“If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan,” Now With An Asterisk

After a week of withering criticism over the rhetoric that was used to sell the PPACA, President Obama has added what was apparently a silent addendum to his previous promise that “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan”:

For years since the Affordable Care Act’s passage, President Barack Obama’s mantra has been that if people like their health insurance plans, they can keep them.

That line now includes a significant asterisk.

Obama on Monday sought to push back against the most recent tide of inconvenient Obamacare headlines — tales of insurance companies ending inexpensive individual market plans that provide insufficient coverage under the ACA.

Allowing those plans to be changed or sold to new customers, Obama told supporters of his Organizing for Action political arm who gathered in Washington to celebrate and strategize for the implementation of his signature law, would be “breaking an even more important promise” of extending “quality, affordable” health coverage to all. If insurance companies choose to maintain their inferior plans, Obama said, people are welcome to remain on them.

“Now, if you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed,” he said.

The extra clause represents a slight change — and a slightly tougher sell — from the “if you like your plan, you can keep it” refrain of the 2012 campaign and most of 2013. But Obama said it is necessary because people on individual market often “don’t know how vulnerable they are.”

“The bottom line,” Obama said, “is we are making the insurance market better for everyone.”

Or, in other words, as I put it last week, they think they know better than the average American what’s best or them.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Health Care, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Or, in other words, as I put it last week, they think they know better than the average American what’s best or them.

    Right and manufacturers/buyers of aluminum ladders should know better than some dumb OSHA. Etc.

    Leaving that libertarian troll bait aside though, we won’t really know how this shakes out for some time. Maybe 1% to (what?) 6% of Americans overall will get cancellation notices.

    1-6% is a slender minority, but it is more than enough for many flashy anecdotes.

    And so the wave of anecdotes begins …

  2. Drew says:

    That 1% to 6% also likely contains a lot of the potential folks who were planning on the emergency room and bankruptcy to be their insurance plan… I.e. to make the rest of us pay. But I guess they know best why we should all have to pay for them choosing the most inefficient, expensive form of non coverage.

  3. Todd says:

    Everytime I read an article, or hear someone complain about how screwed up Obamacare is, my simple refrain will be:

    It would be so much simpler (and less expensive for almost everyone) if we simply let people buy into Medicare.

    I think that Republicans need to be careful what they wish for. If Obamacare really does “fail”, then we’re right back to the question of what do we replace it with … and the Republicans don’t have a good answer.

    You want to hear horror stories of people getting their insurance cancelled, then being shocked by the rates for new insurance (if they can even get it), go ahead and repeal the PPACA.

  4. JKB says:

    1 to 6% of pissed off, motivated voters. And 330,000 of them (so far) are in Florida.

    It really was just poor pronoun use. The promise was meant to be “If we like your plan, you can keep your plan.” But it’s all the insurance companies’ fault. If they weren’t complying with the law Democrats passed to find out what was in the law these policies wouldn’t be getting cancelled.

  5. JKB says:

    Here let me put that Florida number in context:

    The Florida Secretary of State’s Office said that with almost 100% of the vote counted, Obama led Romney 50% to 49.1%, a difference of about 74,000 votes.

  6. Mikey says:

    @john personna: That’s not the point at all, though. The percentage is irrelevant, because the President said “if you like your private insurance plan, you can keep your plan. Period.” Not “if it doesn’t change after the law passes.” If you like your plan, you can keep your plan, full stop.

    That statement is a much bigger problem for the President than whether or not 1% or 5% or whatever percentage of Americans get their plans canceled.

  7. mantis says:

    they think they know better than the average American what’s best or them.

    We understand that you oppose the very concept of government. Do you have anything interesting or relevant to this century to say?

  8. Argon says:

    Um, one additional point: Grandfathered plans had to also be unchanged to be exempted. But many insurers modified the plans with the intention of meeting the better requirements.

    I don’t see that as a bad thing and I’m not taken by the libertarian inclination of ‘let the buyer beware’ because the impact of making bad choices isn’t limited to cheapskates. We don’t live in the libertarian utopia where people are allowed to sell themselves into slavery or crawl off to the woods and die when they run out of cash. As others noted above, when somebody’s crappy plan tops out, *we* pay the rest through bankruptcy losses, increased poverty costs, and the absorption of unpaid medical bills.

    If we can’t get single-payer then mandated, reasonable, minimum coverage is the only realistic option.

  9. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @JKB:
    Here, let me put THAT Florida number in context: If Obama had lost the state, he still wins the White House, 303-235.

    JKB, you never give up. You should, but you don’t.

  10. john personna says:

    @Mikey:

    On that front, it is now looking like a politician’s promise. Sure. I have no idea what the internal thoughts and estimates really were on this … or what Obama personally was thinking.

    I guess since my personal mindset is “move past the hiccups and fix things” I’m not that bothered. Getting better policies should be part of moving past and fixing.

    In terms of political cost … for whom? Democrats in general? That might end up tying back to how many people are really disrupted. If 90%+ of current insurance holders see no change, I’d expect lasting anger at Democrats to be small.

  11. grumpy realist says:

    @john personna: And given that we’re finally managing to cover the population that found itself barred from insurance altogether due to “pre-existing conditions”, I don’t have too much sympathy for the squealing.

    Oh, the heck with it. Let’s repeal Obamacare, get rid of Medicare and Medicaid, and toss everyone out on their own lonesome to deal with whatever Teh Free Market comes up with. Me? I’m moving to Australia.

  12. JKB says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy:

    Well, it was an illustration of the vote margins not some rehash of the past. Obama can’t run anymore.

    Your comment might even have some relevancy if this was only happening in Florida. But those people being served up an upfront and personal loss of their chosen healthcare at an affordable price with acceptable deductibles and co-pays are spread across the Congressional districts of the whole nation.

    There is also a substantial body of research that people, that’d be those humans with their nature, take loss far more personal than gain. That is, they will take actions often objectively detrimental to their betterment, to avoid or retaliate against a loss but seldom show such vigorousness to earn some gain.

    In fact, i expect, you Obama-lama-ding-dongs are counting on that bit of human nature if you can get the Obamacare entitlement entrenched with the subsidy crowd. But the implementation by the incompetent, for the inept Administration of the managerially-inadequate Obama is handing that gem to the opposition. Good job, that

  13. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    You’re right. I now fully expect Obama to lose the next presidential election.

  14. JKB says:

    @grumpy realist: barred from insurance altogether due to “pre-existing conditions”, I don’t have too much sympathy for the squealing.

    You don’t have much understanding of the concept of insurance either.

    INSURANCE, contracts. It is defined to be a contract of indemnity from loss
    or damage arising upon an uncertain event.

  15. Todd says:

    @JKB:

    But the implementation by the incompetent, for the inept Administration of the managerially-inadequate Obama is handing that gem to the opposition. Good job, that

    If the Republicans were considered to be competent themselves, then this could very well be a problem. But with Republicans in general, and Conservatives (i.e. Tea Partiers) in particular, significantly less popular than the President, all this does is make for a generally unhappy population. The percentage of people who voted for President Obama, and would now switch their vote because of Obamacare is almost certainly very small.

    Most of those who are most pissed off about Obamacare were never going to vote for Democrats in the first place … so even in your Florida example, I doubt it would have changed the outcome.

  16. JKB says:

    @john personna:

    What Democrat do you have who is not encumbered by this Obamacare?

  17. Mikey says:

    @JKB: Modern health insurance is “insurance.” Insurance in name only. It hasn’t been insurance by definition for many years.

  18. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Generic Democrats are protected by two factors we’ve named above.

    1. 90% plus of voters are not seeing a change.
    2. They didn’t make the promise.

  19. Mikey says:

    @john personna: Lasting damage? You’re probably right, there won’t be much. A year from now people will probably be a lot happier with the whole thing than they are today, and Democrats in general probably won’t see much trouble from it.

    However…the President looks like a straight-up liar at this point. I personally don’t think he was lying–I think he wasn’t entirely familiar with how the rules that were written subsequent to the ACA’s passage would affect existing plans (my understanding is they were written much more strictly than the White House expected). But the GOP is going to make as much hay as they can out of it.

  20. beth says:

    Damn you Obama! Before the ACA passed, I lived in a world where my employer never changed my insurance plan (forcing me to find new doctors), raised my contribution rates (forcing me to pay more) and the insurance company never told me they wouldn’t pay for some aspect of my medical care. In this world, when I lost my job, I didn’t lose my insurance either or have to pay three times as much for Cobra coverage. Damn you again, Obama – you’ve ruined healthcare!!

    P.S. In my pre-ACA world, we all rode unicorns, too.

  21. john personna says:

    I wonder if JKB realizes that since he is angry at Obama and the Democrats every week, he might not be the best person to judge how these things affect normal people.

  22. Todd says:

    @JKB:

    You don’t have much understanding of the concept of insurance either.

    You raise a good point, let’s quit pretending it’s insurance, and just call it medical care.

    … and while we’re at it, let’s quit pretending that a “free market” for healthcare has existed in this country at anytime in at least the past 3/4 of a century. Let’s just cut through the BS and be honest. The main driver of our ridiculously high healthcare cost is the antiquated idea that it’s somehow necessary for some entities to profit when Americans get sick or injured.

  23. JKB says:

    @Todd: The percentage of people who voted for President Obama, and would now switch their vote because of Obamacare is almost certainly very small.

    You should be wary of small percentages. In the swing states, very few actual voters were needed to switch their vote to significantly alter the outcome.

    But for the Dems, it hardly matters. Their bet was laid on the table long ago, and we now see they’ve got a glitch in their hand that may upset the dice throw. All that remains is for Republicans and the Tea Party to place their bets and see what number comes up.

    @Mikey: Modern health insurance is “insurance.” Insurance in name only. It hasn’t been insurance by definition for many years.

    You mean the modern newspeak word insurance is not “insurance”. And you are correct about the definition being corrupted for a long time. Look at the mythology of Social Security Insurance. It is telling that Progs cannot use proper terms to describe their product. One might think they know they couldn’t sell it if it was properly and accurately labeled.

  24. Mikey says:

    @JKB: It isn’t just progressives who mislabel health care coverage “insurance,” it’s just about everyone. Nothing nefarious about it. It’s just part of the natural way of evolving language.

  25. JKB says:

    @Todd: let’s quit pretending it’s insurance, and just call it medical care.

    Another lie?

    Let’s call it, A Medical Care Buyers Club or Coop.

    The profit in healthcare is to induce individuals and entities to expend effort to improve service, technology, practices in the hopes of providing a superior product at less than the cost of doing business. In addition, the desire for profit induces individuals to spend the long years training to provide medical care rather than pursuing some other less front-loaded occupation.

  26. JKB says:

    @john personna:

    I

    n September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it.

    …..

    On a party line vote, Democrats killed the resolution, which could come back to haunt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year.

  27. Ron Beasley says:

    Yes, Obama did misspeak but the policies being eliminated were in many if not most cases worthless. When I was 56 I lost my employer health insurance. When COBRA ran out I shopped for an individual plan but they covered so little I decided I was better off doing without. Between then and the time I became eligible for Medicare I had a couple of medical events that cost me several thousand dollars. But guess what? When I looked at the premiums I would have payed, the amount the insurance would have payed and the amount I payed I actually came out ahead with no insurance at all.

  28. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    OK, the subset of Democrats who are Senators will have to defend their vote.

    One avenue would be to argue that these canceled policies really were bad policies, or insurance in name only.

  29. JKB says:

    @Ron Beasley: I actually came out ahead with no insurance at all.

    From your description you had a couple small events within your savings/income ability. Such events will always be cheaper to pay yourself and not cover with insurance. That is how insurance works.

    Now from the Buying Club perspective, your age (and possibly medical condition) indicated that you’d be using more of the purchased product so your membership rate was higher. In a strict buying club, you’d just receive a discount due to the bulk purchase but the medical care buying club also includes you getting a larger percentage of the club product when you have an unexpected event. And, with medical care, such needs are increasing and infinite instead of fixed and finite. It’s easier for the club to cover a broken leg than cancer or diabetes which not only use a lot of the club’s bulk purchase but such use is ongoing, usually until you leave the club.

    INSURANCE, n. An ingenious modern game of chance in which the player
    is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating
    the man who keeps the table.

