I can haz Obamacare: My premiums are going down 23%, $100/month

About three weeks ago, I wrote a long post about my ‘disheartening visit to Healthcare.gov.’  Well I have a happy update. With my new Obamacare health plan my premiums are going down 23%, or a bit over $100 a month.

I can haz Obamacare

I couldn’t get insurance because of migraines and hay fever

In my earlier posts, I explained how, after nearly a decade of being without any health insurance — and denied coverage due to the pre-existing conditions of migraines and hay fever allergies — I’d been enrolled in the temporary ‘Obamacare’ PPACA high-risk pool for the last two years (basically, it was new insurance for people who previously couldn’t get insurance).

Administered by Blue Cross (one of the companies that rejected me when I was in California), it was okay insurance. Not great, but certainly better than none.

I can’t find the full benefits descriptions, just summaries, since the plan is being phased out, but basically it’s a PPO, and with a few tweaks, this would probably qualify as a Silver level plan. It was also kind of expensive.

At the end of September, I received a letter informing me that my PPACA high risk pool insurance was going away – which was expected, this was meant to be a temporary plan until the exchanges kicked in – and that I’d have to apply on the new exchanges. Wheeeee (link is to a video that is not quite safe-for-work…).

A letter arrives

I had filled out the application and picked a plan via the Obamacare exchange, but it wasn’t entirely clear if it had worked.  The site didn’t give me any sort of confirmation, and I started worrying that I hadn’t really “bought” anything at all.

While I was trying to decide whether I should start over again, and re-apply via the Web site, or maybe say to hell with it all and go to a local insurance broker, a letter arrived from Lovelace Health Plan — my soon-to-be health insurance provider. For those not familiar, Lovelace is like New Mexico’s Kaiser Permanente. A hospital network HMO/PPO with a pretty good reputation in the state.

(Unfortunately, within days of enrolling, I learned that Blue Cross of New Mexico is in negotiations to buy Lovelace. Word is we’ll be allowed to keep our plans and doctors, with no visible change, but BCNM would administer the insurance. Oh well. Dammit.)

The letter welcomed me to my new coverage and provided the information for paying that first month’s premium. I mailed the payment over the weekend. Later on, I can set up auto-drafts or automatic credit card charging.

Obamacare coverage comparison

If you’re wondering how this new plan stacks up against my old PPACA high-risk pool coverage, here are the highlights:

  • Plan level/type: Gold HMO (my old plan would’ve qualified as a high level Silver PPO)
  • Deductible = $750 (previously $1000)
  • Co-insurance = 15% after deductible (before was 20%)
  • Out-of-pocket max = $4000/year (previously $3500, so not as good, but close)
  • Regular doctor visit = $10, or $25 for referred specialist (20% before, and subject to meeting deductible before any benefit)
  • Routine exams = 100% coverage, not subject to deductible (same, due to PPACA requirements)
  • Prescriptions = $10 generic, $20 brand ($10 and 30% w/max $250 co-pay before)
  • Prescription benefits also have a $2000/year out-of-pocket maximum, beyond which I don’t have to pay any more (no maximum before to what I was forced to pay out of pocket)
  • Asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and pregnancy medical management programs available (none before)

Cost before tax credits or subsidies = $371/month. (Before: $479/mo)

That’s right: A better plan for more than a hundred bucks less each month. And I’m 50 years old, although a non-smoker (though in some places, like DC, whether you smoke or not doesn’t matter).

But of course, without Obamacare, I wouldn’t have even had my high-risk plan.  So we’re really comparing no insurance to my Obamacare plan.  And like I said, at 50 years of age, $371 a month isn’t much at all.

Assessments

The application/approval/enrollment process is in dire need of streamlining. They need way more than the bare-bones plan summaries on the site. There should be links to the full plan information. And contact information for talking directly with the provider — who should, by law, be able to explain over the phone whether or not a given plan covers something. Such as particular medicines, or allergy shots (BCBS couldn’t tell John if his shots were covered or not under the new plan he was considering), or whatever.

It’s dreadfully complicated for people who are eligible for Medicaid under the expansion, with little or no useful information as to how to go about applying for it. This needs fixing, stat.

The entire premium subsidy qualification process is geared towards people with steady incomes and regular paychecks. The former temporary high risk pool just let me use the last year’s tax form and my actual calculated taxable income. Expecting the self-employed to predict their subsidy eligibility based on pure guesses is insane.

Finally, they really need to work on the “you’re done” info. For more than a week, I went back and forth with wondering if my enrollment actually had gone through. It turned out they just should have said, “Wait about five to seven business days and your new provider should be in touch.” But they should also be including contact information for the providers, which appears nowhere on Healthcare.gov.

Suggestions for streamlining

Now then, how would I streamline the application process?

  • Have widgets on the site so that without any kind of log-in ID people can see if they are likely to be eligible for exchange insurance and/or receive premium subsidies (and how much). And of course, to browse plans.
  • To apply for insurance, you get yourself a log-in ID (can include email-return-URL verification).
  • Answer the questions to verify basic eligibility. If the answer is ‘Medicare’ branch directly to the application for that. If the answer is ‘Not eligible,’ branch to information on why and how to appeal if this is wrong. If “Yes,” branch immediately to the plan browsing and enrollment process. Don’t make me download a PDF — just pop up a message that says, “Good news! You’re eligible. Let’s get you enrolled in an insurance plan now.”
  • Pick a plan and fill out the enrollment questions. Allow applicant to review and/or correct anything at the end.
  • Tell the applicant what to expect next, that if everything’s cool, they should be contacted by their new provider in a week or two.
  • Important: Automate the ID verification. If the name, address, phone number, and SSN on the application match what’s on the current credit report, that should be good enough. Hell, the IRS isn’t even that fussy. Only contact the applicant if there is a serious mismatch.
  • Make premium subsidies a completely separate application process. Use the same forms and procedure they had for the PPACA high-risk pool. Make eligibility based on the most recent 1040 form’s gross adjusted taxable income amount, not on future income projections.

