Social Networks We Use

Categories

CT Tech Junkie Feed

Connecticut Consumers to Begin Receiving E-Book Settlement Refunds
Mar 25, 2014 4:09 pm
Connecticut residents will start receiving refund checks or credits this week for e-books purchased between April 1,...more »
Like New Jersey, Direct Retail Sales of Tesla Automobiles Not Allowed in Connecticut
Mar 19, 2014 12:24 pm
The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection is co-sponsoring a contest for the auto dealership...more »

Our Partners

˜

Preliminary Report Says Rates Will Rise Under Obamacare; Subsidies To Be Based on Income

by Christine Stuart | Jul 30, 2013 2:17pm
(39) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Health Care, Jobs, Labor

Christine Stuart photo

Julia Lambert of Wakely Consulting Group

An independent consultant hired by that state’s insurance exchange board said Tuesday that when the dust settles the monthly premium rates offered by five insurance carriers participating in the exchange will increase — both in the individual and small group market.

Julia Lambert, president of Wakely Consulting Group, told the Access Health CT Board of Directors, that individual rates in 2014 will be less than small group rates, but rates in both the individual and small group markets will be going.

However, Lambert said that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone will be paying more. The individual rate increases in many instances will be offset by federal subsidies, which under the Affordable Care Act also called Obamacare, are available to individuals and families who make up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

CLICK TO ENLARGE That means for a family of four living in Fairfield county with a 45-year-old father, 43-year-old mother, and two teenage children with an annual household income of about $94,200, they would be paying anywhere from $530 to $724 in the 2013 individual market. But under the exchange they will see their rates go up to $943, an increase on average of about 55.8 percent. That’s all before they receive a subsidy from the federal government for purchasing their plan through the exchange.

Lambert estimated there are about 67,900 uninsured individuals who fall into that category. The bulk of the uninsured will be under 139 percent of the federal poverty level and will qualify for Medicaid. The second largest segment, or about 95,400 of the uninsured in Connecticut, fall between 139 percent and 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

CLICK TO ENLARGE Many of the individuals who fall around 250 percent of the federal poverty level will see their monthly premiums drop on average by about 93.3 percent if they are the same family of four with two teenage children making about $58,875 a year. Currently, that family of four would be paying on average about $605 per month. If they chose the HealthyCT Bronze plan, they would be paying about $40 per month after the federal subsidy is applied.

Lambert said it’s important for individuals and families to know their annual income and the amount of subsidy they will receive before heading into the marketplace in search of an insurance plan. She said it’s also important to keep in mind that the benefits that will be covered by the plans under the Affordable Care Act, such as pharmacy or maternity, may be richer than those currently offered in the marketplace.

Click here to read more about what types of benefits will be covered by plans on the exchange.

Most of the five carriers that have submitted plans to be sold on the exchange reduced their rates after conversations with the Insurance Department—which will have the final say on rates.

Click here for Lambert’s full report to the board.

In general, younger individuals will see the biggest increases in premiums and older individuals will see the lowest increases in premiums.

A healthy 21-year-old male who makes about $45,960 a year wouldn’t receive a federal subsidy and would see an increase of nearly 120 percent in his premium, according to the analysis done by Lambert.

On the small group side, premiums are higher than they are in the individual marketplace, Lambert said.

There will be 12 small group plans offered on the exchange by three insurance carriers. Last week, ConnectiCare Benefits dropped its plan to participate in that market. Lambert warned that all but one company participating in the exchange re-filed their rates with the Insurance Department after Tuesday’s report was finalized, so some of the numbers may be slightly off.

HealthyCT, the only nonprofit, consumer-operated and oriented plan participating in the exchange, announced last week that it lowered its average monthly premiums by about 36 percent in the individual market, and 9 percent in the small group market. Those reductions were not reflected in Lambert’s report to the board Tuesday.

“The rates are not yet final,” Lambert warned. “Our report is premature, but sort of a progress report.”

