Bend Over - Here comes the Affordable Health Care Act

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rhare
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Bend Over - Here comes the Affordable Health Care Act

The shoe has finally dropped. Today I received notice from my Insurance Plan that my current coverage will be dropped and I have to sign up for one of the new ACA compliant health plans.   So what do I get? Worse coverage than I had, and my premium goes from $87.28/month to $210.89/month.  A 241% increase!!!!  I get worse prescription coverage, higher out of pocket maximums, loss of vision plan, and generally across the board changes from a fixed fee to a percentage.  I guess I had nothing better to do with that $1500 next year!

I really wish these A**HOLES would stop trying to help me.  ARGGG...I'm livid!

So how many of you have found out what your new affordable health care is going to cost you?

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rate increase anecdotal

45yr HoH, WA State, small family, +62.75% increase for an insurance product of significantly reduced quality.  It is not possible to obtain or retain a "noncompliant" plan and choose to pay the "fine", insurance companies aren't allowed to (how convenient) or otherwise choose not to offer noncompliant plans.  I'm sure they are weeping crocodile tears.

Obamacare is government sanctioned armed robbery, pure and simple.  This is why I oppose it even while being forced to make the choice between going without, (over)paying up, or letting some nice men with guns put me in a cage for tax evasion.  Other choices are even less pleasant.

I ain't got the words.

Mike

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join the crowd

You're not alone.  I spoke to one patient today whose premium increased by 100% and one yesterday whose premium increased by 30%.  I'm waiting to get my bad news.  BCBS just notified us that we can no longer have our old policy.  Our premium is presently $943.00 per month and we're all healthy.  And that's with a $5,000 deductible per person and no vision plan. 

BTW, how do you have a premium as low as $87.20?  That's incredible! 

I wrote on a professional list serve several years ago about how Obamacare would not be a good idea.  The majority of commenters (liberals in particular), thinking that it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, jumped all over me.  A few with more foresight were in agreement with me.  I made more recent commentary a few months ago citing how what I had predicted had come to pass and that it was going to get worse.  This time ... crickets chirping.  No one said anything.  But a few people wrote me off list acknowledging the dire reality of the situation.  It's funny that fewer and fewer have the guts to speak out anymore.  Maybe they're afraid of winding up like Ben Carson after he criticized President Obama.  He wound up with an IRS audit for the first time in his 62 years (that found nothing BTW).  Odd coincidence, isn't it?

This situation of increased insurance costs is why the CEO of UnitedHealthCare, Stephen Hemsley, was one of the biggest supporters of Obamacare and had all his employees write Congress, etc., proclaiming how wonderful it is.  I can't believe how blind the majority is to the reality of what is happening.

I'm also hearing of more and more physicians and other health care providers who have the means, who are planning on retiring early or getting into other lines of work or expatriating.  They're sick of this crap.     

 

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Great rate - and now it's gone.
ao wrote:

BTW, how do you have a premium as low as $87.20?  That's incredible!

Non smoker, only me, $5000 deductible.  Yes, it was a good rate, guess we HAD competition, but apparently not anymore....  I had even better coverage for slightly more, but last year they forced me to go to an HMO from a PPO, but at least it went down a few dollars.  I suspect they were preparing for this nightmare.  I was expecting it to go up, but 241%!  Lucky I didn't have a heart attack at the mailbox, perhaps I should have, it would have been better now than later.

 

 

 

 

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ao
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health care sharing ministry

I've learned there is an exemption for healthcare sharing ministries. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_sharing_ministry

I will be seriously exploring this option.  As I've said before, these people are vampires and their blood is money.  In my daily life, I seek to deprive them of their blood (i.e. my money) and starve them to the best of my ability.

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Gutting Medicaid

Here in New York the exchanges are up and running but I am having trouble logging on to see the rates. Website bugs are the problem. A significant number of people cannot get on the internet easily (there are still a few elderly who have never used a computer and lots of poor people who cannot afford cable internet). I guess they are an immediate cost saving.

Lots of people like the idea of reducing states costs by reducing medicaid benefits though some states have taken the quick route and just dropped people off the rolls. 

http://gawker.com/millions-of-poor-left-uninsured-because-of-medicaid-ex...

What the heck, leave it to providers who want to treat the poor.

Well, well.....now I can no longer prescribe for my pro bono patients (all on Medicaid) because I have to be a medicaid provider to write a prescription they can fill. I found this out by an email from the state 2 weeks ago. The deadline to enroll in a plan as a provider is now.  I have been rushing to get on medicaid because there is no one else for them to see and I have to help them get their meds. I would rather see them for free to avoid the regulation but now that is not an option.....

What a system.

 

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Just say no

Don't buy it. Let them make criminals out of the entire middle class.

The only solution to this is civil disobedience, as we have an impasse at the representative level.  
To me, this reeks of power back-scratching. Insurance companies help certain people get elected, he makes it mandatory that we all channel billions of dollars into their pocket so they can cut our services in half and charge us more for them. 

There needs to be a united front against this nonsense.

Cheers,

Aaron

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Yoxa
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Video: Why are American health costs so high?