Anyway, one of the reasons I’m writing this post is because after the “disheartening visit to Healthcare.gov” one from late October, my wife made me promise to write again when (or if) I was successful.

This all said, I did not touch on one urgent problem for many, especially those living in high cost-of-living areas, such as major cities: Affordability. I’ve read plenty of anecdotal stories of folks who are facing genuine sticker-shock (as opposed to the BS stories coming from Faux News). The premiums are so high because (1) medical inflation is still out of control and (2) profit-motive is a lousy way to run a health care system.

Let’s not forget that Medicare for All would be a far less expensive system right out of the gate.


Published professional writer and poet, Becca had a three decade career in technical writing and consulting before selling off most of her possessions in 2006 to go live at an ashram in India for 3 years. She loves literature (especially science fiction), technology and science, progressive politics, cool electronic gadgets, and perfecting Hatch green chile recipes. Fortunately for this last, Becca and her wife currently live in New Mexico. @BeccaMorn

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  • Mark Cohen

    Greg, what cold340t is discussing is lower rates under ACA plans as compared to non-ACA plans. You are discussing your rates under a plan that existed pre-ACA and continues post-ACA. This is entirely two different things. Further, you are talking about a state provided high risk plan and that is likely a different beast that the insurance most folks are looking at under the ACA. You could move to a KY silver plan for $452/month that adds coverage for mental illness (which you admit in another post that you don’t currently have) and has similar (but not identical) deductibles/benefits as your current plan.

  • GregoryC

    I’m delighted to learn that your premium rates declined under the ACA. That has not been my experience. I am in Kentucky’s High Risk Pool and my rates have increased anywhere between 10% and 25% since 2009. The year my premium increased 25% I doubled my deductible to hold the annual cost increase to a lower rate. My rate for 2013 increased 12% to $617.72 per month.

  • vickif

    Thanks for the laugh.

  • maria

    I always like how the cut-and-pasters accuse people they disagree with as cutting-and-pasting.

  • Nathanael

    The current Republican Party is not a political party. It is an apocalyptic death cult.

    What’s disturbing is how many people will vote for an apocalyptic death cult. But looking back in history, this is nothing new — death cults have always been popular.

  • Nathanael

    The last estimate I read (years and years ago) said that Medicare taxes would have to double, but that the elimination of medical costs from both employers and individuals would cause a giant economic boom pretty much instantly.

  • Nathanael

    Oh God yes. The people who wrote the law and the people who wrote the regulations and the people who wrote the website seem to have failed to comprehend that PEOPLE’S INCOMES CHANGE. This is not the 1950s any more!

    This is the source of almost all the really serious problems in the Obamacare application process — it’s like they just couldn’t comprehend variable income. Really a case of incompetence rather than malice…

  • Nathanael

    I should save over 50%… if I can just figure out what I’m buying. The insurance companies are doing whatever they can to confuse and mislead people.

  • Tsarina1

    It’s beyond disgusting that liberals will lie about the high cost of
    obamacare premiums and deductibles. This is clear in Becca’s claim that she is
    paying full price for her healthcare. Why would stab your fellow Americans in
    the back just to support a guy who wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire?
    What’s in this game for you? If people weren’t so pissed about these shocking
    rates, how do you explain Obama’s shocking drop in approval? It’s shameful that
    anyone would lie to protect a lying president. This whole plan is based on
    lies. Here are two articles from bammyboy cheerleaders:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-thiessen-the-obamacare-implosion-is-worse-than-you-think/2013/10/14/7efa4e74-34d7-11e3-be86-6aeaa439845b_story.html

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-10-13/business/ct-biz-1013-obamacare-deductibles-20131013_1_health-care-overhaul-health-insurance-health-coverage

    And a burned Obamacare supporter:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/11/19/bad-news-for-woman-cited-as-obamacare-success-story/comment-page-4/

    Use this subside calculator to determine what your costs will be. If you
    make $62,000 a year with two adults in the household, your premiums will be
    $5,070 a year with a deductible of $12,700. How is that affordable? How is
    that fair to me?

    http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/#state=&zip=&income-type=dollars&income=62%2C000&employer-coverage=0&people=2&alternate-plan-family=individual&adult-count=2&adults%5B0%5D%5Bage%5D=21&adults%5B0%5D%5Btobacco%5D=0&adults%5B1%5D%5Bage%5D=21&adults%5B1%5D%5Btobacco%5D=0&child-count=0&child-tobacco=0

    I’m going to call you out on your lies every time I come across them.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    That I agree with completely.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    You forgot Benghazi.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Obama care is one of those lesser evil paradoxes. The whole business of it is a corporate fraud and an insurance profit give away—except for a few provisions that matter to millions of us. It is a myth that this law will lead to single payer. It is true it will save lives, but not true that it will be cost effective.

  • ezpz

    What are some of the exclusions?

    Providers, for one thing (among many).

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/11/another-lurking-obamacare-problem-balance-billing.html

  • ezpz
  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    You are out of line attacking Nicho Mz Judy. Wrong move.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The tsarina hasn’t commented since 1918, no wonder her ‘facts’ and assertions are out of date.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I thought you had been executed in 1918. Zombie much?

