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The Obama Administration’s Weak Excuses for Obamacare’s Premium Hikes

Premiums under the health law are set to rise by double digits, even as plan choice is decreasing.

Whitehouse.govWhitehouse.govYesterday, the Obama administration admitted that health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act are set to rise dramatically this coming year. On average, the middle tier of coverage options on which the law's subsidies are based will rise by about 25 percent. That's not just a big increase on its own. It's a far larger hike than we've seen previously: Last year, mid-level plans increased by about 7.5 percent.

In other words, this isn't business as usual. And while the premium increases will vary by region, it's not limited to a few select states or counties. In addition, thanks to the exit of multiple major insurers from the law's exchanges, anyone seeking coverage under the law next year will have fewer choices.

Obamacare is facing sharply rising premiums and reduced choice, and while this is not a huge surprise--analysts have been predicting rate increases along these lines for much of the year—the news contributes to an overall picture of a law that is struggling to overcome serious challenges to its viability.

As these challenges have become more apparent, the Obama administration, along with other defenders of the law, has attempted to downplay or excuse the law's problems. But the various defenses that the administration has recently offered come across more like excuses than explanations—and weak excuses at that.

For one, the administration has noted that the premium hikes won't significantly affect the majority of the people who get coverage under the law, because the subsidies will rise too. "We think they will ultimately be surprised by the affordability of the premiums, because the tax credits track with the increases in premiums," one Health and Human Services (HHS) official told NPR.

Under the health law, subsidies are pegged to what's known as a "benchmark" plan—the second lowest-cost option in the middle, or silver, tier of coverage offered under the law. Because subsidies will rise with premiums, about three quarters of the people who purchase coverage through the exchanges will be relatively insulated from the price increase.

What this means, though, is that the government will be paying for subsidies, and so the total cost of the law to the public will go up. In addition, many of those who are insulated from the premium hikes will still lose their insurance plans as insurers drop out of the market, and may end up picking a new plan that doesn't cover their current set of health providers.

This also does nothing for the people who are not subsidized under the law—in particular, the individuals who are just above the subsidy cutoff of 400 percent of the poverty line. That's who Bill Clinton was talking about when he complained recently that Obamacare is a "crazy scheme" that "doesn't make sense." Those people will bear the full brunt of the premium hikes themselves—or choose to remain uninsured and pay a penalty.

Finally, the subsidies won't insulate individuals from hikes forever, as subsidy caps that will require consumers to pay a greater share of their income kick in starting in 2019.

Which brings us to the administration's next excuse, which is to dismiss the idea that this will be a long-term problem, however, by declaring that this is a one-time correction, or, as HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said recently in an op-ed about Obamacare's "growing pains," the health law is merely entering a "transition year."

The administration's euphemistic hopefulness aside, there are several good reasons to worry that this won't be an isolated event. Obamacare's fundamental problem is that too few people have signed up, and in particular that too few healthy people have signed up. Exchange enrollment last year came in about 40 percent below the Congressional Budget Office's initial predictions.

But with premiums going up so much, healthier people—especially healthier people who don't qualify for subsidies—are even more likely to go without coverage. And the subsidy caps mean that in a few years, even the less well off will no longer be quite as insulated from hikes. Even before yesterday's announcement, independent analysts were already predicting that enrollment would be flat this year. It's unlikely that this will be a one-off correction if enrollment stagnates.

Another argument that the administration has put forth recently is that, in fact, most people are experiencing savings because of it. This is not necessarily linked directly to the premium hikes in the exchanges, but it tends to arise in its defenses of the law. For example, in a speech focused on Obamacare last week, President Obama argued that the law "slowed down the pace of health care inflation," and so, "in fact, if your family gets insurance through your job, your family is paying, on average, about $3,600 less per year than you would be if the cost trends that had existed before the law were passed had continued. Think about that. That's money in your pocket."

As Obama notes, that figure accounts only for people with job-based insurance—so that particular calculation, at least, does not account for people who get their coverage through Obamacare's exchanges. There are other problems with this argument: The first is that it's not actually clear that the law is responsible for slowing the pace of medical inflation, which was generally on a downward trajectory before the law passed. Obamacare may be having a large effect, a small effect, or none at all. Obama gives it all the credit.

In any case, when Obamacare talks about "money in your pocket," what Obama is really talking about is not savings, in the way that most people understand it—which is when you spend less. Instead, he is describing savings versus a counterfactual, in which you spend more, but the amount of increase is lower than it might have been in some hypothetical parallel universe. It is policy justification by alternate history science fiction—a fiction informed, yes, by plausible speculation based on certain trends, but one that, so far as anyone reading this knows, never came to be. No one has truly saved this money; it is entirely hypothetical. Perhaps there is some alternate timeline in which most people are indeed spending much more on their insurance, but in our particular strand of the universe, the fact is that most people are spending more on their health insurance premiums, not less.

Finally, the health law's defenders have attempted to separate it from the larger context of non-Obamacare health coverage. Near the beginning of his speech last week, President Obama said, "Let's start with a basic fact. The majority of Americans do not—let me repeat—do not get health care through the Affordable Care Act." Instead, he explained, most people get coverage through employers, or other government programs like Medicare.

This is true, of course, and also a somewhat odd way to frame a defense of the health law, as it appears intended to minimize the scale of its impact, or at least cordon it off from public skepticism.

It is also largely beside the point: When assessing the success of Obamacare, the important question is what is happening to people covered by Obamacare. And what this week's news makes clear is that premiums are going up, and the number of available plans is going down, and that, as a result, many middle-class people will face a choice between paying dramatically higher rates for their remaining choices, or paying a tax penalty for the privilege of remaining uninsured. For these people, I suspect, nothing the administration has said or done will be sufficient to excuse what Obamacare has become.

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  • ||

    Press: "Mister President, when did you first hear about the premium increases?"

    President Obama: "Hillary emailed me about it after reading the news."

  • The Fusionist||

    ASSANGE: "It's true!"

  • Libertymike||

    DNC IMPERSONATION OF PUTIN: "I knew it before she hit send."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Obama said that with the subsidies, you won't even fell the increase. The premium hikes are "worse than they look". At least that's what I heard this morning on NPR.

  • ThomasD||

    Free government money can always compensate for rising prices.

