Obama Administration Knew Millions Would Lose Coverage Due To PPACA

"If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it." Well, not really.

congress-healthcare

During the nearly year long process of selling health care reform to the American people, one of the most memorable points that President Obama made on repeated occasions was that “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it.”  It was a talking point meant to address a development criticism of what would eventually become the PPACA, namely that it would force millions of Americans to give up the health insurance plan that they were currently on, and possibly also lose access to their doctor if they were forced on to an insurance plan that the doctor in question didn’t accept. As we got closer to the roll out date for the new law, though, reports began to surface of people being tossed off of plans that they had been on for years. In some cases, it involved employer-provided plans as companies as diverse as United Parcel Service and Trader Joe’s dropping part-time employees or their spouses from coverage and, in most cases, forcing them to rely upon the so-called exchanges to obtain their insurance. The majority of cases, though, involved people who obtain insurance outside the employer-provided market. For months now, there have been reports on a regular basis of people receiving notices from their insurance companies that the policy they had purchased was being canceled due to the new law, thus meaning that they too would be forced to rely upon the exchanges as well. Since the exchanges went up, the anecdotal reports from people forced into this position suggest that many of them will end up paying higher premiums, or that they will be forced to accept policies with much higher deductibles than they had previously, meaning that in the end their health care will end up costing them more out of pocket.

As it turns out, the Obama Administration was aware that this was going to happen before the PPACA came into effect:

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered.

Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.

Yet President Obama, who had promised in 2009, “if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan,” was still saying in 2012, “If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.”

Defenders of the PPACA have reacted to the news that has been coming out about people receiving cancellation notices from their insurance companies by essentially arguing that it’s a “side benefit” of the law itself. As everyone knows, one of the most important provisions of the PPACA and its associated regulations concerns what it says about what kind of insurance plans can be offered to Americans. Under the law, for example, plans cannot discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and they must remove the so-called “lifetime cap” on benefits that often caused serious problems for people with long term chronic illnesses. Additionally, the law requires that policy provide certain limited basic benefits such as free preventive care, coverage for maternity services, and other things that, in the past, had often been covered by “riders” taht had to be purchased in exchange for an increase in one’s monthly premium. All of this is true, but the fact that its true means that, for people who had previously been purchasing “bare bones” insurance policies either because that’s all they could afford or because that’s all they felt they needed would suddenly find themselves with additional “benefits” on their policy that would end up on their policies.

These anecdotal stories are just some of the examples:

George Schwab, 62, of North Carolina, said he was “perfectly happy” with his plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield, which also insured his wife for a $228 monthly premium. But this past September, he was surprised to receive a letter saying his policy was no longer available. The “comparable” plan the insurance company offered him carried a $1,208 monthly premium and a $5,500 deductible.

And the best option he’s found on the exchange so far offered a 415 percent jump in premium, to $948 a month.

“The deductible is less,” he said, “But the plan doesn’t meet my needs. Its unaffordable.”

“I’m sitting here looking at this, thinking we ought to just pay the fine and just get insurance when we’re sick,” Schwab added. “Everybody’s worried about whether the website works or not, but that’s fixable. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. This stuff isn’t fixable.”

Heather Goldwater, 38, of South Carolina, is raising a new baby while running her own PR firm. She said she received a letter last July from Cigna, her insurance company, that said the company would no longer offer her individual plan, and promised to send a letter by October offering a comparable option. So far, she hasn’t received anything.

(…)

Richard Helgren, a Lansing, Mich., retiree, said he was “irate” when he received a letter informing him that his wife Amy’s $559 a month health plan was being changed because of the law. The plan the insurer offered raised his deductible from $0 to $2,500, and the company gave him 17 days to decide.

The higher costs spooked him and his wife, who have painstakingly planned for their retirement years. “Every dollar we didn’t plan for erodes our standard of living,” Helgren said.

Ulltimately, though Helgren opted not to shop through the ACA exchanges, he was able to apply for a good plan with a slightly lower premium through an insurance agent.

The issue of people with low-cost insurance who may suddenly find themselves forced to accept a more generous plan with a higher premium and/or deductible is especially as it applies to the one demographic group that the PPACA needs to sign up if the system is going to work. Younger Americans, specifically people in their 20s and early 30s, have long been known to either forgo insurance altogether or to opt for policies that provide minimal and/or catastrophic coverage in exchange for lower premiums.  With the PPACA, they won’t necessarily be able to do that anymore and they’ll either have to face the choice of forking out more money for what may be more insurance than they need, or paying the individual mandate penalty. Given that the penalty is exceedingly low, especially in the early years that the mandate will be in effect, it’s not inconceivable that many younger Americans will simply choose to pay the penalty. If that happens, then insurance companies may find themselves with a risk poll that is fairly unbalanced, which means that premiums will go up as we head into 2015 and 2016.

There’s a larger point here, of course. If people were happy with the plans that they had before passage of the PPACA, then why shouldn’t they be allowed to keep them? The argument of PPACA proponents that they are getting something better for the fact that they are paying more money ignores the fact that these are people who, in many cases, had already shopped for insurance on their own and made the decision to purchase the policy that they had because it was the one that best met their needs. What business does the government have to tell them otherwise? If a 27 year old single male, or a self-employed married couple in their 50s, doesn’t want to purchase a policy with maternity coverage, why should they be forced to do so? If a family struggling to get by decides to purchase a “bare bones” policy because that’s the best they can afford, why should they be forced to purchase something more expensive? Yes, there will be Federal Government subsidies that these people will be entitled to but those aren’t going to help with the higher deductibles that they’re going to have to deal with in many cases. Indeed, in many cases, some of these people will end up being worse off than they were before the PPACA, which is certainly not the way the plan was sold to the American people.

So, no, the fact that you like your plan doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to keep it. The fact that the Administration knew that beforehand and didn’t tell anyone is really quite telling when it comes to how much confidence they had in whether or not they could ran the legislation through Congress.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Health Care, 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. David K. says:

    People who were happy with plans from before the law passed WERE allowed to keep them. Older plans were grandfathered in. Plans bought AFTER the law passed that insurance companies sold that didn’t meet the incoming requirements are the ones being cancelled, basically the IC’s sold plans they KNEW they would have to cancel at some point.

    As for companies like UPS, they were not forced to drop coverage by any means, they CHOSE to do so and have admitted as much that they were planning to do it anyway as a cost cutting measure, despite making billions in profit.

  2. anjin-san says:

    TPM weighs in:

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone bend over quite so far backwards to mislead people about what’s contained in a story. But it is Lisa Myers. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised? We were just discussing this amongst our ed staff: it’s true that the White House did oversell how little change there would be in the individual insurance market. But saying that millions of people are getting ‘cancellation notices’ or ‘losing their coverage’ is deeply misleading.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/a-doozie

  3. Ben says:

    David K nails it. Every single person whose plan is going away is because a company (either their employer, or the insurer they purchased the plan from) is screwing them.