  • ezpz

    If the actual GOP proposals were something other than “We go back to 2009…oh, and make it harder for patients to sue for malpractice” — there might be a viable policy debate.

    Well, according to this post, you are benefiting from a republican plan, though it was stolen and sold by democrats. And don’t get me wrong, please – I’m happy that you’re one of the success stories in this. Also, please don’t take from this that I’m defending republicans. I’m not. I don’t like this plan whether it’s from heritage foundation or democrats. “Period.”

    And I agree that Medicare for all would have been the way to go. It would be more efficient, more cost effective, and would provide better quality care. Actual care, rather than cement the choke-hold the insurance industry has had on us for too long. Somehow, the fact that our actual health care, or lack of, depends on a profit driven industry that trades on the stock exchange is more than a little unsettling. And speaking of the stock market, have you checked out the continued and consistent upswing in insurance/pharma stocks since the law was passed?

    There’s just so much more to this than meets the eye right now, and I fear that things will only get worse than they were before, if that’s even possible. Trite, but true: there are no free lunches. My father, may he RIP, always used to say that he couldn’t afford a bargain because it always ending costing too much in the long run.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Oh, I ain’t raving about this. At least I hope I’m not. My main point of comparison is, “Is this better than the previous status quo?” I can’t believe it’s not, especially given the guaranteed issue, no coverage exclusions or pre-existing condition denials, etc.

    If the actual GOP proposals were something other than “We go back to 2009…oh, and make it harder for patients to sue for malpractice” — there might be a viable policy debate.

    Honestly, my position is “Medicare for All.” Period, end of. Paid for not through regressive premiums or taxes on the poor and middle class, but through general tax revenues.

  • ezpz

    … collecting roughly $1200/year from each policy holder is an actuarial dream….

    Actually, no. It’s a reality, though it will not be collected directly from the policy holder. The govt will subsidize the insurance industry via our tax dollars for any potential losses the industry may ‘suffer’ as a result of the proportion of higher risk enrollees to younger, healthier ones.

    Look up ‘risk corridor’ and govt subsidies to insurance companies.

    Of course, the quote and link below will be poo-pooed because it has ‘conservatives’ and Marco Rubio contained within it, but let’s not forget that this obamacare that so many are raving about has its roots firmly planted in a conservative proposal put forth by the Heritage Foundation.

    Obamacare includes a provision that allows the federal government to funnel taxpayer dollars to insurers that face the prospect of losing too much money under the new health care law, and conservative critics want to repeal it.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/rubio-presses-to-repeal-obamacare-provision-allowing-insurance-industry-bailout/article/2539212

  • Bill_Perdue

    Obama care is the result of criminal bribery(1) and secret meetings (2). It you think wasn’t don’t argue with me, argue with the LA Time, CREW and he Center for Responsive Politics.

    (1) “Senator Max Baucus, A Leading Architect of Health Care Reform, Received More Industry Contributions Than Any Other Congressional
    Candidate WASHINGTON, DC — Health insurers and drug companies gave a combined $6.1 million to the top ten recipients in each house of Congress since 2005, according to a study released today by the non-profit Consumer Watchdog. Health insurers contributed $2.7 million to the top ten members in each house, while pharmaceutical companies contributed $3.4 million to the top ten members of each. The two industries donated a combined $26.2 million in campaign contributions to the current members of the 111th Congress. The Center for Responsive Politics compiled federal campaign contribution data for
    use in this analysis”. Consumer Watchdog

    (1) “The new figure, obtained by Raw Story through an independent custom research request performed by the Center for Responsive Politics — a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics — is the most comprehensive breakdown yet available of healthcare industry contributions to Obama during the 2008 election cycle. Currently, the Center’s website shows that Obama received $19,462,986 from the health sector, which includes health professionals ($11.7m), health services/HMOs ($1.4m), hospitals/nursing homes ($3.3m) and
    pharmaceuticals/health products ($2.1m).” http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/01/12/obama-received-20-million-healthcare-industry-money-2008/

    (2)”the Obama White House was refusing to release records of meetings it had allegedly held with 18 private health care industry executives (the number ended up being 15). Later in the day, CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security seeking to obtain those records.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/22/obamas-private-health-car_n_243115.html

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    She’s obviously either confused or gets all her information from Fox or right-wing websites or just doesn’t care to be accurate.

    $12,500 is the top out-of-pocket maximum for a family with the crappiest PPACA-compliant plan. And any plan with a significant deductible (aka ‘Bronze’ and catastrophic (the latter of which is available only to people under 30)) is eligible for a tax-free HSA.

    And on top of all this, she says nothing about possible eligibility for subsidies or tax credits — which for a family of four will apply for incomes up to $94k/year. (Which covers 3/4 of all American households.)

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And you even let me write all those comments and posts critical of Obamacare — both its conception and implementation — just so I could go all Raging Sockpuppet months later.

    Muhahahahaha! I’m not actually a middle aged woman married to another woman and living in New Mexico. I’m actually… (peels off mask, Mission Impossible-style) President Barack Obama! Now if you all will excuse me, I need to forge some more newspaper birth announcements in Hawaii, backdated to 1961. Well done, John — we’ll have our socialist revolution well underway any day now.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    That’s the trouble though, isn’t it? People don’t get ‘nuance’ and most would prefer to believe in a comforting illusion than realize they’ve been scammed.

    It used to be the same way with car insurance, some decades back. Lots of people had none, lots couldn’t get it at any reasonable price, rates kept skyrocketing — and lot of people had those junk car insurance policies that they thought would pay for accidents, but it turned out otherwise.