She said the monthly average premiums are “all over the board depending on who you are and what plan you choose.” The four insurance carriers in the individual market are offering plans at three different tiers, which are being referred to as bronze, silver, and gold. The more expensive plans fall under the gold category and provide more benefits to individuals. There are no platinum plans offered in the individual market on or off the exchange by the four carriers.

Geography also makes a difference. Litchfield County has the lowest average premiums in the small group market and Hartford County has the lowest average premium in the individual market. Fairfield County has the highest average premiums in the individual market. Under the ACA, carriers are no longer allowed to rate their plans based on gender, which means women in their 30s for the first time may be paying less than a 21-year-old male in 2014.

State Healthcare Advocate Victoria Veltri said what she doesn’t know from Lambert’s analysis how robust the network of doctors will be in a given plan. While the network may vary depending on the plan, knowing that your doctor is in the network also will be an important factor when choosing a plan. Lambert said that wasn’t part of the calculations she was asked to make.

“A detailed what’s the market impact of the ACA” on rates “was not within the scope of this project,” Lambert said.

Christine Stuart photo

Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan

The state Insurance Department has until Aug. 31 to finish analyzing the rates submitted by the carriers and assign a final monthly premium to each of the various plans. There are 24 plans on the individual market in the exchange and 12 small group plans in the exchange.

“I think what we saw from the report today is good news,” Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan said. “At the same time it underscored the complexity for average citizens and small businesses to try and make sense of the impact of all these changes.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Share this story with others.

Share | |

(39) Comments

posted by: Chien DeBerger | July 30, 2013  3:40pm

REALLY!!?

posted by: gutbomb86 | July 30, 2013  4:53pm

gutbomb86

Many of the individuals who fall around 250 percent of the federal poverty level will see their monthly premiums drop on average by about 93.3 percent if they are the same family of four with two teenage children making about $58,875 a year. Currently, that family of four would be paying on average about $605 per month. If they chose the HealthyCT Bronze plan, they would be paying about $40 per month after the federal subsidy is applied.

So with my wife and two kids I’d be paying about $40 a month on the HealthyCT Bronze plan?

That’s outrageous! How could I be forced to pay $40 a month for health insurance?! What a terrible thing this Obamacare is. I’ll be ruined if I’m forced to pay $40 a month…

posted by: justsayin | July 30, 2013  8:12pm

Gutboy let me know how that $40 plan works out? But in the meantime who do you think is picking up the balance…The tooth fairy?

posted by: Lawrence | July 30, 2013  8:33pm

No surprises, and this issue has been reviewed to death.

If you’re solo and paying for a no-frills insurance plan (i.e. ‘no real coverage’ insurance plan), you’ll actually get something for your premiums under the new law.

Wow, imagine that—someone getting something for their money, unlike now (generally) in the individual insurance market.

posted by: dano860 | July 30, 2013  11:43pm

Gut, what does that really mean?
Perhaps that the rest of us are paying for you!
That’s probably part of the reason Uncle Harry Reed ‘need’s’ the TRILLION dollar tax increase.
Owebama said he would consider a 28% corporate tax but Harry and the gang won’t. Kind of out of synch huh?  28% corporate tax and 40% tax on individuals. BUT we shouldn’t forget…corporations don’t pay taxes, they just collect them and pass them on to the government.

posted by: Christine Stuart | July 30, 2013  11:53pm

Christine Stuart

Actually, Dano that’s how it worked under the old system where they denied individuals care. In the new system everyone will be accepted and the risk will be spread over a larger population of people where there’s no ability for the insurance companies to shift the cost of lower reimbursements from government plans like Medicaid and Medicare to the private insurance payer since everyone will be in the pool. It will force insurance companies to actually find cost savings by negotiating with providers or offering a more realistic view of what certain procedures cost. So while your scenario may be true today it won’t be true in 2014. As a female who was unable to purchase insurance because she was of childbearing age I welcome the chance to give someone my money so I can finally see a doctor. BTW my husband is 9 years older and was able to get insurance no problem when we bought the business. No more rating based on gender. I can’t wait.