    Every plan that existed on March 23, 2010 is grandfathered in and is allowed to keep going. Which means that any of these plans that are cancelled are due to the insurance company making a business decision.

    Everyone who has bought insurance since then was being a sold a BS plan that the company knew was going away in a couple years.

    Everyone whose employer is dropping their coverage just got bent over a table and reamed by their employer. Just warm fuzzy capitalism.

  4. Ron Beasley says:

    I lost my employer health insurance when I was 56. After COBRA ran out I shopped around for insurance and found that the individual policies covered so little I was really better of doing without. I had a couple of medical events prior to becoming eligible for Medicare that cost me several thousand dollars but looking at the cost benefit ratio I really did come out better not buying insurance. These really sorry individual policies are the ones being eliminated and that is not a bad thing.
    As for employers dropping coverage I see this too as a good thing. Employer supplied health insurance is responsible for much that is wrong with healthcare in the U.S.

  5. beth says:

    There’s a larger point here, of course. If people were happy with the plans that they had before passage of the PPACA, then why shouldn’t they be allowed to keep them?

    Because then they may wind up like a relative of mine, self-employed and self insured, who suffered a heart attack and realized his crappy insurance policy covered basically nothing. Luckily he had a paid up house he was able to mortgage to get the $80,000 he wound up owing in medical bills. If he hadn’t he would have wound up in bankruptcy and all of us would be on the hook for higher premiums and costs to make up for his unpaid ones. Now multiply that by millions of people carrying those crappy insurance policies and there you have a large problem with the healthcare system the way it was. Obamacare isn’t perfect but it’s trying to at least fix some of the problems like this. Maybe if we had a government interested in solving problems we could fix this part for the people who are being forced into higher cost policies.

  6. Nightrider says:

    I voted for Obama twice and will likely keep voting Democratic for at least as long as the GOP remains a dysfunctional irresponsible mess. But I’m one of these people who were dropped by my insurer this fall and my premiums are in fact going to go up a lot, at least $1000/year and probably more. As I understand it now, no thanks to the President’s misleading explanations, this is in fact how the program is supposed to work, so that I will pay more to subsidize people who do need preexisting conditions coverage, are in higher risk classes, or who need millions of dollars in care above the old lifetime caps. I could look at some of the premium increase as some extra insurance on insurance – now I have less risk of falling into the mess of preexisting condition or cap issues, though that’s going to be hard for a lot of people to feel in comparison to the great weight of the new bills for what will immediately seem like the same coverage. I also get the “benefit” of some coverage I was happy to forgo – obesity treatments, mental heath services, etc. I’m not happy about the increases, and wish that we could find ways to reduce the costs of health care, but the status quo wasn’t great for the country so I at least respect the possibility that this was still the best available choice. Perhaps if the Republicans had actually engaged to try to fix health care problems then more solutions could have been on the table to consider.

    I could easily blame the media and our partisan culture for the fact that this surprised me. It looks like it should have been clear to any reporters who wanted to actually do a real piece and not just report on political horse races. And because of hyperpartisanship, it is hard to believe anything anyone says anymore, because it always seems that they are just seeking political advantage and not meaningful, thoughtful debate.

  7. DC Loser says:

    We all know a Single Payer system would work much better than this kludge of a private national system. We’re stuck with it for now because our politicians don’t have the cajones to just do the single payer option. You don’t see Canadians complaining about how screwed up their system is.

  8. JKB says:

    More costly, fewer choices, lower quality – ->The Progressive Trifecta.

    Somewhat ironic is that the ACA outlawed “high deductible” plans, only to jack up the deductible on so many who had chosen low deductible plans.

    The beauty of the higher deductibles is that every doctor’s visit will be a painful reminder until the Obamacare victim reaches the threshold. And let’s not forget those higher co-pays.

    One wonders if those who will find some advantage to the law will be plentiful enough in number to save the Democrats come next November? And November 2014 will be just when the rate spiral will be hitting the mailboxes. Well, unless the White House threatens insurers to delay the mail until after that first Tuesday.

    And remember, just the passage of this solely Democrat web of lies in 2009 caused the Tea Party to rise from the grassroots. I wonder what the reality of this will sow for a Spring bloom?

  9. al-Ameda says:

    Single Payer, in a system similar to Switzerland is the way to go, however we’re too dumbed down to get it done.

    Also, I’ve never been able to figure this out: If, as many conservatives assert, we have the best health care system in the world, then why haven’t any other advanced countries decided to emulate our system of public and private health insurance?

    Why don’t any other countries want to spend on health care, twice as much per capita as they do now, get lower health outcomes, and end up with at least 15% of their people uninsured? It’s inexplicable, right?

  10. JKB says:

    @DC Loser: You don’t see Canadians complaining about how screwed up their system is.

    That’s because if they complain, they end up on the bottom of the waitlist….until they die from lack of treatment.

  11. Nightrider says:

    @al-Ameda: It is also confounding why employers within the GOP establishment do not want to press their party to get them out of the crushing role of providing health insurance. I have been an employer, and know without a doubt that it is a job killer.

  12. matt bernius says:

    @anjin-san:
    Thanks for the link. I think you should have included this summation in your quotation of it:

    Marshal@TPM:
    An accurate way to portray what’s happening might go like this: Millions of people are finding out that they’re being rolled over into new policies that provide fuller coverage. But some may end up paying more, even after the subsidies that the law provides.

    Marshal also linked to a PolitiFact article that summed up how this is playing out in Florida:
    http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2013/oct/25/marco-rubio/marco-rubio-said-florida-300000-people-are-going-l/

    Key passage from that article:

    Rubio was referring to letters Florida Blue started sending to consumers in the individual market in August. The letters do tell consumers that their particular plan will end due to the Affordable Care Act. That’s because the plans typically don’t offer the comprehensive coverage that is required under the new law.

    However, the letters also state that consumers will have “continuous health care coverage” and assigned them a particular plan, or gave them the option to contact Florida Blue and choose another plan. So their coverage is not dependent on being able to buy insurance through healthcare.gov, the government’s online marketplace.

  13. DC Loser says:

    Employer provided health insurance is a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace for American companies. If I were a CEO or CFO, I’d be pushing to get the government to take over that responsibility.

  14. C. Clavin says:

    Everyone who was paying attention knew that policies that did not meet minimum requirements were going to be cancelled.
    It took me :30 seconds to find this document from Blue Cross dated 2010 that discusses “minimum essential coverage”.
    So essentially your complaint is that you were not paying attention and the President did not hold your hand and spoon feed you the precise information you now find so critically important…in other words you have an invalid complaint.
    There are minimum requirements to car insurance. Why does minimum requirements for health insurance surprise you?
    How long will we have to listen to you fools cry like little babies?

  15. C. Clavin says:
  16. Ron Beasley says:

    @DC Loser: I can really see no legitimate reason why insurance companies should be able to suck 20% out of our healthcare expenditures while contributing nothing to healthcare. Medicare for all – less than 3% overhead. Is that so hard to understand. A good way to reduce the cost of healthcare in the U.S. is to eliminate the insurance company participation.