    INSURANCE AGENT: My dear sir, that is a fine house — pray let me
    insure it.
    HOUSE OWNER: With pleasure. Please make the annual premium so
    low that by the time when, according to the tables of your
    actuary, it will probably be destroyed by fire I will have
    paid you considerably less than the face of the policy.
    INSURANCE AGENT: O dear, no — we could not afford to do that.
    We must fix the premium so that you will have paid more.
    HOUSE OWNER: How, then, can _I_ afford _that_?
    INSURANCE AGENT: Why, your house may burn down at any time.
    There was Smith’s house, for example, which —
    HOUSE OWNER: Spare me — there were Brown’s house, on the
    contrary, and Jones’s house, and Robinson’s house, which —
    INSURANCE AGENT: Spare _me_!
    HOUSE OWNER: Let us understand each other. You want me to pay
    you money on the supposition that something will occur
    previously to the time set by yourself for its occurrence. In
    other words, you expect me to bet that my house will not last
    so long as you say that it will probably last.
    INSURANCE AGENT: But if your house burns without insurance it
    will be a total loss.
    HOUSE OWNER: Beg your pardon — by your own actuary’s tables I
    shall probably have saved, when it burns, all the premiums I
    would otherwise have paid to you — amounting to more than the
    face of the policy they would have bought. But suppose it to
    burn, uninsured, before the time upon which your figures are
    based. If I could not afford that, how could you if it were
    insured?
    INSURANCE AGENT: O, we should make ourselves whole from our
    luckier ventures with other clients. Virtually, they pay your
    loss.
    HOUSE OWNER: And virtually, then, don’t I help to pay their
    losses? Are not their houses as likely as mine to burn before
    they have paid you as much as you must pay them? The case
    stands this way: you expect to take more money from your
    clients than you pay to them, do you not?
    INSURANCE AGENT: Certainly; if we did not —
    HOUSE OWNER: I would not trust you with my money. Very well
    then. If it is _certain_, with reference to the whole body of
    your clients, that they lose money on you it is _probable_,
    with reference to any one of them, that _he_ will. It is
    these individual probabilities that make the aggregate
    certainty.
    INSURANCE AGENT: I will not deny it — but look at the figures in
    this pamph —
    HOUSE OWNER: Heaven forbid!
    INSURANCE AGENT: You spoke of saving the premiums which you would
    otherwise pay to me. Will you not be more likely to squander
    them? We offer you an incentive to thrift.
    HOUSE OWNER: The willingness of A to take care of B’s money is
    not peculiar to insurance, but as a charitable institution you
    command esteem. Deign to accept its expression from a
    Deserving Object.

  30. Rafer Janders says:

    Or, in other words, as I put it last week, they think they know better than the average American what’s best or them.

    This is also why we let average Americans determine just what weapons they can bring on board an airplane, how fast they cam drive on the roads, how much meth they can cook and sell, whether they should send their kids to school or not, and why we allow them to print their own money. It’s because we don’t live in a large and complex society, medicine and economics aren’t complicated, and every American has the time, expertise and inclination to become a knowledgeable expert on health insurance and care.

  31. JKB says:

    @john personna: One avenue would be to argue that these canceled policies really were bad policies, or insurance in name only.

    Interesting. Of course, the implication is the middle-class, often independent business owner, is a rube or cannot understand their own interests. Might work. It is premised that the Democrat politician, often, as with Obama, no experience outside of government, academia or the non-profit sectors, is smarter than individuals who actually produce something that is of value to others, manage employees and operations, toil under the Damocles Sword of the government regulator, and bear the full brunt of their misunderstanding of financial/insurance/business matters.

    Sure, they could sell that.

  32. anjin-san says:

    The profit in healthcare is to induce individuals and entities to expend effort to improve service, technology, practices in the hopes of providing a superior product at less than the cost of doing business.

    Really? Because according to many conservatives, businesses exist to make a profit. Period. That certainly seems to be the case with for profit health insurance. They are not in the health care business, they are not in the customer service business. They are in the make a profit business, and if they have to screw their customers to do that, it does not seem to be a problem.

  33. beth says:

    @JKB:

    and bear the full brunt of their misunderstanding of financial/insurance/business matters.

    But that’s the point – they have NEVER borne the brunt of their bad decisions. We pay billions to cover the medical costs of people who either don’t have insurance or don’t have insurance sufficient to cover their expenses. That’s not even factoring in the social costs of dealing with folks forced into bankruptcy who lose their homes and start on a downward spiral that winds up with them dependent on government benefits. We all bear the brunt of these folks bad decisions.

  34. stonetools says:

    Obama’s problem is that we don’t like our politicians to do nuance. We like those simple, declarative statements (“No new taxes”, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists,” “you are either for us or against us”). In the real world, it doesn’t work that way.
    Obama could have made a long, nuanced promise with lots of qualifications. He would have been lambasted by his allies for making things too complex and by his enemies for his refusal to make a simple promise. He gambled on making a simple flat promise and lost. But he did get the ACA passed.
    Those attacking him for his misstatement would repeal the ACA and leave the uninsured with nothing. IMO, they should STFU until they come up with their own plan for helping the uninsured, other than “Don’t get sick.”

    Or, in other words, as I put it last week, they think they know better than the average American what’s best or them.

    This statement is a bag of stupid. Governments have been setting society-wide limits and standards for people since hunter-gatherer days. We call it “law making.” Seriously , what the hell are they teaching kids in civics class these days?

  35. anjin-san says:

    the implication is the middle-class, often independent business owner, is a rube or cannot understand their own interests

    I was talking to one of my clients the other day. He is the president of a very successful company, with over 100 employees, & has an income well beyond “middle class”.

    He was telling me how much he hopes we go to single payer. Said he is not in the health care business, and does not have the necessary expertise in health care to properly evaluate various health care options for his employees. In addition, having health care provided via work gives him too much power over his staff. “If I let someone go, they lose their income AND their insurance, just like that.”

    My father was a very talented and successful attorney. When he got what turned out to be his last life insurance policy, there was language in T & Cs that he did not understand. He consulted with a professor at his old law school, one of the best in the country, who had expertise in that area. He could not make sense of it either.

    In many cases, insurers have rigged the game so that it is not possible for even a savvy person to understand the playing field.

  36. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Math fail. For this to be a broad indictment of business owners, the vast majority of current insurance plans would have to be excluded.

  37. @Ron Beasley: I for one fall into the category of those who have so called “worthless” policies. How is it worthless though if it covers catastrophic illness (anything over $10,000) and if I go up to $10,000 I have money set aside in an HSA that can cover it? No externalities on anyone else under the various scenarios.

  38. @beth: You have no real clue about my individual circumstances or those of millions of others so please do not cast aspersions with such a wide net.

  39. Nikki says:

    @Vern McKinley: Ok, you’re HSA will help you with your worthless policy. But what about those with worthless policies who don’t have HSAs that make up the difference? What are they supposed to do–die quickly?

  40. beth says:

    @Vern McKinley: No I don’t know about you and your situation but I do know about millions of others. It’s a fact that we pay for these people’s bad decisions over and over again, costing us billions in medical costs and social costs. Those are indisputable facts.

  41. @Nikki: If you have a ‘nanny-state’ mentality as you apparently do, I guess your answer is that they have to be saved from themselves or as Doug puts it people like you “think they know better than the average American what’s best or them.” But to bring this back to Doug’s post, the legislation was sold on the fact that “If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan” and that is a blatant lie.

  42. beth says:

    @Vern McKinley: That’s always been a blatant lie – even before Obamacare was passed, You have never, ever had a guarantee that you could keep your insurance plan or your doctors.

  43. @beth: That is why there is the insurance mandate, but if someone has insurance (as I have) and there is coverage in all scenarios there is absolutely no justification for eliminating my current insurance plan and forcing me to pay for coverage that I have decided I don’t need.

  44. @beth: But it was an integral part of the sales job to pass it in case you have not heard: http://videos.nymag.com/video/If-You-Like-Your-Plan-Supercut#c=J63WKQ1LRXWQ03RL&t=“If You Like Your Plan…” Supercut

  45. beth says:

    @Vern McKinley: If you do have coverage for ALL scenarios, then your policy would be approved under the ACA. If it’s being dropped, then there’s something it’s deficient in. Unless you’re wiling to list all the provisions of the policy (does it cover prescriptions, does it cover dialysis, etc) we have no way of knowing if you’re telling the truth or just stomping your feet and having a hissy fit. The facts are that we’re paying billions to cover people who, like you, are sure their medical needs will be taken care of and are dead wrong about it.

  46. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    The initial Obama promise had to be decoded. “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” had some unspoken conditions. What it meant was “you can keep your plan IF it meets what we consider the minimum standards for you, or it never changes, ever. Not in the finest detail.”

    Yes, Obama lied. He had to lie. He knew he was lying, He had to lie to fool enough of the rubes to get ObamaCare passed. Most everyone knew he was lying. Some of us knew that and repeatedly pointed it out; others knew it and not only insisted that Obama wasn’t lying, but that we all pretend to believe him, too.

    All in the service of the Higher Truth or something.

  47. beth says:

    @Vern McKinley: Oh pooh, a politician told a campaign promise he either didn’t mean or wasn’t able to get done. Fetch my smelling salts!

  48. @beth: Again you are absolutely clueless about my personal circumstances, as you are afflicted with the fatal conceit that you can centrally plan health care for 300 million people.

  49. stonetools says:

    Ah, the favored libertarian option-the high deductible, HSA plan.
    The problem is that this plan is great for those who fit the libertarian demographic-young, healthy, high income, no dependents. For everyone else, it sucks.
    Still, under the ACA, you can get that plan if you want.
    The more we study these anecdotes of those who lost their so called “wonderful health plans”, the more it becomes obvious that those plans weren’t wonderful at all.

  50. How does such a libertarian/conservative blog bring in so many progressives?

  51. KM says:

    @Vern McKinley: Define “catastrophic illness”. No seriously, define it as I can guarantee whatever you think it is is not what they think it is.

    As I posted on another thread, a friend of mine had such a policy and was shocked to discover cancer wasn’t covered. Her understanding of “catastrophic” included things like diabetes and cancer – you know, those things that can cause catastrophe in people’s lives? Apparently the insurance company felt differently and sold those as peripherals. Should a cancer diagnosis has been in her future, she would have been royal screwed due to the policy.

    Snake oil, all of it. Do you know the history of that term? Poisons, cocaine-laced water, and all sorts of toxic and deadly items sold freely with little to no knowledge provided to the consumer and a fair dose of lies to smooth things over. This will cure you! Everything you need!! And then be out of town when the shit hits the fan. They complained when legislation (1906 Food and Drugs Act) put them out of business too for the same reason – disclose what you’re made of and be found wanting if not dangerous. I’m sure the people who swore by them complained too that the evil government took their fancy tonic away – its what they wanted!!! The villains!!!

  52. beth says:

    @Vern McKinley: No I don’t think it can be easily done. But I know that your way which is basically, I got mine, fw*&k you, doesn’t work either and is not sustainable. Millions of people with healthcare coverage are still going bankrupt due to medical bills. At least Obamacare tries to deal with the problems instead of putting our heads in the sand and saying pay no attention to those people dying over there. Will it solve all the problems? Probably not. But we know for damn sure the status quo wasn’t going to either. And for all those people who are now losing insurance coverage or having to pay more for it, I say welcome to the world of millions of other Americans. Kind of sucks doesn’t it?

  53. beth says:

    @KM: Exactly. I know someone who suffered kidney failure and is waiting for a transplant. The catastrophic coverage paid her hospital bills but doesn’t cover the prescriptions ($1600 per month) or the dialysis supplies (a few hundred a month). She’s now on Medicare and will probably transition to Medicaid once she loses her home (she’s already blown through all her savings). But we’ve got the greatest healthcare system in the world!

  54. Mikey says:

    @stonetools: Dunno, Stonetools…I’m approaching 50, middle-class, with dependents, and I’ve had a plan with an HSA for three years now and it’s working out pretty well. Being able to carry the HSA balance forward from year to year, rather than the use-or-lose arrangement of the more common flexible spending account, is a big plus.

  55. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @beth: If you do have coverage for ALL scenarios, then your policy would be approved under the ACA. If it’s being dropped, then there’s something it’s deficient in.

    And if the policy holder and the insurance company are happy with that policy that you find deficient, who the hell are you to tell them that they’re wrong? Who the hell are you to know more about those people and their circumstances than they are?

    “What you think is adequate for your needs doesn’t meet my standards, so you can’t have it any more.”

