How a Wildly Misleading Obamacare Horror Story is Born

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Patrick Lamanske of Champaign, Ill., works with Amanda Ziemnisky, right, of the Champaign Urbana Public Health District office in Champaign to try to sign his wife, Ping Lamanske, left, up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/David Mercer)

Far too many breathless news stories about insurance plans being “canceled” or people facing “sticker shock” fail to convey even the most basic context: this is almost exclusively a phenomenon of the individual insurance market, which covers between 5 to 6 percent of the population.

Some of those people – mostly younger, healthier people who, because they’re in the top third of the income distribution aren’t eligible for subsidies – will have to pay higher premiums for more comprehensive coverage, even if they don’t want to. This can cause real economic hardship, and that’s a legitimate issue.

But it’s still an issue that will affect only a small slice of the population. Jonathan Gruber, a health care expert at MIT, estimates that around half of those six percent won’t experience any real change. “They have to buy new plans, but they will be pretty similar to what they had before,” he told Ryan Lizza. “It will essentially be relabeling.”

Gruber adds that most of those plans being canceled run afoul of a provision of the law banning any policy that requires people to pay more than $6,000 per year in health care expenses – plans that may lead to medical bankruptcies, the number one type of bankruptcy in the US.

That leaves about three percent of Americans who may face that tough situation where they have to pay more for coverage they may not want.

That’s not the impression you’d get from most media sources, and certainly not from the law’s ideological foes. Avik Roy, for example – a conservative columnist for Forbes who has not exactly distinguished himself for his honesty in the debates over Obamacare – has a piece today that’s remarkable both for its mendacity and its alarmism.

Roy’s headline is, “Obama Officials in 2010: 93 Million Americans Will be Unable to Keep Their Health Plans Under Obamacare.” And his claim rests on a very simple bait-and-switch…

“The [administration's] mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34,552 of the Register. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and get canceled.

Note that “…and get canceled” are Roy’s words, not those of the Obama administration in 2010. And those words are completely misleading – falsely suggesting that tens of millions of people will feel a real impact like that three percent discussed above.

That an insurance plan is “grandfathered” only means that it has been in existence, with minimal changes in benefits or cost-sharing, since before the law was enacted. Roy would have his readers believe that all these plans will be “canceled,” but most group plans lose their grandfathered status by coming into compliance or through other changes that are routine in our insurance system and always have been. All grandfathered plans will lose their status over time, meaning for the most part that, as Gruber put it, they’ll be ‘relabelled.’ Nobody will notice these “cancellations.”

In fact, large-employer plans don’t even have to conform to those coverage requirements (they do have to follow certain other rules). And the share of workers in grandfathered plans has been shrinking for several years – from 56 percent in 2011 to 36 percent this year – yet we only started hearing about this as an issue in the past few weeks.

In the small-group market, some plans may need to add a missing benefit – maybe pediatric dental and vision care, for example – and premiums will rise accordingly, but that’s a far cry from Roy’s spin.

The reality, according to a 2012 study by the Urban Institute, is that “95 percent of those with some type of insurance coverage (employer, nongroup, public) without reform will have the same type of coverage under the ACA .” Maybe a different plan name, but the same type of coverage.

Yet one can be certain that Roy’s claim that 93 million Americans will be harmed when their insurance policies are “canceled,” while misleading on its face, will be ricocheting around the conservative media, taken as prime evidence that Obamacare is ruining millions of lives when, as Jonathan Gruber puts it, 97 percent of Americans are either untouched by the law or are clearly winners.

See Jonathan Cohn’s “Obamacare Policy Cancellations: Why the Non-Group Market Needed Fixing,” and Ryan Lizza’s “Obamacare’s Three Percent.” Also check out my earlier piece, “Rash of Lazy, Sensational Reporting is Freaking People Out About Obamacare,” and “Another Obamacare Horror Story Debunked,” by Michael Hiltzick in the LA Times.

Joshua Holland is a senior digital producer for BillMoyers.com. He’s the author of The Fifteen Biggest Lies About the Economy (and Everything Else the Right Doesn’t Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America) (Wiley: 2010), and host of Politics and Reality Radio. Follow him on Twitter or drop him an email at hollandj [at] moyersmedia [dot] com.
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  • Jonathan Yaeger

    To claim that “97 percent of Americans are either untouched by the law or are clearly winners” is patently misleading when the roll-out has barely started. Wait for the real data to come in, an then let’s talk. The amount of mendacity – especially from “official” government sources –– is disgusting,

  • jd

    If you happen to be one of those 5-6%, the Affordable (ha ha) Care Act is a real injustice. Why should I—someone who just barely makes too much to qualify for subsidies—have to bear the financial burden? Seems to me the wealthy, who can afford it, should bear this cost. But, we must remember, the ACA is just a giveaway to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries anyway; they did help craft the Act after all. A single-payer system is the only real solution. However, with the current right-wing extremism in the House, this is not gonna happen anytime soon.

  • Jonathan Yaeger

    The ACA was oversold, using false or misleading promises. Deal with it.

  • Tim Burrows

    While we are on the subject of legit issues, how about addressing the fact that if you just don’t want the darned insurance you shouldn’t be made or forced to have it, period!

  • Gc

    This group/article is funded by a large INSURANCE COMPANY. It should be stated upfront, not buried below. The reason people are upset is because they were told by the President that they would be able to keep their same plan. He k
    new that wasn’t true. True, many are minor adjustments but he should not have mislead citizens.

  • Anonymous

    then when YOU do have the heart attack, broken leg, involvement in a bad car accident…. the hospital can just say… “We need to close the door and not provide any attention to this guy and just let him fend for himself — he doesn’t have ANY insurance and can’t pay for very expensive hospital bill up front” You are a moron and need to go live in the woods.

  • Richard

    “Wait for the real data to come in, an then let’s talk.”
    This is exactly what I’ve been telling my right-wing friends who’ve been lamenting what an unrivaled disaster Obamacare is. Really? We’re one-month into a six-month enrollment process, and two months until any new enrollees can start to see what healthcare under this new system will be like. Calling it a disaster now without the “real data” just reveals bias.

  • Joe Baust

    Joshua…why can we not have reporting that clearly tells the truth without a slant? Thank you for sharing this information. The unfortunate thing is few people will see this…and instead they will listen to slanted opinion that condemns the plan – all of it, because they want to show how right they are. As I said to a friend who was a former anchor with CBS, I wonder what Ed Murrow would say, if he could about reporting the facts as they are today?

  • JB

    People need to stop thinking about Me, Me, Me! Turn the M up side down and you get WE! The thing people don’t think about is, what is it going to cost me if I get sick. If everyone has health care coverage, the cost of health care goes down. Even if your monthly cost goes up some what, if everyone is paying their bills, the cost of health care will go down. So in the long run it is a “win” situation for us all. Call it socialism or what ever you want, when you spread the cost around, everyone pays less. Am I a “Genius!” Am I the only one who has figured this out? Hmmmm. I hope not!
    When you turn on your faucet at your kitchen sink and water comes out do you hear anyone yelling “Socialism!” What about when you turn on a light? Do you have your own power plant in your back yard? What about the sewage treatment plant? Do you have one in your basement? Did you build the road you used to go to your job this morning? Is that “Socialism?” Maybe? Then why do people have a big problem with taking care of the one thing that should be the most important thing of all! Making sure “WE” wake up in the morning!

  • Jonathan Yaeger

    By any honest assessment, the roll-out is indeed a disaster. I’m saying let’s wait to see how the “product” fares as large numbers sign up. When they can.

  • Suzanne

    No one mentions the state exchanges. They are quite competitive in price. The real losers in this whole system is the states that refused to sign on and expand Medicaid. They are the same states that claim they have voter fraud and food stamp fraud. They also have “truth fraud.”

  • Kristi

    Those whose only choice has been an individual policy are not comforted by the news that they are in a minority. (“Psst — all you comfortably employer group-insured readers, don’t worry about a piddling few other people who aren’t. There are hardly any of them. So they don’t matter! La, la, la!”) Telling a minority their real concerns don’t matter because they are so few — is that really the message you want to convey? For the record, this 3% individual’s crummy high-deductible individual plan is the only one I can “afford” as a self-employed individual, and the premium has tripled in the last eight years. The exchange plans with the essential benefits cost over 50% more, BUT as long as I don’t make too much (single payer universal health care without income considerations, anyone?) my premiums are capped at 9.5%. At this point, the net result is I’ll pay about the same for better coverage. THAT is the sole reason I’m shopping the exchange: the premium cap. Oh, and my grandfathered plan is probably doomed, anyway.

  • Suillus

    Should that apply to vehicle insurance as well? Should a doctor or hospital be able to refuse care to someone without health insurance?

  • Sue Gee

    Having recently retired from working in the insurance industry, I have seen insurance products come and go. Carriers change their plan structures and then do not offer a certain policy anymore. Generally that means that the customer goes with a different product or switches to a different carrier. My own individual policy will not be offered in 2014 (not sure if it is due to ACA requirements or whether it just wasn’t working well for the carrier or the customers). This means I either go with another plan they are offering or find something else. Just filled out my application for Cover Oregon and will mail it in today to see if I am eligible for any tax credits and then I will pick a plan that covers my providers. People are blaming the ACA for thing that have happened all along in the insurance industry. Granted there are probably more insurance products that are making changes in order to be in compliance with ACA.

  • Anonymous

    And the “lamestream” media, i.e., CNN, will pick it up too because they, in their hunger for ratings, seem to have been caught up in this tedious hysteria over every little ACA startup glitch.

  • Anonymous

    Are you willing to sign a document that if you get hit by a car or have a heart attack, you do not want to be taken to an emergency room, since you have no insurance to pay for it? I didn’t think so.

  • insured driver

    Yay, and if you don’t want car insurance you shouldn’t have to have it…oh wait, unless you hit my car.

  • DesertSun59

    The major news outlets are owned and operated by those who have voted Republican either ALL of their lives or since they became the owners and operators of said media outlets. No one can expect a Republican-led private company to discuss this issue in any responsible way.

  • krowbro

    Are aware that the overwhelming majority – something like 90-95% – of those who do the editing and “reporting” of the news vote Democrat? Give me a break, the only ones who could possibly believe the major news outlets lean right are those who lean so far left that anything to the right of Mao seems conservative. Clearly you are incapable of critical, independent thought.

  • krowbro

    The majority of what happens in the insurance industry is the result of government regulations. The ACA is simply government regulations on steroids.

  • Slowstep

    Here’s the thing, being forced to pay insurance companies feels wrong. But I do appreciate that the the insurance companies will be forced to use 80% of their premiums on healthcare. Its a slow step in the right direction. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-10/the-reason-health-care-is-so-expensive-insurance-companies

  • Guest

    SO not true. Most of what happens in the insurance industry is about corporate greed.

  • Joan

    There are several falacies in this story, I am a small (very small) business owner whose policy has been canceled and the cheapest policy I can replace it with is a 400 percent, yes 400 percent, increase. The new policy offers LESS coverage than my previous one, which I have had for many years. There is enough reaction in my state by people in my situtation to indicate far more than 5-6 percent are affected. And, I am 61 years old – not young as indicated in the article – and my policy has an out of pocket of $6350 – above the $6,000 noted in the article. A little more research needed, perhaps? This increase is devasting, as I’m sure it is to the millions, yes millions, of self-employed people across the nation. Your kneejerk reaction and denial of facts does not help this debate or help find a solution. I am a progressive Democrat and have supported the ACA. I expected to bear an increase in interest of the public good – but that should have been capped at say, 20 or 30 percent – not 400. That is unregulated extortion by the insurance companies allowed at the federal and state levels. It’s disgraceful, and it’s going to create a new class of uninsured.

  • train m.

    I am one of the 3%. I eat organic, exercise 4 days a week…have not needed a doctor for anything other than an actual acl tear and my chin stitched…in the last 30 years…have not been to a doctor period in 6 years..there goes a major chunk of my expendable income on a monthly basis to my CSA…local coffee shop ..ace hardware ( locally owned), etc…I’ m a liberal, believe in nationalized health care. For my own benefit I wish I could pay for my catastrophic plan, $100 a month and pay cash for a visit for an antibiotic or whatever. Now I may not be able to afford organic produce etc…which is real health CARE! I feel I am being thrown under the bus for my particular income level and healthful practices as a bone to the insurance companies…I for one will pay the fine and show up at the emergency room..

  • krowbro

    Every one of those items you enumerated – i.e., water, sewage treatment, roads – are local or state responsibilities, not federal. Clearly, there are things that are much more efficiently and economically accomplished as a collective, whether that be through government or private contracts, however; the individual’s influence over the actions of the collective is inversely proportional to the size of the collective and the inability to effectively communicate with those who act on behalf of the collective. The federal government – aside from the fact that the constitution nowhere grants authority to Congress to administer and subsidize health insurance – is far too removed from the individual to effectively serve his needs. Being so far removed from the individual renders him powerless over something – i.e., health care – that profoundly affects the individuals life. In other words, the federal government has no business sticking its nose into the health insurance marketplace.

  • krowbro

    You are assuming that just because one does not have insurance, one is not going to be able to pay for their care. Regardless of whether we force everyone to have insurance or not, you are going to pay for those who cannot afford to pay, that is an undeniable fact.

  • krowbro

    No, because that person may very well be able to pay for their care. Not having insurance doesn’t automatically preclude one from paying for health care.

  • krowbro

    Even if you have insurance, the provider is not paid up front.

  • Txwater

    Did you really just compare automobile liability insurance, with personal health-care insurance? Forcing drivers to carry liability insurance to indemnify others in case the driver harms them or their property while driving (a privilege that requires a license, unless you are an illegal immigrant of course) makes perfect sense; the ACA is more like full collision coverage – it takes care of the insured, not others the insured may harm.

  • DesertSun59

    Your beef is with the health care insurance industry, which regularly kicks people off their roles and who regularly change their insurance line up.

  • Andrew Campbell

    Too bad, I hope you don’t have to file for bankruptcy. Living healthy is great and I applaud you but that doesn’t mean you won’t be involved in an accident or an assault of some kind where the person is not collectible.

  • Andrew Campbell

    Wait a second, have you actually been on the exchanges looking at the plans. I would find it very hard to believe that your plan is better than the gold or platinum. Maybe you live in a small state where competition is low but I find it hard to believe that you have looked at all the plans and pricing. I hope you don’t think the insurance upsell that your company offered is competitive.

