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Tags Affordable Care Act , health care issues , Obamacare issues

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Old 11th May 2015, 08:15 PM   #1
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Obamacare 5 years later. Crow, anyone?

5 years later, ‘Obamacare’ critics can’t believe their lying eyes

Quote:
If you’d told me five years ago that on March 23, 2015, the Affordable Care Act would exceed expectations on every possible metric, including reducing the nation’s uninsured rate by a third, I’d say “Obamacare” would look like a great success. And fortunately for the country, that’s exactly what’s happened.

Anniversaries are a good time to pause, reflect, and take stock, and when it comes to health care reform, objective observers are going to find it easy on the ACA’s fifth anniversary to appreciate the law’s triumphs. But it’s also a good time to take a moment to acknowledge those who told Americans exactly what to expect from the Affordable Care Act – and who got the story backwards.
10 failed predictions to enjoy.

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Old 11th May 2015, 08:20 PM   #2
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What can we say? It works for some people; for others it sucks. People like me have access to healthcare coverage and the subsidies helped. For people like my mother who had pretty top notch coverage before, she's seen a reduction in coverage and higher deductibles for the same premiums she paid before - ergo less bang for her buck. The criticisms were full of hyperbole, then again so was the advertisement that it was the best invention since buttered toast. Ignoring politics the mileage is going to vary based on your starting point, as my experience probably exemplifies.
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Old 11th May 2015, 09:23 PM   #3
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It didn't affect my HMO (Tricare) at all as far as I can tell; listened to lots of bitching from others though.

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Old 11th May 2015, 09:43 PM   #4
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The conservatives won't admit that the ACA is a large step forward from what we had before. They still claim it kills jobs despite the fact that it doesn't.
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Old 11th May 2015, 10:44 PM   #5
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It only reduced the number of uninsured by a third? I thought it was supposed to make sure that everybody got insurance.
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Old 12th May 2015, 03:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Grizzly Bear View Post
What can we say? It works for some people; for others it sucks. People like me have access to healthcare coverage and the subsidies helped. For people like my mother who had pretty top notch coverage before, she's seen a reduction in coverage and higher deductibles for the same premiums she paid before - ergo less bang for her buck. The criticisms were full of hyperbole, then again so was the advertisement that it was the best invention since buttered toast. Ignoring politics the mileage is going to vary based on your starting point, as my experience probably exemplifies.
Yea but double digit inflation in premiums has been standard for the past several decades. So why blame Obamacare for that?
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Old 12th May 2015, 03:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
It only reduced the number of uninsured by a third? I thought it was supposed to make sure that everybody got insurance.
Well a lot of states refused the Medicaid expansions because know that letting the poor get health care will totally kill their motivation to work. So you kill some of them as an object lesson by letting them die of treatable causes and then you motivate the rest.
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Old 12th May 2015, 04:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Well a lot of states refused the Medicaid expansions because know that letting the poor get health care will totally kill their motivation to work. So you kill some of them as an object lesson by letting them die of treatable causes and then you motivate the rest.
In a way, the hilighted bit is true. I'm in a situation right now where I can't work more without losing my health insurance and then having to pay fines I can't afford because I lost my health insurance.

I make just under the cutoff for Medicaid. If I work extra hours or get a bonus, I lose my health insurance. So, I have absolutely no incentive to work extra when there's extra work available; in fact, I have a very strong disincentive. I'd be surprised if I were the only one in this situation.

I hate the mandatory insurance part of Obamacare. One thing to note: this is not healthcare, it's health insurance, which are totally different things. I've never wanted or needed health insurance. I would much rather put money aside than pay money to an insurance company just so they can tell me they won't pay for whatever treatment I need. I would be willing to pay taxes and be guaranteed healthcare or at least know that my money was going to help other people rather than just enriching an insurance company.

I was never a burden on the system before Obamacare; now I am. The way Medicaid works is that the state (AZ in this case) pays premiums to an insurance company. Those premiums get paid whether I go to the doctor or not. I seldom go to the doctor, so that money just goes to enrich the insurance company rather than helping someone who actually needs it. It's a complete waste of taxpayer money.

