Obamacare works -- up to a point

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The good news, as supporters of the president have been happy to point out, is that the insurance figures the state has released for the Obamacare benefits plans aren't really that awful. The naysayers were wrong; the Affordable Care Act almost seems .... affordable. Gee, a 40-year-old single person could get basic insurance for $332 a month.

Which is true, but younger, single people have always had better rates. I went to the calculator to see what I would have to pay to cover myself and my two kids, and it was closer to $1,000 a month. And that's for a plan that includes a $2,000 deductible, $250 emergency-room co-pays and $45 primary-care co-pays. Not all that "affordable" -- unless your kids never, say, get injured playing football or doing gymnastics, and you never break your hand doing martial arts, and you never need surgery. In other words, not so fine for my family (or most families).

And that's the first year out; rates are going to keep going up. In theory, if the insurers raise rates more than 10 percent a year, they'll have to justify the increases -- but you know that's not going to be a problem at the federal level. And 10 percent a year for a few years makes even the low-end plans too expensive for most people.

Yes, there are subsidies for low-income people, and that's the best part of this plan -- but either those will have to go up every year to match the rate hikes or everyone's going to be hurting.

Here's the problem: The feds have mandated everyone gets insurance -- but California doesn't have the right to regulate rates. And the rates aren't regulated in Washington.

Remember what happened in California when the state (quite properly) mandated in the early 1980s that everyone with a car buy insurance -- but then did nothing to control rates? Insurance companies made a fortune, and consumers got screwed, until Prop. 103 passed.

Now it's pretty clear that we need the same thing for health insurance. That's what Consumer Watchdog is pushing for -- and once the real sticker shock hits, this initiative's going to pass, just as Prop. 103 did.

 

Comments

with Medicare For All. It won't be perfect. Nothing is, but there's a reason every other country with an advanced capitalist economy (and some other countries as well) have national health care.

It works.

Flame away, insurance and drug company apologists.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

The tax increases required to cover everyone would be astronomical.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

lifetime. So young or unemployed people haven't made the contributions and so do not have any entitlement.

The only way you could expand Medicare to cover everyone would be to remove it from the social security system and make it welfare funded from the general fund.

But of course that was rejected by a Democratic Congress in 2009.

Medicare is massively under-funded long-term and, if anything, it is more likely that it will become more restrictive i.e. starts at an older age and excludes the wealthy.

Posted by Guest on May. 30, 2013 @ 5:23 am

cover every single visit you want to make to the doctor, for yourself or your kids. That's one reason we have such expensive healthcare - the entitlement mentality that little Tommy or lil' Keisha should make a visit to the doctor every time they have the sniffles - because someone else is paying for it.

Not anymore. Obamacare was partly designed to make patients understand that healthcare is expensive and to use preventative measures more than visits to the doc. That's what you're seeing here - get used to it.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 28, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

Insurance companies cannot be forced to sell policies at a loss, and so any "regulation" of insurance premia would simply lead to insurers dropping coverage, or only covering private customers.

While to subsidize insurance premia is, as you know, prohibitively expensive which is why the so-called public option never got off the ground.

In the end, there isn't enough money to insure everyone at the premium needed to ensure that insurance companies bother to offer health insurance at all.

Of course, you're just going to say, no problem, just raise taxes. But you know and I know that just takes the money out of your other pocket. There is no free lunch.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

So as a devout Obama disciple, you're still gushing for this corporate bailout---which is what this is---to the mangled health care industry? If this had happened under Bush (whom I couldn't stand and you couldn't either) would you be gushing for it? (I doubt it). Or is because it has your Dalai Bama's name attached to it? Democrats stand for nothing but party line allegiance. "Go, D-team, go." They're pathetic. Universal health care should have been the choice, but then that wouldn't have provided a corporate bailout to corporatist Obama's owners, and it would have been far cheaper.

And if you don't think that $332/month is outrageous (and it will end up being much more than that) for a 40-year-old single person in THIS dismal economy and in THIS increasingly expensive city especially, you're loco and clueless.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

Get in a vehicle accident and it's not hard to run up a million dollar bill.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

speaks for itself. They don't want to pay for anything - everything should be free, provided at someone else's expense.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

I'm sure you meant to talk about the U.$. corporation$ who do indeed have an entitlement mentality where everything provided to them should be free, including their ma$$ive corporate bailout$ provided to them as well as tax break$ (etc.). The same for the corporate bank$ and for other corporate industrie$.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

Instead of being bailed out.

Good point.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

Lucrapia, what free things are you getting with your self-entitled ass? Some corporate scum must be paying your way for the amount of time you spend stagnating on this forum writing your smug and hateful shit. You also charade as a pretentious elitist homeowner (think nose in air and corners of mouth down). Proposition 13 is helping to pay your way, Lucrapia. You're getting a bourgeois elite bailout for how many thousands a year (do you save?), Lucrapia? When are homeowners going to start paying their way instead of relying on bailouts?

