goods and they are always going to have to insure against it. So your fantasy of people out there comparing and shopping for medical care in some pure perfect market like they are shopping for shoes will never happen. It will never work that way. The health care market is never going to be perfectly efficient and will always cost a bit more than should if it were an ordinary good whose price were certain and the demand curve for it was more price sensitive.

  • sarcasmic||

    What I am telling you is that you cannot forgo medical treatment the way you can fixing your car.

    Not when you've got a 100 mile a day commute.

    Fuck off Tulpa.

  • John||

    Not when you've got a 100 mile a day commute.

    You can't commute with a dent? Sure some care expenses for some people are essential. Maybe that guy should buy really expensive low deductible care insurance. Just like anyone who worries they might have significant medical expenses might want to buy good health insurance if they can afford it. But that doesn't make repair in the aggregate like health care.

    Don't you understand that not every demand curve looks the same? It makes sense to buy insurance for non catastrophic medical expenses. So much sense in fact, most people choose to do just that.

  • sarcasmic||

    Don't you understand that not every demand curve looks the same?

    Don't you understand that people have no incentive to pay attention to prices when someone else pays?

    Don't you understand that in absence of price shopping, there is no incentive to keep prices down?

    Don't you understand that with no incentive to keep prices down, that prices will go up?

    Is a regular checkup any different than an oil change with an inspection? Do you not think that a regular checkup might cost closer to fifty dollars than two hundred if people payed out of pocket instead of with insurance? Do you not think a regular oil change would cost closer to a hundred than twenty if it was covered by standard car insurance?

    There is nothing magical about health care that makes it immune to basic laws of economics and human behavior. Sure there are some situations where shopping is impractical, but those are the exception, not the rule.

    Stop Tulpafying. It's disgusting to watch.

  • John||

    Is a regular checkup any different than an oil change with an inspection?

    Yes. If I don't change my oil, I am risking my car. If I never go to the doctor, I am risking my health. Depending on who you are, each of those may be more advisable.

    But we are not talking about check ups. Catastrophic plans leave you stuck with a lot bigger costs than that. Don't you understand that something like cholesterol medicine is a lot different than an oil change? Unless you are really really into your car, you are going to be a hell of a lot more willing to pay for and less willing to forgo health care than you will car care. The two demand curves are different. So the calculation is different for insurance in each case.

    And so what if insurance raises prices? Tough shit. People rationally want insurance. You can't plan for health care costs becuase you don't know what yours will be. As a result, the only way you can plan for them is buy in insurance. So if insurance raises costs, that just means that the uncertain nature of health care costs means they will always cost more than they would otherwise. Sometimes life is like that. You are obsessed with the idea that health care costs more than it would if people would just shop around like they do for other goods. And what you refuse to understand is that health care will never be like that.

  • sarcasmic||

    You are obsessed with the idea that health care costs more than it would if people would just shop around like they do for other goods.

    I'm not obsessed.

    It's how markets work. Whatever. I'll just write you off as someone who believes health care is magical. It's magical properties make it immune to the basic laws of economics, unlike every other non-magical good or service that exists in the world.

  • sarcasmic||

    For 4th time, medical care is never going to be exactly like other goods.

    I never said "exactly." I said that the third party system has not incentives to keep prices down, resulting in prices being higher than they would otherwise be. How much? I don't know.

    Either way you're twisting and turning, just like Tulpa.

    Fuck off.

  • John||

    I never said "exactly." I said that the third party system has not incentives to keep prices down,

    And because you can't predict what your medical expenses will be and thus can't plan or save for them, people are always going to buy insurance. So you are always going to have a third party payer in medical care. There is no way to avoid it. And thus, it is not like many other goods. Thanks for proving my point.

  • sarcasmic||

    The whole thing started with my comment about an oil change.

    You've Tulpafied the goalposts so far out that I don't even know where we are anymore.

  • John||

    Oil changes are not like medical care sarcasmic. People don't buy oil change insurance because the cost is low, they can do it themselves if they have to, and they could just not get one or put it off for a long time if they had to.

    All but the most routine medical procedures are not cheap, are not something someone will willingly put off very long, and are not something most people just won't do. It makes sense to insure against the possibility that you need a $5000 surgery in your knee that in a way it doesn't for oil changes.

  • sarcasmic||

    I can tell you from personal experience that the cost of surgeries like that varies greatly. For the exact same thing. Why? Because no one looks at the prices. They go where their insurance company wants them to go, or to wherever is convenient.