    Just look at what it's done for Venezuela.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    Or higher education.

  • Free Society||

    That's nice of NPR to carry a Democrat's water. But no, I feel the entire sting of rate increases. I got forced into the Obamacare exchange when the law killed my previous health plan. Must have been one of the rich fat cat Cadillac health plans that Obama claimed were such a problem.

  • John DeWitt||

    Now I know you're a liar, because if you liked your plan, you were allowed to keep it.

  • DesigNate||

    It's nice to know I'm not alone (not really, since this is fucking everyone over).

    Didn't get to keep my doctor either.

  • Suell||

    I'm in the same boat since own a small biz. They dropped me and I had to sign up for a worse plan under Obamacare. Bastards.

  • LibertarianWhiteFemale||

    Same thing happened to me. Business owner and the "plan I loved and wanted to keep" vaporized into the ether. Now I have shittier and more expensive coverage. Next year none of the plans available to me use my kid's pediatrician who we have been with for over 13 years since the day he was born. I have the saltiness of a thousand oceans over all this.

  • Princess Trigger||

    We're going to have to cut the CPB/NPR subsidy to pay for some poor folks healthcare.
    [shrug]Whadaygunadu?

  • TheZeitgeist||

    That's nice of NPR to carry a Democrat's water.

    And lefties wonder why talk-radio is dominated by wingnuts and their shit like Air America doesn't catch on.

    Between all the BLM and so-oppressed-by-hetero propaganda on NPR, friend of mine had apt name for it:

    'Afroglitter AM.'

  • Pompey||

    That doesn't matter. Millions* newly have health insurance thanks to PPACA!!!

  • georgekaplan||

    NPR, therein lies the problem. They shouldn't have broadcast that crap. The sting I'm feeling must be someone else's premium increases coming out of my paycheck:(

  • ThomasD||

    "... when Obamacare talks about "money in your pocket..."

    Don't you mean "...when Obama talks about..."???

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    This is impossible. I was told many times in 2009 and 2010 that Obamacare would not cause premiums to rise. Why, even PolitiFact rated a statement that Obamacare would cause premiums to rise to be "Mostly False"!

  • Brochettaward||

    Being a cynical libertarian basically means being called a conspiracy nutter/loon daily and then insulted some more even after you've been vindicated, I find.

  • tarran||

    John Hasnas' What It Feels Like to be a Libertarian

    I'll tell you. It feels bad. Being a libertarian means living with an almost unendurable level of frustration. It means being subject to unending scorn and derision despite being inevitably proven correct by events. How does it feel to be a libertarian? Imagine what the internal life of Cassandra must have been and you will have a pretty good idea.

    The conclusion contains a great prediction (it was written in 2009):

    If you'd like a taste of what it feels like to be a libertarian, try telling people that the incoming Obama Administration is advocating precisely those aspects of FDR's New Deal that prolonged the great depression for a decade; that propping up failed and failing ventures with government money in order to save jobs in the present merely shifts resources from relatively more to relatively less productive uses, impedes the corrective process, undermines the economic growth necessary for recovery, and increases unemployment in the long term; and that any "economic" stimulus package will inexorably be made to serve political rather than economic ends, and see what kind of reaction you get. And trust me, it won't feel any better five or ten years from now when everything you have just said has been proven true and Obama, like FDR, is nonetheless revered as the savior of the country.
  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Remember that being posted on H&R way back when. It was entirely predictable.

  • You ARE a Prog (MJG)||

    Hah, I must have missed that one. I love Hasnas.

  • Princess Trigger||

    He didn't mention the smugness. It's the main selling point for being a Libertarian.
    Smugness ooooozes from my pores.
    Which is why the women don't appreciate the libertarianism

  • MarkLastname||

    If only libertarians could be humble like the WaPo/New Yorker crowd.

    And that's definitely why women like Hillary, it's that down to earth humility of hers.

  • LibertarianWhiteFemale||

    Ah yes, the smugness of wanting to be able to take care of your own damn self without a hassle and expecting other able-bodied people to do the same. HOW DARE WE?

  • MetalBard||

    Well at least Obama didn't grab someone by the pussy.

  • Gozer the Gozarian||

    When he crotch-grabs himself he is.

  • Chocolate Starfish ( . )||

    we damn sure know Michelle ain't got one.

  • CZmacure||

    I'll tell you. It feels bad.

    Feels Bad, Man
    Warning : potentially NSFW Nazi cartoon frog.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I like being this right though.

    All I can hope is more and more people join our Libertarian ranks and are correct too.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Being a libertarian is like being a White Sox fan.

  • ||

    Because, even when we win at home, we're still in Chicago?
    Because, even though we blew up disco and saved the musical world, we still suck?

  • jack sprat||

    I'm both which I guess makes me double cursed.
    On a positive note, living in NYC I see lots of WhiteSox caps on folks on the street. I stopped asking if anyone was from Chicago though as it is a fashion thing. First time I've been in fashion!

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    ...

    Because we all cheated during the 1919 World Series?

  • ||

    But were redeemed by haunting Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Being a cynical libertarian basically means being called a conspiracy nutter/loon daily and then insulted some more even after you've been vindicated, I find.

    Being a cynical libertarian is to get called a Zionist bankster and Nazi fascist at different times in the same day.

  • Reverend Lovejoy||

    You're a libertarian now, Brochtard? Did someone steal your password on the GTMO story and type those wing-nut reactionary comments while you were sleeping?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    That's who Bill Clinton was talking about when he complained recently that Obamacare is a "crazy scheme" that "doesn't make sense."

    Bill, you're no longer useful. If you could please step over there with Cindy Sheehan and Julian Assange, it would be greatly appreciated.

  • Brochettaward||

    What's the point of criticizing Obamacare? It's not like the Republicans have any other alternative, so there's like no choice here.

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Sometimes, "nothing" is a much better alternate to "something" than "something else".

  • DesigNate||

    Bully!

  • georgekaplan||

    Why not go back to what we had? That's the problem with bad government programs. I work for State of CA; they never undo the bad loan programs at Dept. of Housing. They keep layering more bad fixes onto unworkable. I don't get it.

  • Chocolate Starfish ( . )||

    maybe there should be "open carry" in Congress.

