Obamacare confession.

This is my father’s facebook status from last night:

The hammer has dropped. The sky has fallen. I have been a staunch defender of the ACA. I have defended Nancy Pelosi’s much maligned (and taken out of context by the right) statement to pass it so we would know what was in it.

Well.

Today, I got a letter from my current insurance company inviting me to call them and find out what the exchange could do for me. The letter informed me that I could keep my current $600 per month, $10,000 deductible policy since it is grandfathered in, or I could get a new policy starting Jan. 1.

For a total of $105 per month, I will be able to get a new silver policy. My current policy equal to a bronze. For a total of $300 per month, I will be able to get a gold policy. The higher your metal, the lower your deductible, your copay, and the higher the drug benefit.

So, instead of $7200 per year for catastrophic insurance for Carol and I, plus paying out about $10,000 out of pocket each year due to the high deductible and pre-existing conditions………we will pay either $1200 or $3600 per year for a damned sight better coverage and much fewer out of pocket expenses.

So, for all the conservatives who have been desperately straining for years to scare me out of this, and to the Republicans in the House who have voted 37 times to repeal the ACA……kiss my country ass. You’re a bunch of lying, fear mongering and ignorant demagogues, and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Ayup.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Andrew Beals

    <3

    If the conservatives were so against public health care, then why didn't they give up their single-payer plan?

    • Zinc Avenger

      Because it CANNOT BE SEEN TO WORK.

      It is better that a million children die of preventable causes than one insurance company CEO buy a slightly smaller seventh yacht.

      Or, worse yet, that the Republican GOVERNMENT=BAD narrative be shown to be anything but pure and holy Truth.

  • Heina Dadabhoy

    Although I supported the ACA, it was only because I thought it was better than no change at all; I was actually rather pessimistic about anything getting significantly better. I’m thrilled to be proven wrong about this (:

    • islandbrewer

      I totally agree. The ACA was an important first step, but it’s just a bandaid on the worst of the bleeding.

      I hope, after people see that health care in the US still isn’t fixed, that more steps will be taken for a comprehensive solution. We need to move healthcare a mile, the ACA moved it a foot or two.

      • Robyn Kern

        Yes but without it we would not have even gotten started, it a beginning…it will progress.

        • Jeane Marie Carlson

          Yes, unfortunately it will progress…into us losing our freedoms, choices & death panels.Hope it was worth it.

          • Zinc Avenger

            What is a death panel?

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            “Death panels” is when the gov’t decides if an ailment is worth treating. Taking into consideration the patients age, disabilities ect. From our own presidents mouth: http://moneyrunner.blogspot.com/2009/08/taking-pain-pill-and-dying-in-obamas.html

          • James Wilk

            After 18 years of medical practice, the only “death panels” I’ve experienced are the private insurance companies. The capitalist free-market health care delivery system is one big death panel. I’m board certified in internal medicine and a professor at a medical school. What are your credentials, Ms. Carlson?

          • Jaci Roland

            I freakin love you.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Well not that it matters but I’m a caregiver for the elderly. I need to have credentials for an opinion? I agree the private insurance companies are far from perfect but gov’t intervention is jumping out of the frying pan into the pot of boiling water. The millions Obama has already taken from Medicare to pay for Obamacare is greatly effecting my clients quality of care. It pains me to see them forgotten & suffering as if they don’t matter anymore. How do you defend the following, Obama’s own words: http://moneyrunner.blogspot.com/2009/08/taking-pain-pill-and-dying-in-obamas.html

          • Zinc Avenger

            Yeah! Keep government hands off medicare! Defend medicare against socialism!

          • Grace Vega

            My friend, the Medicare system is actually a form of socialism on its own. If we worked under a purely democratic, capitalist system there would be no Medicare as certainly the money that you and I pay into the system does not fully cover all of the costs of administering it and it is being administered by the government, rather than private entities.

          • Zinc Avenger

            I apologize for leaving the sarcasm tags off my comment. :)

          • AttilatheBlond

            hard to satirize the right. you quoted some of the actual signs we’ve seen them carry at their snit-fit-fests

          • gramiam44

            Oh, good! You aren’t the flake I thought you were!

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I agree.

          • AttilatheBlond

            it goes right over their heads, as you know

          • gramiam44

            Here I thought we were the Greatest Generation. Looks like some of us just don’t want to pay any attention to facts.

          • Byo

            So Ms Jeane is an LPN or RN(definitely not an MD) and that qualifies her as an expert in the decrease in quality of care of “her patients” on medicare. She does not tell us how.

            All she has done is repeat the pablum and misinformation from some right wing rag!

          • AttilatheBlond

            could be nurses’ aid or basic care giver like that.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I never said I was an expert Byo. James Wilk wanted to know what I was so I told him. These are just my opinions. I don’t understand the hostility.

          • Bob Gilbert

            The hostility is because you’re stating opinions as fact, and your opinions have been proven both unfounded and irrelevant. You’re afraid, and fear is a powerful motivator. We fear what we do not understand, and hate what we fear. Read the bill for yourself, there’s no mention of any death panels, and no mention of any service cuts.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            It may benefit you to check out The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) established under Obamacare to “contain” Medicare costs.

          • Serena Swenbeck-Flanders

            Im thinking a “nanny sitter.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/psychedelikrelik Kristen Scott

            More likely she is a nurse’s aide. If she was an RN, you can bet she would’ve pointed that out.

          • gramiam44

            Jeane, again you have played fast and loose with facts. Medicare made cuts in the program but only to providers for redundant or unnecessary programs, not to beneficiaries. We who receive Medicare now enjoy a variety of benefits such as mammograms and other health screenings without having to pay co-pays. When you live on a fixed income, as I do, this is a major help.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            It has effected Nursing homes, when they can take people, how much they charge, ect. Also, a dear client & friend was denied physical therapy directly because of cuts. This is what they told her. She is 86 & still has her complete mind but is on the verge of not walking on her own because of back pain(possible arthritis). Too bad for her right. She’s too old…too far gone. Denied. I am truly happy you have not progressed this far in your golden years & wish you many more years of good health….And I’m happy your mammograms are paid for….

          • Magoo

            I believe the pain you are feeling at your Nursing Homes is due to the cuts that were demanded by the Republicans to pay our bills during the fight over the debt ceiling. Its is the same reason my mothers pay has been cut by 1/5… Because the republicans demanded it or they would ruin the whole economy.

          • James Teasdale

            Absolutely Magoo. Jeane has been listening to Fox News where they take what the republicans are doing and make it sound like it’s the democrats and President Obama at fault.

          • Leslie

            Incorrect. Payments to nursing homes have been cut, and people I know who have received therapy through Medicare have been told the number of sessions they may have has been cut down.

          • James Teasdale

            This is a republikkon issue. It’s another shell game that you’ve absorbed from Fox News. Blaming democrats for what the republicans are doing is an ongoing charade….

          • Leslie

            1) I don’t watch Fox.

            2) This is fact, and totally non-partisan.

          • smrnda

            As if this *never happened* before Obamacare. Insurance companies never denied anyone a useful treatment because they wanted to make money.
            Totally, it’s only a mean-spirited Obama who hates old people.

          • Stephanie Honsey Pirsig

            Thank you Dr. James.

          • dddfaber

            I freakin love you, too.

          • Zinc Avenger

            Please explain the difference between your concept of “death panels” and the concept of an insurance company dropping “unprofitable” customers to die of treatable diseases.

            The difference I see is that one exists in your head, the other you will defend to the death.

          • Rainwarrior

            Then by your definition of death panels, the insurance companies have been doing that for years. Everytime they deny coverage or drop you or increase your rates because of a condition. What are you afraid of??

          • Guest

            ooooooooo….a blog! Such a reliable source. Are. Patient’s, etc., president’s…..That is more than one typo.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Umm…It’s not a blog…It is a clip of the President speaking. You obviously didn’t watch it. You’d rather attack than educate yourself. What are you scared of?

          • Kathryn

            It is the same as decisions made DAILY about organ recipients – a heart b

          • Kathryn

            There are life and death choices made every day with organ recipients. A heart becomes available, 50 people match, only 1 person may receive it and someone makes those decisions. My sisters and I made the decision to put my parents on hospice care, NOT because we wanted the, to die – death was inevitable – but because there was no point in the rushed trips to the hospital or dr appointments. They were 88, very ill and they deserved to die with dignity.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Yes…And…? Surely this is not an argument for the government to start making these decisions for us.

          • smrnda

            You mean the private sector actually likes to hear our input?

            We could probably afford better care for the elderly *and* get more coverage to more people if the taxes on the wealthy were restored to the rates under Eisenhower.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            The rich pay 70% of the taxes. How much more would you have them pay?

          • Bob Nelson

            And how much of the wealth of the country do they control? 95%? Explain to me why Mitt Romney paid 17% on income of 70 million, and I pay 21% on 53 thousand? When Eisenhower was President (in the golden age of the 1950′s) the top rate was 78% and capital gains rate was 38% Was the country impoverished because of that?

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Capital gains tax & income tax are 2 different things. I would LOVE to see your tax rate go down!

          • James Teasdale

            Absolutely inaccurate…….again…

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            How about a share proportional to the amount of wealth they own?

            In 2007, the top 1% owned 34.6% of the wealth in the US. The next 4% owned 27.3%. That means the top 5% own 61.9% of everything in the US. The top 20% (which is the group we call “the wealthy”) owns 85.1% of the wealth in the US. It’s only gotten more unequal since then.

            So let’s raise that 70% of revenue to 85.1%, or reduce the distribution to only 70%.

          • JW

            At least half of all Americans work at a job where their company is taxed as a “rich person”.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            You make no sense. Corporations are taxed at entirely different rates. Corporations aren’t taxed as rich people at all, because they aren’t people.

            In 2010, corporate income tax provided a whopping 9% of US revenue. Income tax (42%) and payroll tax (40%) provided the lion’s share of US government revenue.
            -http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/numbers/revenue.cfm

            I chose to accept Jeane Marie Carlson’s numbers. I didn’t double check them myself.

          • JW

            There are at least two kinds of corporations, S corps and C corps. C corps have a board of directors and maybe shareholders. (There are also LLCs, but I know little about those.)

            S corps file with Form 1040 and Schedule E.
            http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/S-Corporations

            There is a different form for corporate income which C corps use:
            http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Corporations

            S corps are made when a person or a couple takes their personal assets and/or their name (i.e. get a loan) and use that to start a business. The IRS considers everything the business owns to belong to them personally, even though they keep separate books and everything. In S corps, the owner(s) risk their personal assets and names to keep the company going and there employees employed (there is no ‘golden parachute’ here); they may sign personal guarantees of loans in the course of their business.

            The assets they have which make them ‘rich’ are company assets, some of them tied up in company real estate. The liquid ones will typically be spent on bonuses and employee welfare or on the next project or expanding the business, i.e. benefits and jobs.

            There is a study which shows that if you give corporations tax breaks, (over?) 90% of it goes directly to employees in the form of benefits and wages. I don’t think that one is limited to small businesses.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            I know the difference between S and C corps, yes. I’ve even registered an S corp awhile back, though it didn’t wind up going anywhere.

            Corporate profits wouldn’t be taxed if spent on other things like salaries and office space. It is only corporate profit, not revenue, that gets taxed. Cutting tax rates on businesses just means the small businesses don’t see much gain while the big ones inflate their profits even more.

            Given the behavior we see today (Caterpillar sitting on billions in profit this last quarter yet forcing a two-tier pay scheme on employees, fast food employees being paid sub-living wages while the companies earn record profits, etc), do you really think any additional money would go to the worker if corporate tax rates were cut? It would go into dividends for shareholders and CEO compensation.

          • JW

            That doesn’t make any sense, sorry. S corps are not taxed at the corporate rate: they are taxed at the personal rate. Check out the link that I added above or look it up yourself.

            I have to get some sleep now, goodnight.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Yes, S corps are taxed at the personal rate. I see I didn’t make it clear enough above. Sorry about that. However, they are still only taxed on net profit, not revenue; my income tax is only based on how much money I earned above expenses, not how much I brought in total.

            Cutting corporate rates does nothing for S corps. It only helps C corps, which tend to be the really giant ones. Those don’t need any help. If an S corp business is earning over $500,000/yr in profit, it can damned well afford to pay higher than a 35% max rate, same as a person earning that much (which, effectively, is what is happening).

            G’night.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            How about spending half of the energies you use to extort money from your fellow citizens, & go after big gov’t wasting our money on: To determine if cocaine makes Japanese quail engage in sexually risky behavior, funding research on video games such as World of Warcraft, digitizing photos, T-Shirts & concert tickets belonging to the grateful dead, ect…..Do you actually think the gov’t will say “Oh ok, great, that’s enough money. We don’t need anymore from you.” ? No, they will always find something to waste it on, so they can keep collecting to make it bigger & control more.

            How does bringing down the rich help you? Who do you think employs you, uses your services, buys the products we produce? The rich are rich for a reason. They “get it”. Hard work, using money wisely & getting it to work for them. Taking risks in the Land of Opportunity. You don’t think one day they’ll just shrug, close their doors & back away taking their money w/ them.? This is already happening because they are in the position to DO it!

            How about spending those energies on making yourself successful & those around you who “get it”. Get that we live in the Land of Opportunity. The land where everyday people risk their lives to arrive here & take advantage of it.

          • Kathryn

            Really? That is how you understood my comment? I am saying that what te far right are calling death panels are a crock,but that decisions as to who lives or dies are already made daily. Because more than one person cannot use an organ such as a heart, a decision must be made as to whom the recipient will be. If another organ does not become available, presumably the person(s) who did not get the organ will die.

            And if you think medical professionals arethe only ones who making these decisions, I am here to tell you that you are sadly mistaken. Non-medical people at insurance companies approve or deny procedures every day. I worked for physicians for years getting approvals (denials) for procedures (not easy). Later I had to deal with the insurance companies to secure payment for procedures pre-approved and performed and subsequently denied. If I could not get that denial overturned, the insurance company sends a lettetto their subscriber saying, “we changed our minds. You are going to have to pay that $30,000.00 for your surgery on your own. Good thing for our patients that I was good at my job.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I am aware of all this Kathryn but thank you.

          • Sappho

            Death panel is the accountants at for profit insurance companies who deny you treatment to increase their profit margin. However, Jeane has indeed been brainwashed by FOX news. The FACTS of people’s premiums coming down for better coverage and formerly uncovered people getting coverage are not going to deter her. She knows the truth, don’t confuse her with the facts.

          • http://www.facebook.com/psychedelikrelik Kristen Scott

            It’s “losing,” genius. Squawk, parrot, squawk!

          • Zinc Avenger

            Shh! Don’t scare her! She hasn’t told me what a death panel is! Update: She told me what a death panel is. I am now enlightened.

          • southernfriedlibrul

            All you really need to know about our friend Jeane can be found on her Facebook profile in the Likes section under “TV Shows.” The only entry is Fox “News”.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Great thanks Kristen. Another point proven by Liberals. If you can’t argue on merit, insult them.

          • James Teasdale

            You lost this argument long before being insulted. The insult seems proper payment for your total stupidity…

          • Gerald Knowles

            you are one kooky kookster

          • James Wilk

            And you, who do not even know the difference between “lose” and “loose,” are some sort of expert on health care policy financing?

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I’m so happy for you that you’ve never made a spelling error. You must be some kind of man. Typical, if you can’t argue on merit then insult them. Point made. Have a good day.

          • Matthew

            @Jeanne..
            Hunty…they’ve all argued on merit – you brought up typical right-wing nonsense propaganda and you can’t provide supporting evidence.

            Please read a book, get an education – and until you do, please don’t breed!!

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            You’ve misspelled my name. What’s a “Hunty” ? & thanks again for the unnecessary insult. Have a good day Matthew.

          • rayb_baby

            You don’t even know what merit is! You’re little brainwashed head thinks it only comes from the right wing. I’ll bet you didn’t even read the first comment by “thisishabitforming” after the article that YOU posted. Your hero 1/3 term governor dropout Sarah Barracuda’s “death panels” has been debunked from the beginning, but you just CAN’T let go. Go away and get a life until you can PROVE your point, which you’ll NEVER be able to.

          • dddfaber

            Wow Jeane. Keep on keeping on – now that you’ve said it (again, for the millionth time), yes NOW we believe it. Geesh, what a hoot.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I’m just defending. Ya’ll can stop anytime. It takes 2 to tango. Or in my case 30 to 1. LOL :)

          • baal

            Massachusetts has not had a loss in freedom, choice or death panels. I don’t think the same plan with grow those problems by going national.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Yeah, Romney did a good job.

          • southernfriedlibrul

            And, irony of ironies, Obamacare is nearly identical to the plan supported by Romney in Massachusetts. Now what, Jeane? You’ve just undercut your own (incredibly uninformed) opinion.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            LOL, was kinda being a smart aleck on that one but let’s explore further: 70 pages total of Romneycare including no penalties for employers.

            2074 pages of obamacare including employer penalties. Romney balanced the state’s budget first, then passed healthcare law.No cuts to Medicare benefits.

            Obama cut 500 billion from medicare & taxes went up about the same. Overall cost…still climbing.

            Romney:A state solution to a state problem.

            Obama: Federal gov. “one-size-fits-all” plan

            Does not take into account that each state is unique in important ways such as:

            1)Vastly different debt levels between states (some states can’t afford new spending on health care)

            2)Some states have three times the percentage of uninsured citizens (Much greater costs will be imposed on states with a larger percentage of uninsured citizens.”

          • smrnda

            Obama could balance the budget, if he were allowed to raise taxes on high earners. Taxes have not to my knowledge increased under Obama – in fact, most figures I’ve seen put them at historic lows.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Well he has raised taxes on tobacco, & Tanning Salons. Not to mention starting in 2014 those of us who choose to not buy health insurance have to pay a tax. This increases year after year. Also, this is the year the “rich” will be taxed more, 2013. A lot of people will feel this April 2014 when they are preparing their 2013 returns.

          • Leslie

            He already raised taxes on high earners.

          • Loqi

            Romney: A state solution to a state problem

            Obama: A federal solution to a federal problem

            I’ve never understood why we break things down to states. It’s completely arbitrary.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Then perhaps you need to think a little longer.

          • Loqi

            Please, break it down for me. Is it because different states have different populations? Because different parts of states have different populations as well. Why not break it down to counties? Or cities? Or families? If the idea is the smaller the group the more effective the solutions, why do we have states?

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            1)Vastly different debt levels between states (some states can’t afford new spending on health care)

            2)Some states have three times the percentage of uninsured citizens (Much greater costs will be imposed on states with a larger percentage of uninsured citizens.”

          • Loqi

            But the same can be said for areas of states. Some counties can afford more than other counties. Some counties have three times the percentage of uninsured citizens. Why draw the line at states?

          • Leslie

            Insurance is not based on the County you live in.

          • MaeBelle Barger

            Way to go Jeane Carlson….I’ve lost 2 doctors and our cancer centers no longer take Medicare patients…All due to the high cost of implementing the plan and lower reimbursements….Obamacare will cost us all much, much more in the next few years when its fully implemented. I am opposed to government intervention in my health care any more than it already is with medicare…Just wait till all the illegals get free coverage…watch the cost soar and the services go down…

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Bless your heart MaeBelle Barger. You look so nice. I almost wish you didn’t agree w/ me. They will pound you in the ground on this site. I’ve been called everything but a child of God on here. Haha. Stay positive. Take care!

          • Adam J. Reizner

            Jeane I have friends that lived in Massachusetts under Governor Romney. They refer to it as Taxachussetts. He balanced the budget by increasing “fees” rather than increasing taxes. He balanced the budget in the traditional republican way. On the backs of the middle and lower class. How you balance a budget is as important as if it is balanced.

            Arithmetic was never Mitt’s strongest area of expertise outside of how much debt he could load onto an acquired company in order to line his pockets while making said company unsustainable.

          • baal

            I don’t see that Obama or the fedgov with suck as RomneyCare any worse than he did. I do get that it’s a bigger scale but the FEDGOV already exists on that scale.

          • AttilatheBlond

            only real “death panels” were insurance company accountants & lawyers constantly abusing paying clients by contriving ways to deny claims and treatment. Get facts instead of the fear-mongering lies the blogger’s father wrote about.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            You think the gov’t will be any different? You may want to check out this link, straight from our President’s mouth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-dQfb8WQvo

          • Bob Nelson

            Jeane Marie, I watched the video link you provided of the woman’s Mother who at age 99 was given a pacemaker paid for by MEDICARE, that you may remember is a GOVERNMENT program, funded by all taxpayers. So it seems you are against one form of government intervention but quite in favor of another. Have I got that right?

          • B Walters

            The point is you won’t HAVE to buy from the government; you can buy from any insurance company. The rates are going down, down, down due to the competition.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Buying from the gov’t is not the point. They already have their hand in everything. And if we CHOOSE to not buy insurance, we pay a FINE. OUR rates have not gone down AND I’m about ready to be dropped from my husband’s work insurance because the company can not afford all the Bullshit going on with all the gov’t Mandates!

          • Mary

            I suggest you look for info on government subsidies. Also it looks like the government has once again postponed the employer mandate for another year so you may not be dropped at this point. As far as a fine goes, I believe the first year you would only pay a small fine.

            You also should understand that since this program is not fully implemented that the prices may not be going down real fast at this point. The prices depend on several factors, but the main things have to do with competition between insurance companies plus the number of healthy young people who join the pool (the young “invincibles.”) When healthier people join then the cost goes down for everyone.

            By the way the same principles would apply with employers who buy from the exchange. They should be paying LESS for insurance for their employees. I even read a post from a business owner who was HAPPY with the fact that he would be paying less. So I am a bit confused about what the fuss is all about. Or is this a smokescreen so they can just get out of paying for any kind of insurance?

            I would encourage you to do some research on what your options may be. I am not an expert, I am just passing on some of the info that I have come across. Government sites should have the best info.

            And please don’t worry about death panels. That is just a rumor. What coverage you have will be between you and your insurance company as it has always been.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            The fine goes up year after year Mary.

            And why exactly are they postponing this, if it’s so damned wonderful for everyone? (Conveniently after the next election)

            You’re confused as to how this will negatively affect employers?! Companies: The Fresh Diet … ” it will be negative. Health care costs are way too expensive for us to offer to our employees. We will probably just pay the fines in 2014.” Black Label, “If we were to grow to over 50 employees, the high costs and lack of tax credits would likely hinder our growth.” (Therefore gov’t encouraging businesses not to grow & employ more people!) Metal Mafia, “. I feel the policy itself needs to be re-worked…” Peppercom,” …small business owners, in particular, are being burdened with excessive costs.” Shall I go on?

            For now, it’s between us & our health care provider or insurance company, For Now. The way things are set up, leads to full gov’t takeover. Even Democrats admit to this. Anything else & you’re deluding yourself.
            All I know, is I’ve worked for the gov’t before & was shocked & appalled by how unorganized, wasteful & corrupt it is. The right hand never knew what the left hand was doing. And when I vocalized my concerns & offered solutions to save tax payer money, I was looked at like I had a 3rd eye. Even someone asked me “Why do you care?” Cripes!! Stay the hell away from my health care.

          • Kohoutek

            Jeane Marie, this is a free market plan that leaves private health care intact. This is not socialized medicine, but a plan originally written by Republicans!

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I don’t give a CRAP who wrote it. A bad idea is a bad idea.
            It’s quite genius the way it is set up. Because uniformed people who don’t actually read the plan & figure out how this will affect the insurance companies among other entities down the road, are oblivious to how this will turn into socialized medicine. They did it this way on purpose. “The People” would NEVER let a gov’t take their freedoms away all at once. But gradually… we wouldn’t be the first country to fall for this.
            And for the record, no the Republicans did Not originally write this. They were responsible for the individual mandate part of it.