    If people had an incentive to look at the prices, the folks charging the most saw their business drop while those with lower prices saw business to up, just like anything else.

    The resulting competition would result in lower prices for everyone.

    Health care is not magically immune to the basic laws of economics.

    I put away a couple hundred bucks a month for car repairs. I don't use it all every month, but when something goes the money is there. It's called planning ahead. I imagine most people just use a credit card, but I'm trying to be responsible.

    It is possible to do that for medical expenses. It really is.

    Culturally though, not so much. We're no longer a nation of savers. We're a nation of debtors.

    But that collective lack of responsible behavior doesn't make health care magically immune to the laws of economics and the price system. It just means most Americans are irresponsible.

  • sarcasmic||

    If people had an incentive to look at the prices, the folks charging the most saw their business drop while those with lower prices saw business to up, just like anything else.

    Wow, there's a mangled sentence. I think you know what I mean. Just pretend that instead of health care, those prices are for something that is not magical. Something like, I dunno, plastic surgery or corrective eye surgery. Something not covered by the third party payer system.

  • #||

    Making medicare for all is NOT a free market solution for everything except catastrophic care.

    It would be very possible to let market forces largely work and let them drive per unit health care costs down and then if you wanted have a means tested phasing out healthcare voucher just like food stamps.

    A system like that would be massively more free market than what existed before or after Obamacare.

  • Adam330||

    There are very few people who couldn't afford the cost of a catastrophic plan, particularly if the government stopped mandating coverage for care that is not clearly medically necessary and stopped artificially restricting the availability of healthcare through licensing, certificate of need laws, promoting consolidation and the like. For those who still couldn't there's charity. And I wouldn't be opposed to a government program subsidizing catastrophic coverage for the truly poor.

  • John Thacker||

    I want a FREE Market solution for everything EXCEPT catastrophic care (this is the part that is inelastic).

    And yet you went straight for a plan on the NY site with a tiny, tiny $250/person deductible.

    If you really wanted only catastrophic plan, why not a plan with a higher deductible (but the same out of pocket limit)? They're definitely out there-- most of them aren't Platinum.

    "I want catastrophic care only in my insurance!" and "I priced a Platinum plan!" are mutually exclusive, unless you're really terrible at pricing, probability, statistics, and mathematics.

  • PR||

    we will never reach PEAK ALICE BOWIE DERP.

  • Lord Humungus||

    some resourced are unlimited.

  • Lord Humungus||

    or even resources.

  • Sevo||

    Them, too.

  • Mike M.||

    If you ask me, they should get rid of Medicaid and just have Medicare.

    Gee, and I thought you liberals loved the poor.

  • John||

    Alice,

    I don't consider you a griefer like Shreek. I think you actually think about these issues. Just consider a couple of things.

    Insurance is the only way that people can rationally plan for health expenses. My healthcare costs over the next year could be anything from zero to upwards of a million dollars. It just depends on how good or bad my luck is. So for that reason, I can't save for my medical costs. I have no idea what they are. I will either have none and have saved too much or have hundreds of thousands and can never have saved enough. But if you aggregate my risk with a bunch of other similarly situated people's risk, you can figure out an average cost for the group and thus give us all a set cost and something to plan around. For that reason, insurance of some kind is essential. Unless you just want to have welfare and make it so no one ever pays anything for medical care, you have to have private insurance.

  • Alice Bowie||

    John, I'm a quant. SPecifically, in Financial Risk. I know about this.

    The demand for emergency and life-saving healthcare is inelastic. Can't work with the Market.

    I say make EVERYTHING except those FREE MARKET.

    Do you know that a Below the knee amputation cost about $35,000 in NYC area? It's an outpatient procedure.

    Do you know a Tummy tuck/butlift, and Breast Implants here in the CIty can run you as little as $12,000 for all of that? Including a two day stay to track infections at the private clinics of plastic surgeons?

    How can this be? THE THIRD PARTY PAYER problem.

    I agree, get rid of all regulations but outlaw Health Insurance. Don't allow anything to interfere with free market as we do with Liposuction and Lasic

  • Floridian||

    How is the government not 3rd party? They have even less incentive than insurers to contain cost. Also life saving healthcare can be provided immediately and then issued a bill after the fact. If you bought catastrophic insurance then it is covered. If not you have a bill to pay which you can negotiate, take to a charity or finance. No need for a welfare program.