  17. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: Why don’t any other countries want to spend on health care, twice as much per capita as they do now, get lower health outcomes, and end up with at least 15% of their people uninsured? It’s inexplicable, right?

    Most all the world pays a marginal cost for drugs, medical devices, and procedures that does not come close to repaying the development effort that went into those products. Further, most of the world has regimented medical systems that have very strong immune systems against any sort of innovation.

    As a result, almost all medical innovation occurs and is paid for in the United States, with the rest of the world acting as a free rider. Sure, some Swiss or Japanese firms still develop a few drugs, but most of those efforts are still justified by profits in the US market.
    ,,,
    This is not to mention that the US tends to act as the capacity of last resort for desperate people in other countries who either can no longer tolerate the wait for a procedure or are not allowed by their country to have a certain procedure or drug.

  18. al-Ameda says:

    @Nightrider:

    It is also confounding why employers within the GOP establishment do not want to press their party to get them out of the crushing role of providing health insurance. I have been an employer, and know without a doubt that it is a job killer.

    So many employers are trying to sharply reduce their employee health benefit costs.

    At a previous job we had to dramatically restructure our health insurance benefit plans because for over a decade, the annual increases in premium costs were on average over 10%. We switched to higher-deductible HSA type plans – it was the only option left that enabled us to reduce costs, and unfortunately some of that burden was shifted to the employees.

  19. Mikey says:

    @David K.:

    People who were happy with plans from before the law passed WERE allowed to keep them. Older plans were grandfathered in.

    This was true, but:

    But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered.

    And therefore, many existing policies no longer qualify for “grandfathering.”

  20. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    That’s because if they complain, they end up on the bottom of the waitlist….until they die from lack of treatment

    It’s different here, we routinely refer people to their Death Panel – their private insurance company.

  21. C. Clavin says:

    @ DC Loser…

    “…If I were a CEO or CFO, I’d be pushing to get the government to take over that responsibility…”

    The only role for the Government to play is in eliminating the subsidy for Employer provided health care insurance. I would gladly take that cash value in hand…and go get insurance from the private sector exchanges.

    Speaking of subsidies….Ted Cruz is getting a $14,000 a year health care insurance subsidy.
    http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/more-on-senator-cruzs-health-insurance/
    If you want to be torqued-off…think about that for a while. He’s drawing $14,000 a year from the federal government to pay for his insurance…but wants to eliminate any subsidy to the poor or sick or elderly. That’s the abomination here…not minimum essential requirements.

  22. Scott says:

    A couple of comments. Every year employee-based plans can change, both benefits and cost.

    All plans contain elements that an individual will not use. E.g., maternity care or mental health. The danger of differentiating elements is that the risk pools can get smaller and smaller. Does anyone believe that you can’t get segmented and priced into such a small pool that the risk is not spread very far and that you will be charged accordingly?

    I would like to hear details from folks who are directly impacted by ACA. Personally, I am not. I essentially have a single payer system called Tricare. My children, as they move into adulthood, will be impacted far more and, objectively, I want them protected.

  23. Mikey says:

    @al-Ameda:

    At a previous job we had to dramatically restructure our health insurance benefit plans because for over a decade, the annual increases in premium costs were on average over 10%. We switched to higher-deductible HSA type plans – it was the only option left that enabled us to reduce costs, and unfortunately some of that burden was shifted to the employees.

    I went on a high-deductible plan with an HSA in 2011. At that point my monthly contribution was $100 (plus $125 into the HSA), my family deductible $2500, and coverage after meeting the deductible was 95%. Fantastic, sign me up!

    For 2014, my monthly contribution is $271 (plus $200 into the HSA), family deductible $3000, coverage after deductible 90%. I’d be dramatically better off under the old PPO plan…but the company killed it.

  24. C. Clavin says:

    “…And remember, just the passage of this solely Democrat web of lies in 2009 caused the Tea Party to rise from the grassroots…”

    Hard to imagine a sentence more full of outright lies than that one.
    Well played, you maroon.

  25. Scott says:

    @JKB: I’ve heard this argument and am puzzled by it. Do other countries force American companies to sell at a lower price. They can refuse to sell. Second, I’m not sure what the argument is. Should we be glad to pay higher costs to generate the profits for innovation? Sounds a little like corporate socialism.. What is the solution to the international free rider problem?

  26. JKB says:
  27. David M says:

    Noted: It’s the party of JKB and other useless trolls that prevents the conversation that Nightrider wants from happening.

  28. Ron Beasley says:

    @JKB: Do you realize that private insurance companies have death panels? I for one don’t have a problem with so called “death panels.” Should we really be spending several hundred thousand dollars of our precious healthcare budget to keep a 90 year old alive for a few more weeks when we could be spending that money to keep a 30 year old alive for several decades?

  29. JKB says:

    @Scott:Sounds a little like corporate socialism.

    Actually, it is the wealthy, i.e., the U.S. citizen, paying for innovation and research that then poorer countries get the advantage of at simply the marginal cost.

    The result of the ACA will be less innovation for both Americans and also the poorer populations of the world.

    But when comparing the cost of care in the US to that of other countries that are not centers of medical innovation and research, you have to factor out the increased cost in the American market due to having new and life-saving innovations available due to our payment of higher costs of such innovations.

  30. beth says:

    @JKB: You do realize we’ve got insurance company bureaucrat manned death panels right here in the US? http://www.salon.com/2009/08/11/denial_of_care/

    I guess if it’s the free market doing it, it’s okay.

  31. C. Clavin says:

    JKB thinks that veggies like Terry Schiavo should be hooked up indefinitely.
    Who was the nimrod Republican Congress-Critter (redundant) that diagnosed her from a TV image?

  32. C. Clavin says:

    “…The result of the ACA will be less innovation for both Americans and also the poorer populations of the world…”

    You fool.
    This is the equivalent of the higher taxes mean people will stop working argument.
    Are you really that dumb? Seriously? Are you?

  33. JKB says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Would you rather have some people down at the insurance company making those decisions when if they get them wrong their customers can change companies putting the company and the insurance employee out of business

    Or some bureaucrats like those at the IRS making them for ideological purposes and not being held accountable? Or perhaps like those at the NSA who make their operational decisions immune to the accountability to or influence of the elected representatives?

    Perhaps you’d be comfortable with Dick Cheney having untoward influence over such decisions?

  34. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Deciding that maybe it’s not all that efficient to give a heart transplant to a 90-year old woman vs. your health care “insurance company” deciding to rescind coverage during your cancer treatment because you forgot to tell them about a single episode of taking antihistamine 30 years ago?

    I’ll take my chance with the so-called “death panels”, thank you.

    And by the way, I’ve experienced BOTH the Japanese and British health care systems as well as this friggin’ horrible abortion we call the US health care system. Can you say the same? Don’t knock a NHS until you’ve tried it.