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

That's an interesting take on a successful voter initiative predicated on preventing extortion.

You like extortion and don't like elections?

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

Free housing, free health insurance, free food, free transportation. Your type never stops demanding more and more.

The problem is eventually you run out of other people's money to spend.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 28, 2013 @ 5:36 pm

Adding to that:

Search engine:

Poverty skyrockets in US suburbs

and

Child poverty in US among the highest in developed world

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

The poorest American would be richer than 90% of the people in Bangladesh.

And nobody uses the word "famine" in America.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:59 pm

You couldn't have possibly read either article in 4 minutes (the time between my post and your troll response), so clearly it is more important to you to troll than to learn something. And like all trolls you pretend to know-it-all.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

able to dismiss and debunk them.

You might want to think about getting up earlier in the morning to catch me out.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 5:36 pm

in California.

But most Californians get health cover from their job and so ObamaCare isn't a big deal to most voters.

A better analogy would be earthquake insurance. Again it only interests a minority (people who live in an earthquake zone) just like ObamaCare (people who don't have a job).

And CA law mandates that insurance companies that provide home insurance offer earthquake insurance but they can charge what they want. As a result, most people decline earthquake insurance because it is at least 5K a year, and with a huge deductible.

Just like healthcare, in fact.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

Jason Grant Garza here ... wow, what is the difference between ObamaCare and what we presently have for the poor and disabled if the current system is UNACCOUNTABLE and the LAW, legal and medical rights are violated and NOT ENFORCED.

What do I mean ... I can not get medical care and when San Francisco's Department of Public Health break the law ... who enforces? Here are some examples ... denied healthcare, denied access and accommodation, criminal fraud (fraudulent restraining order ...., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cP3jCmJFRo or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFd-KtS8Zss or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa7kfWNt4aQ or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCuMwXVxADk

As far as going to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission to file a complaint for access and accommodation ( I was denied the service ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fGYhzr3YhI or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTX-JUaeaZ4 (was that Thersea Sparks ... the DIRECTOR?) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2JgD_F7zo0

You ask what did I get from the Sheriff (see all six videos) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYC-syG0D7Y ... see all six and ask yourself if I did NOT drink his CUP of Poison and returned to DPH to get the LAW broken again against me ... and I CAN NOT get a followup MEETING with the Sheriff? WHY ???

Shall I show you what I got from the mayor's Office of Disability ? Remember they were there with the Sheriff (see above videos) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRjO0vwBHHo and remember per their website " The mission of the Mayor's Office on Disability is to ENSURE that every program, service, benefit, activity and facility operated or funded by the City of San Francisco is fully accessible to, and useable by, people with disabilities. MOD is responsible for overseeing the implementation and local ENFORCEMENT of the City's obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as other federal, state and local access codes and disability rights laws.' SO WHERE is the ENFORCEMENT and if you look at the video you will see Carla try to "WASH HER HANDS" of the responsibility by sending me back to the failing agencies (Sheriff and DPH) for more NON- ACCOUNTABILITY ... great GAME no RESULTS or CORRECT performance ... but what is the CONSEQUENCE?

Watch the videos to see what I got from SFPD, OCC, Chief of POLICE, Police Commission, etc.

So I say to you ... ObamaCare will be as USELESS as the CURRENT system since there is NO ENFORCEMENT ...

More false hope, pipe dreams, meaningless words mixed with INHUMANITY and NATURALLY high paychecks, good life retirement and benefits for those who fail in their duty ... see above and let the GAMES continue ... here is the REALITY and INHUMANITY.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on May. 29, 2013 @ 7:27 am

take these new government-mandated insurance schemes, because of course the pay is too low.

The good doctors can afford to charge upfront and then the patient has to reclaim what they can. My dentist already does this.

If you want the best care, don't use a State-imposed system.

Posted by anonymous on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

""I went to the calculator to see what I would have to pay to cover myself and my two kids, and it was closer to $1,000 a month. And that's for a plan that includes a $2,000 deductible, $250 emergency-room co-pays and $45 primary-care co-pays. Not all that "affordable" ""

I pay $1,200 a month for myself and two dependents, with a slightly higher deductible.

Those of us who have to fend for ourselves in the open market (freelance workers, artists like myself, etc.) are the only people paying these full prices. If you work for a company, or the public sector, or have Medicare, you've got it cheap but don't understand how good you have it.

Posted by Troll the XIV on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

Then you can enjoy the subsidized insurance that the rest of us have. We have no need of ObamaCare.

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