  • Jeanette Bill-Cole

    You might want to rethink that plan. My son had to use an emergency room for an inflamed tonsil in January. It cost $7000 for 5 hours in the ER with a few minor procedures done, plus observation. I was able through my insurance company, to reduce that cost to $1000 only because the medical personnel were on record as labeling my son’s condition as life-threatening.

    It may be true that you are healthy now, but that can change at any time. All of us are healthy until all of a sudden we’re not.

    A separate issue with using the ER as your medical plan is that there is not going to be forgiveness of debts owed anymore. That was part of the AHCA bill. Previously medicaid was paying when the uninsured did not pay their bills. That is no longer an option.

  • Tony Lorentzen

    Corporate greed is an interesting phrase. Corporations aren’t people and don’t exist as people do. If anything they are “greed” itself. They exist only for themselves and their only end is increase. The problem with the insurance industry is psychopaths as CEOs employing sociopaths as sales people who strive to sell the worst product for the most money. The public derives no benefit by involving insurance companies in health care, the sole reason they are included in the ACA is to protect the stock holders.

  • Mathhead

    One month in, I hope this program works out like all liberals are hoping because there is no turning back on this thing. If it works out just like the President says then ok but if not and premiums do go up substantially and there are not enough medical professionals to take care of things, what is the backup plan? Oh, that like this entire program has not been thought through yet, hmmmmm!

  • grumpy gramps

    So if it’s local it’s not socialism? Let’s see, Interstates are paid for with federal money, the post office is federal, most large airports are subsidized by fed money, etc.

  • grumpy gramps

    Yes, but I won’t have to pay for all the people using the ER as their personal doctor. Yes, I am paying for those who don’t have insurance by higher ER fees, etc.

  • grumpy gramps

    So a person without insurance should have to pay in advance?

  • Jeanette Bill-Cole

    I agree you shouldn’t have to pay. BUT… if you have the $$ in terms of wages/savings, and you just don’t want to pay, you should be held accountable.
    The mandate was forced by the insurance companies in order for them to agree to insure those with pre-existing conditions.

  • Jeanette Bill-Cole

    I don’t mind paying for the poor soul who can’t afford it. I do have trouble paying for the person who has the money and just doesn’t care to be responsible. Then someone like me, who HAS been paying for individual health insurance, at great expense and sacrifice, gets to pay for the clod who probably has all sort of other consumer conveniences, but just can’t get around to paying for health insurance :(

  • Jeanette Bill-Cole

    No one should be denied health care. That is cruel. But they should be forced to pay the bills if their income is above a certain level.

  • Mark Cohen

    You are no liberal. It seems to be standard rightwing fare to make up anything when it comes to the ACA, including pretending to be “liberal” and posting this drivel on any board they can find. And, YOU are part of the problem that the ACA is attempting to address. It is your kind that feels invincible and doesn’t feel they should have to pony up for insurance because they would rather spend their money on lattes, etc. Then, when the unexpected happens and some terrible disease strikes, you run to the ER, file medical bankruptcy and leave the rest of us holding the bag while you continue noshing at Starbucks. Why should the rest of us have to pay if your health gamble doesn’t pay off, just so you can keep running around with tons of expendable income? I would never want the ER to turn people away due to lack of ability to pay (you know, real poor people), but I could TOTALLY get behind a law that allows them to run a credit check on people like you when you show up. That way, if they find someone like you that just wants to take the risk because they know they won’t end up paying for it anyways, they can demand payment up front for all services or show your scamming self to the door. Bet you, you and your ilk would be buying insurance then.

  • kwright

    3% is not a small group. It is about 10 million people.

  • Mark Cohen

    There are no fallacies in this story. It is simply reporting a FACT that MANY/MOST of the news stories that are being run covering reports very similar to yours turn out to be false. Once someone does some ACTUAL reporting, it turns out that most of the claims don’t bear up under scrutiny. I highly doubt you are a progressive Democrat. This board is getting filled up by posts by those claiming to be “liberal”, “progressive”, “democrat”, or “supporter of the ACA”, who then go on to make statements that undermine their claims. The story indicates that 3% may end up being hit with more significant increases. If you aren’t lying (as many/most of these posts are), then you apparently didn’t purchase a plan on the exchanges because as the article mentions, plans in compliance have a legally enforced limit on out of pocket.

  • Mark Cohen

    blah blah blah, more “evil media bias”…LOL!

  • Mark Cohen

    You are incorrect, yet again. Did you not just read that she worked in the industry? You are making unfounded accusations formed from nothing but your biased imaginings seeded from the talking points of the rightwing agenda.

  • JonThomas

    Wow… does train m. need to show you their “liberal card?”

    Dude, perhaps it would be good to take a step back!

    There are many, many people whose lives are going to be affected in unforeseen ways. The last thing people need is an uncompromising gatekeeper.

    You may be correct. Perhaps this person doesn’t fit your definition of a ‘liberal.’ Guess what? They don’t have to!

    I’m sure there are people falsely claiming political adherence, but in this medium every person deserves at least a small measure of the benefit of the doubt.

    It would even be helpful if rather than a direct attack, you would qualify your comments with some sort of… “I personally doubt your sincerity…” statement.

    In the meantime, please keep in mind that there are people whose political leanings may not ever match the classical definitions. Especially from one issue to the next could a person could be extremely conservative, then radically liberal.

    I HATE the ACA! I do not classify myself as either liberal or conservative. I would love to see a Single Payer or Universal System, but I am 100% against tying healthcare to mandated private insurance. A reasonable person would define my rational as completely liberal. In fact, it would go beyond liberal – straight to Socialized Medicine.

    However, and here’s the kicker… the ACA is not… I repeat – NOT – a liberal program by any stretch of definition, or of imagination!!!

    The ACA is Corporatism at it’s finest and purest! You have now become a slave to the Insurance Industry!

    I do not own a registered vehicle, so I am not required to carry any liability against automotive related actions.

    However, if I now try to escape from my insurance premium chains I shall be penalized by the Government. Sure, it’s a stretch to compare healthcare to slavery, but this is a form of serfdom!

    We are all chattel in Insurance Industry pens… all waiting to be milked each month!

    Private industry being protected by public force! Not a bad gig if you can get it… huh!

    There is no doubt that healthcare reform was necessary, and I would gladly accept society agreed upon, Government-run Healthcare. But I cannot ideologically support the ACA. Many of it’s goals and tenants are laudable, even necessary to correct the current problems in healthcare, but again, the ACA contains provisions that even the MOST LIBERAL person rejects!

  • krowbro

    This is the bottom line; the ACA is not constitutional. Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution enumerates the powers delegated to Congress. Provision and administration of health insurance is not among those enumerated.

  • krowbro

    It was a response to DesertSun59 who complained the major news outlets are incapable of responsible reporting because they are owned by individuals who voted Republican all of their lives. Follow the bouncing ball.

  • krowbro

    I may not have the numbers correct, but the overwhelming evidence is that the vast majority of journalists vote for the left leaning candidate a majority of the time. Check this out:
    http://www.mrc.org/media-bias-101/media-bias-101-what-journalists-really-think-and-what-public-thinks-about-them

  • factssuckwhenurwrong

    Well, the supreme court disagrees, and I’m guessing their legal credentials make you look like some guy talking out of his butt on facebook.

  • krowbro

    I question whether you read what Ms. Gee stated given that she said nothing that disputes my comment. No doubt, these things have happened throughout history. My point is that every time the government comes up with a new regulation, insurance companies must change those policies that are no longer in compliance. I don’t necessarily know for a fact that changes to the majority of insurance plans result from changes in government regulations, but common sense tells me that changes in regulations will certainly affect insurance plans. That does not come from any talking points, but from common sense. I am admittedly a conservative, but I don’t regurgitate talking points. I arrive at conclusions based upon factual data and application of critical thinking and common sense. It just so happens that many conservative talking points are developed the same way.

  • RCM

    I love the ACA….but what’s being described above is disproportionately seen in rural areas where if you don’t work for the school district or the government, you either don’t have insurance (yay…I can benefit from the ACA)….or you’ve been purchasing a high deductible/reasonable coverage plan because you are a responsible person (boo…the ACA sucks for me because now I have to pay more).

  • arosskopf

    So all three branches are wrong. It passed, it passed constitutionality in the court, and it was signed by the president. Your objection is more unconstitutional than the law.

  • arosskopf

    Unfortunately, this was the only deal dems were willing to get. Insurance lobbyists owned too many politicians for single payer to work. So instead of just leaving the crappy policies in place an attempt was made to improve them and care for the poor up front instead of in emergency rooms. I believe we will still get to single payer, but too many people are suffering to let it fester.

  • arosskopf

    When was the last regulation before the ACA, if I may ask?

  • arosskopf

    Clean Water Act, EPA. By the way, I don’t know how much you have tried to do locally, but here in Fla. the state and local legislatures seem just about as ossified as national, and often get less done.

  • Anonymous

    Any single person earning up to $45,960 per year will have a maximum monthly premium of $364. Monthly premium decreases as income decreases–People making $17,235 per year will have a maximum monthly premium of $57.

    The true name for this act is no Obamacare, but “The Affordable Care Act”. And it is affordable.

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/21/news/economy/obamacare-subsidies/

  • KMC528

    Not that anyone would listen to me, but I have suggested taking a page from California DMV’s book — anyone who wants to go without insurance need only file a Statement of Financial Responsibility, demonstrating that they have sufficient assets to pay the bills themselves.

  • Henry B Murphy Jr

    The ACA is a distraction, designed by insurance and pharmaceutical companies, from the business of making the US healthcare system half as good as most others in the industrial world. Bill has interviewed Margaret Flowers and Marcia Angel whose thoughts inform mine and for whom I have the greatest respect. Health care needs reform and the ACA is not the ticket.

  • Mark Cohen

    I agree with many of your assertions. Perhaps I could have qualified my denial of “train’s” liberal credentials. It was the assertion of liberal credentials followed by a completely shallow “I won’t be able to afford my lattes therefore I shall make everyone else pay my healthcare costs by running to the ER” attitude that set me off. That and the fact that every second post has been repeating the same theme made it clear that a lot of this is pure bunk.

  • Thales

    Yes, the employer mandate was waived for a year, so naturally the only people losing their insurance now are the ones in the individual market. Those horror stories will not emerge for another year. Yes, I know some employees are getting their hours cut down to 29/week, but that’s just the start.

    For my part, my $5K deductible plan was cancelled, and the closest replacement is a $6.5K plan with 300% higher premiums! With total cost so much higher than the expected value of the policy, only the innumerate could purchase such a product. No sale.

  • Mark Cohen

    You aren’t seriously going to quote a conservative-biased site as evidence of liberal media bias are you? If so, then I have a few billion liberal biased sites to quote that says you are wrong. Unbiased evidence or it didn’t happen…

  • PRKW

    Interstates are multi-state highways so they should be federally funded (state pays portion)

    Post Office sends mail to other states and countries, same.
    Airports serve multi-state destinations, same.

  • Mark Cohen

    Yeah, and if that had been a meme posted all over the internet by rabid liberals, then it would make sense for someone to call DesertSun on it as well. Your post on the other hand is lost in the mindless cacophany of conservative mantras such that it becomes “blah blah blah…follow that bouncing ball.

    The simple answer is that you are both wrong. The media is posting all of these false stories about people supposedly wronged by the ACA without checking the facts because we don’t have any REAL reporters anymore. They are all nothing more than soundbites with good looking hair. They are basically chasing the next little supposed issue to keep ratings up and move product.

  • Mark Cohen

    HAHA! “I arrive at conclusions based upon factual data and application of critical thinking and common sense. It just so happens that many conservative talking points are developed the same way.”

    Oh my! You win 100 internets. THAT is THE single funniest post I have read tonight. Thank you Mr. Conservative man that posts based on “common sense” but states things that are completely contradicted by ACTUAL facts! Nice….

  • Linder

    My husband’s company will no longer provide access to group coverage for us because he is 61 and does not average 30 hours of work per week. They typically do not have 30 hours available to part-timers. I have been looking on the exchange and speaking with many insurance reps. Our cost for a comparable plan will increase from $160. Per month to approximately $1,000. Per month. This is due to our pension and the state we live in. I worked for Mr. Obama during his campaign and I believed in the ACA. Yes, that is from $160. To. $1,000. Not happy!

  • JonThomas

    Yeah, I too could have been a little less strong in my rebuke.

    The amount of misunderstandings, obfuscations, and downright lies is indeed maddening.

    I guess, like most of us here, I think the worst of the blame belongs on the politicians, media outlets, and pundits who are spinning the issue to fit their own agendas. Healthcare is life and death, financial security vs. insolvency, pain vs. comfort…

    I can relate to your frustration. For people to abuse such an important, sensitive subject for their own self-serving political agenda is one of the lowest forms of immoral behavior I can think of.

  • Mark Cohen

    You are not quite correct krowbro. Do you research stuff before posting it on the web? Water and Sewage treatments are 100% Federally regulated. The Clean Water Act (AKA The Federal Water Pollution Control Act) and the Safe Drinking Water Act (AKA The Public Health Service Act) regulate water and sewer. All minimum standards are set by the Federal Government. These acts allow the States to take over primary enforcement power provided that they enact regulations that are no less stringent than that provided by the Fed and provided the State regulations and enforcement plans are approved by the Fed. However, the Fed maintains FINAL enforcement power. If the state does not police the water and sewer treatment sources, the Fed will notify them of any noncompliance noted by the Fed. If the state fails to take appropriate action, the Fed steps in and will assert primary responsibility. For roads, you are on slightly better ground depending on whether you are discussing local thoroughfares or highways. If highways, there are a host of Federal regulations that specify standards for highways (how they are to be constructed, maximum rise/fall rates, proper angles for turns, etc.) In addition, there are requirements in the National Environmental Policy Act that control what steps must be taken in order to build roads/highways (must do an analysis of environmental impact, put it out for public comment, work to reduce the impact on the environment, etc.) Thus, the Fed has “its nose” in all kinds of local business where there is a direct impact on health and safety. It is this grounding in protecting the health and safety of US citizens that would readily allow the US to go to government single payer healthcare, should Congress so desire. As to your comment regarding the constitutionality of the Federal government administering healthcare, the US Supreme Court recently decided this issues (at least with respect to the ACA) and have determined that you are wrong.

  • Mark Cohen

    Cool story bro. Which supreme court justice are you again? Don’t tell me! Lemme guess…Scalia?

