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How to Fix Obamacare

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December 31, 2013 – Comments (7)

Well, OK, it cannot be fixed. It is a solution in search of a problem.

In summary, it is distorting health insurance by making it more expensive with higher deductibles and higher premiums (in most cases), reducing access to medical resources to the insured, and jacking up the Medicaid roles.

So, let us relegate this Rube Goldberg device to the garage (hoping that our better half does not object to the increase in size of the junk pile ), and rethink the whole shootin' match.

The Boomers

The ab initio reason for the existence of Obamacare was the scary increase in medical costs. I was never convinced of this datum. Up until the age of 40, I had exactly $0 in medical costs. After that point, I have regularly racked up ever increasing medical bills. I am reasonably sure that the increase in national healthcare costs is a result demographics and not a defect in health insurance policies.

High Risk Pools

Some have preexisting conditions that prevent them for getting health insurance. I am one of them. Nationwide, these number about one million. These pools exist in some states, and are often poorly funded. So, let us create a special national insurance policy for these people: they simply have to prove (save those rejection letters) that they have been denied health insurance multiple times due to a medically preexisting medical condition.

Catastrophic Health Insurance

This is available in some states but not others. The goal is not to fund your ordinary medical care (this is on your nickel), but to keep you out of medically induced bankruptcy should disaster strike you. Let there be a national catastrophic health insurance policy, regardless of what state regs say, that anyone can buy, kinda like national flood insurance for home owners. It will kick in only when your medical bills have 5 digits.

Individual Policy Mandates

Under the concept of Federalism, each state is free to determine what sort of health policies will be allowed to be sold. Some states allow catastrophic health insurance policies and others do not: California is not one of them. I remember a rather remarkable boast by a women's healthcare advocate proudly proclaim that, after a decade of lobbying, womens' reproductive costs would now be mandated as part of a standard health insurance policy, even for males who would never use same, and a female could not be charged more as a result. Entire states of individually purchased policies are now being canceled, because that state's IPM does not measure up the Obamacare's standard of nominal health insurance benefits

Obamacare The Next Generation

I fail to see any advantage in the “Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act”.

 

 

7 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 31, 2013 at 10:12 PM, Lordrobot (91.37) wrote:

Agreed. The thing is a mess. Even Howard Dean came out and stated that there should be no mandates because people don't like to be told what to do by gov.

The foolish thing about it, and I have read the law, is that it was written by insurance companies for the benefit of insurance companies. The code written by congress was sloppy petty and involved punative taxation and penalties. 

The numbers don't work. This is nothing more than a massive regressive tax in which young people pay through the nose for insurance they don't need. Only 1% of the population under 35 needs insurance and they have chronic illnesses. The argument that emergency rooms treat the uninsured and that hurts everyone is simply false. Real emergencies such as auto accidents are paid for by auto insurance. On the job by worker's comp. The biggest abusers of the ER are Medicare and Medicaid patients and the ER always gets paid. So all the arguments used to perfume this stinkpot are invalid.  This whole Obamacare scheme is to fund the bottomless pit knows as medicaid which is broke in every state, including Nebraska that made and illegal deal so that all other Americans in other states get stuck with their bills. 

This will cost industry and the consumer in 2014 a year which will likely plunge us back into recession. There has been no real recovery. For the last six years the cheerleaders have runon about how great it is going to be but the reality is that even with QE, the US economy is on life support. Unemployment is cutting deeper each day as resources run down. 

Look at the increasing numbers on food stamps, the increasing numbers shooting for disability retirement. The US society is finally becoming fatigued. And each and every time fatigue has sent in, there has been a monumental recession. 

It is not that people forget how to make things, it is that the debt service out strips revenues. Kill the consumer in the USA and you kill the economy. Retail remains flatlining. These are the early signs in the coal mine that the canary is about to expire. 

Obama's mishandling of the economy has moved from incompetent to runious. I know of no sector heading into 2014 that thinks it will be hiring more employees. Shiller thinks we may be in another real estate bubble. Homes have suddenly become unaffordable again. Hedge funds and wealthy individuals have bought the bottom and traditional mortgage buyers are in trouble. 

My advice this year is sell in May and go away. Sometime between June and October markets will have a long awaited visceral reaction to the downside and it will be in part to Obamacare and Obama's astonishing economic floundering of the last seven years. There has never been a non-recovery like this one in the entire history of the United States. Something is dramatically wrong and you can be certain that markets will express its visceral discontentment without notice. A 25% crash is certainly within the scope of reason. Things look very unstable going forward.