Food for thought:

BTW I'm a Canadian and when I count my blessings, Canada's Medicare system is high on the list.

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The New Ben Dover Health Plans

I just looked up the new Ben Dover plans available from my current provider, Anthem.

The Cheapest Plan, Bronze is slightly expensive than my current one but has a $6,300 deductible, and doesn't cover much. The top plan, Gold is 65% more expensive and has a deductable of $3K. Looking at the plans, even the gold plan sucks compared to my existing plan.

I see why companies will be scrambling to cut most workers to part-time jobs. If they have to pay the new higher premiums, they will all go out of business. My guess is that most workers will become parttime workers over the next few years as business struggle to with budgeting. I am sure this is going to send the economy into a tailspin in 2014. 

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Another POV

I'm well aware that the ACA doesn't please everyone, no law will. But almost all the complaints I've heard about the ACA are about cost increases. From where I sit, the Affordable Care Act enables personal freedom worth far more than dollars. I don't know what idiot in history forced a person's healthcare choices to become dependent on their employer, but to me, the reduction of that dependency is a change worth celebrating.   

I'm not happy that the ACA doesn't solve the "big" problems, but at least with this minor law change, my wife is no longer a prisoner of her job because of her healthcare needs. I have many friends who will now start their own business because they can finally get coverage as individuals, regardless of the costs. Myself and my wife included. 

 

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It's all good.

See my deduct is now $7,500 and the premium shot up to $830/month......but out here in happyville, I'll just pass the increased expense on to my customers, who will joyfully pony up the cash to keep me and mine protected by an ever weakening health care system.  Of real concern though, is without dental my skittles s***ing unicorn may have to go.  No worries otherwise, we're in a solid recovery....didn't you get the memo?

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Re:Another POV

"I'm well aware that the ACA doesn't please everyone, no law will. But almost all the complaints I've heard about the ACA are about cost increases. From where I sit, the Affordable Care Act enables personal freedom worth far more than dollars"

Hopefully your being sarcastic, or you simply haven't doved into the reality yet. So far it appears only a extremely few people signed up and those people probably didn't understand what they signed up for. 

ACA disables personal freedom since they pay a boatload in premiums and get back nothing in return for it. its like going to a fast food resturant, ordering a family sized meal, and when you get home and open the bag, its nothing put a half eaten pickle. If you think ACA is a good deal, they you think the old plans were downright fanastic.

Re:It's all good

"See my deduct is now $7,500 and the premium shot up to $830/month......but out here in happyville, I'll just pass the increased expense on to my customers"

Except  you'll have fewer customers, since they need to spend all of their income paying for their own health insurance. It would not surpise me if 20% of the Healthcare workforce is laid off by the end of 2014. People are just not going to visit the doctor if they have a $3K deductable or higher deductable. The majority of people go to the doctor they pay a small $10/$20 co-pay and even lower amount for prescription drugs. Now for the first $750 to $3K (depending on the plan) they have to pay it out of their own pocket. I think drug sales and medical services will plunge like a rock, once this starts up in Janurary. 

FWIW: If you need any medical services get it done now before you the BenDoverCare takes affect Jan 1. 2014!

 

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pass the shroom laced koolaide
Gratidude wrote:

I'm well aware that the ACA doesn't please everyone, no law will. But almost all the complaints I've heard about the ACA are about cost increases. From where I sit, the Affordable Care Act enables personal freedom worth far more than dollars. I don't know what idiot in history forced a person's healthcare choices to become dependent on their employer, but to me, the reduction of that dependency is a change worth celebrating.   

I'm not happy that the ACA doesn't solve the "big" problems, but at least with this minor law change, my wife is no longer a prisoner of her job because of her healthcare needs. I have many friends who will now start their own business because they can finally get coverage as individuals, regardless of the costs. Myself and my wife included. 

Why am I reminded of this song?

Not only does it not please everyone, it's probably one of the worst pieces of legislation ever foisted upon the American public.  And personal freedom is exactly what it infringes upon, in a whole host of ways.  And even if we make the completely unrealistic assumption that it does enable personal freedom, that freedom isn't worth squat if you don't have the money to exercise it.  And the complaints go far beyond cost.  May I suggest some reading?

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr3590enr.pdf.

Also, you always could get coverage as an individual.  I've done so for 27 years.  Regardless of costs?  You mean it doesn't matter to you what your insurance costs?  I guarantee you, if you're planning on starting your own business and you don't consider costs, your business will be short lived. 

Minor law change?  MINOR?  Really?!?  Surely you jest!

There are a few things good about the ACA.  A very few good things.  There were good things about Hitler, Stalin, and Mao as well but I assure you, the bad far, far outweighed the good.  Ditto for the ACA. 

Do you understand what the ultimate goal is of the ACA?  Doesn't it seem strange that Congress created a bill that they didn't even have time to read?  I can tell you, it isn't about affordability and it isn't about healthcare.

 

P.S.  Has anyway caught the dis-information propaganda pieces the past two days about members of Congress and their personal coverage under Obamacare?  They go way beyond Goebbels' big lie.  One would have to have the IQ of a sea cucumber to take them at face value.