            “It was the individual mandate that Republicans touted as a “personal responsibility” pushback to President Clinton’s healthcare reform efforts in the ’90s…

            The individual mandate that was backed by Republicans from Richard Nixon to Mitt Romney as a free-market solution to controlling healthcare costs–until it was incorporated into healthcare reform by President Obama.”

          • Kohoutek

            Well, you don’t give a crap about anything, including facts, so enjoy being a sulking malcontent. It’s going to happen, so get your bottles of vitriol in a row and your undies in a bunch, you rude little woman.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            So if you can’t debate someone w/ thought and actuality, insult them. Got it.

          • Mary

            Jean,

            Obama may have been unprepared and clumsy in what he said but keep in mind that first of all she was on Medicare and the question had nothing to do with ACA but rather about new Medicare provisions (which I link to below) It is a fact of life that most doctors are reluctant to perform surgery on older people. That doesn’t mean that they are on a “death panel’ My 85 year old Dad has developed heart problems but because of his advanced age there is no point in doing any kind of surgical intervention. In this woman’s case Medicare did pay and that is good, someone of her longevity would probably already be in better shape than many seniors anyway.

            To address some of the rumors about euthanaisa I suggest you read this:

            “Obama, Aug. 11: The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for “death panels” that will basically pull the plug on grandma … this arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end-of-life care, setting up living wills, the availability of hospice, et cetera. So the intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they’re ready, on their own terms. It wasn’t forcing anybody to do anything. This is I guess where the rumor came from.”
            I’ll let you read the rest here as it gives a more detailed explanation:
            http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/palin-vs-obama-death-panels

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            My name is Jeane Marie & I never said anything about euthanasia.

            The question had everything to do w/ ACA. It was presented to Obama, asking what would’ve happened to her Mother under Obamacare.

            Your link from the left leaning site is useless.

            It may benefit you to check out The Independent Payment
            Advisory Board (IPAB) established under Obamacare to “contain” Medicare costs.

            Rattner, one of Obama’s top advisor & donor wrote an Opinion piece in the New York Times you also may want to check out. “…conceded that the rationing of health services under Obamacare is “inevitable”.” Rattner advocated that such rationing should target elderly patients, while stating, “We need death panels.” “… they are inescapable.”
            Doctors are NOT reluctant to perform surgery on older people. My Father is a Dr. & this is bunk! If it can help them. then they DO IT, after, of course, explaining the risks, as with Every surgery.
            If your Father, bless him, does not want the surgery, Then Fine! That is his decision. I hope when You drift into your golden years, you have someone to fight for your life & we all still have a Choice. I wish you & your Father the best of health, happiness & Freedom.

          • Mary

            Jean Marie,

            First of all, you are correct that this does have to do with ACA. I did not realize that it would have oversight over Medicare.

            Also so many people I have encountered do believe that ACA has a provision for euthanasia so frankly I figured you did too. My mistake.

            However, Rattner is not Obama’s advisor anymore and this was an opinion piece CRITISIZING Obama:

            “Most notably, President Obama’s estimable Affordable Care Act regrettably includes severe restrictions on any reduction in Medicare services or increase in fees to beneficiaries”

            So, he was ACKNOWLEDGING that there WERE NO “death panels” Again he was just giving an opinion.

            The Independent Payment Advisory Board would be for helping control costs with Medicare by eliminating wasteful spending (something that Republicans cry for ALL THE TIME). They are not allowed to do this:

            “But the Independent Payment Advisory Board will not ration care. The board is specifically prohibited by law from:

            Rationing care

            Raising taxes or premiums

            Increasing cost-sharing

            Restricting benefits or modifying eligibility”

            There is another point that others have said on here, health care is ALREADY rationed by the insurance companies! One of their favorite tricks is to drop people for pre-existing conditions which is prohibited under ObamaCare.

            As far as my Dad is concerned, getting surgery would not significantly extend his life. Doctors all the time make decisions based on age and overall health status. When my mother got pancreatic cancer it was advanced enough that the doctor did not recommend that she get surgery, chemo and radiation.

            What this boils down to is that you want to believe rumors instead of facts. Good luck with that. Worrying about problems that do not exist significantly reduces your lifespan. You won’t even have to worry about possible “death panels” with the way you are going.

          • James Teasdale

            Bingo!

          • gramiam44

            Still sipping at the Kool-Aid much?

          • Michael Dunn

            Death Panels? LMFAO
            Freedoms? Those have been taken away long before Obamacare came into being. Of course, I am not happy that our President chose to continue many of Bush the lessers policies.
            That being said. Type-1 diabetic for 42 years paying $1,400 per month in premiums. With the ACA it is now $650 or so with the same doctors that I’ve had forever.

          • Loqi

            Death panels are totally real things! I know, I’m on the Board of Granny Killing. I select the people who will be the death panelists. Of course, I select HUSSEIN Obama for every single seat on the panel because I hate freedom.

          • David Starkey

            Want to keep your job?
            ONLY KILL REPUBLICRITE GRANNYS

          • smrnda

            Yeah, the freedom I had to die because of a pre-existing condition which makes me not a good person to take for the bottom line , the ‘choice’ in getting a shitty plan your employer picks, and ‘death panels’ – when you aren’t rich and privileged enough to get coverage.

            Every other industrialized country has some form of national health care, and not only do they not have ‘death panels’ but their health outcomes tend to be superior from those in the states with lower costs. So far I haven’t heard of anyone in any other nation facing ‘death panels’

            What freedom does the market give anyone? You get to have terms dictated to you by people who just want to make money who could care less about your health.

          • Loqi

            Every other industrialized country has some form of national health care, and not only do they not have ‘death panels’ but their health outcomes tend to be superior from those in the states with lower costs. So far I haven’t heard of anyone in any other nation facing ‘death panels’

            Not fair, you’re using reality in your argument!

          • smrnda

            I also forgot that some nations like North Korea probably have death panels, but according to some conservatives we’re already *exactly like North Korea* for some reason.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            My husband’s Mother & extended family live in Vienna Austria. She had a pretty serious surgical procedure not too long ago. They tried to send her home the next day! Along w/ some other troubling gov’t money saving tactics.
            There is all kinds of things you can do if you don’t want or can’t afford insurance. I’ve lived years w/out it. For instance, 40% off the bill if you simply tell them no insurance. Set up payments. And if things get real tough their are all kinds of funds/grants that can help if you get too far behind. Freedom to call your own shots w/ YOUR Health.

          • Loqi

            There is all kinds of things you can do if you don’t want or can’t afford insurance. I’ve lived years w/out it. For instance, 40% off the bill if you simply tell them no insurance. Set up payments. And if things get real tough their are all kinds of funds/grants that can help if you get too far behind. Freedom to call your own shots w/ YOUR Health.

            Unless, like me, you have a severe and permanent spinal condition. Then you just have the freedom to be bankrupt and paralyzed.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I’m very sorry to hear about your condition. Why are you not on disability?

          • Loqi

            To clarify, I’m not paralyzed, but I probably should be. I wasn’t supposed to be walking by the time I turned 20. Thankfully, I was quite lucky and the degeneration slowed, allowing me to finish school and get a good job. I have bad days or weeks when I cannot stand or sit up, but because I work at an insurance and health care company, I’ve got the best medical care available. I’m a software developer, so I can be mostly immobile and still work, and I have enough income that I can afford to absorb some medical bills. As for being on disability, I was earlier this year when I couldn’t work, but it runs out pretty quickly, and I managed to accrue some $40,000 in medical bills in February alone, so the pittance that disability provides didn’t really help much. I know there are people out there who are in a similar position and aren’t lucky enough to be gainfully employed at an insurance company that provides fantastic benefits. What chance would someone in that position have? It’s not life threatening, so the hospital wouldn’t be required to treat. Even if they did treat, would they just waive the $40,000 bill?

          • Jeane Marie Carlson
          • Mary

            It is very helpful that you shared those links. I will pass that along to people that might need that.

            I do get what you are aiming at, but one thing needs to be pointed out. While this arrangement may work for you because it gives you more freedom, remember that someone else is paying your medical bills if you can’t. This isn’t free money.These programs are funded by the TAXPAYERS. My brother-in-law had a seizure not long ago and went to the ER. He had no insurance. My father has been helping them with bills but he flatly refused to pay medical bills because it could bankrupt him.

            Fortunately he was referred to a government program that paid for it. Then he got some sort of insurance I think through the state. I know it is not ACA but I imagine that he will be switched to that.

            Is your medical freedom worth having others pay for your bills? These programs are set up to help those who have no other options. Besides that I am sure that they don’t have unlimited amounts of money to give away.

            I have never heard of doctors and hospitals giving a discount although I am sure some do. Actually the insurance companies in general have a better chance at negotiating a deal, whereas most people are required to pay the whole bill.

            I am certainly not knocking help for those who need it but if you think that this is the best first option then I don’t agree at all. You are responsible for paying for your own healthcare, not others.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            No one pays my bills but me. I was helping out Loqi.

          • Joan Crounse

            Jeane Marie- People in the US aren’t sent home quickly after surgery when covered by private insurance? And I don’t know where you live, but when I was uninsured, no one was willing to give me a discount rate for medical care. It took me 10 YEARS to pay off one hospital bill. The greatest reason in the past that people filed for bankruptcy was because of medical bills. The ACA does not take away your right to go to the doctor you want, does not deny care… Freedom to “call your own shots” and to avoid financial destruction while actually costing less. I call that a win.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            We’ll see…Since we don’t have a choice now, sure hope you are right.

          • Paul Burke

            What do you mean you don’t have a choice – did you read the article – the gentleman could have continued to pay his higher rate for less coverage because it was grandfathered – come on Jeane – you’re looking a gift horse in the mouth. If you are referring to the tax penalty its miniscule – you can pay it and have no insurance or find cheaper insurance on the exchanges or stick with your employers coverage. The profitability in insurance and what makes it a viable business is its participation rate – business behavior has been incentivized by the tax code under both republican and democratic congresses for generations – now its bad because a democratic president signed off on it?

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Tax penalty goes up every year.
            Still assumptions are being made. Why would it be “bad because a democratic president signed off on it?” This makes no sense to me.
            And I can’t stick w/ my employer’s coverage anymore. I’ve been made part time along w/ many others because in order for my employer to stay in business & EMPLOY, something had to give because she can’t afford all the mandating going on. I’ve had to find added side work to make ends meet.

          • Mary

            As I mentioned somewhere else, I find it strange that employers would have to drop people’s hours if they are going to get cheaper rates on the exchange. Admittedly I do not know how this is supposed to work with employers. I am on Medicare so I don’t have to worry about that. But one thing I do know is that a lot of employers will find any excuse to make sure that they don’t have to pay benefits and this has been going on for decades, Mostly it is in the retail and restaurant businesses. One thing I do know is that if employers really value their employees then they will treat them well in order for the employee to stay with them. I am sorry for your troubles but I have to wonder whether ACA really has much to do with that.

            I have heard that eventually the goal with ACA is to have healthcare insurance completely separate from employers altogether.

            You have brought up the problem of not being able to see the doctor of your choice. I am as I said on Medicare and I can see any doctor who takes Medicare. It does limit me because not many take it. However you might want to remember that most doctors will be with one or more of these ACA exchange plans. It is in their best interest to do so. That means that you can look at different plans (if you are not getting it through an employer) and see what doctors are available under that plan. You will probably find that many of the same doctors are on different plans.
            In fact I suppose it is possible that they might have PPO plans where you have more freedom in who you choose to see.

            Again I would suggest that you check into all this before you make assumptions on what kind of coverage will be available.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I never brought up the problem of not being able to see my doctor of choice. But since you brought up doctors and what’s in Their best interest: For more than 160 years, the American Medical Association (AMA) has served as the self-appointed chief lobbying group for doctors. The majority of doctors do not believe that the AMA represents their views and interests anymore. Much of that dissatisfaction stems from the organization’s support for President Obama’s contentious health care reform package. In February, the National Physicians Survey discovered that more than three times as many doctors believed that the quality of American health care would “deteriorate” rather than “improve” under ObamaCare. Nine of ten physicians think ObamaCare will have a negative impact on their profession…And then they site specifics.

          • Paul Burke

            All you’re missing Jeane is the patriotic music in the background – there’s a better way than staving off bankruptcy and foreclosure if you get sick – there’s a better way than showing up to the emergency room when you are too feeble to carry on. You shouldn’t have to fight and you might be too sick to fight with your insurance companies – who again are in the business to make money – not care for your health. But good luck on your own Jean I guess you are going to turn down medicare when you qualify for it….lol

          • Leslie

            You had better do some more reading on Britain’s system. 13,000 needless deaths over a short period of years due to their system.

          • Joan Crounse

            Compare that to a Harvard sponsored study that estimated that 45,000 people in the US died EVERY YEAR because of lack of health care. The number you cited- is it from a reputable source or from anecdotal stories?

          • Leslie

            Huffington itself. Happy? In addition, do you expect me to place any faith in an article released by a group of physicians who are pushing for single payer? Be serious. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/16/nhs-deaths_n_3602472.html

          • Joan Crounse

            The only citing I saw for the number in GB was anecdotal. It doesn’t matter where something like that is published, it is still not reputable. If it is true, it is 13,000 too many over the course of years. At the same time, how do you justify our private insurance system in which over 4 times that number died each year? Those people from the Harvard study are…doctors. I would guess they would know more about the state of health in the US than you and I do, unless you are a medical doctor. I would put more faith in their opinions/ study findings than your random opinion. What you are saying is “I believe what I believe and the hell with anyone, no matter how reputable” who disagrees with me.”

          • Leslie

            Regardless of the numbers, you are quoting stats for people who had no coverage and no care. These stats from Britain are for people who were covered, and supposedly were getting care ( or not, as it appears). There’s a big difference here. The people from Harvard may be doctors, but they are doctors looking for a single payer system, and will publish results which prove their point.

          • Joan Crounse

            Do you understand what you just wrote? You support a system in which 45,000 people EACH YEAR DIE because they have no health insurance coverage. And then you PUT DOWN a system that isn’t perfect but has 13,000 people die over several years. I don’t think we are putting the British system into the US, so why does that matter. Why not cite France, which has the best health system in the world and it is nationalized? And why do you suppose doctors support a single payer plan? Perhaps they feel it will be best for the health of the people? After all, that is what they try to do= save lives. The purpose of private insurance companies is to make a profit. See the difference?

          • Leslie

            You are missing the point. Nowhere did I ever express an aversion to the uninsured getting coverage. A plan could have been put into place for those who did not qualify for Medicaid, but could not afford expensive premiums. The rest of the Country did not have to be micro-managed.

            Yes, I put down the British system, and if you do some research, you will find out how severe the problems are, and the resurgence of private insurance. Thousands of people who are covered by insurance and who die because they are not getting the care they are supposed to be getting is a lot worse than those who did not have insurance to begin with. On the premise that you truly believe people under Obamacare will get adequate healthcare, what would your opinion be if thousands of them die because they did NOT get the care promised?

          • Joan Crounse

            No one is micromanaging anything. Ask people actually covered under the ACA. This plan is also saving people money who had to pay for their own coverage. Please read the postings. You keep saying it’s bad, in the future it will be bad, but this is all opinion and conjecture. You dismiss any comment or study that is based on fact. I know people in GB, France, and Canada and all like their systems. No one said any one of them is perfect. Bottom line is that more people are covered in those countries for less money per person than we spend here. And those people not covered here, well, they do eventually get sick and taxpayers do eventually have to pay for them. Only they are generally sicker and their care more expensive because they wait to go to the doctor. Already we have 45,000 people a year dying because of lack of health care. How do you justify that?

          • Leslie

            You are not making sense. Who is it that is covered?? There are no exchanges set up yet. I don’t justify 4500 deaths. I suggest a third tier of insurance for those who need a more affordable system, outside of private insurance.

          • Joan Crounse

            There must be people covered, Leslie, as people are saying their costs have gone down. And it isn’t 4,500 deaths a year, it is 45,000 a year for people who do not get health care and die. Why can you not accept the ACA? Why must it be “a third tier” ?

          • Leslie

            Very simple reason. I do not want Government determining my healthcare. I do not want Government listening into my phone calls, watching my emails, putting black boxes in my cars, flying drones overhead, and arming local police with swat gear. It’s simply one more aspect of Government control.

            Where were you when Obama started discussing putting controls on people’s 401Ks and other retirement plans, only allowing them to accrue up to a certain amount, since he knew better than anyone that they only needed up to a certain amount of income thrown off from these accounts per year? How about the discussion of having the Government take over retirement plans from the get go, because there are so many financial advisors who take advantage of seniors?

            It gets to the point where Government becomes Big Brother.

          • Joan Crounse

            The government is not determining your healthcare under the ACA.

          • Leslie

            Of course it is. Insurance purchase is mandated, the coverage, cost, and amount of out of pocket expenses are determined by the Government. The insurance companies which participate in the exchanges have to be approved by the Government, as does their entire package. It is dictated by the Government that you fill out a form to be submitted along with your income taxes, with all your personal information, including your medical ID, and give it to the IRS. When you opt to join an exchange, you have to fill out all your personal info, everyone in your home, income, any money you receive from Government sources, ethnic group, etc. All your medical information is electronically submitted to any and all Federal agencies which ask for it. Do you honestly believe that simply because you may have a policy provided by Aetna through an exchange that the entire program is not overseen and regulated by the Government?

          • Paul Burke

            That’s governments job to oversee and regulate to govern – how are you the lone citizen supposed to sue GE when they pollute the Hudson or the gulf wiping out fishermen and local businesses or even just destroying the waters for recreation? Government is We the People in order to form a more perfect Union – there is nothing inherently wrong about coming together, organizing and forming a government to create a healthy, educated, productive and happy society. Men are evil, people are cheats, people are frauds – to the extent that evil fraudulent greedy people occupy both government and private industry is something the voters and our agreed upon laws have to weed out. The Affordable Care Act has improved the situation. As far as the collection of data – our collective records are in dozens if not hundreds of databases both private and federal and have been for half a century or more. That you have to fill out forms is your worry about Obamacare?!!? Its one thing to be skeptical but you should probably take a step back.

          • skyvue

            Insurance is mandated because the more people who pay into an insurance pool, the less everyone in that pool pays. And if folks opt not to be insured to save a buck while they’re healthy, it’s generally the rest of us, in the end, who pay for their care (in the form of rising medical costs) if they suffer a medical emergency (this is why the oft-cited conservative solution of people just going to the emergency room if they don’t have insurance is a really bad idea and has been contributing to skyrocketing medical costs for all of us).

            What’s more, you’re required by the government to have car insurance if you wish to operate a motor vehicle. Do you have a problem with that, too? Because requiring people to have insurance if they hope to receive medical care in the case of serious illness or accident is not unlike that. Any uninsured person who receives care for a traumatic ailment or injury that can’t pay for it in full out of pocket (which is, let’s face it, most of us) ends up impacting all taxpayers in the form of rising medical costs.

            Finally, are you aware (I can only guess that you are not, though how it could possibly have eluded your notice, I cannot fathom — oh wait, you’re a FOX “News” viewer…now I get it) that virtually every key concept that makes the ACA (Obamacare to you) was originally a Republican idea? It’s not a pinko lie that the health care law that Romney signed into law when he was the governor of Massachusetts is the model for the ACA. That’s a fact. And the idea of requiring everyone to have insurance undeniably had its origins in conservative think-tanks. At the time, they viewed it as a way of enforcing personal responsibility.

            That’s how far off the rails the Republicans have gone the past few years. They rant and rail against ideas that are (or were) their own.

          • LauraKY

            “All your medical information is electronically submitted to any and all Federal agencies which ask for it.”

            Ah, no. Not true, not true at all.

            Your insurance is already overseen and regulated by the government. State insurance commissions, for example. For your own protection.

            The ACA requires your insurance company to spend at least 80% of your premium on health care costs. Many of us with individual insurance have been receiving refunds. How is this a bad thing?

          • Paul Burke

            Leslie you have swallowed the pill completely – government is not determining your healthcare but finally giving you options -

          • Leslie

            Wrong. The Government is determining my “options” by giving me a choice of A,B,C, or D, within a specified framework. That is not option.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            You keep saying costs have gone down. My costs have gone up AND my job has been negatively affected. I’m only 1 of many.

          • Paul Burke

            Do you live in a State with a Republican Governor that might explain why you don’t have access yet. As the word gets out – the Republicans are going to loose governorships or quietly enact the Affordable Care Act.

          • Leslie

            Don’t you understand that enrollment for the exchanges has not started yet?

          • Paul Burke

            The micromanage comment reveals that this poster as well has fallen for the campaign slogans – there is no government “take over” of healthcare or bluecross and blueshield would be out of business – the laws enacted by Obamacare have opened up the markets and apparently the exchanges are driving down healthcare costs – but that’s a bad thing because a republican president didn’t get it done. Or this poster is really susceptible to campaign advertising.

          • Leslie

            When the Government mandates coverage, when it gives you an option of only whatever insurance companies are chosen to work within the exchanges, that is “takeover”. As for healthcare costs going down, post again after you see the premiums.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Well, the premiums are going down or going up more slowly in both California and New York, two of the states with the highest rates and that are furthest along in making the exchanges. So … yeah. Seems to be working great so far.

          • Leslie

            The rates aren’t even stable till the exchanges start enrolling people. Therefore, they are not going up OR down right now.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            The rates for the exchanges are being set now. We know what the rates will be for California and New York. They are lower than current rates for better coverage. Thus, your latest comment is purely disingenuous.

          • Leslie

            You know what the “proposed” rates are. Everything I have read states that rates may not be what they are posted as right now. In addition, how do you know the coverage is better? Have you seen an actual policy? What kind of policy are you comparing it with? A comparison of apples and oranges does not give you a valid result.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            I don’t live in those states, so I go by released data. Thus far, the plans appear to be more comprehensive and less expensive based on the reading I’ve done. I live in a Southern state instead, one that has rejected exchanges and the Medicaid expansion and is slashing funding to women’s health clinics as well. Guess if my health insurance premium (which is through my husband’s job) went up or down this year.

            How is comparing a health insurance policy to a health insurance policy apples and oranges?

          • Leslie

            1) If your State refused to set up an exchange, the Feds will set it up instead.

            2) Since all that has been released are the basic items the policies have to cover, and no other info, there is no way of knowing how comprehensive they are.

            3) If your private insurance remains intact, you do not have to worry about the exchanges. The fact that it has gone up (I assume) is just about the same as it has been all across the Country, It will go up even in the exchanges.

            4) As for comparing two health policies, one can be quite comprehensive, as many private plans are, or more bare bones, as most of those in the exchanges will be. The fact that the exchange policies have to cover various exams and tests does not mean they will be comprehensive in other ways if you truly become ill.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            1) Yes, but thus far those exchanges are less far along and there is less information about them.

            2) Agreed. They just appear to be better than bare-bones plans outside the exchanges. We do not know how good they actually are.

            3) This is correct, the exchanges are not a personal concern of mine. The exchange premiums will go up over time too, of course, as inflation and health care costs go up, but it appears they will go up slower than currently due to other provisions of the ACA for bending the cost curve lower.

            4) Also true, though we do know they will cover many chronic illnesses which current plans do not. While having catastrophic coverage is quite important, so is having coverage for diabetes supplies. Exchanges make sure the latter, at least, happens.

          • JW

            Here is a study saying having Medicare and Medicaid seems to be correlated with even worse outcomes than not being insured (which, as you say, is bad): “After adjustment for the concurrent effects of patient, hospital, and
            operative factors, Medicaid and Uninsured patients incurred a 97% and
            74% increase in the odds of in-hospital death, respectively, compared to
            those with Private Insurance.”:
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3071622/

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Actually, Medicare did fine. It was Medicaid and Uninsured that were correlated with the highest mortality, with Medicaid patients also having longer, more expensive hospital stays.