  35. JKB says:

    @beth:

    Those insurers are subject to oversight by the government and can be held accountable through the courts.

    How do you hold government bureaucrats accountable? By all reports from the Left, Obama has no influence over the technocrats. He can’t even get good people to work on his signature legislative accomplishment.

  36. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Idiot. Try getting a new insurance plan when you’re a cancer survivor or have other “pre-existing conditions.” Or are diabetic. Or obese.

    Hell, my private (individual) insurance suddenly jumped $200/month as soon as I hit the big 50. (One of the reasons I finally went on what my employer offered.) Not because my health had changed one damn bit.

    Are you more than 15 years old?

  37. beth says:

    @JKB: Really, that’s your defense? It’s okay for the insurance companies to have death panels because they can be sued? It’s okay for MBAs with business degrees to make those decisions but not people with medical degrees:? There’s no arguing with twisted logic like yours. You have absolutey no interest in solving any of the problems with our healthcare system and have no ideas on how to do it – you merely want to throw stones at the President.

  38. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Yeah, “accountable via the courts” is going to be a damn sight helpful when you’re in the midst of essential cancer treatment and they rescind you, right? Just have someone who’s ill (and probably broke) somehow find the time and effort to carry out litigation while the other side can drag the scenario out for years and years until the claimant dies, right?

    You’re a mental colossus, you are.

  39. C. Clavin says:

    @ Grumpy…
    What do you expect from the party that thinks it’s a great idea for senior citizens to be dumped into the private health care market? Every time I hear the Republican proposal for eliminating Medicare I try to imagine my 85 year old mother trying to negotiate the insurance market. And having them all deny her because of her pre-exisiting condition…SHE’S OLD!!!!!!!!
    Mental colossus’s indeed.

  40. thomm says:

    Accountable via the courts rings hollow when there is also a call for tort reform to keep rhose same claims from paying out.

  41. al-Ameda says:

    @Mikey:

    I went on a high-deductible plan with an HSA in 2011. At that point my monthly contribution was $100 (plus $125 into the HSA), my family deductible $2500, and coverage after meeting the deductible was 95%. Fantastic, sign me up!

    For 2014, my monthly contribution is $271 (plus $200 into the HSA), family deductible $3000, coverage after deductible 90%. I’d be dramatically better off under the old PPO plan…but the company killed it.

    We (my company) elected to fund half the plan-deductible for each employee. The savings we realized allowed us to do that.

    This country puts up with a lot of inefficiency and high cost in order to have the health insurance burden borne by employers/employees.

  42. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    More costly, fewer choices, lower quality

    Do you have any actual proof of this?

    On Covered CA, we have a wide range of choices, and can get coverage that is equivalent to what we have now for $3 more than what we currently pay. AND there is no problem with preexisting conditions.

  43. anjin-san says:

    @ C. Clavin

    My 80 year old mother struggles with things like calling a plumber. I can just imagine folks like her trying to shop for insurance.

  44. C. Clavin says:

    What you realize after you listen to idiots like Doug and JKB and Jenos and the rest…is that all they have is whiny-assed-titty- baby complaints…no solutions…no new ideas…nothing constructive to offer at all.
    I’ve been very successful through two different careers in creative industries…and I can tell you that it’s a whole lot easier to just knock something down…than to actually create something useful.

  45. anjin-san says:

    can be held accountable through the courts.

    Sure. You hire a lawyer, Wellpoint responds with five. Should work out fine for the average Joe…

  46. JKB says:

    @grumpy realist: Yeah, “accountable via the courts” is going to be a damn sight helpful when you’re in the midst of essential cancer treatment and they rescind you, right?

    yeah, much simpler and quicker to log on to Health.gov to request a waiver.

  47. David M says:

    The individual market was a mess before Obamacare, and these messages are basically confined to that market. Does anyone think it was possible to not impact that market fairly significantly and still reform health care?

    The rational discussion is whether those tradeoffs are worth it. The individual market had several big problems, and associated reforms:

    1. Exclusions for pre-existing conditions: people were either refused or charged exorbitant rates. The reform was guaranteed issue and community ratings

    2. Useless policies: self explanatory. The reform was to provide a minimum floor of benefits, so people had coverage that was useful.

    3. Unaffordable policies: self explanatory. The reform was to expand Medicaid and provide subsidies for people without employer provided insurance.

    There is no question that overall, the people in this group are better off than before Obamacare. However, there are people that were younger, healthier with larger incomes that will have to pay higher premiums than before. They are the ones I call “not better off yet”. In most cases they will end up with a more comprehensive policy, they will have a greater choice of policies, they will have more security if they get sick and need their policy, they will start to benefit from the pricing structure as they get older and there is a greater safety net if their income falls.

    Are the subsidy levels, benefit levels, etc. perfect right now? Probably not, but it’s silly to think they were never going to be adjusted. Eventually the GOP obstruction will stop and we can make any necessary adjustments.

  48. Tyrell says:

    I do not need maternity coverage, but now we have to pay more for a plan that includes that. I don’t think that I should have to help pay for someone’s obstetrician coverages. While an agreement could be made that is important, I could equally argue that there should be dental coverage. Everyone needs dental care, yet there is no requirement about that.
    “You can keep your doctor”: well not always. Many are leaving or retiring because of the increased regulations and paperwork.
    People are going to end up paying more and get less coverage.
    Why did they not just expand Medicare to cover those who had pre- conditions or could not afford a plan?

  49. al-Ameda says:

    @C. Clavin:

    What do you expect from the party that thinks it’s a great idea for senior citizens to be dumped into the private health care market?

    It’s not a secret: nsurance companies do not want to insure seniors because they are too expensive. They are old, often with a wide complex of chronic ailments and maladies that need constant and often regular costly attention in the medical care system.

    Many Republicans have a fantasy that, with armed with a voucher in the amount of $600 a month, a senior on a fixed retirement income is somehow going to be able to afford a good medical insurance policy. At the age of 66, perhaps – at the age of 80, good luck. A Medicare voucher would be a generous subsidy to insurance companies and would have the effect of increasing premium costs as the voucher amount would become the base price.

    A traditional insurance pool is the basic means by which medical insurance is made affordable to seniors. It has always been the case that younger people pay into such a system while they are healthy and do not utilize services – they in effect subsidize older people. Again, the younger people will eventually become the people they subsidize now, and so on. This is not new, it is traditional insurance.

  50. john personna says:

    @beth:

    You have absolutey no interest in solving any of the problems with our healthcare system and have no ideas on how to do it – you merely want to throw stones at the President.

    I think it’s different, perhaps some variation of Stockholm Syndrome. Republicans (not) In Name Only, have come to love every bit of market dysfunction, because it is American, darn it.

    We can never be better than this, because that would be un-American.

  51. David M says:

    @Tyrell:

    I do not need maternity coverage, but now we have to pay more for a plan that includes that. I don’t think that I should have to help pay for someone’s obstetrician coverages.

    Really? Let’s make having a baby even more expensive? This was one of the better things about Obamacare.

