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Pipe dream? Obamacare
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 1858
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The WSJ gets it right!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The ObamaCare Awakening

Americans are losing their coverage by political design.
Oct. 29, 2013 7:35 p.m. ET

For all of the Affordable Care Act's technical problems, at least one part is working on schedule. The law is systematically dismantling the individual insurance market, as its architects intended from the start.

The millions of Americans who are receiving termination notices because their current coverage does not conform to Health and Human Services Department rules may not realize this is by design. Maybe they trusted President Obama's repeated falsehood that people who liked their health plans could keep them. But Americans should understand that this month's mass cancellation wave has been the President's political goal since 2008. Liberals believe they must destroy the market in order to save it.

***

Until this month, consumers who weren't insured through their jobs were allowed to buy insurance that provides the best value based on their own needs. One of every 10 private policies is sold through the individual market, covering about 7% of the U.S. population under age 65.

Some states have ruined this market through regulation and price controls, and in others costs can be high. But the individual market works well for millions of people, who can choose from many plans—from Cadillac coverage to cheaper protection against catastrophic illness.

The political problem for the White House is that these choices are a threat to ObamaCare. If too many people keep these policies instead of joining the government exchanges, ObamaCare could fail. HHS has thus reviewed the decisions of people in the individual market and found them wanting. HHS believes as a matter of political philosophy that everyone should have the same kind of insurance, and in the name of equity it wrote rules dictating the benefits that all plans must cover and how they must be financed.

In most cases these mandates are more comprehensive and thus more expensive than the status quo, but the ObamaCare refugees aren't merely facing higher costs. The plans they want and are willing to pay for have been intentionally outlawed. Ponder that one.

Liberals claim the new insurance should cost more because it's better, at least as defined by liberal paternalism. But the real reason they want policies to cost more is to drive as many people as possible out of this market and into the subsidized ObamaCare exchanges.

The exchanges need these customers to finance ObamaCare's balance sheet and stabilize its risk pools. On the exchanges, individuals earning more than $46,000 or a family of four above $94,000 don't qualify for subsidies and must buy overpriced insurance. If these middle-class ObamaCare losers can be forced into the exchanges, they become financiers of the new pay-as-you-go entitlement.

The political press corps is reporting this as a shocking discovery, and we suppose it is if you believed Mr. Obama's promises. NBC News even reports as a "scoop" that the White House knew all along that millions would lose their policies. But HHS's trail of purpose has been there for anyone willing to look.

The text of the Affordable Care Act said that none of its language "shall be construed to require that an individual terminate coverage" that existed as of March 23, 2010, or the date the law was enacted. But as early as June 2010 HHS published a regulation reinterpreting this "Preservation of Right to Maintain Existing Coverage" to obviate that promise.

Even minor policy changes, such as increasing a copay by as little as $5, means that a plan cannot be renewed without rewriting it to obey all of ObamaCare's regulations. In HHS's "regulatory impact analysis" published in the Federal Register, the department estimated that between 40% and 67% wouldn't qualify as a permitted plan, and this was the point—to prevent such policies "from being bought and sold as a commodity in commercial transactions." HHS knew that lightly regulated policies might be popular, especially compared to the restricted choices in the exchanges.

Next, HHS applied very prescriptive mandates to all plans, including those sold outside the exchanges. The law's 10 very broad categories of statutory benefits like hospitalization, prescription drugs or maternity care were construed so that 79.6% of current individual plans didn't meet the targets, according to HHS's own analysis. The rule even put floors under cost-sharing to prevent consumers from paying out of pocket.

HHS wrote that the purpose was to offer merely "a small number of meaningful choices." Letting people make tradeoffs for themselves "would have allowed extremely wide variation across plans in the benefits offered" and "would not have assured consumers that they would have coverage for basic benefits." Forced equity again trumped individual choice.

Hard to believe, but at the time liberals complained that this HHS "essential health benefits" rule wasn't restrictive enough. Pediatric services stop being required at age 19, not 21, and what about speech therapy, medical foods or lactation services?

Liberals needn't have worried. Once customers are herded into the exchanges, HHS has the power to further standardize benefits, further limit choices by barring certain insurers from selling through selective contracting, and generally police the insurers to behave like the government franchises they now are. The state-run exchanges in Vermont and the District of Columbia have already barred individual coverage outside their exchanges.

***

None of this is an accident. It is the deliberate result of the liberal demand that everyone have essentially the same coverage and that government must dictate what that coverage is and how much it costs. Such political control is the central nervous system of the Affordable Care Act, and it is why so many people can't keep the insurance they like.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304200804579163541180312658
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is exactly why BHO went out and said that it was those evil "bad apple insurance companies" are to blame for policies being cancelled. (another lie)

It's those shitty policies that underinsure hapless victims.

Well according to who? BHO?
Never mind that people love those limited policies that were free for any of us to choose from. Obamacare takes that freedom away, because BHO knows what's better for us that we do.
And also never mind that many of those limited policies were held by either young healthy people, and/or people who can afford to pay any extra to their doctors if needed.

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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5463

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blah, blah, blah. Haters can't help themselves.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5966

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NW30, have you decided to protest the government's anti-choice socialist ACA ploy and simply pay the penalty instead? Who needs a good comprehensive health insurance plan anyway, right? Think that you can float it and not get sick or have an accident until you get to Medicare?
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jpbassking



Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 2387
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those in favor of the ACA can rationalize it anyway they choose but you don't have to be a "hater" to see that it is costing people money in the worst economy in decades. The common perception on the street is that the dude lied thru his teeth to sell his plan to the American people.