    Besides, alternative to what? I see the problem as a tax on the mandatory turd sangwich.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Instead, he is describing savings versus a counterfactual, in which you spend more, but the amount of increase is lower than it might have been in some hypothetical parallel universe.

    Is this something in the DNA of your card-carrying Democrat? That if something doesn't go up as much as they imagined it would be while they were naked in the bathroom with the lights off, then it's a cut?

  • geo1113||

    Yes. Yes.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    This also does nothing for the people who are not subsidized under the law—in particular, the individuals who are just above the subsidy cutoff of 400 percent of the poverty line. That's who Bill Clinton was talking about when he complained recently that Obamacare is a "crazy scheme" that "doesn't make sense." Those people will bear the full brunt of the premium hikes themselves—or choose to remain uninsured and pay a penalty.

    Clearly the problem is that poverty line is not correctly defined. It needs to be raised so that those people will be subsidized, too. There, one easy and presumably regulatory rather than legislative fix.
    No need to thank me, America.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Try $140,000, which is the proposed cutoff for free uni tuition.

  • CZmacure||

    $140,000


    Nope. That's Kamala Harris' proposed limit.

    " Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ... would guarantee students from families with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less could attend a public college or university without paying tuition. "
  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Christ in a bucket, a whopping 10% difference.

  • CZmacure||

    Yeah, not saying anything about its significance, but I was curious and googled.. :D

  • R C Dean||

    Can't we compromise? Hillary wants $125K, Harris wants $140K, so why not settle on $175K?

  • georgekaplan||

    That's funny, compromise at $175k!

  • Citizen X||

    For one, the administration has noted that the premium hikes won't significantly affect the majority of the people who get coverage under the law, because the subsidies will rise too.

    Oh. Okay, then.

  • ThomasD||

    Now that's the way you bend a cost curve.

  • Florida Hipster||

    Bend it, damn near broke it off.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Did you bend it like Beckham?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    How it is a curve rather than a squiggly line, I will never know.

  • Zunalter||

    Yes, my premium is going up by $200 a month, but at least my deductible is increasing from $3,000 to $5,000.

    I am sure if Obamacare didn't exist, however, my premiums would have increased by $500 and my deductible would be $12,000. Thanks Obama! /Prog-nosticating

  • ||

    Yeah. Back before Obamacare I had a HDHP with a $5000 annual deductible, I could put $2600/year away tax free in an HSA, and I think I might have paid $1800/year for it. Maybe it was $1500. Of course, 'way back in 2009, if your premiums went up by $200 a month, your deductible probably decreased from $5000 to $1000.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I almost reflexively clicked "block" because with all the dollar signs I mistook you for a spambot.

    *sheepish glances*

  • Citizen X||

    If Obamacare didn't exist, you'd be bankrupted by medical bills and end up dying in the streets!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The fact that Americans are still being bankrupted by medical bills and dying in the streets (American and overseas) is irrelevant. The Nanny-State must endure!

  • Gozer the Gozarian||

    Since I am in the middle class and self-employed, my $1,550/mo. plan will be going up an additional $387.50, or another $4,650/year.

    I've said this before, and I will say it until I am dead: Obama and the Democrats HATE the middle class and especially hate self-employed entrepreneurs.

    So fuck Obama in his ass until he gets a subsidy for it.

  • Zunalter||

    I would say that I should just get the cheapest insurance possible with an HSA, but that is probably around what I am paying currently, so no real savings there.

  • CZmacure||

    especially hate self-employed entrepreneurs


    Infinity this.

  • MarkLastname||

    Hey, you didn't build that.

  • LibertarianWhiteFemale||

    Oh nonono, they *love* us!

    (one side of mouth) Entrepreneurs are main street, salt of the earth, go-getting job makers!
    (other side of mouth) TAX THEM TO HELL AND BACK FOR WHAT THEY'VE DONE!

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    What this means, though, is that the government will be paying for subsidies, and so the total cost of the law to the public will go up.

    In addition to the promise "if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor" I remember a promise that Obamacare wouldn't add one thin dime to the debt. I wonder how that's looking now. I mean, I'm sure it's way off, but how much?

  • ThomasD||

    According to Obama we only borrow to pay for the other stuff. Stuff he has no control over. Stuff Republicans do.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Does your car or house add to your debt? No! What adds to your debt is the loan to pay for those things.

    Obamacare is not adding to the debt, it's reducing it. What adds to the debt is the money borrowed to pay for Obamacare.

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    "in fact, if your family gets insurance through your job, your family is paying, on average, about $3,600 less per year than you would be if the cost trends that had existed before the law were passed had continued. Think about that. That's money in your pocket."

    In the three years before Obamacare, my premiums went up about 5% a year, while benefits remained consistent.

    In the years since Obamacare, my premiums have gone up about 5% a year still... but my out of pocket maximum went up by 50%, my deductible went up by 50% and the amount insurance pays in that gap between deductible being maxed and out of pocket being maxed went from zero to 10%.

  • Agammamon||

    "in fact, if your family gets insurance through your job, your family is paying, on average, about $3,600 less per year than you would be if the cost trends that had existed before the law were passed had continued. Think about that. That's money in your pocket."

    Somebody does not know who employer provided health insurance work. That's not money in *your* pocket, that's money in your *employer's* pocket - because he's the one paying that bill. *You* get the health insurance - That's your compensation.

    But if the HI costs go down you don't get to pocket the difference anymore than if they go up you see it being deducted from your pay.

  • R C Dean||

    in fact, if your family gets insurance through your job,

    then its not getting insurance through an exchange, and its totally irrelevant to the premium increases on exchange policies.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Wait, I thought covering 30M uninsured people for "free" and prohibiting insurance companies from being insurance companies by disallowing discrimination based upon pre-existing conditions was going to "bend down the cost curve?"

    It's almost as if the economists were right.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I assume you wanted to leave out Paul Krugman as an economist?

  • DesigNate||

    He was an economist once, but the Dark Side turned him, twisted him into the man you see today. No, the man Paul Krugman died that day and Darth Dicto took his place.

  • ||

    Pete's economist wife was certainly on the factually correct side of the debate, and IIRC, he was as well.

  • ThomasD||

    Sort of. Obamacare was the functional equivalent of the government setting your deck on fire and calling it a barbeque.

    Mr and Mrs McArdle were all too willing to use it as a discuss of the pros and cons of mesquite vs hickory.