 

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Obamacare, Hitler, Perspective and PP's focus
ao wrote:

There are a few things good about the ACA.  A very few good things.  There were good things about Hitler, Stalin, and Mao as well but I assure you, the bad far, far outweighed the good.  Ditto for the ACA. 

...Has anyway caught the dis-information propaganda pieces the past two days about members of Congress and their personal coverage under Obamacare?  They go way beyond Goebbels' big lie.  One would have to have the IQ of a sea cucumber to take them at face value.

HI ao,

It shouldn't take an expert in either history or medicine to see that your comparison of ACA/Obamacare with Stalin, Hitler and Mao is a wild exaggeration, an emotional appeal, lacking in perspective.

I don't mean to get personal, and I still hold by my earlier statement that I can learn a lot from you on many issues, and that I often enjoy your writing.  But I do wish to hold your statement and your thought process behind it up to the lens of logic and reasonable discourse. 

Also, this thread on Obamacare, Chris' interview with Ken Ivory, your recent comments about Christians, Muslims, and our president on Wendy's grocery store thread, and our recent almost site-wide conversation on a Syria strike are all political discussions.  In my experience, Peak Prosperity is at its best when we focus on the data, science, and big trends behind the three E's.  That's what unifies us. This other stuff divides us, and we don't need more division in America or in the world.

 My political background and preferences are clearly different from yours, but I think we can all agree that the age of the Democrat-Republican two party system is running its course, and neither Obama nor Bush II (nor Clinton, nor Bush I, nor Reagan) have offered very much in the way of leadership in terms of the major issues that PP focuses on, namely:

1.  Fiscal responsibility and monetary stability, and a transition from growth-based capitalism to some type of steady state economy, if that's even possible (first E)

2.  A long-term plan for making an energy transition as the fossil fuels that power our civilization deplete (second E)

3.  A plan to mitigate the environmental damage (third E) caused by the exponential growth of human population and the exponential spread of industrial civilization

4. Building personal resilience in the face of these three destabilizing forces and creating a world worth inheriting.

So, if you and I sat down and listed our political preferences on more mundane topics, I bet that there would be some similarities and some differences.  And that's why I try not to engage in mundane political topics on PP.  The Obamacare debate will not get us much closer to understanding the three E's.  Bush II's expansion of the security state and assertions of executive power will also not help us much in understanding the three E's.  Switzerland's elements of direct democracy and China's authoritarian approach have very little to do with the third E's.  Political forms and preferences will rise and fall, but all parties and regimes will be affected by unsustainable debt accumulation, currency crisis, rising energy costs and prices, and environmental degradation.  My political preferences, or yours, or anyone else's at PP won't matter that much in the face of these three big shifts and Wendy's compost, or Ferrelhen's solar-refrigerator, or Woodman's gardens don't really care what our political opinions are.  

This doesn't mean that I don't think ideas are important.  I definitely do.  But the type of ideas that will be most helpful to transforming our own position and eventually our society, in my opinion, have to do with the three E's and personal responses.  There may also be major public debates connected to the three E's and that's where the politics comes back in, but for now, I propose that we stick to understanding the three E's and focusing on personal responses.

In my experience, when we get political here, we become more like other discussion threads and less like the high-level, forward-thinking forum that I appreciate so much.  Your comparison of Obamacare to Stalin, a meme bandied about on the more conservative of the big four news networks, is an example of the quality of discourse falling when we get political here.

Cheers,

Hugh

 

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ao
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no baaas for me
HughK wrote:
ao wrote:

There are a few things good about the ACA.  A very few good things.  There were good things about Hitler, Stalin, and Mao as well but I assure you, the bad far, far outweighed the good.  Ditto for the ACA. 

...Has anyway caught the dis-information propaganda pieces the past two days about members of Congress and their personal coverage under Obamacare?  They go way beyond Goebbels' big lie.  One would have to have the IQ of a sea cucumber to take them at face value.

HI ao,

It shouldn't take an expert in either history or medicine to see that your comparison of ACA/Obamacare with Stalin, Hitler and Mao is a wild exaggeration, an emotional appeal, lacking in perspective.

I don't mean to get personal, and I still hold by my earlier statement that I can learn a lot from you on many issues, and that I often enjoy your writing.  But I do wish to hold your statement and your thought process behind it up to the lens of logic and reasonable discourse. 

Also, this thread on Obamacare, Chris' interview with Ken Ivory, your recent comments about Christians, Muslims, and our president on Wendy's grocery store thread, and our recent almost site-wide conversation on a Syria strike are all political discussions.  In my experience, Peak Prosperity is at its best when we focus on the data, science, and big trends behind the three E's.  That's what unifies us. This other stuff divides us, and we don't need more division in America or in the world.