Obamacare has been nothing but a huge source of stress to me, which can't be good for my health. I'm terrified every time I get something from Medicaid because I'm afraid that there's been some bureacratic foul-up that means my insurance has been cancelled. And our legislature is voting this summer on whether to take away the Medicaid expansion. And, it's not impossible that I could get a bonus out of the blue and make too much money.
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Old 12th May 2015, 04:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Failed Prediction #1: Americans won’t enroll in the ACA

In 2009 and 2010, it was widely assumed among Republicans that Democrats had fundamentally miscalculated public demand and consumers would show no real interest in signing up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Indeed, among some on the right, this was a foregone conclusion – Americans wouldn’t trust “Obamacare.” We now know, of course, that the opposite is true and that millions of families have eagerly signed up for benefits through the ACA.
Every time I read something like this, it makes me furious. Yes, people have signed up for health insurance; if we don't, we have to pay huge fines. Saying that people have "eagerly signed up" when they've been forced to is like celebrating a dictator's landslide election victory.
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Old 12th May 2015, 04:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by CelticRose View Post
Every time I read something like this, it makes me furious. Yes, people have signed up for health insurance; if we don't, we have to pay huge fines. Saying that people have "eagerly signed up" when they've been forced to is like celebrating a dictator's landslide election victory.
It is probably far more referring to those who could not sign up, or had a crappy one.
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Old 12th May 2015, 04:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by CelticRose View Post
In a way, the hilighted bit is true. I'm in a situation right now where I can't work more without losing my health insurance and then having to pay fines I can't afford because I lost my health insurance.

I make just under the cutoff for Medicaid. If I work extra hours or get a bonus, I lose my health insurance. So, I have absolutely no incentive to work extra when there's extra work available; in fact, I have a very strong disincentive. I'd be surprised if I were the only one in this situation.

I hate the mandatory insurance part of Obamacare. One thing to note: this is not healthcare, it's health insurance, which are totally different things. I've never wanted or needed health insurance. I would much rather put money aside than pay money to an insurance company just so they can tell me they won't pay for whatever treatment I need. I would be willing to pay taxes and be guaranteed healthcare or at least know that my money was going to help other people rather than just enriching an insurance company.

I was never a burden on the system before Obamacare; now I am. The way Medicaid works is that the state (AZ in this case) pays premiums to an insurance company. Those premiums get paid whether I go to the doctor or not. I seldom go to the doctor, so that money just goes to enrich the insurance company rather than helping someone who actually needs it. It's a complete waste of taxpayer money.

Obamacare has been nothing but a huge source of stress to me, which can't be good for my health. I'm terrified every time I get something from Medicaid because I'm afraid that there's been some bureacratic foul-up that means my insurance has been cancelled. And our legislature is voting this summer on whether to take away the Medicaid expansion. And, it's not impossible that I could get a bonus out of the blue and make too much money.
Look on the bright side, they could never have accepted the medicaid expansion in the first place and you would never have had insurance you are worried about losing.

Why is the ACA a huge source of stress when it is quite possibly the reason you have insurance at all? It isn't perfect and could be better but it was the best that could get passed.
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Old 12th May 2015, 06:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Look on the bright side, they could never have accepted the medicaid expansion in the first place and you would never have had insurance you are worried about losing.

Why is the ACA a huge source of stress when it is quite possibly the reason you have insurance at all? It isn't perfect and could be better but it was the best that could get passed.
Some people aren't worried about losing, or even having insurance. Obviously, these people either have no idea what a simple thing like a sprained ankle or broken wrist or pneumonia could cost them out of pocket, or they think that they are invulnerable.
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Old 12th May 2015, 06:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by CelticRose View Post
Every time I read something like this, it makes me furious. Yes, people have signed up for health insurance; if we don't, we have to pay huge fines. Saying that people have "eagerly signed up" when they've been forced to is like celebrating a dictator's landslide election victory.
Every time I read that I get furious. People DID eagerly sign up for it It wasn't to avoid the fines though, it was because there was a LOT of efforts by a LOT of groups to help people navigate and enroll. Do you think most people had some kind of health insurance warning on their door saying "enroll or be charged"? HELL NO! Most people I've worked with KYnect were completely unaware of the ACA including their qualifications and options and the potential for fines (relative to their status).