    Is it going to be more expensive to have real health insurance coverage, versus a policy that’s capped at $10k as a lifetime benefit? Heck yes — that’s why they were only charging a hundred bucks a month and probably making massive profits on even that much. (With the 80/20 cost ratio, also illegal now.)

    When you think about it, with risk capped per subscriber at $10k, collecting roughly $1200/year from each policy holder is an actuarial dream. Even if you assume partial utilization of the insurance, we’re still only talking a few hundred bucks a year at most.

    Anyway, yes, you’re right, at minimum the public should be warned. Unfortunately, scammers are very good at fooling people with things like 20 pages of dense policy text or endless terms & conditions docs. The corporations use those to remain technically within compliance of the law, but also to ensure that almost nobody will understand what’s actually being bought. Hence, sometimes when it’s an issue of what’s in the public’s interest, the government has to step in and say, “No, you can’t sell that and claim it’s health insurance.”

  • cold340t

    My rates went down as soon as ACA went into effect, my coverage improved, upon renewal my rate increase was less then previous years. Damn, what a catastrophe!!!! Oh, and yes I’m an employer so, the increasing tax break makes this whole ACA a real bargain. For those Employers who layoff/fire/cut hours of staff, well they planned those moves in advance. They are using the ACA as cover for their Business decision. nothing more!
    When I read articles/posts that say…”Doctors closing because of OBamacare”! All I have to say in response is: They obviously did well enough money wise, that they can now retire/quit. If the average Business owner walked away from their business, they either lost it or had planned to quit way before the ACA kicked in. Think about it, you been in business for 20yrs. and you just close because the Boogey man is coming. I don’t think so! These people made lots of money under the old system and have the cover of impending doom ie: ACA to cover their greed/tracks. Think these people close and go bankrupt? No.

  • cold340t

    What does the FOX say!!!!!

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I’m kind of on your side JB but it’s more complicated than that. Some people are indeed being told that their plan is no longer offered and they have to pay more for something else. It’s wrong in lots of ways but there’s a logic to it that is really pretty damaging, if only because of the overreaction it’s caused among the administration and some dems in congress. Why would people want to keep their junk plan? Is anyone that wedded to an insurance plan, like they are to a doctor or a favorite sweater? I doubt it, but such is the state of politics these days.

    The worst possible outcome would be for democrats to roll over (no! couldn’t happen!) and repeal or gut Obamacare, leaving people who’d left their previous plan out in the cold and unable to get insurance because they’re sick. Yes that’s sort of extreme but I don’t have much faith in our representatives these days.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    But but but but…..

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Exactly, I knew back in 2004 that some day this day would come, bwahahahahaha!

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’d like to see your evidence. I don’t think I saw a single plan on my exchange that had a $12,700 deductible, and I’d be very curious to see one that costs your $2,000 more a year than what you’re getting now, unless you’re getting swindled now.

    As for slackering, because you insist on buying such lousy insurance, you’re relying on the fact that if you ever actually do get sick, you’ll just go to the emergency room and have them fix you up because by law they have to. Guess who pays for your welfare? The rest of us. Now who’s a slacker?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Or they go to the emergency room, and the rest of us are forced to pay for their health care, like socialism ;-)

  • ehmkec

    Excellent report. Good luck to you. …and all of us.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Thanks for confirming my opinion about people who make sweeping generalizations.

  • Melinda Li

    And Becca, thank you for posting a pic of a British Blue, good lord I needed that kind of cute this morning.

  • Melinda Li

    Or, if you don’t want to pay into the system this year and in the interim, you have a catastrophic illness or injury, you will have no choice but to file for bankruptcy unless you are some kind of multimillionaire or something (which would mean you would have no problem paying for a Gold plan). But, at that point, while you are prostate on your hospital bed, you will magically become one of those “slackers” who gets their healthcare through the ER. LOL

  • Melinda Li

    So if you make too much to get subsidies, you must be able to afford it. Btw, if you have to get on the ACA, you must be one of those “slackers” you talk about. Otherwise, you’d have coverage through your employer. However, if that is not the case, you will have to wait until next year, and you can thank republicans for that.

  • fletcher

    I’m surprised the media isn’t paying more attention to the lawsuits pending over those $98 a month weakling healthcare policies some insurance firms were offering that cover only the small stuff but have low-dollar caps on the major stuff. The plaintiffs have stories like one woman who was the victim of a hit-and-run car accident while walking on the sidewalk. Her insurance broker said the policy would cover hospital costs but you had to read nearly 20 pages into the policy text to find hospital costs were capped at $10,000. She ended up being hounded by creditors for the $185,000 after the cap. I’m not sure the lawsuits will stand up in court, but shouldn’t there at least be a statement in large bold-face type as to the limits of coverage on the front-page of the policy so people will know what they are getting into beyond what the broker who wants to earn that commission will tell you? The ACA regulations sought to limit such weakling policies (which were more profitable for the insurance firms that better policies), but if the public wants to buy healthcare on price instead of value, shouldn’t they be warned upfront?

  • emjayay

    And meanwhile make up stuff about criminality or whatever and take your toys and go home.

    Or support the best thing they could manage which once the initial mess is straightend out will have millions more Americans having health insurance, and advocate for evolutionary improvements possibly eventually leading to a complete overhaul and a better way of doing medical care.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Right, the Whole Foods guy is a douche, but the plan is still sound. If you have a $4000 annual deductible and your employer puts $4000 each year in a HSA for you from which you pay expenses up to the deductible, it’s effectively a $0 deductible.