  • ||

    Alice, the problem is employer-based insurance. People aren't paying their own premiums, so they want to use their insurance for everything. Since they use their insurance for everything they don't care what it costs. The employer pays for it and get the tax deduction so it is more efficient (absent the long term trends towards overconsumption).

    All we have to do is get rid of the tax advantage that favors employer-based coverage. Get people back to buying their own insurance and they will STOP buying comprehensive policies that cover everything.

    You are totally right about catestrophic coverage and getting people back to paying out of pocket, you're just wrong about the need to actively ban insurance. All we have to do is stop providing tax incentives that favor third-party payment.

    Just get rid of the fucking tax incentives and get people off employer-based care. The system will heal itself.

  • John Thacker||

    So why are you picking plans with low deductibles? If you really want only catastrophic coverage, shouldn't you be going for the high deductible plans?

    I can't believe that you're a quant.

  • Alice Bowie||

    One more point John,

    The way College Tuition went up because the Government gives people MONEY for college, this phenomenon is happening with Health Insurance.

    JUST GET RID of HEALTH INSURANCE for everything EXCEPT catastrophic or accident. And, mandate that those insurances cover all perrils and not the weaselly crap that do today.

  • John||

    You shouldn't tell people what they can and cannot insure for. You like those sorts of policies, others don't. Some people are risk adverse and don't mind paying more upfront in return for security. So banning all but catastrophic plans is just wrong headed.

    If government is paying for something, then it really is free money and the costs go up. But insurance companies are not the government. They don't print their own money. So they have just as much incentive to keep costs down as you do. Their best result is to take your premium and spend as little money as possible for your care. So the incentive structure is the same.

    To the extent that insurance companies, due to their size don't cut costs as much as you would if it were you (insurance companies have more money and have public image to worry about where you have less money and might decide to suck it up and suffer in some cases if you were paying), that is just an unavoidable transaction cost. Markets don't always produce perfect efficiency. This is one of those markets. Since people can't determine costs individually, the market is never going to be perfect.

  • johnl||

    He's right though that insured people mess up the market for everyone else. It's because of insurance that covered items are more expensive and progressing slower than uncovered ones. That human care is cruder and more expensive than vet care. We don't need to outlaw insurance, but we should at least stop giving insurance preferable tax treatment over first party payments.

  • John||

    That human care is cruder and more expensive than vet care

    To the extent that that is true, it is because people can ethically afford to forgo vet care if it is too expensive. If my dog gets hit by a car, I can say, "it is just not worth the $5000 vet bill, so put him to sleep". If my wife gets hit by a car, I can't say that. Unless he is hopeless, which is another issue, she is getting the care.

    Also, we can't do full on human experiments for human medical care. But we can do animal experiments for vet care. So that makes it research cheaper and more efficient.

    The human medical care market is not like a lot of other markets. Since you can't just put people to sleep, people's ability to forgo medical care is limited. That affects the demand curve making it less price sensitive and medical care necessarily more expensive than other goods. People always point to dentistry being cheaper as an example of the evils of health insurance. No, dental work is cheaper than regular health care because people are much more willing to forgo dental work and thus the demand curve for dental work is much more price sensitive.

  • ||

    Actually, John, it's likely that absent the employer-provided system, very few people actually WOULD insure against anything except catestrophic health care.

    The current market is the way it is because it is so distorted by employer-based insurance.

  • John||

    That is completely untrue hazel. That is a myth libertarians tell themselves for some reason. People would totally insure against health costs. Health care is not like other goods. People are not as willing to forgo it as they are normal goods. The demand for it is very price inelastic.

    I can afford to have catastrophic health insurance on my dog or just carry liability on my car because I can tell my dog to suck it up if it is sick or just put my dog down if he costs too much or go without a car for a bit if I total mine. But if I need even minor, non life threatening surgery, I may not be able to say no so easily if I don't have the money laying around to pay for it.

    As I have posted above, catastrophic insurance is not a very good choice for many people. If you are willing to risk sucking up the costs of anything up to say $50,000, why buy insurance at all? If your bills are higher than that, they will never collect them anyway. You are just buying insurance that will never pay for anything.

    Meanwhile, most people who have incomes and assets to lose in bankruptcy are not going to be too keen of risking 20 or even 10K in medical expenses that won't be covered by their insurance. So, they are not going to opt for catastrophic plans.

    Saying everyone would want those plans sounds good right up until you think it through a little bit.

