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View Diary: Obama and Dems may have just lost their most stalwart supporter with this Obamacare ruling (568 comments)

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  •  Obamacare: 24-30 million uninsured. (14+ / 0-)

    From the NY Times article linked in the diary:

    The Congressional Budget Office predicts that 30 million people will be uninsured in 2016 and that 6 million of them will pay penalties.
    So even if all those paying the penalty in 2016 sign up for insurance in 2017, we're still left with 24 million uninsured.

    This is not really news. We've known since the day of enactment that Obamacare was not universal. Still it sucks. But still, it sucks less than the GOP. Once again, the Dems are clearly the Lesser Evil. Sigh.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:24:20 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's one thing if you can afford insurance (20+ / 0-)

      but choose not to and get a fine. It's another thing if you can't afford insurance and would like it, and get a fine. How could that be constitutional?

      Ah, right, it's not a fine, it's a "tax". Clever there, constitutional scholar prez.

      In the end, these people just want the glory without the effort or risk, so as to not endanger that post-politics long retirement or gig on K Street. They cover it up with all these abstractions about having to be "pragmatic", while in reality only looking out for themselves and their cronies. Obama may have won, but in the end the inauguration was really about the political elites celebrating their power over the rest of us, on both sides of the aisle. Paid for by the very firms they crafted legislation to benefit. It's the biggest con in history.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:33:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's a legit complaint, but you're missing it. (13+ / 0-)
        It's one thing if you can afford insurance but choose not to and get a fine. It's another thing if you can't afford insurance and would like it, and get a fine. How could that be constitutional?

        Ah, right, it's not a fine, it's a "tax".

        No--under Obamacare, even under this new regulation, if you can't afford insurance, you don't pay a fine or a tax. You simply don't get coverage.

        That is, assuming you don't qualify for Medicaid. And it appears 24 million or so won't qualify for Medicaid, won't pay a fine, won't pay a tax, just won't get covered.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:47:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you, HeyMikey. (5+ / 0-)

          It gets hard to commiserate with legitimate gripes — the shrinking window of who will get helped by Obamacare — when people start regurgitating the Tea Party frames — that Obama will make you pay for not getting insurance you can't afford. That person paying $566 a month would need an income of nearly $6000 a month — or more than $70,000 a year — to pay a penalty.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:03:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  notably also (8+ / 0-)

          while you don't get coverage you also now have the ability to buy coverage in the future should the need arise or circumstances change. This may not seem like a big deal,but it essentially amounts to a catastrophic insurance policy automatically being issued to every American. One of the most scary aspects of not having insurance currently is the consequences if one acquires a condition during a period of no coverage. Now one will be able to elect to be uncovered for a period of time without the risk of such consequences.

          No--under Obamacare, even under this new regulation, if you can't afford insurance, you don't pay a fine or a tax. You simply don't get coverage.
          •  Yep. Great health care policy (6+ / 0-)

            to encourage people to wait until they're really sick to get insurance... if they can afford it even then.

            Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

            by chuckvw on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:22:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No. Mandate/penalty/tax DISCOURAGES that. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SlackerInc, Sylv

              Your concern is exactly why Obamacare has the mandate/penalty/tax/whatever-ya-call-it.

              It's only people who can't afford the premiums who won't be subject to the mandate.

              Now, I (like probably most Kossacks) think people who can't afford premiums should get, y'know, healthcare, not exempted from healthcare. So in that respect Obamacare sucks. But as I said above, it sucks less than the GOP.

              The Dems aren't inspirational. But they are the Lesser Evil.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:16:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Read the comment I was responding to (0+ / 0-)
                One of the most scary aspects of not having insurance currently is the consequences if one acquires a condition during a period of no coverage. Now one will be able to elect to be uncovered for a period of time without the risk of such consequences.
                Part of the evil is the sheer confusion, less though it may be. Less evil than the rethugs doesn't really mean much these days.

                Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

                by chuckvw on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:58:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  But that's the point (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SlackerInc, HeyMikey

                  If you can't afford insurance when you aren't ill, and then you suffer some catastrophic accident or illness, which most likely prevents you from earning even what you were before, how are you supposed to suddenly be able to afford to be covered by insurance? Even if you are somehow well enough during this time to take the time and effort to apply for this insurance, which by the way is certainly by no means retroactive.

                  Sure, probably you end up hitting medicaid pretty quickly, assuming your state is still offering that to more than three people by that time, but in the interim you could easily end up owing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

                  •  Great health policy (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    SlackerInc

                    That's my point. No coverage "when you're not sick", means no preventative or routine care that might prevent serious illness. Not good policy.

                    Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

                    by chuckvw on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:32:50 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Compared to what? (0+ / 0-)

                      All that you and Fred Fnord say is true. And it all sucks. And it will all apply to 24 million people, give or take, which really sucks.

                      BUT--today it applies to between 40 and 50 million people.

                      The Dems have improved the situation by tens of millions of people. And that required a titanic political battle against the GOP. Real improvement, yet it still really sucks. The Lesser Evil.