    You do realize this isn’t up for discussion anymore right? The Supreme Court kind of already decided the ACA was, in fact, constitutional. Robertson didn’t like the commerce clause approach, so he grounded it in Congress’ taxing authority. But no matter how he got there, the end result is you are wrong.

  • Mark Cohen

    You are assuming that they will be able to pay. You do realize that the number one cause of bankruptcy in the US is due to medical bills that cannot be paid because of insufficient or no health insurance right? You are correct for once, that whether we force everyone to have health insurance we will all end up paying for those that can’t. So, doesn’t it freaking make sense to set up health insurance for everyone so that people can get their healthcare at reasonable costs instead of waiting until it is life threatening and going to the ER where the costs are the highest? Seems to me if we are all going to be paying for it, we should do it in the most cost effective manner, huh?

  • Anonymous

    Baby steps…

  • reasonable texan

    It isnt socialized medicine like the republicans told everyone, it is for profit! The difference is you can’t be sold a ‘bulls*it policy that you don’t find out how littles it covers till you get sick’ for $50 a month anymore, people think they had insurance, only because they hadn’t tried to use it. Now they are complaining because they will have to pay to get the real thing!

  • Kathy

    You believe your own bias…All major reporting network are Republican owned and controlled..There are only 6. They also give millions to the Republican party….you do not have to take my word for it look it up. 95% of Republicans won’t they are the ones who doth protest too loudly.
    As far a voting…there is no way to tell as voting is private unless you know something we all need to know.

  • Anonymous

    That’s the new policy offered by your current provider! Don’t take it, SHOP AROUND!!

  • Anonymous

    ACA regulations are forcing insurance companies to stop selling policies that were crap. People were deluding themselves that the BS coverage meant anything in the real world. This is a start in the right direction!

  • Anonymous

    Only about 5% of our population has any form of cancer. Should we blow them off too?

  • Kathy

    Getting sick of paying deadbeat boat buying, latte drinking, beer guzzeling, casino hoping, four wheeling, jet-skiing, snow skiing, I am not ill now dumb asses bills because something happen unexpected.. I was a county ER nurse for over 20 years and watched the Lexus, Chrysler 300, Corvette, Escalade group arrive and claim poverty and collection of that group slim… but I watched with my own eyes a patient bring a doctor a live chicken to try and pay his bill. So force you….yes

  • woodhorse

    You are totally forgetting about the self-employed people that don’t have “group” insurance and have always paid a premium to be insured. The cheapest policy I could find was $324 after Kaiser notified me that my plan was being cancelled. Now my $324 plan is being cancelled and I will be changed over to a $532/month plan with a higher deductible. I have been struggling to pay the $324 a month since my business basically folded with the economy 5 years ago. Things are starting to look up, but I have paid far more in health insurance premiums than I have received in wages. And that discrepancy is about to double. I have used up my savings paying my health care premiums but am about to run out of money. Now what?

  • Anonymous

    There is so much wrong with this article and things left out. As Sebelius said. Even a 5 dollar change in premium would make them lose their status. But Obamacare makes them change so they automatically lose their status. A plan can lose status and be non compliant for having too low of a deductible or not covering OB GYN for even single males.

    People are dumb enough to believe that you can add all of these coverages and remove caps and Obama is going to waive his magic wand and make it cheaper. If it was cheaper these crooks would be out parading examples. Instead they have delayed until lard minute to show costs. You still think this is going to come out in your favor?

  • Anonymous

    I am in this industry. Regulations create an estimate 10% overhead. 22,000 pages of Obamacare increases that. The insurances companies for example had to have their 2014 plans in months ago and now are being blamed for this rollout. It was obviously the govt contractors and CMMS which screwed this up to date. Who holds them accountable.

  • Linda J Glick

    Way to go, Mark Cohen! You are Spot ON!! And thank you for correcting “krowbro”!

  • LR

    Insurance may be regulated by Congress as “commerce among the several states,” which is an enumerated power. The constitutional issue before the Supreme Court was not whether the insurance industry could be regulated but whether individuals could be forced to buy insurance. The Court ruled that individuals could be required to do so as a type of specific tax . Taxation is also an enumerated power of Congress.

  • Anonymous

    6 thousand per year…. on top of $12,000 in regular premiums. doesn’t sound quite as good now, does it?

  • Robert Balogh-Robinson

    “At this point, the net result is I’ll pay about the same for better coverage. ” Wow are you getting screwed. Quick lets have another vote to repel the law, somebody is being forced to get better coverage for the same amount. You poor thing.

  • Mark Wallin

    If America can give the Pentagon a blank check then it can afford Health Care ,if America can afford to give tax brakes to the Rich and their Companies then they can help Americans get Health Care. If George Bush can afford to go to war with two countries then they can afford Health Care.
    Huge amounts of money are pouring out of the Treasury it’s a small fraction to go to Health Care. Don’t think ,Do.

  • Seth Christensen

    Three words. Health sharing ministries. Opt out of obamacare

  • Jonathan Yaeger

    Thanks, Mark, for helping me to understand that a person loses their political classification (e.g. liberal, progressive, etc.) for harboring an idea that is contrary to the “official” dogma. That also helps to explain why people on this blog who simply report facts that show they are in worse shape due to the ACA are met with negative votes. I mean, facts are bad if they don’t support the party line, nomesayin’?

  • Jonathan Yaeger

    How can anyone give this a negative vote? Doesn’t fit your view of how you want reality to be?

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry that this reality has finally hit. Now that the truth is apparent, maybe our country will be directed back, rather than to anticipate a handout. May a 3rd party erupt from all of this!

  • Jeremy Higgens

    Americans are dumb enough to pay more and get less for their healthcare than any other industrialized western nation. Your taxes pay the majority of drug research then the pharmaceutical companies charge you twice as much for the product, that you originally paid to develop.

    The rest of the developed world is either laughing at you or feel sorry for you because you know so little about the rest of the world you don’t know your being sold a bill of good by the Republicans and their masters.

  • JonThomas

    $1,000/mon.? That sounds A LOT higher than the average. You must have an extraordinary plan.

    The thing that stands out to me when reading your comment is that your change in circumstances has happened due to things completely unrelated to the ACA.

    If your husband was losing his employer coverage due to age and work hours, what were you going to do anyway? Your costs were either going to increase, or you would have been forced to get a plan that is substandard. So, I’m not really clear, how exactly does the ACA fit into this?

  • JonThomas

    Directed back? Back to what?

    Because of the abusive manner that politicians, corporations and business interests have operated, ‘handouts’ have become necessary.

    When low paying jobs are the norm, and interest groups have influenced politicians to pass legislation which allows profits and investment returns to be of higher priority than wages or regulation, then ‘handouts’ are the last resort for common people.

    A living wage would go a lot further than what you label as ‘handouts.’ and would increase the financial health of the entire nation, not just the top percent.

  • JonThomas

    That particular comment doesn’t ring as a true story from any ACA caused effects.

  • David

    The minimum wage in the UK is $10 an hour. In Sweden it is $20 an hour. In the US it is $7.25 and hour.

  • Mark Cohen

    Thanks, Jonathan, for completely missing the point. I didn’t “take away” anyone’s supposed political affiliation. I just reported an observation and my opinion. The observation is that a TON of folks are posting online, claiming liberal creds, then spouting off straight from conservative talking points. It is the new approach righties have apparently decided to take in their dogged opposition to all things ACA. An additional observation is that these “fake lib” posts all seem to be accounts where you cannot click their links to see their account. Based on this trend, on Joan’s statement that the report was fallacious (which it clearly isn’t), on Joan’s then reported insurance story which DOES NOT JIVE with the requirements of ACA, and on the fact that Joan’s account is also unclickable, I indicated that it was my opinion that she was in fact yet another rightie trying their best to oppose the ACA by any means (AKA lying). Does this mean I am correct? No. Does this mean I cannot express my opinion? Clearly not. Finally, you are being too generous when you claim these folks are reporting “facts”. For instance, in Joan’s case, she clearly indicates that she has an out of pocket on her new “supposedly ACA” insurance plan that exceeds the amount allowed by ACA. So, are we to assume this is a fact? Clearly not. As I posted in my original response to her, she is either lying or she was duped and bought a non-ACA insurance plan. It is these FALSE reports that receive the down votes and not any failure to toe some alleged party line. It is particularly ironic that she makes this false claim on an article discussing how many of these false claims that are reported by the media and then are later debunked are generated in the first place, nomesayin’?

  • Mark Cohen

    Awww Jonathan….what’s a matter? Upset the rightwing plan of spamming false ACA horror stories everywhere isn’t fooling anyone? So sad….nomesayin’?

  • David

    But at least it is a start. We have the HIGHEST cost for health care in the entire world here!! At LEAST DOUBLE any other civilized country. But most important now we cannot be dropped if we get sick! No where else does that happen. AND 2/3rds of bankruptcies in the US are from health care!! In Europe there NO bankruptcies from health care costs. You do not have to worry about losing everything in Europe if you get sick, Here you do! The problem is that we don’t have a Health Care System here – we have a Health Care BUSINESS!!!!

  • David

    3% is small whatever way you look at it. Congress approval rating is 5% – that is small too!

  • Johnny Langston

    It was pretty easy. I just clicked the down arrow and voila, down vote! :)

  • David

    You should be glad that you have not needed care. One day you will. People who eat right still get cancer. They can still get mugged, or shot, or hit by a car or any number of things. That is the whole point of insurance. Everybody pays in and you only get to use it if you need it. You hope that you never will. I have been driving for 55 years and paid my insurance premiums, willingly, for 55 years. I have never had an accident.
    We all need to pay for health insurance. Every other civilized country in the world has determined that it is the right thing to do – except the US. And we pay more than anyone else does for our care. For inferior care too! The WHO determined that health care in the US is 38th in the world! We pay more here because only some pay. The others get a “free” ride, in other words their care gets added onto those who do pay!!
    Using your idea of only people who want health insurance should pay, how would that work for car insurance if only people who wanted car insurance should pay it? Yep the ones who paid would get stuck and the ones who didn’t want to pay would get a “free” ride.

  • David

    Well said Mark,

  • aj14

    Hey, you know what Josh? the last thing the over 50 crowd needs as they get rejected by the job market, having been set adrift in the 08 fraud, is to be required to pay astronomical sums for insurance they would all love to have. or the struggling middle class. these %, this small slice, represent real people. the last in this economy you want to tie up even more of what was once disposable income.

  • David

    It sure is affordable. When I had my own business I was making around $40,000 a year and my Health Ins premium was $1,044 a month for my wife and I. And it wasn’t that good. So I would have been ecstatic with $364 X 2 + $728 a year!

  • David

    A $6350 a year premium is cheap. I would have been very happy with that when I had my own business. I cannot imagine how you could have had one for less. A quarter of that? That is $130 a month! There is no way.

  • Anonymous

    While I agree with David with the fact that people can’t be dropped for pre-existing, or extreme limitations on cheap plans, I agree with you that the ACA was not the best route, but given that the single payer option was taken completely off the table, this a baby step for the citizens. This was wholly an idea that was given input from all sides, including as you say somewhat, the pharmaceutical and insurance lobby to make sure they got their share of the profits still. Insurance companies DO NOT belong in the healthcare picture! You get insurance in case something happens when you travel out of the country. As painful as this step is for some, it is a necessary step, given what we are coming from.

  • gurlzone

    I’d love to see the Tea Party and the Republican Party form two disctinct parties, because both of them will lose big at election time.

  • gurlzone

    I checked your source (MRC) and found this quote on their website praising MRC:

    Rush Limbaugh
    “Liberals hate Brent Bozell. And in this business, that’s a badge of honor. He documents their excess, their idiocy, and their bias. Congratulations to MRC on their 25th Anniversary of vigilance and excellence in shining the light of truth on the liberal media.”

    Educated people know the importance of determining the credibility of an information source. A source that would highlight praise from Rush Limbaugh is not a source whose data and analyses I would trust.

  • Anonymous

    Corporate greed is reasonably constrained by law and societal ethics or so said ultimate mr. Capitalism Milton Friedman. Or more specifically that business is expected to maximize profits based on open and free competition without fraud or deception. They were to conform with laws.

    The fiction that capitalism should be unconstrained killing is a fiction and an ugly, destructive fiction at that

  • Anonymous

    Local government – state, county, township, city or village all.government. And, lots of federal $$$ to deal with city waste treatment, water treatment, interstate highways, flood control, irrigation water supplies, dams ( power & flood – irrigation water mgt), subsidies to agribusiness who pay local taxes, buy equipment, add employment. Right – local government does not depend on federal $$$.

  • Minkiemom

    Those who could not afford coverage before the ACA were also real people. And they also represented a higher percentage overall and the lower income brackets.

  • Minkiemom

    That is why the mandate is so important. The key to some of the absorbtion of those costs is that millions of people are being added to the pool and are now paying monthly for their insurance when they previously did not because they could not afford it. Why do you think the Republicans are encouraging people not to sign-up for Obamacare? Because they couldn’t defeat it procedurally so they are hoping that Americans will be stupid enough to go against their own interests and tank it for them by not signing up. They are relying on American stupidity. Personally, I hope they are wrong, once again and that the American people will finally recognize the importance of healthcare for all. But, then again, someone voted in all of these Tea Party members in the first place.

  • William Bennett McBride

    Very well said Mark.

  • wepollock

    Mr. Holland; The big lie is that not one iota of “healthcare has been created by the ACA.” The second big lie is that nothing has been done to address the structural issues which have been built into the system. Take two tiered pricing for instance; My insurance company paid out $3400 for my medical treatment this year against $14,500 of what was billed. If I showed up to doctors without insurance I would have been billed $14,500! There are many other structural issues that can be addressed to reform the system but there is no incentive to do so. As far as the ACA is concerned it is worthless as written; period.

  • Owen Johnson

    Does that $532 a month take into account the subsidies you should be eligible for if you’re making as little income as you suggest? Have you checked an exchange or just gotten information from Kaiser? I’m 63, semi-retired, and after counting the subsidies, my premium for a standard policy came out to less than $200 a month. And up until now since retiring from working for someone else, I haven’t bothered to look due to all my pre-existing conditions. But I shudder to think what the premiums would have been prior to the ACA.

  • Anonymous

    “Sir, you’re bleeding profusely and you’ll likely die in in 10 minutes. But first, please give us your name, social security number, date of birth and bank account number. As soon as the transfer goes through, we’ll get right back to saving your life. In the meantime, if you have a couple hundred in your wallet, we can do one, minor transfusion that should give you a few more minutes before you pass away. You never know how quickly those bank transfers will be!”