posted by: dano860 | July 31, 2013  7:54am

So this is suppose to be like the old days of high risk drivers being placed into a ‘pool’ so they could homogenize the costs. As an insurance agent once explained to me it became expensive to everyone because they couldn’t get enough low end, high risk drivers to cover the costs of the high end, high risk drivers. Today these are the folks that drive w/out any insurance and why we have to obtain uninsured motorist insurance. This happens even though we are an insurance mandatory State.
I’m not saying that this won’t work, I believe that the costs for some are going to be excessive and that alone is going to cause undo social problems. There has to be a better answer.
When you see the rates jumping 120% for the young, low risk, people I can only imagine that they will opt to stay out of the program all together. These will be the rates for the average college graduate, I mean they get out of school and expect to earn $50K right away. If they see that their insurance rates are to high they might settle for a job in the $30K range so they can get the subsidy.
If other changes were made to the whole insurance game, things would pull back and costs might diminish. Buying insurance across state lines, tort reform on lawsuits, reduced rates for healthy low claim individuals are things that have worked in some States and have reduced rates.
Getting the government, IRS and insurance companies all involved will (in my estimation) only add to the overall costs. As it is they need to hire some ridiculous number of thousands of bi-lingual people to explain, only explain, this whole debacle. The administration costs, alone, for this will be enormous.
I’m glad things have worked out for you and yours but if business people were able to join groups, like municipal employees getting State employee rates, costs can be brought inline too. Nobody should be denied affordable insurance or the opportunity to see a doctor for preventative care or illness.
Are you hinting that there may be a little Christine or Christian in the near future?

posted by: ASTANVET | July 31, 2013  8:14am

Christine - respectfully, I would say, that there is a difference between ‘care’ and ‘coverage’.  No one in the US is denied ‘care’.  You just have to pay for it.  Just because your doctor recommends a procedure, doesn’t mean you need to get it.  It isn’t an order.  What is covered by insurance is part of the risk that the insurer is hedging.  They can’t insure everything without charging huge premiums.  You say you relish being able to pay your money so that this indemnification is spread out across many people.  I personally do not relish this.  I don’t relish paying for someone else to go get an MRI - but there is our philosophical difference.  I am all about the individual, if a group of free willed individuals want to join a consortium to share premiums and lower their rates - that’s an individual choice - not through the force and threat of government.  That is not freedom, that is not liberty, and that is my problem with this ponzi-scheme of a law.  ~ but i’m a big fan of CTNJ!

posted by: taxpayer | July 31, 2013  10:17am

Christine you and the politicians gloss over the fact that the majority or people will not receive a subsidy and will result in paying more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by: Christine Stuart | July 31, 2013  10:20am

Christine Stuart

I am absolutely not saying I think someone else should pay for my health insurance. I have no dental insurance and I still go get my teeth cleaned every 6 months. I just want an opportunity to be able to purchase insurance with a vagina—since that’s apparently a risk insurance companies aren’t willing to take on at the moment. I’m not willing to go into medical debt and lose my house to have a baby. Also preventative annual check ups now require no out-of-pocket costs so my bet is you’re already benefiting from that. I’m happy to pay for services, but the cost they’re charging at the moment is ridiculous and unrealistic.

posted by: ASTANVET | July 31, 2013  10:59am

Christine - I agree - cost is crazy, I don’t want to ignore the contributing factors to the rise in cost.  Part regulations, part mandates, part high liability, etc… we have made insurance more expensive through a lot of public action, not the least of which is the public mandate.  That seems to be more like adding fuel to the fire.  I have crappy insurance, as I’m sure you’ve heard of the tri-care nightmare.  This is the unfortunate reality that the country faces… bad coverage due to high bureaucracy.  But on the positive side, I have seen dental plans and individual health plans (my mom has one as a small business owner) - and she (at her age) has not been denied coverage, so I’m kind of surprised that you are experiencing such difficulty.  I do know lots of people in the insurance industry if you would like some assistance I’m sure I can get you in touch with some people.  Additionally, I’m sorry that you are faced with those choices - I know that has to suck.

posted by: justsayin | July 31, 2013  11:21am

Wait and see WHAT is covered and for what price. These are not the plans our elected officials have!

posted by: Joebigjoe | July 31, 2013  1:50pm

The discussion is moot. Obamacare will be going away and not because of defunding discussions taking place now.