  • emjayay

    Medicare For All could not be the $105 a month premium now paid. It would either take taxes to support (like a VAT) or have a sliding scale based on income, which is what the ACA does in a roundabout way with subsidies. And of course the range of Medicare For All (everyone) members would be a lot cheaper to service than the current 65 or older crowd. But I haven’t ever seen where someone made an attempt at crunching these numbers.

    The good thing is that doctors would have one payer with one price for each service and not have to support a staff of people to deal with a bunch of insurance companies with different policies and different reimbursements. The doctor themselves would also be more involved in advising patients about what treatments to get because they would have and idea about what various options cost, which they don’t have now. I have to analyse everything and make the doctor prescribe certain drugs etc. based on what I know. He has no idea.

  • emjayay

    The president of Whole Foods is a believer in libertarian fantasies. He was interviewed on his book tour on NPR and it was to me anyway just appalling to hear.

    I don’t think any high deductible plan is a good idea. “Oh I have a lump in my breast or testicles, it’s probably nothing and I don’t have the $500 or $1000 to find out what with the low wages I make…… I keep having wierd digestive pains but it’s probably nothing and I don’t have $2000 for a colonoscopy anyway what with the low wages I make……..

    He brags about letting employees vote on a health care plan every year. As one employee said, every year we vote on which plan is the least bad from a bunch of terrible choices.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Sorry nicho, that’s sort of meaningless. All health insurance plans are a mix of premium, copay, deductible, maximum out of pocket, lifetime max, etc. Yes, there are high-deductible ACA plans, just like there have always been high-deductible plans. (It’s not always a bad thing — Whole Foods, for one, apparently found that they could save money while offering good coverage by providing employees a low-premium high-deductible plan, then depositing cash equal to the deductible in an HSA for each employee.)

    What are some of the exclusions?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Nicho? An idiot?

    Hardly.

    But thanks for confirming my opinion about the politics of Obamacare/Romneycare supporters.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I suspect we’re dealing with someone who gets all her information from decidedly biased and factually-challenged sources.

  • Moderator3

    There is no need for personal attacks. I will let this comment stand, but two others have been deleted for worse attacks.

  • Tsarina1

    Becca, you are lying sack of shit. My mother had cancer and she wasn’t thrown off her health plan, and for you to spread such lies just tells me everythintg I need to know about you. Shame on you.

  • Tsarina1

    The Subside Queen is a very poor liar. The only way you could get that low of a premium is if you are heavily subsided. Anyone who has gone to the “troubled” website will tell you that much. There aren’t many people out there that are paying your low rates. I will give you five stars for lying like a good little bammyluver, I hear he still believes his lies too. Just let us know if there’s anything else we can pay for sweetheart, the taxpayers have deep pockets. :)

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Those premium prices I quoted above were without subsidies. I’m paying full freight.

    You’ll need to troll much harder than that.

  • Tsarina1

    How much did you get in subsides? You are bragging about insurance that we are having to pay for. Have you thought about supporting yourself?? Are you aware of how much people who make too much for subsides have to pay? We would have to pay $2000 more a year in premiums and $12,700 in deductibles, so forgive if I don’t share your joy at obtaining welfare at my expense. Have you ever considered not being a slacker??? I guess not.

  • Bill_Perdue

    At the time when Romenycare/Obamacare was up for a vote people wanted single payer, socialized medicine, the public option etc. The polls prove it. See my comment in reply to GarySFBN.

    Now, after the failure of the website and the racketeering by insurance companies and Obama’s failure to understand his own bill – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw8ELu5_2Cw. This is from the Young Turks, so honest they got fired by the homophobes at MSNBC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw8ELu5_2Cw

    Your mothers opinions, again no offence, proves absolutely nothing nor do they validate your own partisan views.

  • seabe

    It’s how it works, Bill. If polling translated into how people voted, we’d arguably have a saner and healthier political system. It doesn’t work that way. Granted, we’d also have it be worse in some cases, such as interracial marriage only just going over the cusp in the 1990’s. Put aside the ability to even elect politicians who follow the polling; we can’t get people to even put people who talk the talk let alone walk it because polling doesn’t translate into ones political tribe, per se.

    Her views are pretty common for your average voter, actually. Unfortunately for you, this anecdote is pretty common fodder among most political scientists, and it’s shooting holes in your own damn theories (which you refuse to recognize).

    In fact, head over to digby’s today? Polling ain’t looking so hot on the general question, let alone supporting pols to put it in place:

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2013/11/oh-just-let-them-die-then.html

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Gracias, Mod4.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Thanks Nicho. And hey — just so you know, I’m cool with you disagreeing with me and our having a civilized discussion about the merits of our disagreement. You’re still one of my favorite commenters and always will be.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah, because obviously this line here–

    Cost before tax credits or subsidies = $371/month. (Before: $479/mo)

    Appears nowhere in my post. Oh wait. It did. Guess it must’ve fallen into your barn-sized blind spot.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Or, you thought you had great coverage.

    Were your premiums not going up by double digits every year? Your deductible climbing? Did you know that if you suddenly developed cancer, your insurance company could — and likely would — comb through your application history to see if you ever failed to tell them about any preexisting condition, even if entirely unrelated to your cancer? And that if they found anything, you could find your coverage canceled retroactively?

    Was it not the case if you lost your job, sure, you might be able to get COBRA — only to find out the premiums would cost more than your entire unemployment benefit? And that if you ever lost your coverage for any reason, you would be forever uninsurable on the individual market?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Not when politicians in the WH and Congress are being bribed and that’s all of the time. Politicians are gangsters. “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” Mark Twain

  • Bill_Perdue

    Polling doesn’t mean anything especially if you don’t like the results or if it shoots holes in your theories.