  • ThomasD||

    discussion

  • ||

    Thank god they didn't get into important issues like proper beef to pork ratio or whether sauces should be sweet.

  • Red Rocks Dickin Bimbos||

    I thought covering 30M uninsured people for "free"

    One of Obama's most laughable claims, and even then they couldn't make it happen. There were, what, about 12 million out of that number that bought insurance or ended up on Medicaid?

  • DesigNate||

    A fair bit of that 12 million were people that lost their insurance because of Obamacare and were forced onto the marketplace.

  • R C Dean||

    My recollection is that 5mm people lost their policies when OCare went into effect, so you have to factor that in.

    Also, Medicaid is not insurance; it is welfare. Saying people on Medicaid have insurance is about as accurate as calling your SocSec check a paycheck.

  • Brian||

    Listen, government-required-sponsored marketplaces are more efficient, with a multiplier effect, producing higher quality goods at a lower cost than free markets, which are just driven by greed, and waste resources on profits.

    And, when that doesn't pan out, we can always try taxing the rich to make up the difference. Which, you should not, in any way, construe as an admission that our economics is bullshit and we're just trying our best to move shit around until magic happens.

  • ||

    Two points this article doesn't address:
    - How much will non-ACA premiums go up next year so that we can rightly judge this number? (Benchamrks, statistics and lies are very similar looking)
    - How much of those increases/exists are because some insurers (note, not all, as some insurers are doing well under ACA) willfully under-estimated and/or because they are posturing for mergers?

    I know this webzine is biased to the libs and must cater to their echo chambers, lest ye be ingored for the next panderer, but would be good for a zine called Reason to actually, you know, use their namesake?

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    DRINK!

  • John DeWitt||

    Ok

  • kbolino||

    There is no such thing as a "non-ACA premium". The ACA is a very large and very far reaching law.

    No insurers are "doing well" relative to pre-ACA levels. Some insurers are doing less poorly.

    Why would they "willfully underestimate" costs?

  • ThomasD||

    Yes, let's not forget that the law also transformed every other private health plan available in the country.

  • kbolino||

    It's amazing to me how not a single shill for the ACA is aware of more than one or two of its multitudinous provisions. As though a 1500-page bill can be succinctly summed up in a couple of pithy thoughts.

  • DOOMco||

    Repiblicans. The lot of them.

  • Jordan||

    How much of those increases/exists are because some insurers (note, not all, as some insurers are doing well under ACA) willfully under-estimated and/or because they are posturing for mergers?

    Why don't you tell us?

    but would be good for a zine called Reason to actually, you know, use their namesake

    Well, as somebody who employs reason, I understand that your post is an excellent example of the Complex Questions Fallacy.

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Shit JB's progressive friends have said on the subject recently:

    Why are people blaming obamacare for that and not the insurance companies?
    How about the Republican governors and state legislators who refused to expand Medicare and did everything they could to ensure that Obamacare would fail? I'm tired of politicians (on both sides) trying to ensure the other party fails regardless of what's good for the American people.
  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Something something hard working American Families.

  • Brochettaward||

    Wasn't a friend, but I was told that the issue is corporations aren't being good corporate citizens anymore because they aren't willing to run at a loss forever.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    Somewhat OT, but tangentially related - When a corporation does try to be a "good corporate citizen," they usually get derided and sued to shit because what the corporation owners believe is "good" is different from what the social justice mob believes is "good." Ask Chik-Fil-A.

  • kbolino||

    How did refusing to expand Medicaid, i.e. refusing to accept temporary Federal subsidies which AFAIK have not yet expired, negatively impact the solvency of Obamacare? If anything, Obama should be thanking the governors who refused to accept the expansion for driving down the cost of the ACA at the Federal level.

  • Red Rocks Dickin Bimbos||

    If anything, Obama should be thanking the governors who refused to accept the expansion for driving down the cost of the ACA at the Federal level

    If you told these people to take a look at what Medicare and Medicaid services combined are now costing (over $1 trillion a year), they'd look at you like you had grown a second head. They have no concept that insurance companies are responding to prices charged by medical providers which have gone up exponentially for decades.

    Blaming insurance companies for the cost of healthcare is like blaming Sallie Mae for the cost of college tuition.

  • kbolino||

    Well, they don't actually care about the costs. They only care about forcing someone else to foot the bill.

  • ||

    I was told it's because the US government is powerless to set drug prices like France does, so that Big Pharma is using US citizens to subsidize it's losses in France. When I pointed out that Big Pharma could cut its losses in France by just not selling their stuff there, I was told that Big Pharma isn't actually losing money in France, because R&D is written off as a US-only expense, because we're being forced by our government's lack of power to cover R&D on behalf of the French. Or something.

    I brought up the FDA and intellectual property laws and got treated like I was changing the subject to something completely random and unrelated.

    I couldn't actually get a coherent explanation of this before we were told to shut up and stop talking about it.

  • Harun||

    I would support a MFN pricing policy for drugs. We'd pay the most favored pricing of the OECD. Phase this in over 10 years, so Pharma could raise prices to the free-riding Europeans.

    Problem solved. Yes, its not purely free market, but it helps remove the siren call of European costs that are indeed lower due to monopsony and free-riding.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I will sure be glad when President Trump and the Republican Congress replaces ObamaCare with nothing.

    Come on 2017!

  • ThomasD||

    We can't kick the British out! Who would be our King?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Awesome! Totally borrowing that.

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

    How do these rate increases compare to increases before the law?

  • ||

    The Obama Administration's Weak Excuses for Obamacare's Premium Hikes

    "Its just that sonofabitch Trump and that goddamn Syrian war!"

  • loveconstitution1789||

    *room claps and claps for Obama. He is great after all.

  • Lachowsky||

    +1 Jenny slap

  • GILMORE™||

    in our particular strand of the universe, the fact is that most people are spending more on their health insurance premiums, not less.

    That whole paragraph could have been replaced by this

  • Libertymike||

    Ah, I just knew Judge Judy was not the first to coin that witticism.

  • DesigNate||

    The price of my plan is going up $300/month, putting well out of my budget (even with a possible subsidy). So now I get to decide if I want a brand new insurer that nobody takes or paying the penaltax.

    Thanks Obama!