  56. KM says:

    I’ll also toss my hat into the ring on Doug’s comment. As George Carlin once said, “Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!” This is why when someone argues that “a mother knows best” or “I’m the best judge for me!”, I snort and roll my eyes. No, you may not be automatically be the best judge. You are, however, the final judge. There may be more educated people, more experienced, more intuitive than you – only a fool discounts advice when needed. No one is the best at everything.

    Still, you ultimately decided for you, for better or for worse. But please don’t pander to some mythical wisdom of the common man. We’d still have patent medicine if that were the case….

  57. rudderpedals says:

    @Vern McKinley: Perhaps, but I’m going to call shenanigans on the $10K HSA deductible in light of the deductible cap that’s about 2/3 that for a family policy.

    Did you get a premium refund last year?

  58. JKB says:

    @beth:

    I’m going to make an assumption that Vern is male. So it is true, his current plan probably doesn’t cover birth control or maternity. He may, being someone in control of his vices, not carry substance abuse or mental health. Perhaps he does not have children, either still minor or not at all, so he does not carry child preventive dental. Preventive care and non-therapeutic birth control not being insurance at all but buying club programs.

    But neither will the lack of any of those coverages result in you having to pay for his medical care. In fact, the only medical care covered by emergent needs laws is that required to stabilize the condition.

    Not to mention, if someone does not purchase catastrophic insurance, then they should lose their assets in bankruptcy. The whole purpose of insurance is to protect yourself from bankruptcy in case of rare but severe unexpected medical expenses.

  59. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Again, because I have to pay for your lousy insurance policy. Let’s make this easy – how about all of you who have these crappy policies sign an agreement that you get kicked out of the hospital once you reach your limits on coverage unless you can cough up payment immediately. Okay? If you’re so sure everything is just peachy, then put your life where your mouth is and agree not to get any treatment you can’t absolutely pay in full for.

    What part of we all have to pay for this don’t you understand????

  60. Mikey says:

    @KM:

    “Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!”

    No, no, no. This is wrong. That’s the MEDIAN person. Far more than, or less than, half could be smarter/stupider than the average.

  61. beth says:

    @JKB: Hey, how about we set up 300 million insurance companies so everyone can have their own policy tailored specifically to them? Maybe you should read up on exactly what insurance is and how it works. This isn’t an issue that deals with you and you alone. Your mom was right – it’s not all about you all the time.

  62. anjin-san says:

    But those people being served up an upfront and personal loss of their chosen healthcare at an affordable price

    I am one of the people who’s plan is being cancelled. Kaiser has offered me a new plan. It’s somewhat more expensive than my current one, but certainly not in the realm of sticker shock. I also have the option of getting a Kaiser plan via Covered CA. I need to do an in-depth comparison, but the quick read is the Covered CA Kaiser plan I am looking at is better in cost and coverage than the plan directly from Kaiser. I am certainly in no danger of being left uninsured unless I simply spend the next seven weeks sleeping.

    Not surprising – it’s been proven that insurance companies are trying to use the confusion around HCR to drive their customers into more expensive (profitable) plans. I know I am shocked.

    BTW, I did my initial research on the Covered CA website, then gave them a call. After a brief wait, I got a rep who what helpful and well informed. Contrast that with GOP congressmen who are refusing to help their constituants with Obamacare related issues – a clear dereliction of their duty to the people in their districts.

  63. rudderpedals says:

    @Mikey: (There’s news regarding carrying FSA amounts carried forward. IIRC you won’t have to use it or lose it anymore)

  64. Mikey says:

    @rudderpedals: Wow, I didn’t know that. I guess I wasn’t paying close attention because I don’t have one anymore.

  65. anjin-san says:

    @ beth

    Maybe you should read up on exactly what insurance is

    JKB has a tendency to assign definitions to words that he has made up on his own. When reality intrudes on his ideology, ideology wins every time.

  66. Rafer Janders says:

    @Vern McKinley:

    Again you are absolutely clueless about my personal circumstances, as you are afflicted with the fatal conceit that you can centrally plan health care for 300 million people.

    But you actually can centrally plan health care for millions of people — which we know, since virtually every other advanced industrialized country in the world does it. Canada does it, most of Europe does it, Japan does it, Australia and New Zealand do it, Singapore does it, etc. etc.

  67. JKB says:

    @anjin-san:

    Then I’m sure you’ve advised your client that he should drop his employee medical coverage and instead increase the compensation to his employees through wages by the amount he pays for their medical coverage + the tax deduction he takes on the amount. They could then purchase their insurance on the open market and not be enslaved to his business for fear of losing access to the company medical care buying program.

    I suspect, however, your client wants to go to single payer but keep the monies he paid toward employee medical care for his own profit leaving the employee to pay the taxes that fund the single payer system out of the current wages.

    So, why doesn’t your client just pay his employees the monies he pays for their healthcare, and even their retirement, as current wages?

  68. rudderpedals says:

    @Mikey: It’s very new news, just announced in the last couple or three or four days.

  69. stonetools says:

    @Mikey:

    Guess I should have been like Obama and qualified my statement. I’m sure there are many anecdotes of people doing quite well with HSA plans-many of which are hybrids that include more than just “catastrophic” coverage. Here is some data:

    In 2006, a Government Accountability Office report concluded: “HSA-eligible plan enrollees who participated in GAO’s focus groups generally reported positive experiences, but most would not recommend the plans to all consumers. Few participants reported researching cost before obtaining health care services, although many researched the cost of prescription drugs. Most participants were satisfied with their HSA-eligible plans and would recommend them to healthy consumers, but not to those who use maintenance medication, have a chronic condition, have children, or may not have the funds to meet the high deductible.” [36]

    According to the Commonwealth Fund, early experience with HSA-eligible high-deductible health plans reveals low satisfaction, high out-of-pocket costs, and cost-related access problems.[32] A survey conducted with the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that people enrolled in HSA-eligible high-deductible health plans were much less satisfied with many aspects of their health care than adults in more comprehensive plans.[37]
    People in these plans allocate substantial amounts of income to their health care, especially those who have poorer health or lower incomes.
    Adults in high-deductible health plans are far more likely to delay or avoid getting needed care, or to skip medications, because of the cost. Problems are particularly pronounced among those with poorer health or lower incomes.
    Few Americans in any health plan have the information they need to make decisions. Just 12 to 16 percent of insured adults have information from their health plan about the quality or cost of care provided by their doctors and hospitals.

  70. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    I’m sure you’ve advised your client that he should drop his employee medical coverage and instead increase the compensation to his employees through wages by the amount he pays for their medical coverage + the tax deduction he takes on the amount. They could then purchase their insurance on the open market and not be enslaved to his business for fear of losing access to the company medical care buying program.

    Well, you would be wrong, because I don’t give people professional advice in areas where I don’t have expertise. But I think what you are describing is one of the directions the marketplace will take us in. HCR has made this a viable option, as individuals now have increase buying options /power and no pre-existing issue to deal with.

    I suspect, however, your client wants to go to single payer but keep the monies he paid toward employee medical care for his own profit

    No, he’s a decent guy who has genuine concern for the people who work for him. He already has a lot of money, and I have seen no evidence he wants to screw people so he can have a third vacation home. I understand that this is a concept that does not fit well in your worldview.

  71. anjin-san says:

    the Damocles Sword of the government regulator

    It’s brutal. I know I pine for the days when rivers caught on fire in America. Good times.

  72. David M says:

    It’s still the insurance companies deciding to cancel the plans rather than grandfather them, I’m not sure why everyone is making a big deal over this.

    Oddly enough, Obamacare probably was one of the least disruptive insurance reforms possible. Certainly anything the GOP has proposed recently would end up with many more people losing their health insurance.

  73. Mikey says:

    @stonetools: My plan is more of a “hybrid,” then, I think. It already met the ACAs requirements for coverage of preventive care, and while the deductible is considered high, it’s only $3,000 vs. $10,000 for some others. And it covers at 90% after the deductible is met.

    There is a valid point re: people with chronic conditions. A co-worker’s wife has Type 1 diabetes, which means regular shipments of insulin, pump supplies, etc. He’s basically going to spend $3,000 every year by default when the company forces him to the high-deductible plan next year.

  74. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @beth: What part of we all have to pay for this don’t you understand????

    Oh, I understand that. I probably understand that better than you, because I wonder just where you draw the line on applying that rationale.

    For example, when two males have unprotected sex, that raises the possibility that it will cost me in the long run. So, by your rationale, we should be able to ban — or, at least, tax — unprotected sex between males. I have no interest in regulating such behavior, but by your argument, we should.

    And shouldn’t we also go after smokers, too? Outlaw tobacco, or inform smokers that they can either continue smoking or go without health benefits? That’s what you are arguing, isn’t it?

  75. JKB says:

    @anjin-san: I understand that this is a concept that does not fit well in your worldview.

    Actually, it is your world view. How many times have you and others here chimed in that businesses are just out for profit and will screw their employees and customers to get it? But now, a business you know, you don’t find that? How did this guy make his profits then? Or did his daddy leave him all that “a lot of money”? Because if not, he obviously took more than he needed to cover his expenses from his businesses or employers, i.e., profit

  76. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Yeah, but he probably insists on his right to eat deep fried butter sticks and drink a bottle of bad whisky every evening. So why should we have to pay for his heart medication?

    Let’s just split the whole thing in half. A single-payer system for those of us who want it, and for the rest of you, you can just deal with whatever Teh Free Market coughs up. Complete with rescission, not covering you because of your prior history with cancer, smoking cigarettes, taking asthma medication, or forgetting to put down that antihistamine you took as a kid during pollen season, or obesity. And no, no emergency room for you. We’ll have absolutely no regulations and you guys can handle stuff through the tort system when your insurance provider decides to suddenly dump you half-way through your chemotherapy. After all, it’s Teh Free Market and Our Health Care System Is The Best In the World.

    Idiots.

  77. stonetools says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    One of the myths propagated by conservatives is that universal health insurance is some strange socialist idea that has never been implemented anywhere. On the contrary, its been successfully implemented by most industrialized countries, including such socialist hellholes as Australia, Canada, and Japan. The first universal health insurance system was implemented in Germany in 1889 by Otto von Bismarck-not known as a liberal.

    Fun Fact-Freddy Von Hayek, libertarian hero, was in favor of universal health insurance, never said a word against his homeland Austria’s plan, and was reluctant to come teach in the USA in part because he feared being sick in the USA .

  78. JKB says:

    @David M: It’s still the insurance companies deciding to cancel the plans rather than grandfather them, I’m not sure why everyone is making a big deal over this.

    Yes, it is those mean old insurance companies doing this under threat of government violence. Government has nothing to do with it. Obama’s economy has nothing to do with spiraling medical care inflation that requires adjustments in premiums, deductibles and co-pays to keep the “insurance” viable. Of course, when they make those adjustments, the companies can no longer claim to be grandfathered and so must alter the plans to include all the Obamacare superfluous buying club products that customers had opted not to buy in their existing plans.

    Many had actually bought insurance instead of into a buying program and they are seeing their rates skyrocket as they are now required to buy all these “services” that they have no use. They cannot even opt to self insure for the moderate risks with other indemnifying them for the rare catastrophic events.

    If those mean old insurance companies just weren’t complying with the law, then Obama’s lie would not be so apparently a blatant, self-serving lie designed to mislead the public and thus dampen the opposition to the wholly-Democrat “healthcare” law.

  79. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @grumpy realist: Let’s just split the whole thing in half. A single-payer system for those of us who want it, and for the rest of you, you can just deal with whatever Teh Free Market coughs up.

    Of course, under your proposal, we get to pay for your half and ours, too, of course. Because your way is based on making others pay into a system whether they want to or not, and that means that even those of us who opt out still get to pay for it. Right?

  80. David M says:

    @JKB:

    Yes, insurance now needs to meet a few minimum standards, just like cars have seat-belts. The horror.

  81. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Because your way is based on making others pay into a system whether they want to or not, and that means that even those of us who opt out still get to pay for it. Right?

    Congratulations. You have now discovered the concept of a “society.”

  82. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Because your way is based on making others pay into a system whether they want to or not, and that means that even those of us who opt out still get to pay for it.

    No one opts out of the health care market, they just join a group free-loading off the rest of society.

  83. Mikey says:

    @stonetools: Universal single-payer health coverage has been implemented in the U. S., too–it’s just that it’s only universal if you’re over 65.