    No offense to your sainted mother of course but her views views don’t quite equate to a suitable sample of the opinions for 317 million people.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Socialized medicine is what workers and retired people need, not some plan that makes insurance companies rich because they were able to successfully bribed Obama and both parties in Congress.

    Only Obama partisans refuse to see that.

    By all accounts the number of uninsured will rise and the cuts in Medicare will continue under Obamacare/Romneycare. And people will be continued to be refused care because those same thugs who own Obama own still own and administer the plans and they’ll continue to operate on the basis that a a lawsuit costs less than a heart lung transplant.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Unfortunately public support doesn’t always translate into Congressional support.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    It never would have passed. Don’t blame it on “handlers”, the support for single-payer wasn’t there in Congress. If you remember, ACA just barely passed.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Yes, he set up this blog years ago just for this moment. LOL

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I had a decent plan and still will, only thanks to ACA I don’t have to full out 12 pages of paperwork every time I see a doctor so the company can try to get out of paying based on a “pre=existing condition”.

  • seabe

    Polling doesn’t mean anything. It never translates into how these people vote. My mother is a Tea Bagging whack-job “end of days” Christian Evangelist rightwinger and supports guaranteed paid maternity leave and paid vacation, and a huge increase in the minimum wage. Will her vote ever translate to a candidate who will do these things? No.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    Obamacare is not a step backwards for millions of previously uninsured or had “pre-existing conditions”, were capped-out, etc.

    That you cannot see how it is helping some, including some very sick people, is an example of how your stridency erodes your humanity.

    It is far from the healthcare system we need. But it is a huge leap for those who now have badly-needed coverage.

  • judybrowni

    You are too stupid for words.

  • judybrowni

    Huh?

    You can keep your plan, idiot, then.

    Unless it’s a junk plan, and then you can change it for something better — or if you’re too stubborn, stupid, or Republican, Congress is now working on a bill with which you can cut off your nose to spite your face.

    But that’s not what worries you, is it snowflake?

    You’re all bitter because somebody somewhere might get healthcare, they’d be otherwise denied.

    Somebody might not die, because they got healthcare!

    Sorry to ruin Christmas for you, Grinch.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrEqIpi6sg Moderator4

    He/she will have to, nicho. He is banned.

  • nicho

    Using the criterion here, I had great healthcare before Obamacare came along. So that was good and we shouldn’t have changed it,

  • nicho

    Take your Teabag hate somewhere else.

  • nicho

    Becca is not stupid and she is not a shill. I disagree with her, but totally disagree with your abusive post.

  • nicho

    The new plans have high deductibles and lot of exclusions.

  • gorak

    You don’t list the actual before/after premium numbers, probably because your a sockpuppet for a wonk. This reads like a cut and paste brochure.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    It’s a bit of a stretch to equate a (decidedly flawed) insurance reform law with an illegal ponzi scheme.

  • chris10858

    According to some of my family members, Becca will now be required to have an RFID tag implanted into her brain as part of anti-Christ Obama’s effort to make people get the “mark of the beast”.

    Still, $100 savings a month might be worth it. lol

  • chris10858

    Great news! Thanks for sharing. I wish the news media would start sharing stories such as these on the news. Americans love a sad story with a happy ending. Just look at Extreme Maveover: Home Edition. They drag the family out… make them tell some sad story about their lives and then set about renovating their house. Each episode is a tearjerker and the show has good ratings.

    Some smart newsperson (talking to you, Anderson!) should start a nightly segment sharing success stories of families across the country who have gotten onto ObamaCare.

    Hopefully, these will start to appear once January 1 rolls around.

  • Liberals Are Racists

    You have no info. It’s called Low-information voter. You buried your head in the sand and chanted Obama. Now you just support anything he does without thought.

  • Liberals Are Racists

    Becca you ignorant sow, you really need to do some research because you look foolish. You are so blindly liberal that you believe that Obamacare is good, and when it fails you will believe it is the GOP’s fault, and when we go to single payer you will think it is good, and when it takes 9 months to see a doctor, and when politicians are deciding if they want to pay for procedures for people you love you will blame anyone but yourself. You are a selfish bitch

  • Liberals Are Racists

    Exactly. It is a pyramid scheme and this stupid blogger got one cash out so she is now a shill for it.

  • Liberals Are Racists

    Congratulations on getting hard-working people to give you free shit. moron

  • Liberals Are Racists

    Yes, if you get pregnant someone else should pay. Of course that’s how you feel. If we don’t give you money to take care of your own child we are at war with women…. Idiot.

  • Bill_Perdue

    If they can afford the prices charged by Obama’s bosses in the health care conglomerates.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    In what way will the underinsured rise?

  • nicho

    Take the crumbs. Good girl.

  • nicho

    Never said you were fictional — just a lucky exception — like the people who profited from Bernie Madoff.

  • nicho

    After Obamacare is implemented, the number of uninsured will drop from 48 million to 31 million. The number of underinsured will rise dramatically.

  • Whitewitch

    Absolutely!!!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    lol.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Seems reasonable.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Just my considered (and admittedly radical) opinion: Anybody who objects to universal maternity coverage should have to undergo permanent sterilization. Even men. Or especially them. One doesn’t get to be a daddy without making use of some woman’s womb, and pregnancy is never easy or cost-free. To insist otherwise is selfish, short-sighted, and of course, the polar opposite of ‘pro-life’ since bearing children is the single most physically dangerous thing most women will experience in their lifetimes.