  • Homeseller

    As a Canadian citizen who has legally resided here in the US I can tell you how disappointed I am with the direction this country is taking. I moved here almost 20 years ago and was immediately impressed by my first pay check and the amount I was able to keep. Although my gross income was the same in Canada my tax obligation was much less here. I was able to save money for things that I wanted. I saved for a house, for a business, for an engagement ring. There is no way I would be in the same financial position today had I remained in Canada. There is a reason this country has been the leader of the world for so many years. It’s because there is reward for hard work and sacrifice. People want to be able to choose the healthcare they want. If you’re young and single you don’t need the same policy as someone who is newly married and wants kids. I’m afraid we are moving towards a system where the government will make decisions for it’s people. A new country where if you work harder than someone else or you are smarter or more skilled, you won’t see any benefit from it because you will have to pay for those who do not want to work hard. You will have to pay for people who make poor choices. I hope the citizens of this country will wake up and steer this ship back onto it’s original course. The founders of this nation framed a constitution that worked and made this country the envy of the world for over 200 years. Take it back!

  • Anonymous

    While I respect your personal experience and opinion, there is a reason that the vast majority of Canadians (and Europeans) are highly satisfied on a philosophical level with their health care system and would never want the U.S. model. You may have been lucky enough in these 20 years to never have a really serious illness or accident while you were paying for sub-par insurance, but I can assure you that a lot of people who have and do work really hard in the U.S. are not so fortunate. Your attitude does not weigh the quality-of-life value afforded by the sense of security that one has knowing that medical bankruptcy is not just an accident or a disease away. I live in Europe as a normal middle class person who is very willing to pay extra taxes with the knowledge that my family will never lack healthcare or a chance at a good college education due to finances. I see my fellow American friends and family struggle and stress all the time about their future ability to afford basic needs. They may be able to better afford that extra TV or gas-guzzling car, but those that are aware of the precariousness of their financial situation do not live better.

  • Anonymous

    Show me the policy that has $1,000 a month premium and that has such a high deductible that you would actually pay the $6,000–barring a complicated illness needing many, many major tests? If you are paying $1000 a month for an individual plan, than you have a very low deductible and you’ll almost never come close to paying the maximum out of pocket limit of $6,000.

  • Anonymous

    Fair enough, the 1k was the Obamacare quote I got for a Gold Plan for the family, not individual and the Moop was 3k not 6. Point stands that MOOP is not taking into account the regular premiums.

  • Mark Cohen

    Now you have completely lost me. Can you explain what your post has to do with the thread above? I can’t see where in the thread above I said anything about acceptable vs. non-acceptable news stories. As far as I can see it was about you going off half-cocked claiming I was removing someone’s “political affiliations” and me correcting your missunderstanding.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, but I imagine doctors’ visits with this Gold plan are mostly covered outside a minimum copay. So for a family of four?, that would come to a $250 premium per person with a $750 MOOP per person from the insurer’s point of view. That is pretty damn good for any individual plan– just because it’s a pooled plan, with higher figures, you can’t claim it is unreasonable considering there is no limit to what would be covered in a catastrophic situation.

  • krowbro

    The recent ruling on Obamacare by the Supreme Court is not relevant to my point. Whether Congress can regulate insurance is also not relevant to my point. My point is that Congress does not have the authority to provide, administer and fund insurance plans.

  • Anonymous

    I guess that’s the problem. If you feel $1k a month for a family of 3 is “pretty damn good”, we’re going to see things differently. Don’t get me wrong, I like the selling points for ACA, but I wasn’t expecting the premium to be so high for me personally.

  • krowbro

    Your post is yet more proof that people have lost the ability to think critically and independently. It is also indicative of how indoctrinated you have become. I am not a supreme court justice, but I am capable of comprehending what the Constitution says. When I am not sure, I refer to the writings of those who authored the Constitution. You may want to take some time to read what James Madison had to say about the enueration of powers. He is considered the father of the Constitution and wrote most of it. Or, you can continue in ignorance and accept the loss of liberty imposed upon you by the ACA.

  • krowbro

    Like Mr. Cohen above, your post betrays a lack of ability to think critically and independently. I see, because the Supreme Court declares it, it must be so. It is because of people like you that our federal government continues to expand its authority over us. Only the ignorant can see this as a good thing.

  • krowbro

    My objection is unconstitutional? That statement reveals how much you know about the Constitution … zero! You might try reading the first amendment and concentrate on the part about free speech.

  • krowbro

    And your point is?

  • krowbro

    I never said local government does not rely on federal dollars. What I did say was that the things listed are local or state responsibilities that should be paid for with state or local taxes and regulated by the state or local government. Just because the federal government has assumed powers not delegated to it by the Constitution does not make it right or constitutional.

  • krowbro

    Spoken like a true Marxist. Even if the government knew what was better for an individual, it has no business taking away the liberty of an individual or a company involved in a private transaction. If the plan was truly garbage and the insurance company was deceptive in selling said plan, then the individual has recourse through the courts. That is called freedom where I come from.

  • krowbro

    I am assuming nothing. Some will be able to pay, some will not. We agree that the problem of the uninsured that can not afford insurance needs to be addressed. Where we disagree is that the solution is the creation of a federal program that grants vast authority to the federal behemoth over a huge segment of our economy, gives the government access to the intimate details of our private lives, strips away individual choice by shoe-horning us into a one size fits all insurance plan and significantly increases the size and scope of the IRS, an agency that can and has been used politically to intimidate citizens. The other major objection I have is that we have created an enormous plan that affects every single citizen for a problem that touches a minority of citizens.

    The stated goal of Obama and his minions is to move to a single payer system like those in Canada, Europe and here in the state of Massachusettes. I suggest we study how those systems have worked out before plunging our nation into it.

  • Mark Cohen

    Actually, it is YOUR post that demonstrates a decided loss of mental capacity. Since Marbury v. Madison, it has been the LAW of US jurisprudence that the Supreme Court determines what does and does not violate Constitutional principles as part of the checks and balances built into our system of government. While your opinion on the matter is just that, an opinion, the Supreme Court’s opinion on the matter is decisive. As discussed above, their opinion, the only one that counts, is that the ACA is constitutional. You can read the constitution until your eyes bleed, you can refer to any writings you wish to help your comprehension (a capacity I seriously doubt you possess), and you can continue to rail, rant and spout your biased drivel until the cows come home. Guess what? It doesn’t change the fact that the ACA IS CONSTITUTIONAL until the Supreme Court says it isn’t. Did you get the point this time? Can I make it any clearer? YOUR opinion does not count. My opinion does not count. Ted Cruz’s opinion does not count. Obama’s opinion does not count. The cookie monster’s opinion does not count. What counts? The Supreme Court’s opinion counts. Clear now?

  • Mark Cohen

    HAHA! You really have lost your mind. Yes, because the LAW of the US is that the Supreme Court determines whether laws comply with the Constitution. Been that way since Marbury v. Madison. You are the one lacking critical thought if you think this is some kind of democracy where you can just opinion yourself to constitutionality or not. There is not now, nor ever has been a popular vote on Constitutionality of our laws. It is part of the checks and balances in that little document you like to refer to but clearly don’t understand, you know the one, the constitution?

  • Mark Cohen

    For someone who claims to think “critically and independently”, you are acting pretty freaking dumb. Snapshotist point is crystal clear to anyone who isn’t blinded by their own biases to the extent that they cannot fathom any other viewpoint but their own. Their point clearly was that although it is POSSIBLE the person may be able to pay, their is NO REASON on Earth that a doctor should have to bear the brunt of that risk. You assert that the doctor/hospital should not be able to turn someone away without insurance. So, if the doctors can’t turn them away and if it is not reasonable to expect the doctors to bear the risk if someone won’t pay, the obvious answer is if there is no insurance, then the doctor ought to be able to request payment up front. However, the inherent nature of some medical procedures (a medical emergency in Snapshotist’s example), makes this a very scary idea indeed. Do try to expand your thought processes to see the bigger picture inherent in your illogical suppositions.

  • Mark Cohen

    You have NO concept of constitutionally delegated powers. All of the laws regulating clean water, sewer and roads as I mentioned in my post above involve the Federal government controlling or overseeing state implementation of those responsibilities. Each and everyone of them has been challenged on Constitutional grounds and each and everyone of them has been found Constitutional by the only US body granted that ability under our laws, The US Supreme Court.

    Further, you are now acting like a big government politician. What you previously stated was that in fact water, sewer, and roads were local/state responsibilities and not Federal. You never said they SHOULD be local responsibilities and SHOULD be paid for by local taxes. Only once you have been called out for being wrong, you now attempt to recharacterize your prior statements to save them from their inherent flaws. Just like it doesn’t work in DC, it won’t wash here either. It is called “being wrong”. Based on the number of errors in your various posts, you are very familiar with the condition, you just apparently are not intelligent enough to realize the proper name for it. Consider yourself enlightened.

  • krowbro

    No need to do any research, because your response is not relevant to the point I made. What you have done is set up a straw man on my behalf then argued against that straw man. In effect, you are arguing with yourself. I’ll sit back and enjoy.

    Regarding your last comment, the Supreme Court decision vis a vis the ACA did not address whether Congress has the authority to expend tax dollars to administer or subsidize health insurance. The case was brought challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion. The court, in a fit of legal gymnastics, allowed the individual mandate by calling it a tax which, ironically, the government itself argued against. You may choose to buy that argument but I don’t and it makes me wonder what sort of political pressure was directed at Justice Roberts to come up with such a twisted opinion. When we blindly accept what the court says because they are declared the authority, then we are ceding our responsibility as free people to a ruling authority. My understanding is that our government is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. I choose to act as a free person and assume my rightful position as an authority over the government.

  • moderator

    Krowbro,

    Please read our comment policy before posting again.

    Thank You,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • moderator

    Facts

    Please read our comment policy before posting again. And please try to avoid personal attacks in the future.

    Thank You,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • krowbro

    Nice. I see you learned your leftist debating tactics very well. When you can’t come up with a well-reasoned response supported by data, just make fun of the opponent and accuse them of that of which you yourself are guilty. The latter is what is known in psychological circles as projection. My hat’s off to you, you are a good student.

  • krowbro

    You two salient points here on which we agree: There are few real reporters any more and the news is driven by ratings. Your tendency to respond to conservative opinion, however; by demeaning it is typical of many whom I encounter on these forums; particularly those who hold opinions of the left. I should really stop wasting my time.

  • Mark Cohen

    No, what you describe is not freedom, it is called anarchy. In your make believe land where the Government does not set rules and limits to control the behavior of individuals and corporations, exactly how will the court provide recourse for the individual? You do realize that the courts don’t just listen to each person tell their side of a story and then decide whose story they like better right? The courts hear the arguments of both sides as to how the various laws that govern our behavior are in their favor. The court reviews the laws and the lawmakers’ intent behind the laws. The court then applies the facts of the case before them in order to determine the outcome of the case as dictated by the laws. If there are no laws, there is nothing for the court to decide. Then, the individual has no recourse except to take matters into his own hands. Perhaps he can start firebombing the insurance company buildings until they decide the losses from property damage are not worth the profits they gain from selling junk insurance plans to individuals? Yeah, that’s better than the system of government we have now where officials elected by majority vote make laws to regulate everything from how two individuals may or may not treat each other to how corporations must behave while trying to maximize profits. You are completely and utterly clueless as to the way our society runs
    and the way the Constitution has set up our system of government.

  • moderator

    Hi Mark,

    I know it can be difficult, but please try to make your points without mocking others in the community.

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • Mark Cohen

    This problem that you and I both agree needs to be addressed has been at the forefront of the political consciousness for an enormous amount of time. Time and time again, those on the right have refused to put any proposals forward to legitimately address these issues in the face of a huge public outcry to do just that. Single payer has been studied, has been demonstrated to work, and results in better healthcare systems than that in the US when it comes to care of the population as a whole. So, your suggestion is a bit late…it has already been done and the outcome determined.

    Then, conservatives (The Heritage Foundation, I believe was the name) finally propose a plan, while not nearly as good as single payer, at least it takes a step in the right direction by providing healthcare for everyone, without allowing exclusion for preexisting conditions, etc. So, Obama seizes on it and decides that since it at least provides basic healthcare for all Americans, it should be implemented. You would think that a plan that was created by conservatives and endorsed by conservatives would be easy to pass right? No, but why? Because when Obama was elected, Conservative politicians met and decided that their number one priority was to obstruct the Obama administration at every turn in order to ensure that he was not reelected. Wow! So, the number one agenda of our elected politicians is to work against US interests as long as it can be pinned on the President in order to ensure he serves only one term. Had the ACA been proposed by Reagan, conservatives would have voted for it in a landslide.

    As to your other objections, they too are largely without merit. There is NO solution to providing healthcare to all individuals that won’t involve a “behemoth” federal program. Even something as limited as expanding medicare (a behemoth to be sure) to those with preexisting conditions and those too poor for insurance will still “effect every single citizen.” In those cases, a considerable increase in taxes would be necessary to provide this insurance to just those that are sick or too poor. But, that still leaves all of those who are not too poor for insurance, but just feel invincible and would rather take a risk that nothing catastrophic would happen to them so that they can have more cash on hand to play/invest/whatever. When these individuals play Russian roulette with their lives, they bear no risks. Why? Because our current system does not allow ERs to turn them away due to inability to pay. So, they get run to the ER whenever they get sick, then skip out on the bill, passing on those costs to us. If this were at normal healthcare rates, then it wouldn’t really matter. However, this is the most expensive way to get healthcare. When something really bad happens, these people run up exorbitant costs that are passed on to all of us. It makes MUCH more since to force these IDIOTS into a health insurance plan, so that they will go to the doctor for preventative care and health issues will be caught way before they become super expensive nightmares. Finally, you have mischaracterized the plans under the ACA. They are not one size fits all plans. While there are limited options at the moment under the healthcare exchanges, the ACA does nothing more than require insurance plans to meet certain minimum requirements. Beyond that, insurance companies are free to mix and match services as best suits their customers and profits.

  • Mark Cohen

    No problems Sean. And will the same message also be sent for those calling others “marxists” or worse? I do try to be civilized but it does get hard not to stoop to the same level. I will redouble my efforts!