            This is because those two groups of patients don’t usually get to plan their major surgeries but rather have emergent ones more often. They often have less post-hospital care, and hospitals may treat them differently (there is some evidence of fobbing them off on less-skilled or experienced surgeons, for example). Medicaid patients also had higher rates of co-morbidities and metastatic cancer than other groups; the type of co-morbidity was not taken into consideration in weighting the data, and it’s possible that the co-morbidities more often suffered by Medicaid patients were just more deadly than other co-morbidities.

            Also remember that both groups are poor, but Medicaid patients are actually poorer than Uninsured patients (which also includes uninsured rich people, but not many of them). Poverty is well-known to be very bad for one’s health.

            So basically, this study tells us what we already knew. Poorer people have worse health outcomes than richer people. Did you even read the whole thing?

          • JW

            Two very good points about pre-existing conditions and employer picking the plans.

            The second point is why some want to disconnect health coverage from employment (“portability” was a big term a while back): so people can change insurance if theirs is not treating them well. Employer-sponsored insurance is actually not a market dynamic: it was created by government making tax benefits to employers to offer insurance as an incentive to get people covered (rather than, as was done at the time, using hospital-based financing).

            The pre-existing conditions problem, on the other hand, is a market dynamic and does require legistative intervention and a funding source in order to keep people from becoming permanently uninsurable simply because they failed to buy or couldn’t afford insurance at some point in their life.

            The term ‘death panel’ was borrowed from Canada to describe the national benefits determinations boards; that’s how some Canadians have described theirs.

            UK is not exempt from problems like ours:
            http://www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/news/latest-news/dying-woman-is-denied-drug-help-1-4386033

            Even worse:
            http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jul/31/disabled-people-benefits-panorama

            (fwiw, the Guardian is the newspaper favoured by liberals; the London Telegraph seems to be the conservative one, though I’m not sure the news is quite as polarized overseas as it is here in the US – I read both liberal and conservative US papers to get a more balanced view; each perspective will tell you different things)

            For those asking, the point of local programs is that they are thought to be more flexible and more responsive to public input and public needs (which is easier to work with, generally speaking: the IRS or your school district?)

            The point of Medicare/Medicaid versus a national program that covers everyone is that targeted programs are thought to be more responsive to the particular population served. And then we don’t end up like UK is right now: let’s kick all the really needy people off the plan so we can cover people who are able to work adequately.

            Oh wait, we just did that (reduce funding for Medicaid, which was already cash-strapped and has few areas of fraud etc. [and is our disability program], but expand the eligibility dramatically… divert the money to people who are able to work/can work more/can get better jobs). Not quite the same as kicking them off, but still results in no health care, although there is theoretically health insurance: just few doctors or hospitals who will take the insurance so there is nowhere to go for coverage, and as time goes on fewer things will be covered (yes, still shots and screening tests, but less medicine, etc.).

          • Bob Nelson

            Jeane marie We already had death panels. They were/are called insurance companies.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Do you really think the gov’t will do better? Really?

          • Vetguy1234

            Before obamacare my insurance company cancelled my son’s policy when he developed a problem affecting his chest….the insurance company based it on a comment written by a pediatrician 10 years prior…about something that had nothing to do with the problem…it became impossible to insure my son ..until now….so you know who takes our freedoms and choices and are the true death panels? The private for profit insurance companies…

          • James Teasdale

            Yeah, us Liberal Commie will take all your freedoms!! What a fekkin’ idiot and a sheep you are….

          • Fred

            Don’t insult sheep like that.

          • RobMcCune

            You’re right about one thing, we will be losing our death panels, what with health insurance actually covering the cost of healthcare and all that.

          • Leslie

            Better check out the IPAB and the CER before you say that.

          • CherMoe

            The “death panels” have been there for years. They started along with the HMO’s (cost containment type insurance). The death panels have been cancelling people for years when they get sick and hospitals have personnel for the sole purpose of DENYING claims. I know, because of friends who are RN’s. Your freedoms and choices went out with Republicans, honey. Hope you’re happy.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Why would I be happy? I agree the system we had is not perfect but you really think giving gov’t control will be better?

          • Paul Burke

            Government control is your wrong assumption – and where you are going wrong Jeane – laws were written to increase health care provider competition – that’s not a government take over a slogan you have swallowed completely but an opening up of the markets to increase competition – do away with the previous monopolies and drive down prices. And it looks like the exchanges are working – citing exceptions obfuscating and being coy about arguing isn’t going to change that fact – I would suggest when you vote again – you vote your pocketbook and understand that all media is advertising – political ads and operatives are designed to whip up emotions ( a government take over, death panels) to drive voter turn out at the polls. That is their sole objective – whether you are informed correctly doesn’t matter as long as your buttons are pushed and you get to the polls. I would ask this: as a citizen don’t you hope you are wrong about the laws enacted and that the laws enacted by the Obamacare legislation work – or are you rooting for them to fail because of your own predilections?

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I always vote my pocketbook. And of course I hope I’m wrong. It’s just after what I’ve seen working for the gov’t & what I’m seeing now being in the health field, I fear I’m not wrong at all. We will see. The bulk of it hasn’t even started yet, which I don’t understand. If it’s so wonderful why is it being delayed ’till after elections.

          • LadyAvon
          • Rebecca Becky Schader

            Jeanne, really??? Death Panels??? The real death panels were the insurance companies. If you got too sick they dropped you, if you cost them too much they dropped you. That is a death panel! Thanks to ACA none of the above can happen….Please watch something other than Fox News!

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            My name is Jeane Marie & I don’t watch Fox news. You know what they say about assumptions. LOL . I do however follow some of their stories online, along w/ MSNBC, CNN, & others. I believe it’s a little naïve to think none of the above can happen under ACA but since we don’t have a choice now, we will see…Sure hope you are right for all our sake.

          • southernfriedlibrul

            Jeane, that’s a blatant lie. A quick search of your name on Google returns your Facebook page; under Likes, the only TV Show you list as a “like” is Faux News. I don’t blame you for being ashamed of it and trying to convince us that you don’t actually watch that garbage, but you should at least own up to your decision to be willfully ignorant and either justify it or admit that you have a problem and CHANGE.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Lol, Stalk much? I never said I didn’t like Fox news. I do not however watch it on TV. My television is rarely on. But like I said I do follow some stories from them along w/ other networks online. Not sure what difference it makes. This is so silly.

          • Robert Vukovic

            The conservatives have yet to be right about anything they warned would happen under President Obama from the economy to national security. What makes you think they’re right about this? You’re running on fear sweetie and that ain’t good for the soul.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I don’t know what you are referring to on the 1st part of your statement. I’m not running on fear. I’ve already been negatively affected. Fact.

          • spookiewon

            Oh, FFS! Did you not read what has been written here? What “freedom” was denied to these people who were unable to get health care and now can? The freedom to suffer? To die prematurely? How is three choices “less choice” than no choices? And the death panels were insurance companies denying care and pocketing huge profits at the same time.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Slight flaw, “…unable to get health care…” We live in America. No One is denied “health care”. They may be denied “Insurance”, but not “health care”. Insurance is over rated.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Ah, no. People are denied health care all the time through inability to pay.

          • Guest

            Name one! ONE person who has been denied?! It doesn’t happen in America! I had to have my appendix out in my late 20s & had No insurance. They treated me anyway. My bill was almost cut in Half because no 3rd party. I set up payments after. As a hard working single mother I paid it off! People are treated all the time & don’t even pay. No One is turned away. Maybe Some people are just too stupid & lazy to survive! We shouldn’t have to pay for them!

          • baal

            Hrm – my employer based insurance changed dramatically this year. Instead of the co-pay model, we all had to go to a co-insurance model. That means I have to pay oop until I reach the deductible. I’ve skipped going to the doc since January for a few issues that I would have gone for and just lived with it since I thought I could make it to the end of the year w/o reaching the deductible. Now that it looks like I’m going to reach it, I have a small back log of issues and I’ll be seen for them all at the same time instead of 1 at a time.

            Am I being more efficient to stack them? Yes – but the cost is a risk that I miss out on timely care and have a bigger problem later (true for 1 of the 4 issues I want medical advise on).

            Your example only covers a semi-dire case and not more routine care (said care prevents later bigger bills).

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Emergency care, absolutely. ERs have a duty to treat built into law.

            But primary care? Preventive care? Care for chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis and, etc, etc? You’re SOL without insurance for those. People are turned away from the care that prevents emergencies all the time.

          • Guest

            Name one! ONE person who has been denied?! It doesn’t happen in America! I had to have my appendix out in my late 20s & had No insurance & no ability to pay immediately. They treated me anyway. My bill was almost cut in Half because no 3rd party. I set up payments after. As a hard working single mother I paid it off! People are treated all the time & don’t even pay. No One is turned away. Maybe Some people are just too stupid & lazy to survive! We shouldn’t have to pay for them!

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            See below.

          • Candice Storms

            Yes, as a cancer survivor, me finally being able to get affordable health insurance is going to destroy America. Jeane Marie Carlson, get a grip you paranoid idiot.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Congratulations on surviving cancer, Candice. I am truly happy for you. May you have many more years of good health.

          • Kohoutek

            You’ll be changing your tune soon enough. “Death panels”? There is no excuse for being so uninformed about the ACA!

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Then perhaps one should “inform” themselves about The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) established
            under Obamacare to “contain” Medicare costs. Also, this from our President’s own mouth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-dQfb8WQvo

          • islandbrewer

            Uh, and what sort of point is that supposed to show? That Obama recognizes that there’s a lot of gratuitous medical care driven by our current screwed up motivations to providers to provide service whether it’s warranted or not? Or that families and individuals need to take a larger part in the decisions for their own medical care?

            Was that really supposed to be some sort of “gotcha!” quote?

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            No. Just trying to get you to think. I can’t help you. Just keep laying that trust at the feet of gov’t & see where it gets us.

          • islandbrewer

            Note that you can’t even use .. you know … words to explain what nefarious plots your youtube clip is supposed to reveal.

            No, sorry. I can’t magically read into words different meanings that aren’t there. I’m not trusting the government, just reading the legislation and looking at the effects, which are positive. Keep ignoring it, because it doesn’t fit your frothing, spittle-flecked paranoid narrative.

            Keep up the conspiracy theories and worrying about the black UN helicopters following you around. Remember that you need to keep the shiny side of the foil outwards to keep the EBIL GUBMINT from monitoring your thoughts.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            So instead I should use “words” like you and insult?

            “…effects, which are positive.” ??

            Then what would a person say to my situation? Or my clients?
            How about these people ??
            http://blog.heritage.org/2013/10/01/real-people-respond-what-does-obamacare-mean-for-you/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

            Or these people??
            http://www.ijreview.com/2013/09/78617-thousands-lose-health-insurance-tennessee-courtesy-obamacare/

            These?
            http://gopthedailydose.com/2013/09/16/forward-georgia-business-dumps-100-employees-cites-obamacare-as-reason/

            Oh and thanks for the tip. Shiny side out. Got it. LOL

      • CherMoe

        We have to keep the insurance companies locked out when the rules are being made. The problem is the stronghold insurance and drug companies have on politicians and on policy in this country.

    • Cornelioid

      Based on what (kinds of) sources? (After Krugman gave a talk on health care (in California) at my uni years ago i tended to start from his view and occasionally seek out rebuttals, which got me pretty optimistic. I didn’t expect many progressives to have low hopes.)

      • Heina Dadabhoy

        It was based on the political process. It seemed to me that the best and initial solution kept getting watered-down along the way.

        • Cornelioid

          I think most progressives share that perspective.

    • Jeane Marie Carlson

      Glad you are happy w/ 1 example. Shall I tell you about everyone else, including my situation? This person is either lying, not telling you everything or their insurance company has made a mistake.

      • Jaci Roland

        Why didn’t you respond to Mr. Wilk? Did the logic bother you somehow? I thought you had some post up there about Liberals and not using logic? Therefore you must have some well thought out and articulate rebuttal to his comments for you. Where is it? Do yourself a favor and stop listening to Sean Hannity and Rush. Statements aren’t facts.

        • Jeane Marie Carlson

          Well darling’, I’m getting there. I have quite a inbox full of insults to go through 1st & also, I do have a job & a life. Have a good day.

          • Jaci Roland

            Gosh, rather ‘liberal’ with that ‘insult’ word now aren’t we? I’m happy I don’t think that a person is insulting me every time they disagree with me. That would be /sad face. Ever hear of the little boy who cried wolf?

          • rayb_baby

            She’s just another typical troll. Never having have to back up her claim is proof enough. NOT!

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            If Darlin’ is what you are referring to, I’m southern. Didn’t mean it as an insult. And I certainly don’t think just because someone is disagreeing w/ me that they are insulting. But I am smart enough to know the difference between respectfully disagreeing & “please don’t breed”, “cunt”, “moron”, “shut up”, ect….

          • Jaci Roland

            No, ‘insult’ is what I was referring to. I was saying that you were being very liberal using the word insult. Like when you said the guy insulted you because he pointed out your spelling error. In any regard, I didn’t seen the vulgar words used towards you, those most certainly are insulting. If that’s true, I apologize for my side of the aisle. All of our points are sufficiently made using logic, there is simply no need for that.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Thank you Jaci.

      • Matthew

        Do tell – but I’m sure you can’t.

        • Jeane Marie Carlson

          Would it really matter Matthew? “but I’m sure you can’t”. You’re not even open to listen. You just want to insult. Have a good day.

          • rayb_baby

            What a cop out! This is just one good example of many that I’ve seen, but you CLAIM that you have many, including yourself, to prove the opposite. Put up or shut up!

          • Zinc Avenger

            Yeah, we just want to insult because, as you say,

            You are all SLAVES

            It is in our slave nature. If only we could master the art of civil discussion to the awesome proficiency you demonstrate.

          • Jaci Roland

            I wish someone would do a case study on the hypocritical nature of the right. Seriously, I’m not going to go back up and through it all again but I swear she has mentioned being insulted in almost every single comment. Is that a logical fallacy of some sort? “IT’S NOT TRUE BECAUSE YOU’RE MEAN” Aside from that, her comment up there about ACA taking money from medicare is a dead giveaway. It reeks of fox news misinformation campaign. They sure do get them riled up. Arguing logic with a fox news junky is as much an exercise in futility as trying to get my cat to stop jumping on my keyboard.

          • gramiam44

            Jaci, as I am sure you know, that money that was “taken” from Medicare was taken from providers who were “gaming” the system, not from those of us who use and bless the system. I saw recently that the FBI carted tons of files away from the “Scooter Store” Medicare, under the demands of this administration, has been coming down hard on fraud.

          • Leslie

            Incorrect. Medicare Advantage is a private system, as opposed to Government Medicare. It is a system of HMOs, which offer extra services, such as optical and dental.

          • Leslie

            MOney was taken from Medicare, and then put back temporarily ( probably due to Obama worrying about the Senior vote). It will be taken out again relatively soon.

          • JW

            It might help to check another source about the Medicare cuts.

            CBO says:

            “Effects on Spending for Medicare, Medicaid, and Other Programs

            “Many of the other provisions that would be repealed by enacting H.R. 6079 [repeal of the PPACA] affect spending for Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal programs. The ACA made numerous changes to payment rates and payment rules in those programs, established a voluntary federal program for long-term care insurance through the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) provisions, and made certain other changes to federal health programs. In total, CBO estimates that repealing those provisions would increase net federal spending by $711 billion over the 2013–2022 period.”

            [there is a different part which funded Medicaid and these figures are combined with figures for funding CHIP]

            cuts to payment rates for services such as hospital, nursing, hospice: $415 billion

            new rate-setting mechanism for Medicare Advantage: $156 billion

            cuts to DHS hospitals (hospitals serving a disproportionate share of low-income patient) : 56 billion

            other provisions, including $3 billion for IPAB: 114 billion

            “Under current law, the IPAB will be required, under certain circumstances, to recommend changes to the Medicare program to reduce that program’s spending; such changes will go into effect automatically.” [I think this is not specifically calculated, as the specific changes are not yet specified.]

            CLASS has no dollar amount value for repeal because the Secretary of HHS had already declared it unviable.

            http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43471-hr6079.pdf

            from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:

            cuts to Medicare Advantage [helps people afford their medicines and copays, better outcomes than Medicaid: remember these programs include disabled people as well as retired people]… 68 billion

            cuts to provider payments [usually we increase these to keep the system working]… 85 billion

            estimated savings from Partnership for Patients if it reduces hospital re-admissions and nosocimial infections* … 10 billion

            estimated savings from cracking down on fraud and abuse (hopefully not by moving actual disabled people off the programs) and getting better value for DME (that actually could use some help in some areas, but other areas are squeezed already)… 7.8 billion

            additional cuts and estimated savings including cuts in hospital payments for re-admissions**… 41 billion

            *after simultaneously cutting payments and expanding eligibility, thus reducing the available network of providers?

            **it’s not always the hospital’s fault; sometimes people are just sick

            http://www.cms.gov/apps/files/aca-savings-report-2012.pdf

          • gramiam44

            Hey Zinc, nice to see you use your sarcasm button this time! ROFL!

          • Matthew

            Go ahead, please. I’m listening intently.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Your attitude is very off-putting. If you Really do care as to what my story is then lift a finger & scroll down.

      • dddfaber

        Sorry, Jeane, I run a company with six employees. Though we are not mandated to provide insurance coverage under the ACA, we have always chosen to do so. We are always conscious about the cost of the premiums, and ours have gone down too. So, please provide me with the evidence behind your statement(s)….or are they just hyperbolic phrases fed to you from right wing sources?

  • Loqi

    You just wait until the hidden death panel fees start coming in!

    • Zinc Avenger

      Would you like “quick and painless” or “slow and agonizing”?

      • Loqi

        The former option doesn’t even exist in the computer system. We just put that on the form to trick people into signing the waiver that allows us to perform liberal communist big-government experiments on them. Just like Hitler.

        • Zinc Avenger

          Romney was an android from the future (in which corporations are people), sent back to save us from this hell. Why didn’t we listen?

          • Loqi

            He’ll be back next election cycle in Mittinator 3: Rise of the Political Machines.

          • # zbowman

            I’d have suggested ‘Rise of the Voting Machines’, but given the known scandals about Republicans rigging those things, I guess it’s already obsolete.

        • ellid

          Hitler didn’t institute universal healthcare in Germany. BISMARCK did.

          • John Alexander Harman

            Yup. Conservative as he was, old Otto recognized that if you let the peasants live in misery, sooner or late they’d get sick of it and revolt, whereas if you pooled a fraction of the ruling class’s resources and used them to make the lower classes lives a bit more comfortable, they’d probably tolerate the existing social hierarchy.

      • Robyn Kern

        good one…

    • Economist2011

      the old GOP plan…the Insurance death panels were free.
      Meaning you are free to pay for them yourself.

  • Dustin K

    Not everyone is lucky enough to have their plan grandfathered in. My final number isn’t ready yet, but my company has already notified me that my deductible is going up. I’m hoping it’s not going to be too debilitating. :/

    • unbound55

      You may be much better off with a higher deductible. The only plans I have access to via my company have no deductible. But here’s the kicker, the first several visits to the doctor each year for my family comes completely out of my pocket at the negotiated rates (which really aren’t that discounted).

      So while I have no deductible, I do have to cough up the first $1,600 in medical expenses each year before I get covered at 80%…leaving me with 20% to pay, which is still more than the old $20 deductible! And, no, my monthly medical care plan fees are not cheaper than my old plan. The scam…er, plan…from corporate HR is that our rates wouldn’t go up by as much by switching to this. I would be much, much happier with a $40 deductible than what I’m stuck with now.

      Oh, one more point, my corporations idea of competition is to offer 2 plans…that are completely identical in costs and benefits. The only difference in the plans are which doctors accept which plan.

      I can’t wait to see if I can get to options.

      • frozen01

        Time to remove employers from the equation, IMO.

        My company is really pushing Health Savings Accounts. When I downgraded my policy after losing my 2nd income, my HR rep was shocked to learn that I only go to the doctor maybe once a year, sometimes not even that. When I explained I couldn’t comfortably afford the co-pays and deductibles so I only go if it is really bad, she tried to convince me to sign up for an HSA.

        So, basically, I’m living paycheck-to-paycheck and my HR rep is advising me to take additional money out every month and stick it in a no-interest-bearing account that can’t be accessed except to pay for something I rarely need or use. Meanwhile, some company is holding on to my money. It was a brand-new product they were offering and I definitely got the “sales pitch” vibe.

        It’s really hard not to be suspicious with this sort of thing.

        • hugenjolly

          HSAs are pre-tax accounts…ergo, it’s like earning 20%+ on your savings

          • smrnda

            Health savings accounts only really work if your health expenses will be rather small. I mean, some years my medical expenses exceeded my total income. It was a nearly $100 a month premium that got me coverage. The health savings account just seems like a way to make people cover more of their own costs.

          • hugenjolly

            That is inaccurate…you’re stretching to make a non-point. Health Savings Accounts are simply a way to reduce some of your out-of-pocket medical expenses at a discount (by being pre-tax savings).

            If you judge something only by the way it has affected yourself – you are contributing nothing to the debate.

  • gg

    My very healthy handicapped brother currently has NO insurance. When he worked, he was covered by Kaiser for a low co-pay. After he lost his job, his insurance was raised to $1,700/month–more than both his Social Security and unemployment payments, because he has Down Syndrome…..even though he was cleared of all health issues associated with the Syndrome during his coverage. I can’t wait to see what his co-pay will turn out to be.

    • Justin Nelson

      Under community rating, it should be whatever anyone else in your community his age would pay. California at least has a calculator that should give you some idea of premiums. (Most state exchanges are coming in at the same order of magnitude as CA’s.)

      http://www.coveredca.com/calculating_the_cost.html

      • gg

        Thanks for the info!

  • Azkyroth

    I haven’t received any notifications yet. I wonder how I get them.

  • baal

    My wife and I got a check last year. It wasn’t much but one of the provisions is that if the overhead (i.e. not paying for care part of their budgets = a tax on the health care system) for the insurance company is too high, they are forced to rebate part of the premium.

    • Kubricks_Rube

      Yup, the Medical Loss Ratio, one of the my favorite features of the ACA. By requiring them to spend 80% of all premiums on actual medical care or reimburse their customers the difference, insurance providers are disincentivized from denying claims and accelerating premium increases. I got $33 back last year and donated it to Obama’s reelection campaign.

      • David Ray

        my partner got back about $400.

      • Joan Crounse

        But they still get to keep 20% for overhead and profit as compared to Medicare’s 2%. Single Payer is the next step forward to making sure that all people in the US have medical care. Single Payer will save lives and save money.

    • XX

      Yep. I got one too. Makes you wonder where they’re coming up with their numbers, doesn’t it?

  • Jasper

    From what I heard (so take this with a grain of salt), those Republican-ran States who are trying to counter it at every turn… surprise! It’s not working out so well. Strange, that.

    • XX

      This is the case where I live. They changed state eligibility and kicked a whole bunch of people out of the system because the state says they “make too much.” But they don’t make enough by themselves, and they don’t qualify for help, so now, there’s a gap for the lower working class in our state.

  • Grady

    This is a god damn lie. That won’t apply everywhere, and there are many exceptions.

    • Stephen Parker

      In states that used to allow termination of coverage due to preexisting conditions premiums may have already gone up.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Premiums go up every year. What matters is rate of increase, and the rate of increase has slowed in pretty much every state, including those that allowed termination of coverage due to preexisting conditions (pretty sure that was all of them!).

        So nice try, but no.

        • Stephen Parker

          Massachusetts, as mentioned in another reply, was one of several states that had done away with the preexisting condition issue (for the most part) before the ACA. Their premiums did not go up much (but they were rather high) because they had already adsorbed that cost savings. In those states that were not “saving” money by refusing to require coverage of a significant sick population the premiums will have to adsorb some of that. In some cases there will be offsets.