    In times not that long past, problems during childbirth used to be the most common cause of women’s untimely deaths. All it takes to drive that unnecessary number down is healthcare for all pregnant women. Yet it’s contraception that controversial, but the lack of access to doctors for pregnant women isn’t? (I know… it’s the patriarchist misogyny inherent in the system, especially among the far right.)

    But really, objecting to maternity care misses the entire point of shared risk pools. I’ll never have to worry about prostate cancer — yet my insurance is required to cover it. I don’t have diabetes and am not likely to develop it. In fact, I’m 50 — I’ll never bear a child, and never have. Yet it makes sense for the shared risk pool of insurance to cover ALL of the medical needs of everyone in it — including for situations and conditions I will never find myself in.

  • differentdrummer

    There’s a hitch with using the AGI from last year’s 1040 for eligibility: A lot of people entering the individual market through the exchanges now have recently had a job loss or change and need to get out from under backbreaking COBRA payments. Maybe radio buttons to let you choose between estimating and using last year’s AGI?

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Under ACA, anyone — *anyone* — can get health insurance and cannot be denied. That is a huge thing. Huge.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Try to be political, however difficult that is. The only way forward is to fight against the corporations and the Democrats and Republicans and for socialized medicine.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    zOMG!!! OBAMA CANCELLED YOUR INSURANCE!!! OBAMA LIED!! YOU COULDN’T KEEP YOUR OLD PLAN!!!

  • Indigo

    Great! As you say, the single-payer option is a better concept but Obama’s handlers wouldn’t have it.

  • judybrowni

    Quit yer bitchin’, and fucking do something about it.

    I have a friend who died two years ago, who would have lived under Obamacare coverage.

    So shut the fuck up, for the time being Obamacare is saving lives, and health.

    (Mine, for instance.)

  • Whitewitch

    Yeah…glad to hear you got a good plan (better plan) and most importantly coverage – which is great. And now you can have babies! Wow…

    Sorry – it cracks me up that so many are whining about how they HAVE to have coverage that covers maternity. All insurance does that I think…at least here at my job all of us are covered for maternity…and some (well many) of us have no bits to even be making babies. And may I point out that some man most probably had a hand in that baby making behavior. ARrrggg so frustrating.

    So anyway – back to you – happy for you and I am hoping that everyone is happy once they find out that they are (a) can get coverage; and (b) the cost is worth the benefits!

  • Bill_Perdue

    Support for socialized medicine or Medicare has always been high in polling. ‘Over half of Americans support single-payer health care, Results of eight poll / survey questions: 65%, 54%, 53%, 55%, 64%, 60%, 64%, 47%” (1)

    Physicians for a National Health Program show similar results “Two-thirds of Americans support Medicare-for-all”. Unions like the National Nurses United, the AFL-CIO and other working class groups were all betrayed by the corruption of the Obama Regime and his allies in Congress including the Republicans and Democrats. Both parties favored Obama/Romneycare and are neck deep in corruption. Obama took about $20 million in bribes and had a couple of dozen secret meetings with the owners of HMOs and Big Pharma and then he scuttled single payer.(2) While we was getting $20 million in bribes he had 27 secret meeting with 18 representatives of corporate giants. (3)

    Congress was just as guilty of victimizing workers with the IObamacare/Reomenycare scam as the White House. (4)

    Obamacare is a step backwards. If they fix the website Obamacare will at best be a temporary and minor fix for the health care crisis caused by the corporate giants. Obama and Congress. What we really need is a permanent fix and that’s socialized medicine. Nothing less will do. Obama, Congress and their corporate masters will fight against socialized medicine every step of the way. (5)

    In the final analysis, this is what is wrong with Obamacare. Like the President himself, it is on their side; not ours.I’m sorry for the tens of millions who’ll get cheated or left out by what Gary describes as Obama’s “genius”

    (1) http://www.medicareforall.org/pages/Chart_of_Americans_Support

    (2) http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/01/12/obama-received-20-million-healthcare-industry-money-2008/

    (3) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/22/obamas-private-health-car_n_243115.html

    (4) http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/newsrelease/health-insurers-and-drug-companies-contributed-262-million-111th-congress

    (5) http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/11/08/the-folly-of-obamacare/

  • perljammer

    I’m also happy for those who can finally get coverage. And I’m really happy for those who can afford the true cost of the coverage they can get. The sad truth is that for people barely too “well off” to qualify for Medicaid, the plans that subsidies help them afford carry with them deductibles and out-of-pocket maxima that will spell financial ruin if they ever get really sick. $5000 deductible? Most of these people have never seen $5000 in a single pile even once in their lives. These are the “millions more with expensive useless policies” to which Nicho refers below.

  • perljammer

    Not only does France not have insurance execs taking home multi-million-dollar annual bonuses; French physicians average about 1/3 the annual income that US physicians enjoy.

    It took the French 78 years of sociopolitical struggle to get the current system in place. There’s a fascinating paper from NIH, published in 2003, which advocated that the US should adopt a model similar to that of France rather than merely overhauling the system we have.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447687/

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I couldn’t agree more.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    While far from perfect, Obamacare does create an infrastructure for a ‘single-payer’ system should the political will in this country EVER be in place to vote for and implement it. And while costs are not constrained, many costs are indexed, which means that by regulating just a few costs, most costs will be regulated.

    Until we get a non-profit, single-payer healthcare system, Obamacare, with all its flaws, it is way better than anything we’ve had to date and we now have millions more people who will have halfway decent coverage.