 My political background and preferences are clearly different from yours, but I think we can all agree that the age of the Democrat-Republican two party system is running its course, and neither Obama nor Bush II (nor Clinton, nor Bush I, nor Reagan) have offered very much in the way of leadership in terms of the major issues that PP focuses on, namely:

1.  Fiscal responsibility and monetary stability, and a transition from growth-based capitalism to some type of steady state economy, if that's even possible (first E)

2.  A long-term plan for making an energy transition as the fossil fuels that power our civilization deplete (second E)

3.  A plan to mitigate the environmental damage (third E) caused by the exponential growth of human population and the exponential spread of industrial civilization

4. Building personal resilience in the face of these three destabilizing forces and creating a world worth inheriting.

So, if you and I sat down and listed our political preferences on more mundane topics, I bet that there would be some similarities and some differences.  And that's why I try not to engage in mundane political topics on PP.  The Obamacare debate will not get us much closer to understanding the three E's.  Bush II's expansion of the security state and assertions of executive power will also not help us much in understanding the three E's.  Switzerland's elements of direct democracy and China's authoritarian approach have very little to do with the third E's.  Political forms and preferences will rise and fall, but all parties and regimes will be affected by unsustainable debt accumulation, currency crisis, rising energy costs and prices, and environmental degradation.  My political preferences, or yours, or anyone else's at PP won't matter that much in the face of these three big shifts and Wendy's compost, or Ferrelhen's solar-refrigerator, or Woodman's gardens don't really care what our political opinions are.  

This doesn't mean that I don't think ideas are important.  I definitely do.  But the type of ideas that will be most helpful to transforming our own position and eventually our society, in my opinion, have to do with the three E's and personal responses.  There may also be major public debates connected to the three E's and that's where the politics comes back in, but for now, I propose that we stick to understanding the three E's and focusing on personal responses.

In my experience, when we get political here, we become more like other discussion threads and less like the high-level, forward-thinking forum that I appreciate so much.  Your comparison of Obamacare to Stalin, a meme bandied about on the more conservative of the big four news networks, is an example of the quality of discourse falling when we get political here.

Cheers,

Hugh

 

Hugh,

I think you missed the thought process behind my statement.  I wasn't comparing Obamacare to Stalin, Mao, and Hitler.  I was comparing the proportion of bad to good in Obamacare to Stalin, Mao, and Hitler.  There's a difference.  To call what I said "a wild exaggeration" is, in my opinion, at least a mild exaggeration.  Furthermore, if you don't perceive where this is all going, may I suggest you review this article which has been posted previously.

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html

Please don't misinterpret this excerpt to mean that I think we are becoming Nazi Germany.  But the means by which we are being swept along is very similar.  Our country is becoming something alien to what this nation was originally intended to be by its citizenry.  And frankly, I'm not interested in what the big four news networks or their watchers say.  I stopped watching TV years ago.  No mind mush for me.  So the statement was of my own making. 

More importantly, if you think Obamacare has no relationship to the 3Es, then I would urge you to look more closely at one of the Es, namely, that of economics.  That E is already being affected by Obamacare and will be affected even further, big time.  It's being affected now by the shutdown, it's being affected by the increased premiums subtracted from discretionary income, it's being affected by the decreased quality of coverage also having the potential to indirectly affect discretionary income, it's being affected by employers switching from full-time to part-time hiring, it's being affected by small businesses putting expansionary plans on hold, it's being affected by health care providers who have had it and are leaving the field and who no longer will be generating the same tax revenue, it's being affected by a very productive segment of our society who are increasingly expatriating and taking their talents and their tax revenues with them because they see what is coming, it's being affected by a growing population of government workers (e.g. the IRS agents who will enforce Obamacare) placing ever increasing financial stress upon our economy, etc., etc.  All indications are that it will accelerate the downward spiral which is already in progress.  Do you see the very powerful adverse affect of Obamacare on our economy now?

Also, if you don't fully perceive the relationship between politics and economics or politics and energy or politics and environment, then you must not be aware of how government actions and policies affect the 3 Es.  My statement against Obamacare is oblique to the party that has backed it the most.  Quite frankly, I see both the Democrats and the Republicans as different sides of the same party, an Authoritarian Party.  I align with neither and think both are directing us down the same wrong path.  I think you may be making generalizations about perceiving the entirety of my political beliefs from a small handful of statements.   

A reductionist view of the world fails to understand the interrelationship of all people and all things.  When you try to exclude one topic or one category because it doesn't fit into a nice, neat, compartmentalized version of what you feel is appropriate discussion, you take away from a holistic perception of the reality we are facing.  You talk about politics as being mundane.  Do you think Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, etc. who were hauled away to concentration camps thought politics were mundane or do you think they realized that politics were life and death for them.  You may brand this an emotional appeal.  So be it.  Do I want emotionless machines running my world?  That's not the kind of world I want to live in. 

Don't fall into the propagandized trap of dismissing arguments or actions due to emotional content.  Emotions are what make us human and just like humans, there are positive and negative aspects to emotion.  Life without emotion and the passion it fuels leads to the Orwellian existence we are heading into.  A compost pile, garden, solar refrigerator, etc., won't change that worth a darn and as good as those things are, all those things and more can easily be confiscated or outlawed by a government who sees differently from you.  And then, whoosh ... there goes your resiliency down the drain.  Ever see a sheep with a lot of passion?  Even when a ewe sees her lamb's throat being slit, there's hardly an emotional response, just a plaintive baaa or two.  That's what they want us to be, Hugh, unthinking, dull, passively-going-along, unresisting sheep.  Don't baaa into it.