    Many [doctors] are leaving or retiring because of the increased regulations and paperwork.

    The evidence to back this up certainly doesn’t exist yet.

    People are going to end up paying more and get less coverage.

    What? You just complained that the new regulations required too much (maternity) coverage. Both can’t be true.

    Why did they not just expand Medicare to cover those who had pre- conditions or could not afford a plan?

    High risk pools didn’t work, and the GOP is already objecting to the Medicaid expansion. What makes you think they would have gone along with a Medicare expansion?

  52. Mikey says:

    @al-Ameda:

    We (my company) elected to fund half the plan-deductible for each employee. The savings we realized allowed us to do that.

    I forgot to mention that part…for 2011, 2012, and 2013, the company contributed half the plan deductible into my HSA. For 2014 (and, one assumes, beyond), it’s 1/3. And half of that 1/3 isn’t automatic anymore, we have to do stuff to “earn” it, which I’m sure will mean many of us don’t get more than $500. I won’t be surprised if they kill the contribution altogether in the next couple years.

    This country puts up with a lot of inefficiency and high cost in order to have the health insurance burden borne by employers/employees.

    Yeah, it’s pretty much the stupidest way possible to do it.

  53. C. Clavin says:

    “…I do not need maternity coverage, but now we have to pay more for a plan that includes that…”

    I don’t think you understand how insurance works.

  54. thomm says:

    Regarding maternity coverage: I am sure women didn’t need the prostare exams their insurance covered and covers. They subsidize you, you subsisize them…viola…insurance.

  55. KM says:

    @Tyrell:I do not need maternity coverage, but now we have to pay more for a plan that includes that. I don’t think that I should have to help pay for someone’s obstetrician coverages.

    Sooooooo…. not pro-life then? Have a lady in your life? Figures…

    You already pay for it if you have insurance and if you didn’t have a totally crappy plan before, you may have had maternity coverage then. Did you regularly check for those sorts of minutiae or is this a new obsession? How do you feel about women having to pay for your prostate exams and Viagra prescriptions? How about a 27 year old with colonoscopy coverage? Mental Health?

    More and more, it sounds like Republicans are just trying to cheap their way through life. Learn how insurance works, people! Nothing about that has changed in the most basic regards, you’re just having it painted for you in a negative light by people trying to manipulate your opinions. Otherwise, you just sound like a Taker pretending to be a Producer.

  56. george says:

    @JKB:

    That’s because if they complain, they end up on the bottom of the waitlist….until they die from lack of treatment.

    In fact we die from treatment so fast that our life expectancy is barely higher than the USA’s.

    Please be serious. There are quite a few Canadians who want a mixed single payer/private system such as France and Germany have. There is less than 1% who want a pure private system without a public option. Even the Conservative Party has sworn never to get rid of the public option. For the obvious reason: most Canadians like it just fine.

    BTW, I’m dual citizen, and have lived in both the US and Canada long enough to have had hospital care in both. Almost no difference in care or waiting time. For instance, I was involved in a very serious car accident, which I only survived because of the excellent and immediate care I was given – if Canadians were really waiting for months to get into hospitals (as reported in the US), the auto fatality rates would be horrendus – when in fact, its lower than the US. Think about it.

  57. anjin-san says:

    Many [doctors] are leaving or retiring because of the increased regulations and paperwork.

    I am sure hundreds, perhaps thousands are doing this so they can have the opportunity to work at the Cheesecake Factory.

    Can you show even a tiny bit of evidence to support this? Or the claim of “increased paperwork”?

  58. george says:

    @JKB:

    This is not to mention that the US tends to act as the capacity of last resort for desperate people in other countries who either can no longer tolerate the wait for a procedure or are not allowed by their country to have a certain procedure or drug.

    Actually I know more Canadians who go to Germany and France for procedures than to the US, and for proscribed medical drugs the choice destination is Mexico. A few politicans have gone to the US, but even for that class, by far the most get their care in Canada. Google, you’ll find that 99% of healthcare for Canadian cabinet ministers (including Prime Ministers) has been done in Canada. Again, Canadians really aren’t bleeding to death outside Canadian hospitals, and you’re silly to believe otherwise – the life expectency, or auto-fatality rates alone should make that obvious.

  59. anjin-san says:

    @ george

    I have a friend in Canada who has some serious health issues, the kind that can kill you. She says the care she receives is excellent, and she has no idea why (some) Americans think Canadian health care is a death trap.

    She does say that it would probably take her longer to get a knee replacement in Canada than in the US, but that is more than balanced out by the fact she is in no danger of financial ruin due to her healthcare costs.

  60. stonetools says:

    This just in: due to tyrannical government regulations, people who want to buy cheaper cars without seat-belts and airbags can no longer do so. Also thanks to the FDA, people who want to buy cheap(but ineffective) patent medicines instead of real drugs can’t do so.
    The PPACA prevents insurance companies from pushing crappy, cheap insurance policies that don’t help people when things happen to them. Such people end up in the emergency rooms getting the most expensive care at taxpayer’s expense. Its a good idea to get rid of such ‘”non-insurance” insurance policies in the same way its a good thing to get rid of “cheaper” cars without seat-belts- because when accidents happen, society ends up paying anyway.

    There’s a larger point here, of course. If people were happy with the plans that they had before passage of the PPACA, then why shouldn’t they be allowed to keep them?

    I’m all for people getting what they want-until they end up in hospital and find out that their crap insurance policy doesn’t cover their treatment and then I, the taxpayer, have to foot the bill. I’d rather that they don’t free ride and pay for the health insurance they need up front. Where is the libertarian/conservative concern that people take proper responsibility for their health? Oh yeah, it went down the memory hole on January 20, 2009.
    All that said , Obama was wrong to make that unqualified claim upfront. What he should have said that the PPACA would guarantee that you would be able to get quality health insurance, regardless of the plan you were on now. Thinkprogress explains it here:

    So yes, individuals can keep the plans they have if those plans remain largely the same. But individuals receiving cancellation notices will have a choice of enrolling in subsidized insurance in the exchanges and will probably end up paying less for more coverage. Those who don’t qualify for the tax credits will be paying more for comprehensive insurance that will be there for them when they become sick (and could actually end up spending less for health care since more services will now be covered). They will also no longer be part of a system in which the young and healthy are offered cheap insurance premiums because their sick neighbors are priced out or denied coverage. That, after all, is the whole point of reform.

  61. george says:

    @thomm:

    Regarding maternity coverage: I am sure women didn’t need the prostare exams their insurance covered and covers. They subsidize you, you subsisize them…viola…insurance.

    Except I think the argument is that you should be able to choose the risks you want covered if its health insurance. That’s why single payer makes more sense and works better – everyone pays the same (it comes out of taxes), so its not a question of subsidizing, except in the sense that everyone subsidizes everyone for police and national defense etc.

  62. john personna says:

    Canadians. No pennies. No paper dollars. Sensible health care. Good banking regulation. No Ninja loans. No housing crash.