  • ||

    The rule of thumb is never insure against something you can afford to pay for out of pocket.

    So if you can scape up $5,000 in an emergency, get a plan with a $5,000 deductible. If you can scape up $50,000, get a $50,000 deductible. Or maybe you don't WANT to have to liquidate $50,000 in assets, so you keep your deductible at $20,000.

    Still, there are few people who can't come up with $5,000 to cover a minor emergency - or who can't afford to pay that off over a few years worst case scenario.

    There is almost no reason to want a deductible of $500 though. If you can afford to pay the premiums, you can afford to pay the $500.

  • Jeff||

    MMMM. YOUR TEARS ARE SO DELICIOUS.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie|10.29.13 @ 11:28AM|#
    "It's official guys. I am AGAINST the ACA."

    Who are you and what did you do with AB?

  • Alice Bowie||

    Oh my god Sevo, the plans on the ACA suck the fat one.

    Not one offers OUT-of-NETWORK coverage.

  • ||

    Congratulations. Now if you want out-of-network coverage oyu have to buy off the exchange AND pay the penalty.

  • John Thacker||

    "Reaching his hand across the aisle?"

    To whom, the moderate Democrats? No Republicans voted for this, other than Joseph Cao (who only was in office for two years in a super-Dem district because of the super corrupt guy he ran against.)

  • Ramjet||

    When all else fails, I usually go with ausgezeichnet.

  • Ramjet||

    Stupid comment process--this is a response to Mr. Weebles @ 10:45a.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    So now you see why you had constituents scream at you, spit at you and call you names that you can’t put in print. You lost your job and now your money by being on the wrong side of the issue.

    The real question is what your thought process was when you thought you were right and what it is not that you know you weren't. What lessons can you learn here?

  • sarcasmic||

    What lessons can you learn here?

    Greedy insurance corporations are evil.

    The ACA didn't go far enough.

    Single payer is the only solution.

    /typical regressive

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    And when she comes out for expanding Obamacare or moving toward single payer, people will scream at her, spit at her and call her names that she can’t put in print, and she'll see no connection whatsoever to her past position or her past incorrectness. She'll wonder why they are so stupid that they can't see the truth as clearly as she can.

  • John||

    Notice it never occurred to her that any of those people screaming at her might have had a legitimate concern. At the time she just assumed they were all racist who just couldn't handle a black president. Whatever their issue, it couldn't have been anything legitimate.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Damn NEM, that was practically verbatim what I was going to write. Freaky deaky.

  • Paul.||

    At least someone's getting the government they deserve.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    People don't go to the cheaper doctor.
    They don't care what the doctor cost.

    In the coming workers' paradise, all doctors will be paid equally.
    Problem solved.

  • Paul.||

    It's an unexpected reality of Obamacare being told through anecdotes in local papers and on social media. But the hard numbers reveal the evidence is far more than anecdotal

    Unexpected? UNEXPECTED? Define "unexpected".

  • John||

    All bad news is unexpected. Didn't you know that Paul?

  • johnl||

    Nick might have the alt-text of the day sewn up.

  • Sevo||

    “I spent two years defending Obamacare. I had constituents scream at me, spit at me and call me names that I can’t put in print."

    Lady, that's not half of what you deserve.

  • Will Nonya||

    It's called the "Affordable Care Act" not the "Everyone Will Get Affordable Care Act". Welcome to the new America.

  • Killazontherun||

    I spent two years defending Obamacare. I had constituents scream at me, spit at me and call me names that I can’t put in print.

    So, lady, when are you going to apologize to these people who spat at you for fucking with their lives in some of the most cruel and inhumane ways possible? A mea culpa for a personal fault doesn't cut it, you weren't just wrong, your actions were socially destructive.

  • thorax232||

    Idiot thought she was gonna' get welfare, just like everyone else who doesn't pay attention.

  • ||

    Oh good lord, these stories are tired already. With every change in life, there will be winners and losers. For every story like Ms. Klinkhamer's, there will be another pimped on HuffPo about someone who's better off. We'll be getting both types of stories for another 6 months.

    Personally I think the ACA is destined for failure, but goddam I'm not looking forward to another half year of both sides' little "ha ha!" moments.

  • ||

    Think is that the number of healthy people vastly outnumbers the number of sick people.