      • ellid

        Uh, Massachusetts has banned pre-existing condition cancellation for years, and rates have gone DOWN. FAIL.

        • Stephen Parker

          Massachusetts had already implemented most of the ACA provisions (in fact was a model for the ACA) so there was little impact expected. Deval Patrick implemented additional legislation about a year ago to keep the premiums in his state under control, but they are still among -if not the- highest in the nation. On the other hand I think they had less than 2% uninsured. http://www.mass.gov/bb/h1/fy11h1/prnt_11/exec_11/pbuddevhc.htm

        • Benny

          This is true.

      • Kubricks_Rube

        Are you defending “termination of coverage due to preexisting conditions”? Talk about rationing!

        Also, when you prohibit practices like lifetime caps on coverage or denying insurance for preexisting conditions, premiums may well go up, but overall healthcare costs go down, what with the whole being-able-to-have-insurance-when-you-most-need-it thing.

        • Stephen Parker

          No. I am not defending “the termination of coverage due to preexisting conditions”, but it will cost. It may cost less overall than not covering them, but the saving will not show up in premiums, and may only appear as a decrease in the rate of inevitable increases in healthcare costs. However, the best arguments for eliminating the preexisting condition issue are in the lives of people who are not abandoned by our healthcare system because they are sick.

          • Kubricks_Rube

            Agreed.

    • invivoMark

      The fact that this exact circumstance won’t exist for every single citizen does not mean that the story is a lie, nor that its implications are untrue.

      Not everyone will end up with cheaper health insurance. What matters is the aggregate change for the average person, and that those who are least able to afford health care are able to get reasonable coverage for cheaper. Under both of those criteria, I believe the ACA is a success. You’re welcome to provide data to the contrary.

    • Zinc Avenger

      Don’t overwhelm us with your “argument”.

    • islandbrewer

      The remarkable detail of your well supported and credibly cited argument has convinced me!

      Wait, I meant the other one: no.

    • 23cal

      I take exception to being called a liar by someone who doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about. I reiterate that every single word is truth. You, too, may kiss my country ass. John Eberhard

      • http://checkpoint-telstar.blogspot.com/ Tim Lehnerer

        If “kiss my country ass” is your idea of reasoned debate, well…you will not be finding me among your converts.

        • Artor

          It’s a perfectly appropriate response to someone who just says, “That’s a god damned lie,” without offering any evidence to support their slander. To you and Grady above; I cordially invite you to eat a bag of salted dicks.

        • 23cal

          It isn’t at all my idea of reasoned debate, nor did I pretend that it was. It is my response to someone who gratuitously insults me by calling me a liar when they obviously have absolutely no clue as to what they are talking about. My integrity is important to me, and I take exception to being called a liar. If you don’t, I pity you. He presented no facts or arguments for “reasoned debate”, only a put down. To attempt to characterize that as “reasoned debate” is absurd. Also, I am not seeking converts, and couldn’t care less if you choose not to be one. Have a nice day.

          • mcrotk

            Adopt me please. You can handle one more.

          • MadSat

            One does get tired of being polite to trolls. I say bravo sir, bravo! Nasty things just mooch around dripping bile all over the place.

        • invivoMark

          “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” – Christopher Hitchens

          “… and creative rhetorical flourishes in the dismissal are worth bonus points.” – Me

        • phantomreader42

          If ignoring reality and whining about naughty words while celebrating libel is YOUR idea of reasoned debate, you will not be missed.

    • Sandy

      Actually, you are right but it is in REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED STATES THAT THE COSTS ARE HIGHER. This is because republican controlled legislatures are doing everything in their power to make it expensive and not work to try and prove Obamacare is a failure. They don’t care about the people the represent. If you do the research the democrat controlled states that are implementing state exchanges are getting much lower rates and deductibles while the republican controlled states are screwing the hell out of their populace.

      • XX

        Sandy, that’s exactly what happened in my red state. The kicked a bunch of people off of the state system that do not qualify for help paying for premiums. Now we have a health-care gap for our lower working class. I get so mad at our governor for this… especially when I look at other states and find that they were able to dramatically reduce premiums for their citizens, simply because they swallowed their pride and figured out how to make it work.

      • # zbowman

        So they’re basically doing their damnedest to ruin its effects for everyone in their jurisdiction, for…what, spite? Essentially spite.

        • baal

          Yes, IMNSHO, the last 6 years have been one giant case of the republicans trying to drive as much economy and governance into the ground as possible while not hurting big corp or oligarch profits. A large amount of that spite seems due to an expectation error of having lost an election that they thought they had rigged to win and that the loss was to a POC.

          This is mere assertion on my part, however. The proof and argument is longer than I’m willing to put here.

          • Leslie

            I think you are paranoid.

          • Joan Crounse

            The entire might of the Republican Party after Obama took the presidency was to put roadblocks up to have his policies fail. Can’t argue with the fact there, Leslie. Why do the Republicans keep having votes to repeal the ACA? What have they spent so far on their ridiculousness? $50 million which could have been spent on something worthwhile. And they are threatening to bring it to a vote again.

          • Leslie

            You’re asking why Republicans don’t want it. What about Congress itself, which has a bill in to exempt them? What about the unions, who want out, as well? How about the IRS, which wants out? Has it not occurred to you that if this system was so all-fired great, all these groups would be champing at the bit to join up?

          • Joan Crounse

            Congressmen have a great insurance plan already. Ask yourself why Republican congressmen and women don’t think the rest of us deserve as good as what they have. Ask yourself why so many people with insurance don’t care that other people are suffering and dying because they have no health care.

          • Leslie

            Guess what? The Democratic people in Congress want out, just as the Republicans do.

          • Joan Crounse

            Didn’t say otherwise. Read what I wrote. The members of Congress have a great plan, why would they want to change it? My question is why aren’t the Republicans supporting for all of us what they get.

          • Leslie

            You obviously do not do enough reading. The original plan, a la Obama, was that even Congress had to take part in the exchanges. Where were you when that was written about, over and over? Now, they all want to opt out. They were not supposed to be able to keep their high end insurance.

          • Joan Crounse

            Leslie, I am not disagreeing with you in regards to the Congress. My point is why would the members of Congress willingly opt out of their plan when it is probably better than anything you or I have? Or better than what is offered in the ACA? You need to read closer.

          • Leslie

            You may not have read that their healthcare program was NOT to remain in existence, that all members, except for the President and various other high level officials, were to join the exchanges. The Feds then balked, feeling they would lose young top notch people, the talent they want to attract, who would feel the coverage was not adequate, and would seek work elsewhere so they could get cadillac coverage.

            That is the whole point – the coverage through the Government is far superior to anything else, but most people in Washington are supposed to lose it.

          • Leslie
          • Joan Crounse

            Leslie, I don’t know if you are purposely misunderstanding me or simply dense, but I understand what you are saying about Congress but I believe they have a better package than the ACA would provide which is why they don’t want to go to the ACA. Would you go from a platinum plan to a gold or silver plan if you were them? I understand what they were supposed to do but obviously the ACA isn’t good enough for them. And at the same time, the Republicans in Congress think it’s too good for the likes of us and want it repealed. My support for the ACA is because it will lower costs to the subscriber and allow more people to be covered. I believe health care to be a right as is education. I find it disgusting that the Republicans in Congress want their excellent health insurance plan but are willing to see millions of people in the US without insurance and are willing to keep wasting taxpayer money in their ridiculous votes on repeal which they know they cannot win. They’ve already wasted 10s of millions of dollars. You and I disagree and we are not going to change each other’s mind.

          • Leslie

            You keep claiming “Republicans” are the problem. The Democrats in Congress do not want coverage under the ACA, either. Do you honestly think the negativism toward the ACA has anything to do with ANY group thinking it’s too “good” for us? Be serious.

          • Guest

            I am sure you’re a moron.

          • baal

            I AM IRONMAN!*

            *I also spent half a year behind closed doors working for the Republicans on the State level.

      • Amber Carmona

        This is the situation in NC. Right now, we have seven insurance companies that sell to us in this state from what I read on this subject. We’ll only have maybe two or three insurance companies that will participate in the exchange starting in October, with the chance of “maybe” having more later on. I doubt personally that the prices will be that competitive in such a limited choice situation. We’ve already been notified by our insurance (we buy our policies out of pocket), that we should expect EVERYTHING we pay, copays, premiums and deductibles, to increase by 10-30% (They aren’t sure how much to raise the prices yet.). At least they won’t be able to kick me off for having a pre-existing condition. That’s something, I suppose.

        Edited to add: I’m not against Obamacare. I just wish that it was implemented evenly across the board, and not fractured into a thousand inadequate pieces depending on what state you live in. I’d be much happier with single-payer, but that is just too much to ask.

        • dddfaber

          Amber – it is not too much to ask. Single payer is where we are headed. It’s just going to take all of us adding our voice to the argument, and forcing our “representatives” to make decisions which actually benefit us as people, as opposed to benefiting big corporations and their own bottom lines.

          • Leslie

            Single payer will never happen. Once Obamacare winds up in the toilet, no one will take a chance on anything run by the Government.

        • Joan Crounse

          So the insurance companies, at least some of them in your state, are working against the ACA. I’m with you- Single Payer and to hell with all the private insurance companies. They’ve been holding us all hostage for far too long. How anyone can support a system where fellow citizens die from lack of health care is beyond me.

    • ellid

      No, that is EXACTLY what is happening in New York and California and the other states that are actually implementing the law. How DARE you!

      • Leslie

        There are no exchanges set up in NY.

    • phantomreader42

      Even if it won’t apply everywhere, there are actual real people in the actual real world saving actual real money on actual real healthcare. Your desperation to pretend that isn’t happening is noted and stupid.
      Also, if you’re going to argue that the insurance exchanges, designed to introduce competition in the health insurance market, will not necessarily reduce prices or improve service, then you’re admitting that the “free market” that conservatives tout as a magical solution to all problems doesn’t actually work.

      • Leslie

        You had better check on your exchange. First of all, all the plans, from Bronze up to Platinum, are basically identical, except for cost, and that depends on out of pocket expenses. Second, some states have only one company even willing to participate, and some can’t even get one volunteer. We may wind up with some “start up” companies, and that should be a real laugh.

        • Joan Crounse

          If insurance companies refuse to participate, then they are trying to stop the ACA. If that is the case, we should go to Single Payer. Leslie, do you have health insurance now? Is it employer paid or are you on your own?

          • Leslie

            You will never see single payer in this Country. As for me, Medicare, and I wish I didn’t have it. Till recently I had my husband’s employer coverage, cadillac BC/BS.

          • Joan Crounse

            So, Leslie, it’s OK that you were fortunate to have insurance from an employer and those that don’t have insurance, too bad? If you don’t want Medicare coverage, don’t use it. Pay your bills out-of-pocket. That’s what you want for other people who don’t have coverage, right? You’re against that darn ACA. Don’t just talk the talk. Let’s see you walk the walk. Don’t use your government health insurance. Fly out there on your own. Next time you’re in the hospital, make a payment plan. Maybe you you’ll have a bill high enough that you’ll never get out from under and you can file for bankruptcy. Or maybe, like that teenager in NYC, you can have an infected tooth that you can’t have treated because you have neither money nor insurance and the infection can go to your brain and you can die. I’ll let you know that people who have the “I’m alright, Jack, tough shit for you” attitude make me sick. We will have Single Payer when enough of us accept that we need a system in which all have access to health care. It’s a basic right, like education.

          • Leslie

            Again, I repeat – I never said coverage should not be made available for those who need it. What I said was to leave the rest of us alone.

            As for Medicare, I am required by law to take it unless I want to give up my social security. I paid into the SS system, and do not want to throw it in the garbage.

            As for an infected tooth – I hate to tell you this, but most insurance companies do not cover dental, and if they do, what they cover is woefully inadequate. Medicare does NOT cover it.

            I wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket if I could purchase private insurance, which I obviously can not. We will never have a single payer system, and I hate to tell you this, but health care is not a right. It is a privilege.

          • Joan Crounse

            I disagree. I believe health care to be a right. I do not believe it is morally right for some of us in the US to have access to life saving resources while others do not. I do not subscribe to the belief that it is OK for me to have access to health care while the woman who waits on me in the grocery store does not. I do not think it is right that some people face financial ruin because they became ill and they did not have insurance because their employer could not or would not provide it for them and their earnings are too low to buy in on their own. A healthy population is able to produce more. We all benefit with a healthier population. I am a teacher and I see on a regular basis the effects of the lack of health care on some of my students. And for this reason alone, I find people who deny others health coverage to be the lowest of the low. Give what excuse you want but bottom line is that you do not really care that some of our nation’s people are suffering because you have what you need. And by the way, no one is forcing you to participate in the ACA, so how aren’t you being “left alone”?

          • Leslie

            When I talk about “us” in terms of being left alone, I am referring to the general population. As for what you consider a “right”, I have become extremely tired of hearing liberals with their laundry list of what their “rights” are – from free healthcare, to free university education, to high minimum wage, etc. We are a Country founded on earning what you get. We have become a Country of handouts.

  • Chimako

    wow

  • baal

    learn more on single payer Medicare overhead is ~ 2% whereas the healthcare companies are ~15 or 20% (or more). And we pay 2x the $$ of other westernized nations while not getting better outcomes. So while I’m happy we have Obamacare, there is a lot further to go in righting the system.

    • SocraticGadfly

      Bingo.

  • Anthony Bernard Magnabosco

    The grand irony is that the Republicans dubbed the ACA “Obamacare” as a derogatory. But the ACA looks like it could shape up to be one of the best things for America since Social Security (which is basically poverty insurance for the elderly). The term “Obamacare” could be used in a positive manner for generations. Total right-wing marketing backfire.

    • baal

      Also from a marketing standpoint, Obamacare = Obama + Care!

      What politician wouldn’t love having CARE said right next to their name all the time? (yeah, I know the right always sneers it but normal folks won’t always)

      • Jeane Marie Carlson

        Why would the “right” sneer about that?

        • Zinc Avenger

          She said, sneering.

        • baal

          Hi Jeane Marie!

          “Obama derangement syndrome”. It’s a thing on faux news and the Limbah show where they always sneer and make other body language / tone smears of anyone on the left but especially they disrespect our president in ways that are flatly and frankly unpatriotic.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I think it’s because they know his real intent. It’s about control & everything opposite of what this country is founded on & made it so great so fast. Because of this I think they feel that HE is disrespectful & unpatriotic. Just my opinion. I believe the right is “caring” also but the left & right disagree on how to fix things. From what I’ve observed, the left coddles & like having say so over the countries lives. The right likes to give tools to people to help themselves. Thank you for responding to me w/out being insulting. You are the 1st person on here that has done so. I appreciate that. I just like to figure out where the other side is coming from. I’m an independent but tend to lean to the right because it just makes common sense to me. Thank you again.

          • Matthew

            First of all, it’s hard to argue that people are “being meanypants” to you when your original comments were totally cunty.

            Second – you’re really misinformed. The man cares greatly for our country and its people. How can you interpret “everyone deserves healthcare” as WANTS CONTROL. Look at your party- the party of takers. They all (and probably you) uphold Reagan as the most amazing president for freeing the US from the clutches of regulation and finally promoting “true capitalism”. Did you do your research to find out that after Regan slashed taxes in the early 80′s he had to raise them multiple times because of the fiscal crises that ensued? Or that the national debt tripled while he was in office and spiraled out of control until Bill Clinton balanced the budget in the 90′s – and where is it now? A damn disaster after Bush and years of Republican economic polices, the result of gridlock in Congress because of racist, xenophobic, homophobic right wing tea-bagging morons who would sooner collapse society as we know it, rather than work with a black guy. Heaven forbid we ever get a woman in there. And now 30 years after the Reagan disaster we have the worst income inequality the country has seen in about 100 years, our healthcare system is a mess (ranks 38th in the world btw) and we implemented devastating cuts to spending that hurt the poor and don’t affect the rich at all. Yes – clearly your party cares…about themselves.

          • Grace Vega

            Matthew — I am pretty liberal leaning on most issues, have lots of experience working in the healthcare system to provide appropriate language access to Limited English Proficient patients and Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing patients. Voted for Obama in both elections and agree with many ACA underpinnings. However, I have to agree that the disrespectful tones and words you and others on this thread use to describe people who disagree with you (in this case the poster Ms. Carlson) is a sad commentary on our society. Our inability to have civil discussions when we disagree is what is going to destroy us as a nation. More power to you, Ms. Carlson, for maintaining a polite civility while you disagree. I’m so very sorry that others here can’t do the same.

          • Donna Clark

            Matthew,
            I totally agree with the content you have provided. I totally disagree with your method of presentation. If we want to bring someone around to our way of thinking, we don’t attack them, and we do need that if we want the legislation we like passed.

          • invivoMark

            Yo, Matthew -

            I agree with a lot of the content of your post, and I appreciate you contributing to the discussion, but can we please avoid using gendered slurs like “cunty”? While I don’t necessarily disagree with your sentiment, and I personally don’t take offense to the term, I know there are readers here who do. And many of those readers are people who regularly contribute positively to discussions on this blog, and I would like for them to continue doing so. But for that to happen, I think it would be best to create an environment where those people feel welcome, and that means avoiding gendered slurs.

            Cheers.

          • Leslie

            Sorry, she is right. It is all about control.

          • Jim Howland

            Jeane Marie. You say the left is coddling and intrusive, and the right is empowering and patriotic and respectful. But you, you’re an independent–you like to keep an open mind and hear from both sides. Believe that about yourself if it makes you feel good, but don’t be surprised if no one else is deluded.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I wouldn’t be on here sifting through the insults, reading your points if I didn’t wonder about where the other side is coming from. You all are making it quite difficult though. I appreciate the passion but you’re just solidifying my original thoughts.

          • Zinc Avenger

            NOW you find that your opinions cemented.

            You started by declaring:

            Omg, you are either lying or your insurance company has made a mistake.

            NOW you have stepped back from this nuanced position of compromise and conciliation and genuine effort to understand the opposing viewpoint and have decided, shockingly, that you were rightly and righteously right all along.

          • Jim Howland

            I don’t know you, but you sound very familiar. You come “here” hoping to find something you can take offense at, proving to yourself that your righteous indignation is justified. You drop a comment you must know will elicit an angry response, for the sole purpose of allowing you to shake your head and say, “See how angry they are.”

          • Donna Clark

            I applaud you for being here at all, please try to ignore the insults and focus on the info provided, there’s good information here that will help you make an informed decision.

      • gramiam44

        Many of us who have seen the benefits for ourselves see Obamacare as a positive label. I, for one, intend to battle lies with facts for as long as it takes to shut down the troll factory. I am retired on Social Security so I have plenty of time!

    • Dave Walters

      I submit that the even grander irony is that “ObamaCare”, the PPACA, was actually drafted almost entirely by the Heritage Foundation as a counterproposal to the single-payer solution that was expected from the progressives. Of course, HF is a libertarian think tank, created entirely and funded in large part by the Koch brothers. What the Republicans did not expect was for Obama to come to the table with the HF compromise as a starting point – something that most progressives who are knowledgeable about why healthcare is in crisis in the USA were appalled by. Naturally, once the Obama administration and most Democrats on the hill embraced the PPACA proposal the HF reversed course.

      I love to see the confused look as the reality of cognitive dissonance surfaces on the faces of my conservative/libertarian acquaintances when they learn that HF was the original author of PPACA. Priceless.

      • John Retzer

        You’re COMPLETELY wrong about The Heritage Foundation’s origins. It is not libertarian, and it was not founded by the Koch Brothers. It is a conservative think tank founded in 1973 by Ed Feulner and Paul Weyrich and was funded mostly by Joseph Coors. The Koch Brothers did not get control of the company until 1979. If you’re going to rant, at least get your facts straight.

        • Dave Walters

          I got my Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation swirled together – apologies. The point is still valid – it was a far right conservative plan to thwart single payer that eventually morphed into the PPACA which the right wing now decries as evil, and worse. As to libertarian vs. conservative, yes HF is conservative and CI is libertarian. Far right vs. Ultra right. Not a huge amount of light in that gap.

          • John Retzer

            Big difference, actually, in their philosophies. I wouldn’t lump conservatives and libertarians together any more than I would lump liberals and socialists. Lots of space on those spectrums.

          • Dave Walters

            Opinions can differ, of course. I really don’t think there is nearly as much space between (modern) conservatives as represented by today’s Republican party and HF and Libertarians (CI) as there is space between (modern) liberals as represented by today’s Democratic party and ‘Socialism’. http://blog.heritage.org/2012/07/24/conservatism-vs-libertarianism-heritage-cato-square-off-in-debate/ The vast majority of today’s Democrats are just left of center, and center has shifted right in America over the last several decades. As opposed to the Republican party which is more partisan than it has been in decades. Reagan couldn’t get through a primary today. TR would be destroyed as a tree hugging progressive. Well, actually he was, but he was a Republican then.

          • Texas Red

            Well, in some respects i agree with you, but also with some of John Retzer’s points. True libertarians harbor positions that are both on the far right and far left. For example, many think recreational drugs such as marijuana and cocaine should be legalized. Try to get an extreme conservative to go along with that. Libertarians also generally advocate for your sex/personal life is nobody’s business, including if you happen to be gay. True conservatives only want small government on certain things. They want lot’s of government for controlling things they don’t like such as the rec drugs, gay marriage, women’s right to do as they choose about their healthcare, body, contraceptives, etc. and so forth and so on. True libertarians are the true party of limited government. Tea party extremists like to believe they are libertarians, but true libertarians would want nothing to do with them.

        • SocraticGadfly

          Actually, some libertarians (per a libertarian friend of mine), favor a national health care system, and a few even favor a single-payer system.

          • John Retzer

            I find it interesting that virtually everyone I know, regardless of their political persuasion is convinced that theirs is the reasonable, correct, and middle of the road position and that everyone else is an extremist.

          • SocraticGadfly

            Not sure how this directly responds to my statement; I wouldn’t deny its general gist as an observation about human nature, though.

          • Compuholic

            That is probably true. But it may help to get an outsiders view.

            In Germany the Democrats are usually viewed as a centre-right party and the Republicans as a far-right insane asylum. This view is probably shared across Europe (and probably even in the UK).

          • Samuel Collier

            Optimist bias.

          • Symuel H Smith

            We all should favor a Single-payer System….which cuts overhead immensely. I hear the refrain: “Do not let them take my Medicare away”…!! Overhead in Medicare is less than 4%. So.lets allow 5%, and smooth-out any rough edges. However, let us also do something about Political Financing, in this country. It is the bane of our system of Government. Why else would we insist on a large subsidy to even the Petroleum Industry, Agriculture,..and others. We are almost alone among industrial countries with this “Fee for Service System”, where there are more fees than service. Too many of our citizens are not covered, which if they were covered..would need less maintenance. We also should depart from a “Sickness System”, to a “Wellness Approach”. If anyone can do it we can. So come on….a wellness system, and a Political Financing System, which does not depend on the High-jacking of Public Services.

        • Robyn Kern

          He was not ranting by the way….

      • Leslie

        Obamacare is not the same program Heritage proposed, nor is it the same as Romneycare.

    • Jeane Marie Carlson

      Yes, because Social Security is not failing or anything. This was designed to be temporary. Expand your mind past the gov’t. You all are SLAVES!

      • Zinc Avenger

        Heh, you have a true mastery of hyperbole.

        Hyperbole is a long word that means exaggeration for comic effect.

        Exaggeration is a long word that means saying something is more, bigger, worse, or better than it really is.

        • Jeane Marie Carlson

          That’s it? Have a good day Zinc.

          • Zinc Avenger

            Oh, YOU ARE ALL SLAVES wasn’t exaggeration, and wasn’t meant to be funny? Wow.