    … and yet the Republicans all live in fear that we might be like them.

  63. john personna says:

    I do not need maternity coverage

    You may be absolutely correct for your circumstance, but these have been famous last words, more than once.

  64. stonetools says:

    @Tyrell:

    I do not need maternity coverage, but now we have to pay more for a plan that includes that.

    Indeed. And there are women out there who do not need coverage for testicular cancer and enlarged prostrate syndrome. Guess what, they’re paying for that also. It’s called risk pooling. You might want to Google it.

  65. anjin-san says:

    I do not need maternity coverage

    One thing we can be sure of. If anyone, anywhere is getting laid, a lot of conservatives will get bent out of shape.

  66. David M says:

    One other point about the “cancellation notices”. I received one of the letters, as my insurance company has decided to end the plan I’m on. The cost estimate is higher, but I can save money compared to their estimate simply by shopping on the exchange, even without subsidies. Secondly, if I do nothing, I am automatically enrolled in the new equivalent plan, so I do not “lose coverage”.

  67. C. Clavin says:

    This is the point I make a lot…

    “..I do not need maternity coverage, but now we have to pay more for a plan that includes that…”

    Here’s a guy that clearly does not understand how insurance works.
    Yet he has this strongly held belief that Obamacare is the second coming of the apacolypse.
    How do you form these obsessive beliefs without a basic understanding on the topic?
    Nothing we can say is going to make Tyrell change his mind. But his mind is made up based on a lack of knowledge.
    And it’s not just Tyrell by any stretch…actually he is one of the more reasonable ones.
    I just don’t get it.

  68. stonetools says:

    @george:

    Except I think the argument is that you should be able to choose the risks you want covered if its health insurance. That’s why single payer makes more sense and works better – everyone pays the same (it comes out of taxes), so its not a question of subsidizing, except in the sense that everyone subsidizes everyone for police and national defense etc.

    American right wingers don’t do the sense thing all that well. Note that the original poster seems to have been fine with dubious anecdotal evidence and was comfortable pushing the argument that if all people could afford were “bare bones” insurance policies that wouldn’t help them if they actually got sick, then that was just fine and the government shouldn’t even try to help them get better insurance. Note that he says not one word about those would couldn’t even afford crap insurance and who will now get insurance through the PPACA. I guess his advice to them would be “Don’t get sick.”

  69. David M says:

    The rules for grandfathering the plans from 2010 were quite simple, and while the “if you like your plan you can keep it” wasn’t the best phrasing, it was more or less accurate.

    Anyone now on Medicaid probably didn’t care about their previous plan. Employer plans change all the time, so the vast majority of people weren’t affected. For people in the individual insurance market, they could keep the plan they liked, if the insurance company decided to continue offering the plan. The mistake was people didn’t realize how many insurers would decide to end the plans rather than continue to offer them unchanged from 2010. I’m fairly confident that the insurers are evaluating how profitable the plans are overall and using that criteria to end them with the ACA as a convenient excuse, at least in some cases.

    People can still buy non-ACA compliant (not sure if grandfathered or not) health insurance policies for 2014.

  70. Scott says:

    @Tyrell:

    Why did they not just expand Medicare to cover those who had pre- conditions or could not afford a plan?

    I think a lot would agree with this. Also, why not Medicare for all?

  71. Gavrilo says:

    Shorter Progressive argument: Americans are rubes that don’t know what’s good for them. The insurance plans they buy on the individual market are crappy so it’s good that they are forced to buy more expensive plans. Who cares if they can afford it or not. Obama only made the claim that “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” because people are too stupid to know that they shouldn’t like insurance that doesn’t meet the Progressive standard. They should just shut up, pay the higher premiums, and be thankful that Progressives know what’s best for them.

  72. David M says:

    @Gavrilo:

    The market for individual insurance was broken. What is your actual proposal to fix it?

  73. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    Please be serious. There are quite a few Canadians who want a mixed single payer/private system such as France and Germany have.

    Yeah. One of the things most conservative Americans seem unable to understand that seen from Europe they are the bad example. Basically every suggested change by any party gets prefaced by “but of course we won’t have American-style medicine if we do this”.

  74. grumpy realist says:

    What none of the anti-Obamacare people have mentioned, AT ALL, is any form of a free-market substitute that covers the problems we are now having.

    (Hell, I’d rather we went to a single -payer system system for those who wanted it as well as no support whatsoever for those who don’t. You’re on the single-care system until you’re 21, then you make the decision whether to remain on it or get off it. Catch is, anyone who wants to move ON the single-payer system has to have a full medical check on their own dime, demonstrate that they are at least as healthy as those who have always been on the system, and pay a certain amount of back health taxes. So no free-riding. Yes, and we will have “death panels” and the gov’t gets to tell you to eat your veggies. Also remove the requirement that hospitals have to treat everyone–they only have to treat people who are in the system or who have purchased their own health insurance, or who are willing to pay cash. This way, everybody gets what they want. The Libertarians can stride off into the wilderness, confident of their virile independence from everything until they trip on a rusty nail in a barn and die of blood poisoning because they never bothered with vaccinations, and the more sensible people can peacefully go through life, confident that they’re not going to get sucked into bankruptcy due to medical costs.)

  75. stonetools says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Gavrillo’s post is jaw-dropping. Apparently, pre-PPACA,, there weren’t tens of millions of people who couldn’t even afford health insurance. There weren’t millions of others would could only afford crap health insurance that couldn’t cover you when you got sick and didn’t cover preventative care options. No, everything was fine and dandy till those meddling liberals came along with their PPACA.
    I’m sure that prior to 1965, folks like Gavrillo thought seniors could just go out and buy health insurance on the private market without any problem and that there was no need for “socialistic government programs” like Medicare.

  76. David M says:

    @stonetools:

    Yes, quite a few of the “conservatives” here display zero understanding of the pre-PPACA individual health care market. For some reason they are quite concerned that healthy people might be worse off, but are unable to even consider whether people that need healthcare are better off.

    The (fake) concern over whether or not healthy people can buy cheap health insurance policies is a very weird thing to focus on when talking about health care reform.

  77. C. Clavin says:

    Gavrillo…
    OK…so what is your solution to:
    1) Milions who can’t afford insurance at all, and are thus;
    2) Free-Riders on the Health care System, who cost responsible people $1000 a year in additional premiums
    3) People excluded from insurance because of Pre-Existing Conditions
    4) People who are bankrupted because of Lifetime Caps on their insurance benefits
    5) Kids who can’t afford insurance but can’t stay on their parents insurance after a certain age
    I look forward to seeing your policy proposals that solve these difficult but critical issues.

  78. C. Clavin says:

    Also Gravillo…
    How do you feel about Ted Cruz getting a $14,000 health insurance subsidy from the Government???

  79. superdestroyer says:

    @DC Loser:

    Thank you for agreeing that the ACA was designed the fail and the real end point for the Democrats is single-payer.