    Ergo, way more people are going to see their rates rise. A small number of people with pre-existing conditions will see them fall or start get treatment for their illnesses.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Hate to be a downer, but I still haven't come across a real live person who isn't blaming republicans and/or corporations for this mess.
    I'm surrounded by the full rainbow coalition of libs across all races (hipsters, gov't employees, those on the dole, gays, you name it), and I still haven't heard anything bad about Obama.

    So maybe I live among the 30% of true believers that John referenced. And maybe I should move lol.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Your are hearing it from me.

    I am a big Fiscal and Social Limosine Liberal. And, I voted for Gary Johnson.
    I hate Obama's policies of trying to deal with the republicans. I hate Obama's war policy. I do like his covert. But I hate EVERYTHING ELSE about this guy.

    Obamacare SUCKS. IT was his attempt of making you FREE MARKET Healthcare people happy by creating this crap.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Fuck you.

  • Sevo||

    "Obamacare SUCKS. IT was his attempt of making you FREE MARKET Healthcare people happy by creating this crap."

    'See?! It's not the rethuglicans, it's that huge libertarian voting block that made him do it!
    It's not his fault (sob!). He only cares and wants to do RIGHT (SOB!).'

    Yeah, you imbecile, we got it.

  • ||

    SO, basically, you want other people to get free healthcare, you just didn't think that you personally would have to pay for it.

    If so, you got what you deserved.

    Eat it up. You advocated giving other people free shit, and now you get to pay for said free shit. Do-unto-others, bitch.

  • Blueman||

    "Obamacare SUCKS. IT was his attempt of making you FREE MARKET Healthcare people happy by creating this crap."

    He was trying to make us happy? That is completely wrong. You actually believe that?? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    WTH planet are you on? He used that lingo to make it seem free market to people who have no idea what the fuck the free market is. Obamacare bears no resemblance whatsoever to free market.

  • GILMORE||

    Because forcing consumers to buy a product that suppliers don't want to make and forcing them to interact via a government run electronic platform that doesn't work is the ProgTastic conception of a "Free Market Compromise"

    Palm, face? get used to each other.

  • StcSteve||

    The irony here is that Ms. Klinkhamer has been sucking off the taxpayer teet for for quite sometime. She was the former mayor of my hometown. She was a lobbyist in D.C. for the city of Chicago. As stated in the article, she was a congressional staffer, and she recently lost her bid to be county board chairperson. Now she complains that government isn't providing for her what she expects. That's rich.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I have a solution.

    Change ACA so that there is NO Exchange.
    Change ACA so that there's nothing to do with Health Insurance at all.
    Don't make any laws, don't change any laws.

    Simply, offer medicare to whom ever wants it.
    And, give medicare to the poor.

  • ||

    You are aware that Medicare is already running a huge deficit, right? Have you seen the projected unfunded liabilities? Medicare is what is driving the bulk of the federal debt.

  • GILMORE||

    ""Alice Bowie|10.29.13 @ 1:57PM|#

    I have a solution."

    Try again = most of what you said was either a) already the case, and in fact the source of the problem, and b) made no fucking sense.

    "Give medicare to the poor"?

    What, the bankrupt Medicaid should be replaced with the bankrupt medicare? Voila! Genius.

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  • concerned cynic||

    This is not a telling blow against ObamaCare. Being told that she can more or less continue her old coverage, in exchange for a premium increase of 10% and a $3000/year increase in the deductible, is business as usual nowadays. I thought that ObamaCare had banned deductibles as large as $6500.

    It is my understanding that the replacement policies cover more than any extant policies. For one thing, new policies in force after 1 January 2014 will have no annual and lifetime maximums.

    The article says nothing about the lovely subsidies she might be entitled to.

  • cricket23||

    I don't know why she's whining,it's just part of the "Change"she voted for!

  • JohnD||

    I have been watching Sebilious testify before the congressional committee. What a disgusting display. The Democrats are bending over backwards to defend this piece of crap called Obamacare. They are spending most of their time criticizing the Republicans for trying to stop it.

    Sebilious is as bad as Obama. She is the Sec of HHS and doesn't know crap. Every question is answered with "I don't know, I'll get that info for you."

    I hope when this thing rolls out and people see what it really is, every one of these Dem idiots are defeated in the next election.
    And that bitch needs to be fired.

  • wagnert in atlanta||

    Obama said, "Elections have consequences." He never promised we'd like the consequences.

  • verlighsoncno1975||

    I think a visualized presentation can be enhanced then only a easy text, if information are defined in sketches one can easily be familiar with these.

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