    (side note: now that people are actually paying the penaltax, is it possible to bring a suit against the law? I seem to recall Robert's thinking being that because it was a tax that hadn't adversely affected anyone yet the plaintiff's didn't have a case at that time.)

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    side note: now that people are actually paying the penaltax, is it possible to bring a suit against the law? I seem to recall Robert's thinking being that because it was a tax that hadn't adversely affected anyone yet the plaintiff's didn't have a case at that time

    Nah, see that's the cleverness of Roberts's opinion. Under the Tax Anti-Injunction Act, the court would not have had the authority to hear the case unless it either it had been assessed against someone or a statutory exception applied (none of which were present). So, he concluded that it was not a tax for purposes of the AIA, but it was a tax for purposes of Commerce Clause/constitutionality analysis. Brilliant!

  • John DeWitt||

    Well, we're about to figure out if Roberts was a genius. Did he let this play out because it was so bad he knew the legislature would have to repeal it?

    And yes, I realize he'd be an unconstitutional genius.

  • DesigNate||

    That is genius in it's complete fucking over of the American people.

    And they say that Rand's villains aren't believable.

  • Possible Bot||

    Hmmmm it's like the rising costs are causing healthy people to say fuck it and go without leaving a large pool of people to siphon money from a shrinking group of net payers.

    If only this could be foreseen!

    Don't worry the new rate hikes will get more people to join. Kind of like how raising labor costs gets people jobs.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    $12+ minimum wage allows something something working people. HuffPost says there is no proof that raising minimum wages leads to less jobs.

  • Libertymike||

    Do you loveconstitution1791?

  • Brochettaward||

    I didn't read Suderman's article, but did he mention how deductibles have gone way up and that Obama's entire argument on the subsidies covering all this is mostly bullshit (beyond the fact that it's milking the middle class to pay for health insurance that poor people can't even use)?

  • Citizen X||

    Enact your own labor, broheim.

  • Lachowsky||

    I don't know if it is completely obamacares fault, but I suspect it is.

    I have insurance through my employer. I pay about 80 bucks a week for pretty decent coverage for me and my boy. Starting 3 years ago my insurer changed the spousal coverage rules. the rule is that if my wife is working, then she has to buy insurance through her employer before I can put her on my policy. My wife's employers insurance is not as good as mine and is more expensive. For her alone it is 105 bucks a week. Right now I pay 185 dollars a week for health insurance.

    Back up to 2008. I was paying 40 bucks a week for a better plan that covered my whole family and my wife was not buying any at all.

    2008, pre obama care I paid 2080 dollars a year for better insurance.

    2016, I'm paying 9620 dollars a year for worse insurance.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Rule of thumb: If government steps in a removes competition, forces you to pay taxes on stuff you don't want and hides real taxpayer costs outside Congressional yearly budgets- It is government's fault that you are getting screwed. More specifically, it is progressives, Democrat and RINO's fault.

  • kbolino||

    Hey, give the RINOs some credit, not even they voted for the ACA.

  • ||

    Hey, lets not give ANY of the repubs a break, they've done very little, in reality, to oppose or repeal this abortion as well.

  • kbolino||

    The President has veto power, and the Republicans do not have a supermajority in Congress. They've passed a number of bills to amend the law. Guess how many of them were signed by the President?

  • ||

    How many has he vetoed?

  • kbolino||

    Of his 12 vetoes, 1 was used for this bill. A lot of bills have made it out of the House but not the Senate.

  • kbolino||

    To be clear, I thought there were more that passed both houses but that's all I could find.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    When the benefits kick in immediately, but the adverse consequences are punted until the current office-holder's term ends, you should be suspicious.

  • Lachowsky||

    also, my family is young and healthy. I haven't been to a doctor in years and my wife rarely goes. I'd be better off without the insurance and might take that option if it weren't for the or 2% of your income clause in the penaltax.

  • Number 2||

    I distinctly remember being promised that the cost of everybody's health care would be reduced. The figure of $2,500 sticks in my mind. Or that may be because the cost of my health insurance has increased by that amount or more every year since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was enacted. For 2017, it has gone up by 9%, and that was only after changing to a plan with a higher deductible.

    But to give Obama credit where it is due, he is consistent on one thing: his definition of "savings" (spending more, but having it be less than what I hypothetically say you would have been spending) is the mirror image of his definition of "budget cuts" (spending more, but having it be less than what I hypothetically say you should be spending).

    One last thing. There were allegedly 46 million uninsured Americans that this law was supposed to cover. Even the most pro-Obama numbers I have seen do not come close to this 46 million figure. Notably, no one talks about the 46 million any more.

  • kbolino||

    The problem with the "cost savings" bullshit is that the left has no fucking clue why "the U.S. spends five times more than any other developed country on healthcare" or whatever other bullshit metric they trot out.

    In terms of individual costs on an apples-to-apples basis, the two biggest drivers are regulations and liability. You don't get to sue your doctors in all those socialist "universal" healthcare countries. And a lot of what the hoops you have to jump through in the U.S. thanks to all the previous attempts to "fix" healthcare don't exist in other countries. Of course, they just have one big hoop instead--the line you have to wait in to get "access" to a finite, rationed resource.

    And as far as aggregate costs are concerned, who gives a flying fuck if "we" spend more in aggregate on "healthcare" than people in other countries do? I don't pay aggregate costs, I pay individual costs. Of course, that is until it all gets socialized. The main folly of the ACA is that it was somehow going to drive down individual costs by more evenly distributing aggregate costs. You know, those same costs whose excessive nature was the problem to begin with. Fucking morons.

  • GILMORE™||

    2008, pre obama care I paid 2080 dollars a year for better insurance.

    2016, I'm paying 9620 dollars a year for worse insurance.

    Your experience is roughly the same as millions of americans.

    Yet we're regularly assured that "someone else" is benefiting mightily from this new system. Or that the fact that 'uncovered' people (who didn't think they needed coverage before) now have coverage (they can't afford to use) is a great accomplishment which we should think has been worth the massive damaged caused to the incomes of average people, and the wholesale wreckage the system is creating throughout state govts.

    What amazes me are the journos who keep insisting that as long as the feds keep subsidizing everyone, everything is somehow fine. as though that's not tax-money we're on the hook for, or as though the feds don't routinely claw these subsidies back - creating perverse income-incentives, where *getting a raise* might actually cost many families tens of thousands in 'penalties'

  • Harun||

    I know who is benefitting.