When you have Howard Dean agreeing now with Sarah Palin about what she called death panels( I guess she was telling the truth), as more people get educated on whats in this program, the number of people against it will climb from 70% today to almost 90% at the same time the young refuse to pay outrageous premiums, and the combination will force the government to either scrap the program or change it dramatically.

posted by: Pintail | July 31, 2013  1:57pm

Myself and my wife are going to have serious pricing issues with the exchange. According to the AccessHealthCt calculator, since I am fully disabled and receive SSDI with Medicare, I already have a subsidized insurance plan. However, my wife will not be able to get a subsidy (it is quite low) to purchase through the exchange. She currently has a high deductable ($5000) plan that costs about $1800/year.  What happens if at age 59 her policy through the ACA is over $500 per month, we cannot pay $6000 per year for her insurance and pay the mortgage…

I have been in contact in writing with our legislators with a few points, most importantly: is the income for a subsidy based on family income either way: gross or adjusted gross? Our state senator directed me to his contact in the exchange - he had no idea. Our state rep gave me another contact who has a contact actually working in the exchange. In six weeks, I have heard nothing from that person in the exchange– I spoke again with the contact.

I am more informed than most, and the data I can find portends real cost problems for us. What happens when the non-informed suddenly are hit with far higher prices for insurance. I believe much of the PPACA will collapse when the ratepayers find out that they will actually pay…

posted by: joemanc | July 31, 2013  2:34pm

Just to add my .02
I have insurance, thankfully…just reading the article above makes me cringe. Obamacare seems to be one big convoluted mess. But hey, that’s what you get when you pass a 2,000 page bill that 3 or 4 members of Congress read in it’s entirety.

I recently saw a billboard or an ad that said over the next so and so years, another 2 million jobs will be created in healthcare. Let that sink in for a second…In order for those 2 million people to be paid, that money has to come from somewhere, right? So perhaps someone can tell me how healthcare costs will be controlled under Obamacare or any kind of care for that matter, if we need to pay another 2 million people to take care of us?

Maybe, just maybe, the solution is to eat healthy, all of us…that way, we’re not spending money on preventable diseases of affluence, such as diabetes and heart disease and instead spend them on the diseases that truly need our attention.

posted by: Christine Stuart | July 31, 2013  2:35pm

Christine Stuart

Read the story Taxpayer. Only those up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level are receiving subsidies. Didn’t gloss over that fact at all.

posted by: dano860 | July 31, 2013  2:38pm

Christine you are correct there. My brother-in-law is a surgeon in Rhode Island. He paid somewhere north of $250K per year for malpractice insurance, he won’t touch pediatric cases due to the extreme costs for a pediatric malpractice insurance. Why is it so expensive? Good ole’ lawsuits but tort reform would possibly bring costs back in line. I guess pediatrics is high risk with regards to infant health. My sisters neighbor is still chasing a suit against her pediatrician and the hospital because her son has autism. He’s 4 years old now.
Astanvet is correct, group buys can bring costs down but it still requires someone to administer it.

posted by: Christine Stuart | July 31, 2013  2:39pm

Christine Stuart

Pintail,
Don’t freak out yet. The calculator is not exact so if I were you I would wait until Oct. 1 to see what the rates will really be. Also you can still buy the plan you currently have outside the exchange. You won’t have to change plans.