            Subtlety, nuance, understanding… Discussion is not these things to you.

      • Joan Crounse

        Social Security is in trouble because so much of the money we workers have put into the pot has been taken out by our elected officials to pay for other things than what it was meant to pay for.
        Good grief, Jeane Marie, do you not do any research at all? Opinions are all well and good but they should be based on fact.

        • Jaci Roland

          That is the thing that annoys the crap out of me. I would consider myself a liberal, but I do disagree on some “liberal issues”. Now I would never know to disagree on those subjects if I just took what was spoon fed to me by Chris Matthews. When I want to know about a subject – ie ‘Is ACA stealing from Medicare’, I actually go read about that. Usually at more than one fact checking website, so I have more than one source. Why do these right wing people absolutely refuse to read anything other than right wing propaganda? Have they been convinced that all other sources are lying? And the nerve to call US slaves, that’s just … pot, meet kettle…

          • Daniel Cooper

            JR, Though fortunately a temporary situation, I currently reside in a very conservative part of the lower 48. Having come from lets say a more “informed/progressive” portion of the world, I’ve learned that it’s virtually impossible to expect these die hard “white is right” individuals to read anything that has not already been torn out of the old Sears catalog in their reading room. Actually, I think the outdoors/gun section is that last to go…. Did I say “go” …:) I hope that answers your query..

        • Jeane Marie Carlson

          Umm, yes, I’m agreeing w/ you doll. This is what happens when you give more of you money to gov’t to redistribute. It turns to crap. I know 1st hand. I’ve worked for the gov’t.

          • Joan Crounse

            Your premise in the original statement is incorrect. It really does not matter if SS was meant to be temporary or not. It has proven to be a good system that keeps the elderly out of poverty and has paid for itself with workers’ contributions. It does not factor into the nation’s debt so why try to destroy it? Perhaps you would like to go back to the “Good Old days” when so many of our seniors lived in poverty. I would prefer not to go back there. BTW- Calling anyone “Doll” is demeaning but I’m sure that’s why you did it.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Geez, I didn’t mean to be “demeaning” by calling you Doll. I’m southern. This is how I converse. Ya’ll sure do like to make a lot of assumptions. I never said destroy Social Security. I would like the people to have more say so & control over where their money goes, how much, ect. Just more control of OUR hard earned money is all I’m lookin’ for.

          • Joan Crounse

            I’m loving this. Every time she’s rude she blames it on being Southern…Guess the “slave” reference figures into that, too. I’m from Brooklyn but I don’t use that as an excuse to be rude. Nice hiding behind a computer keyboard and being all brave and mouthy. Your comment is an obviously anti-SS. Seriously though, I believe it was George Bush II who thought it was a good idea for people to take their contributions out of SS and invest them in whatever they wanted. This was right before the last stock market takedown. If we were to go your way, Jeane Marie, where people had more control of their money, what would we do with the seniors who controlled their own money and didn’t do it well and were now in poverty? Say “Tough beans”? My solution is to not allow any further withdrawals from the SS fund except for the purposes for which it was meant. In the future, I would like to see money that was taken out put back in. Bottom line on the ACA- it’s covering more people and it’s costing less. Now we need to improve that and get to Single Payer.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Well by all means, don’t trust the people. Trust the gov’t. Sounds like a plan. (Insert sarcasm here) Have a good day Joan.

          • Joan Crounse

            Please see my last comment comment, Jeane Anne.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I saw it. And my name is Jeane Marie. Have a good day.

          • Joan Crounse

            Sorry, I didn’t mean to use the wrong name. It was unintentional. But you still have not answered with any facts and have merely repeated your opinions. You have yourself a good day, too. Sincerely.

          • Jaci Roland

            My advice on that: People communicate differently. Attempt to see through to the intent. Yes the slaves comment was rude. But since there were far more vulgar things said in the other direction, maybe some understanding is called for. My grandmother also uses the words, darlin’ dear doll etc and she’s the sweetest person I know.

          • Joan Crounse

            Perhaps it is fine in a face-to-face exchange but I don’t think it has a place here. As to the rude comments towards Jeane Marie, those people are wrong to do that. Absolutely. But that does not give her the right to be rude to someone else who did not call names. It is easy to be brave and rude behind a computer screen.

          • Jaci Roland

            I’d like that too. More control of OUR hard earned money that is. Also, you were not being demeaning by using the word ‘Doll’. I’m beginning to think that this is a tactic used on both sides of isle (feign insult) to distract from the argument at hand. I do think that you may be being slightly mislead as to where the actual source issues are in the management or mismanagement of our money. In order to get back the control that you and I both want, there has to be regulation. Stop letting them convince you that the corporate entities are in the same boat as you. Or that they ever had anything other than their bottom line in mind.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            Thank you Jaci. Do not assume I’m convinced that the corporate entities are in the same boat as me.
            I’ve worked for the gov’t & was Shocked at how much pleasure they took in pissing away our hard earned dollars. It made me sick to my stomach. I tried to fight it but they would look at me like I had a horns & say “Why do you care?” Big gov’t does this. I just want more control of MY money.

          • Byo

            Ms Jeane wants more “control of her money”. By putting it on Wall St, so the next crash by the titans will be rescued by the tax payers again.
            First she is an expert on heath care, now an expert on govt waste because she worked in govt. Wow, just wow.

          • Joan Crounse

            Jaci- Where I’m from calling someone “Doll” is rude. I don’t use any “tactics” when I post except for facts. If you post with reason and thought, you don’t need to call people names such as “doll” and “slave”. You go ahead and get control of your SS money if you can. Invest it where you want, I don’t care. But when you make a mistake and wind up with nothing, then you live with that. SS is meant to benefit ALL. It is like an insurance policy to keep you from falling into abject poverty when you are elderly. If you want to see how having control of your own money works, check out the Great Depression and the Gilded Age. See how that worked for them.

          • Jaci Roland

            Joan – that’s my point exactly. Where YOU come from calling someone “Doll” is rude. As you present yourself to be an intelligent person, I assume you may know that in the south (where she comes from), it is not rude. Therefore you can deduce that her intention was not to insult in that instance. So arguing on and on about it and feigning insult is just distracting from the important points. Whether or not something is considered rude, IS actually an opinion, not a fact. The rest of your post is confusing. Do you assume that because I stood up for her in regards to her intention on that one word that I agree with her opinions on the rest? I do not, and I’ve made that pretty clear in my other posts in this discussion. I however am not so brainwashed by my cause that I am unable to say to my side, “hey lets play nice”. And in my opinion that is something that would help greatly in furthering the progress of these debates in this country.

          • Joan Crounse

            I do agree that is it best to play nice and deal in facts. I don’t like that some people call names. I do not indulge and I do not justify other people’s use of name-calling. I am not “feigning insult.” She doesn’t matter enough for me to be insulted. What I was trying to point out is that it is best to use the person’s name rather than a phrase like that. If I am to “know” that the word doll is Southern usage, then she should “know” that it is considered to be rude for other people. No? I am not going on and on, just answering her comments. I have made my points in regards to the ACA and used facts rather than mere opinions. The ACA has allowed more people to be covered in regards to health insurance and has brought down the costs. Can you disagree with those statements?

          • Jaci Roland

            Of course I don’t disagree with those statements. The facts back up those statements.

        • Leslie

          Social Security is failing for two reasons. 1) The people working today, who pay into the system which then pays out health care costs for seniors are neither earning much money, nor are they in the numbers they used to be. 2) People are living longer, and decades ago, not that many lived long beyond the age of 65.

  • Ryan Tower

    totally AGREE. I was CANCELLED. Then I paid 375/mo. now i pay $129 a month with BETTER COVERAGE and can’t be refused. WE now have COMPETITION in California (finally). AND the WEALTHCARE scaremongers want me to fear the black president. HA! I fear losing OBAMACARE and going back.

  • Economist2011

    this is great news.

  • http://www.betterstrongerfaster.com/ Mark Cancellieri

    It’s a little premature to talk about how wonderful ObamaCare is, considering that most of it hasn’t even taken effect yet. The only real effect that it has had so far is to discourage full-time employment so that employers can avoid the mandate.

    Besides, it seems a little odd that insurers would be able to decrease premiums so much, considering that their profit margins run in the low single digits. The only way that it would be possible is if they get huge numbers of healthy single people to sign up and effectively subsidize everyone else. I’m a little skeptical, unless the penalties or subsidies are raised substantially.

    • Ian Osmond

      If their profit margins are in the low single digits, why were they so upset about the “can’t have a profit margin more than 20%” thing?

      • http://www.betterstrongerfaster.com/ Mark Cancellieri

        What are you talking about? There is no such thing. The percentage of premiums that must be spent on health costs is 80%, but that doesn’t mean that they would have a profit margin of 20%. The remaining 20% would mostly be administrative overhead, leaving profit margins in the low single digits.

        • Bob Rowen

          That’s right. They can pay the CEO 15 million a year and that does not count as profit. That’s why the 80% figure is total admin costs. There are lots of ways to hide a profit.

    • Benny

      SMH stop already people are saving money and getting better care. Just admit it allready.

    • Jonathan Marcus

      Source on that “low single digit” statement? Quick glance at Aetna, Cigna, and UHC shows operating profit margins in the 8 to 9% range.

      And they’ll be making more money because everyone (including healthy younger people) will now be insured.

      • http://www.betterstrongerfaster.com/ Mark Cancellieri

        If you go to the Sector/Industry Analysis section of Yahoo Finance, the “Health Care Plans” industry has a net profit margin of 3.4%.

        Profit Margin % = Net Income / Revenues

        From the Aetna annual report:
        2010 – 1,766.8 / 34,246.0 = 5.2%
        2011 – 1,985.7 / 33,779.8 = 3.0%
        2012 – 1,657.9 / 36,595.9 = 4.5%

        From the Cigna annual report:
        2010 – 1,279 / 21,128 = 6.1%
        2011 – 1,260 / 21,865 = 5.8%
        2012 – 1,623 / 29,119 = 5.6%

        From the UHC annual report:
        2010 – 4,634 / 94,155 = 4.9%
        2011 – 5,142 / 101,862 = 5.0%
        2012 – 5,526 / 110,618 = 5.0%

        • baal

          Numbers like these don’t mean what they say on their face. You need a lot more information to figure out how much they are actually making since things like $30 million dollar ceo salaries skew the ‘cost’ side of the equation. Evenmoreso, showing too much profit looks bad to the public and costs the business more tax. They buy and sell companies to offset profit/losses to show small net positives in order to minimize taxation. It’s a giant shell game. Any decently managed big corp will always show profits in these ranges.

          For related reasons, when they do show losses, they artificially make them look as bad as possible without scaring the big investors. Losses can usually be used to offset profits for several years into the future and thus also minimize taxation.

          I don’t have a specific cite in mind but Robert Reich’s website lays out some of these and similar mechanisms for screwing the American people by shifting the reasonable overall taxation burden from industry to you and me.

  • john_hogan

    Nothing is more inevitable than the unintended disastrous consequences of universal manipulations.

    The federal push for increased home ownership led to the foreclosure crisis and larger collapse.

    The war on drugs and various schemes aimed at helping the underprivileged have led to the utter destruction of the black family in America, and made blacks a permanent underclass.

    The US intervention in World War I, and the Treaty of Versailles, planted the seeds of Hitler’s rise and World War II.

    Etc., etc.

    In each of these instances, and many others, you can bet that biased fools celebrated any early anecdotal evidence that seemed to prove the policies were wise.

    A program like Obamacare, that distorts market signals and makes impossible necessary adjustments as new preferences, technologies, etc., emerge, can’t do other than fail.

    Like stimulus cancer, or welfare cancer, or prohibition cancer, or aggressive foreign policy cancer, it’s just going to take a while for the Obamacare cancer spread through the system to the extent that we’re all really suffering.

    • Daniel Krause

      So now the argument is it’s a slippery slope to some terrible thing that you don’t even know? How do you know it isn’t a slope to a thing even better than you think?

      • Zinc Avenger

        DON’T DO ANYTHING. Something bad might happen.

        • john_hogan

          Voting for a system of handouts because it jibes with your coffee shop discussions of Das Kapital does not amount to you doing anything.

          • baal

            “das Kapital”? Really, look, it’s not 1946. If you’re going to slander folks you ought not to resemble a geezer from the last century.

          • john_hogan

            It’s very appropriate, and it’s good for you guys to bear in mind that all you’re actually capable of is mindless regurgitation of discredited Marxist theories.

          • baal

            Projection junction, what’s your function?

          • Zinc Avenger

            Condescension from an economic solipsist. How… Novel.

      • john_hogan

        Well, no, the argument is that we know very well it will fail for a specific reason: Because a program this inclusive requires a depth of calculation that is humanly impossible, in order to keep all the elements in play balanced, while not inadvertently ruining millions of lives.

        However, if you want specifics….

        Why ObamaCare Will Fail: A Reading List http://mises.org/daily/3737

        • baal

          Michele Bachmann advocates for Mr. Mises version of economics. This suggests a bit of bias here and we might not accept your link as evidence that actually supports your position.

          • john_hogan
          • baal

            It’s not a fallacy in this case as both she and that institute (and now I include you) are tainted by political considerations.

            Also, having health care will improve lives not ruin them. Obamacare was Romneycare first and came out of the AEI. Politically, it’s overall a right of center plan. The left of center plan (and one I support) is called single payer. Whether or not I can get health care from an expert (doctor!) should not be based on my ability to pay for that care. Really, denying reasonable minimal healthcare from people who cannot pay for it is a kin to saying you’re willing to watch people suffer and die while you could pay for it with the change in your pocket.

        • Kubricks_Rube

          Ah, The Mises Institute. Thanks to Obamacare, I can now read their website without fearing that severe-eye-roll-strain will be classified a preexisting condition.

          • john_hogan

            So, then, you’re going to begin reading and actually process the logical debunking of socialism? Very cool. After a while I bet you’ll find yourself reviewing your own comments and rolling your eyes at your junior high-level wit.

        • Daniel Krause

          What if they use computers for the calculations? I bet that takes some of the pressure off!

    • Jonathan Marcus

      You’re right, there’s absolutely no way to know what might result from a government funded health care program… Unless of course you try looking at any other developed country on earth.

      • john_hogan

        Smaller samples, homogenous populations, relatively short time periods, debatable positive results, many areas facing crises due to general government intervention….You’d better give it another generation or two before you spike the ball.

        The 20th century European flirtation with socialism is a very mixed bag of results and none of their supposed successes translate neatly to a country the size of the US with its widely varied and mutually antagonistic groups.

        • baal

          And yet when I look at the top 17 nations in health care (cost & life expectancy) they all have lower costs and higher life expectancy than the U.S. We are the country that’s abberant and those examples are enough to say we should try the ‘socialist’ option. Hell, we could even look at medicare and see it’s extremely low overhead & at worst on par outcomes to see that the US’s “idely varied and mutually antagonistic groups. (who again are these?)” can be helped under a single system.

        • Jonathan Marcus

          So we should wait “another generation or two” before doing anything to address our dysfunctional healthcare system? (And it’s not just Europe. Japan, Korea, Singapore…pick any developed country.)

          But you’re right. There are unknown consequences to *any* decision we make in a country the size of the US. They may be bad. But following your advice to it’s logical conclusion means that we do nothing at all, and let our dysfunctional healthcare system spiral out of control. There might be a few consequences to that decision too.

    • baal

      So john_hogan, how do you feel about Goldman_Sachs hiding 25% of the aluminum metal in the US and making money on the bet that aluminum prices would go up?

      • john_hogan

        I suspect Goldman Sachs was shielded from repercussions in the marketplace by the same corrupt government you imagine is going to ethically institute Obamacare, jackass.

        • baal

          While they play all politicians, the right has been (oh scott brown where are you?) on crack with turning back regulations and preventing the SEC from doing its job. Can you name the senators’ party which is stopping the Consumer Protection Office from getting a chair appointed? That office would be the unleashing the marketplace (as well as regs) on Goldman Sachs.

          • john_hogan

            Yeah…..You can look around at your present government, bombing little kids to death, pursuing world empire, keeping more people in cages than any other country on earth, looking the other way for public robbery after public robbery, no matter who resides in what office or bureaucracy, year after year, and still cling to the fantasy that it’s just those evil Republicans.

            You’re mentally ill.

          • baal

            Or you could look at what bills the republicans try to pass and their speeches. Also, i dock you two points for moving off of health care or economics.

            Do you know who is pushing for a war with syria? Hint, it’s not obama and is the same group of people who wanted the war with Iraq. Your other points are similarly defective in that they don’t support your contention and do support mine.

            Thankfully, being a humanist and an empiricist isn’t in the DSM4 (or 5). I’m sure that would have happened under Bush the Lesser’s third term, however.

            In all honesty, I laughed at my desk at your use of mental illness as an insult.

          • john_hogan

            Ha. So you act out your mental illness for me.

            Yes, it’s the Republicans….they make Obama bomb little kids to death and carry on some variation of all the Bush policies as if all of Bush’s core beliefs were on the money.

            Dude. Stop making an ass of yourself.

          • baal

            You’re off on a tangent and acting on facts not in evidence John. I’m against the current party in power’s use of drones and support bush era violations of the 4th amendment.

            Please consider that your inability to read my mind accurately is evidence that you have a flaw in your analysis methods and you should reconsider how you use evidence.

          • awakeinwa

            Markets go through bubble and bust cycles once or twice a decade. For hundreds of years now. How many recessions and financial crisis happened before 2008-9. How many have occurred since the Asian financial (contagion) crisis of the 1990s. If markets were so efficient, competitive, and self-checking, bubbles and busts would not occur. But they do with greater frequency.

            The problem with your dogmatic hee-haw kindergarten argumentation is it cannot deal with facts and figures that directly destroy your dogmatic assertion.

            In this thread nobody said govt was perfect. What was said is you could vote to throw the bums out, get laws passed to make sure there are checks and balances, and make politicians comply with ethics rules that they can lose their jobs over.

            When was the last time a CEO got fired by a board of directors. When was the last time your boss or CEO did anything with your consent. People complain about govt when govt is really the only outlet for them to effect change in their lives that they have any control over.

            When they go to work, govt ensures they have basic rights and protections. Children get to go to school instead of working sweatshops 16 hrs a day. Because of govt that evolved. A court can strike down an unconstitutional executive decision.

            When was the last time a board of directors struck down anything executive.

            Civil society is about values expressed through rules that govern how people and markets behave. Civil society is not values as dictated by the price system.

            Like baal said, imprisoning somebody determining their sentence ought to function based on the crime committed and applied consistent for all peoples. Not based on revenue potential and profit maximization.

            End of day, govt counterbalances corps. You can vote one out but not another. If fascism takes hold, you will have no rights except those determined by King George and his billionaires. And that is what the founders fought over.

          • invivoMark

            You’re commenting at a blog by someone with mental illness.

            You’re commenting at a blog by someone who is an active champion of acceptance of and advocacy for those with mental illnesses.

            And you’ve got the fucking nerve to use “mentally ill” as a slur.

            Dear john_hogan: Fuck you.

            Your posts are insipid. Your capacity for logic is nonexistant. Your understanding of the topics you discuss is severely lacking, and you are an exemplar of the Dunning Kruger effect. Your rhetorical skills are defective, and you can’t help but sling unprovoked insults and make yourself look like an ass. In a debate, what you write is the equivalent of shitting your pants and then acting like you’re proud of it.

            But that isn’t the worst of it. Your worst quality is that your empathy for your fellow human beings is broken. I can put up with stupidity, I can put up with ignorance. But I wouldn’t put up with you.

            Kindly fuck off.

      • baal

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1an7j6cmjUw

        YoungTurks on the aluminum thing. Apologies on being so off topic but I’m more than a little annoyed by what deregulation and capture of banks + politics has done to screw you and me.

    • Loqi

      I’m amused when people talk about Obamacare destroying the free market. As if the insurance maket is free. You just go down to your local insurance shop, grab two policies off the shelf and compare them side by side using the clearly marked price tag and coverage facts!

      • john_hogan

        I never said we have a free market in healthcare.

        As you note, healthcare at present is completely manipulated by government, either directly or indirectly, in every area from methodology and licensing to pricing and availability.

        What I’m saying is that it’s asinine to assume that, since this system has failed, a more comprehensive set government controls will solve the problem.

        • baal

          “present is completely manipulated by government,” For the benefit of the oligarchs who own those businesses.

          The problem isn’t government, it’s government captured by rich assholes who want to see numbers roll up in their accounts at the cost of treating people who need medical care. Again, it’s both parties but one party much more than the other who enables the rich to screw the rest of us over.

          • john_hogan

            Where was the free market during the Spanish Inquisition? Where were the unrestrained capitalists in the USSR or Nazi Germany or in Aztec society or name your nightmare state?

            Your premise is asinine. Capitalism is competition based on efficient use of resources. As long as the competition is in place, ill effects are limited. The competition is undermined when government gets involved.

            Government, with thousands of years of examples, before any complex market system was developed, has preyed on the weak. Their primary trick for getting away with it has been to convince imbeciles like you to blame some source outside government.

            The Catholic empire blamed Satan. Hitler blamed the Jews. Fat middle class American socialists are fooled into blaming businessmen.

          • baal

            “As long as the competition is in place, ill effects are limited.”

            You’re so close to a break through in understanding here but your libertarianism is sending your thoughts into ruts. Ill effect are limited when power is diverse and dynamic. The problem for political systems is when power becomes accumulated and captured. The legitimate role of the government (us the people are the government) is to use the power of the state to keep power from accumulating in specific loci. The critical flaw of libertarianism is that it invokes magic as a method to keeping power pools from forming.

            Our founders knew that power (not government) was the issue. They went out of their way to try to limit the power of government (YES!) but also of the rich, the aristocrats, and corporations (which were initially illegal to have as were liability shields like we have today).

          • baal

            Oh, john, please stop with the gratituous insults “Fat middle class America”.

          • john_hogan

            appropriate to point out that the people who passionately advocate government interventions won’t likely suffer from them…..Fat middle class whites are not having their homes and families destroyed by welfare incentives or drug laws or lack of basic services or sloppy basic services or economic downturns….they’re good, or they assume they’re good, whatever laws are passed, so they have a lot of fun being outraged.

          • baal

            John, I didn’t hear you very well. You…se m..to ..be..breaking(shhhhstatic) up. ARGLEBLARRRGH

            Sorry, I have an mental health issue that urges me to mirror the mode of communication of the person I’m talking to (it’s called being a normal person but don’t let that bother you). In plainer English, your point is lost in your incoherence. Take a break and have a glass of water before you reply next??

          • GenghisTim J

            John, Baal, Loqi… Great debate.

          • john_hogan

            Oh…I get it now…..You end concentration of power by concentrating all power in government. Brilliant….The scheme that has let to all genocides and slave systems….that’s where we need power to reside.

            Thanks for handing down the liberal wisdom. I can’t understand why so many people laugh at you guys.

          • baal

            Like I said, you’re so close and yet so far. Government has a role in limiting its own power and other powers. That’s what I said but your having trouble reading since I’m not matching your preconceptions.

          • john_hogan

            it gets more clever! Government is going to limit its own power! Gee, I’m in government, all my incentives are to make secret deals and lie to the fools and line my pockets and nobody can do anything because I can shield myself by citing policy and invoking obscure laws….But I’m gonna limit my power, lessen my influence, decrease my fortunes…..Because that’s my role, and knowing it’s my role makes me do it. It works like…..magic.

          • baal

            You have never heard of FOIA, open meetings laws, public hearings, ethics disclosures, reporting requirements, stock divestitures, gift limits etc? Government should have transparency well above and beyond what’s appropriate for private persons and even business. You seem very ignorant of the actual places, people, rules and structure of government.

