Let's talk about Obamacare
Because this political narrative being floated by both Republicans and Democrats is ticking me off!
So.. Pence said... 'we want to change the law without pulling the rug out from anyone.' Excuse me... when Obamacare was put into effect the rug was pulled out from under millions of Americans... my family being some of them. Let me explain. We pay about $12,000 per year for medical coverage for our family of 4. Before Obamacare that meant that we could take our kids to the doctor the half dozen times a year they need to go and pay a copay of $10.
After Obamacare it meant we have to shell out another $4500 in deductible before we see ANY benefits. So what does that mean? It means we have to pay $16,500 in medical insurance before we see one penny in benefits! And what that means is that we have NO MEDICAL INSURANCE because we are healthy and do not go to the doctor enough to pay out $4500 in deductibles.
But every time the kids get sick I have to think twice about whether to go shell out $150 for them to see a doctor because I have no benefits. HOW IN THE HELL IS THAT NOT HAVING THE RUG PULLED OUT FROM UNDER YOU??
And what about the millions who lost their doctor.. or who were relegated to Medicaid and live in areas where there are NO DOCTORS that accept Medicaid?? Obamacare is an utter debacle and we have our elected leaders pandering to this horse crap diatribe that repealing Obamacare is a 'political landmine'! It wouldn't be a political landmine if these idiots had the where-with-all to stand up and speak the plain truth about what Obamacare has meant to the American people... not to mention the utter financial disaster it is to the insurance industry. I am so sick of the absence of sane voices in the public conversation.
From Mike Hutton.
From Mike Hutton.
No matter the reason, one narrative we've found particularly misleading this week comes to us courtesy of Marjorie Connolly, of the Department of Health and Human Services, who has the brutally difficult job of defending the "success" of Obamacare as it literally on the verge of collapse from soaring premiums and declining insurer participation. While we certainly don't envy the position of Connolly, we do find some of her comments to the press "slightly" misinformed.
Just to provide an illustrative sample:
Reuters (8/2/16) - "Consumers coming back to shop for 2017 will continue to have a robust set of choices."
New York Times (8/19/16) - “A number of steps remain before the full picture of marketplace competition and prices are known. Regardless, we remain confident that the majority of marketplace consumers will have multiple choices and will be able to select a plan for less than $75 per month when Open Enrollment begins Nov. 1.”
The Tennessean (8/25/16) - “Consumers in Tennessee will continue to have affordable coverage options in 2017. Last year, the average monthly premium for people with Marketplace coverage getting tax credits increased just $2, from $102 to $104 per month, despite headlines suggesting double digit increases.”
As you can see, the chosen narrative of Connolly is to focus on the premiums paid by the overwhelming minority of healthcare consumers that actually receive subsidized rates under Obamacare. While this may be the only "convenient" fact that Connolly could find to peddle, it ignores the skyrocketing rates that the other 95% of people, mostly middle-class Americans, have to pay.
So, here's the real math. There are roughly 320mm people in the United States. 120mm people are covered under Medicare and Medicaid which leaves 200mm to be covered by "private" health insurance plans. In 2016, roughly 11.1mm people signed up for "private" health insurance through one of the Obamacare federal or state exchanges. Of those people, it is estimated that roughly 85%, or ~9.5mm people, received some level of "need-based" subsidy . News flash Department of Health and Human Services, 9.5mm people is less than 5% of the 200mm people seeking private health insurance. The other 95% is America's middle class and they're getting crushed.
As for Connolly's suggestion that consumers will continue to have "robust" choices in 2017...we're not sure that people in the majority of the Southeast and Midwest with only 1 "option" for 2017 would agree.