posted by: Christine Stuart | July 31, 2013  2:44pm

Christine Stuart

Dano,
There are limits under the ACA for what plans can charge for administrative expenses. As for malpractice reform my other job is abstracting civil lawsuits in the state every day and in Connecticut there aren’t that many because of the need to get another doctor to submit a letter called a “certificate of merit” that says the patient may have a valid claim. So it’s like a second opinion on every case. Some people are injured and should have recourse, but a majority do not. You’re making me wonder if the ACA will lower medical malpractice insurance costs?

posted by: dano860 | July 31, 2013  4:15pm

...and THAT would be a good thing!
If malpractice rates come down then other things should follow. After all it isn’t like oil and traded on the commodities market…yet!

posted by: Lawrence | July 31, 2013  9:04pm

Joebigjoe,

Please give some of us here credit for having a brain and a computer.

Howard Dean has not agreed with Sarah Palin on ‘death panels.’ Only on Fox News and Breitbart is anyone making that connection, which doesn’t say much for your choice of infotainment.

Here is the top of Howard dean’s op-ed in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, which is what you and other right-wingers are twisting into your own little lie: can you find anything in these opening paragraphs that you want to praise Mr. Dean for??

Didn’t think so…

—————————

The Affordable Care Act’s Rate-Setting Won’t Work
Experience tells me the Independent Payment Advisory Board will fail.

By HOWARD DEAN

“Continuing efforts by congressional Republicans to “defund” further implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, even if it takes shutting down the federal government, are willfully destructive.

As Sen. Richard Burr (R., N.C.) told the press last week, “I think it’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard . . . as long as Barack Obama is president the Affordable Care Act is gonna be law.”

Clearly, the foremost achievement of President Obama’s first term is the Affordable Care Act, and when fully implemented the law will move America closer to universal health coverage — something many progressives have sought for years. Like it or not, the law—at least its foundation—is here to stay, and lawmakers ought to focus over the next year on ensuring a relatively smooth implementation.

Although I’ve been critical of many components of the law, there is still much to applaud…” Read more

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 1, 2013  7:07am

Lawrence you may be a bit naive. Howard Dean is not going to come out and slam Obamacare. I agree that there are good general concepts like people having access to insurance with preexisting conditions and since Obamas economy is so bad that it is necessary to allow young college grads to stay on their parents insurance when they cant find a job. The devil is in the details and thats what this argument is about.

Here is what Dean said. Because he didnt use the same term that Palin did, doesnt mean they arent saying the same thing. Sure Fox News ignores the parts he likes but thats not the real story.

The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | August 1, 2013  7:20am

GoatBoyPHD

The big winners in round one are the subsidized and denial of insurance cases.

The Lawyers won. No tort reform.

The hospitals won. More timely payments and revenue flow for the uninsured. No real cost containment.

The public sector unions won. They lobbied on the “No Sustinet for us” platform and won.

Instead of cost containment, tort reform, and “one policy to heal them all” we still get the single payer subterfuge.

Cost shifting will continue. Small businesses are exempt.

Unlike Massachussetts where the program survived a recession and is entering the cost containment phase, the ACA is on the ropes.

Postponing the employer mandate until 2014 due to election pressure? Not good. Wait until costs peak during the 2015-16 election cycle.

Most annoying: Medicaid is a better program with higher actuarial value and was deemed too expensive to expand to all the subsidized policies. That “hidden tax” is morally unconscionable as are the State employee policies.


“One policy to heal them all”.

posted by: ASTANVET | August 1, 2013  10:44am

This has been by far the most interesting dialogue on health care in a long time.  It is apparent from the comments that there are two camps of people… those who want this, and those who want individual choice and market solutions.  I think it is important to recognize that those of us who want to be free to make our own choices and either suffer the consequences, or relish in the rewards are not being allowed that freedom.  In the most basic of terms, we are subjected to the one party ideal… that is patently un-American… or at least it used to be.  That’s what the lefties seem to really like - putting the free thinker under their thumb.

posted by: gutbomb86 | August 1, 2013  12:00pm

gutbomb86

@justsayin, dano & astanvet - It’s very clear that the health insurance market has failed the larger portion of society under the age of 65. That’s a fact. Medicare is great, but the rest of us simply get the opportunity to pay into it on behalf of the folks who are over 65. That’s Hypocrisy 101.