    Maybe everyone should admit that since the Democrats really did not want ACA with mandates and private insurance companies that the Democrats have been disinterested in ensuring that it works properly. I am just amazed as quickly Democrats are going to let ACA collapse in order to move to single payer.

  80. David M says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Explain how the Democrats are letting the ACA collapse starting with the point that it’s working better in Democratic states. The GOP have intentionally sabotaged the rollout, so maybe you should be mad at them?

  81. george says:

    @David M:

    The (fake) concern over whether or not healthy people can buy cheap health insurance policies is a very weird thing to focus on when talking about health care reform.

    Actually its not a fake concern – if paying for a health care policy that covers far more than you need takes up a significant portion of your net income, its a very real concern. Young people tend to have good health but low incomes, and it sounds like the program put together wasn’t thought out very well if in fact a significant proportion of them (say 10% or more) are paying $200 a month for health care under it.

    In fact, that’s the point of the single payer option, and why most developed countries have it (along with a private option in some cases) – the healthiest portion of society (young folks) are generally the poorest. Having the money coming out of taxes (single payer) is much fairer, not to mention efficient etc. Yes, I agree the Republicans are just blowing smoke, since they didn’t want single payer under any circumstances, but that doesn’t mean some people aren’t honestly adversely hurt by this. And it does sound like they were mislead by the statement that could keep their old program.

    Basically, health insurance works by having healthy people subsidize the unhealthy – if you make it cheaper for the unhealthy, its going to cost more for the healthy. There doesn’t seem to be any way around that. But if its single payer public health, at least its paid for a progressive tax system, instead of a regressive insurance program (where everyone over a fairly small amount pays the same thing). If nothing else, they should have been up front about that from the start.

  82. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    You do realize that Canada has government bureaucrat manned death panels as we speak?

    You do realize that your Health Insurance company is your Death Panel, right?

    Conservatives created the “Death Panel” rhetoric and talking points and now you’re trapped by it. It’s a short cut by which conservatives effectively decline to have a reasonable discussion about health insurance coverage.

  83. Tyrell says:

    @Scott: I don’t have a big problem with that. We have social security for everyone. The more you have in, cheaper the cost; basic insurance principal.
    And Medicare already has a computer system. No need to pay out $600 million to a contractor from Canada.

  84. C. Clavin says:

    David M…
    don’t try using facts and logic with Super-Dooper…he/she is immune to them…as are all bigots.

  85. David M says:

    @george:

    You’re arguing for a bigger Medicaid expansion and larger subsidies. They are arguing for no Medicaid expansion, no subsidies and health insurance that is borderline fraudulent. It’s not the same conversation.

    And you need a better example of someone hurt by health insurance than young, healthy low income person suddenly paying $200/month for health insurance. Young means they can stay on parents policy or should have relatively inexpensive insurance options. Low income means subsidies or Medicaid.

  86. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    The GOP has nothing to do with the 55 contractors, CMS, and HHS. Yet, I guess falling back to talking points does not make up for the initial launch problems and for so many people having to pay higher insurance bills.

    The law is designed to fail by costing too much, being too complicated, and forcing people to demanding single payer. Given that virtually everyone on the left wants single payer that will pay for virtually everything, it makes sense that they would mismanaged the ACA.

  87. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda:

    No the insurance company is not. It does impact the cost but one can still get the care, whereas in government controlled healthcare, you must leave the country to get care when the government denies it.

  88. David M says:

    @superdestroyer:

    And you again avoided a direct question. If the Democrats want Obamacare to fail, why is it working so well in the states that are controlled by Democrats? Why is it only the GOP controlled states having problems? The GOP are the ones who decided they wanted to use the federal exchange rather than running their own state based exchange.

  89. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Here’s a guy who clearly doesn’t understand how insurance works. Maternity is a very narrow range risk that can be controlled. As such, coverage was sold as a rider to those who might need it. But for the post menopausal, male, infertile, strict lesbian, plus those women who do not want children (at least during the term of the insurance) and are amenable to abortion, the insurance is entirely superfluous and an expense that offers them no potential benefits.

    So perhaps you should look up “insurance”

    insurance
    n 1: promise of reimbursement in the case of loss; paid to
    people or companies so concerned about hazards that they
    have made prepayments to an insurance company

  90. John Burgess says:
  91. JKB says:

    @David M:

    You answer your own question, the failure is the federal government. The part controlled by Obama and the cream of the Democratic party.

  92. stonetools says:

    @george:

    I’m afraid that your well thought out post is lost on this crowd. In arguing for the superiority of single payer, you’re preaching to the converted to us liberals. American conservatives, however, don’t give a damn about the best way of extending health insurance to the poor and uninsured. They either despise them as “takers” or don’t think of them at all. All they are concerned about is flinging poo at liberals who do want to extend health insurance to the uninsured. Note that none of the right wingers here-including the original poster- suggest any alternatives or other ways of fixing the problem. That’s because their alternative is “Nothing.”

  93. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    So perhaps you should look up “insurance”

    Perhaps you should look up “health insurance”

    health insurance noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
    System for the advance financing of medical expenses through contributions or taxes paid into a common fund to pay for all or part of health services specified in an insurance policy or law. The key elements are advance payment of premiums or taxes, pooling of funds, and eligibility for benefits on the basis of contributions or employment without an income or assets test.

    Health insurance may apply to a limited or comprehensive range of medical services and may provide for full or partial payment of the costs of specific services. Benefits may consist of the right to certain medical services or reimbursement of the insured for specified medical costs. Private health insurance is organized and administered by an insurance company or other private agency; public health insurance is run by the government

  94. stonetools says:

    @JKB:

    You answer your own question, the failure is the federal government. The part controlled by Obama and the cream of the Democratic party

    So according to you, the federal government is failing in its attempt to extend health insurance to the poor and working class. You should be happy about that, since conservatives don’t give a damn about extending health insurance to the poor and working class, and have been struggling with all their might to prevent Democrats from doing that. So you are accomplishing your mission of keeping health insurance away from what your Presidential nominee calls “the takers”.

  95. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    You are going to have to define what is “working well,” you are going to have to list the blue states where it is working well, you are going to have to list the blue states where it is not working well, and you are going to have to define what the differences are. Then I can comment on your very generic claim that blue states are going great. I know that progressives are great at nitpicking, so you are going to have to define our parameters before the discussion starts.

  96. C. Clavin says:

    JKB…
    Thanks for exemplifying my point.

  97. David M says:

    @superdestroyer:

    I’m simply comparing the state exchanges to the federal exchange. California, Washington, Kentucky, etc.

  98. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    No the insurance company is not. It does impact the cost but one can still get the care, whereas in government controlled healthcare, you must leave the country to get care when the government denies it.

    Yes it is. If your insurance company asserts that a very important procedure that you need is not covered, you may not be able to afford it, and you may be out of luck, or if critical enough – life. As in your example, you might have to leave the country if your insurance company denies coverage of the procedure you need.