          • john_hogan

            More clever yet! Yes, I’m ignorant of all magic devices we’re told are going to make a violent monopoly morph into a public charity.

            And the only thing you’re ignorant about is real world outcomes.

            Go Google some pictures of dead Mid East kids, or soldier suicide stats or federal debt charts or foreclosure charts or prison stats or black family stats or real income stats…. or democide…….Then get back to me on all your little bureaus.

          • baal

            Being willfully obtuse John?

          • Loqi

            It works significantly better than being in a corporate oligarchy where all your incentives are to make secret deals and lie to the fools and line your pockets and nobody can do anything.

          • Loqi

            The only ways I can see that you read what baal said and come away with this interpretation is willful ignorance or that your reading comprehension is on par with your economics.

          • Loqi

            I’m amused at the whole “liberals are all fat, middle class white people” bit. Have you ever been to a tea party rally? Or a Ron Paul worship ceremony?

          • john_hogan

            The point is that liberals, while enjoying the quality of life that can only be delivered by private initiative in a market setting, are hot to undermine the market for the sake of utopian fantasies.

            A fat middle class white person who acknowledges the value of free enterprise is being perfectly consistent.

          • Loqi

            …while enjoying the quality of life that can only be delivered by private initiative in a market setting…

            I’ll let my Canadian friends know that their higher standard of living on most metrics is physically impossible given their single payer health system.

        • Loqi

          If you think healthcare and insurance would be better without regulations, you’re more naive than I thought. I work in the industry, and I know for a fact that we only give the customer the bare minimum required by government. You wouldn’t know what anything costs or what benefits you get. It isn’t uncommon to hear “Do we absolutely have to tell them that?” when we introduce a new charge or reduce a benefit. If the answer is no, we don’t tell you. Hell, we wouldn’t even pay out on claims if we weren’t required. We’d just deny the claim and you’d never know why. What’s that? You’d just switch to a different insurer? Yeah right. We routinely win awards for being the most customer focused insurer in the region, so you can bet the alternatives would be at least as bad. It would be a race to see who could offer the least. And since we own the hospitals as well, you’d be screwed. Pay up or die.

          • john_hogan

            Your experience in a government-manipulated setting is evidence against the free market?

            By your logic, only shoddy, drab shoes should be available to the general public, because market incentives are to cheat the customer.

            Why the mind-blowing variety in price, quality, style, etc., in the almost entirely unregulated shoe industry?

            Why are shoddy, drab services assured at every point where government interfaces with the public?

          • Loqi

            Your experience in a government-manipulated setting is evidence against the free market?

            You’re missing the point, and I suspect on purpose at this point.

            Why the mind-blowing variety in price, quality, style, etc., in the almost entirely unregulated shoe industry?

            Because you can go to the store and compare shoes on the shelves. As I pointed out earlier, you cannot do this with insurance, and we as an industry do our best to make sure that you can’t. That’s why there’s so much blowback against the exchanges.

          • john_hogan

            Of course, health insurance schemes could be offered under 10,000 models and their selling points demonstrated in 10,000 ways by salespeople if there weren’t government controls.

            You can’t say that one industry is immune to the creativity of entrepreneurs…..you can only say that the government-manipulated version of the industry you happen to be familiar with is drab and shoddy…..which coincidentally describes every government-manipulated industry, and almost none of the industries we can look at that are mostly shaped by market forces.

          • baal

            Bullshit. You can’t have governmental functions handled by private businesses. The incentives lead to bad outcomes. We can see this is the prisions industry, defense industry, christian homeschooling, and energy deregulation. Hell, the airlines took less money from the government (our taxes) when they were under serious regulation than they have in the last 20 years under deregulation.

            Time and time again, these masses of power abuse people. The prision corps get politicans elected who will increase sentences. If 10 years was a good enough punishment 50 years ago, why does it need to 20 years for the same crime now? Do we really need as big a military as we have? Haven’t you seen even the absurd scenario of the military telling congress that some weapons programs are useless but congress keeps that program since it’s jobs in a powerful senator’s state?

            The post office runs (did) beautifully until UPS, fedex and related businesses paid for certain campaigns and asked for poison pills for the post office. Same for medicare / medicaid. When you fund and do oversight on government, it works great. The Republicans have been going out of their way to make government a failure – remember “heck of a job brownie?” FEMA used to be lauded as extremely effective until Brown privatized much of it.

            It’s a Big-Lie that government can’t run things. It’s a Big-Lie that governmental functions should be done by private industry. It’s a Big-Lie that we could ever have health care that serves everyone in the U.S. on a Free Market unregulated FFA.

            And stop …. abusing…Ellipses….!

          • john_hogan

            Maybe you can see the humor. You tick off a list of government services, or businesses mated with government, that end up corrupt and/or bankrupt….and you use this as evidence that government-based management is the way to go!

            And all the massively successful private sector businesses, offering unlimited innovative products priced to move and no economic drain on society? Why, those are power pools of the evil capitalists forcing people to voluntarily improve the average standard of living!

            You get funnier every comment!

          • baal

            ” that end up corrupt and/or bankrupt.”

            See this is where I think you’re being intentionally wrongful.

            I said with clarity how the post office got in the red (bizarre requirement to fund pensions beyond all reason, a republican bill passed at the request of the private competitors). The Post Office’ss failing are due to abuse of power by the private sector business. They did it to reduce competition and to allow themselves to increase prices. Really, you are bad at economics and use of power.

          • john_hogan

            Why aren’t UPS and Fed Ex in the same bind? Gee….What’s that one element that’s different….Man, I can’t place it….

          • baal

            “t one element that’s different….” the Post Office is barred by law from paying for elections buying senators making campaign donations.

          • john_hogan

            So every successful private business buys off politicians? And this is why every government service is bankrupt and/or corrupt?

            Yes, they look painful, but Marxist logic contortions are fun to watch. Please, keep going!

          • baal

            How am I Marxist? Lay it out. Don’t just smear crap.

            Who said anything about ‘every business’?

            The question is whether or not government can run governmental functions. The Post Office is an excellent example of an refuted YES! government can work just fine thank you. The Post Office is also an excellent example of how corruption from the political right destroys public goods. That’s a Bad-Thing(TM).

            You’re arguing that the solution to corruption is to legalize it. That doesn’t actually stop the bad behaviour.

            I think now is as good a time as any to call you a troll, bow out of the conversation and watch you lard up the various subthreads with ‘getting the last word.”

          • john_hogan

            Dude, all Marxism ultimately states is 1) that magical “experts” must run things to produce egalitarian results and 2) that free enterprise, i.e., capitalism, is an inherently predatory system.

            Reread your comments. That’s all you’ve got. Those are your only premises. There’s nothing else. At all.

            Like I said elsewhere, that’s the entire political left….just mindless reiteration of laughable, long-discredited commie theories.

          • Loqi

            And with this, you once again demonstrate that you have no idea what the people around you are talking about.

          • Joan Crounse

            The Postal Service is required to fund its retirement for 70+ years into the future. FedEx and UPS are not under the same requirement. The PO actually had over a billion dollar profit last year but these insane retirement fund regulations make it look like they are in the red. John, you need to start doing some actual research and maybe actually think about what people respond to you rather than just continuing on blindly.

          • Loqi

            Yes. If only government didn’t require us to be transparent against our will, we’d totally be transparent.

          • john_hogan

            ???

            We don’t need to be transparent. We aren’t legally empowered to menace and kill our neighbors.

            Modern government is a proposal to take your money, through force, and to generally use various kinds of force on your behalf. The need for transparency arises from this dangerous monopoly on violence.

            The proposal of private enterprise is for individuals to contract as equals. To the extent their contractual arrangement may require it, transparency is appropriate, but there’s no built in danger of someone abusing a legal power to kidnap, rob and murder.

          • baal

            John, you have now, jumped the shark. Your coherance was fraying a while ago but the post starting with ??? is frankly bizarre. There is no rational relationship between transparency and murder.

          • john_hogan

            Seems to me I put in question marks as if to say, “What?” and then explained why you can’t apply the transparency necessity for government to private citizens, as the commenter was trying to do.

            Maybe your blathering about people not making sense has jumped the shark.

          • Joan Crounse

            He’s had no coherence from the start. Just a lot of random ranting.

          • Loqi

            …what does what you said have to do with anything? You went from my explaining that without regulation, the insurance industry could deny claims for any reason (or no reason, you have no idea) with impunity to talking about kidnapping? Have you completely lost it?

        • stepjohn1

          Hogan, I replied to one of your other very cogent and well-written messages.
          You’re a thinking man. It’s a pleasure to read your responses.
          Common Sense and real knowledge rules.
          Lefties all act like they’ve been living under some unspeakable, right-wing tyranny controlled by the uber wealthy.
          I guess they’ve bought the class warfare argument….

    • youmustbejoking

      You are spouting some tired old claims. The government didn’t cause the destruction of “the black family”. What has held black families back is the difficulty in finding a decent paying job after so many of the good jobs followed the “white flight” out of the cities where black people might have been your neighbors. The jobs were gone, the tax base was gone and their neighborhoods started deteriorating- along with the schools. Add in the very real racism that still exists when it comes to finding jobs and there is no wonder black families have had a hard time. And yes, it has been proved that when a white person and a black person with identical skills and experience apply for a job- 9 out of 10 times the white person will get the job over the black person.

      About the only thing you have correct is the war on drugs and that has been primarily because sentencing has been very lopsided- blacks got much more time than whites for the same drug crimes. If you recall though, we had plenty of citizens screaming about the evils of drugs and the Congress and administrations answered their screams by passing laws. I have gotten to the point that I think we would be better off legalizing all drugs- but certainly drugs like marijuana. Arrests for that particular drug is punished much too harshly and it is not the evil drug that they have portrayed it to be ever since “Reefer Madness”.

      Circumstances have gotten worse for people on the low end of the wage scale because of capitalism and greed. Too many jobs no longer offer the kinds of benefits that lifted people out of lower income groups and into the middle class. Jobs don’t pay the decent wages they used to and wages don’t keep up with the cost of living. CEOs make outrageously high salaries to the detriment of those at the bottom of the heap. Trickle down dammed up long before it got where it needed to go and people suffer. With less regulation more people get screwed. People that can’t afford it.

      I am not even going to go into all the war stuff other than to say we should have never gone to Iraq. I didn’t support it when Bush and Cheney et al insisted we had to because of WMD and I was glad to see the president pull us out, even though we won’t completely be out for years.

      As far as the Affordable Healthcare Act, something had to be done because the insurance companies wouldn’t do it themselves. As it is, they are still going to be making money because they are still providing the insurance. It just may become reasonable for more people to afford it and for those who have none to finally get covered. In this country, people should not have to suffer for the lack of healthcare, nor should they have to go bankrupt because they get sick.

      • stepjohn1

        There’s not a fact in your posting. You obviously know nothing about the facts of life in the inner city regarding employment, drug use, crime, public policy or anything applicable to the discussion at hand.
        You’ve bought into a tired, rancid pile of leftwing beliefs that people lack free will and individual initiative.
        As a journalist I spent time in drug neighborhoods watching people swap USDA Food Stamps fro crack cocaine. I spent time with solid, decent families whose sons and daughters were murdered because they descended into drug use.
        Do some research and learn that recidivism and multiple convictions have resulted in longer prison terms for black male offenders and also find out that smoking a joint doesn’t get you jailed: Selling and distributing gets you convicted.
        Black and white drug dealers under similar circumstances get the same sentences. See the Manhattan Institutes report on this.
        However, keep repeating leftwing talking points and ignore academic studies and reputable think tank analysis of the numbers.
        Spend the rest of your life believing nonsense and finding a way to excuse bad behavior by blaming everything on Conservatives.
        That’s a winning strategy.

        • youmustbejoking

          Sorry, but I spent a lot of time living in poor neighborhoods and worked side by side with a whole lot of low income people and I know first hand what happens. I fought with folks to change zoning that allowed their neighborhoods to deteriorate because it allowed so many absentee landlords to stuff too many people in too small an area and didn’t give a damn about the kind of people they rented to as long as the rent was paid. I helped to go after those same landlords that wouldn’t do upkeep that was needed and we went toe to toe with drug dealers to let them know they weren’t welcome in the neighborhood. I have held grieving parents as they had to face burying children who died to young and so needlessly. I don’t have to “spout left-wing talking points” as I have lived my own talking points. Yes, I know some people sell food stamps for other items, just as some rich people like the current governor of Florida bilked the US government out of millions in Medicare fraud. Happens all over. Still doesn’t mean that government help destroyed the black family.

          There is a great deal of research that also shows black people, especially black men, do get harsher sentences for the same crimes. There is also personal knowledge of people I knew from all walks of life. There is always more than one source for accurate information as well as knowledge that comes from living it. I certainly don’t blame everything on conservatives- just what they deserve to own.

    • stepjohn1

      John, like you, I’ve tried to talk sense to some here. Good luck on that.
      Some of these responses are hateful and clueless, but then what else is new.
      Liberals hoping for free government stuff just don’t understand that something of value must be paid for by currency of value otherwise the service will not be provided. The money will be extracted from someone and, as in Europe, we may see taxes remittances rise for everyone.
      The federal government does not have an answer and often only has a problem to offer.
      My father was a banker and fully understood the disastrous consequences of the not only Fannie and Freddie but of the market-distorting Community Reinvestment Act that frightened bankers into giving people money who couldn’t pay it back. The goal of course was to get people into houses.
      They did, they failed to pay their mortgage and the multi-billion dollar mortgage modification program now has a 46 percent failure rate as people still can’t pay their mortgages.
      And, by the way, my Dad foresaw the S&L collapse 10 years before it happened and warned of the most recent home financing bubble four years in advance. He was no genius, just a solid businessman who loved free enterprise who hated its manipulation by anyone gaming the system.
      However, the vote-seeking politicians and rent-seeking lobbyists never saw a negative on the horizon related to their legislative actions.
      Now we’re seeing the distortion of the delivery of health care in a system that actually sort of worked and could have been made to work better.
      Someone will have to pay for health care and these folks have bought into a phony conspiracy mindset that has them thinking rich people stole “their” money and that the wealthy are somehow working against them in the shadows. This is actually sort of scary, isn’t it?
      What makes health care expensive?
      Advancements in technology raise the cost of health care and the only way to reduce health care costs is to deny this technology to the sick. This should be a warning to everyone.
      The old system worked — sometimes poorly — but everyone could get care. Folks who don’t believe this should get off the left-wing blog sites and do some serious research.
      You’re right, this is more government overreach filled with unforeseen consequences when a simpler, market-driven and far more elegant solution could be found.
      I believe Obamacare will become so despised and problematical that the opportunity to do something workable on this will present itself out of necessity.
      The Left will never be able to wean itself from its pyric health care victory to obtain the distance necessary to see the troubled mess that it is.
      Obamacare may be the coveted gift of a Trojan Horse admired by the Democrats that might well erupt in a political toxin that will damage their chances for political power for decades.
      Only they will be clueless about this in the aftermath and probably complain about a “vast, rightwing conspiracy…”

    • Joan Crounse

      You do not know your history. 1. The severe and punishing demands pushed by Great Britain and France did sow the seeds for WWII but President Wilson did not support any of those demands and, in fact, argued against them. Therefore, the US intervention was not responsible for Hitler’s rise to power. 2. Banks made bad loans to people who were obviously not qualified, the government didn’t make them do it. Those loans were bundled and sold to others, causing financial collapse in many markets not only in the US. This was caused by greed on the part of bankers. 3. What “schemes” by the government destroyed the black family in the US? Headstart? No. School lunches? No. Maybe having bad schools in black neighborhoods contributed. Maybe imprisoning black men for crimes for which white men got probation contributed. Maybe institutionalized racism played a part. Maybe white flight to the suburbs, leaving only the poor in the cities contributed. Of course, there are poor white people, too, some of them for generations. But at no point should we ever say that a group of people are going to be a “permanent underclass.” How dare you. And how dare you accept a system in which fellow citizens die from lack of health care.

  • roe

    Yes… I STILL know a right-wing conservative who keeps bringing up the Pelosi statement, usually in the same sentence as Benghazi, IRS, NSA and Fast & Furious. Since the economy is improving, they have nothing but old 2012 talking points to bring out.

  • soulshadow55

    What pisses me off to no end is that we, as taxpayers, pay for the best health care money can buy for all of Congress, including the House and Senate as well as their family members. Yet they refuse to approve of health care for the very people who pay their salaries and their health care!! They’ve tried to repeal Obama are 38 times and will probably keep trying even after he’s out of office. They are despicable human being not fit to represent anyone. How they can justify their actions is beyond me. We need to clean house in the 2014 midterm elections.

    • jaggedlittlepill

      BINGO!!! I left a message on a local bulletin board for anyone who needs help registering to vote or needs a ride to the polls. That was for last year and I have every intention of doing the same thing next year. I can’t stand the thought of ANYONE not being able to vote because of Republican voter registration fraud or not having a car to get there. Piss on the Republicans. We can get rid of them next year if we all stick together and show up en mass at the polls. You know how badly Republicans are scared of large crowds converging on them. I say let’s gang up and scare the absolute shit out of them!!!

      • youmustbejoking

        We also will need to ask people even earlier if they may need help getting supporting documents to get ID’s in those places that have passed new voter ID laws- just in case any of them are allowed to stand. After the SCOTUS decision it may be harder to fight some of these laws. Some people will need financial help to obtain birth certificates if they are from a different state than the one they reside in currently and will be voting in. Some states charge as much as $35.00 to get a copy and that doesn’t include postage unless you have time to go for the super slow snail mail route- which some states say can take 6 to 8 weeks.

    • youmustbejoking

      I think they are at 39 times, aren’t they?

    • http://twitter.com/Jeffrmarks Jeffrey Marks

      Not to mention that the House is working 9 days in September! 9 days.

    • geoelb

      The repealers are politically blind-sided.

    • Leslie

      Please come back and report after all of Obamacare kicks in.

      • Joan Crounse

        Leslie, read down a few lines and respond to baal’s posting if you will. Don’t know how you can argue the private insurance system is better. Facts are facts.

        • Leslie

          You can’t argue that Obamacare is better, since it hasn’t fully kicked in yet. You don’t know what will be covered, exactly what it will cost, and whether it will be positive or negative. With all the money that was counted on to fund it-money which is dissipating- premiums will have to go up, or services cut, or both. I can’t find baal’s post.

          • Joan Crounse

            It’s 2 down.

          • Leslie

            If you’re talking about Romney’s plan – they are not the same, and once it falls under the yoke of Obamacare, it will sink like everything else. If you do a search for the differences between Romneycare and Obamacare, you will see the striking differences.

          • Jan Civil

            one can’t argue Obamacare in a positive light ‘because it hasn’t kicked in yet’, although the very topic shows it has and worked better for someone, but you are sure it’s worse. than whatever, ‘Romneycare’ as you insist anyone that doesn’t see eye to eye with you – if they do a search, ie., make your argument for you – must be ignorant of the substance.
            that’s cute!

  • Jeff H

    Preach it my brother!!

  • Jean Donahue

    It’s working. When it works, the conservatives will want to change the name, they wont be able to utter the word “Obamacare”

  • Denise Vincent

    Yes! Prior to cancer, at age 43, BC/BS quoted $450/mo to be part of my employer’s small plan. Age 51, cancer survivor and I can actually BUY MY OWN INSURANCE, $196/mo at Group Health Cooperative. W00T! Thanks Obamacare!

    • Daniel Cooper

      I love when I hear proof instead of BS.. Thanks Denise

    • Leslie

      You can buy it through an exchange if your employer charges you more than 9.5% of your income. If the premium is within that figure, you can not buy on the exchange.

  • http://lawyersforwarriors.blogspot.com/ rewinn

    Hm. This suggests why the GOP is so desperate to repeal Obamacare or at least slow it down: it’s going to be very very popular!

  • a2phil

    I’ll bet you there’s a loophole SOMEWHERE in there so that it doesn’t cover me…

  • Karen Peters

    What I don’t understand about the republicans is if they are so sure that Obamacare will fail, why are they fighting so hard to repeal it or shut it down. If they are so sure it will fail, why don’t they just let it fail and then they can come back and say “I told you so” and “fix” it. Many, many people will support them in doing this.
    I really don’t think they believe it will fail, in fact they believe it will work (Romneys plan worked in Mass and ACA is modeled after his plan.) and that is what scares them. They don’t want anything that Obama does succeed, as is obvious by all the the obstructions, fillebusters and threats you see in Congress. They are only mad because this plan is called “Obamacare” and not “Romneycare or “Bohnercare” or “Ryancare” or any other “republicancare.

    • Leslie

      It will fail. There isn’t enough money to run it.

  • http://twitter.com/Jeffrmarks Jeffrey Marks

    One of my family members has pre-existing conditions. Another due to a serious health incident was bumping up against the maximum life limit. Both of these worries were taken away by ACA. You won’t get me to complain. I’m glad it worked better for you too. Many healthy years to you!

    • Leslie

      Pre-existing conditions and plans for those people who did not qualify for Medicaid, but could not afford high premiums could have been put in place without a Government takeover of everyone.

      • Joan Crounse

        What did the government take over? I still have my employer-paid health insurance. People covered under the ACA can still choose their doctors. Millions of people can now afford health insurance and have a lower risk of financial destruction or death because of a lack of insurance. These things are good developments according to my way of thinking. Why are they bad developments according to your way?

        • Leslie

          If your employer has a grandfathered plan, and can cover you for no more than 9.5% of your income, that’s fine. Should they change or drop the plan, and lose grandfather status, they would have to comply with ACA rules, and they might not have the same coverage at the same price. Under the ACA, you can not necessarily keep your own doctor, or your own hospital. These will be HMOs, and the doctors and hospitals are within the network. If your doctor is not part of that network, you can not keep him or her.

      • http://twitter.com/Jeffrmarks Jeffrey Marks

        Could have, should have, but the Republicans had 8 years in which to correct this system. They did nothing. Even now, when asked what they would replace Obamacare with, they don’t have an answer. Unacceptable. If they can’t lead and can’t follow, then they need to get out of the way.

      • http://twitter.com/Jeffrmarks Jeffrey Marks

        But they didn’t. The Republicans have NO plan for fixing healthcare. They are just anti-Obama with no clear path forward.

  • Michelle Klein-Hass

    PPACA is a step in the right direction, but a system that is everybody in, nobody out, with a risk pool that includes every man, woman, and child in the US, would be so much better. We still need to fight for improved Medicare for all. This is a start, but there will be so many people still falling through the cracks it’s not funny.

    • baal

      Best guess numbers look like ~ 30 million will still be uninsured. I agree, right direction but not enough.

  • Sharon

    If it’s as fantastic as said above, why won’t the bigwigs in DC choose it?

    • Zinc Avenger

      Yeah, why WON’T the bigwigs in DC choose to have ACA-style healthcare for themselves? They all turned down their government-provided healthcare plans to take the cheaper, more effective private options available to them.

      OH NO WAIT

      They get government provided healthcare. It’s so bad they are taking one for the team so we don’t have to suffer with the same quality of healthcare they get.

  • Jeane Marie Carlson

    Omg, you are either lying or your insurance company has made a mistake. Because this is ONE example out of hundreds that I’ve heard different. Including my situation. But good for you. This makes 1 happy sucker who likes giving up freedom for security. I promise you will loose both if you keep supporting this nonsense.

    • Zinc Avenger

      Because nothing is ever outside the narrative, cupcake. You can always spot the liars by how they say things you disagree with. There is no such thing as nuance or interpretation or outliers or differing circumstances, or (perish the thought) that the narrative might be wrong.

      There is only 100% truth and anyone who says different is a LYING LIAR OF LIES.

    • Allie McC

      Nope, make that TWO. Because I got a much lower rate too. You just don’t like that this is going to work out better for some people than you thought.