Also, don't be so sure about buying in lock, stock, and barrel to the 3Es.  They're a concept and a very useful one but only one part of reality whose significance can change in a heartbeat with any number of conceivable events transpiring.    They're the finger pointing to the moon, not the moon.

I've got to run.  I'm growing this new business and I shouldn't be taking time for this non-productive stuff so I might not have an opportunity reply to whatever you may respond with.  Thanks for taking the time to comment and enjoy your weekend.

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The novel concept of less, not more, health insurance
Gratidude wrote:

I'm well aware that the ACA doesn't please everyone, no law will. But almost all the complaints I've heard about the ACA are about cost increases. From where I sit, the Affordable Care Act enables personal freedom worth far more than dollars. I don't know what idiot in history forced a person's healthcare choices to become dependent on their employer, but to me, the reduction of that dependency is a change worth celebrating.   

I'm not happy that the ACA doesn't solve the "big" problems, but at least with this minor law change, my wife is no longer a prisoner of her job because of her healthcare needs. I have many friends who will now start their own business because they can finally get coverage as individuals, regardless of the costs. Myself and my wife included. 

Here's yet another POV.  A novel concept from a woman with more cajones than most of the male population advocating less, not more, health insurance.

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It even worse than I thought!

Read this article:

Man dropped from health insurance because of new regulations

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_northeast_valley/fountain_hills/fou...

Surrmary: This man's current medical costs is $350K a year and was paying about $4K per month in premiums. Under ACA he will be paying $29K Per month or about $350K a year. While on ACA they can't drop you, there is no clause to prevent them from raising premiums to match your medical costs. 

So in the end, ACA removes health insurance from America, since they will simply pass on whatever costs there are by raising your premium to match costs. Perhaps the only way is if you die during treatment and they have no way to pass on the costs to you since your dead! 

 

 

 

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ao - Your thoughtful reply

My intention for my post was to show the readers of this thread that not everyone thinks the sky is falling. But since your reply was so thoughtful, I'll engage.

ao wrote:

Minor law change?  MINOR?  Really?!?  Surely you jest!

When I compare the ACA to other modern "legislation" (off the top of my head here's some recent changes in the rules we are governed by: POTUS can now wage war without Congress, the military can arrest and kill American citizens without due process, the NSA can endlessly and retroactively spy on every citizen of earth and also secretly and forcibly obtain people's data from corporations they trust, investigative reporting is now a crime punishable by life in prison, banks succeeded in cruelly and pointlessly removing citizen bankruptcy protection, the DoD and Congress have declared the entire planet a "field of battle", I could go on...) I believe this is the most innocuous bill to come out of Congress in fifteen years. Compared to what is needed for health care reform, and what was hoped for by many, the ACA is practically irrelevant and barely any change at all. 

ao wrote:

Do you understand what the ultimate goal is of the ACA?  Doesn't it seem strange that Congress created a bill that they didn't even have time to read?  I can tell you, it isn't about affordability and it isn't about healthcare.

Please enlighten me. 

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ao
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Obamacare - it's not affordable and it's not about healthcare
Gratidude,
 
There should be sufficient information above to "enlighten" you but I'll see if I can be of some assistance.  BTW, troof's Ann Barnhardt video from 14:15-15:22 hit the nail on the head.
 
Compared to the other pieces of "legislation" you mentioned, the ACA may, on the surface, appear to be the least innocuous.  On an economic level for the average middle class family, however, it could very well be the most devastating, even taken at face value without the larger, more ominous implications of it being one more piece on an all encompassing chessboard where the pieces are inexorably being moved into position for the coup de grace.  Destruction of the middle class ensures the establishment of a neofeudalist society where the power and control of the elite is even more firmly established.  Class conflict helps the process along as does age, race, religious, and other conflict.  When you have conflict, control will come out of the chaos (via the problem-reaction-solution path), and when you have control, it's much easier to do what you want. 
 