    I have a high school acquaintance who is a Goth DJ in the Bay Area. He pays $46 / month for his insurance. He's poor you see. He only goes out clubbing, eats out, drinks in pubs, flies to Berlin, etc. So he needs a subsidy from me, a guy who works a lot and has 4 employees.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Just imagine how horrible it would have been if Trump had done it.

  • GILMORE™||

    "We should feel blessed when Hillary starts a war, because it would have been 100X worse when (*not if) Hypothetical Trump did it."

    /*at least a half dozen Shikha articles over the past year

    everyone seems to be doing it lately

  • Possible Bot||

    This is unpossible. We passed a law saying healthcare was affordable. A LAW! Insurance companies are disobeying the law. We need politicians that will stand up to the corporations and fight for the people.

    Now let's elect someone who says they will make care affordable by passing another law! Yeah.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    The law needs to be BIGGER and MOAR AUTHORITARIAN!!!

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    I think the issue was that was did not have enough TOP MEN writing the first one. We must double the Grubers on HillaryCare v2.0

  • Possible Bot||

    This guy gets it.^

  • Johnny B||

    No, it would just increase Gruber's payout...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I'm tired of politicians (on both sides) trying to ensure the other party fails regardless of what's good for the American people.

    "Where's my free lunch?"

  • ||

    Just buy two of these $30 drinks, and you get a free burger and fries.

  • ThomasD||

    Free burger and small fries.

  • Citizen X||

    The fries are kind of limp, and the burger is just okay.

  • ||

    Oh... did you want those cooked? Well, that's gonna be extra.

  • Lachowsky||

    politicians (on both sides) trying to ensure the other party fails

    It's the only governmental checks and balances we have left. I for one embrace it.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    OT: Given that Reason seems to have absolutely no interest in even acknowledging the damning Project Veritas videos about systematic corruption within the DNC/Hillary campaing/WH, I apparently have to ask: Is this newsworthy?

    It would seem to suggest that President Obama lied (again) about what he knew regarding Hillary's server. This, of course, is consistent with other (under-reported) revelations that Barry communicated classified info to Hillary over said server using a pseudonym.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Mills was talking about cleaning up a spill on the carpet. You people will read anything into an email.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    Ah, got it.

    It seems I've completely lost my ability to discern newsworthiness from stupid distractions. I could have sworn that an "independent group" that regularly meets with Hillary and White House, including the President himself, that is caught on video talking about how they commit voter fraud, incite violence at their opponents' rallies, and don't care about the laws would have been "newsworthy" while unsubstantiated claims that Trump is a sleeper soviet agent because he won't concede the election three weeks before it happens would have been a "stupid distraction." But apparently, it's the other way around.

  • R C Dean||

    You and me both, Derp. Must be something in the water.

    Endless reporting on whether Trump groped some party girls in Manhattan 20 years ago is obviously much more newsworthy than whether the Secretary of State now running for President drove a conspiracy to obstruct justice that resulted in massive security breaches.

    Duh.

  • Possible Bot||

    I used to think anyone involved in fucking over American on this law and lying to them shouldn't be near public office. Then I found out Trump said pussy.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Look, HItler was an outsider. And he went to prison. This is why you should fear outsiders ever getting power and also why you don't want to send Hilary to prison..

  • John||

    Cut them a break. The entire reason staff is a bunch of 20 or 30 something journalists with no job prospects outside of journalism. If they covered this stuff, their careers would be done and a lot of their friends would think they were Trump meanies.

  • ThomasD||

    They are waiting for Son-of-Journolist to release the approved talking points before saying anything. They may not toe the party line, but they sure don't want to step on any toes either.

  • John||

    The journolist seems to be pretty clear that you can't talk about these things until after the election.

    What do you want to bet reason suddenly "discovers" all of this shit and starts covering it if and when Hillary is safely in the White House. They will be allowed to talk about this stuff but only after doing so no longer matters.

    You would think they would get tired of being pushed around and want to tell the truth out of spite if nothing else. But they really seem to have no balls, any of them.

  • ThomasD||

    Nonsense, they have plenty of balls. It's just that they are all in a shoe box under Blumenthal's bed.

  • DesigNate||

    If I ran an even halfway respectable news outlet, I'd be worried about some form of horrible retaliation from the Clinton campaign so I can understand if they didn't want to write up articles and posts about it. But at the very least they could sneak it into the AM or PM links.

  • LV||

    "C"s and "D"s as my friend likes to say. Those are who go into politics and journalism.

  • Johnny B||

    My senator was dumb enough to put his hand in a meat grinder. Yup, there's a `D' after his name...

  • DesigNate||

    I'm going on a list for clicking that link, aren't I?

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    You regularly post on a libertarian comment thread. You were listed a long time ago.

  • Citizen X||

    The list just says "Tulpa" on it, underlined many times.

  • ||

    I am Tulpacus!

  • John||

    http://observer.com/2016/10/de.....n-honesty/

    But this year Creamer and his operatives have used the terror of actual physical attack and a supporting suite of provocation tactics (threat tactics) to successfully shatter several lawful political rallies held by Republican candidates. Creamer's media component insures that the violence committed by Creamer thugs and the violence they provoked generates sensational violent imagery and sensational reports of violence for dissemination by other media. The result is sensational propaganda benefiting the Democratic Party and its fawning media. See those Republicans? See the violence??!!

    Remember last summer when Reason was really concerned about violence in politics? Neither do I. Chicken shit hacks, every single one of them.

  • R C Dean||

    I seem to recall a few chin-stroking articles about violence by Trumpies. Several, in fact, on the discredited claim that a Trump operative shoved a reporter to the ground, and a few on Trump supporters punching protestors.

    Now, the riots, beatings, and property destruction committed by anti-Trumpies, which we now know was orchestrated by Democrats (don't forget: Creamer visited the White House hundreds of times and met personally with Obama dozens of times) - maybe one article?

  • Horatio||

    I've heard from several posters here that attacking trump was more important bc everyone already knows Hilary is awful, but the fact that there are trump supporters here shows that people still needed convincing.