  • krowbro

    I predicted I would get this response. It is typical of almost every single responder I’ve ever encountered that holds a non-conservative viewpoint. It is a very convenient debating tactic in that it relieves you from having to argue your viewpoint, supported by data. If you would have actually surfed through any of the content at that link, you would have realized that most of the data was provided by university studies from bastions of conservatism such as George Washington University, Smith College, California State University at Los Angeles, Indiana University, University of Connecticut and a multitude of others. The data also came from other publications such as Editor and Publisher, a media trade magazine, as well as U.S. News and World Report among others. In effect, I was not quoting a conservative-biased news site, but studies from a wide array of sources. You wouldn’t know that because you responded without so much as reading a single thing, much like those who voted for the ACA without ever reading it. We have had several exchanges in these forums and you almost exclusively post liberal formulaic responses. You may want to try arguing against the points I actually make with well-reasoned thesis’. Until next time …

  • Mark Cohen

    Then YOU should have no problems quoting DIRECTLY from those non-conservative sites. I have been burned one too many times following some conservative link that allegedly contains non-biased data, only to be led down a long rabbit hole that in the end wastes too many minutes of my life tracking down the sites that are quoted, only to find that they have been mischaracterized or worse yet, they are alleged to say things exactly opposite of what they actually said. If these right-leaning sites didn’t lie, massage data, and misquote so extensively, I might be tempted to give a read. However, with the state of things as they are, I am afraid the onus is on YOU to chase down the unbiased original information, not me.

    You must have me confused for someone else. The large majority of my posts contain extensive data, well reasoned arguments, and an occasionally snarky comment. They are ALWAYS on point and germane to the discussion at hand (unless responding to a post so utterly moronic as to not warrant more than the above mentioned snarky comment). I have repeatedly corrected your misconceptions regarding how constitutionality is determined in the US and have provided actual FACTS contradicting your assertions (e.g. that water, sewer and roads are solely the responsibility of state and local governments). The fact that you disagree with these assertions in no way makes “formulaic” or lacking “reason”. Your attacking them as such demonstrates that you lack the ability to contradict my arguments with reasoned statements of your own, so you resort to ad hominem attacks in a failed attempt to discredit.

  • Mark Cohen

    Says the poster bandying about the “marxist”, “socialist” name calling; the same poster who attempts to assert that everyone they disagree with is “incapable of critical, independent thought”. Do you not see the hypocrisy of your statement?

  • Mark Cohen

    I apologize for the comment. It was in no way intended to win any debates. Your assertion was simply too funny in my opinion. I literally laughed loud enough to scare the cat when I read it. Perhaps I should have kept my enjoyment to myself. Forgive me?

  • Ibe

    I’m sorry but I find it hard to believe they don’t do Mohs surgery in Canada. Mohs is simply taking thin slices and looking at them under a microscope to see if they got all the cancer cells and if not, go back and take another thin slice until they do get it all.

  • moderator

    Hi Mark,

    I am trying my best to hold everyone to the same standards. It is a shame that people cannot voice their initial opinions without resorting to name calling. Thanks again for your efforts, and thank you for being part of the community.

    Sean @ Moyers

  • Anonymous

    Take a look at the Preamble to the Constitution which is the Mission statement for the nation. There is nothing in the misdion statement or the rest of the evolving documents that says only states can do roads. Infact it is mandatory for the federal govt. to provide postal service & post roads. When a state engages or allows actions that impact other states in a negative way or impacts citizens of the nation inequitably then the federal government must act inorder to ensure that the mission is accomplished.

    I personally hope, and have suggested, that each state violating rights of serving military personnel or other federal employees be stripped of every penny of dod, fbi, corp of engineers, fed. hwy spending. The savings can be applied to retiring debt.

    you want smaller govt. you should absolutely have it. States with poor or unreliable infrastructure do not get investment. All but one of the red states is a net Taker from the federal govt; they get more than they contribute & always have. No five year limit on welfare for Kentucky, Mississippi, La, Al, etc.

    You have missed the entire point of the nation’s mission domestic Tranquility,.. promote general welfare, .. secure bkessings of liberty.. refusing 100% medicaid expansion promotes tranquility & secures blessings of liberty how? Telling former US speaker of the house that his perfectly valid (as ID) expired drivers license does not prove who he is for purpises if voting – makes that mission happen how?

  • Mark Cohen

    O really? So, when you cannot respond to a well reasoned argument, you will just assert that it doesn’t apply and summarily ignore it. Well alrighty, but you aren’t going to win taking that tactic. Now, let’s address your original assertion, followed by my response, and then your incorrect assertion that my response was a straw man argument.

    1) Your initial assertion, copy/pasted verbatim:

    “Every one of those items you enumerated – i.e., water, sewage treatment, roads – are local or state responsibilities, not federal. Clearly, there are things that are much more efficiently and economically accomplished as a collective, whether that be through government or private contracts, however; the individual’s influence over the actions of the collective is inversely proportional to the size of the collective and the inability to effectively communicate with those who act on behalf of the collective.”

    Thus, you asserted that all of the items JB enumerated were solely local responsibilities and not Federal. In particular, you called out water, sewage treatment, and roads.

    2) My response:

    I pointed out that water and sewer are 100% Federally regulated. I pointed out that while the state is allowed to take primary responsibility for enforcement (and all of them have elected to do so), that the Fed retains the ability to separately enforce the regulations, and will act to supercede the state should it find the state does not. Finally, while the state sets the criteria, it does so within a Federal framework that does not permit criteria to be set below specific levels.

    For roads, I indicated the level of Federal involvement, while extensive for highways, is less so for other roadways. In either case, it falls well short of your assertion that roads were not a Federal responsibility.

    3) You claim that I set up a straw man argument:

    Do you know what a straw man argument is? If so, then you wouldn’t have made this claim. Did not state ANY argument, therefore, I couldn’t have made one similar to, but different than yours. I merely responded point by point to the specific words you chose to type. You asserted water, sewer and roads were local, not federal responsibility. I responded with clear statements indicating that they were in fact Federal responsibility, going so far as to even cite the FEDERAL laws regulating water, sewer and roads.

    Regarding your false assertions regarding the ACA, it demonstrates a decided lack of understanding how constitutional challenges work in US jurisprudence. First, a law that has been passed by both houses and signed into law is presumptively valid. This means that until ruled definitively otherwise by a court of law, the law is constitutional in its entirety. You can feel that it isn’t. You can read the constitution, pray to James Madison, and do the tea party shuffle on his grave for all that matters. It doesn’t change the fact that the law IS VALID until proven otherwise. Does that mean that other parts of the ACA won’t be struck down? No. But, unless and until that happens, it is valid and will be treated as such. As you mention, J. Roberts held the mandate was valid under the tax authority of Congress. You are correct that this was not the holding that the government argued for. But, you are INSANE if you think Roberts held this way due to political pressure. He is not subject to election. There was no threat of impeachment (I can’t even remember at the moment whether a Supreme Court Justice can be impeached). Thus, there was nothing that could be done to sway him by force. The one and only time the Supreme Court was bullied by political pressure was during the Lochner era of Supreme Court decisions that were challenging all new deal legislation. At that time, the court was all very old and the President threatened to expand the number of justices and fill the spots with new justices to upset the balance of voting on the court. Roberts is conservative and you can bet he wouldn’t have hesitated to strike down the mandate if it were unconstitutional. As it was, he went out of his way to shrink Congress’ power under the commerce clause in his decision, which was a shocking display of wielding the courts power.

    Your understanding is correct, we are a government of the people by the people. However, that doesn’t mean the masses simply get to rise up and declare laws unconstitutional just because they are ideologically opposed to them. The way it works is, you get to vote for President. If enough of your kind get together and manage to elect him, he gets to replace a member of the Supreme Court with a jurist of his liking (subject to legislative approval) when one dies or retires. Thus the ideology of the court is guaranteed not to shift too wildly or too rapidly and their decisions are thus more insulated from the very political pressure you falsely claim to be at work here.

    Prediction:

    You will, as you have for the last several of my posts, simply accuse me of spouting leftist ideology, or of straw man arguments, or some other way to avoid having to actually refute anything I have posted here with actual hard facts.

  • krowbro

    Once again, you have set up a straw man on my behalf, then argued against it in effect arguing with yourself. You just wasted a lot of time typing in your response to an argument I never made. The “junk” policies of which you speak have passed all government regulations until the ACA started being implemented. Many of those who owned said policies were perfectly happy with those policies. That is what is known as a win win; the insurance company makes a profit and the insured get the health care they can afford. A regulation forcing you to pay for something you neither want nor need is not freedom, nor is it good law any way you cut it.

    In 1982 the Justice Department attempted to determine the number of criminal laws on the books. After two years, the project compiled a list of 3000 criminal offenses. Keep in mind, the goal of the project was to compile only the criminal laws. There are so many laws and regulations on the books, it is impossible to know whether anything an individual does doesn’t violate some law or regulation. Having so many laws and regulations that it is impossible to know even a small fraction of them is antithetical to freedom and liberty. With the incredible expansion of surveillance capabilities – NSA anyone? – and the unconstitutional FISA court, it would be very easy for a tyrannical government official to accuse and convict almost any citizen with of some violation of law. As I said above, that is antithetical to a free society. That may be agreeable to you, but for a conservative like me, it is abominable.

  • Ibe

    To be fair it is being raised. In Calif it is going to $10. The point is no one should have to work for min wage. In the old days school kids were about the only ones. As a kid I may have started at min but as I learned my job got raises. I only worked for min one time in my life and I was 15. Most employers paid what a person was worth. Now they don’t value an employee at all. The large influx of immigrants that thought $5 an hour was great pay, have devalued workers and employers have become greedy.
    In 2012, the gap between the richest 1 percent and the remaining 99 percent was the widest it’s been since the 1920s. Incomes of the wealthiest 1% rose nearly 20 % whereas the income of the remaining 99 percent rose 1%
    Between 1979 and 2009, productivity gained 80%, far outpacing growth of 10.1% for hourly wages for median workers

    A 2011 study by the CBO found that the top earning 1 percent of households increased their income by about 275% between 1979 and 2007, compared to a gain of just under 40% for the 60 percent in the middle earners

  • Ibe

    “somewhat, the pharmaceutical and insurance lobby”? I suggest you look into the revolving door from congress to insurance companies and back. Also the $millions the insurance lobby paid congress. That is how the single payer got shot down. You never heard another thing from insurance after that. They were happy with it being mandated that everyone would now be their customer.
    I pretty much agree with all else you say

  • krowbro

    I suppose I could have articulated my original point better and maybe that is the reason for your misunderstanding. If you go back to the beginning of the thread, JB admonished those who decry socialism to consider government provided services such as sewage treatment, water and the construction of public roads. My point was that these services are not provided by the federal government – with the exception of federal interstate highways – but by local or state government. I agreed that services such as this need to be provided by government – i.e., collectively – but my point was that this did not make the provision of those services socialistic. Some of the funding of many of these local projects may come from the federal government – which is something I find distateful because of the power it gives the fed over the state and local governments – but that is essentially a returning of tax dollars which should have been paid to the state in the first place.

    You responded with a dissertation on federal regulation of sewer, water and roads which does not address my point about provision of those services. I understand a straw man to be a mis-representation of an opponent’s position. It does not matter how many facts you post to refute an argument I did not make. As you (hopefully) can see, I was not arguing about the federal government’s regulatory powers over sewer, water and roads, but the provision of those services. In my opinion, they’re completely different things.

    Regarding your false assertions regarding the ACA, it demonstrates a decided lack of understanding how constitutional challenges work in US jurisprudence. First, a law that has been passed by both houses and signed into law is presumptively valid. This means that until ruled definitively otherwise by a court of law, the law is constitutional in its entirety. You can feel that it isn’t. You can read the constitution, pray to James Madison, and do the tea party shuffle on his grave for all that matters. It doesn’t change the fact that the law IS VALID until proven otherwise.

    I concede, from a legal perspective, this is true. It is our duty as citizens, however; to be vigilant against despotic jurisprudence. We were warned by Jefferson that the court held the potential to be the most despotic branch of government, precisely because of the powers of judicial review, which existed long before it was codified by legal precedence in Marbury v. Madison. Judicial review gives the court authority to declare a law unconstitutional, although I’m not sure re-interpreting the stated intent of a provision of a law to bring it into compliance with the Constitution qualifies as judicial review. The point is, if we accept that the Supreme Court is the absolute final arbiter of what is constitutional and what is not, then we are investing in the court supreme authority. What is to stop judicial activists from interpreting law on grounds other than what is written in the Constitution and/or the founder’s published intent? Suppose a majority of idealogically driven jurists determine that a law banning the practice of Islam is constitutional? Are we to accept that because Marbury v. Madison said the Supreme Court has the final authority to declare a law unconstitutional? I think not. While a law such as that may be constitutional by your stated criteria – i.e., until ruled definitively otherwise by a court of law, the law is constitutional in its entirety – it is not necessarily constitutional by the text written in said document. That is what I meant when I declared the ACA unconstitutional.

    you are INSANE if you think Roberts held this way due to political pressure. He is not subject to election. There was no threat of impeachment (I can’t even remember at the moment whether a Supreme Court Justice can be impeached). Thus, there was nothing that could be done to sway him by force.

    If someone threatened to kill one of his children if he didn’t make the “correct” decision, I’m pretty sure that would be enough to sway him. I’m not saying that is what happened, I was using that as a means to make a point. I would not put it past an administration that has been steeped in Chicago politics to find dirt on a justice that could be used to exert pressure to influence his decision. The list of scandals attributed to this administration ought to be enough to convince any thinking person of the lengths this administration is willing to go to have things its way.

    I have dealt with each of your points without resorting to accusations. Now, I am done. Have a great life.

  • krowbro

    You have taken this far beyond the point I originally made. I agreed with JB that there are certain things which are accomplished most economically and efficiently as a collective – i.e., by government – but that this did not necessarily equate to socialism.

    James Madison, who is often described as the father or our Constitution, said, “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare,
    the Government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.” The phrases in the Constitution related to the promotion of domestic tranquility and general welfare were taken from the Articles of Confederation. They were always understood to be a heading over the powers enumerated in the subsequent sections of the Constitution. In other words, Congress was granted only those authorities enumerated to ensure tranquility and promote the general welfare. If Congress was granted unlimited authority to do anything it deemed necessary to promote the general welfare, then it would have made absolutely zero logical sense to enumerate their powers.

  • krowbro

    Sure, if you feel you need forgiveness, then you’re forgiven.

  • krowbro

    I see your point and stand admonished. I apologize for that. Calling someone a Marxist, however; may be a statement of fact in some cases.