      • Jeane Marie Carlson

        Why wouldn’t I like it? If other people do well, I do well. I’m part of this society too. I just know better. I hope I am wrong.

  • DL

    This is exactly what the GOP is so terrified of. People will actually like the ACA.

  • Marti Salvato

    We’re ex-pats living abroad and we were paying over US$9000 for the equivalent of crap. Catastrophic clause for the most part, $1500 deductible PER instance and no pre-exisiting conditions allowed, thank you very much. Who gets to be in the 40s, 50s, or 60′s and doesn’t have some freakin’ pre-exisiting something something? Much less those that have chronic conditions.

    This year, the Worldwide Expat Association via United Healthcare plan (which is slowly but surely becoming the single payer god that we will all bow to before that gets corrected. but I digress) I’m guessing it’s basically been UH’s pilot program for Obamacare policy.

    Now we pay US$4500, no pre-existing condition exclusion, $50 co-pay, and a surprise to us, prescription coverage. So yeah, I’m one of those that says “Thanks, Obama!”

  • geoelb

    Obama+care has been discredited by it’s opposition because it is a truely game changing legislation for the people. It will probably be Obamas major legacy. To destroy his legacy is their major purpose; not governance.

    • Jeane Marie Carlson

      This is not true about the legacy. I couldn’t care less. Those of us who have educated ourselves about what exactly Obamacare is going to mean is why we don’t support it. You really feel completely comfortable handing over your healthcare to the IRS?

      • Zinc Avenger

        Handing over your healthcare to the IRS. That’s a new one to me. I’ll write that down.

        • Jeane Marie Carlson

          You do that Zinc. Who do you think is going to handle the financial side of things? Impose penalties, ect…

          • Zinc Avenger

            Is that like handing over your navigation to the local police, because they fine you if they catch you driving too fast?

          • Dan Houser

            The insurance exchanges are made up of insurance companies. Unless you’re talking about the subsidies for low-income folks who can’t afford health insurance — they will be handled by a government entity known as Medicaid/Medicare. Read the law. Also, check your facts on how much Medicare recipients like having Medicaid/Medicare and how they rate the service (not necessarily including years when Republican presidents gut coverage, remove competition clauses, and make a law making it ILLEGAL for the government to get the best prices on prescription medication — but I digress) You’re not informed on this as you should be.

          • Leslie

            Medicare sucks, and I can attest to that. They have cut payments to hospitals, to doctors, and for physical and occupational therapy. Most doctors I know have withdrawn from Medicare, even when patients they have been seeing for decades are concerned.

          • dancerboots

            I can attest that Medicare is a very good insurance, I took care of my mother for eight years. She passed away late 2011. I am seventy. The Medicare premium is around $104 a month (it goes up periodically as Medicare was never set up to be paid for completely with our taxes). The deductible for physicians services are around $140 for the year and the hospital deductible around $1300. Payments have not been cut to doctors and hospitals. There is a standard of practice that has to be met..that may result in a cut in pay..i.e. do a decent job of managing the patients health care and there is nothing to fear. There has been talk to reduce the payment for home health services. It has not been legislated. At the time my mother broke her hip..the in-home P.T. was free for the first six weeks (twice a week visits) also Occupational therapy…which we didn’t use. Free as long as the patient was showing improvement. My mother was out of rehab in one month (the first twenty days paid for by Medicare). Her total cost for a three day hospital stay, the surgery, rehab and home visits was around $3000. I have never been refused services by a physician nor any care I may need. Medicare pays 80% of health care costs. With the AHCA, benefits have been expanded mainly for preventive services free of charge. No doctors I know have stopped accepting Medicare patients…Considering (generally) seniors see a doctor more often than the younger healthier group..this guarantees a steady income for physicians.

          • Leslie

            Your experience is not the same as many others. The premium is only $104 if you are below a certain income. The top tier is over $300 a month, and if you then add a supplement, that can run over $300 as well. That means paying almost $8000.00 a year for a system where most doctors ( and I and my friends know many) will no longer take Medicare. You believe it gives doctors a steady stream of patients. I hate to disillusion you, but those same doctors can have a steady stream of patients whose insurance pays a lot more, or who pay out of pocket. Very few doctors need to rely on the scant payments from Medicare.

            As for PT, I am not talking in hospital or in home. I am talking going to a PT setup – and there are new limits.

          • dancerboots

            If your income is $214,000 annual, the premium is $146 a month. If your income is below $85,000, the premium is $104.90 a month. The majority of Medicare recipients fall in the $85,000 annual income or below a year. Even then, when filling out the tax return, only half of Social Security income is used. The majority of Social Security recipient’s income is on average around $1000 a month. If a person’s (couple) income is below $25,000 ($35,000) a year, they pay no taxes on their income. If a person (couple) has additional income, there is a calculation table that assists them in figuring out how much Social Security will be taxed. I hate to disillusion you but very few seniors, have income over $85,000 a year. As for the supplement insurance, unless one has a high income, they are not worth the money. The lower cost tiers of around $150 a month cover very little but the deductible. Why would anyone pay $150 a month to cover a $147 physician services deductible or a hospital deductible of around $1200? And certainly very few can pay for their health care out of pocket. I doubt most of the working class can pay for their healthcare out of pocket unless they are very healthy and are single. I suppose someone can choose to take that risk and some have no choice…either unable to purchase health insurance due to a pre-existing condition or simply cannot afford the premium. Medicare pays 80% of the costs. Employee health insurance may pay 80%..and more of the cost has been placed on the employee..like a high deductible or higher premiums. Health care cost has skyrocketed over the past few decades. As for P.T therapy “stand alone” clinic, I needed P.T. for a frozen shoulder that cost $100 a visit. I sat with a hot pack on my shoulder for ten minutes and then showed the P.T. the exercises I was doing at home. I quit going after two visits. The cap on P.T/O.T. is $1900 each. Medicare pays 80% If the therapy costs go above that, there are exceptions (if determined medically necessary) and Medicare will pay 80% of the cost.
            Obviously, your friends and mine do not run around in the same circle. Mine are low income to poor.

          • Leslie

            You need to educate yourself on Medicare. There are additional fees based on income:

            Individuals with annual incomes between $85,001 and $107,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $170,001 and $214,000 will pay a monthly premium of $134.90.

            Individuals with annual incomes between $107,001 and $160,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $214,001 and $320,000 will pay a monthly premium of $192.70.

            Individuals with annual incomes between $160,001 and $213,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $320,001 and $426,000 will pay a monthly premium of $250.50.

            Individuals with annual incomes of $213,000 or more and married couples with annual incomes of $426,000 or more will pay a monthly premium of $308.30.

            As for a supplement, you can purchase one with a “zero” premium, which has high out of pocket expenses.

            There are plenty of people who have incomes over $85,000. Teachers, librarians, and various others have pensions for that amount alone, and then get SS as well. Your income as a senior is pretty much based on how much you earned before retirement, how much you saved and invested, and what kind of pensions you get from your years of work.

          • dancerboots

            That is not handling your healthcare..and no the IRS cannot access your bank account..The authority the IRS has is the tax penalty for those that refuse to purchase health insurance and can afford it…that will go for corporations as well…small businesses with fifty employees or less are exempt from paying the tax. Smaller businesses of twenty-five employees or less will be given a 50% tax credit if they provide a health insurance premium and are also exempt from paying the tax.The IRS will handle the tax credit (a check in the mail) as well as the subsidies.

          • Jeane Marie Carlson

            I never said the IRS could access our bank accounts. You’ve just reiterated some of my points. Do ya’ll read what I post at all or just assume what I’m trying to say?

        • Leslie

          Write it down, and then think about it.

      • Jan Civil

        “Those of us who have educated ourselves” BULLSHIT. You are parroting old tired talking points. ‘government takeover’.

        ‘handing over your healthcare to the IRS’, which is completely confusing the issue deliberately or simply parroting someone that ‘educated’ you. Do you have a mind of your own, or at all?
        Yes, that’s insulting. Almost every post you have made is an affront to reason.

        • Jeane Marie Carlson

          “The Supreme Court recently settled a divisive debate when it ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) individual mandate is constitutional and that the “shared responsibility payment” is a tax.”
          A TAX. Who takes care of this in gov’t? IRS.
          I appreciate your passion Jan but surely we can discuss issues w/ out cursing or insulting each other, can’t we?

          • baal

            It’s far from settled law. We have a decision that means the ACA continues to be a valid law (mostly). The decision was splintered.

            Justice Robert’s opinion in that case landed the authority for the ACA in the taxation power since he was bending over backwards to avoid finding ACA’s basis in the Commerce Clause. I view that choice and legal grounding as biased by his politics. That decision was agreed to in outcome by the ‘liberal’ wing of the court but they (the 4 liberal members) signed a concurrence that the ACA was valid under the commerce clause.

            Law is a messy business (like sausage).

  • stepjohn1

    I’m assuming this is a leftwing/liberal site because most commenting here seem incredibly myopic and simple minded about economic realities.
    There is the classic liberal mythological belief that rich people with secret piles of money being towed behind their yachts on barges will pay for everything.
    Wake up…

    May I ask those anxiously awaiting their ACA goodies: Who do you think is taking up the slack and paying for everything you once paid for? It won’t be the rich it will be you in ways that will impact your life and your children’s lives forever.

    Someone has to pay for it and someone will.
    If you think you’re getting something for free you haven’t a clue about what what’s going to happen in the coming years. When your 34-year-old child is at home because they can’t get a job in a constricted economy due to too much government intervention, drop me a note and let me know how that’s going…
    This article is by someone who has now been alleviated of the fiscal responsibilities of the true cost of his medical insurance no longer has any incentives to be a smart consumer and to individually limit his use of health care. We’re all going to be paying his deductible and the true cost of his care.
    Other, more efficient fixes to the health care system were available besides a 3,000-page law followed by hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations.
    Even Obama has delayed implementation of a major segment of the ACA.
    Hello…?

    • Jasper

      “There is the classic liberal mythological belief that rich people with secret piles of money being towed behind their yachts on barges will pay for everything.”

      Then you aren’t listening. The fact that the 1% horde something like 40% of the wealth is a symptom of the problem – the fundamentally broken Reagan-esque approach to economics.

      A more progressive, healthy economy would have more social mobility (we’re failing miserably compared to many other countries right now), and would more evenly disperse the money, naturally. The idea isn’t to simply send the bill to the rich… it’s to help correct a healthcare system that the capitalistic private healthcare insurance sector had decades to fix.

      If the rich are paying more, it’s because they’ve put themselves into that situation by gouging the system for year… but they aren’t targeted specifically to pay for everything. If anything, the problem is that they’re paying less than their fair share. Just the idea that labor income is taxed at about 35%, while investment income (where you sit back and do nothing, and get money back) is taxed at more like 15%, is insane.

      You’d be hard pressed to find any of us who actually think what you believe we think. What we’d prefer is to have a more well balanced system, where it was actually possible to earn a living, because companies weren’t continually pushing for near-sweatshop working conventions.

      “Who do you think is taking up the slack and paying for everything you once paid for? It won’t be the rich it will be you in ways that will impact your life and your children’s lives forever.”

      In part, the heath insurance companies, who are being pressured to decrease the rate in which their CEOs’ pockets are being lined with cash… because their business model (coupled with the ridiculous costs at the hospitals) re out of control. One of the redeeming virtues of these fixes is to reduce WASTE – that waste that’s grown solely from unregulated capitalism. So many people can have their costs lowered just due to that alone.

      But of course some of what I pay will help others, outside of that. That’s what it means to be a “society”. The same goes for public roads/bridges, national defense, etc.

      “If you think you’re getting something for free you haven’t a clue about what what’s going to happen in the coming years. When your 34-year-old child is at home because they can’t get a job in a constricted economy due to too much government intervention, drop me a note and let me know how that’s going…”

      … You mean a future where people will have more expendable income, and are more willing to spend it, because they don’t have to worry about going bankrupt because they break an arm… hence driving demand for goods/services?

      The idea this is “too much government intervention” is laughable. The private sector failed for so long to get its act together. This was the MINIMUM we could do, to get back on track. If anything, we didn’t go far enough.

      “Other, more efficient fixes to the health care system were available besides a 3,000-page law followed by hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations.”

      Thanks to the Republicans, we couldn’t go for the much more simple and straightforward option of simply going Single Payer, or extending Medicare. Never underestimate the GOP’s power to completely fuck everything up.

      • Stephanie Honsey Pirsig

        True. Thank you for the through explanation.

      • stepjohn1

        Jasper,

        I’m sorry, but your comment is so full of disjointed thinking and falsehoods I don’t even know how to reply to your disordered musings.
        You’re convinced we’re all headed for a socialist paradise where the wealthy will be forced to turn over their goods and their homes. They tried this in Zimbabwe and they’re now begging the wealth farmers to come home.
        As for socialized medicine, Mexico has it and Russia has it and I don’t see folks trampling each other to go to either place for complex cardiac surgery.

        Don’t sit at home fuming over how wealth is concentrated in America. America has a vast economy and there’s plenty of money for everyone if they work hard and stay off the Internet, crack cocaine and Left Wing blogsites.
        This is not a socialist nation. If you earn something you get to keep it and that goes for the poor, the middle class and the rich — at least for now.
        You don’t have a clue about what happens in a single-payer system or a quasi-single-payer system. You don’t know how Europe was able to afford theirs in the 60 years following World War II (look up NATO on this) and you don’t have a clue about its cultural, economic and geopolitical impact on France, Germany and England

        (As for keeping ones property and wealth, this does not apply in Socialist or Communist systems where the “wealthy” are usually oligarchs and powerful officials who take money out of the system extralegally and distribute it politically. You might think of Solyndra on this….)

        First off, you obviously hate people with wealth and you obviously don’t even know what wealth is. Sorry. The rich are here to stay unless you want to “liquidate” them as the bad old Socialists used to say.

        Given that reality — since you obviously think the “rich” are against you — you need to take a deep breath.
        Forbes estimates Obama has $6 million in assets and he’s still your buddy, right?

        Second, no one “hoards” wealth. Rich people have their money invested in any number of investments, start-ups, mutual funds, etc. The money is working. They gained it honestly and if they have a lot, so what?

        You actually really believe they sit on a mound of money and light cigars with $50 bills?
        If you want to see Socialism at work go to North Korea and Cuba. “Free” health care abounds in those places — such as it is.

        And, if you have a job it’s probably because some wealthy person buys something, invested in something or owns a business.

        As far as that weird and indecipherable rant about rich people “gouging” the system as they reason they have to pay so much for medical care, I’m baffled by that. Rich people either self-insure or they buy very nice medical care plans that cost a ton of money.
        That’s not your money they’re spending. That’s there money.
        I come from a place where the uber wealthy Texas oilmen made outrageous fortunes and gave most of it away to start the world’s largest medical and research center in the world — the Texas Medical Center.

        I was also a newspaper journalist for nearly 30 years and spent time in charity hospitals, private hospitals and public hospitals and covered medical issues of all types including cancer research, public mental health care. I used to spend a good bit of my time in trauma centers interviewing police and gunshot victims.
        I dare say you have no idea of the complex web of activities that Obamacare — in all its conceit — is going to attempt to alter, juggle, tamper with and distort.
        Obama has decided it can’t even be implemented on time due to its complexity.

        What you don’t realize is that Americans — and millions of illegal aliens — have always been able to get medical care in America whether they could pay for it or not. (Did you pass out upon hearing this? Do some research and figure it out. A few years ago a private hospital in Connecticut performed a $150,000 surgical procedure to cure an uninsured illegal alien of cerebral tuberculosis and he didn’t pay a cent. He, of course, would have died in his own country.)
        You didn’t even know this system was in place.
        (Do you have any idea where poor illegal aliens who give birth in America have their children delivered? That’s right. In American hospitals that write off the expense.)
        The Democrats want everyone to have an “insurance” card now.
        In New Jersey during the 1930s and 1940s local mayors would build their own free maternity hospitals so voters would know who was taking care of them. Democrats have long used public services and medical care as a means of insuring political support.
        No one should feel “unequal”, say the Democrats. And, while we’re at it, let’s all pretend Medicare is working great even though its edging toward unsustainability.

        As for the single payer system, you obviously have no clue about the distortion that would bring to health care delivery because you don’t understand how complex health care delivery is.

        Please get off those weird, left-wing blog sites and start doing some actual research and gain a little life experience. Living in a twilight world of paranoia, false beliefs and anger is unhealthy, though it does make you a much more manipulatable political commodity for those that will use you.
        Good governmental policy is not about punishing people because they have money. It’s about giving everyone else a chance to be successful.
        Politicians should take a lesson from physicians and start applying the Hippocratic Oath to their own activities: “First Do No Harm.”

        • Leslie

          Bravo.

        • Joan Crounse

          Talk about a disjointed post. Whew. Those damn crafty Democrats, setting up maternity clinics so fewer women will die in childbirth and more babies will live. Wonder why the Republicans didn’t think of doing that.

      • Leslie

        Evenly disperse the money? You mean the rich should earn it, and then give it to you? Nice delusion.

        • tigerlily78

          Sorry us progressives always forget that when you make underhanded, greedy decisions that is a means of “earning” money. If you are just a lowly cog, working hard for a company making billions of dollars in profit a year as a direct result of your sweat equity, you should merely be happy to have a job. You should not begrudge your employer for never giving you a raise, and/or cutting your other benefits, while the executives give themselves exponentially inflating multi-million dollar bonuses and use their profits to buy back stock, which further enriches them, since they hold large quantities of said stock.

          Do you think Walmart would make $15.7 billion a year in PROFIT, if the company only consisted of the Walton heirs rolling in money and some executives in a tower ordering cheap crap from China? The reality is, the people working in their warehouses and stores and delivering their inventory via trucks are all an important part of how the company functions. To treat all the low and mid level workers as next to worthless, and on top of that be CONTENT to let taxpayers subsidize their employees, is a despicable practice for a company that clearly could pay it’s employees a living wage. Greed, pure and simple and probably misguided perspectives like your are what fuel the decisions made in companies like Walmart. Alice Walton drunk drives and hangs out on her ranch… what exactly does she do to EARN her billions? Nothing. She was simply lucky enough to be born into wealth and has taken advantage of that lucky circumstance to further enrich herself at the expense of millions of Walmart employees.

          • Leslie

            The Walton wealth aside – and it has nothing to do with the pay scale – just what do you think someone in an entry level job, throwing boxes on shelves, should make? The idea behind an entry level job is to ultimately climb the ladder to a higher paying and more complex job. If you can’t get beyond the stacking, you don’t deserve more money. How do you think the original Walton made his money? Certainly not by clipping coupons. This Country was founded on the concept that you could start with nothing, and wind up comfortable, to say the least. You would rather that the low level person get paid enough to purchase whatever he or she likes, and not have to worry about making more money. Hunger begets ambition. Ambition fosters success, if you have even half a brain. Nowhere is it written that the head of a company has to apologize for income, distribute that income, or share it. Income is based on what is deserved, not what someone thinks he or she needs.

            My grandfather traveled on the subway with flooring samples, till he worked up the experience and savings to open his own store. My grandmother worked as a seamstress. There was no Welfare, there was no health insurance. They managed to make ends meet till they could do better than just eke out a living. According to your philosophy, they should have been given more money, food stamps, and free medical care.n Perhaps they would have just sat back and stayed at the socioeconomic level they were at, instead of striving to better themselves.

            Please don’t give me a song and dance on how much cheaper things were in those days. Their income was commensurate with what things cost, and in some cases, not enough to cover a lot of things they would have liked to buy. That is also known as delayed gratification, unlike some of the low level workers today who complain about not being able to make ends meet, but have iPhones, flat screen TVs, game consoles, and cars – and more.

            There is a big difference between “wanting” more and being “entitled” to more.

          • Joan Crounse

            I want every worker to be able to afford the necessity of life. On minimum wage, or a wage just above minimum, you cannot afford an apartment let alone food. These jobs must be filled by someone and they should be able to live on what they earn. A place to live is not a “want” it is a “need” as is food, medical care, etc.

          • tigerlily78

            Except the reality of our current economy is that “skilled” jobs in manufacturing are a diminishing part of our economy. AND that “skilled labor” often was performed by people with no more than a High School diploma, and which largely equated to knowing how to do ONE or TWO steps of the assembly of a product. It didn’t require any more special knowledge than making a cheeseburger, it’s just that the individual end product had a higher price tag. I see no difference in the production and sale of 100 million hamburgers than the production and sale of a few thousand pick up trucks. The end result is still giant profits. When retail/food services/other service sector jobs make up a larger percentage of the economy and account for a larger portion of the aggregate profit, does that mean the people doing those jobs are necessarily worthless or unskilled? In fact, I know several people who are medical assistants or home health aides, and even those people are now making bottom of the barrel wages… people who have at least 2 year degrees in a specialized field, which one would think would qualify as a “skilled” profession and be in high demand given the growing senior demographic. Even people like these are getting squeezed out of the middle class by profiteering at the top.

            If the product/service you deliver to customers produces value and immense profit, it does stand to reason that regardless of the “job” it has inherent value. Why shouldn’t the people on the ground delivering the tangible good or service be in a position to have a decent share in the value created?

            By your reasoning, since service jobs now make up a greater portion of our economy, by default a greater number of people should be relegated to poverty. Incidentally, a direct side effect of that is more people working for poverty level wages, and taxpayers end up making up the difference between their wages and what is necessary to meet basic needs.

            You seem to still be buying into the Reagan era stereotypes, that poor people are just spending all their money on drugs and tvs and fancy cars. The reality is, people working at places like Walmart are legitimately not making enough to meet basic needs like food, housing, utilities, and child care and you and I as taxpayers end up picking up the slack whether we shop at Walmart or not. How is that fair? How is that responsible? Additionally, many employers like Walmart have capped workers to part-time hours to avoid paying them more money or providing benefits, even though many more of their workers would prefer to have consistent, full-time employment. That is an intentional decision on the part of Walmart to further marginalize their work force in order to pad their profit margin.

            I also don’t understand how it is even remotely logical to relegate millions of hard working Americans to poverty simply because of the nature of the work they perform, when that work does in fact generate a massive amount of value/profit. What does a CEO or a stock holder do that produces tangible value, commensurate to make more in an hour than most of their employees make in an entire year? In the 1970′s the ratio of CEO pay to the average worker’s compensation was 30:1, in recent years that ratio has jumped to 300:1 … do you REALLY think that today’s CEO is working so much harder to warrant that outsized compensation? I don’t think they are. I think they have simply gotten more and more efficient at blocking wage increases and other benefits for everyone else at the company and keep rolling over the “savings” into their own compensation. That’s not brilliance, or hard work, or even necessarily putting the longterm health of the company first… it’s just blatant, self-serving greed that comes at the expense of everyone else.

          • Leslie

            I don’t think you can base a worker’s worth on the end value of the item he or she produces. If the skill level is the same, regardless of the value, there should not be a premium added to the salary for the more expensive goods.Nobody is labeling workers as “worthless”, but yes, they are unskilled in many instances.

            The careers you speak of – home health aides, etc. are not skilled jobs, and home health aides in particular. This I can attest to, since I ran an agency for years which placed them. Most of them would have had a problem on an assembly line! In addition, there was no degree involved with nurses’ aides, companions, home health aides, etc. If you want to talk about low salaries which are degree dependent, look at something like social work. As a beginning social worker with a four year college degree and a two year Masters, in 1965, I made $6100.00 a year – total bottom of the barrel, and it had absolutely nothing to do with being squeezed out by anyone at the top. It was, and is still not, a valuable profession.

            You wrote “Why shouldn’t the people on the ground delivering the tangible good or service be in a position to have a decent share in the value created?” Very simple. These people are simply following rote instructions, which require just about no skill. They are not designing the product, or marketing it, or improving upon it. Their skill level and education merit only up to a certain amount of salary.

            when you talk about people who work at Walmart, and similar places, who are struggling to put food on the table – again, I can attest to the fact that most of them have a good number of the luxuries of life, even if that is not their food and housing. I see it every day.