The following is just one small piece in the big picture but it's been a long stated goal of the elite to reduce the global population.  That would bode well for at least 2 of the 3 Es, environment and energy and maybe even the third E (I'm being factious here for those whose bulbs burn dimmer).  The problem is, exactly how is the population controlled and who makes the decisions?  Therein lies the rub.  Do we disincentivize having children with legislation, fines,  penalties, and cultural indoctrination?  Do we cull the lower and upper ends of the age demographic with increased access to pharmaceutical birth control and abortion or to rationed end-of-life care (and eventual progression down the line to euthanasia), respectively (all of which are or are soon to be,  enforced or enhanced with Obamacare)?  Do we distribute fluoridated water and fluoridized salt to decrease fertility?  Do we create AIDS, SARS, Lyme disease, or other germicidal means of culling the population, ala Plum Island research?  Do we lower immune system function with GMO foods or geo-engineering side effects or a bevy of other like strategies?  Do we allow or induce famine?  Do we create and propagate war?  Which of the Four Horsemen will give us the most bang for our buck; Pestilence, Famine, War, Death, or some other?  What are the profits obtainable from each or from a combination thereof?  Can we herd the masses into Agenda 21 "urban islands" so we can have the depopulated wilderness areas all to ourselves?  Can we herd the "domestic terrorists" and dissidents into FEMA camps to ensure societal harmony?  So many choices and all the time in the world to implement them.  Is this just all lunatic paranoia or is there a glimmer of emerging possibility and truth here.  Only God knows for sure.  But look at where you were 20 years ago, look at where you are now, and think about what the future may hold in store based on past and present behavior and prevailing and manifesting trends.  It's interesting to note that both the USSR Communist Party and the German Nazi Party allowed their most passionate and vociferous supporters to do the ideological "dirty work" of transforming their societies and then, when that work was done, they conveniently purged these "undesirables".  Ernst Rohm and Leon Trotsky come to mind among those "cleansed" from the top of the food chain but most of the "sanitizing" was done at the bottom.  Food for thought for some who are so supportive of these lines of thinking and policies .... but I digress.       
 
For a country where a substantial percentage of folks are living paycheck to paycheck or have paltry savings, increasing health insurance deductibles could easily push a family over the brink into foreclosure, bankruptcy, homelessness, etc.  Similarly, the large increases in costs of premiums could do the same.  And those increases in deductibles and premiums are also often accompanied by decreased quality of coverage, another potential gateway to enter the path down the road to medical bankruptcy.  Ah, but we have subsidies for lower income folks.  Then the question arises, where is the money coming from for the subsidies?  The answer is either from increased debt or increased taxes, neither of which we can afford.  And both of which will drain the middle class and this country even more.  And what is lower income?  Someone who is making $100k/year is considered ineligible for a subsidy but in many more expensive urban areas of the country (and particular with the loss in value of the dollar), a $100K salary does not make one rich, especially if one has to save for their retirement, help elderly parents who might be struggling on fixed incomes and with illness and infirmity, and get their children through college without the children incurring crushing educational debt loads.  It means one may just get by ... barely ... maybe.    
 
The ACA coverage of 30 million new people is lauded as a good thing but all it does is create a voting block sure to vote for more of the same.  The entitlement block of society becomes a firm and dominant majority, figuratively eating the seed corn of the country until the system consumes itself and collapses under the stresses of these excesses.  The resulting reinforcement of the Cloward-Piven strategy and implementation of Saul Alinksy principles ensures the hastening of this process.  The allowed and even encouraged gradual and not-so-gradual conversion of the illegal aliens of today into the citizens of tomorrow who are draining far more out of the system than they are adding in is an even further accelerant to the collapse process.
 
Here is a just smattering of reading on the downside and dangers of the ACA including how the ACA benefits the insurance companies, at least in the shorter term.  NB - recall what I said above about TPTB eventually turning on and eliminating those who facilitate the transformation and understand that this process can occur not only with individuals, but also with corporate and institutional entities.
 
 
P.S. The dis-information propaganda I alluded to was a bevy of articles which hit the MSM recently pushed to center stage (which were an obviously well orchestrated, well timed propaganda ploy) saying how the public perception that Congress is exempt from Obamacare is false.  Well, yes, technically, they have to pay for their insurance too but we, the taxpayers, subsidize them with the money to pay for it so what is the difference. The answer is none.  But people will see the headlines, skim through the article, not fully comprehend, and buy the lie that the bought-and-paid-for journalists are selling of Congress having to pay too.
 
I could go on and on but I've spent too much time already on this.
TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
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Coverage

"The ACA coverage of 30 million new people is lauded as a good thing but all it does is create a voting block sure to vote for more of the same. The entitlement block of society becomes a firm and dominant majority, figuratively eating the seed corn of the country until the system consumes itself and collapses under the stresses of these excesses."

Except that ACA does not cover them. You basically need to be dead to be covered with the full subsidy. If a single mother of two earning $15K a year doesn't qualify, then nobody does. Those that are covered, still face a $3K deductable. If you making only $15K a year, its not possible to pay the $3K deductable.

 

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HughK
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fingers pointing to the moon
ao wrote:

They're a concept and a very useful one but only one part of reality whose significance can change in a heartbeat with any number of conceivable events transpiring.    They're the finger pointing to the moon, not the moon.

Thanks for taking the time to comment and enjoy your weekend.

Hi ao,

I appreciate you wishing me a great weekend, and sorry I didn't reply sooner. I did indeed have a nice weekend, as my mom was visiting my wife and I, and we did some hiking, visited a thermal bath, and had a great dinner out.  It's nice to have her in town.

The finger pointing to the moon idea is a very nice analogy for any idea.  I first heard it by a spiritual teacher who said that all religions and teachings, including his, were simply fingers pointing to the moon, and that humans sometimes like to argue over the fingers and forget the quest to better understand that ineffable moon.  A very lovely metaphor as far as I am concerned.