    Single-payer is kind of a conservative bugaboo anyway. Not even most countries with universal health coverage have single-payer, most have universal multi-payer through some kind of public/private partnership arrangement. But opponents of universal health coverage have an interest in making all such coverage synonymous with “what they have in England.”

  84. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    How many times have you and others here chimed in that businesses are just out for profit and will screw their employees and customers to get it?

    Speaking for myself, none. The world I live in seems to be a bit more three dimensional than the one you occupy.

    Some are, some are not. I have worked for a number of companies that had real concern for the well being of their employees, and the satisfaction of their customers. Others are only interested in profit. This has also been my experience as a customer. Certainly my own experience with health insurers is that they have tried to screw me on numerous occasions over the years, sometimes successfully.

  85. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “And shouldn’t we also go after smokers, too? Outlaw tobacco, or inform smokers that they can either continue smoking or go without health benefits? That’s what you are arguing, isn’t it? ”

    Hey stupid — Health coverage is already more expensive for smokers. Those screaming commies at the insurance companies figured out that smokers would tend to incur greater costs, and thus put a premium on their policies.

    So now you can go back to obsessing about two men having sex… Enjoy!

  86. john personna says:

    For what it’s worth, I’d be fine with improving health savings accounts and insurance standards.

    HSAs should be a type of designated account, earning returns. And people who have built a balance should be able to have policies with deductibles <= the balance.

    Or if you have $10K, just dump that into an HSA and then use a $10K deductibles.

  87. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: No I’m arguing that everyone have minimum standards of coverage so we eliminate the free riders. That way those men having icky sex who may get sick (who knew that heterosexuals never pass diseases to each other!) can get treatment without me having to pay for it.

  88. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    Obama’s economy has nothing to do with spiraling medical care inflation

    Health care costs more than doubled under Bush 43. Is that Obama’s fault too?

  89. David M says:

    @JKB:

    Obama’s economy has nothing to do with spiraling medical care
    inflation

    Actually, the rate of increase in medical care costs has been reduced while Obama was in office.

  90. anjin-san says:

    we eliminate the free riders

    The thing that is kind of funny about this is that, before Obamacare, conservatives complained endlessly about free riders. Now, not so much.

  91. Mikey says:

    @john personna: My HSA earns returns. They are quite low, but then most savings accounts are right now. There’s no limit to how much can be in the account, but there’s a limit ($6500 as I recall) to annual tax-free contributions. An employer-supplied health plan can also provide some deposits into the HSA by the employer, as part of the benefit. The deductible doesn’t change based on how much is in the account. It just takes a while to build up a balance.

  92. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @beth: No I’m arguing that everyone have minimum standards of coverage so we eliminate the free riders. That way those men having icky sex who may get sick (who knew that heterosexuals never pass diseases to each other!) can get treatment without me having to pay for it.

    I’m not following your logic here. You want everyone to have to pay for it so you don’t have to pay for it? Aren’t you part of everyone?

    You want no one to make a certain bad choice so everyone can make their own bad choices without consequences. You don’t want anyone to have the right to choose a bad choice so everyone can make bad choices and not pay for them. You don’t think others can make certain decisions in their own best interests, so you want to substitute your own judgment for everyone else. Is that what it boils down to?

  93. David M says:

    On the subject of the GOP opposition to people losing their health insurance, does that mean they are no longer trying to repeal Obamacare? I’m pretty sure we’ve reached the point where more people will lose their insurance if that happens than the amount who are losing their health insurance because their company chose to end the plan (the current outrage).

  94. john personna says:

    @Mikey:

    Topic for another day, but tax-status accounts are pretty messed up. Part of that is that is congressional support of the financial industry, but part is a conflicted desire for everyone to have savings, without too much unearned income.

    Ideally everyone wouild have an unearned income stream as they reach retirement age.

    I think “savings” should just be tax protected until interest and dividends become quite high … possibly median income. And then anyone who can show savings should be able to choose a high deductible (or even catastrophic) plan.

  95. stonetools says:

    @David M:

    I’m pretty sure that already we are never going to go back to the good old days that Jenos pines for where insurance companies could just deny coverage for anyone with pre-existing conditions and could rescind because of some violation of a minor provision on page 26 of their contract .
    This Wikipedia entry on universal health insurance is jaw-dropping:

    In 1970, three proposals for universal national health insurance financed by payroll taxes and general federal revenues were introduced in the U.S. Congress.[17] In February 1970, Representative Martha Griffiths (D-MI) introduced a national health insurance bill—without any cost sharing—developed with the AFL–CIO.[18] In April 1970, Senator Jacob Javits (R-NY) introduced a bill to extend Medicare to all—retaining existing Medicare cost sharing and coverage limits—developed after consultation with Governor Nelson Rockefeller (R-NY) and former Johnson administration HEW Secretary Wilbur Cohen.[19] In August 1970, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) introduced a bipartisan national health insurance bill—without any cost sharing—developed with the Committee for National Health Insurance founded by United Auto Workers (UAW) president Walter Reuther, with a corresponding bill introduced in the House the following month by Representative James Corman (D-CA).[20] In September 1970, the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee held the first congressional hearings in twenty years on national health insurance.[21]

    In January 1971, Kennedy began a decade as chairman of the Health subcommittee of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee, and introduced a reconciled bipartisan Kennedy-Griffiths bill proposing universal national health insurance.[22] In February 1971, President Richard Nixon proposed more limited health insurance reform—a private health insurance employer mandate and federalization of Medicaid for the poor with dependent minor children.[22] Hearings on national health insurance were held by the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee in 1971, but no bill had the support of committee chairmen Representative Wilbur Mills (D-AR) or Senator Russell Long (D-LA).[22]

    Reread that. In 1970 Congress proposed three HCR plans-All of which were single payer-including the Republican plan! Nixon responded by proposing a plan which looks a helluvalot like Obamacare!
    This is the plan conservatives are foaming at the mouth, claiming its “socialism!”. Go figure.

  96. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: No. Those of us who want to be in the single payer system will pay for our way, and those who don’t want to be in the system get as much FREEDUMB as they like.

    P.S. And no, you don’t get to jump from one to the other. You pick, you stay on whatever you pick. And Tea-Partier geezers get to put their money where their mouths are and get off Medicare if we’ve estimated they’ve already taken out the value of whatever they put into the system. No moochers!

    P.P.S. And no hospital emergency care unless you have insurance. We’ll dump you on the churches.

  97. JKB says:

    @anjin-san: They are in the make a profit business, and if they have to screw their customers to do that, it does not seem to be a problem.

  98. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Let’s have a little fun with analogies here.

    “Hi, Bob! I’m from the government, and we have great news for you!”

    “Um… OK… what is it?”

    “You must be tired of driving that 10-year-old Ford. Come January 1, we’re hooking you up with a brand-new Cadillac!”

    “Wow, that’s really nice! You’re giving me a new Caddy?”

    “Well, we’re not exactly giving it to you. You’ll have to make the payments on it. But it’ll be yours, and it’s so much better than your old Ford!”

    “I can’t afford the payments, and I like my old car.”

    “That’s OK, we’ll pick up a quarter of the payments. You only need to come up with the other three-quarters.”

    “I can’t even afford that. I’ll keep my old car, thanks.”

    “Sorry, Bob, no can do. As of January first, your car will be illegal to have on the roads. We’re taking it away from you.”

    “But…”

    “It’s for your own good, Bob. It’s just not as safe or as fuel-efficient as the new Caddy, so you can’t keep it.”

    “But… I can’t afford the payments! I’ll have nothing!”

    “Well, you’re going to be paying anyway, Bob. Besides, the penalty for not having a car will be less than the payments on the Caddy, so it won’t be that bad.”

    “So you’re taking away my car and charging me for not having a car?”

    “You could avoid that by paying for the Caddy. Look, we’ll pick up half the payments. You just have to come up with the other half. Come on, it’s your moral responsibility to drive a safer and more fuel-efficient car — you owe it to the rest of us.”

    “I don’t have any car payments right now, just maintenance costs. If I wanted a new car, I’d get it myself.”

    “But this way you don’t have to, Bob! We picked it out for you! And it’s so much better than your junker!”

    “Junker? Screw you, this car does all I want it to, and I can afford it.”

    “Look, Bob, I didn’t want to play hardball here, but you leave me no choice. This is the law of the land. Come January, your car goes away and you start paying. You can either pay for the Caddy, and get the Caddy, or pay the fine and have nothing. But really, Bob, it’s no big deal. This car is so much better for you, and better for everyone. Why are you being so stupid and stubborn? Just sign here, and come January that heap goes away and you’ll get the new Caddy. At least, if we’ve finished working out all the bugs in the system by then…”

  99. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You forgot the part where allowing Bob to keep his Ford means that Mary is prohibited from buying a car at any price.

    The stupid. It burns.

  100. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: Just what the hell is the point of all that? We’re talking about ObamaCare, which was written exclusively by Democrats and passed exclusively by Democrats. Do you really want to argue that the Obama administration’s signature effort was nothing that had any roots in the Democratic party, but was just a bunch of tweaked Republican initiatives? That the best they could do was take the other side’s failed ideas and try them themselves?

    Hang on, maybe you just might. That was the defense behind Fast & Furious, the detaining of terrorists on US warships, the targeted assassinations of American citizens not even charged with crimes… all things done under Republicans (and thoroughly denounced by leftists), then done again (turned up to 11) by Democrats. I think I’m seeing a pattern here.

  101. David M says:
  102. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: No analogy’s perfect. But if you wanna toss in a part where Bob is told that part of his unaffordable payment will help Mary down the block get a Caddy, too, I can see that.

    Here, lemme try:

    “And Bob, you know Mary down the block? The lady with no car? Well, part of your payment’s going to help her get a new Caddy, too. Of course, since she’s a single mother with three kids and no job, we won’t be asking her to pay anything for it. You got a good job, though, so you won’t mind paying your fair share for her car, will you?”

    “Why can’t you give her an older car? Why does she get a free Caddy?”

    “Now, Bob, now you’re just being selfish and mean. She has three kids — she needs a big car.”

  103. KM says:

    @Jenos: Cool story, bro. You are aware that your car does need to meet legal standards in order to be legal to drive, right? That’s what the little sticker in the window means. So your “analogy” falls apart at the start or better yet, supports the opposing point. Besides, wasn’t the con position that car insurance =/= health insurance in that since driving a car is optional, you can opt out of the insurance?

  104. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Because it’s cheaper to give Mary a helping hand with her car payments than to pay $10,000 every time she needs to go somewhere.

  105. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Wow, that is some Palin-esque word salad you’ve got going on there. What does it even mean? Again, please do a little research on what insurance is and how it works. It will really help you.

  106. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Evidence the payment is unaffordable? Most if not all of the rate shock complaints are what you’d expect from the Republicans, complete garbage.

  107. C. Clavin says:

    “…We’re talking about ObamaCare, which was written exclusively by Democrats and passed exclusively by Democrats…”

    Um…you really have no idea whats going on do you?
    It was written by the Heritage Foundation…then passed by a Republican Governor.
    The it was ADAPTED by Democrats to a Federal that would cover states that refused to institute it on their own…essentially Red State Welfare Queens.
    Dumb as a box of rocks, you are.

  108. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @KM: You’re reading way too much into the analogy. There are a LOT of cars on the road that are at least 10 years old, and they’re not unsafe. They just don’t meet the standards for new cars. For example, almost none of them have side air bags that are now required on new vehicles. And they don’t meet current standards for fuel economy — again, on new cars.

    So yeah, they don’t meet the standards for today’s new cars, but they’re generally perfectly adequate for their owners.

    So the analogy holds.

  109. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: But the car makers don’t add $1000 a year to my car’s purchase price to cover your 10 year old car being on the road.

  110. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: I don’t know what you’re talking about, Cliffy, but then it’s pretty clear that you don’t either, so no biggie.

    I’m talking about the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” as signed into law in 2010. You are — as usual — fixating on totally irrelevant distractions, and not the actual law as it was passed.

    I don’t understand why you (and others) are so desperate to give the “credit” for this to Republicans, but it seems a part of the regular attempts to rewrite history — such as how the KKK was founded by Democrats, and the Democrats fought like hell against the civil rights movement until it was pretty much over, and the GOP had won the fight.

    But don’t bother explaining why you want to make ObamaCare a Republican initiative. I can only stand so much stupid dishonesty.