            Until you actually know some of these CEOs, and follow them on a day to day basis, to see what they are doing, and how they are doing it – you have no real idea how much time, energy, and talent they are putting into their companies. You can only go by the propaganda being fed by the left, most of whom simply eschew wealth.

            There is not one person in this Country who can not get ahead, climb the ladder, earn more money – if there is motivation and a modicum of ability. Those who choose to stay on the bottom rung, and be taken care of – we won’t even discuss. This is one of the things that makes this Country great – that you can achieve quite a bit, starting with nothing.

            You seem to label the unwillingness of those at the top to pay more money to their employees, and to make less money for themselves, as “greed”. Most of those people contribute huge amounts of money to charities and other causes. If it were not for them, there would be very few programs and institutions which provide help and sustenance to those who need it. If you start legislating salaries, and instructions on how people must run their companies, you may very well be cutting off your nose to save your face.

          • tigerlily78

            But Leslie, the flip side of your argument that CEOs shouldn’t have to pay their workers a living wage, let alone one that affords some discretionary income, is that at some point this cycle of aggregation of wealth at the top will mean there are few consumers/customers actually in the market to purchase goods or services. And then where does that leave us? Where does it leave the longterm viability of a company, let alone the national economy? How do you run a business without any demand for your product of service? (Of course the investor class has solved this conundrum by using Vulture Capitalism to suck equity out of enterprises and turn it into piles of money in exchange for debt on the company books, or by dabbling in derivatives which essentially create financial transactions that don’t create any tangible product or asset).

            It would seem to me you are making excuses for a system that is unsustainable. At some point somethings got to give. Is the plutocracy going to let some wealth percolate down to the rest of society, or are they going to keep hoarding until there is an even wider gulf in economic stability between the classes such that some people feel compelled to right the imbalance by force?

            One of the things that really set Henry Ford apart from many of his contemporaries, was the revelation that by paying his workers enough to buy his product, Henry Ford was expanding his own customer base. ;)

          • Leslie

            Ask yourself who sets minimum wage. It’s not the CEO, nor is it the company. Companies follow what the laws for minimum wage are. If you take any individual company and raise the minimum wage to, let’s say, $12.00 an hour, what happens with all the people in positions above entry level? All salaries would have to be raised, and given enough people in a company, and enough extra layout of salaries, a company’s profit will plummet. Now, you may think that a company only has to make “just so much”, and that if profits go down somewhat, it is not a problem. What IS the problem is that it is not your decision, or mine.

            The system has always existed as it is, and it has been sustainable. When people were making fifty cents an hour, you still had your Astors, Rockefellers and more. Do you know what the difference is? People at the low end of the pay scale did not expect to be taken care of, they did not expect to be able to purchase things which wealthier people could purchase, and they did not expect the Government to make up the difference between what they earned, and what they thought they should get. If living in certain cities was too expensive, they moved. If urban areas were too expensive, they moved to rural areas, They worked their tails off to make some money, save a little, and eventually get better paying jobs. Some people worked two and three jobs to make ends meet. NO one sat there and bewailed the fact that these people were not earning more money, and no one felt people who ran large companies should pay them more. Often, immigrants who came here, and could not make a go of it, went back home.

            People who work on assembly lines for Mercedes can not necessarily buy the car, nor should we expect that they should be able to. People who work at Saks Fifth Avenue or Tiffany are not expected to be paid enough to be able to buy the products. The high end companies have wealthy people to sell to, and they are not relying on Lower end income earners to buy their products and thus support them.

            Right the imbalance by force? Should you ever see anything like that in this Country, you can bet that the people you complain about, those who are not letting their money “percolate” down to the “masses” will have their passports in hand, and leave for greener pastures.

            No one owes people a living. People owe themselves the ambition and energy it takes to try to succeed.

          • tigerlily78

            Yes, we had those people and THEN we had a Great Depression. Interesting how that worked.

    • Dan Houser

      Hi there. Just wanted to let you know that the costs incurred by uninsured folks costs FAR more than insuring them through competitive health exchanges. Or even allowing people health subsidies using money that already exists in the system that was DOING NOTHING to begin with. It’s just mathematics. Also, requiring insurance companies to pay for–you know– insuring people when they fall ill (which was the fallacy of private insurers versus single payer, that you could monetize health and defund things that give people incentives to remain healthy, or worse DEREGULATE industries that produce cancer, obesity, etc.) isn’t the worst thing that could happen.

      It’s not just dirty hippies who believe that your life and health aren’t a meritocracy. Christians, pastors and layfolk of the church believe it too. As a matter of fact, just about the rest of the First World industrialized nations, AND EVEN CHINA, believe that the health and well being of the citizenry is a PATRIOTIC virtue. I put the things I did in capitals because they’re important.

      Also, creating cross-state-lines exchanges of insurers means TRUE competition, something that I don’t understand why Free Marketeers are so frightened of. When five guys are allowed to offer me a service (even though I think that making people pay for a service that their lives depend on and allowing that service to deny them health care is abhorrent) they’re going to fight over who gives me the best price.

      The facts are this: We in the United States are behind the curve as far as our collective health goes. We’re not number one in that. Nor are we number one in caring for the least of us — we lead the world in technologies only the wealthy can afford, and we hoard that technology for the sake of the money continuing to flow. I already pay for the uninsured with the premiums I pay, the taxes I pay, and the Social Security I pay pays for the elders who are now taking advantage of that benefit. Yet, I’m fine with that. So long as our country moves forward, and we stay a nation I can be proud of belonging to, I’m fine with it.

      Just because someone’s a skinflint doesn’t get them out of the social contract.

    • markg8

      We saw the GOP alternatives to Obamacare. The CBO even scored a few. They were dismal failures.

      Selling insurance across the state lines? That’s a race to the bottom with insurance companies setting up shop in states with the weakest insurance commissions and favorable legislation that would let them screw us as badly as credit card companies do. Your CC company doesn’t bill you from Delaware or North Dakota because they like living there. They set up their billing centers in those states because DE and ND allow all kinds of tricks and traps that bolster their bottom line at your expense.

      I’m not going to waste any more of my time. But I will leave you with the CBO report on tort reform request by Orrin Hatch in 2009. His magic bullet was a dud. http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/106xx/doc10641/10-09-tort_reform.pdf

    • invivoMark

      “This article is by someone who … no longer has
      any incentives to be a smart consumer and to individually limit his use
      of health care.”

      We both know that isn’t even remotely true. You’re lying your little Republican ass off. But even if it were true, as someone who actually knows more than a Fox News employee about healthcare, I can tell you that this would be a GOOD THING.

      See, one of the biggest problems with health care in America is that people wait too long before seeing a doctor. As a result, we spend very little time and money on preventative healthcare. We diagnose cancers when they’re in advanced stages, and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat. We diagnose diabetes too late, after permanent damage has been done. We wait until hypertension results in a heart attack before treating it.

      There’s an enormous amount of money wasted because people “limit [their] use of health care.”

    • Guest

      That’s total word salad. Who is tricked by this to read it and believe you addressed anything?

  • Haywood

    I don’t know about who wrote this but insurance is due to double because of the ACA. You simply cannot cover more people with less money. If you believe you can I have a bridge on the moon I would like to sell you.

    • Zinc Avenger

      You cannot cover more people for less money. This is indeed a fact. However, you can cover more people for less money per person. There’s a reason why large companies tend to have better insurance coverage than small companies. Economies of scale and negotiating power due to numbers of potential customers.

    • markg8

      You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of how Obamacare works. But the fact that the likes of you are no longer calling it “Obamacare” says you know it’s not going to be the disaster you claim it will. Actual competition in the exchanges brings down cost. The Medical Loss Ratio requirement that forces insurance companies to spend 80 percent of the premiums they collect on healthcare (85 percent in the case of corporate customers with large pools) and rebate the difference also brings down costs. Those are just a couple of reasons, there are others like the larger the pool, the less everyone pays.

      The GOP has a real problem. On the one hand you claim it will be a disaster and must be repealed at all costs before implementation but on the other hand you know that many millions more will be covered with better benefits at lower cost and once that happens it will be too popular to stop. Admit it, this law is good for the American people. I’ll give you this, it will be a political disaster for those who oppose it and who have spent the last 4 years trying to repeal it.

    • dede21206

      Md. insurance official approves health care rates
      Eds: Updates with details and comments
      By BRIAN WITTE
      Associated Press
      ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Newly approved rates for health plans that will be sold in the individual market through Maryland’s new health benefit exchange will have some of the lowest costs among the 12 states that have either proposed or approved rates, the state’s insurance commissioner said Friday.
      Insurance Commissioner Therese Goldsmith approved the rates after reviewing proposals from insurance companies and considering public comments. The approved premiums are as much as 33 percent below what had been requested, according to the state’s insurance administration.
      “Consumers will find a wide variety of plans available through Maryland Health Connection,” Goldsmith said in a statement. “Over the last few months, actuaries, analysts, and policy form experts meticulously evaluated hundreds of plan designs and their corresponding rate filings for plans to be sold on Maryland Health Connection.”
      The plans will be sold starting on Oct. 1 for coverage beginning Jan. 1.
      The Maryland Insurance Administration reviewed submissions from nine carriers, including two that are new to the state.
      The exchange plans come in different categories based on how costs are shared, known as bronze, silver, gold or platinum. Bronze plans have lower premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance.
      Maryland health officials conducted an analysis on the approved rates and compared them to other states that have approved rates. A 50-year-old Maryland resident with a silver plan would pay between $260 a month to $269 a month. That’s about 18 percent less than a 50-year-old New York resident who would pay $319 per month for a silver plan there.
      The lowest bronze plan for a 25-year-old in Maryland was $114, compared to $134 in Virginia, $146 in Colorado, $163 in Ohio, $167 in Washington state and $174 in California, the report said.
      For silver plans for middle-aged adults, Maryland rates were lower than those proposed or approved in all other states except New Mexico, according to the analysis. The lowest price for a silver plan for a 50-year-old in Maryland is $260, compared to $319 in New York, $329 in Virginia, $343 in Colorado, $374 in Ohio, $376 in California, $392 in Washington state and $400 in Rhode Island.
      The analysis by the Maryland Health Connection also noted that an estimated three out of four Maryland residents who buy coverage through Maryland Health Connection will be eligible for tax credits to reduce the costs.
      Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Maryland’s health secretary, said an estimated 740,000 Maryland residents will have new access to health coverage with better benefits next year.
      Sharfstein said it’s difficult to compare next year’s rates to rates that people currently pay for health insurance, because the plans are so different and individual experience will vary.
      “We think that people have a lot of options in the Maryland Health Connection and they’ll have the peace of mind that they cannot be denied coverage,” Sharfstein said. “It’s so different. The benefits are different. The tax credits make it different because it brings different people to the market.”
      Plans for groups like small businesses will be sold starting Jan. 1 for coverage beginning March 1. Those rates have not yet been approved by the insurance administration.

  • Catherine Meguire

    In which state does your dad live?

  • dede21206

    Anybody know what state this gentleman lives in? I’d like to share this on my Facebook page and wanted to add that.
    Thanks

  • Leslie

    Totally phony and misleading article.

    • macacaiscaca

      care to clarify? or are you just trolling?

      • Leslie

        For starters, the exchanges are not even set up, so no one is offering prices and coverage. Second, the only way those prices would apply is if they are within 400% of the poverty level, and are being subsidized. A single person alone is slated to have a higher premium than the one mentioned. Third, private insurance companies which have grandfathered plans are not part of the exchanges. If they were, they could no longer be grandfathered. They can not provide anyone a choice of their grandfathered plans or a cheap one through the exchange. This is only part of the story.

        • macacaiscaca

          “the exchanges are not even set up” – “LOL” Leslie https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-marketplace-in-my-state/ (feel free) – this is my state http://www.connectforhealthco.com/ – this too is “only part of the story” – you’re merely presupposing that the author just makes stuff up, that his dad isn’t real or didn’t write what was quoted – what else could the word “phony” possibly mean? there are literally dozens of positive comments below (and lots of healthy back and forth) so I guess they’re “phony” too.

        • Allie McC

          Um, the exchanges most certainly ARE set up in some states, and the rate I got on the Nevada exchange was much lower than my employer’s rate for almost the same coverage. And yes it may be higher than what he quoted, but it’s based on your income!!! Mine was all of $176/month. http://exchange.nv.gov/ In case you doubt that, too! Do a little research before you make comments.

  • Steve

    Time will tell whether it (ACA) is sustainable. I can’t see how it will be sustainable and continue to be a high quality care system, without rationed care. I hope it is successful. About Pelosi’s statement……it just wasn’t a very intelligent thing to say in my opinion.

  • James Teasdale

    What the republicans are so afraid of is that Obamacare’s implementation will be well received and their cronies in for profit health care and big pharma will stop shelling out the campaign donations. The layers of the republican lies are peeling away to find a golden egg in the middle for many of us….

  • grinninglibber

    The regressives hate and fear Obamacare because it is working. Their LIES are getting ever more desperate.

    • Leslie

      It is not working, because it is not all in place. The exchanges have not been set up.

      • grinninglibber

        It’s on schedule….. It sucks to be regressive huh?

      • Allie McC

        Again, you are an IDIOT, and you are WRONG. I already provided you with a link to the one here in Nevada, but yet you persist with your IGNORANCE. Look it up, for cryin’ out loud!

        • Leslie

          An idiot is a person who doesn’t even understand what she reads. “The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, a state agency created to oversee the signups, is doing final testing to ensure an online Web portal, Nevada Health Link, will be ready when the enrollment period begins Oct. 1.”

          Note enrollment, October. Some genius you are.

          • Allie McC

            Nobody said that the enrollment has started, but the exchange IS up, genius, along with the estimator for your premium, would you like me to link you to that too? Since you’re such an intelligent person, I’m sure you could have found it yourself, had you bothered to look, but since you can’t, perhaps I’ll link it to you as well.

            http://exchange.nv.gov/Resources/Premium_Cost_Calculator/

            Your comment didn’t talk about ENROLLMENT, it said SPECIFICALLY “The exchanges have not been set up.” Well, it IS set up. What you apparently can’t read is the part that says it’s creating a new MARKETPLACE in October, but you read that on the EXCHANGE. And it says RIGHT at the bottom of the screen when enrollment begins.

            Go back to elementary school, and try again… MORON.

          • Leslie

            They are not set up until you can actually enroll.

            1) You don’t know that the cost will be the same come October.
            2) You do not know the differences in coverage of the four levels in terms of what they provide in terms of care
            3) You do not know specifically at this point which insurance companies are volunteering to be part of the exchanges, and you do not know which hospitals and doctors will be available to you.

            Knowing that it is already a “given” that premiums will go up regardless, keep in mind that a lot of the funds earmarked to run the program ( young people signing up for premiums, money taken from Medicare, revenue from the Federal student loan program, and more) are dissipating, and the money is going to have to come from somewhere. It will go up through higher premiums and taxes.

            Remember where you read this.

          • Allie McC

            E S T I M A T O R….. the EXCHANGE has a cost ESTIMATOR.

            I think it is clear what an ESTIMATE is.

            Yes, the differences in coverage are clearly outlined already on the EXCHANGE.

            There are already numerous insurance companies on the Nevada EXCHANGE, but more MAY be added by October.

            You don’t live in Nevada, or you would know this. All of this information was received in the mail already.

          • Leslie

            You have no real information. You don’t know the exact cost, you don’t know which doctors and hospitals will participate, you don’t know exactly what each tier of policy will cover.

            When you know, report back.

          • Leslie

            Try reading this, and then tell me again that the rate you will be paying is a done deal. http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/government/first-look-obamacares-nevada-impact-higher-cost-some

  • WR3A

    The original post is good. But most of the comment/arguments on both sides miss the point. Medicare and Medicade started by paying for the “last mile” of health care, the most expensive years of life. This actually benefits private insurance, taking the biggest $$ liabilities “off the table” (and onto the government’s hands). The ACA will not have it as bad as Medicare or Medicaid. With that said, the government’s management of Medicare and Medicaid is atrocious, and is responsible for the high cost of health care in the USA compared to EU etc. People who keep pointing to lower health care expenses in EU don’t realize that the EU is more expensive for young people, but the USA is hyper-expensive for old people. Neither system shows that health care payments decline when a third party is paying for it… quite the opposite in fact.

    • tigerlily78

      So, do you think because care providers go out of their way to defraud Medicare that it is necessarily the “management” of Medicare and Medicaid that is so bad? No, it is merely an issue of having a limited number of warm bodies and manhours that these programs can commit to following up on claims and checking that billing is accurate for the services rendered.

      Also, Medicare and Medicaid by LAW cap the pay out on any given healthcare service to the “real cost” of providing that care or service or product plus 6% as reasonable profit. This is a big cost savings compared to both the price most insurance companies pay for the same items, and a TREMENDOUSLY huge savings over what providers would attempt to charge uninsured persons straight from their inflated “Chargemaster” pricing list…. those prices are often 70% to 1000% more than the actual cost of the care or medical products used.

      For more on this, I recommend trying to run across a full version or a good summary of the Time Magazine investigative report: “A Bitter Pill”

      • WR3A

        Hmm. I did read part of the Time piece. I guess I’ve seen too many of my most aged relatives strung out, stretched apart, life prolonged mercilessly. I believe that the money has a lot to do with it. Also laws to “cap profit” are a joke, you just over-prescribe 10 units x 6% to get your 60%. Look at all the late night television ads aimed at Medicare eligibles.

        European hospitals keep women in the maternity hospital 5-6 times longer than American hospitals, despite all the studies that show going home earlier is healthier for mom and baby. Our Medicare system does the same thing, just at end of life instead of start of life. It’s cheaper to bill the hospital beds on the “first mile” than the “last mile” of care. In that way, ACA may actually help by giving the health care industry more healthy targets do dine on.

  • Tobias2772

    While your father’s example is merely anecdotal, I sure do love his means of expressing it. Kiss my country ass indeed.

  • David Starkey

    what HE said!
    I’d love to add to it, but I am a Veteran.
    I live on disability & would have NO health care, but for the VA medical benefits I got for serving my country for 4 years. PAY ATTENTION TO WHICH PARTY TRIES TO GET RID OF THAT – AND NEVER VOTE FOR THEM AGAIN.

  • Serena Swenbeck-Flanders

    I work under a “republican-conservative” MD who believes in capitalism. He says Obama-care will cut the docs pay and they will be over regulated. As a nurse,I don’t know how much of that is true,but I know Id like to see lower ins. rates and > people covered.Also hes from Cuba and wants Rubio to be the next pres.!He frustrates me to no end(and calls me a liberal socialist!)Ughh

  • disqus_YbB9tbvvLq

    Republicans are Liars.

  • CherMoe

    Thank you for this info. I’m on one of those horrible high-premium policies with high deductibles that pays nothing. I am looking forward to making the change!!! AND keeping the change!

  • Tom Mahoney

    Well, yeah douche bag. We’ll see how it all works out. But, while I’m kissing your ass, you might want to keep in mind that IF (a real big one) it really happens, I’m helping to pay for it. So maybe you can think about kissing mine.

    • Allie McC

      And so am I, a$$wipe, but I don’t mind paying my share or his share for preventative health care, otherwise, we end up paying for it on the back end. I have news for you, genius, people that WORK qualify for these rates, too!

    • Sally Strange

      Hey, douchenozzle, you’re “paying for it” either way, where “paying for it” means subsidizing the well-being of your fellow citizens in one form or another. You can do it the thoughtful, efficient way, where we all kick in a little bit up front, or you can do it the dumb, lying way, where we pretend like we’re all Rugged Individuals who are never affected by each other, and your premiums go up and up because doctors and hospitals are continuously stuck with unpaid bills and preventable diseases kill and sicken thousands, and the combination of preventable diseases sickening and killing thousands, while medical bankruptcy continues to wreak havoc with the personal finances of millions of Americans, leads to *shock horror* the economy’s decline, which ultimately means less money and services for you, which is apparently all your myopic, selfish ass cares about.

      • satanaugustine

        Very late in posting this, but Yaaaaay!

        Libertarianism – the other religion for white people!

    • wsayscoupgood

      So do you have car insurance???? In most states it is required. Now if you have an accident HOW COME I HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR SCREW UP????? DUHHH That’s how insurance works….everyone kicks in and helps. By the way No one goes bankrupt in any other industrialized country because of health problems….But America is #1 for bankruptcies casued by health emergncies even if the person HAS insurance. WE ARE #1….WE ARE #1!!!!!!! Also no other industrialized country allows companies to make a profit on health care…..But in America…….WE ARE #1 WE ARE #1
      don’t you think its a bit odd that company can make a profit by denying care so their bottom line looks good to an investor?

    • Spuddie

      You don’t like massive epidemics of easily treatable diseases right?

      How about lost productivity in businesses for health reasons?
      Massive drains on the economy due to exorbitant % of income going to health care?

      Don’t give a shit?

      Well the rest of us do.

  • Sowelu

    THANK YOU!! Finally to hear a commentary from (hopefully) a REAL citizen and not a Congressperson out to support his/her own agenda rather than to serve (like they are supposed to) the constituents who put them there!!

    • 23cal

      I’m pretty real. You’re welcome.

  • allylloyd

    AMEN!! I’ve been saying this since the beginning! Why? Because I have pre-existing condition and I know how expensive health insurance is!

  • Sweetness

    Applause. Well stated.

    It should be “for Carol and ME,” however. Americans are starting to sound like those dumb real housewives who think using “I” following a preposition is correct.

  • smerdlap

    Well, bully for you. For the rest of us, who already have insurance, we will continue to have to pay the exhorbitant rates we have been paying, since we get it through our employer. You say, well, why continue to pay that? We have to, because we are not ELIGIBLE for the exchange, since we already HAVE insurance! If we drop our employer’s insurance, not only are we unable to get insurance from the exchanges, we will have insult added to injury by having to pay a fine for-wait for it–because we are UNINSURED!!!!!
    I have absolutely no problem with people who are uninsured being able to get it. My only question is, why the hell do I have to continue to pay 20% of my GROSS income for health insurance, since I’m afraid to be without it, when others don’t have to? Why am I paying for mine, plus yours, too??? Answer me this.

    • Moonshadow74

      I do believe that insurance through work has guidelines that they will have to meet that are comparable with the exchange.

    • Guest

      Actually, you are not forced to accept insurance from your employer. You may use the Exchanges, now called Marketplace, if you wish.

    • mothernatureearthmom

      If you are paying more than 9.5% of your income for health insurance through your employer, you would be eligible to shop through the exchange and your employer would get the fine.

  • spookiewon

    LOL JT, I think it’s actually 40 times now they’ve tried to repeal the ACA. Love your article though!

  • Dee Timmons

    https://bat.myitworks.com get healthy from the INSIDE and you won’t need ObamaCare!!

  • Jeanne

    Your dad is awesome.

  • bspoon

    I understand some people are feeling or will feel in the future some benefits from ACA. But the truth is still that not nearly enough people are receiving (or are going to receive) nearly enough benefits, and the price is still WAY too high for WAY too little in return. What we need to understand is that our people as a whole are not benefiting and will not benefit nearly as much as the private health unsurance corporations are and will. ACA planted a few deceptively well-placed trees to hide a forest that is rotten to its very core…and we’re falling for it. We need to be knocking Democrats off their pedestal (they don’t deserve), holding their feet to the fire and letting them know we see through their pro-corporate welfare smoke and mirrors instead of supporting and defending it. We need “Medicare for AL” and we needed it generation ago already.

  • Tiger

    Which state is this? There are very different prices by state because of existing regulations over the individual insurance market.

  • Bwdesmo

    this must be great for this individual, but who’s paying for the difference?

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