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he didn't intend for this to happen but at this time that does seem to be a bit of a stretch.

I would love to see an argument against the wsj article as posted by NW. It certainly seems to hit the nail on the head.

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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5463

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joebassking:

A much more reasonable interpretation can be found on fact check, which is not kind to Obama, but doesn't spray spittle across the room like the WSJ and the standard spewing here. Here's the nub of it:

N
Quote:
one of this should be a surprise to our readers. We’ve been writing about these issues as far back as 2009, when the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) was being debated. In an Aug. 18, 2009, item — headlined “Keep Your Own Insurance? Not Everyone” — we cited a Congressional Budget Office projection that 3 million people covered by employer-provided insurance plans under current law would not be offered coverage.
The issue now getting attention is that the new law sets minimum standards for health insurance coverage, requiring, for example, that all health plans carry mental health benefits, prescription drug coverage, vaccinations, dental and vision care for children, maternity care for women, and more. Coverage also must be available to all regardless of preexisting medical conditions. In effect, this outlaws many existing “bare bones” plans that were cheap, but didn’t cover all (or any) of the required benefits and were available to mainly healthy persons. Those plans are now outlawed, and not all who had them welcome better insurance at greater cost.
The large majority of Americans are not affected by these changes, since they get their coverage through comprehensive employer plans or Medicare or other government programs. But about 15 million Americans, or 5 percent of the population, currently purchase coverage on their own, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. An insurance industry-sponsored analysis pointed out that the law — starting in 2014 — will push premiums in the individual market up for some, down for others.
The winners include older, less healthy persons. Those who were denied coverage before will now be able to obtain it. And those who had coverage, the industry analysis said, may see premiums go down. But young, currently healthy persons are now seeing premiums go up, and experiencing the “sticker shock” that recent news reports highlight. And they are the focus of recent reporting.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated as far back as November 2009 that — on average — rates would go up significantly in the individual market, by 10 percent to 13 percent. We reported on that any number of times.
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2407

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't be surprised if Obama did fudge the truth a bit. He's dealing with a very ignorant populace. They vote against their best interests all the time.
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jpbassking



Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 2387
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"A much more reasonable interpretation can be found on fact check, which is not kind to Obama, but doesn't spray spittle across the room like the WSJ and the standard spewing here. Here's the nub of it:"


Thank you Jim. Indeed softer wording without alluding to the hidden agenda of forcing insurers out of business and all of us into a single payer system.

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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4309

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Single payer is scary. Although, I'm sure congress and the ruling elite would find a better system for themselves. Because there seems to be so much more profit in the current system, I doubt the big insurance companies will let this system go away easily.

IOW's, they just struck it rich, while the vast little man is left holding the bag with higher premiums and higher deductibles. This is how they planned to afford the ACA.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5463

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JBK--I didn't read the Wall Street Journal article carefully at first. Somehow I fail to believe that any rag run by a man who believes that bribing the police is an acceptable way to sell newspapers, and dictates editorial policy on climate change that extends to news reporting, qualifies as journalism. Here the bias makes the article incredible.

I pretty much stop believing anything said at these slanderous comments:

Quote:
...President Obama's repeated falsehood that people who liked their health plans could keep them. But Americans should understand that this month's mass cancellation wave has been the President's political goal since 2008. Liberals believe they must destroy the market in order to save it.


It is axiomatic that any new human effort, whether law or commercial, has unforeseen consequences. But the thrust of the article is that the HHS wrote the regulations to force people out of coverage and move towards single payer. Several problems with this. First, no regulation can do more than implement the law as written, and interpret what Congress left to the administrative agency to interpret. The Reps and the insurance companies have followed the regulations carefully--as the system intends--and such a result of regulating beyond the law is simply impossible. Second, this is typical Republican anti-Obama spin. Take an anecdote and make it the whole story. The Fact Check article made it clear that the question here is the 5% of Americans who buy their own policies, and have coverage that is less than the minimum mandated. Presumably, there is something in the law that establishes a minimum level of coverage so that the poorly insured don't rely on emergency rooms for much of their coverage because they have a bare bones policy. This was heavily debated over the issue of covering contraception, so is not really a surprise.

There is no doubt that this entails a small loss of liberty--the liberty to be uninsured and take your chances. But that liberty, when applied to perhaps half of the 5% who chose their own policies before the ACA, restricts my liberty because I end up paying for a significant part of their coverage when it is written off by hospitals when they can't collect. A substantially more complicated and nuanced issue than the WSJ approach--but expecting journalism from the WSJ is like expecting a well reasoned argument with specific citations from Mike Fick.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 2028

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/10/31/the_chart_that_could_save_obamacare.html?google_editors_picks=true

Interesting pie chart. I, probably, could have been one of the 3 percent, but Colorado was proactive in requiring "Obamacare proof" plans ahead of time. So, my insurer actually cancelled my plan a couple years ago and forced me into a plan now grand fathered.

I am curious why others were not notified by their insurers a couple years ago that high deductible, catastrophic coverage plans would not be available. I was given ample notice and was able to shop for a new plan. Also, for some reason, I am still eligible for non-exchange policies offered by another insurance company.

I wonder how much of this will settle out.
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