  • krowbro

    I think I covered it in another post, but I believe some of our disagreement is rooted in misunderstanding. This is due to poor articulation of my thoughts on my part or mis-interpretation on yours; probably a little of both. I try to be as specific as possible – with varying degrees of success – and quite often my points get expanded into something well beyond that intended. You do in fact provide facts to support your argument; it’s just that sometimes you are arguing against a point I don’t think I made. The primary reason I post in these forums is to excersize my communication skills. I have no delusions of changing anybody’s mind, it seems everybody posting has already made up theirs. You are a worthy adversary, one of the few. Most with whom I have exchanges resort to name calling and a list of talking points I’ve heard a thousand times before. I might be a bit jaded by these type of exchanges and it creeps into some of my responses.

  • Anonymous

    So where you come from, freedom is experiencing abuse by huge corporations, for whatever reason they want. Really?

  • Anonymous

    Do you even know what the term “to be grandfathered in” means? The deceitfulness of the Obama administration in claiming policies would be grandfathered in and then setting an impossible to meet standard for that to happen reeks with the smell of their true agenda, single payer. Now they plan to divide and conquer us: individuals this year; businesses next; and then guess what? He’ll be going after you union people after that. With commentators like you, the president must feel very confident that he can get away with any old lie he feels like telling.

  • Anonymous

    The insurance company with the highest percentage of rejections of requested procedures is Medicare. (So you think that insurance companies don’t care about our health but big government does?) The trial lawyers (big Democrat donors) have not been taken out of the equation as the ambulance chasing commercials on TV attest to. The “controls” you speak of here are nothing compared to what free market competition could have provided had it been allowed to function.

  • Ken Sucharski

    Are you saying the remaining 3% don’t matter – or what?

  • Ibe

    You obviously have no clue of what you speak. Medicare has the lowest % of rejections if billed properly! I have close to ZERO appeals I have to do with medicare as opposed to commercial. Aetna for example bought up a lot smaller insurance companies and raise the premiums of all that had much in the way of claim and all that had ongoing health issues so those people couldn’t afford to pay and had to cancel. Of course then they had “preexisting and couldn’t get another company to cover them. Just one example of your “free market” mentality.
    And you’re trying to say that trial lawyers are all democrats? Please show me some stats on that. Sounds like you just make stuff up as you go along and think people are going to believe you.

    Uncontrolled “free market competition” is what caused both the depression and the last almost depression. That is why Glass/Steagal was enacted and work wonderfully until the GOP started erroding it and finally repealing it in 1999. It only took 10 short years to get us right back to 1929. Uncontrolled greed, has created corruption, fraud and thievery on a scale we have never seen before.

  • b.c.

    Any time someone says, “only a small slice of the population,” watch out. The thing is, ACA is basically death by a thousand small slices. Other slices get cut in other ways, e.c., the people who are losing 25% of their pay to hourly cuts. The only ones who aren’t getting cut are hospital administrators et al, bug pharma, and big insurance. Make no mistake, this is a corporate subsidy.

  • b.c.

    What we’re hearing now is a perfect storm of corporate spin coming from left and right. Here’s what’s really going on. Healthcare is a Ponzi scheme that outpaced the ability of the real economy to support it (Bernie Madoff writ large). The industries then turned to the feds and said, “How about making those who can buy but don’t want to buy to buy and how about paying on behalf of those who can’t.” President Obama delivered on both counts. The high deductibles essentially insure providers, not consumers. Revenue keeps flowing to hospitals and big pharma and a once existentially endangered insurance industry comes back form the brink guaranteeing themselves profits in perpetuity that would make the oil industry blush. Beyond that, they’ve pulled off the ultimate coup, elevating themselves beyond simple profits, to the level of banking by making themselves too big to fail. Used to be healthcare business involved risk, not anymore. Big insurance lowballed the exchanges. They’ll end up with high-risk, low-revenue pools. They’ll then turn to the feds and say, pay up or we’ll crash the system. Having gone all-in, we’ll do just what we did with Wall Street, pay up. Check and mate. No going back. The simple solution here would have been to a) give Republicans what they’ve always wanted, the ability to sell across state lines and b) use that ability to create a couple national-level private non-profit organizations to deliver healthcare at Medicare-style overhead, with the added bonus of an immunity to lobbyists and an unlimited ability to negotiate with drug companies and providers (unlike Medicare). Such an arrangement would be completely outside the purview of the right-wing minority in DC. Time to stop spinning, drop the ideologies and labels, and put the fundamental right of health above personal identity investments.

  • Anonymous

    The only reason there isn’t more disruption in the employee group market – at this point – is the one year delay the Obama administration granted to employers. Much of the same phenomenon currently being witnessed in the individual market will be related – on a much large scale – 12 months from now. Many states have already seen popular employee group coverages eliminated, which reduces options for smaller employers. The plans that they have available to replace those plans which are phased out are much more expensive. Further, employers will be sct to an additional “tax” on all plan participants (not just employers, but family members as well.) Finally, elimination of lifetime payout limits create virtually unlimited exposure for employers – through their health plans. The net result will be cost pass through to emplyees, and tighter restriction on enrollment for working spouses, who will – in fact – lose their existing health insurance plan and be subject to whatever plan their employer selects.

    So while some apologists somehow try to claim that the “low percentage” of Americans in the individual market don’t really constitute a “Problem” – let’s not lose sight of the fact that the total number of uninsured Americans was also relatively low, and the vast majority of Americans with health insurance will be suffering strees and paying a premium to help the small percentage of uninsured Americans.

  • Mark Cohen

    Once again, you claim something is a “straw man argument” merely to avoid actually responding to a legitimate argument. I in no way set up any argument on your behalf. I merely responded to the argument YOU put forth in your post. You know, it seems that you call something a straw man argument merely because you don’t like the response. You calling it straw man argument in no way makes it such as I will again demonstrate:

    1) Your statement copy/pasted verbatim (again – although I’ll skip the name calling):

    “Even if the government knew what was better for an individual – and that has been proven time again to be a false assumption – it has absolutely no business taking away the liberty of an individual or a company involved in a private transaction. If the plan was truly garbage and the insurance company was deceptive in selling said plan, then the individual has recourse through the courts. That is called freedom where I come from.”

    From the language in your post above, you assert that the government should not get involved in a private transaction involving between a company and an individual. You claim that should the insurance co. sell a garbage plan or is deceptive, the individual has recourse through the courts. You equated the above with “freedom”.

    2) My response:

    Since you postulate that the government should butt out in private transactions, that means the government should not institute laws or regulations specifying how the individual or how the company should behave in a private transaction (i.e. it should not take away the liberty of either party as you put it). If the government does butt out, you claim that the individual can seek redress in the courts if cheated by the company. Have I stated your assertions with specific clarity and correctness so that you feel comfortable I have not misstated? If not, please point me to the language in your original post that I have gotten incorrect.

    Assuming the above statement correctly identifies your position, my response from before was exactly on point. I indicated in this scenario that with no laws on the books regarding how the individual or how the company should behave, there is NO redress possible for either party. As I stated above, the courts do not just hear each side tell a story then decide which story they like better. ALL civil litigation involves two sides telling stories and relating their stories to the specific laws that govern behavior. Without those laws, there is nothing a court can do. So, in your proposal where the government does not take “away the liberty of an individual or a company involved in a private transaction” it makes no laws regulating their behavior, thus the court is left powerless to redress any perceived harms brought before it. I don’t know how to make it any clearer than that.

    I then went on to take your proposal to its logical, yet extreme end. Since the government makes no laws regulating the liberty of the individual or the company, the individual is left without recourse from the courts. But, just as he is left without a legal recourse, he is also now “free” to take steps against the company that would normally be restricted by laws and rules. In my initial example, he resorts to violence in order to put pressure on the company in their private transaction. Likewise he could resort to fraud or some other nefarious technique to extract concessions from the company in this private transaction.

    The reason for this extreme example should have been clear to you. You said the government should not restrict the liberty of either party. However, it is clear that some restriction is needed to prevent exactly the types of inappropriate behavior that one could imagine from both sides. Thus, the government has laws that regulate how contracts can be formed, how they are enforced, and the range of penalties for fraud or other untoward behavior by either party. These laws are what give the individual a cause of action in court against the company should the company sell a garbage plan or employ deception in the sale of the plan. Further, the criminal statutes provide appropriate redress should the individual resort to illegal means within the context of this private transaction. Thus, I have hopefully demonstrated to you that it is appropriate and necessary for the government to regulate the behavior of individuals and of companies within the context of private transactions. Once it is accepted that this regulation is appropriate, it then becomes clear that there is nothing that prevents the government from telling the company that it may not exclude certain classes of people from insurance within the context of this private transaction. For example, one would hope that you would agree that the government should be able to prevent insurance companies from excluding individuals on the basis of skin color, race, etc. This is no different than the government telling the insurance companies that they may not exclude individuals from insurance on the basis of preexisting medical conditions.

    As to your new assertions that the policies weren’t junk because they passed existing regulations and because you allege that people were happy with the policies, that is fallacious circular logic. Under that logic, no new regulations can ever be passed, because it must be OK if it wasn’t forbidden already. That completely ignores the reality that as soon as a regulation is put into place, people begin to look for the loopholes to exploit. Once those loopholes are discovered, they can be corrected by new regulations. Likewise, here the insurance companies were selling cutrate plans that gave the individuals buying them a sense of security. Those that never needed to actually rely on the insurance for doctor bills were and still are likely quite pleased to buy such affordable insurance. However, those that are not so lucky and end up with a health crisis often find that buried within the complex contracts for these plans were exclusions and extremely high payments that make the plans all but useless to pay their high medical bills. The result is these individuals have to file medical bankruptcy (the number one cause of bankruptcy in the US by the way).

  • Mark Cohen

    You said:

    “My point was that these services are not provided by the federal government – with the exception of federal interstate highways – but by local or state government.”

    And further assert that beyond providing some funding, the Federal government does not “provide” these services.

    “My dissertation”, as you put it, clearly PROVED that your assertion is blatantly incorrect. The Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act do far more than simply fund water and sewer processing. These acts give the Federal government (in the form of the EPA) the power to establish national guidelines regulating water and sewer. Further the acts ALLOW the states to take over primary responsibility, but they DO NOT SHIFT RESPONSIBILITY SOLELY TO THE STATE. The responsibility is a dual responsibility with both the Fed AND the State actively policing. Is this now clear to you? I am exactly addressing YOUR argument that the Fed does not provide these services. You are wrong. The Fed most assuredly provides these services. They just allow the state to take a lead roll (but not an exclusive roll).

    Regarding the Constitutionality of the ACA:

    First, thank you for acknowledging that the ACA is in fact constitutional. Regarding Constitutionality isn’t the legal perspective the only perspective that matters? I agree with vigilance in relation to challenging unjust laws in the courts. I think part of our disagreement lies in your rather loose terminology. You make blanket statements that the ACA IS unconstitutional. This statement, on its face, is blatantly incorrect. The ACA is 100% constitutional at the moment. A statement that would not be false would be, “I feel the ACA is unconstitutional.” Now, given that the ACA is currently constitutional but you feel strongly that it should no be so held, does that mean you have to accept it? No, clearly not. You have the right, should you choose to exercise it, to bring further constitutional challenges against the ACA in the courts. There are such challenges now and you are free to bring additional challenges. However, the ACA will be unconstitutional ONLY IF one of those challenges is successful. Until then, this is the law of the land.

    Regarding your treatise on Jefferson and judicial review, you are, I believe mistaken on several points. First, while the concept of judicial review, per se, existed prior to Marbury v. Madison, it was not judicial review of Federal Laws with respect to their constitutionality. All of the pre-Marbury cases fell into three categories: 1) Cases where the court invalidated statutes that affected the power of the courts or juries, 2) States courts invalidating state laws as unconstitutional and 3) Federal courts invalidating state laws. It was Marbury that took the idea of judicial review to the final level of being a check against the other branches of government and establishing permanently that the Supreme Court was more than a minor player in the checks and balances that is the core of our government.

    Second, while Jefferson clearly did not like the idea that the Court would wield the ability to determine the final constitutionality of federal laws, I can’t find any writing to that affect that predates Marbury v. Madison. Thus, I think his feelings were a reaction to the precedent set by Marbury rather than some prescient warnings by a sage President.

    Finally, as to the rather conspiracy-theory-like assertion that giving the Supreme Court final say on all things constitutional will imbue them with tyrannical power, you have forgotten the checks and balances that exist against the court. Congress may amend any laws to avoid the alleged conflict with the constitution. In addition, as mentioned before, the number of justices is determined by Congress. Thus, the Congress could increase the number of justices sufficient to overcome the rabid majority you fear and the President could appoint more moderate minded justices to nullify any tyranny within the Supreme Court. So, yes, the rule in the US is that the Supreme Court HAS the final say with respect to constitutionality, your misgivings to the contrary. And, thus the ACA is fully constitutional unless a successful challenge is brought.

    I’ll not even address your final argument as it is so preposterous as to warrant my giving any serious consideration. Cheers!

  • Mark Cohen

    I feel no need for forgiveness. You seemed so hurt by my comment I felt it best to make amends.

  • Mark Cohen

    Thank you. Wow, we are almost getting to civility here! I think you and I both know you will almost NEVER run into a true Marxist and it is mere code for those whose politics run to the left beyond what you are willing to tolerate. There are many equivalent monikers used by the left against those who lean more conservative.

  • Mark Cohen

    I agree and feel likewise about you…gasp! I think I’ll hide under the desk for a bit just in case the sky decides to fall or a certain warm place decides to take a snow day.

  • Mark Cohen

    I will get back to you on this one. I am tired and reviewing all of this will take me a bit. But, I will look at it.

  • Homeseller

    Yes they do it. Yes it’s simple. However more expensive than what they initially prescribed as treatment. I won’t bore you with the play by play on my mother’s ordeal. The bottom line is that there aren’t enough doctors or surgeons to deal with the populations issues the way they today do in the US. My mothers plastic surgeon travels the whole country to perform procedures and worked on her face for 3 years. I know it’s hard for most to believe but it’s reality.

  • krowbro

    No need, save yourself the effort. We’ve spent far too much time already. I concede.

  • krowbro

    “My dissertation”, as you put it, clearly PROVED that your assertion is blatantly incorrect.

