If one more person suggests that the Mainstream Media is in the bag for the Democrats, I surely will flatten them with a left hook. The so-called “liberal media” has been relentless since the roll out of the Affordable Health Care Act, in pointing out all its flaws and shortcomings. It has repeatedly asked the question: “are these glitches portents of real issues in the law itself?” Yes, of course, the pimple on my nose is also directly related to the rainstorm that now threatens too. Please folks get a clue.
Meanwhile the EXTREME RIGHT has all its ducks in a row and is panting out the same refrain from radio and TV–this is a train wreck and it’s just as we predicted. This can’t be fixed! The President lied! Millions are losing their insurance! Millions are facing huge increases in premiums!
Suddenly the awful healthcare system in this country, one that does just fine for the wealthy but barely exists for the poor, is being touted as the “best health delivery system in the world!” It ain’t. People who are not rich but are well enough off routinely travel to other countries for a variety of procedures that can be done cheaper with every bit as good an outcome. It’s called medical tourism. And whatever they might try to tell you, people are not leaving Canada, Britain and a host of European countries, all in some attempt to escape “socialized” medicine in those countries.
Yes the Website for the healthcare exchanges is bad, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was. Was that inexcusable? Certainly. Shame on them all. Has anyone been harmed by the delay? Not a single soul as far as I know. Today, you can negotiate the site fairly easily. When I tried to continue my enrollment and found that the information input was not taking properly, a phone call to the 800 number (which was answered promptly and involved a wait of only two minutes) provided an answer within five minutes and I am ready to reset and try again.
Much has been made about all these people getting cancellation notices from their insurance companies. Somehow this is making Obama out to be a liar. He is not, quite plain and simple. Let me make this as clear as can be:
- Company policies that were in place BEFORE the ACA became law, are grandfathered in. Many of these were and are substandard policies, not covering major catastrophic needs, but they are grandfathered in nonetheless.
- Policies that were issued AFTER the ACA became law, are required to be “brought up to standards”.
- There was, therefore EVERY reason on earth for the President to tell people that for those who had EXISTING policies, they could keep them. This did ASSUME that they were grandfathered policies for WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY WOULD ISSUE SUBSTANDARD POLICIES AFTER THE ACA PASSED KNOWING THEY WOULD BE GOOD FOR ONLY ONE YEAR?
- How was the President to conclude that those policies issued BEFORE the ACA would be cancelled? And that in many cases, insurance companies would run the following scam: Hi, you insurance is being cancelled because it doesn’t meet the ACA standards to go into effect Oct 1, 2013. Here are some new plans you can buy from us that are up to the new standards (all at much higher prices). If we don’t hear from you, we will continue your coverage under a new compliant plan at this new price. (no mention that you might find better coverage at lower cost on the exchanges).
- Insurers create and drop plans all the time, and they continue to do so. Is the President responsible for this process and do people have a right to hold him accountable just because their insurance was cancelled due to the usual alternations conducted by the insurers? Surely most people have had their insurance cancelled at one time or another. This is not the President’s fault, but the fault of companies who are always playing the numbers and when you seem ripe for a claim, they are doing their best to cancel you before that happens.
- The cancellations are being sent out to approximately 5% of all people who are self-insured. Most people are not self-insured by are covered through employer programs, or medicare/Medicaid. Of these some 3% will end up when all the dust has settled with premiums higher than they had before for substantially the same coverage. Those are pretty darn good numbers, even though in the individual circumstance they might be painful. In most cases, they will occur to people who can afford the increase.
To all those who are so filled with hate for Obama that you would rather eat nails than get cheaper and better health care? Well, I have one answer. Keep your fake insurance or get none at all. But the FAIR thing to do is to pass a law exempting medical expenses from bankruptcy. Then when you get hit by a bus, you can pay your fair bill from the hospital and not stick the rest of us with your treatment. Capish? I mean, you don’t want to be one of those awful “takers” do ya?
PS: On an anecdotal note: I got into two conversations on Facebook with “Obamacare disaster victims”. In both cases (one over 70, the other in their 90′s), neither wanted Medicare and were unhappy because their insurance companies wanted a lot more money to keep insuring them. Cry me a river. Seriously.
- Dean Baker: Obamacare isn’t cancelling your plan – your insurance company is though (eoionline.org)
- No, Obama Didn’t Lie to You About Your Health Care Plans (alternet.org)
- President’s Insurance Announcement Keeps Eyes on the Prize (huffingtonpost.com)
- The President’s Fix and How Insurance Companies Will Still Be Able to Screw People (thedailybanter.com)
- Obama Dares Insurance Companies to Put Up or Shut Up (motherjones.com)
- What the Obamacare fix does, and how it could be better (dailykos.com)
- No, You Can’t Keep Your Insurance (yourfaceispolitics.wordpress.com)