I don't think of myself as much of a sheep, either here on PP or in the wider world.  Does what I have written so far on PP give you some idea that I might be a sheep?  Your connection of my rejection of your emotion-based appeal (in this case, comparing Hitler, Mao, Stalin, and Goebbels to Obamacare, whether directly or obliquely) to me being part of some group of people herded away from our emotions, towards some type of unemotional obedience, seems to be a non-sequitor, so, in what may be a recurring motif for us, we can cordially disagree on that.

I still hold to my statement that debating specific policy preferences closely associated with either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party such as Obamacare, Bush's prescription drug benefit, or Bush's tax cuts, are not going to be very productive discussions on PP.  

I agree that these all clearly connect with the first E on several levels.  On the other hand, they are minor variations on what is happening in Japan, the UK, France, the US and most of the rest of the OECD-rich countries.  Namely, entering the endgame of the debt supercycle, to paraphrase Mauldin*, and risking currency collapse and realignment.  How is it that all of these countries are hitting the same wall when they all have different policy preferences with regards to levels of taxation for the rich or the extent to which medical insurance is private or government-regulated?  The US is very divided on Obamacare and the government shutdown, and that's why I think we serve PP better if we avoid this topic.  Whether or not Obamacare existed, we would be facing the same economic walls, albeit a little later or a little sooner depending on what you think about the economic effects of that policy.

I teach a course on Comparative Government and Politics and I have taught several history courses during my time as a high school teacher.  I'm an expert in nothing, and I don't claim to have all the answers.  But I do know enough about the three big authoritarian regimes of the Twentieth Century to dismiss your citation of them in a post on Obamacare as a wild exaggeration, and something that can be dismissed prima facia.  Sorry, but such comparisons, even if they are about approaches and not outcomes, don't help anyone understand this issue any better.  Rather, this type of language exacerbates the political divisions and, as you mentioned, false dichotomies between the Demublicans and the Republicrats.

As a politics teacher, of course I understand that specific policies will matter a lot to how we deal with a range of issues related to the three E's.  But, I would submit that we focus on innovative and heterodox approaches to policy such as Reiner Kummel's recommendation that we tax energy as opposed to income.  The reason for this is that we all need a fresh start in terms of the political battles we're fighting, and also the current system is going to continue to fight these battles, most likely, until something breaks on a big level and there is a major realignment.  Then, ideas such as those at PP will have a chance to emerge within a bundle of new policy options and approaches, thus far mostly dismissed by mainstream politicians and technocrats on both the right and the left.

The metaphor that I'd like to use for that - and I'm going out on a limb here and thinking out loud - is the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Framing of the Constitution.  The first was a lot easier than the second, because the first was a statement about how the old system was not working and how we had a right to make a new system on better principles.  The second part was much stickier, since all of the revolutionaries who agreed about independence from Britain didn't at all agree on how the new union should look and we're very lucky that they did such a good job fighting for their different principles and preferences in as enlightened a way as we could have hoped for.  

It seems to me that PP and the three E's** does a very good job at showing how our current systems and paradigms are either broken or under a lot of stress, and that thinking differently and being resilient is going to be very important if we are going to respond to these big destabilizing forces.  Here we recognize that government spending, and total debt accumulation has to go down in the OECD rich countries, that we have to face the fact that we're in a world of declining fossil fuel EROI, and that we're hitting major environmental limits.  We agree that personal responses to this include a lot of the great possibilities shared in the Resilient Life section of PP.  

But, when it comes to potential public policy responses to the three E's, we'll be in the building-of-a-new-system mode and it's very likely that as we delve into suggestions for public policy responses people at PP will disagree a lot as to how nations should to move forward in terms of policy.  Do we favor extreme austerity for the poor and middle class that have already missed the vast majority of wealth-creation of the last 20 years?  Should we exploit tar sands and oil shale, to keep the fossil fuel party going for a few years longer, regardless of environmental consequences ?  Should we adopt a carbon fee-and-dividend systems?

I don't know if PP is ready for this phase yet, but for now, I already derive a lot of benefit from learning about the Three E's and how people are becoming more resilient.  I hold to my claim that this is the comparative advantage of PP, and the community here is at its best when we focus on this and stay out of more conventional political debates.

I don't know if I have expressed myself as well as I could, or if all of my ideas are perfectly clear, even to myself, because there is certainly a gray area between what I would call old-school right-left policy battles, such as Obamacare or Bush's tax cuts and innovative policy possibilities, such as taxing energy instead of income.  But, I've done my best with the time I have.

As far as your point that Republicans and Democrats are both part of the problem, I heartily agree. That's why I like PP so much, as most of the time it's a nice haven from the low-grade right-left flame wars that occupy so much of the Net's space. 

ao, thanks again for your reply, and happy Monday!

And now, time to grade essay tests....

Cheers,

Hugh   

*BTW, Mauldin is an example of someone who I appreciate for several big ideas, but whose politics I keep at arm's length.  Some here at PP may not agree with my political preferences, to the extent that I even have any in a system that is to a significant extent already broken, which is why I try stay away from those issues as much as possible.