The “choice” to fail to insure yourself is a false choice, and Obamacare critics know this. If any one of us is uninsured and we get sick or injured, we walk into the ER and get the life-saving services we need. That includes the Libertarians who worship the free market. That was the status quo. And the gov’t and the healthcare industry - all of us taxpayers and ratepayers - were forced to pay for that, with rates skyrocketing and destroying our economy. Under Obamacare, everyone is going to either buy insurance on the exchange or they are going to be taxed a small fee to help offset the cost of providing medical treatment to everyone. No more freeloaders.

I’m tired of hearing and reading the false violation of our freedom arguments. It’s bunk. Nonsense. We require auto insurance to use the roads. The Supreme Court has upheld Obamacare. A health insurance tax is essentially being levied, as it should, to help cover the cost of running hospitals that can’t legally turn away the sick or injured. This is a good thing. But critics can’t see it through partisan lenses.

The critics here are certainly OK with taxes being levied unilaterally for the services that they support. The roads, the schools ... It’s a two-way street. Hospitals and doctors are every bit as important as teachers, cops, firefighters, soldiers, social workers, etc. So is public health. It’s time to come back to society and leave the free market fantasies behind. American society is inclusive. You may like living in a bunker, but that bunker is on American soil and it’s time we all worked together rather than this partisan, anti-Obama sniping. The free market is part of the equation here. It’s not the whole equation. Never has been, never should be.

posted by: JamesBronsdon | August 1, 2013  2:53pm

gutbomb, false analogy. It may be true that “We require auto insurance to use the roads,” but requiring a person to purchase health insurance is a requirement to pay for breathing, for being alive. The former is an optional activity that creates risk for others as well as the individual insured. The latter activity, living, is not exactly optional (though the Hemlock Society would have you believe it is), and doesn’t create risk for others. Your analogy might suggest it would be appropriate for the government to require us to provide insurance to protect against malpractice in child-rearing, since if you screw up the state might have to take away your children and be stuck with the costs.
Obamacare seems like not only a bad bargain for young people especially, but also another encroachment on our personal liberties. Neither the unfairness of the economics nor the encroachment on liberties seems to be of much concern to liberals. Pity.

posted by: justsayin | August 1, 2013  3:38pm

Gutbomb, I am OK with paying for my parents and the generation that paid for all our infrastructure, schools, municipal buildings, transit, etc,You know the ones we can not maintain…No more “freeloaders” this thing was built for freeloaders. That is why the cost is going up. Those who can not pay will be covered by those who HAVE to pay.

posted by: gutbomb86 | August 1, 2013  4:02pm

gutbomb86

No, James, it’s your analogy that’s false and your constant labeling of people in an effort to demonize them that’s very transparent. Health insurance is not a tax on breathing and the very suggestion that it is suggests a total disconnect from reality on your part.

Justsayin - you’re still missing the point. You already are paying for everyone else, and you’re paying MORE for them to go to the ER rather than a regular doctor. You’re also suggesting that it’s OK to only pay for your parents and some generation that you thank for building everything, as though there are no ongoing costs to maintain that same infrastructure. You’re suggesting that the system was built for freeloaders when, in fact, Obamacare will begin for the first time to get some sort of contribution from those same freeloaders.

Once again, you’re demonstrating a lack of understanding of Obamacare through partisan lenses. Good luck with that. It’s here to stay and it’s time to make the best of it, just like the folks who fought tooth-and-nail against Medicare and Social Security.

posted by: JamesBronsdon | August 1, 2013  4:57pm

gut, I think you’re confusing me (constant labeling to demonize) with someone else. Check my posts. I think everyone would acknowledge Obamacare is only supported by liberals, by which I mean in this case those who believe in expansion of government to provide benefits and services. I’m not using “liberal” as a dirty word. It’s pretty difficult to have a conversation about these things without the use of some pretty well accepted terms - liberal/conservative, left/right. You thought “low information voter” was nasty labeling, but I hope I assured you otherwise. I try not to be too over-sensitive about these things.