Your characterization is not accurate and now both of us are mad now
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Old 12th May 2015, 07:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by CelticRose View Post
I hate the mandatory insurance part of Obamacare.
You will never get coverage for pre-existing conditions without some measure of mandatory insurance coverage. This could either be a tax or mandatory insurance, but at some point you need to pay for the free riders who only sign up for insurance when they are sick and need expensive care. The alternative is to let insurance companies weed these people out with pre-existing condition clauses, but this ends up creating an expensive administrative burden and making people fight for insurance coverage they are legitimately eligible for.
Originally Posted by CelticRose View Post
I've never wanted or needed health insurance. I would much rather put money aside than pay money to an insurance company just so they can tell me they won't pay for whatever treatment I need. I would be willing to pay taxes and be guaranteed healthcare or at least know that my money was going to help other people rather than just enriching an insurance company.

I was never a burden on the system before Obamacare; now I am. The way Medicaid works is that the state (AZ in this case) pays premiums to an insurance company. Those premiums get paid whether I go to the doctor or not. I seldom go to the doctor, so that money just goes to enrich the insurance company rather than helping someone who actually needs it. It's a complete waste of taxpayer money.
The whole point of insurance of any type is that you pay in all the time and only collect when something bad happens so what you describe is literally like saying you shouldn’t have home insurance because your house doesn’t burn down all the time.

An additional problem with health insurance is that peoples risk profile changes over time. If you forgo health insurance while you are young and healthy and then sign up for it when you are older and higher risk you are creating a burden on the system whether you realize it or not. Either you must pay more when you are younger (taxes, mandatory insurance, etc) or pay extremely high insurance rates when you are older. Just like the mandatory coverage vs pre-existing conditions it’s one or the other, either pay more when you are younger or pay more when you are older, but at some point the costs need to be paid for, you’ll never get something for nothing.
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Old 12th May 2015, 07:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by CelticRose View Post
I've never wanted or needed health insurance. I would much rather put money aside than pay money to an insurance company just so they can tell me they won't pay for whatever treatment I need.
Originally Posted by CelticRose View Post
I seldom go to the doctor
I'm going to guess that you are young. Have you ever looked at an itemized hospital bill? How quickly do you think you could "put aside" $50,000 or $80,000 for two or three day stay in the hospital? Health insurance isn't just about going to the doctor once in a blue moon or the occasional antibiotic. If you had a really serious illness, injury or disease, you might as well forget it. What if you're in a car crash and require multiple surgeries and months or years of therapy, lots of drugs and medical equipment? You can't pay for that yourself. Very few people can. The bitter irony of having state-of-the-art medical technology is that it comes at state-of-the-art prices.

Originally Posted by CelticRose View Post
I would be willing to pay taxes and be guaranteed healthcare or at least know that my money was going to help other people rather than just enriching an insurance company.
One of the criticisms of the ACA is that it would be socialized medicine, which it isn't.
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Old 12th May 2015, 07:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
I'm going to guess that you are young. Have you ever looked at an itemized hospital bill? How quickly do you think you could "put aside" $50,000 or $80,000 for two or three day stay in the hospital? Health insurance isn't just about going to the doctor once in a blue moon or the occasional antibiotic. If you had a really serious illness, injury or disease, you might as well forget it. What if you're in a car crash and require multiple surgeries and months or years of therapy, lots of drugs and medical equipment? You can't pay for that yourself. Very few people can. The bitter irony of having state-of-the-art medical technology is that it comes at state-of-the-art prices.
No you ignore it declare bankruptcy and hope that it doesn't require you to take any kind of long term medication that you could never afford with out it or die. So you just have to worry about financial collapse and unnecessary death, but no regular bills.
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Old 12th May 2015, 07:41 AM   #17
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At the onset of the ACA the CBO predicted that the cost burden would be heavily front loaded. The CBO predicted that costs would begin a sharp decline which would be significant by year 10 due to a less emphasis on catastrophic health care.

America's previous Universal Health Care plan, the emergency room, placed an unfair cost burden on hospitals. Something had to be done, and the growing pains experienced were unavoidable.

We will see now if the CBO was accurate in it's assumption that catastrophic medical care gate-wayed through hospital emergency rooms will slowly give way to less costly care managed over time.