    It does nothing of the sort and again, I think it is because we are talking about two different things. You are absolutely correct and I have no argument with the FACT that sewage treatment is regulated by the EPA, an agency of the federal government, and that enforcement of said regulations are the responsibility of both the federal government and the state. We have no argument there. But that is not what I was talking about, which is why I said you were arguing against a straw man. The sewage treatment plant that processes the sewage from homes and businesses in my town was built with the cooperation of two cities and is managed by a joint sewage board. The plant is funded from the budgets of the two cities that jointly own the facility. This is what I meant when I said sewage treatment services are locally provided; the federal government did not build the plant and it is funded locally. That has nothing to do with regulation or enforcement. Do you understand my point?

    You make blanket statements that the ACA IS unconstitutional. This statement, on its face, is blatantly incorrect.

    What does constitutional mean? By your reckoning – at least as I understand you – it means that the supreme court has not declared something unconstitutional. I abide by the dictionary definition of the word constitutional which, according to Merriam-Webster, means being in accordance with or authorized by the constitution of a state or society. By that definition, me saying the ACA is unconstitutional is NOT blatantly incorrect. Using that definition, I can just as validly say the supreme court’s decision is blatantly incorrect. The authors of the ACA claimed that the individual mandage is NOT a tax. In order for the ACA to pass constitutional muster, the court had to define the mandate as a tax, over the objections of those who wrote the darn thing. That is the very definition of judicial activism. That is effectively legislating from the bench which is most assuredly unconstitutional.

    First, while the concept of judicial review, per se, existed prior to Marbury v. Madison, it was not judicial review of Federal Laws with respect to their constitutionality.

    I was just trying to make the point that the founders understood the concept of judicial review before Marbury v. Madison, nothing more.

  • Anonymous

    If Republicans had a better idea, they wouldn’t have to lie, slander, and suppress voters. Period.

  • Anonymous

    Actually the Tea Party kills your brain by a thousand slices. See any death panels? Implanted tracking chips? Slavery? Then shut up. Your party lost the right to be taken seriously when they lied and shut down our government. Asshats: all of you!

  • Anonymous

    I do. Man the pumps. The right wing fear mongering crap pile is getting too thin to shovel!

  • Anonymous

    So what are you saying? That the president is a truthful man? That when he said 29 times that “we could keep our policies and doctors…period!” that actually meant what he’s saying today, “What we said was that you could keep your doctor and policy IF…” Get your head out of the sand.

  • arosskopf

    Perhaps you need to review how a bill becomes a law.

  • krowbro

    Perhaps, but that is not relevant to this discussion.

  • arosskopf

    That is precisely what makes it and your free speech relevant.

  • krowbro

    Explain why you think the process by which a bill becomes a law is relevant to my right to free speech or what makes a law constitutional or unconstitutional.

  • arosskopf

    Your right to free speech is evident. The laws constitutionality was decided by the supreme court. Explain to me how it is unconstitutional when that has been decided by the only body which can.

  • krowbro

    The only provision of the law on which the Supreme Court decided was the individual mandate. If congress makes a law abriding your free speech and the Supreme Court declares it constitutional, does that make it so?

  • GregoryC

    There is a better idea. Single payer.

  • GregoryC

    ACA lowered premiums in some cases, but increased other costs, raising co-payments, deductibles, MOOP limit, and coinsurance for the ever increasing number of ‘specialty’ drugs. What good is lowering your premium if you have to pay more to access health care.

  • GregoryC

    I don’t have a fake horror story, I have a real horror story. Imagine paying $30 for a brand name drug in 2013 only to discover that same drug will be moved to a “specialty” drug tier for 2014 and I’ll be charged 35% coinsurance or $700 for a $2,000 per month drug. My premium gets lowered by $300 or so, but my drug cost increased by $670 per month.

  • GregoryC

    Romneycare didn’t decrease personal bankruptcies related to medical costs by a significant amount, reducing the number of bankruptcies from 59% to 53%. Doesn’t sound affordable if 53% of personal bankruptcies are related to unaffordable health care costs.

  • GregoryC

    Doesn’t say much about the current pro-corporate U.S. Supreme Court — the same folks who approved Citizens United. Government of, by and for US multinational corporations.

  • GregoryC

    I am currently paying $618 month for health insurance through Kentucky’s state-operated high risk pool. I have a Premium PPO health plan utilizing the Blue Access PPO network of physicians, hospitals. My deductible is $1,000. My MOOP limit is $2,500. I don’t require a gatekeeper. I can see any specialist of my choosing without prior authorization. My co-payments for prescriptions are 3-tiers, $15 (or less) for generics, $30 for brand name, $60 for non-preferred brand or generic drugs. $10 co-pay for physician office visits. ACA lowers the premium by $300 but that is the only cost saving for a non-subsidized health plan. Kentucky Health Cooperative, Silver plan for a 51 year old will charge $2500 deductible (includes RX deductible), $6,350 MOOP limit, $50 Specialist co-pay (all my doctors are specialists) and the real kick in the pants is the 35% coinsurance for a prescription drug that costs me $30 month now, but $700 month in 2014. Affordable Care? Not so much. I am a liberal, but no longer a Democrat. I voted for Obama in 2008, Jill Stein in 2012. I have voted for Democrats since campaigning for Mondale in 1984. Don’t presume I’m not liberal if I don’t pull the lever for corporate-Third Way Democrats.

  • GregoryC

    They’ll redefine what is considered “health care related.” Multinational corporations are always one-step ahead of policy.

  • GregoryC

    I cannot believe you still have faith in the false left-right, liberal-conservative, democrat-republican paradigms. The corporate media serves corporations propaganda, not real reporting. MSNBC anchors have not covered the Trans Pacific Partnership with the exception of Ed Shultz at his radio program.

  • GregoryC

    My plan wasn’t crap, it was a Blue Access PPO, premium PPO plan that covered what was most important to me, specifically prescription drug coverage, lab services, specialist office visits.

  • David

    As I said Gregory, it is a start. What we need is what every other civilized country has which is a single payer system whereby everyone pays in, not just some, as here. Sort of like Medicare which I now have. My wife and I now pay about $600 a month for Medicare and a gap insurance. I was paying about $1200 a month for both of us for insurance that was not as good as Medicare! One of the problems with Health Insurance/Health Care here is that it is very much a for profit business. There are hundreds of insurance comapnies, the CEO’s of each one receive tens of millions, also each insurance company has as many as hundreds of “Executives” who each receive multi millions in bonuses. Also they have “Investors” who need to get a profit. and there are a a dozen other reasons that health care in the US is so expensive.

  • Anonymous

    Blue is trying to get more $$$ out of you & using ACA as an excuse. Check out what ACA is offering. You may very well find out that the coverage is there at a lesser price. And it may be Blue Access, as well! Check it out!!!!

  • GregoryC

    I did check it out, it cost more than Kentucky’s state-operated high risk pool. ACA lowers premiums, but not other costs such as coinsurance, co-payments, deductibles, MOOP limit. For example, I currently pay $618 month in premiums plus $40 prescription co-pays. Under the ACA, in January 2014, I’ll pay less in premiums, but higher prescription drug costs, ultimately paying a net increase of $360.

  • Owen Johnson

    That’s interesting.Most of the stories I’ve seen tell of lowering out-of-pocket costs, the same ones you say are going up. Maybe in the case you’re talking about, someone should look at the next level up in plans; it may be the same premium as before and not raise the out of pocket expenses.

  • Mark Cohen

    Cool story bro. You do realize that the decision to move your drug from standard to “specialty” is the kind of insurance company abuses that have been rampant for years and that the Dems have been trying to curtail? You seriously can’t think this move by your insurance company has ANYTHING to do with the ACA.

  • Mark Cohen

    Um…as much as I despise Scalia and his willingness to change his own dogma regarding Constitutional interpretation when it serves his deeply held rightwing agenda and the willingness of several other justices to put the conservative political agenda before justice, I am not quite sure the Court as a whole has been corrupted as a tool of corporations just yet.

  • Mark Cohen

    Hey Greg, I feel your pain. But, the ACA is better for more people than the status quo. There are some (apparently you included) that may be caught wrong by the ACA. But, many more will now have insurance where they didn’t before. It isn’t the best for the US, but it is the best so far. We should work to improve it rather than sit here complaining about it. Going back to status quo is just not an option.

  • Mark Cohen

    Just did a little digging Greg, Kentucky’s high risk pool plan satisfies the ACA requirements, but is NOT one of the ACA plans provided by the state. Why are you switching to the ACA plan when the high risk pool plan is considered an ACA-acceptable plan per the Kentucky ACA exchange website? Stay with the high risk pool plan and keep the coverage the way you had it and stop posting all over the place whining about insurance under ACA that you don’t have to get. Seems a little suspicious to me given you claim to be “liberal” but not a democrat, and then post EVERYWHERE whining about an ACA plan you didn’t need to sign up for.

  • Mark Cohen

    I am digging further and I am finding your story is complete BS. I just chose a KY silver plan for a 51 year old male making 100K per year. You chose to look at the plan with the lowest montly premium. Well OF COURSE taking a dramatically lower premium is going to raise the costs of all coverage used. You are currently paying $600/mo and trying to compare that coverage with a plan that is listed at $285.55/month. However, compare with some of the other plans costing in the $400-500/month range and you find $3600 MOOP, no specialist copays, combined med/drug deductible of $3000, $40 copay brand name, $15 copay generic, and a 0% coinsurance after you hit your deductible for specialty. So, you really need to shop smarter given your particular situation before coming on the boards and ranting about how the ACA raised your rates (that is assuming this is really your situation and you aren’t just another rightwinger trying to make a persuasive horror story about the ACA out of thin air). So, if you are telling the truth, then you need to do a better job looking at the plans before you complain. If you aren’t, then shame on you for trying to scare folks with yet another false ACA horror story.

  • Mark Cohen

    I just researched Greg’s story and found it is complete BS. I
    just chose a KY silver plan for a 51 year old male making 100K per
    year. You chose to look at the plan with the lowest montly premium.
    Well OF COURSE taking a dramatically lower premium is going to raise the
    costs of all coverage used. You are currently paying $600/mo and
    trying to compare that coverage with a plan that is listed at
    $285.55/month. However, compare with some of the other plans costing in
    the $400-500/month range and you find $3600 MOOP, no specialist copays,
    combined med/drug deductible of $3000, $40 copay brand name, $15 copay
    generic, and a 0% coinsurance after you hit your deductible for
    specialty. So, you really need to shop smarter given your particular
    situation before coming on the boards and ranting about how the ACA
    raised your rates (that is assuming this is really your situation and
    you aren’t just another rightwinger trying to make a persuasive horror
    story about the ACA out of thin air). So, if you are telling the truth,
    then you need to do a better job looking at the plans before you
    complain. If you aren’t, then shame on you for trying to scare folks
    with yet another false ACA horror story.

  • Mark Cohen

    Greg’s story is complete BS. I
    just chose a KY silver plan for a 51 year old male making 100K per
    year. You chose to look at the plan with the lowest montly premium.
    Well OF COURSE taking a dramatically lower premium is going to raise the
    costs of all coverage used. You are currently paying $600/mo and
    trying to compare that coverage with a plan that is listed at
    $285.55/month. However, compare with some of the other plans costing in
    the $400-500/month range and you find $3600 MOOP, no specialist copays,
    combined med/drug deductible of $3000, $40 copay brand name, $15 copay
    generic, and a 0% coinsurance after you hit your deductible for
    specialty. So, you really need to shop smarter given your particular
    situation before coming on the boards and ranting about how the ACA
    raised your rates (that is assuming this is really your situation and
    you aren’t just another rightwinger trying to make a persuasive horror
    story about the ACA out of thin air). So, if you are telling the truth,
    then you need to do a better job looking at the plans before you
    complain. If you aren’t, then shame on you for trying to scare folks
    with yet another false ACA horror story.

  • Mark Cohen

    I just dug into Greg’s story a little further and found it is complete BS. I
    just chose a KY silver plan for a 51 year old male making 100K per
    year. You chose to look at the plan with the lowest montly premium.
    Well OF COURSE taking a dramatically lower premium is going to raise the
    costs of all coverage used. You are currently paying $600/mo and
    trying to compare that coverage with a plan that is listed at
    $285.55/month. However, compare with some of the other plans costing in
    the $400-500/month range and you find $3600 MOOP, no specialist copays,
    combined med/drug deductible of $3000, $40 copay brand name, $15 copay
    generic, and a 0% coinsurance after you hit your deductible for
    specialty. So, you really need to shop smarter given your particular
    situation before coming on the boards and ranting about how the ACA
    raised your rates (that is assuming this is really your situation and
    you aren’t just another rightwinger trying to make a persuasive horror
    story about the ACA out of thin air). So, if you are telling the truth,
    then you need to do a better job looking at the plans before you
    complain. If you aren’t, then shame on you for trying to scare folks
    with yet another false ACA horror story.

  • Mark Cohen

    Greg’s story is either BS, or he is just not a careful shopper. I
    just chose a KY silver plan for a 51 year old male making 100K per
    year. You chose to look at the plan with the lowest montly premium.
    Well OF COURSE taking a dramatically lower premium is going to raise the
    costs of all coverage used. You are currently paying $600/mo and
    trying to compare that coverage with a plan that is listed at
    $285.55/month. However, compare with some of the other plans costing in
    the $400-500/month range and you find $3600 MOOP, no specialist copays,
    combined med/drug deductible of $3000, $40 copay brand name, $15 copay
    generic, and a 0% coinsurance after you hit your deductible for
    specialty. So, you really need to shop smarter given your particular
    situation before coming on the boards and ranting about how the ACA
    raised your rates (that is assuming this is really your situation and
    you aren’t just another rightwinger trying to make a persuasive horror
    story about the ACA out of thin air). So, if you are telling the truth,
    then you need to do a better job looking at the plans before you
    complain. If you aren’t, then shame on you for trying to scare folks
    with yet another false ACA horror story.

  • Mark Cohen

    At best Greg is just not a very careful shopper, at worse he is another of these peddling false ACA horror stories to try and scare the masses. I
    just chose a KY silver plan for a 51 year old male making 100K per
    year. You chose to look at the plan with the lowest montly premium.
    Well OF COURSE taking a dramatically lower premium is going to raise the
    costs of all coverage used. You are currently paying $600/mo and
    trying to compare that coverage with a plan that is listed at
    $285.55/month. However, compare with some of the other plans costing in
    the $400-500/month range and you find $3600 MOOP, no specialist copays,
    combined med/drug deductible of $3000, $40 copay brand name, $15 copay
    generic, and a 0% coinsurance after you hit your deductible for
    specialty. So, you really need to shop smarter given your particular
    situation before coming on the boards and ranting about how the ACA
    raised your rates (that is assuming this is really your situation and
    you aren’t just another rightwinger trying to make a persuasive horror
    story about the ACA out of thin air). So, if you are telling the truth,
    then you need to do a better job looking at the plans before you
    complain. If you aren’t, then shame on you for trying to scare folks
    with yet another false ACA horror story.