posted by: question? | August 1, 2013  6:52pm

are the Fairfield neighbors premium example a monthly cost

posted by: justsayin | August 1, 2013  8:39pm

Gutbomb, at least in my world we do not have death panels for our senior citizens, you know the ones who paid taxes their whole life and do not give stuff to folks who never pulled their weight. I do not care about party…do the math it does not work. Keep washing down that $40 Healthcare with your ACA Kool-aid.

posted by: Christine Stuart | August 1, 2013  11:59pm

Christine Stuart

I should have explained that Fairfield County is the most expensive of all the counties in Connecticut, which is why I believe they used it as an example. The premium dollars in the graphs are monthly charges. But the co-pays for actually going to the doctor are much lower than they are currently and there will be no plan with a deductible over $6,360. So the plans will actually be providing coverage. I plan to write about what this means for individuals between the age of 50 and 64. If you’re 65 and on Medicare, your Part D and your supplemental won’t be impacted at all by Obamacare. In fact, you may see more benefits as a result.

posted by: ASTANVET | August 2, 2013  8:01am

GUTBOMB -  “The “choice” to fail to insure yourself is a false choice” – This is untrue, I think there are a vast majority of people who at a young age say 20’s-30’s that have taken that risk to not have coverage (myself included) That was my choice.  Not everyone is a free loader – I had a mishap during that period and needed to go to a hospital for a leg injury – I got health care (with no insurance) Xrays, consultation, evaluation, medication and follow up care.  No one footed that bill.  They sent me a bill and I paid it.  BOOM – just like that – no one paid my way, or covered my need for medical coverage.  It was my choice and I paid for it.  I also opted not to get an MRI (at the time it was very expensive) and I knew I couldn’t afford it.  I discussed it with the Dr.  So to say that those who choose to pocket their money and develop a non-tax sheltered individual health savings plan are freeloaders says more about your assumptions of the human condition than it does to reality.  “Under Obamacare, everyone is going to either buy insurance on the exchange or they are going to be taxed a small fee to help offset the cost of providing medical treatment to everyone.” – again making the assumption that people will just ditch their bills.  The idea that the Government will force people to engage in commerce is ridiculous – where is all your outrage about corporatism?  Didn’t the lobby for the insurance industry make a HUGE payday off this law?  I’m glad to hear you say that my opinion about freedom is bunk – that MY FREEDOM is bunk – just because you don’t like the way I think.  I don’t even know if you realize how dangerous it is when a society values their own popularism more than the individual freedoms of their citizens.  I do support government, I support road and schools – I only wish that the taxes that were collected went to those intended purposes. The roads are suppose to be paid for by (in part) gasoline tax, the schools through property tax (not educational cost sharing).  I think you have a rosy view of central planning and big government.  I favor people pulling their own weight.  Government is too big, too convoluted, too corrupt.  Just in case you haven’t read a history book in a while, there has never been a bigger benefit to human kind in history than when the free market system was unleashed.  Our standard of living, the fruits of that explosion in wealth for ALL people in the US is what you take for granted today.  This is why we have all those schools, roads, cities, industries… despite your best efforts to kill it.  No sir, it is time for you give up on your utopian collectivist socialist dream land and do some hard work… or not but don’t ask me to subsidize your next steak and cheese.

posted by: JamesBronsdon | August 2, 2013  10:50am

gut, I had a similar experience to ASTANVET in that I broke an ankle and had two surgeries shortly after college while I was uninsured. It took me a long time to pay the bills, but I did. Many of those who can pay their bills will. Those who can but don’t can be pursued thru the legal process. Those who can’t pay, well I guess they are the beneficiaries of the doctors and hospitals pro-bono work - to some extent. In reality, we subsidize it as the costs are passed on to us. Frankly, I can live with the efficiency of that indirect tax on me versus the abomination of Obamacare.

posted by: gutbomb86 | August 2, 2013  11:16am

gutbomb86

@astanvet - that’s quite a rant. Disconnected-from-reality, but quite a rant nonetheless.