                      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                      by HeyMikey on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:57:06 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  But in a way, this is precisely the problem (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        HeyMikey

                        They have carved off all the groups of people who really galvanise people into action.  Kids and young adults, the elderly, the disabled, the working poor.  By cynically leaving out my cohort (middle-aged adults who don't work for pay but are married to those who do for moderate pay a little ways above the poverty level), it has basically ensured that we will get ignored forever.  There's never going to be some groundswell of outrage to get us covered (witness how many comments even in this thread were thinly veiled versions of "well, your kids can get insurance, so who cares if you can't").  

                        Whereas in every other civilised country we would get coverage too, now we never will.  I thought this bill was going to kind of shuffle us in with the others, but now the chance is gone.

                        -9.00, -3.69 "The purpose of a campaign is not to answer their attacks, but make them answer our attacks." - Paul Begala

                        by SlackerInc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:50:17 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Infuriating on so many levels. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          SlackerInc

                          It's unfair.

                          It's inhumane.

                          It's not even good politics. If folks in your situation got government-assisted healthcare, we'd have millions more loyal Dem voters.

                          And it's not like cutting you out is suddenly going to make millions of Tea Partiers suddenly vote Democratic.

                          The whole thing is just crazy.

                          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                          by HeyMikey on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:09:18 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Right (9+ / 0-)

          I am not saying this makes me any worse off than before.  But I wanted to be BETTER off and thought for sure I would be!

          -9.00, -3.69 "The purpose of a campaign is not to answer their attacks, but make them answer our attacks." - Paul Begala

          by SlackerInc on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:38:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  still trying to figure this out (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw

          does this mean that all those subsidies are not going to be funneled into the belly of the insurance industry so that they will condescend to cover us peons who can't afford insurance? Is that basically dead in the water?

          I never liked that policy much anyway, but I'd like to get some clarification...

          if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:04:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please understand that your "funneled into the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SlackerInc, HeyMikey

            belly of the insurance industry" would be SlackerInc's "paid for part of my premium so I could afford health insurance for myself and my children" if this government regulation did not bar his family from receiving the credit. The subsidies will help out those who cannot afford insurance, and this diary demonstrates the importance of making those subsidies as broadly available as possible. Our first priority should be ensuring that we are providing for as many Americans as possible, even if that means an unsavory industry ends up benefiting.

            •  Sure. It's not the way I would have decided (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SlackerInc, Shahryar, HeyMikey, kareylou

              to do it, putting the most untrustworthy people involved into the center of the policy, but it's done, and the only thing that matters now, I guess, is making sure that a)the money gets to the insurance corps and b)the insurance corps actually use the money to insure people. Which, if the government doesn't have regulators with the guts of an Eliot Ness, they probably won't.  Any chance to siphon off money without providing services, and these people will do it.

              if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:12:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Obamacare does that, more or less. 20% rule. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SlackerInc, indie17, mmacdDE, Kickemout

                Obamacare has a rule that the insurance companies have to deliver at least 80 cents of healthcare for every dollar collected in premiums. If they don't, the difference has to be refunded to customers. (Some insurance companies had to pay these refunds last year.)

                The insurance companies have been howling about this, since their previous profit margins were more like 30 to 40 percent.

                Hell, if the government would guarantee my business a 20% profit margin, I'd call that a damn good deal.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:19:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually, it's an interestingly perverse incentive (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SlackerInc, Kickemout
                  Hell, if the government would guarantee my business a 20% profit margin, I'd call that a damn good deal.
                  Actually, there's an interesting perverse incentive here. Because what this means is, in order to grow their profits (in dollar terms), the insurance company must either gain more customers (which is pretty hard) or increase the amount of money that the health care of the average customer costs, thus increasing the amount that they can spend on customers, and the amount that their 20% represents.

                  I'm not saying that it's bad that they're limited to 20% profits, mind you. I'm just saying that it gives health insurance companies a huge incentive to pay more for health care.

                  •  it is NOT 20% PROFITS; it's (0+ / 0-)

                    20% for all administrative expenses. Anything not being paid out for actual care or provisions of care.

                    I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

                    by samddobermann on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:59:11 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Fair enough (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SlackerInc

                      So 20% is the limit for combined administrative overhead and profit margin?

                      In any case, my point stands: the only way for them to make more money in an absolute sense is to increase the cost of health care. Not perhaps the incentive we wanted to provide.

        •  No one can fall into a donut hole? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joe Bacon, peregrine kate, schnecke21

          You sure about that? I remember that when SCHIP was being debated some years ago, the issue was there was a large group of people with children whose combined income was too high for SCHIP or Medicaid but too low to afford insurance. Has ACA completely solved that?

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:20:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're missing this, too. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SlackerInc, peregrine kate, indie17

            The whole point of this discussion is that there will be a significant number of people who have too much income to qualify for Medicaid, but too little income to afford private insurance, even with Obamacare subsidies. About 24 million people.

            These 24 million people:

            * Will NOT get Medicaid.

            * Will NOT get Obamacare subsidies.

            * Will NOT have to pay an Obamacare penalty/tax.

            * Will NOT get anything.

