"Obamacare"
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30-09-2013, 06:21 PM
"Obamacare"
My knowledge is very limited on it, and confused. It was originally a republican plan, and Obama adopted it. I'm assuming the current circus is just a farce. To what end, i'll leave that to the conspiracy theorists.

My current understanding of Obamacare is:

1. People who don't pay health insurance will be taxed. So people are forced to buy health insurance wherever they can.
2. Government will use taxpayer dollars to subsidized some people in certain conditions.
3. Insurance companies have to spend most of the money on health, and are by law less likely to turn people down when paying out.

Now, my understanding is that this is a major boom for insurance companies. Depending on how shaky #3 is (are there any obvious loopholes?), whether it's government money, or private money, they're getting it. This seems wildly criminal (depending how shaky #3 is), I know i'm missing something here. So help?
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30-09-2013, 06:28 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
You're missing that the plan has been highly successful when implemented in Massachusetts by Mitt (the Shitt) Romney.... who tried his best to forget the whole thing when he ran for president.
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30-09-2013, 08:20 PM (This post was last modified: 30-09-2013 08:32 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: "Obamacare"
(30-09-2013 06:21 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  My knowledge is very limited on it, and confused. It was originally a republican plan, and Obama adopted it. I'm assuming the current circus is just a farce. To what end, i'll leave that to the conspiracy theorists.

My current understanding of Obamacare is:

1. People who don't pay health insurance will be taxed.

Yes, but fined is more accurate.

(30-09-2013 06:21 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  So people are forced to buy health insurance wherever they can.

No. There are insurance exchanges set up where the uninsured can purchase health insurance based on whether they want the insurance company to cover 60%, 70%, 80%, or 90% of their expenses. Most of the already insured need do nothing.

(30-09-2013 06:21 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  2. Government will use taxpayer dollars to subsidized some people in certain conditions.

Yes. The taxpayers will subsidize you via tax credits if you don't make enough money to afford the premiums. (Big caveat to this to follow.)

(30-09-2013 06:21 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  3. Insurance companies have to spend most of the money on health, and are by law less likely to turn people down when paying out.

Yes. But not "less likely", they're now "required" by regulation.

(30-09-2013 06:21 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  Now, my understanding is that this is a major boom for insurance companies.

It is. But they had to swallow increased regulation, minimum coverage standards, and capitalistic competition on a level-playing field given those constraints to get the broader enrollment base.

If you're currently uninsured or uninsurable because of a pre-existing condition you'd be a fool not to look to the insurance exchanges.

Now for the caveat. You know who is seriously fucked right now? The really poor motherfuckers who earn less than the poverty level living in states which decided not to expand Medicaid after the Supreme Court ruled they didn't have to. The law envisioned that those under the poverty level would be covered by Medicaid and did not grant them tax credits to offset their premium costs. They are just fucked until the law is fixed. Normally it would be an easy legislative fix, but not in this political climate where fuckers are willing to burn down the house because there's a leak under the sink.

Breathing - it's more art than science.
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30-09-2013, 09:53 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
GirlyMan has the gist of it. I actually spent the time back in '08-09 when this crap first appeared to read the bulk of the health care law, which most people with strong opinions on it haven't bothered to do. And I still don't have a strong opinion on it. There's good and bad in it.

As Girly pointed out, insurance companies will not be allowed to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. This will be helpful to the many people living with disabilities or illnesses who currently use Medicaid but would love other options were they available, because Medicaid sucks (or at least MediCal does).

I'm not entirely sure what's going to happen to those under the poverty line. I was under the impression that Medicaid was already offered in every state, so would already be available to the low-income members of each state. These states are opting out of an expansion that would extend coverage to people who currently have higher incomes than what Medicaid will allow, so many of these people, theoretically, should be able to pay for insurance when more affordable options become available through the exchanges. Again, I'm not 100% clear on this, so don't take my word on it.

As far as the benefits to insurance companies, I think they are actually minimal. They are being forced into accountability for ever-rising costs that have thus far gone completely unchecked. They will be placed in a much more competitive environment where they will have to either lower their prices to appeal to their consumer base, or offer medical coverage and care of such quality that the price will be worth it for those who can afford it. Either way, it's a win for consumers. There will be more people covered under insurance, for sure, but there will also be more insurance companies to spread the consumers to.

Here's an interesting video about the ridiculous healthcare costs in the US and how it got this way, if you're interested:
http://www.upworthy.com/his-first-4-sent...tle-sick-2

They have just gone unchecked for so long. Virtually every other industry has taken hit after hit in this economy and had to lay people off, cut wages, lower prices, and all around do more for less. But people need to go to the doctor and will find a way to do it, and medical costs across the board have steadily risen to cover their share of the economic turmoil.