  111. anjin-san says:

    So yeah, they don’t meet the standards for today’s new cars, but they’re generally perfectly adequate for their owner

    Yes, but the owners of the older cars can’t get them repaired at a shop that cannot turn them away, then pass the costs along to the rest of us. But feel free to continue fighting for the rights of deadbeats.

  112. anjin-san says:

    fixating on totally irrelevant distractions

    Says the guy who can’t keep gay sex and the KKK out of the discussion.

  113. KM says:

    @Jenos: Adequacy for owners in terms of old cars generally means a hell of a lot of upkeep and special parts. Sure, you can drive that sweet Mustang from way back when but it will cost you when repair time comes. Generally, poor people don’t roll in the classics, well-tuned and purring like a kitten. They drive rusted, beaten up, need-a-wind-assist-to-30mph piece of crap that costs them just as much to repair as a monthly payment on a newer car would. Plus they don’t get exempted from things like seat belts and mufflers – you know, the basics. That’s where your analogy fails.

    The ACA is setting the baseline for basics that many of these plans just can’t meet. I’m not opposed to offer lower levels of coverage commensurate to your ability to pay; I’m opposed to scams designed to steal stupid people’s money and leave them hanging when the big bills hit.

  114. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You don’t address in your analogy that the person is buying a new car every year. They are not using the same 10 year old car. So your incredibly ridiculous analogy falls apart, as the new cars would be subject to the new regulations.

  115. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @beth: You still don’t address the point: what’s being done to Bob is being done against his will, by people who insist that it’s for his own good, and by people who don’t exactly have a stellar track record for being right. Bob is being denied his right to make his own choices because you are afraid that he might make a wrong choice, and must be protected from making his own choices for the common good.

    To quote C. S. Lewis:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

  116. anjin-san says:

    what’s being done to Bob is being done against his will,

    Sort of like my tax dollars being spent on the Iraq war. But we had a President who wanted war, and enough votes in Congress to make it so. Kind of like the process we had when Obamacare became law.

    “You will always get your way” is not, so far as I know, enshrined in the Constitution.

  117. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @KM: Again, I’m not challenging the merits of the two options. I’m pointing out that the options represent a choice, and I’m on the side of letting people make their choices. You’re arguing on the side that certain matters are too important to let people make up their own minds, and should not be allowed to make those decisions.

    Your arguing about which option is better is irrelevant, because you’re not trying to persuade anyone. You’re trying to rationalize taking away people’s choices. You’re not saying “you should choose this, because it’s better,” you’re saying “this is better, so don’t complain that you didn’t get to choose it.”

  118. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And why do we care what Bob thinks? He still hasn’t shown us that the ACA is actually harming him, just that he’s heard it will. And given the GOP misinformation campaign, proof is actually required here.

  119. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: But Bob IS making the wrong choices. It’s an indisputable fact. We are paying for the free riders and underinsured and have been doing it for decades. Again, if Bob wants to sign a promise that he won’t free ride on medical bills and won’t go on any kind of government assistance when he goes bankrupt from his bad choices, then fine with me.

    Do you resent paying for car insurance too? Or is that being tormented too?

  120. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “Health care costs more than doubled under Bush 43. Is that Obama’s fault too?”

    Of course. Just because he wasn’t president doesn’t mean he wasn’t already black.

  121. David M says:

    No one really cares if Bob can buy a substandard policy. The issue is allowing insurers to sell substandard policies or decide that people can’t buy a policy at all. Those two things break the health care insurance market and are appropriately ended now after the reforms.

    Is there any question the country is better off with a functional market for health care insurance? (No pre-existing conditions, guaranteed issue, minimum insurance standards, community pricing, etc)

  122. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “You want no one to make a certain bad choice so everyone can make their own bad choices without consequences. You don’t want anyone to have the right to choose a bad choice so everyone can make bad choices and not pay for them. You don’t think others can make certain decisions in their own best interests, so you want to substitute your own judgment for everyone else. Is that what it boils down to? ”

    That’s odd… it uses English words grouped into what look like sentences, and yet it has absolutely no meaing at atll.

  123. KM says:

    @Jenos: You seem fixated with this “taking away of choices”, were you denied as a child or something?

    I’m going to let you in a little secret 99% of humanity discovers before they’re grown: you don’t really get to make the choices you want, just the ones based on what you have. Complaining that people are “taking away” something that’s bad for you is like the child complaining mom took the bleach away and now he can’t drink it. Am I supposed to feel bad Junior can’t get a Clorox smoothie when he wants to now that mom is paying attention?

    There is nothing stopping your insurance company from offering a plan that meets the coverage minimums in a price range you can afford – well, other than that golden idol PROFIT, that is. What you are finding out is that they don’t want to give you a lower rate plan with decent coverage because they have decided you as a person are not worth the payoff. They can’t make money off you that way. As a conservative, you should be proud as this proves the free market works. Screw whether or not you get what makes you happy and meets your needs, their money comes first.

    These plans only worked because they made their money off poor saps who had their lives ruined while thinking their insurance would pay for everything. They are not financially viable when made to be up to code – they were never meant to be. Again, there is nothing stopping an insurance company from offering low price, meets-the-ACA-minimum “emergency plans” other then they won’t make a killing off killing their clients.

  124. grumpy realist says:

    What Jenos is saying is that people with pre-existing conditions are just Standard Operating Loss and should just eff off and die.

    I guess he doesn’t have anyone in his life to worry about. No kid with leukemia or asthma. No wife. Probably is in his 20s. It’s very easy to spout libertarian “freedom” fantasies when you’re in your 20s and are young and strong. Wait until you hit 50, where no matter how much you try to keep yourself in the pink of condition you will have accumulated a series of breaks, aches and pains. All of which are used as “prior conditions” as an excuse by insurance companies to deny you health insurance. And if you don’t have them, as soon as you hit the big 50 they’ll double your monthly charges simply because they feel like it.

  125. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: And introducing a little reality into your moronic word game, the government actually comes to Bon and says “Hey, Bob, I’m afraid that your old car is a gross polluter, putting out ten times the legal limit of tailhouse gases, and if you can’t fix it, you won’t be able to drive it on public roads. Buf since you’re lucky enough to live in California, the state will actually pay you more than it’s worth simply to get it off the streets, and you can use that towards a new car.”

    At which point Bob starts screaming about soshulism.

  126. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @beth: If I don’t want to pay for car insurance, I can not own a car, or move to a state where it’s not required. If I don’t want to participate in ObamaCare, I can leave the country or die.

    And we’re already seeing real-life examples where ObamaCare is actually making some people’s situations worse. Here’s one that’s getting a little attention, and it’s hardly unique.

    And once again an old thesis of mine is being borne out: to the left, individuals simply cannot be trusted to make decisions on their own, and must have their choices either limited or dictated by the state. The sole exceptions are in matters related to sex; in every other area, “choice” is a Bad Thing and people must be protected from themselves at any cost. It’s the moral obligation of their betters to deprive them of those rights.

  127. Rob in CT says:

    From JP, upthread:

    HSAs should be a type of designated account, earning returns. And people who have built a balance should be able to have policies with deductibles <= the balance.

    I like this idea. You could even propose that the balance only need to be a certain percentage of the deductible, rather than equal to it (50%?). But I very much like the idea of tying the max deductible to the amount in the account. A bit like requiring banks to have some reserves. Sensible.

    Also, too: if Flexible Spending Accounts can now be rolled over, that’s great. The use it or lose it nature of them stunk.

  128. anjin-san says:

    If I don’t want to participate in ObamaCare, I can leave the country or die.

    Yes. Society has said you have to actually act responsibly, not just talk about it on a blog. You can no long forgo heath insurance then stick your neighbor with the bill when you inevitably need medical care.

    Kind of like you can’t just say “I’m not going to pay taxes” – of course we know that there are quite a few conservatives who are angry they can’t be free riders on taxes too.

  129. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I agree that United Health Care is making business decisions that could be harming people. What’s your point?

  130. KM says:

    @Jenos: Considering you seem to think “choice” = “get to do whatever the hell I want, screw consequences and anybody else”, yes I can see how you came to that conclusion. You have a child’s definition of “choice” and “fair”; one that always seems to relate back to what you want to do personally or benefits yourself. You see the banishment of a negative that has actively ruined lives as “punishment”. You seem to live at Kohlberg’s Pre-conventional Stages. I agree with grumpy – you must be very young.

  131. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: God, you’re stupid.

    Bob at the service station for his inspection:

    “Sorry, Bob, your car flunks. It doesn’t meet the new standards for new cars.”

    “But it’s not new, it’s 10 years old! The law says it has to meet the standards of the year it was made!”

    “That only applies to cars that haven’t been changed since then. Our records show you’ve done over 50 oil changes, replaced the tires twice, replaced seven light bulbs and two fuses. Plus that steering-wheel cover, stereo, and air freshener aren’t original. So that means it doesn’t count as the same car, and it has to meet the new standards. And it flunks.”

  132. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Ha! Jenos is on the far side of 40 and a Type 1 diabetic. He already knows what it means to be a “free-rider” having availed himself of an emergency hospitalization he couldn’t afford when he was without insurance. He very generously arranged to not pay the hospital in full for saving his sorry life, secure in the knowledge that hospitals have this cool trick called “Write It Off!” that magically makes his debt disappear! (Yes, sometimes life imitates Cosmo Kramer…)

    But you are correct that he has nobody in his life to worry about.

  133. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It’s not a 10 year old car. He is already buying a new car every year. Ford had the choice of continuing to offer his old car, or replace it with a new model. They chose to replace it, so it was business decision by Ford not to offer the model Bob liked.

  134. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: Apparently you missed a key paragraph, so I’ll repeat it for you:

    All this may be true, but it begs the question. The addition of a phrase to that last sentence shows why: Sundby is losing her coverage and her doctors because of a business decision her insurer made within the competitive dynamics of California’s health care market under the regulatory structure established by Obama’s comprehensive “reform.”

  135. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    If I don’t want to pay for car insurance, I can not own a car, or move to a state where it’s not required.

    That’s just ridiculous – if you have a body, you must participate in health care. Sooner or later, every human does. I didn’t ask if you wanted to drive a car or not. I asked that if you have to drive a car (like you have to have a body) do you resent paying for insurance, not whether you want to opt out or not.

    And you know what? This whole thing about healthcare has left me very cold. I really don’t care if someone now is paying more or losing coverage. Like I said before, welcome to the world that millions of Americans live in. It just sucks, don’t it? I almost wished they had made a law making health insurance cost $150,000 per year and outlawing employers paying for any of it. Maybe if almost everyone was faced with losing their insurance they would realize how precious the peace of mind of having it is and we could all start to work together to figure out a plan that works for almost everyone. So if some cancer patient has to pay more or go to a new doctor, tough shit. I’m sure that cancer patient never gave a second thought to the millions of people without insurance before.

    Like I said, it’s made me cold.

  136. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It’s a UHC decision, simple as that. They decided to leave the market, they ended her plan. Welcome to private health care insurance, you don’t get only the parts you like, you get the parts you don’t like too. (Kind of like the shutdown)

    She’s probably better off after all the Obamacare reforms, even with UHC leaving and forcing her to find a new plan. I wonder what her options would have been if UHC had left prior to the market reforms? And given how small the UHC presence was in CA, it’s not out of the question.

  137. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @beth: So, because things suck for some people, we must make it suck for more people? Drag more people down to the lowest possible standard?

    I see what you mean by “cold.”

  138. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: They decided to leave the market, they ended her plan.

    Under the new ObamaCare regulations. That was the only significant change; they’d carried her for years, spending plenty of money on her care. Then, when ObamaCare changed the environment, they pulled the plug.

  139. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    OK, I’m outta here for a while. Reality calls.

    It’s a tough thing, reality, but you folks really ought to try it sometimes.

  140. KM says:

    @Jenos:So, because things suck for some people, we must make it suck for more people? Drag more people down to the lowest possible standard?

    Wasn’t that the anti-union rationale? “Why should they get paid more/have a better plan/get more PTO then me? What did they do to earn it?! I don’t have that! They should make what I make (private sector cheapness)!!”

    Sorry, OT – couldn’t resist.

  141. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    There’s been no evidence that there will be more “losers” than “winners” under Obamacare, even by the GOP propaganda machine.

  142. beth says:

    @KM: Except we’re not talking about lowering everyone’s salary which is what breaking unions does. We’re talking about raising standards for the vast majority of people. Those people getting new policies are getting better coverage even if they have to pay a bit more.