    I’m happy for those who finally can get coverage.

  • Ninong

    The ACA is better than nothing. So that makes it as start. President Obama refused to even talk about a single-payer plan and, after promising a public option, he made no effort to push one.

    The fact is that more than two dozen countries provide better care for their citizens than we do and they do it for less money. France is ranked first when it comes to health care outcomes and they do it at less than half what we spend. Of course, they don’t have insurance execs taking home multi-million-dollar annual bonuses either.

    It is absurd that Canadians can buy drugs there were invented here at less than half the price we pay. Forcing Medicare and the VA to pay full retail for drugs when those same drugs are sold to Canada, and other countries, at huge discounts is obscene.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Both the Republican and Democrat plans are based on massive corruption and criminality – lobbyists working for health cage conglomerates, bribes, secret meetings, etc. The Democrats want to retain corporate control and so do Republicans, They and their supporters are wrong.

    The only way forward is to fight against the corporations and the Democrats and Republicans and for socialized medicine.

  • EtaoinShrdlu

    Yes, but meanwhile, what do you suggest?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Obamacare is the Republican plan, Romenycare. Now for partisan reasons they oppose thier own plan. Neither the Democrat or Republican plans offer a real solution.

    They are both crafted to maximize profits and the control of workers health care by profit gouging corporations. The both deliberately omit any controls over the greed of those corporations because both parties and both Houses in Congress as well as the Obama regime are the lap dogs of those corporations.

    They were both written by the insurance companies. Max Baucus, it’s chief sponsor, said he never read it. Nancy Pelosi, wealthy right wing hack, joked that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/max-baucus-author-of-obamacare-admits-he-never-read-his-own-bill/Content?oid=2161708

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I’m afraid I can’t quite agree with all your points there. I’m not fictional, and if you need the proof of it, I can scan and post my insurance acceptance letter. As well as the insurance card I’ve been carrying for the last two years.

    Does PPACA help enough people? No. Does it help no one? Also no.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I’m sure the numbers have been run, but I don’t have that info in front of me, sorry. (BTW, thanks for correcting my original typo up there. My hands just keep typing ‘Medicare’ when my brain is saying ‘Medicaid’.)

    But yeah… the premiums and the wide variances need some regulatory attention. And in a sane, working system of government, the Feds would simply take over the Medicaid system, especially for the states refusing the expansion.

  • joshemerson

    I helped my parents enroll in a plan last month (they’re a few years away from Medicare age) and they got a great plan. They haven’t had health insurance in years so Obamacare is going to be a huge benefit for them. It is far from a perfect law, but in terms of personal experience, I have no complaints (except about the website design itself, which goes without saying).

  • Drew2u

    “People who would’ve been covered by the Medic[aid] expansion in the Republican-controlled states need help.”

    *raises hand*
    It’s funny, I looked up the same plan offered by the same insurance company in 3 different areas and got a price that swings by $100/month from the cheapest area to the more expensive area. The more expensive area is also the poorest, I believe.

    Also, has anyone run the numbers on Medicare-For-All? If that’s the end-all-be-all, or close to it, where’s the numbers for it?

  • BlueIdaho

    The monthly premiums for my partner and I will be decreasing over 60%–and this is for a bit better coverage than we had before. If we are two of the rare exceptions to the ACA, then I am thankful.

  • nicho

    Yes. There will be some winners under Obamacare. All scams have some winners. Even Bernie Madoff made money for some people. That’s how you suck in the rest.

    The problem with US healthcare is that it is (a) for profit and (b) corporatized. Until you eliminate that, no solution will work for the benefit of all the people.

    The Obama insurance scam will cover a few of the currently uninsured people, leaving the vast majority still uninsured, and millions more with expensive useless policies. We will hear the success stories of the few who benefit, but those are like the stories of the people who make $5,000 a week working from home on their computers.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Again to reiterate and to be clear here, for whatever flaws are in PPACA (and there are many), the GOP alternative has never been anything other than:

    – Let insurance companies deny coverage for absolutely any reason, even if it’s as simple as a hayfever allergy
    – Let insurance companies retroactively rescind coverage if you forgot to write down that you were once prescribed Flonase for a few months for those allergies, decades ago
    – Let them impose yearly and lifetime benefit limits
    – Let them sell people junk insurance

    – Let them charge women more than men for premiums
    – Let them carve out any coverage they simply don’t feel like covering, such as maternity care or mental health treatment

    – Let them jack-up rates and reduce benefits to maximize profits as much as they like, with no limit on “administrative overhead,” actually creating additional incentive for medical cost inflation

    In short, the Republican plan is I don’t have health insurance. At any price. For an incredibly stupid reason.

    But as I see it now, based on what the insurance companies are doing to people, the regulatory loopholes desperately need fixing. People who would’ve been covered by the Medicare expansion in the Republican-controlled states need help. Something needs to be done about the premium rates in higher cost-of-living areas, because they remain far too high. And obviously, as I indicated in the post above, the application process needs to be simplified and streamlined, with more useful information at critical junctures.

    Personally, my hope is the Powers That Be at both the state and federal level recognize that Medicare for All would work — and cost far less. But having had access to health insurance since 2011, and with the situation slowly improving, one thing I simply cannot agree on now: That repealing PPACA and going back to the status quo ante would in any way be preferable to fixing and reforming it.

  • Bill_Perdue

    What’s needed is not some corrupt insurance or pharmaceutical plan driven by an agreement to maximize their profits.

    What’s needed is socialized medicine and we’ll never get that from Democrats or Republicans.

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