    I'd argue the opposite: trump has a snowballs chance in hell getting elected (and if he did it wouldn't be bc of Hit n republicans), therefore focusing on the likely FUTURE FUCKING PRESIDENT'S malfeasance would be wiser.

  • R C Dean||

    the fact that there are trump supporters here

    I can think of one, and he's been very occasional lately.

  • John||

    The worst part of the entire thing is that their solution to this problem is just to give out subsidies, because apparently nothing controls costs of an item like giving people more money to spend on it.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    The federal student loan program really should not be used as a model for, well, anything.

  • John||

    That was my thought too. Look how much federal aid to higher education has done to keep college affordable. What could possibly go wrong by applying the same model to health insurance?

  • ||

    The worst part is all the micromanaging of costs and coverages. If they just gave poor or even middle class people money that had to be spent on medical bills, you'd see a lot of fake tits and face lifts. Its the shit where I can't buy the OTC allergy stuff unless I get a prescription, and if you see this doctor, the plan pays 48%, but this other doctor has a different specialty so it pays 47% that pisses me off.

  • LV||

    Much like the concept the dems had of "Look, successful people own homes. Poor people need to be more successful. I know! Let's make it easier for them to buy homes!", I like the idea that well to do people frequently look good, poor people frequently don't, so let's make the poor more well off by making them look better! Brett, you are in fact a genius! "If they just gave poor or even middle class people money that had to be spent on medical bills, you'd see a lot of fake tits and face lifts."

  • WhatAboutBob||

    Half the Reason writers back in 2008 voted for Obama to "punish the Republicans." Who cares if millions of people will get screwed over, virtue signalling is more important!

  • ThomasD||

    The support for Hillary punishment will continue until a libertarian moment ensues.

  • GILMORE™||

    Half the Reason writers back in 2008 voted for Obama to "punish the Republicans."

    YOU LIAR IT WAS 17/23rds OF THEM

  • ||

    I'm hearing "It's time for single payer!" from all the progs I know more and more often.

    One thing you can count on with progressives is they're willing puppets in their masters' games.

  • LV||

    We should agree and tell them they are in the fact the single payer. Only progs will be paying. The rest of us will will be getting the fake tits and lifts (thanks again Brett, you have a loyal fan in me here now!).

  • Invisible Finger||

    By being "willing" they can pretend they actually put thought into the positions they adopted.

  • John G Chase||

    OK, so what do you propose to fix it?

  • John G Chase||

    OK, so what do you propose to fix it?

  • kbolino||

    1. Repeal it, all of it
    2. Make all health insurance premiums tax deductible, not just those obtained through an employer
    3. Raise the limits on health savings accounts, allow use of HSA funds for OTC medications
    4. Drastically scale down the list of controlled substances, making many medications OTC that aren't now
    5. Allow the purchase of health insurance across state lines
    6. Remove punitive damages from medical malpractice suits and cap actual damages
    7. Impose maximum waiting time for FDA approval of new drugs and drug manufacturers

  • Horatio||

    Other than those tweaks at the margin there's no alternatives out there dude. My libertarian website told me so.

  • Whahappan?||

    SO GOOBER DOESN'T HAVE A PLAN!
    BULLY!

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    Make more drugs OTC. Preferably all of them, but start with common ones like BC and antibiotics

    Give pharmacists limited prescription authority for routine drugs

    Allow nurse practitioners more authority to diagnose and treat patients

    Open more medical schools

  • ThomasD||

    Of all possible drugs going OTC antibiotics is probably the worst class to choose. Letting people self treat with chemotherapy would probably result in less mayhem.

    Otherwise I agree that the vast majority of all drugs should be made OTC, and mid level practice should be open to more.

    But, while these would do much to lower costs and ease access - at the lowest end of the healthcare spectrum - they would not do much to lower the overall cost of healthcare.

  • georgekaplan||

    We're still being Grubered!

  • zombietimeshare||

    Finally, something that isn't Bush's fault.

  • Spiral||

    I just left Healthcare.gov since I received notice that my current plan would no longer be available in 2017. Even with the "gov" supplements, there is no way I can afford the premiums for the "Junk Plans". Guess I will be paying the enforced FINE in next year's Income Tax filing. God Help Us All!

  • John B. Egan||

    Before the ACA, I was paying $860 p/m. before ACA, we in CA were subject to 30% average hikes. I received my letter from Blue Shield that my cost would go up 30% on renewal ($1118 p/m), I cancelled my policy and went without. For the last few years, the ACA cost increases have not been excessive. Ex-Cigna exec whistle blower, Wendell Potter :

    'The country's private health insurers have been doing a lousy job of controlling medical expenses for many years. It is the big failure of our multi-payer system that insurance company execs hope we will never catch on to. The truth: Because we have many private insurers, none of them have enough leverage with drug companies and hospital systems to strike a decent bargain for customers. Yet we continue to be deceived by industry propagandist like I used to be, that competition among our many insurers will control costs.

    IMO, Single Payer is the way to go. The commendable attempt to provide our citizens with health care produced a flawed system, but it's better than what we had: Bankruptcy due to hospital bills, denial of coverage for prior issues, loss of a job leading to loss of company coverage, non-renewals of policies due to a covered illness during the policy period, ...and the one that galls me the most, neither of my daughters qualified for coverage as their mother died of breast cancer. Obamacare is better than anything I've seen from the GOP, Trump, and even Libertarians.

  • John||

    Obamacare totally fucked up the health insurance and health care of millions of people. Before Obamacare a large majority of Americans were happy with both their insurance and their healthcare. Obamacare harmed millions of people in return for virtually no gains.

    If you can't see that you are either criminally stupid or are vile and view it as a good thing.

  • R C Dean||

    The truth: Because we have many private insurers, none of them have enough leverage with drug companies and hospital systems to strike a decent bargain for customers.

    Utter horseshit. Most states have one or two very dominant insurers, whose muscle in the marketplace vastly exceeds the negotiating leverage of any hospital system. Consider: of the top 6 insurers in any state, a hospital system cannot afford not to have a contract with any of them. But, the insurance company can do without any given hospital system in most markets. Who has the upper hand?

    Now, drug companies are a different matter, but that's because they've got the feds backing their play on drugs under patent. They can charge whatever they want, because they have a monopoly on their patented drugs.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Drug patents are not the problem. Now if you want to talk about the ridiculously byzantine rules of the FDA, we can have a discussion.