  143. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Under the new ObamaCare regulations. That was the only significant change; they’d carried her for years, spending plenty of money on her care. Then, when ObamaCare changed the environment, they pulled the plug.

    The only thing starting in 2014 that affected this decision was more customers and more competition. I’m pretty sure those aren’t bad things for the majority of Californians.

  144. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    Why do people here keep feeding a troll like Jenos? His mind closed a long time ago. Your blood pressure (and medical bills 🙂 ) will go down if you just ignore him–by now surely no one thinks they’ll ever change his mind, on anything?

    The whole health-care conversation in this country is depressing. Republicans think Obamacare means the end of the United States, but Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan is to have seniors buy insurance on the private market using government vouchers (that sounds familiar, but I can’t quite place it…). Meanwhile Democrats are outraged–outraged!–that Ryan and Republicans want to force seniors onto the public market, like some other plan that’s been in the news recently that I can’t quite think of.

    On the subject of this article, President Obama was unusually dumb by his standards in making such a statement. It could never be true, and he’s paying the price now. Of course, I assume that by default all politicians are lying (or at least being economical with the full truth), partially because it’s become quite apparent that us citizens greatly prefer to be lied to and remain in comfortable ignorance on most issues rather than actually dig into the complexities and make hard choices leading to our current sound-bite environment where if it’s not a simple declarative sentence it doesn’t get through. People aren’t stupid, but for the most part they don’t want to be bothered, and we end up with the government we deserve.

  145. KM says:

    @beth: But they don’t see it as raising standards via removal of crappy plans. They see it as taking away “choices” that somehow lowers or lessens them all so they **shudder** equal in terms of baseline. I just tossed the union thing in there since it’s the same mentality – people complain that someone has something better and when situations come along to raise them up (be it unions or ACA-based plans), they’re rather tear others down then accept change. Clinging to sour grapes, as it were….

  146. KM says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican: Nah, we’re never going to change him. Personally? I love a good debate but will settle for what I can get ;). Talking out your philosophy (even to the terminally intransigent) never raises my blood pressure, only makes me more certain of what I hold dear and the beliefs I espouse. In that regard, trolls are an amusing way to pass the time in between meetings on a long day. Thanks for the concern, though!

  147. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Sorry, dope, your moron analogy doesn’t work. And constantly tinkering with it when someone — well, everyone — pokes holes in it jus reinforces how pathetic it is.

    Look, it’s obvious that you have severe difficulties forming a simple English sentence. Why not hold off on more advanced abstract concepts — like constructing analogies — until you learn the basics of language skills?

  148. anjin-san says:

    Winners and losers from Obamacare

    University of Michigan professor and senior Brookings fellow Justin Wolfers on Thursday created a chart depicting the “winners and losers” under the Affordable Care Act, sourced to a Ryan Lizza article that used estimates from M.I.T. economist Jon Gruber, a former adviser to Mitt Romney.

    The chart portrays the degree to which Republicans and critics of Obamacare have amplified the media’s coverage around the relatively small percentage of Americans who have received cancellation notices for stripped-down individual market plans that failed to meet the benefit requirements of the ACA.

  149. David M says:

    The old system was health insurance through a lottery. Obviously ever lottery has winners, but those few people shouldn’t be the main concern when reforming a broken and dysfunctional market.

  150. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You want no one to make a certain bad choice so everyone can make their own bad choices without consequences. You don’t want anyone to have the right to choose a bad choice so everyone can make bad choices and not pay for them. You don’t think others can make certain decisions in their own best interests, so you want to substitute your own judgment for everyone else.

    I’m sorry, I didn’t order the word salad. Can you please bring this back to the kitchen and bring me something that makes sense? In English, if possible? Also, still waiting on that order of fries.

  151. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    If I don’t want to pay for car insurance, I can not own a car, or move to a state where it’s not required. If I don’t want to participate in ObamaCare, I can leave the country or die.

    OK then. You don’t see us stopping you, do you?

  152. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    If I don’t want to pay for car insurance, I can not own a car, or move to a state where it’s not required. If I don’t want to participate in ObamaCare, I can leave the country or die.

    If you don’t want to pay for car insurance, you can indeed not own a car (there are no states in which it’s not required, curiously enough).

    But the other point is not that you get to choose whether you want to participate in Obamacare, it’s whether you want to participate in being human, which inevitably involves getting old, getting sick, getting in accidents, winding up at the hospital. If you can figure out a way in which you can opt out of ever needing medical care the rest of your life — and opting out in a way in which we can hold you to it, no running to us screaming in mortal terror when you find out you have testicular cancer and please, please, we’ve got to save your life! — then not only are you worth a listen, but you may also have made yourself a fortune. Cause that idea’s worth a lot of money, friend.

  153. Grewgills says:

    @JKB:

    Let’s call it, A Medical Care Buyers Club or Coop.

    Most of them are more properly called Health Management Organizations or Preferred Provider Organizations. That we still call them insurance companies is a linguistic artifact.

  154. the Q says:

    Come fellow libs, we are being just as whiny in our defense of Obama as the wingnuts who defended the idiot Bush.

    To make people switch to more expensive coverage is like saying to automobile owners that they have to get rid of their clunker and buy a better car – even if they can’t afford to.

    If this doesn’t fall into the myth promulgated ad nauseum by the GOP that its a gubmint takeover, I don’t know what does.

    The Congress should appeal this part of the law and let people have lower cost coverage which doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the government mandated services.

    This was the real problem with the ACA bill…..the corporate Dems really are retreads of the 90s GOP “market” driven exchanges with insurance companies participation.

    And we libs are shocked that the new system is full of unforeseen problems? Maybe its because we’ve been brainwashed to believe that Feinstein and Pelosi really give a schitt about the working man and are not the closet corporate hacks that they reallly are.

    The Dems have lost much credibility as the party of the people, This ACA bill was a sop to the special interest behemooths with birth control, 26 year old exemptions and the pre-existing condtions stuff thrown in to make it palliable to rank and file Dems.

  155. David M says:

    @the Q:

    Not sure you’re thinking though the policy implications of letting people keep their substandard insurance policies…and am quite sure you’re giving too much credence to the GOP complaints.

  156. anjin-san says:

    when you find out you have testicular cancer

    Happened to someone I know. And guess what, he found out his insurance did not insure him quite as well as he though it would. (These folks are educated and intelligent – but how many of us really know what our insurance covers, chapter and verse?)

    His cancer had spread, they had to do a lot of work to save his life. Luckily for him, he has fairly substantial resources (far, far beyond the average American) and zero debt. If not, he may well have died, in spite of “having insurance” due to lack of resources to cover himself the things that were not covered by insurance.

  157. Todd says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    On the subject of this article, President Obama was unusually dumb by his standards in making such a statement. It could never be true, and he’s paying the price now.

    What if he was being unusually smart?

    One way or another, there was always going to be a (political) price to pay for the fact that some people’s rates are going up.

    The President had a choice to make …

    He could either act like Republicans and come up with an overly simplistic line that easily fits on a bumper sticker.

    Or …

    He could default to normal Democrat mode, and explain how things would really work, with all the truthful nuance … which the lazy news media would have simply cut down to the part where he admitted that rates would go up for a very few people.

    By delaying the “penalty phase” until now, he’s probably just going to take a temporary hit in his personal poll numbers.

    If “rates are going up” had been the popular meme (accompanied by video of the President saying exactly that) since 2009, it’s not out of the question that we might not have a law to argue about at this point.

    I don’t think the meme really matters a much now, as there is ample evidence of the much greater number of people being helped by the law, to offset the stories of the loud few who are seeing their rates rise.

  158. Mikey says:

    @Todd: So, is your conclusion basically that the President knew “you can keep your plan, period” was bullshit from the get-go but said it anyway because it was in his political interest to lie?

  159. Todd says:

    @Mikey: .

    .. said it anyway because it was in his political interest to lie?

    It was in his political interest to say something that is true for almost everybody.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/chart-winners-and-losers-from-obamacare

  160. Mikey says:

    @Todd: Ah, I see…”truthiness.”

  161. bill says:

    @Mikey: maybe there was an asterisk on the teleprompter and he “misread” it as a “period”? of course the asterisk would also need a few thousand words of disclaimers to be realistic. but her did say “period”, many, many times.
    in the end they’ll just throw more subsidies at their voting bloc to keep them in line, and all will be well.

  162. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I think I’ve identified the problem here. You’re arguing the principle of ObamaCare, defending the theory behind it. And folks, that boat done sailed. That argument was settled when it passed without a single Republican vote of support. So you won, and you own the results.

    I’m arguing the reality of how your side has handled their great victory. I’m talking about the concrete, real-world results of at dog’s breakfast laughingly called the “Patient Privacy and Affordable Care Act.” Privacy? Your private information is already shown to be totally insecure, so kiss any privacy goodbye. Affordable? Tell that to the people who are seeing their old policies vanish and the new, “affordable” ones sending both their premiums and deductibles soaring.

    You folks got exactly what you wanted — and we’re living with it. So you can cram all the arguments and rationales and theories, because we now have the real thing to deal with.

    And, for a lot of people, it sucks.

    Oh, and now that it’s indisputable that Obama lied — and knew he was lying — when he made that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan — period” statement, people are breaking down into four categories.

    1) People who knew he was lying at the time, and said so.
    2) People who knew he was lying at the time, and didn’t care.
    3) People who are still denying he lied, and get insanely defensive when the lie is pointed out.
    4) People who actually believed him, and are shocked that he lied.

    I’m in the first category. Most of you seem evenly divided between the second and third. And I’m having a really hard time not laughing derisively at the fourth group. If for no other reason that, having finally come to reality, they might prove useful allies.

    But it’s really hard not to laugh at them.

  163. An Interested Party says:

    For example, when two males a male and a female have unprotected sex, that raises the possibility that it will cost me in the long run. So, by your rationale, we should be able to ban — or, at least, tax — unprotected sex between males and females. I have no interest in regulating such behavior, but by your argument, we should.

    Happy to be of help…

    …the wholly-Democrat “healthcare” law.

    It isn’t the fault of Democrats that Republicans in Congress decided to stomp their feet like petulant children and not participate in the crafting of PPACA…

    Because your way is based on making others pay into a system whether they want to or not…

    Oh, so you’re arguing against Social Security and Medicare? Good luck with that…

    such as how the KKK was founded by Democrats, and the Democrats fought like hell against the civil rights movement until it was pretty much over, and the GOP had won the fight.

    All true, except that it was southern Democrats who fought like hell against that and the GOP and northern Democrats won that fight…oh, and the inconvenient (for people like you) fact that today’s GOP has been built on what once was the southern wing of the Democratic Party…

    Ah, I see…”truthiness.”

    Of course, that truthiness is much less painful than “smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud” and similar lines of horse$hit…

  164. An Interested Party says:

    …maybe there was an asterisk on the teleprompter…

    You are just too fascinated with that teleprompter, as if the majority of politicians, including politicians you probably like, don’t also use teleprompters…

    But it’s really hard not to laugh at them.

    Indeed, it is very easy to feel the same way about all the foolish people who supported the Iraq debacle…that laughter there though is tempered by all the damage that debacle has done to our country…

  165. Mikey says:

    @An Interested Party: This isn’t about what Bush said. This is about President Obama’s multiple and unequivocal statements that everyone would be able to keep their health care plan if they preferred it. “Nobody will take it away from you.” “You will be able to keep it. Period.” And now he’s trying to say “well, what I really meant was…” Just stop it, Mr. President. What you meant was what you said.

    I support universal coverage and I want the ACA to work, but anyone who tries to defend the President on this is denying the utterly obvious: for whatever reason, whether it was inadvertent or intentional, the President’s statements were flat wrong. And the fact he’s trying to spin it (in a way that earned four Pinocchio’s from the WaPo’s fact checker) is really disappointing and does great damage to his already-fragile credibility on the ACA.

  166. anjin-san says:

    You folks got exactly what you wanted — and we’re living with it.

    Yep. I’m less at the mercy of health care providers than I was six weeks ago, and I don’t have to worry about being declined for pre-existing conditions in the future. I also know that 40 million of my fellow citizens can have access to health care now, when they did not before.

  167. anjin-san says:

    And, for a lot of people, it sucks.

    Which people? I am getting cancelled. It’s a little administration. It does not suck. No matter how badly you want your fellow citizens to suffer so you can say Obama was wrong. Sorry.