If so all will benefit.
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Old 12th May 2015, 07:43 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Yea but double digit inflation in premiums has been standard for the past several decades. So why blame Obamacare for that?
My insurance company sends a document that breaks down the "extra" cost. Something like 40% of the total cost of the policy is now due to "covering pre-existing conditions" (within what would have previously been an exclusionary period). That goes to show you how screwed people with pre-existing conditions were before Obamacare. Obviously, if everyone had been able and willing to maintain insurance before, that cost would already have been rolled in. I suppose there is still some overshoot there due to increasing sign-ups, but the steady-state cost compared to the old system must still be quite high.
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Old 12th May 2015, 07:49 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Modified View Post
My insurance company sends a document that breaks down the "extra" cost. Something like 40% of the total cost of the policy is now due to "covering pre-existing conditions" (within what would have previously been an exclusionary period). That goes to show you how screwed people with pre-existing conditions were before Obamacare. Obviously, if everyone had been able and willing to maintain insurance before, that cost would already have been rolled in. I suppose there is still some overshoot there due to increasing sign-ups, but the steady-state cost compared to the old system must still be quite high.
People who can't afford tens of thousands of dollars a month in expenses shouldn't have chosen to get born with luxury diseases like Hemophilia. Really a .01%er disease like that is well outside the means of most people, as it costs $60,000 to 1 million a year.

Fortunately in the past as soon as these people lost coverage they would never get it covered again because it became a preexisting condition. Served to winnow the herd nicely really.
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Old 12th May 2015, 07:50 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
The whole point of insurance of any type is that you pay in all the time and only collect when something bad happens so what you describe is literally like saying you shouldn’t have home insurance because your house doesn’t burn down all the time. .
By definition, more people will pay more in insurance premiums than they get back. What you are paying for is the insurance that you will be covered in the event you need it.

That insurance has value to all of us. I pay premiums each year for personal liability, in the event that I have a damage suit against me. I don't plan on having a damage suit against me, but I pay for insurance that I would be covered if it were to happen.
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Old 12th May 2015, 07:59 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
One of the criticisms of the ACA is that it would be socialized medicine, which it isn't.
Another criticism of the ACA is that it should be socialized medicine, which it isn't.
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Old 12th May 2015, 07:59 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Well a lot of states refused the Medicaid expansions because know that letting the poor get health care will totally kill their motivation to work. So you kill some of them as an object lesson by letting them die of treatable causes and then you motivate the rest.
Wait! The lack of ACA leads to FEMA death camps?
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:08 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
Wait! The lack of ACA leads to FEMA death camps?
No, you are just left to die at home. That was the traditional way Americans dealt with poor people with chronic conditions that needed constant medical care.
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:12 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Another criticism of the ACA is that it should be socialized medicine, which it isn't.
It is at least partially. The expanded Medicaid and subsidized insurance for those who can afford to pay some are socialized policies.

It fails to be a fully socialized system but it was mainly focused on fixing the most egregious moral failings of the existing system.

Fixing the cost of health care is not politically palatable anytime soon. It would hit to many groups with good lobbyists to make it politically feasible to do anything about costs.
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:19 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Fixing the cost of health care is not politically palatable anytime soon. It would hit to many groups with good lobbyists to make it politically feasible to do anything about costs.
There is something so egregiously wrong with that statement and, yet, it is so completely true at the same time.
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:19 AM   #26
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It doesn't effect me (yet) but a good friend of mine who signed up has a very, very common Sicilian name (to the point he has two cousins with the same name) that has found out the hardway that there a bunch of deadbeat dad's and tax cheats that share the same name, and the system seems to default to blaming him for their bad debts or tax liabilities - it's been a nightmare for him.
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:22 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
No, you are just left to die at home. That was the traditional way Americans dealt with poor people with chronic conditions that needed constant medical care.
At home, yes, but when we had extended families there was a safety net for the ill, the elderly, and the lame.
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:23 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
There is something so egregiously wrong with that statement and, yet, it is so completely true at the same time.
Yea you also understand the problems of fixing the health care system. Getting it anywhere close to in line with any other industrial nation would mean redirecting at least 4-5% of out GPD. That is going to hurt the bottom lines of a lot of people with political power and likely cost a lot of jobs. Those make it politically impossible. Maybe if we had a serious enough crisis, though I am not sure what that would be.
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:26 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
At home, yes, but when we had extended families there was a safety net for the ill, the elderly, and the lame.
The thing is that people who couldn't afford insurance couldn't afford medical bills either. So that isn't much of a safety net.
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:28 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by CelticRose View Post
I was never a burden on the system before Obamacare; now I am. The way Medicaid works is that the state (AZ in this case) pays premiums to an insurance company. Those premiums get paid whether I go to the doctor or not. I seldom go to the doctor, so that money just goes to enrich the insurance company rather than helping someone who actually needs it. It's a complete waste of taxpayer money.
The states set the value of Medicaid premiums (called capitation payments. State medicaid receives all the records. For their enrollees from the health plans. Suppose it was 5 billion dollars of medical services. They would factor in inflation, population, etc and pay something like 5.3 billion the following year it isn't wasted because in aggregate it should be close to the cost of health care provided
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:41 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
There is something so egregiously wrong with that statement and, yet, it is so completely true at the same time.
Heh I think a lot of people aren't as cognizant of the state's political issues with the political issues of healthcare (predating ACA before my lifetime at least).