Overall, I think it's going to be a very rough transition, especially for employers small enough to be overwhelmed at the cost of coverage but not small enough to be exempt, and anyone who falls into a coverage gap. My daughter was previously covered by Healthy Families (low-cost subsidized coverage for children whose parents make too much for Medicaid but not enough for private coverage) but is not eligible for Medicaid, even after the expansion. So these gaps exist everywhere, not just in states where they have refused to expand. However, if the law lowers costs as projected, eventually it should smooth out and with any law (in theory) there will be kinks that need to be ironed out as they are discovered.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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30-09-2013, 10:10 PM (This post was last modified: 30-09-2013 10:13 PM by frankksj.)
RE: "Obamacare"
Quote:Insurance companies have to spend most of the money on health, and are by law less likely to turn people down when paying out.

What people forget is that health insurance companies were already regulated and the ratio of 'payouts for medical bills' vs. 'markup for operating expenses and profit' was already fixed at 80/20. So, for an insurance company to double their profit, they HAD to double the amount they paid out. Obviously, the insurance companies would love to cover everything, from pre-existing conditions to haircuts and manicures, since everything they pay out, they get their 20%. The only reason why insurance companies were denying people with pre-existing conditions is because if one insurance company covered them, and paid out more, their premiums would be a lot higher than the other insurance companies, and eventually the healthy people would migrate to insurance companies that did not cover pre-existing conditions.

They could have gotten what they wanted by forming a pact that all insurance had to simultaneously raise their rates at the same time. But then they'd go to jail for collusion, and even if they got around that, the rates would go up so much that healthy people would simply stop using insurance and self-insure.

Fortunately for the insurance companies, Obamacare addressed both these issues for them. It forces ALL insurance companies to simultaneously raise their rates to cover pre-existing conditions and other extras, AND, it doesn't allow people to self-insure anymore. Of course, this was disguised as a benefit to the average man, BUT, Obamacare is just a massive transfer of wealth from the people to the private, for-profit insurance companies that funded Obama's campaign.

It's particularly egregious because it's tied to the tax code. The US is the only country that taxes based on citizenship, not residency. So this means an American who expat who lives and works in Canada, pays into the Canadian tax and health care system AND has Canadian coverage everywhere in the world, including when he's in the US, he STILL under most circumstances is forced to make a donation of over $1,000/month to one of Obama's approved US health insurance companies (assuming he has a family). People are forced to buy a product from a private, for-profit corporation, even if they don't want it and will never use it.

As far as it being a success in Massachusetts, a couple years ago I saw a chart with the lowest-cost insurance plan by state. Massachusetts was far and away the most expensive, twice New York, and over four times the national average. So, it's debatable imo if it was really a "success" in Massachusetts.

What's particularly shocking about the Obamacare advocates is the blatant hypocrisy. Michael Moore came out with a great movie about US Health Care, Sicko. Here's the trailer. Note at 1:15 sworn testimony about how the health insurance companies reward their employees for killing off their policyholders when they get sick so they don't need to pay out claims. Moore goes on to show that only 100 miles away, in Cuba, you can get world-class healthcare for a minute fraction of what it costs in the US. Therefore, the intelligent American, imo, would do just that: avoid the US health care system. That's what I did. My family's doctors are in Mexico. If we need anything done, we go there. The quality of care is MUCH better than we'd ever get in the US, and our annual health care costs are less than $1,000, vs. the average of $15,745 in the US. We have 'emergency-only' insurance (that cost about $50/month) while we're in the US, which just covers emergency room visits in case of accident, heart attack, etc. So the public was never at risk of footing our medical bills. By setting aside the $14,000/year we save by going to Mexico and investing it (7% yield), our family would have $1 million in savings in 27 years. Obamacare is designed to eliminate that possibility, so that you have to give the $15k/year to the insurance companies instead, where you get nothing saved, no investment, and become totally dependent on them, and they can cancel you or deny you coverage when you actually get sick and need it. And since you have no savings, it forces you to be more dependent on government too. A huge win-win for Obama and the insurance companies. Also, to get the drug companies on board, Obama agreed to tighten border controls and arrest those Americans who were going to Canada to get their prescriptions filled, and since the US patent system ensures only 1 company can make each drug, Obama thus enabled the drug companies also to rape the American public.

When Obamacare came out, Michael Moore got on TV and said it was such a wonderful thing that Americans would now no longer have the option of getting quality, affordable care abroad, and that they would have to turn their lives and wallets over to the evil insurance companies he vilified in his movie for rewarding employees for killing off sick people. No
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30-09-2013, 11:29 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
Obamacare is a transfer of wealth program as frankksj makes the point. It is also a generational wealth transfer that forces young people to pay much more for their insurance than they would have before this law passed.

