The Two Lame Answers Obama Supporters Are Giving Those of Us Who Have Had Our Health Insurance Cancelled

1.  The first Obama Administration response to people (like myself) who have had their health insurance cancelled because of Obamacare and who are facing much higher future premiums is that many of can expect a subsidy.  Do you realize how awful this is?  Basically they are acknowledging that millions of people who paid for their own health care in the past will now be getting taxpayer money.  Essentially, a huge and unnecessary increase in government dependency.

2.  The other equally awful Obama Administration answer is that our new health coverage will be more expensive because it will be "better".  First, there is no evidence of this -- early returns are that people are paying more for less.  Second, though, this is horribly arrogant.  A $200,000 Maserati sedan is likely "better" than my car I am driving, but given its price I would consider myself worse off if forced to buy a Maserati.  In the same sense, forcing me to by expensive insurance options I don't want is not "better", even if I am making choices Obama's advisers would not make for themselves.  I spent a lot of time shopping for health insurance and running numbers on various cases and picking the best plan for me, and am insulted that Obama does not respect my decision.

By the way, I will remind you of what I said way back in 2007 about government health care proposals

Americans are unbelievably charitable people, to the extent that they will put up with a lot of taxation and even losses of freedoms through government coercion to help people out.

However, in nearly every other case of government-coerced charity, the main effect is "just" an increase in taxes.  Lyndon Johnson wants to embark on a futile attempt to try to provide public housing to the poor?  Our taxes go up, a lot of really bad housing is built, but at least my housing did not get any worse.  Ditto food programs -- the poor might get some moldy cheese from a warehouse, but my food did not get worse.  Ditto welfare.  Ditto social security, unemployment insurance,and work programs.

But health care is different.... what is different about many of the health care proposals on the table is that everyone, not just the poor will get this same crappy level of treatment.  It would be like a public housing program where everyone's house is torn down and every single person must move into public housing.  That is universal state-run health care.  Ten percent of America gets pulled up, 90% of America gets pulled down, possibly way down.

  • STW

    I'm periodically sending my Senators updates on the healthcare situation to let them know that my insurance is still cancelled because of the ACA while I pay for their coverage. I don't want them to think I've forgotten who is to blame. Hmmm, they sure are keeping a low profile lately.

  • sch

    And it will be interesting to see how the restriction of subsidies to state operated exchanges only will pan out. Executive order may not suffice this time, we will see.....
    In the mean time, Fed and most but not all lower level (state and local) employees will continue with insurance as before, oblivious of the mayhem.
    Best avoid getting cancer, MS or any autoimmune disorder after 2018 or so, the copays for pharmacologic therapy for these will be stunning. For example, the
    annual cost of a typical Humira regiment (list price, more or less, not copay) is $18-20K. Chemo tx can be considerably higher.

  • ErikTheRed

    I explain to people that it's just like public schooling. The poor and middle-class get the shitty state-run system, and the rich have the ability to "pay twice" for something decent.

  • Twice Guessing

    Only one sane answer to this: we all should band together and obliterate the Democrat party. I told everyone I came in contact with before the congressional election in 2010 that the answer to the Democrats passing Obamacare was to vote every Democrat out of office whether or not they supported Obamacare. It doesn't matter what they say - if they are a Democrat they are forced at some point to support him. Vote every Democrat out of office and see how long he or his policies last. Thankfully, in my area of Tennessee we voted every Democrat at the state and local level out of office in 2010 (we don't have political parties at the local level of government here). It doesn't matter to me whether it be on the federal level, state level or local - I will never vote for another Democrat as long as I live. They are the party that foisted this obomination on us - they should pay a political price. The price they deserve is to see their party become extinct.

  • NL7

    Seems unlikely that the insurance will be "better" for everybody. The economics of ACA are to get healthy people to pay for sick people; if healthy people are getting too much use out of their insurance, then they aren't subsidizing the sick. Somebody has to get less than they pay for, so the sick people can get stuff they aren't paying for.

  • Methinks1776

    Oblundercare ratchets up the adverse selection problem to new levels. The young'uns are key to this and they were not stupid enough to overpay before Oblundercare and they won't be stupid enough to sign up now. That'll raise premiums and lower the level of coverage for everyone else. The healthy middle-aged like me will soon figure out that it's cheaper to pay the penalty (which is all that Oblundercare is anyway), save the premiums to pay for health care expenses out of pocket and wait until they get sick to buy this POS. That will encourage more people to stop buying Oblundercare, etc.

    Basically, it's like this: If you are young(ish) and healthy, you are paying an above market rate for your insurance under this scheme (even with the penalty). If you are already sick, you're paying a below market rate for your plan because you're a recipient of the subsidy. Why would anyone decide to be the chump who pays the subsidy?

  • Craig Loehle

    Progressives fail to grasp how close to the edge the average person is, especially young people who are being asked to shoulder the extra costs. A person in their late 20s is trying to pay off college loans, has perhaps their first car payment, is trying to be solvent enough to get married and maybe has a baby in the house. They may choose to forgo aroma therapy and so on and just go for catastrophic coverage. If their family health insurance payments go up $300/month, where exactly are they supposed to cut? One could equally argue that for good health it is essential for everyone to belong to a good gym, take a nice vacation in Cancun every year (for the nerves you know), go for a massage once per week, etc. But $ is limiting for almost everyone. What I would have supported would have been a health plan that simply says if your expenses in a year are catastrophic, you get help with that. But NOT forcing everyone to buy something. This is unconstitutional.

  • nehemiah

    The lawsuit you refer to is Halbig v. Sebelius. Under the ACA law subsidies can only be used against insurance premiums purchased through STATE exchanges. Since 30+ states chose not to create state exchanges the Fed's had to step in with their own exchange. Technically those plans are not eligible for subsidies. If that challenge holds up it will be the end of Obamacare. The Judge felt there was sufficient merit to the complaint to proceed.

    Of course our Constitutional Law Professor/President will see fit to issue an executive order directing the IRS to issues subsidies in any event. So, should the House republicans refuse to fund these subsidies since the law doesn't authorize them?

  • Sol

    I'm 43. I've been paying for my own individual insurance for 15 years now. On a year-by-year basis it has been a TERRIBLE investment. For at least 13 of those years the amount I paid for insurance was substantially more than the amount the insurance company paid out for my health care. (It was probably the case for the other two years as well, but it's harder to be certain because of some outpatient surgeries.)

    The *only* reason it made sense to have insurance before I was 35 or so was to guard against developing a condition that would make buying insurance in the future impossible. And ACA conveniently eliminates that threat. With the ACA in place, it makes no sense at all for a healthy person in their 20s to buy health insurance. It's essentially insurance against bankruptcy at a time when you haven't accumulated much wealth to lose.