A good example, and actually one of the weirdest ones, is BCBS of Alabama and HealthSouth during Scrushy's illegal bookcooking. BCBS has always had...political discourse...with Alabama lawmakers because BCBS is a massive majority health insurance provider and though they claim it keeps the premiums low, the truth is far stranger and seditious. It's a long derail to discuss but if you want to have some reading material to google, just do BCBS+HealthSouth+Scrushy and see how far that rabbit hole goes.

Hint: you'll become a very disaffected individual for all things that start with the word "health" afterwards.
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:59 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Modified View Post
My insurance company sends a document that breaks down the "extra" cost. Something like 40% of the total cost of the policy is now due to "covering pre-existing conditions" (within what would have previously been an exclusionary period).
If they said that I believe they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. That percentage seems way to high. Although I am having trouble finding data to back up either my belief or their statement.
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Old 12th May 2015, 09:01 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by eeyore1954 View Post
If they said that I believe they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. That percentage seems way to high. Although I am having trouble finding data to back up either my belief or their statement.

Sounds about right given the massive* increase in risk that comes with insuring a pre-existing condition.


(*No, bigger than that)
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Old 12th May 2015, 09:11 AM   #34
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My wife, who has recurrent kidney stones, could not get health insurance until the ACA was passed. This is a hard enough problem with health insurance; without it, it is horrible.

If you have a problem with ACA, I would invite you to watch your loved one in unthinkable pain.

I take it very personally when right-wing douche bags brag about wanting to get rid of the ACA.
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Old 12th May 2015, 09:52 AM   #35
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My rates are still triple what they were pre-Obamacare, and I still lost my dental. So... yea.
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Old 12th May 2015, 10:01 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
My rates are still triple what they were pre-Obamacare, and I still lost my dental. So... yea.

Were you underpaying before?

Are you now no longer subject to exlusions you were before?

Are your limits higher? Do you now have less financial responsibility in the contract?

Do you think the system's working now?
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Old 12th May 2015, 10:09 AM   #37
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For people who are annoyed at the mandatory insurance, I am annoyed at the bad debt they leave behind (when they lose the gamble and need medical care they cannot afford) that is then absorbed into my medical bills. It's either you or someone else that ends up paying for your medical expenses and I'd prefer everyone pays their own share.
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Old 12th May 2015, 10:14 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Were you underpaying before?
Nope. I was(still am?) young and healthy and I was paying a reasonable rate for someone who was very low risk to serious issues.

Quote:
Are you now no longer subject to exlusions you were before?
Nope. But now I have to get dental separately. Weee.

Quote:
Are your limits higher? Do you now have less financial responsibility in the contract?
My maximum yearly out-of-pocket is about $1,500 lower. My deductible is the same. My monthly payments are about 1,500 per year more expensive. It'd be a wash if I was hitting my yearly max each year. But I'm not. I use the services in my insurance once a year.

Quote:
Do you think the system's working now?
I think it's broken in a different way. As a Gen Y'er, I'm exceptionally annoyed that the older generations are expecting my generation to pay for their problems and mistakes (once again) instead of creating reasonable systems decades ago. We know who is responsible for this crap. And when it comes time to start cashing in the SS and Medicare IOUs previous generations created for their children to pay, they might find we're not very sympathetic.
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Old 12th May 2015, 10:21 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
I think it's broken in a different way. As a Gen Y'er, I'm exceptionally annoyed that the older generations are expecting my generation to pay for their problems and mistakes (once again) instead of creating reasonable systems decades ago. We know who is responsible for this crap. And when it comes time to start cashing in the SS and Medicare IOUs previous generations created for their children to pay, they might find we're not very sympathetic.
I love whiny temper tantrums from self centered greedy kids.

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Old 12th May 2015, 10:23 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
The thing is that people who couldn't afford insurance couldn't afford medical bills either. So that isn't much of a safety net.
Why did you quote me?
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