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obamacare-bumpersticker-no-freedomThe headlines are simply appalling:

Pregnant woman loses her health insurance because of Obamacare”

Florida woman told her $50 health insurance will now cost $500 under Obamacare.”

Peter Sessions sends forth a Facebook entry: “While the Obama Administration publicly promised that Americans who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it, privately it knew that wasn’t true.”

The GOP knows the whining about a website’s faults only gets so much traction. As one commentator said, the average person can pretty much separate a faulty website from the value of an insurance plan.

So we have to move on. Now all we are hearing is that millions of people are losing their insurance unless they play 5, 10, 20 times what they paid before. All this after the president promised that we could keep plans we liked.

Okay, lets actually look at the FACTS.

obamacareDeath_Panel_protest_sign_2_croppedPresident Obama did say that if people were happy with their insurance they could keep it. In some instances he said “if you are happy with your employer insurance, you can keep it.”

Eighty percent of all those who are insured are insured through employer plans. So the President was accurate as to 80% of all insured people.

That means 20% are self-insured. Of those something between 40-60% have plans that meet federal standards or are grandfathered in. The latter accounts for the 20% discrepancy since the grandfathering aspect is a case by case situation depending on how stable the plan has been over time–if your plan fluctuates every year in terms of deductibles or so forth, it might not be grandfathered.

Let’s be fair and split the baby. Say 50% of all self-employed have policies that are acceptable. That means that now 90% of all insured people can have the policies they already have. The President is now 90% accurate.

That means that for 10% of insured, their cannot keep the insurance they have.

Why is that?

Quite simply, it’s because those policies are deemed to be sham policies by and large. They have exorbitant deductibles for instance, don’t cover pre-existing conditions, have annual limits or life-time limits, and don’t cover enough situations to make them considered real insurance. The “insurance” company has two options–to discontinue the policy or to improve it with presumably higher premiums.

Is that the end of it?

Certainly not. Every such person affected has the right to then go into the Affordable Health Care system and see what is available there. In most cases, they will end up with better coverage at equal if not less cost. That will not be true in all cases, but at least preliminarily from anecdotal information that has actually be investigated, it suggested that upwards of 60-70% of those people will end up with better policies at little or no additional costs and sometimes much cheaper.

Let’s look at some of the cases reported so far that I have heard of.

  • A well-known satirical writer from NY who is I would guess in his 30’s, says he went on the exchanges and ended up with a much better policy at a lower cost than he was paying.
  • Three people appeared on Sean Hannity and said they were losing their policies and would have no insurance they could afford because of Obamacare. One later admitted he had simply lied, none of his claims were true. The other two admitted that they had not sought to determine what they could get on the exchanges. When that was done for them, in front of them, based on the information they supplied, both were eligible for plans that were better than they had and at lower cost.
  • One man got a letter from his insurance company saying his plan would be cancelled. He went on the exchanges, and admits he found a better plan at a lower cost, but he is angry because he has the right to pay more for less if he wants to and no government has the right to step in and keep him from being an idiot (okay, he didn’t say the very last part).
  •  CBS News reports The Florida woman who was paying $50 and will have to pay $500? Start with she lives in Florida whose governor and state legislature are controlled by Republicans who have refused to extend Medicaid or set up exchanges. This story was reported on CBS Evening News. The reporter, Jan Crawford, didn’t bother to do any investigation. If she had, she would have learned that the woman in question had what Consumer Reports calls “junk” insurance. The policy doesn’t cover hospitalization of any type. It grants her $50 toward a doctor’s visit, $15  toward her prescriptions, and pays for lab tests. This is not insurance. The company clearly makes money, since nobody sees their doctor once a month or gets lab tests every month. This is similar to “prescription insurance” cards which pay some portion of any prescription you might have to get in the future. If you have a condition with monthly prescription renewals, you surely aren’t going to qualify. They want to make money, not pay it out. Further, with the Florida woman, there is no indication that she has even looked at the federal exchanges. The $500 premium is what is quoted from her “insurance” company for a policy that meets federal standards. With a bit of effort it was determined that this woman might well qualify for a full plan under AHCA at almost exactly what she was paying, but at worst (if her income were substantially higher, she could get a full plan for about $332.00.
  • Red State reported the pregnant woman story. They did not bother telling you the entire story. Again, the woman was paying $98 a month in California for “coverage”, of what we know nothing. Obviously it cannot be for much. It turns out that the woman cannot get subsidies because she and her husband (both lawyers) make in excess of $80,000 per year. Well, I’m terribly sorry but I fail to see why I should be heart-broken if two lawyers can’t afford something a bit more than $98 a month for a junk policy.
  • I can think of at least three other instances of people self-reporting that they got through the exchanges and discovered that they could get more coverage at lower rates than they were paying.

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Anecdotal evidence doesn’t prove much I admit. But most of these examples are from the Right. And they prove to be false.

It turns out that the vast vast majority of self-insured will come out the same, no different or better than they were before. A few percent will pay more we think. Some will be more than able to afford it.

The GOP has made this whole thing worse by its refusal to extend Medicaid in poor red states. And now they cry about the predictable outcome.

Just like they claim that the business is getting a years delay. Except the truth is that 6% of business is getting the delay. Not the other 94%.

It’s all lies, brought to you by those who are desperate to dismantle health care before everyone discovers the truth–it’s good for America. When people have that fact concretely in their brains, they will demand that the GOP stop blocking their right to health care. But the GOP prefers not to help solve the problems that exist, but only try to pretend that such problems will cause the end of America.

So are you hearing different? Let me know.

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