  • GregoryC

    See comment above.

  • GregoryC

    Are you coming up with new material Mr. Cohen or will you continue reprinting the same comment.

  • GregoryC

    I didn’t make the decision to move my prescription drugs from brand name drugs at fixed co-payments to specialty drugs at fluctuating coinsurance percentages, that was a decision by the pharmaceutical corporations and health insurance corporations who wrote the PPACA.

  • GregoryC

    You didn’t dig well Mr. Cohen. Kentucky’s state-sponsored high risk pool ends coverage on December 31, 2013, as required by the PPACA. All current enrollees will be required to seek insurance on the HIX or through private insurers. I received a letter from the Kentucky Department of Insurance, Kentucky Access, in September warning me months in advance to seek other health care.

  • GregoryC

    Health insurance business model is the problem, not the solution. I would have preferred expanded Medicaid for the lower wage income levels, which is more than one-half of working people today, and expanded Medicare for others with the financial means of paying for health insurance.

  • GregoryC

    I support regulations. Citing William Black, the deregulation, desupervision and de facto decriminalization of the financial sector contributed to the financial collapse of 2008. Watch ‘Lord of the Flies’ if you think deregulation is a wise approach.

  • GregoryC

    There were only two plans that were of interest to me based on income, age. The Kentucky Health Cooperative, Silver plan, for a 51 year old at my income level was ~$312 per month premium, but with $2500 deductible (including the Rx deductible) and $6350 MOOP Limit. The class of drugs I take to remain alive are ALL listed as Speciality drugs requiring a 35% coinsurance monthly. My copay for a physician office visit, specialist, would be $50. My lab costs were subject to a 35% coinsurance too. I have labs done quarterly, costing ~$1,000 each time. One drug I take has a retail cost of ~$2,000 month. I currently pay a $30 copay through Kentucky Access, Blue Access PPO with a Rx drug rider. That cost would increase to ~$700 month based on current retail cost. I would have to spend $6,350 year in addition to the premium costs for 100% payment of prescription drugs in the specialty tier. I have the choice of 11-12 plans, one platinum, none gold, the remainder divided equally among bronze and silver metal plans. Kentucky Health Coop listed the lowest deductible among the silver/bronze plans.

  • Mark Cohen

    It won’t let me reply to your post above while under moderation, so I’ll post it here for now:

    You are no careful shopper. I have just been through ALL of your posts about this going back 16 days ago. In your post 16 days ago, you claimed your CURRENT High risk plan was changing to be lower premium, but higher costs. I have copy/pasted that post here so you can’t go edit it:

    “GregoryC
    BuckMulligan

    16 days ago
    My current premium for the Kentucky high-risk pool is $618. Next year the premium drops to $412, but ALL other costs rise. Deductible increases from $1,000 now to $2,500. Out of pocket maximum increases from $2,500 now to $6,350. Co-payments to see a Primary Care Physician increase from $10 now to $50. One prescription, brand name, no generic available, increases from $30 month to $700 month (35% coinsurance). Lab costs are free now, next year 35% coinsurance. I thought prescription drug coverage was one of Obamacare’s Ten Essential Health Benefits? Not if they’re moved to the Specialty Drug Tiers. That is a discriminatory practice motivated by reducing cost for insurers, shifting cost to patients.”

    You NOW claim that you have to switch from your high risk insurance to the KY ACA silver insurance plan with the values you keep repeating. However, anyone who looks at the KY ACA site will see that you are not quoted ONE single plan. There are SEVERAL silver plans available. The one you keep quoting from is the one with the lowest monthly premiums ($285) for a 51 year old male making $100,000 per year. However, as I posted in my other responses to your other posts after I did more research, there are multiple silver plans available including a plan that is the SAME as your current plan (Anthem Blue PPO) (assuming you didn’t lie about that as well). This plan has lower MOOP ($3600) and NO coinsurance for specialty drugs. Add to all of the above falsehoods with the now NEW claim that ALL of his meds are specialty meds (his previous posts indicated that one of his meds went from brand name to specialty), it becomes very clear that YOU are in fact yet another liar making up false ACA horror stories in an ultimately losing attempt to shutdown the ACA in its tracks. Your only hope of succeeding is if you convince people to not even check how good/bad the plans are for them. Once they check, the large majority find affordable health care.

    Finally, as to your last point. No, I am not someone who attacks dissidents, only LIARS.

  • Mark Cohen

    Same comment applies to your repeated telling of the same set of lies Greg.

  • GregoryC

    I didn’t choose a plan with the lowest premium, in fact, I reviewed plans with the highest premiums, because I prefer lower deductibles, coinsurance, co-payments. The only plan I saw at $400 premium per month was a Humana plan with a limited network of physicians and using only Norton Hospitals. Humana controls costs by limiting their network. With the Kentucky Health Coop/Silver, I would pay 35% coinsurance for Specialty drugs until I satisfied the $6,350 MOOP limit and then I would receive 100% health insurance company financial support. It would not take long to hit $6,350, which is the PPACA individual MOOP limit (double for families, but I am single). I am not ranting or raving, just relaying my own experiences. My Kentucky Access plan was a Premier Access plan, one of the most expensive, but I had lower costs throughout the year too.

  • Mark Cohen

    Nope. My comment above was BEFORE I did further research and realized that you were lying through your teeth. Your story started 16 days ago claiming that your current state provided high risk insurance plan changed all of its benefits. That has morphed to the current version where you talk about the KY ACA silver plan having these qualities. Further, you start with this story above about a single name brand drug being moved from brand category to specialty. Then in your most recent responses to my post, you now allege that ALL of your drugs are now specialty drugs. Your story changes almost as frequently as most folks change underwear. FINALLY, just so everyone knows in case they don’t read my other responses to your numerous posts spreading this lie, when Greg discusses all of the increased costs he supposedly saw for the ACA silver plan, he posts as if it is a single plan that was quoted to him. However, the KY ACA site does not give a single silver ACA plan. It provides multiple plans with different coverages/premiums to choose from. Greg is comparing his current ($600/mo premium) plan with the LOWEST premium plan available in the silver level ($285/mo). Of course a lower premium will result in higher costs for benefits. However, there are additional plans in the $400-500/mo premium range that do not have have coinsurance for specialty drugs. Greg COULD have chosen that plan, but then he wouldn’t have anything to post all over the place and try to scare people with yet another false ACA horror story.

  • Mark Cohen

    Well, here is the one place we will agree. But that was NEVER going to happen with the current political make up in Congress. So, the ACA is better than the status quo by a long shot.

  • Mark Cohen

    For this post, I am going to suspend my firmly held conviction that you are lying (based on your multiple changing story fact patterns), and address your post as if you are telling the truth:

    Your post just now, CONFIRMS that if you are telling the truth, you are the WORST at shopping for healthcare. Given the situation you claim to be in: Chronic illness, requiring ONLY specialist visits, and requiring ONLY meds listed as specialty meds, the plan with the lowest premium is the STUPIDEST move you could possibly have chosen. Every single other plan would have been better. As an example, one of the plans available to you was the Anthem Blue PPO. That plan had a $3600 MOOP (NOT $6350), a slightly higher deductible of $3000 (vs. your $2500), no copay for specialists (vs. your $50 copay, NO copay for in network labs and 0% coinsurance after deductible (vs. your 35% coinsurance), and finally 0% coinsurance for specialty drugs after deductible (vs. your 35% coinsurance). You were pennywise and pound foolish to look at the lowest monthly premium and run with that. So, you make a stupid decision and then run around for weeks posting how the big bad ACA dramatically increased your costs when in fact it was your own lack of foresight? Astounding!

  • Mark Cohen

    You are back to lying I see. Greg, did you miss the part about me going to the website and looking at plans for a 51 year old male? I found the plan you listed ($6350 deductible, 35% coininsurance, etc.) It was presented to me as well, along with several others. THAT is the THE LOWEST deductible plan in the silver tier. There is a plan called Anthem Blue PPO in the silver tier that is $400-500/month premium vs. your $300/month. You posted in another of your posts that you currently had this same plan (through the high risk pool), so you can’t claim it won’t work for you. This plan has a $3600 MOOP limit for individuals, a $3000 deductible, NO copay for specialists (which you claim is all you visit), no coinsurance for specialty meds (which you claim all of your meds are). You SIMPLY CANNOT have shopped for the higher premiums, because the plan you describe is the lowest premium plan they offer for a 51 yo man in the silver tier. Better check your pants for flames.

  • moderator

    Hi GregoryC and Mark Cohen,

    OK you have both made your points quite clearly. Please move along.

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • moderator

    Mark Cohen and GregoryC,

    OK you have both made your points quite clearly. Please move along.

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • GregoryC

    Resorting to personal attacks appears to be your preferred method of personal communication. NO person buying insurance on federal or state health exchanges will have a MOOP limit lower than $6,350 for an individual, if he or she is not receiving tax credits/subsidies. Humana and KY Health Cooperative both require coinsurance for specialty drugs. In fact, when the CMS implemented the Medicare Part D prescription benefit, it permitted Part D plans to use specialty tiers too. According to the National Patient Advocate Foundation, May 2013, “the price of specialty medications generally exceeds the $600 threshold.” In 2012, Medicare Part D plans allowed 33% coinsurance for specialty-tier drugs. “The average out of pocket expense was $547.07 per prescription,” states the NPAF report. I never said ALL my prescriptions are specialty drugs, I said my BRAND name drug is a specialty tier drug. This is a growing trend for group health insurance, Medicare Part D plans and Federal/State Health Insurance Exchanges. 25% of employee health insurance plans now have specialty tiers with coinsurance averaging 32% of a drug’s cost. Considering the most common Cystic Fibrosis drug cost $180,000 per year, FDA recently approved Gilead’s new Hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi, for a cost of $1,000 per pill or $84,000 for a 12-week supply for treatment. Many antiretrovirals used to treat HIV/AIDS are listed in the Specialty drug tiers with few exceptions for older drugs. Atripla has an annual cost of $24,000; Stribild has an annual cost of $28,000.

    Without disclosing my personal health history in an open forum, I am relaying the truth for me.

    What you may not realize, is that the fact that there are companies selling health insurance on the exchanges are using the specialty drug tiers as a method of cherry-picking enrollees with pre-existing conditions. Not so subtle way of discouraging people from applying for health insurance so they don’t have to pay for expensive biological/specialty drugs.

  • Mark Cohen

    Hi Greg, You have misinterpreted my unwillingless to let you get by with a false ACA horror story to be a personal attack. I have no personal knowledge of you and therefore no reason to attack you. When I first read your response, I gave you the benefit of the doubt and simply said that the ACA isn’t perfect but better than the status quo. However, your story intrigued me and I delved deeper (both into the healthcare policies available in Kentucky on the ACA exchange and into your past versions of your story). It was only when the Kentucky ACA site revealed that you were mistaken regarding the plans available to you and when your story kept changing that it became apparent that your ACA horror story wasn’t exactly true. After being confronted with the evidence from the KY ACA site you persist to present false data.

    You are incorrect regarding MOOP. You can pay higher premiums and have a lower MOOP. The $6350 is an ACA mandated ceiling, not a required fixed value. The insurance companies can and in fact DO have several with lower MOOP values. The one I quoted above ($3600) came from the Kentucky Health Cooperative site for an individual 51 years old, male, making $100,000 per year, and not eligible for subsidies or tax credits. So, you are just outright wrong. Anyone on here can go to the KY site, click to compare plans, put in 51 year old male, and find the same information I am relaying to you. It is astounding to me that you persist in denying it when it is so easy to find on their site.

    You are incorrect regarding the coinsurance for specialty drugs. The silver plans for a 51 year old male offered by the KY ACA exchange includes a plan called Anthem BCBS Blue PPO. That plan has a ZERO percent coinsurance for specialty drugs after your deductible has been met. You will need to pay a premium in the $400/month range rather than the $285/mo range for this better plan, but that is clearly worth it given your need to buy specialty drugs.

    You never claimed all your drugs were specialty? Here is the quote from 7 hours ago in a post responding to me:

    “GregoryC
    Mark Cohen
    7 hours ago
    There were only two plans that were of interest to me based on income, age….blah blah blah…The class of drugs I take to remain alive are ALL listed as Speciality drugs requiring a 35% coinsurance monthly.”

    The class of drugs you take are ALL listed as specialty….hmmmm.

    The rest of your post is pretty much off topic since the point was that you were representing that YOUR only option under the ACA was this one specific silver plan that you described. However, a quick check of the Kentucky ACA exchange site shows that the plan you describe is the one with the cheapest monthly premium (and therefore the most expensive benefits). Other plans (most notably the Anthem Blue PPO) provide MUCH better benefits at a cheaper price for you than the low premium plan you keep pretending is your only option. All of your data regarding drug costs and specialty drug category usage by the insurance companies to scam consumers is all very interesting and very possibly true, but irrelevant to your FALSE claim that the only option for you under the ACA is the specific low premium plan you keep complaining about. There are several other silver plans that would greatly reduce your out of pocket. Your ACA horror story (like many that have been posted here) is false.

  • Mark Cohen

    Hi Sean, Greg responded to one of my posts and I responded a final time. I’ll not bother to respond again as we have (one of us better than the other IMO), as you so eloquently put it, made our points quite clearly. Thanks for your indulgence and extreme patience.

  • Mark Cohen

    You are correct Expatmom! There are better plans for him including Anthem Blue Access PPO. You nailed it!!

  • Anonymous

    It’s exhausting explaining a conservative health plan to conservatives! It’s like dealing with hardheaded teenagers, who think they know it all & will hurt themselves to make their false point.

  • Mark Cohen

    LOL! Exactly! Greg insists on maintaining his false ACA horror story even after I went on the Kentucky ACA exchange site and found that there are multiple silver level ACA plans that are available to him. The plan he chose to complain about is the plan with the lowest premium (and therefore most expensive coverage) which is not the plan for someone with all of the health issues he claims to have. When pointed out to him, he keeps insisting that there is only ONE plan available to him (the one least suitable for him). His story is shredded, yet as you said, he will hurt himself to make his false point. Keep up the good fight! Don’t let them get away with presenting these false stories! :)