  • R C Dean||

    One more:

    If the hospital systems are so dominant in demanding whatever they want, why are margins so low for hospital systems? And why did one of the big national chains just get kicked off of the DJIA (replaced by a cosmetics company), and another of the big hospital chains is bordering on insolvency and just announced that it was putting everything up for sale?

  • ThomasD||

    Hoarders and wreckers.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The cost of coverage in CA went up at least as quickly after the implementation of Obamacare as before. Medicaid expansion which is the primary vehicle that increased the insured rate thru Obamacare has resulted in 50% higher costs per enrollee than projected. ER usage is UP. Costs are UP. And to rub salt in the wounds the value that Medicaid provides is so poor that those receiving it are only getting $0.2-0.4 worth of care for every dollar of expenditure. Multiple studies have shown that teh quality of care you receive as an uninsured is better than what you receive on Medicaid.

    Now let's talk about the co-ops. 17 of the 23 have already failed after they burned thru hundreds of million$ of taxpayer subsidies. The remainder aren't far behind.

    Which brings us to the exchanges. Plans are narrowing. Premiums are going up. Deductibles are going way up. Pre-existing conditions were already not a problem if you maintained coverage up to the point of diagnosis. That was/is the law dating back 20 years ago. So thanks for solving what was already essentially solved. And can we please dispense with the myth that medical bills are a leading cause of bankruptcy?

    Obamacare is a disaster. Single payer is just government rationing. Fuck off, slaver.

  • Sevo||

    "The cost of coverage in CA went up at least as quickly after the implementation of Obamacare as before."

    So we got another tremendously expensive gov't bureaucracy plus the same increases we were getting without those additional costs!
    Thanks, Obo! What a guy!

  • GILMORE™||

    Before the ACA, I was paying $860 p/m. before ACA, we in CA were subject to 30% average hikes. I received my letter from Blue Shield that my cost would go up 30% on renewal ($1118 p/m)

    I'm not calling you a liar, but the below data says that claim is wrong for the average californian in the private insurance market

    http://www.ncsl.org/research/h.....px#Private Sector Premium Tables By State

  • RAHeinlein||

    I call bull-shit when anyone resorts to sob stories about dying relatives. "Coverage" and "Insurance" meant nothing - PAY FOR YOUR MEDICAL CARE YOU F'ING FREELOADER!

  • Sevo||

    Agreed.
    'Human interest' stories are the refuge of those who have no evidence. Start by trying to appeal to my emotions, end by being called a bullshitter.

  • RaymondhW||

    Log into covered California, the state that the affordable care act is working in. Pick a Bay Area zip code. Make 50k annually so you are over 400% of the fpl. In your 40s it's only $600 a month for a silver plan, if you are 60 $950 for kaiser your cheapest option. I'm not sure when 20% of your income before taxes are taken out became affordable, but hey we are getting it done right here. Oh bump that by 20-30% next year. Woo and hoo. But hey 50k in the Bay Area, you are rich and you should subsidize the less fortunate.

  • Sevo||

    "...But the various defenses that the administration has recently offered come across more like excuses than explanations—and weak excuses at that...."

    Not to apologists.
    This is just 'old news' to them; we need to 'put it behind us'. If just needs some tweeking; it was really complicated!

  • Alan@.4||

    Re ObamaCare, one thing still rings loud in my memory, that being comment from Congresswoman Pelosi re the law. "We have to pass it to know what's in it", that being what the lady said, as memory serves. That, of and in itself, should have set alarm bells ringing, though it didn't, one wonders why.

  • MaleMatters||

    Re: "Obamacare's fundamental problem is that too few people have signed up, and in particular that too few healthy people have signed up."

    I suspect most of those healthy people who have not signed up are young men, many of whom have heard about Obamacare's discrimination against men. See Male Matters USA:

    "Does Obamacare About Men? Three takes on Obamacare's discrimination against men" http://tinyurl.com/zfy2kjg

  • RenaD||

    I just got a notice the other day that my premium is going up by $110 a month for 2017. I now pay $250 more a month for insurance than I did before ACA, and the one prescription I use went from $35 for a two-month supply to $550. I promptly called all three of my congressmen, who hemmed and hawed and gave me the usual bullshit excuses. I called my state's insurance office, which did the same. I called my insurance company whose rep just said, "rising costs." When I said, "yeah, but, the ACA was supposed to LOWER these costs!" crickets chirped.

    So now we have two camps: the Republitards, who know the ACA is a bad law, but don't have the guts to say the "fix" is no government involvement AT ALL;

    And the brainwashed progs who la, la, la, la, la all rational arguments about why the ACA cannot work becuz they believe INSURANCE is the only path to health care.

    In either case, the result is that the American middle class is being marched right off the cliff.

  • Red Rocks Dickin Bimbos||

    I called my insurance company whose rep just said, "rising costs." When I said, "yeah, but, the ACA was supposed to LOWER these costs!" crickets chirped

    Why are you bugging insurance reps for a shit law the Democrats passed? They're responding to a market that's now flooded with the over-sick who require more expensive medical treatments, which ends up fucking over everyone else with higher costs. They're responding to a market where medical care providers aren't required to list the cost of their services before people buy, which would increase competition.

    Despite prog assertions to the contrary, the insurance companies aren't the villain here. Expecting them to operate at a loss to cover the medical bills of some fatass diabetic welfare case is what got Obamacare passed in the first place, and it's why it failed so spectacularly.

  • RenaD||

    I don't think ins. companies are the villain (although I certainly didn't hear their cries of outrage when Obummercare was being foisted on us). I'm calling everyone involved to see if someone, anyone, is savvy and courageous enough to admit what is actually going on here. But no one is willing to say exactly what you just said, nor that health care is NOT a right and health insurance is NOT health care. It is simply a hedge against disaster, like homeowner's insurance. Health care on the other hand is a responsibility, a cost of living, just like shelter, groceries, and utilities.

    But as long as the vast majority of people on both the left and right think health care/insurance is a right, then they're going to keep searching for and pushing government solutions, and we're sunk.

  • TheWildWebster||

    "anyone that blames other people whenever there is trouble isn't fit to do this job." - Barack Hussein Obama

  • Unemployed Armenian Tranny||

    Afro-dabble Helfcur mah azz!

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