**I agree that the three E's are just a framework.  One rung of a ladder, that we must eventually release in order to climb higher.  Also, my third e (environment) is different from PP's third E in ways that I have expressed in other posts on the site.  But, I still really appreciate Chris' framework and our hyper-specialized, complex, and myopic civilization needs more big-picture thinking like this.

 

Lnorris's picture
Lnorris
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John Mauldin - The Road to a New Medical Order

This is a lengthy article but one worth reading about the ACA. I've been in healthcare for 25 years and it's been the same story the entire time. Do more with less, only this time a lot less. More people being cared for at a lower cost does not necessarily equal better care. I agree that change needs to happen but I'm confident that this is not the best answer. Trying to pound a square peg in a round whole does not solve a problem. Cutting operating expenses at large hospitals by 25-35% is just death by a thousand cuts. 70-80% of operational expenses are labor. So sure let's cut everyone's salaries by that same amount as the education expenses rise and then ask the question "Do you think an advanced degree in health care will have a good ROI in the coming years?" Hell no, not with cost of education. There are already shortages of doctors, nurses, therapists etc. as the baby boomers are coming onto Medicare this will compound it more. 

I'm all for personal responsibility for one's health. Eat healthy, exercise, stay away from the processed crap that is offered up as food. I could go on  but it would be an ugly rant getting into the food and drug industry, sick care and since when, WHEN has a government sponsored entitlement program not been fraught with all sorts of unintended consequences such as cutting full time employment to 30 hours?

As they say the devil is in the details and Nancy Pelosi said it best - we have to vote for it before you can find out what's in it. Awesome...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

green_achers's picture
green_achers
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Posts: 205
Saved me a lot of money so far

I had very little optimism, and in fact was quite bitter about the ACA to begin with, but the truth is that so far it has saved me a boatload of money.

First I got a substantial (four-figure) refund on my premiums for the insurance policy I had last year.  That was a policy with a $10,000 deductible that had only one provider in my area, and that one was not taking new patients.  So I basically paid everything out of pocket.  It was, BTW, the only plan that would cover me.  I did get a colonoscopy on the plan, but had to travel 200 miles to get a provider and paid for it out of pocket, though I benefited from their lower rate with the big outpatient center that accepted their rates.  Oh, my premium was about $450/month.

The refund was due to the provision in the ACA that providers have to actually use a certain percentage of their premium payments to provide services, what a concept.

Second, on re-applying to Blue Cross, I was accepted to a better plan (about half the deductible, many more providers in my area) at a rate that saves me about $200/month.  Now, I don't know for sure that was because of Obamacare, but I've read that BCBS and some other big providers, knowing the provision of non-denial was coming, began to accept more to capture some of the market they knew were coming anyway.  Makes sense.  It is a fact that I was specifically denied by them a couple of years ago, and nothing had materially changed in my application.

Finally, I got a smaller refund for the amount spent in the partial year I was covered by the old plan this year.

I have not gone to the exchange website yet, because I'm in no hurry, and I thought I'd let them work out the bugs first.  I did check out one of the calculators online and it took my relevant data and automatically gave me a price for a "silver" plan, and yes, it was quite a bit more expensive than what I have now.  But after the ACA subsidy (I am apparently at 250% of the poverty line) it would actually be cheaper than what I have now, by about $30.  I don't know how the "silver" plan compares to what I have now.

One more thing:  I have not had a year in too long to remember in which my premium didn't increase by double-digits, which I have mostly minimized by increasing the deductible (hence the rate I was at.)  To be fair, we have to remember the reality that this whole in coming in at.  It's not likely those complaining about rate increases would have had an unchanged rate, anyway.

thebrewer's picture
thebrewer
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Posts: 110
You people have it good!

My premiums here in Connecticut are $1668 a month with a $5700 deductible for a family of four. Four years ago it was about $850 with a co-pay. Our policy renews Dec 1 and am told by the agent that manages the plan for my wife's company to expect something in the neighborhood of a 50% increase!

Obummer keeps saying that health coverage in less expensive for most Americans...Really??

The reason it's so expensive in CT is that we only have 3 companies to choose from (We have United Health Care). Simple free fix would have been to open up the borders to competition. That would cost the government/Taxpayers $0 and with free market competition would reduce costs. ACA if allowed to continue will become competition free. You think healthcare is expensive now...just wait.

ao's picture
ao
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Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
10 ways the Obamacare train wreck is screwing Americans

http://www.infowars.com/10-ways-the-obamacare-train-wreck-is-screwing-th...

"Research by the Manhattan Institute documents how average insurance rate premiums will rise 99 per cent for men and 62 per cent for women under Obamacare."

ao's picture
ao
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Posts: 2220
ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
Ron Paul on Obamacare

Obamacare: A Parasite Intent on Killing Its Host

http://lfb.org/today/obamacare-a-parasite-intent-on-killing-its-host/

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 2220
10 signs that obamacare is going to wreck the US economy

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/10-signs-that-obamacare-is-g...

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
10 signs that obamacare is going to wreck the US economy

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/10-signs-that-obamacare-is-g...

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