            24 million.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:23:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Who decides if you (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          myeye, indie17, schnecke21, k9disc

          can or can't afford it? I've seen what our government thinks is affordable and what they exact from the so called middle class.  Sacrifice and eat your peas or take an aspirin because we do not disparage wealth creation in America and we need to keep the insurance/health care for profits, profitable. CEO's are good people. Austerity and sacrifice demands that you keep these private entities competitive no public public social services as we need to pay off the debt that we ran up with our wars and gambling casino.. What a scam.    

          •  Obamacare law decides. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade

            There's an income/family size schedule written into Obamacare. That decides whether you are subject to the mandate; and if so, how much of a subsidy you get, if any.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:25:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We used that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HeyMikey, chuckvw

              and of course we don't qualify for a subsidy we make too much,  and yet a huge amount of our gross goes to taxes and SS. We will get a two year reprieve of the % penalty/mandate so were only out 100$ till ???? But we cannot afford insurance or health care. We may not qualify for subsidies according to Obamacare but we are barely keeping ourselves afloat as it is. Whoever figures out the cost of living and the eligibility cut offs etc. is not hooked into the real economy, or more likely could care less about what their bs. calculations and data do to people who are struggling to live on what they call being able to afford.

              Jeeze you can't get blood out of a turnip and then call it affordable when it's not. . Sacrifice your house your business your decent food cause the insurance companies need to be obscenely profitable. Kind of like they want do to SS with their chained CPI.  All they care about is getting what little money ordinary people have funneled to the top via austerity and then privatizing everything for profit, social services or anything public we do pay for. What a fraud. This is not what Democratic policy looks like. Mittencare isn't democratic reform it's viscous corporatism privatizing a universal right access to health care, at a time when people are hurting. Why should we have to call this reform or better then? It sucks regardless of which party touts it as an accomplishment.  

                   

          •  While I don't begrudge people success or wealth, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade, SlackerInc

            I do think that profit taking is kind of out of control.

            Profits are the things that happen after the bills are paid and the executives get their bonuses. It's extra money, lazy money for investors.

            Trapping the middle class in the 401K, 40 years of dumb money and future prosperity predicated on grow or die economics, quarterly forecasts, and bottom line thinking.

            Is it any wonder why we can't talk about anything important to us as a people without using monetary language and bottom line thinking?

            So frustrating...

            Perhaps we need to start to put monetary value on misery...

            peace~

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:58:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  "just won't get covered" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SlackerInc

          Not comforting for the 24 million or so.

        •  It depends what you mean by 'affordable' (0+ / 0-)

          There are a lot of people with special circumstances, and it doesn't appear to me that there is much in the way of latitude in determining what constitutes special circumstances when it comes to deciding what is 'affordable' and what is not.

          So your statement is factually wrong. It reads:

          No--under Obamacare, even under this new regulation, if you can't afford insurance, you don't pay a fine or a tax. You simply don't get coverage.
          When it should read,
          No--under Obamacare, even under this new regulation, if the government decides that you can't afford insurance, you don't pay a fine or a tax. You simply don't get coverage.
          This is not a trivial difference.
      •  Why wouldn't it be constitutional? nt (0+ / 0-)
      •  I'm Convinced This Was a Sham (7+ / 0-)

        from the start. I remember this televised conference on Health Care that was broadcast live from the White House. Big Pharm/Health Insurance Executives were invited, but at first proponents of Single Payer were excluded. When a stink was raised, a few were included.

        Dems told me that this is just a start, we can't get anything better right now. I had my doubts, and now I know I was right to actively keep trying to promote Single Payer or Medi-Care for all. As a nation, we should do better than this. This is a perfect example of what happens when the Capitalists write our legislation, and the citizens get shafted.

        We must be the change we wish to see in the world. - Gandhi

        by left of center on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:08:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is what happens when the citizens don't vote. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          auron renouille

          Turnout in the 2008 Prez election: 63.0% (or 57.1%, depending on the Wikipedia page).

          Turnout in 2012: 57.5%.

          Turnout is generally lowest among the poor, the less-educated, the non-white, and the young. (Youth turnout bucked the trend in 2008, though.)

          We get what we vote for--or fail to vote against.

          The problem with democracy is that the people get, on average, what we deserve.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:30:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  well...if Obamacare ends up fining enough (7+ / 0-)

      people at the same time the Dems try to make cuts to Medicare and Social Security, there are going to be serious problems politically out in the states in 2014.  That's a secondary concern to what's going to happen in people's lives, of course.  

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:02:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  11 million of that 24 million (0+ / 0-)

      will not be eligible because they are undocumented...at least until we get immigration reform.

      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by NLinStPaul on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:35:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How does it suck less (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shahryar, schnecke21, chuckvw

      it in no way makes insurance affordable which was what it was sold as. Sure they have to insure you but who can afford it and why should they have to. 10,000 $ deductible junk policies at the same price per mo. as my mortgage, property taxes and home insurance is not affordable. It would literally would make us homeless or lose our business. And yes to add insult to injury we will get fined. Then they tell me I'm irresponsible not to buy their extortion which still doesn't get me access to affordable health care.        

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