Congrats to you and @jamesb on paying your own way. However, most of us pay our own way. In fact, hundreds of thousands of Americans (if not millions?) have lost their homes in order to pay their own way at the hospital. Because of the failure of the health insurance system, hospitals are now in the real estate business. That’s a failure. Refusal of insurance coverage to protect profits is criminal.

Hopefully you haven’t lost your home because of medical bills - I would not wish that on anyone. But if you haven’t, then you’re really not speaking from a critical perspective that approaches reality.

In a country of 300 million, the 10-20% who don’t pay their way when they get sick or injured - those who don’t have equity to forfeit and who aren’t otherwise among the privileged landed gentry - are bankrupting the rest of us because of ER visits. You may remember that these are the folks that conservatives complain about incessantly. I would love to see people rise out of poverty, but that’s not going to happen suddenly. They’re not suddenly going to have the money to pay for expensive medical care. Is there a time machine available that’ll bring us back to 1960? Unfortunately, no. And even if there were, there was poverty back then as well and people were going without critical healthcare. We just care about it now a lot more today than folks did then, apparently, or perhaps more of us are dealing with the same problem now.

But here we are, developing a system to actually get people to pay for something, and you’re against it because of partisan reasons or loyalty to some fantasy-land free market “utopia” - to use your word.

As for the indignant/rage-induced rant about my assessment of your “freedom” - no one cares. You’re not offering a solution. The Supreme Court supported Obamacare and termed it what it really is - a new tax to support healthcare. You also failed to offer an explanation for Hypocrisy 101 - a tax on all of us that only provides healthcare services for the elderly. If you’re suggesting we should let the market sort out the healthcare for people on Medicare, you’re showing your “lost touch with reality” cards. That’s unacceptable.

Four out of five Americans wanted single-payer and your pals blocked it. We’re now making due with the plan that was written by Republicans at the Heritage Foundation some years ago. This isn’t the “socialist” plan, it’s the “Republican” plan. And no one cares about socialism or communism or capitalism or corporatism or whether we live in a representative democracy or a republic - absolutely no one cares about that other than a lot of out-of-touch AM radio hosts who found a way to sell advertising by making people angry. The founding fathers are dead and the discussion of what kind of government was to be established ended with them. It has no place now.

Put down the red scare rhetoric, let go of the clownish “death panel” talking points, and wake up.

What the large majority wants, and what we’re hopefully on our way to, is a well-funded healthcare system that provides access to as many people as possible, rather than only a wealthy minority. The health insurance system you seem to be satisfied with has utterly failed us and is the single biggest factor impeding job creation. Talk to any small business owner and they will tell you that there’s no larger piece of the puzzle than health insurance. It’s time to open up Medicare to everyone. Long overdue.

posted by: JamesBronsdon | August 2, 2013  11:40am

gut, I guess you know something about rants yourself. Have a nice day.

posted by: ASTANVET | August 2, 2013  11:51am

Gutbomb - you are the reason we can’t have nice things - You can’t allow people to live in peace - you force your ideology and the cost for that ideology on others.  As for the elderly - We (in my family) take care of our own.  I don’t ask anyone else to do that.  Talk about disconnected - you’re marxist undies are showing.

posted by: ASTANVET | August 2, 2013  12:52pm

Congressman John Larson (D-Conn.), who voted for the health care law, said making the law apply to elected officials and their staffers was “simply not fair.”  HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAHAHAHAHAHA

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 2, 2013  8:41pm

Four out of five Americans wanted single payer. Say what??

Also isn’t it wonderful how congressional staffers have just been provided huge subsidies by Obama in the 24 hours so they can afford obamacare. So they will be on obamacare but not follow the same financial deal as everyone else does. Next payoff will be to the IRS union that would be responsible for the enforcement of obamacare but want no part of it for themselves.