Sunday, December 22, 2013

Obama's "Random Impulse"

Photo from Politico

Surprisingly, I have actually heard of some success stories about the reviled ACA aka Obamacare. One woman I know qualified for $350 worth of subsidies and only has to pay around $35 a month. I have also heard of people choosing to work part time in order to not be charged more for their healthcare. I have also been told some people are being quoted very high prices that are unaffordable. There is so much information and misinformation that it's hard to tell what is the reality of the ACA.

There are 48 million uninsured people in America.
Yeah, that's right, 48 million. When I read a number like that, it shocks me. It shocks me that most of the people I know, just don't care. But they do care enough to criticise President Obama for his "socialist" tendencies, this also freaks me out because it seems like most of the people I know are just plain ignorant.
What is really hard to take is that we have all these uninsured people and no one I come into contact with thinks that might be a problem.
There are 46.5 million people in poverty. That's another problem, when you are already living in poverty, you can't afford health insurance. What I wonder is with poverty being defined by 1960's standards, exactly how much does the government think the working poor can pay for healthcare?
Is that why we are hearing so much about people who don't have two nickels to rub together, go to try and get insurance, only to find out it's just like what people pay for Cobra (pretty damn expensive) and financially, just can't afford it.
When I talk to people I know, here in New Jersey, the talk usually turns to Latino's and their "anchor babies" and the free healthcare they get, courtesy of our emergency rooms. Also these people who assume Latino or Mexicans are getting all this free stuff, don't know any immigrants. This second hand information is treated like the truth and is told over and over again. I don't know if these stories are true or not. The perception is that healthcare is somehow free for people who are immigrants, but not for Americans.
There's a CBO estimate that 14 million people would be eligible for coverage. CBO | Effects on Health Insurance and the Federal Budget for the Insurance Coverage Provisions in the Affordable Care Act—May 2013 Baseline.
 I wonder if that's a really conservative estimate, because I see a lot of people who go without healthcare. 14 million people out of 48 million? That's it?
Eric Cantor thinks we should put it off for another year.
"Our entire health care system can't be fundamentally changed at any given time subject to the random impulses of President Obama."
What really cracks me up is that Eric Cantor thinks President Obama has ADD and just had a "random impulse" to try and do something about 48 million people who are uninsured. Oh and Eric Cantor has been just so darn helpful to the uninsured, the unemployed or the millions of people living in poverty.
"Many Americans had good health care that they liked and could afford, but lost it due to ObamaCare."
Ok, there's all kinds of crazy going on about this. What has happened is people had their policies cancelled because they didn't meet the new federal guidelines, meaning, they didn't cover a tissue to wipe your tears in the emergency room when you see the bill, and people are still crying they want their crappy policy back. Sigh.
What I think is the saddest thing of all is that most Americans seem to think it is ok to endure financial ruin if you get some kind of illness. That it's ok to profit from sick people. This is where the ACA didn't go far enough and we should have a nationalized healthcare system like every other civilized country has. But then what would our for profit health insurance companies do? I wonder how much it cost the health insurance lobbies to pay Congress critters to pass a healthcare bill that the health insurance INDUSTRY (that's right it's an INDUSTRY) wanted.
President Obama received $588,055 from Blue Cross Blue Shield.
That's just from ONE health insurance company.  Senator Baucus received nearly $2 million in contributions from the health care and insurance industries. Only presidential candidates John McCain (R-AZ: $7,690,168), John Kerry (D-MA: 7,453,749), and party-switching Arlen Spector (D-PA: $2,214,653) have received more. All of these politicians from the President on down have all been influenced by corporate money, not to have a nationalized health system. How do health care lobby dollars match influence in Congress? | Center for Public Integrity
Between the definition of poverty being inadequate, which means there will be plenty of the working poor, still being priced out of the health insurance market and the influence of the health insurance industry on ObamaCare, it doesn't take a genius to understand there is nothing "random" going on here. What it looks like is that the working poor will still have to pay more for health insurance and that's a win-win for insurance companies.
Eric Cantor gets contributions from healthcare companies a total of almost $200,000. I am sure that's a drop in the bucket and doesn't even include other fancy perks. People I know are well aware that our politicians are bought and sold. They know that the people who supposedly represent us don't give a damn about Americans. Let alone give a damn about their healthcare, unless they have some "random impulse."



  1. I think if this was a straight-ahead single-payer plan, that eveyone got coverage no matter what, it would indeed be popular. Or Medicaid or Medicare to whom ever wanted it, that, too, would be popular. But this is means-testing, get insurance against your will, so there's objections, and in some ways good ones. People who don't have insurace aren't simpley young people who "think they'll live forever" but folks who generally believe they can't afford it. So now they have to have it, but it's affordable as long as they pass the means-test. I know first hand about means-testing. After I lost my job I had to go to the ER because I woke up deaf (overabundance of ear wax as it turned out) While there, I got a routine blood pressure test, and was told by the nurse that it was so high I could have a stroke or heart attack any second! That prove to be a bit of an exaggeration, but I did have to go through a public-funded health system to get all that checked out. In order to prove I indeed qualified for a hardship discount, I needed 6 months of paychecks or unemployment checks plus had to itemize my expenses, etc. I manage to do all that, but what about your typical homeless person? I'm sure they don't have the required paperwork.

    So why didn't they just pass a simpler, easier single-payer plan? Because it would have been unpopular BEFORE it passed, due to that bugaboo word "socialism"

    Sorry if all this sounds a bit incoherent, but I'm going to lose the computer the compute pretty soon, and so am writing fast.

  2. It sounds pretty damn coherent. Every time you deal with our fractured healthcare system it's so complicated it's hard to make sense. Meanwhile, people from our own country go to Brussels or India for better, cheaper, operations, you, know, places with "socialized" medicine. Socialism may be a dirty word here, but the Health Insurance Industry is worse. No way do they want a single payer system.
    I just talked to a good friend who signed up with Obamacare and is very happy. It's a lot less than he was paying..
    Your point about the homeless is good along with people who have no access to the internet. The ACA is a bit of a mess, but it may well be good for a lot of people. I would like to think so. Time will tell.

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