  168. anjin-san says:

    But it’s really hard not to laugh at them.

    It’s remarkable how much you remind me of my little brother when he was 15.

  169. anjin-san says:

    @ Vern

    ‘nanny-state’

    Do you have anything beyond lessons from far right kindergarten?

  170. DrDaveT says:

    @Christopher Bowen:

    How does such a libertarian/conservative blog bring in so many progressives?

    Sadly, it’s because this is the closest thing to actual non-echo-chamber political-discussion-with-facts that seems to be going at the moment. It’s not very balanced at the moment, but it’s the best game in town. If I were a raving Progressive, I’d much rather chat with the posters here than either beat my head against Limbots or hang out at a typical Progressive group grope site.

  171. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’m arguing the reality…I’m talking about the concrete, real-world results…Your private information is already shown to be totally insecure, so kiss any privacy goodbye. Affordable? Tell that to the people who are seeing their old policies vanish and the new, “affordable” ones sending both their premiums and deductibles soaring.

    That’s some real world dissembling there, reality this, real-world that. Followed up fact-free nonsense without even a link to a right wing “news” report as proof.

  172. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: My apologies, David — I forgot that certain things are not common knowledge in the leftist bubble. Like the security flaws in the web site — I thought everyone had heard about that one. Or the 62-year-old cancer survivor who is losing access to the coverage and care that helped save her life.

    That better?

  173. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Again, let me tell you about the identity protection plan I have courtesy of the state of SC since 3.9 million tax returns were hacked two years ago. Funny how you never heard a word of this on any of the right wing web sites – you would have thought it would be big news. Oh, that;s right it happened during a Republican administration – that makes it okay. If you think there’s a website out there anywhere that’s perfectly safe, I’ve got some land in Florida to sell you.

    And that cancer patient can now join millions of other Americans who’ve had their insurance terminated BEFORE Obamacare was ever passed. I guess it’s just more of Barack Obama’s famous time travel skills coming to bear fruit again.

  174. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Maybe if people like you hadn’t demanded expensive emergency room care and then refused to pay for it, sticking the rest of us with the bill for your irresponsibility, we wouldn’t have needed the ACA.

    Why don’t you man up for once in your pathetic life?

  175. C. Clavin says:

    Jenos…why do you think we would just swallow a unsubstantiated story off a extreme right-wing blog?
    1st…most all of these stories…when checked out are untrue. Usually…like on Hannity…the people haven’t even checked out the exchanges. In the case of the infamous CBS lady…when she did check it out she found better deals.
    2nd…Opponents of Obamacare have been lying through their teeth from the get-go…Death Panels…The Bill was Rammed Through…blah blah blah.
    3rd…Most everything you post is false.

  176. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    And yet…

    Obama lied, millions of policies died.

    Lobbing all the spitballs in the world at me won’t change that one whit.

  177. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    No…your delusional views won’t ever change…a symptom of your idiocy.

  178. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: The topic was Obama’s lies, Cliffy. Why are you so desperate to not admit that he lied? Are you that fixated on me that you can’t get past it to discuss the topic?

  179. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The GOP shares equal blame for everything wrong with healthcare.gov, as that is their preferred solution and sabotage attempt at the same time.

    One lady on the WSJ opinion pages is not very useful as anything but an anecdote, especially when it’s obvious that UHC couldn’t compete in California before Obamacare, and doesn’t want to compete. Blame UHC all you want, but an insurer not wanting competition isn’t a flaw in Obamacare.

  180. C. Clavin says:

    You want to take an incredibly complex program and condemn it because a 5 second sound-bite…a bumper sticker…didn’t explain every single possible nuance or technical offshoot. You want to call that a lie. Fine. Obama lied.
    But if you read what I replied to you…you stupid f’er…I wrote that the opponents of Obamacare have been lying through their teeth from the beginning. Even someone of your limited cognitive abilities should be able to compare something completely made up…like Death Panels…or Ramming the Bill Through in the Dark of Night…to what you think Obama said.
    I say…should be able. Clearly you lack the necessary skills.
    Now you seem sooooo terribly concerned about the people who can’t keep their inadequate sub-standard insurance policies. But the truth is that what you want is the staus quo…where even more people could not get insurance. Clearly your concern is total BS (as are you).
    But even beyond all that…you lie every single f’ing day, a$$wipe. You have about the most tenuous relationship with the truth that I have ever seen. Your entire world outlook is based on lies. So yeah…I double over laughing at the very idea of you talking smack about anyone else lying.

  181. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “The topic was Obama’s lies, Cliffy”

    And now the topic is you stiffing your fellow taxpayers for tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars by choosing not to pay your hospital bill.

    Why don’t you explain that, and then you can pontificate about the evils of Obamacare.

    But if the ACA had been in force then, I wouldn’t have had to pay to keep your loser ass alive.

  182. anjin-san says:

    “The topic was Obama’s lies, Cliffy”

    Interesting that you appear completely unconcerned that insurance companies have, at best, been misleading their customers about their options in the event of a cancellation. Or about the rather large volume of BS regarding Obamacare that has come from the right, both in the political and media spheres.

  183. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: You don’t pick the topics here. And as flattering as your obsession with me is, I seriously doubt the authors here feel like devoting an entire thread to scurrilous, unsubstantiated, and potentially libelous allegations about little old me.

    And no, that is neither an affirmation or a denial. It’s an expression of utter disinterest. I don’t find myself anywhere near as fascinating as you, Cliffy, and the rest of my wannabe harem do.

    “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan — period.” Obama lied. They knew that it was a lie, and he kept on saying it and saying it.

  184. Rufus T. Firefly says:
  185. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: The GOP shares equal blame for everything wrong with healthcare.gov, as that is their preferred solution and sabotage attempt at the same time.

    Sabotage? I don’t think so. The opposition has been open and aboveboard. Hell, the GOP even tried to pass a law to make Obama’s promise of “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan — period” true, and it was shot down by unanimous Democratic opposition.

    What you’re upset about is that the people who opposed ObamaCare from the outset didn’t just fall in line and turn into mindless boosters after the bill passed, and now are pointing out that their statements that it was passed on lies and would turn out to be a disaster are coming true.

    The one surprising thing is that it’s falling apart even faster than a lot of us thought.

  186. David M says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly:

    He already knows what it means to be a “free-rider” having availed himself of an emergency hospitalization he couldn’t afford when he was without insurance.

    I would like to call BS on anyone in that position being partisan enough to oppose health care reform that they need just because it might make the wrong political party look good, but I fear I’d be wrong.

    At least Obamacare has coverage for mental health issues.

  187. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The Democratic implementations are state run exchanges and the GOP choice was the federal exchange. That isn’t up for disagreement.

    Neither is the fact that the GOP have tried to hamstring the implementation of the federal exchange. Pretty much the definition of sabotage.

    They don’t get to break it and then complain it doesn’t work. Unfortunately for people with GOP state control, in our system of government, sabotage works, and they are worse off.

  188. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: After careful review of your application, we find that we must reject you as Head Fluffer. While your qualifications are outstanding, we simply have no need for your particular services at this time. However, we will keep your application on file for the next six months should our circumstances change.

  189. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: Obviously you’re missing the point: “sabotage” is covert action. There’s been nothing covert about GOP opposition to it.

    But since you seem all hell-bent on going nuclear with your rhetoric, why don’t you call them terrorists and traitors? Why stop at half measures?

  190. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I was going with sabotage as it’s possible for public servants to implement laws they feel benefit the other party. Again, the GOP doesn’t get to cause problems and then complain about the problems.

  191. anjin-san says:

    “sabotage” is covert action.

    1sab·o·tage noun ˈsa-bə-ˌtäzh
    : the act of destroying or damaging something deliberately so that it does not work correctly

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sabotage

    Well the sun came up today, and Jenos spouted nonsense. It’s just another day…

  192. anjin-san says:

    In the Republican states, consumers looking for assistance must turn to non-government agencies, local hospitals and health clinics or other community groups. Many of those entities are using federal grants to pay “navigators” who are trained to help residents understand and use the new marketplace. Navigators must complete 20 hours of online training offered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to be certified.

    But even those federally paid aides face obstacles.

    Florida’s health department ordered county health departments to ban navigators from their property. Wisconsin and Indiana charged training fees for the navigators and volunteers.

    http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2013/10/01/gop-states-offer-little-help-to-health-care-exchanges/

  193. David M says:

    The size of healthcare.gov is probably the most Republican part of Obamacare. How that is supposed to make the law or the Democrats look bad is beyond me.

  194. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I really can’t fathom the conservative obsession with fellatio as their go-to insult. Maybe it’s the two-for-one of homophobia AND misogyny. Or, maybe it’s just a gap in experience.

  195. C. Clavin says:

    @anjin-san:
    Just another example of Jenos lying.
    He/she has a lot if trouble with the concept of truth.

  196. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Here’s where I don’t follow the logic: even if you all crush me into suicidal despondency (or, more likely, give me paroxysms of laughter that lead to a coronary or a cerebral hemorrhage), that won’t change the fact that Obama lied, repeatedly and deliberately, to achieve his hallmark goal. All it will do is silence one person who points it out.

    You can blow out a candle
    But you can’t blow out a fire
    Once the flames begin to catch
    The wind will blow it higher

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go read some Anne Sexton poetry to restore my emotional equilibrium. Or, maybe, some Emily Dickenson. Something seriously down to get this grin off my face.

    Oh, and one more time: :”If you like your plan, you can keep your plan – period.” Right up there with “I am not a crook” and “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Except in those cases, the lies were to cover the president’s ass for his personal failings, not in an attempt to sell the American people a massive con job.

  197. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So if I understand correctly, it’s a problem for Obama to say something that is at worst true but misleading? And the other option is death panels and a government takeover of health care. I’ll continue pointing out the truth that it’s the insurance companies decision to end the plans, something that happened regularly before Obamacare, back when people had much worse options.

    Getting the picture as to why it doesn’t matter yet?

  198. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: So if I understand correctly, it’s a problem for Obama to say something that is at worst true but misleading?

    That would be one thing. But that isn’t what happened. Obama knew that “if you like your health plan, you can keep your plan — period” was false when he said it. And quite a few of us said it was a lie at the time.

    OK, I can see one rationale. When Obama said “period,” he misspoke; he meant to say “asterisk,” but the teleprompter put up the wrong punctuation mark.

    What he said was “you can keep your plan — period,” which means with no conditionals, no qualifiers, no catches, no loopholes. But there were loopholes. What the actual law said was you can keep your plan as long as it meets one of two criteria:
    1) It meets the new, much higher standard for coverage, whether or not you want or need those added elements (such as, say, pregnancy care for post-menopausal women).
    2) It never ever ever changes in the slightest detail — no adjustment in the deductibles and co-pays, no tweaks in the coverage (say, a woman wants to drop pregnancy coverage and get mammograms), no inflation-based adjustments in the premiums, not even a tweak in the amount set aside in a health savings account. The slightest change and there goes that plan. (That was my point of the car inspection analogy earlier — things like new tires for a ten-year-old car mean that it’s no longer the same, original car.)

    So yeah, Obama lied, like so many of us said back then. And, as I said earlier, this leaves the Obama defenders with very few options.

    1) Yeah, he lied, but it was no big deal.
    2) Yeah, he lied, but he had to lie in order to get it passed.
    3) No, he didn’t lie, and shut your racist mouth for saying he did.
    And the ever-popular YEAHBUTBUSHITLERIRAQWMDS! rant.

  199. David M says:

    I’d like to live in a country where politicians shouldn’t make true but misleading statements. A country where we can actually debate how to improve health care reform. But the Republicans are deathly afraid of that and refuse to engage in an honest conversation.

    The biggest challenge to reforming health care was Republican lies; statements that flat out had no basis in reality and were dutifully repeated by the media. So in that environment, the push-back against an avalanche of lies wasn’t going to be pretty.

    If the GOP wants to discuss health care reform, they can start. Until then, their lies so overwhelm the worst interpretation of this statement by Obama that it’s laughable to compare them.

  200. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: One final point on the “sabotage” canard: it’s an active verb. It requires the saboteur to actually do something. Doing nothing doesn’t count as “sabotage,” unless the non-actor has previously committed to do the action.

    And before you trot out the “ObamaCare is the law of the land,” let me pre-emptively answer that one: so was the Defense of Marriage Act. So was Plessy v. Ferguson. So was California’s Proposition 8. (All of which I disagreed with, for the record). Do you want to call the people who got those overturned “saboteurs,” too?