The law is craptasticly written with awful unintended consequences:
--By penalizing businesses who offer jobs that are more than 30 hours, many employers have reduced hours and laid off full time employees, hiring part time employees instead.
--Affordability of insurance provided by employers is defined only by the rate set for single health care coverage. Married couples who cannot afford the family rate offered by an employer become ineligible for the subsidies. That same employee would be eligible for subsidies if they quit their job and find an employer without health care, or if they divorce.
--the law piles on a lot of extra required health services that many young people do not need as much of, so the typical individual buying health insurance will find the cost of this insurance double in cost or more. As frankksj states, those who choose to by actual insurance rather than comprehensive coverage are no longer legally allowed to do so. I can buy liability insurance for my car to remove the risk of catastrophic losses, and I can choose not to buy comprehensive coverage if I don't need it. I am no longer legally allowed to choose the same for my health care.
--The tax costs for going from 49 to 50 employees has now become as high as $100,000+ . So before an employer factors in the actual cost of the employee, they have to add another $100k to absorb the higher taxes on the 50th employee. This is causing businesses to reorganize and fire/lay off people to stay under the limit.
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01-10-2013, 02:43 AM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2013 01:23 PM by Dark Light.)
RE: "Obamacare"
Bryan an frank knew more than me, so thank you gentlemen for giving me more info. Healthcare, I admit, is one of the only areas of politics in which I consider myself to be too ignorant to debate on.

@Frank, hopping the border isn't an viable option for most Americans. It'd take me about 20 hours of driving (with no stops) to get to the nearest Mexican healthcare facility/hospital. That's a short drive compared to many.

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01-10-2013, 05:44 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
(30-09-2013 10:10 PM)frankksj Wrote:  [quote]
As far as it being a success in Massachusetts, a couple years ago I saw a chart with the lowest-cost insurance plan by state. Massachusetts was far and away the most expensive, twice New York, and over four times the national average. So, it's debatable imo if it was really a "success" in Massachusetts.

There is a major flaw in taking that data as if it was any type of judgement on the bills effect on the state. Massachusetts was already an expensive state for cost of insurance before the enactment of the bill, there is a lot of expenses heightened when living in Mass.

As for the go abroad for the care from near boarder nations. Most people are not within a instant trip just 100 miles of open travel away. Moore is also one of many liberal people who had/still have disdain for the law for not incorporating a public option for all people.

"Love is hot, Truth is molten!"
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01-10-2013, 08:44 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
(01-10-2013 05:44 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  There is a major flaw in taking that data as if it was any type of judgement on the bills effect on the state. Massachusetts was already an expensive state for cost of insurance before the enactment of the bill, there is a lot of expenses heightened when living in Mass.

But you do agree that it did not result in a reduction of health care costs either, right? Thus, imo, the way the insurance lobby sold Obamacare to the public as an overall cost reducer is fraud. Do you want to make a bet that if we check the financials of the major insurance companies in 5 years we will find their revenues and profits are much HIGHER, not lower than the pre-Obamacare years? I'll take that bet. Remember, when the insurance company's revenues and profits are higher, that money is coming out of the pockets of the working class.

(01-10-2013 05:44 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  As for the go abroad for the care from near boarder nations. Most people are not within a instant trip just 100 miles of open travel away.

True, but at least pre-Obamacare it did prove to be SOME sort of safety valve. If the health care costs rose to say, $10,000/month for a family, they would start hoping on a plane and flying to Mexico, putting pressure on the industry to cut costs. By closing the borders, however, Obamacare eliminates that safety valve. Health care costs can go up 3x, and there's nothing Americans can do anymore to escape it. They have to just cut back their standard of living and bear it since there's no relief valve anymore.

(01-10-2013 05:44 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Moore is also one of many liberal people who had/still have disdain for the law for not incorporating a public option for all people.

Here's the interview. He calls Obamacare a "huge victory" and praises it. Sure, he says "it doesn't go far enough" and "needs to go further". But this is INSANE. Obamacare is NOT a step towards the left, it is NOT a step towards breaking down the evil health insurance industry. It's not a step towards eliminating private health insurance for a public system; it's going in the opposite direction! It's forcing Americans to subject themselves and their lives to the health insurance industry, and buy whatever shitty product they offer at any price. So, if Obamacare was to go FURTHER, that would mean, perhaps, that Americans have to turn over 100% of their income to the health insurance industry, and let them decide how much they'll keep for themselves and what to let the public live on. I find it INSANE that he says Obamacare needs to go FURTHER in that direction. If Republicans had passed Obamacare, Moore would rightly have blasted it as a huge step backwards, a huge step towards cronyism with government transferring wealth from the public to the insurance companies. That's why I say he's a hypocrite. He puts out a movie that exposes those insurance companies as pure evil, and then praises a law that forces us to hand our lives and wallets over to those evil companies.
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01-10-2013, 04:06 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2013 04:31 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: "Obamacare"
(30-09-2013 10:10 PM)frankksj Wrote:  What people forget is that health insurance companies were already regulated and the ratio of 'payouts for medical bills' vs. 'markup for operating expenses and profit' was already fixed at 80/20.

What do you mean by already? That was a provision of Obamacare. There was no 80/20 requirement before the Affordable Care Act.

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