  99. C. Clavin says:

    It is certainly heartwarming that those who can give a flying f’ about the sick and the poor and the disadvantaged… Suddenly care enough about them to use them for political gain. I mean…baby steps, right? Maybe sometime soon they will actually show a glimmer of REAL compassion for those they love to call “takers”.

  100. David M says:

    @al-Ameda:

    In JKB’s fantasy world, the government is rationing by actually preventing you from paying for unapproved health care with your own money. It’s bizarro world stuff, completely divorced from anything proposed under Obamacare.

  101. rudderpedals says:

    Concern trolls are concerned.

  102. bill says:

    @Ben:

    But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered.

    wrong, as usual. they knew they’d be able to screw a whole bunch of people with this lame provision. and they didn’t need to “significantly” change it, “any” change renders it moot. obama lied to us all again, and even the msm is calling him on it. you do remember the quote right? “you can keep your plan, period” that “period” should have been an “asterisk” followed by a few thousand word disclaimer. but dumb people believed him, and now they’re paying for it again.

    but wow – 100+ comments while i was at work,better get some popcorn and catch up on the funny/stupid stuff!

  103. Scott O says:

    George Schwab, 62, of North Carolina, said he was “perfectly happy” with his plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield, which also insured his wife for a $228 monthly premium.

    I wish they would give some details about this plan. $228 a month for both of them? Doesn’t fit in with any kinds of rates I’ve ever heard of.

  104. george says:

    @David M:

    You’re arguing for a bigger Medicaid expansion and larger subsidies. They are arguing for no Medicaid expansion, no subsidies and health insurance that is borderline fraudulent. It’s not the same conversation.

    I agree. But I don’t think there’s much point in arguing it with the GOP, because what they want is far worse than Obamacare – not allowing refusal for pre-existing conditions is alone a hundred times better than before.

    What I’m arguing (and that’s just for my family in the US, I’m in Canada so I have public health and am very happy with it, thanks) is that a combination public/private system like Germany or France should be the goal. The GOP will never agree, but younger folks probably will in a decade. Might be a good idea to start looking at how to go about that – there’s a lot of different models of public/private out there in the world, and it’d be nice if it was a last second decision on how to go about it if and when the time comes.

  105. george says:

    @John Burgess:

    Yup, just about everyone in Canada agrees that there are problems with the health care system (though those problems come at half the cost of what the US system costs per capita). However, almost no one wants to get rid of it – seriously, not a single party, not even the most conservative party in Canada’s recent history, the Reform Party, advocated that. What is being suggested is a mixed system, public/private.

    The bogey man brought up by those who don’t want to allow private health is, in fact, the US system, which almost everyone agrees is worse than what we have. Many say the French and German systems are better than ours, and we should go that way (my feeling as well). No one wants to go the the US system.

    Canada had a completely private system before the public system. We tried that, it was much worse than what we now have. The totally public system is better, but still has real problems. Looking around the world, the best seem to be public/private.

    Seriously, there’s a reason that people like Conservative prime minister Harper go out of their way to state that they will not shut down public health, why the Liberal and NDP party try to convince people that the conservatives secretly want a US system – when they do polls, less than 5% (and on some polls, less than 1%) want a purely private system. The US system is seen as a worst case scenario, something to be avoided. Because solely private health care was tried here, and it failed. Badly.

  106. David M says:

    @Scott O:

    I wish they would give some details about this plan. $228 a month for both of them? Doesn’t fit in with any kinds of rates I’ve ever heard of.

    His deductible is 10k and he is retired. Seems like a visit to the exchange is in order. If he doesn’t get subsidies, these are the estimates from healthcare.gov:

    Platinum: $900
    Gold: $700
    Silver: $600
    Bronze: $500

    Seems like he’s no longer a good poster child for rate shock. Given that he’s retired, the subsidies could be significant as well.

  107. bill says:

    @Scott O: he’s probably some big fat redneck who’s lying for the media…..nice. more than likely he’s one of millions who feel used by the admin. and are now paying for it.

  108. Scott O says:

    @bill: Well if this is the guy he probably felt used by the administration by mid day on January 20th 2009.

  109. Pharoah Narim says:

    Apparently, the new conserva-clown flat earth reasoning is that people that don’t have the resources to afford real coverage can somehow afford the deductibles in these high deductible plans. What’s the over/under that the Georges of the country can cover their 10K+ deductibles(but can barely afford $200 premiums)?

    I’m loving the sight of exploded bits of head from right wing koolaid drinkers all over the place as the country moves in a different direction. We’re doing something different fellas…deal with it…

  110. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Scott O: I take it back. Since “George” is a paid stooge…..he probably CAN afford a 10k deductible. My mistake.

  111. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    Somehow I knew you would claim Kentucky where President Obama received less than 38% of the vote as a deep blue state because the Democratic governor has managed to sign up a lot more people for Medicaid.

    I guess if you claim that getting more people signed up for welfare in the form of Medicaid is a success, then anything will be defined as success. Signing up more people for an underfunded entitlement program is just another step on the way to single payer.

  112. Stan says:

    @superdestroyer: If you begrudge poor people in Kentucky getting access to the kind of health care you can afford, you’re an even worse person than I thought.

  113. Mikey says:

    @george:

    Might be a good idea to start looking at how to go about that – there’s a lot of different models of public/private out there in the world

    Indeed there are, but if you listen to the GOP, they’re all Britain’s NHS. Nobody seems to know anything about Germany’s multi-payer universal system or France’s public/private partnership. They just bash a strawman, as if single-payer is the only possible model. It’s ridiculous.

  114. Rob in CT says:
  115. Pharoah Narim says:

    @superdestroyer: I would find the Kentucky governor taking action to improve the overall health of the one of the least healthy states in the union to be a wise course of action. Those of the kinds of things people elect politicians to do–fix problems Ideology is the shackle of idiots.

    Fool.

  116. bandit says:

    “That means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.

    Barack Lying POS Obama

  117. David M says:

    @bandit:

    The reason people are losing their plans is that the insurers have decided to end the plans and are blaming Obamacare.

  118. grumpy realist says:

    @bandit: May you have a history of cancer, be off health insurance, and then try to purchase it.

  119. Pharoah Narim says:

    @bandit: Soooooo….. you want the Gov’t to FORCE the insurance companies the continue Plans they no longer want to offer? Is that it?

    Freaking RINO, freedom hating, big gub’ment Liberal….

  120. Rob in CT says:

    The law does allow for plans that existed prior to a certain date (in 2010, IIRC) to be grandfathered in.

    Everybody knows this, right?

  121. David M says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Lazy news media seeing a “scandal”, GOP looking for anything to criticize about Obamacare, insurance companies blaming everything on Obamacare, etc. This isn’t really news.

  122. bill says:

    @Rob in CT: most people thought they knew it, but they changed the rules so that most don’t pass muster. it was a scam from the get go.

  123. Gomer says:

    @David M: exactly how have the GOP sabotaged the roll out?
    This was a White House own goal, but I must say too, that Democrats never take responsibility for their own failures.