  201. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It never ever ever changes in the slightest detail — no adjustment in the deductibles and co-pays, no tweaks in the coverage (say, a woman wants to drop pregnancy coverage and get mammograms), no inflation-based adjustments in the premiums, not even a tweak in the amount set aside in a health savings account. The slightest change and there goes that plan.

    Not true. Unfortunately you immediately proved my point about how the GOP lies and is unwilling to have an honest conversation.

  202. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    One final point before I go to bed: it’s becoming clearer that the effect of ObamaCare is not to increase the quality of health care for people. Nor is it to reduce the costs of health care across the board. It’s about redistributing the costs of health care. And it is doing that by inverting the old model. Those people who were “winning” in the old system are now losing, and those who were “losing” under the old system are now winning. It’s not about making things better for everyone; it’s about lifting up those on the down side while pulling down thsoe on the up side, until the discrepancies are minimized. Too many people can’t be allowed to have things too much better than others.

    Here’s yet another example.

  203. Todd says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Too many people can’t be allowed to have things too much better than others

    Ummm, sure, but you’re not talking about things … you’re talking about people’s access to healthcare.

    When it comes to issues that can literally involve life and death, then yes, I think it’s entirely appropriate to say that too many people shouldn’t have things too much better than others.

  204. crysalis says:

    “If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan,” Now With An Asterisk

    “If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan, Now revealed as a shameless lie.” There, fixed that for you….

  205. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “You don’t pick the topics here”

    Says the man who only stopped whining about the lack of coverage of the Zimmerman trial to start whining about the lack of coverage of McAuliffe…

    And yes, we’ve all noticed you haven’t denied this horrible, scandalous, libelous charge. (I do wait eagerly for your court case: “Your honor, even though I hide behind a fictional name I stole from a Star Wars tie-in novel, I say that irreperable harm has been done to one of my many sock puppets, and I demand recompense!). We’ve also noticed that not a single one of the fierce warriors for the Republican side ever admits what his own personal situation is. We hear bragging about your genius, but oddly neither you nor JKB or Pooperscooper is ever willing to share personal or professional details.

    And yet I know a lot about the people on the other side — people who are proud of their accomplishments and willing to stand up and admit their failings: MR, Anjin, Ozark H and many others.

    You see, these are human beings whose political beliefs arise from their lives and their experiences. You guys are trolls who do nothing but repeat what you’ve heard on right wing blogs and have to deny your own experiences to do so.

    That’s why you won’t “confirm or deny” this scurrilous charge. Because there is no connection between what you are and what you say. This is the definition of a troll.

    But I do hope you enjoyed the medical care we all paid for. And in fact, I apologize for giving you grief over it. That’s what we do in a civilized nation — we take care of our fellow citizens without stopping to make sure if it’s someone we like or not.

  206. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: “you can keep your plan, period!” what’s so hard about that? that’s what he said while campaigning for this miscarriage known as aca/obamacare….deal with reality for a “change”.

  207. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    it’s becoming clearer that the effect of ObamaCare is not to increase the quality of health care for people.

    This would seem to be false simply based on the Medicaid expansion alone.

    Nor is it to reduce the costs of health care across the board.

    This is either so vague as to be meaningless, or false simply based on the Medicare savings.

    It’s about redistributing the costs of health care. And it is doing that by inverting the old model.

    The old model was a lottery, so yes, it’s being rightly discarded.

    Those people who were “winning” in the old system are now losing, and those who were “losing” under the old system are now winning.

    Given that the sickest and poorest people struggled the most under the old system, it stands to reason that they would benefit the most from any reform. And not everyone who was winning under the old system is losing now, it’s almost a certainty that more people will be categorized as winners than losers after the health care reforms.

    It’s not about making things better for everyone;

    Of course it’s not, single payer is off the table.

    it’s about lifting up those on the down side while pulling down thsoe on the up side, until the discrepancies are minimized.

    I’m not sure why you think providing people with health care is so awful, especially as it’s likely that most people are going to benefit after these reforms. Some healthy people who aren’t poor probably will pay more for insurance. This isn’t a bad thing, as the main reason the price was low before was we allowed the insurance companies to discriminate against people who most needed health care.

    Too many people can’t be allowed to have things too much better than others.

    This doesn’t even make sense when discussing health care.

  208. anjin-san says:

    @ David M

    You have to understand how important it is to someone like Jenos that there be losers. It’s obvious after listening to his trip for a while now that he is, at very best, a raging mediocracy. Pretty hard to have any self esteem from that place without losers and “others” to look down upon.

    Its actually critical to the modern conservative movement. “Well sure you are sort of a loser getting drunk on cheap beer every night in your crappy apartment or double wide, but there are bigger losers out there than than you – poor people! Muslims! Brown and black and gay people! We will shit on them, and you can enjoy the show.”

  209. anjin-san says:

    @ wr

    Let us know when you get done scraping what’s left of Jenos off of the bottom of your shoe.

  210. David M says:

    @anjin-san:

    I’m even one of the people who received a cancellation letter and will be paying more for health insurance next year. That increase is completely worth it now that the individual health care insurance market is no longer broken, as the rest of the Obamacare changes leave me and my wife better off. My situation is only a negative if if a very small part of the law is considered and the rest of it is ignored.

  211. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Todd: When it comes to issues that can literally involve life and death, then yes, I think it’s entirely appropriate to say that too many people shouldn’t have things too much better than others.

    Todd, I could kiss you right now. You made my point so perfectly for me.

    To you — and to many others — it isn’t about bringing up the minimal standards for people. It’s for reducing the differences.

    President Obama gets far, far better health care than the average person. So does Bill Gates. So does Warren Buffett. So do the doctors at the best hospitals, where the staff takes care of each other.

    I’m OK with that. I’m not driven by jealousy. I don’t mind that some people are in far better circumstances than I am. I don’t care that others can afford the absolute best in health care, and avail themselves of it. Because I’m not diminished by them getting treated so much better than I am.

    @David M: That’s a very admirable attitude you’re demonstrating — you’re willing to take the hit, to absorb that you’ll be paying more for less so that (in theory) others can get better. I just have to ask you what gives you the right to volunteer others to make the sacrifice you’re choosing to make.

    Giving up what is yours for others is admirable. Giving up what is someone else’s… not so much.

  212. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: I’m starting to get the impression that you don’t like me.

    I’d be crestfallen… if I gave the slightest damn about your or your opinions.

    And now we know what can get you to spout off inane, insipid one-liners… deep personal hatred. You can’t ever seem to put together a couple of coherent thoughts on topics, but when you get all personal and insulting, you can’t stop blathering on and on and on.

    It’s kind of sad, really, that you’re at your best (so to speak) when you completely go off topic and focus totally on how much you don’t like someone. How you can only get motivated enough to speak so forcefully when you feel the need to go all in on hurting someone else, not anything constructive.

    I don’t know how you did it, but you actually made me pity you a little. Just a little.

  213. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: You have to understand how important it is to someone like Jenos that there be losers.

    You come so close to the truth, then let your hatred blind you.

    There will always be losers. Fact of life. What I feel about that doesn’t matter.

    What’s important to me is that people be allowed to lose. Because without losers, there are no winners. If people can’t be allowed to make bad choices, they can’t learn how to make good choices.

    So someone is presented with a choice, with one good choice and one bad choice. But there is no difference in the outcome, whichever they choose, because they’re protected from the consequences. Why should they bother to make the right choice? Why should they learn how to make a right choice?

    God knows I’ve made plenty of bad choices. One of them was probably taking your remark as worthy of a serious response. But I’ve learned more from them than I have from a lot of times when someone “protected” me from the consequences of bad choices.

    Keeping people from ever making bad choices doesn’t protect them. It makes them dependent on others. And when the time comes when they can’t be protected from their choices, they’re totally screwed.

    So if your goal is to keep people dependent, to make certain they can never stand on their own, then go on and keep them from being “losers.” Because if the only difference between being a “loser” and a “winner” is how much effort you put into it, then they’ll always choose to be the loser — because the results will be the same for far less effort.

  214. anjin-san says:

    Because without losers, there are no winners

    Ah, so if there are not people dying because they did not get a routine cancer screening, or freezing to death in cardboard boxes under an overpass on a winter night, we can’t have winners. I see. My beautiful audio equipment and sports car have to be balanced out by human suffering somewhere.

    one good choice and one bad choice.

    You continue to defend the right of people to be free riders, and to charge me roughly $1000 a year to support their medical costs.

    Ok, let’s say for the sake of argument that everyone should be allowed to make all their own choices. And if someone chooses to not have auto insurance, and they hit you car, total it, and turn you into a cripple – with no means of compensating you for your injuries and damage – you are good with that? Got it.

    BTW, did you look “sabotage” up yet? Let us know when you are sure you understand what it actually means.

  215. anjin-san says:

    @ David M.

    I’m even one of the people who received a cancellation letter and will be paying more for health insurance next year

    I’m right there with you. My initial research makes me think I will be better off getting Kaiser via Covered CA than taking the new plan Kaiser is offering me.

  216. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Then I’ll fall back on a question I’ve asked many times, and never gotten an honest answer: where would you allow people to make their own choices? What part of people’s lives should not be centrally controlled by their betters, for the common good?

    I used to think that, to the left, the only answer was in matters related to sex. But even that’s undermined, with the incredible headlong rush to protect people from the consequences of bad choices in that area. For example, the “Free Kate” movement — the push to decriminalize 18-year-olds having sexual relations with 14-year-olds in school bathrooms — was made up pretty much exclusively from the left.

    Note that I’m not saying that the left was unanimous in supporting the right of adults to have sex with children. I’m just saying that, in that particular case, those supporting the right of adults to have sex with children was made up almost exclusively from the left.

    So… where do people get to make their choices?

    And, one last time… “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan — period.” A lie from day one.

  217. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You missed a fairly important part of what I wrote:

    ..the rest of the Obamacare changes leave me and my wife better off. My situation is only a negative if if a very small part of the law is considered and the rest of it is ignored.

    Also, explain to me how the country better off with a broken individual insurance market? I don’t see being unable to buy health insurance as “more free”. Because that’s what Obamacare changed, there is now an open enrollment period across the state, for everyone. And there will be an open enrollment period every year after this as well.

  218. anjin-san says:

    Then I’ll fall back on a question I’ve asked many times, and never gotten an honest answer: where would you allow people to make their own choices?

    Kind of a stupid question, as every functional human constantly makes choices the entire time they are awake. Hundreds of them. Thousands of them – tiny and large.

    But, we live in a society. A lot of things are regulated. I can’t (legally) store toxic waste in my back yard. I can’t drive without insurance. I can’t walk up to people and punch them in the nose. I can’t shoot my neighbors dog because it barks at night. I can’t build a unsafe apartment that will collapse in an earthquake and rent it out. I can’t plan loud music outdoors at 3:00am when my neighbors are trying to sleep. I can’t open a restaurant with an unsanitary kitchen. I can’t hire people and tell them they have to work for 12 hours straight and not take a break. I can’t change my car’s oil and dump the old stuff in the storm drain that runs straight to the bay.

    Are you saying that I should be allowed to do all these things in the name of “choice”?

    The list goes on for a long, long, time.

    Are you saying that if an uninsured driver with no assets hit you and ruins your life, you will accept it without complaint because “people need to be allowed to make choices”?

  219. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    the push to decriminalize 18-year-olds having sexual relations with 14-year-olds in school bathrooms

    That is a blatant lie, egregious even for you. I did not see anyone arguing that what the older girl did should be legal. I did see a lot of people arguing that they are both young and inexperience, and there was no evidence of force/coercion/malice, and that the DA throwing the book at the older girl would not serve the interests of justice, or the best interests of either girl.

    Are you simply a serial liar, or are you somehow not able to distinguish between the truth and a falsehood?

  220. anjin-san says:

    Giving up what is yours for others is admirable. Giving up what is someone else’s… not so much.

    You seem to have no problem with me having to pay roughly $1000 a year to support free riders in our medical system.

  221. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You keep talking about choices, but obtaining health insurance was basically a lottery before. Now it’s a choice, what you claim to want. People can still choose to not buy health insurance after Obamacare, but now they have to be partially responsible for the financial burdens that choice places on the rest of society. Now people will be faced with the consequences of their decisions, where they were not before.

    Your understanding of the health care debate is bizarre. What you claim to support, choice and consequences, does not match the policies you support.