 

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#2) On December 31, 2013 at 11:18 PM, Mary953 (77.10) wrote:

Jerry,

You know by now that I hate Obamacare so I don't need to rant about it again.  Are you aware that in side by side polls more people dislike Obamacare than dislike the Affordable Care Act?  Apparently they asked the people that don't know what they are talking about.

I really just wanted to thank you for posting such great blogs.  I enjoy them even when I do not comment.  Also,  I hope you have a wonderful New Year!  All the best,

Mary 

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#3) On December 31, 2013 at 11:41 PM, awallejr (79.68) wrote:

Well if the market is going to correct it will have nothing to do with "Obamacare."  That is a separate entity. 

I am self employed and as such I have to buy an individual policy.  The jury is still out with me. My old insurance cost me $510 a month with co-pays of $25/40 and 0 for generics.  My old insurance company also sucked in paying.  They played every game in the book in delaying ever paying anything.  I blamed my doctor since he was listed as accepting the program.  He was good sported and laughed since apparently he had only 2 patients under the plan, me and another and had to have his attorney constantly threaten suing for collection.

When ACA came out I gave him the choice in picking which program I should take.  In essence I am now paying $463 per month with co-pay of 15/25 and up to $10 generics. I get a small dental and vision coverage as well.

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#4) On January 01, 2014 at 11:44 AM, Lordrobot (91.37) wrote:

awallejr,

Thanks for the Obamacare shilling. You didn't look very closely at your bottom line. In the past you could deduct your health insurance policy and if you had an HSA could further divert income. NONE of these advantages to the self-employed now exist. So unless you live under a rock, you just got stung but good over the wonderful Obamacare pitch you gave. 

I don't believe any of your story simply because a self-employed person thinks about his taxes at all times. You didn't even mention it and it is the one item that essentially turns this Obamacare into a bust for small businesses and the self employed. 

The only thing you need to think about now is how you are going to clip your customers to pay for your $463 a month of increased overhead. That is over $5500 in increased overhead which YOU CAN'T deduct.... genius! 

But I am delighted that you think you saved $600 a year even though you actually lost about $5000! As with most liberals, you just don't do math do you?

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#5) On January 01, 2014 at 2:12 PM, awallejr (79.68) wrote:

Oh Lordrobot you can stick that shilling nonsense where the sun don't shine.  Afterall you are the one with "robot" in your name.  I can still itemize the medical deduction and can also qualify other medical expenses there since it puts me over the excluded portion.  I will find out what the tax consequnces will be down the road but stop the con it isn't $5000 unless you don't itemize.  But I do. This is truly an idiotic statment of yours :

But I am delighted that you think you saved $600 a year even though you actually lost about $5000! As with most liberals, you just don't do math do you?

The one who can't do "math" is you.

Apparently you just passed over this comment as well:  

  The jury is still out with me

I haven't done my taxes yet nor seen what the monthly drug costs will accrue to.

Don't ever call me a shill here.  I have been posting here since March of 2008 and one thing regulars, what few of us are left, will say is I speak my own mind.  Love me or hate me.

Maybe it ticks you off for whatever agenda you have that not everyone is ranting against the ACA.  The President did lie to me.  I said so elsewhere.  And I will always hold that against whatever legacy he leaves behind.

I do want to point out one thing because it annoys me when people like you spew this argument that the young get penalized because they are paying for insurance that odds are they will never use.  People like you fail to acknowledge that older people get penalized on their car insurance because it is the kids drumming up the costs.  

The whole point of insurance operates under the premise that everyone WON'T use it.  If everyone did companies would go bankrupt.  Go read up on TWGP and their woes from Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.

I am sure the ACA will need "fixing" but that would take cooperation from both sides of the aisle.  I said elsewhere that I thought it was wrong for the Democrats to have shoved the law down the Republicans' throats back in 2009.  Something as major as ACA SHOULD have been a joint effort.

But I am tired of listening to the Kudlow show turning into a daily anti-Obamacare rant, and I am tired of listening to the Cruz's shouting against the act.  It is here.  It is law.  I want it to work because it affects me just as much as others. 

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#6) On January 01, 2014 at 2:26 PM, awallejr (79.68) wrote:

Oh and if you want to verify the "math"  My old policy was from EasyChoice, feel free to ask them what they charged prior to ACA.  And my new one is MetroCare, platinum plan.  Go to the NY website, the numbers are there.

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#7) On January 01, 2014 at 7:16 PM, awallejr (79.68) wrote:

And as a further comment, it appears the self-employed can still list premiums paid on 1040 line 29.

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