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View Diary: Merkley co-sponsors Landrieu bill to allow consumers to keep health plans (159 comments)

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  •  Several reasons, most of them political (21+ / 0-)

    The ACA is about reforming and regulating the health insurance industry, in so doing, modestly expanding coverage and reducing overall health care costs.  Grandfathering existing junk policies is a necessary political expedient, and it is far better than deregulating the industry and allowing them to offer junk in the future. It has the following political benefits:

    (1)  Honors the President's (excessively broad) statement that people can continue to keep the insurance they have.  The whole ACA has been a communications fuckup from the start, and Obama should not have said that... but he did.

    (2) Shows the Democrats as the party that is actually trying to come up with solutions, and not just preserve the status quo.

    (3)  Provides a little breathing room so that people who elect to keep junk insurance, and suffer accordingly, can be the subject of television and newspaper articles about how the insurance companies screw them over.  That would, however, require a competent communications team and policy.  See (1) above.

    The downside of course, is that it will undermine the effort to distribute risk throughout the whole population and will cause other policies which are more comprehensive to increase in cost.  The self-employed will be able to continue with cheaper crap policies, but the pool of resources will be less.  Therefore, higher costs for everyone, including when holders of crap insurance go bankrupt and can't pay their bills.

    But we live in an imperfect world, in a country in which we're not able to get single payer or be completely rational about equity and cost in the health care system.  If we were more rational, we would be going for single-payer.  Even Obama recognizes this, but our nation is so fundamentally broken at this point in our history that this is unattainable.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 09:47:53 AM PST

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    •  Keeping junk insurance (5+ / 0-)

      does not only affect the person keeping the insurance.

      It affects the efficacy of the ACA.

      We need people to enroll in the exchanges.  That's how cost is kept down.

      If young people keep shit insurance policies because the policies are cheap and they are relatively healthy, the exchange suffers from a shortage of healthy enrollees.

      The exchanges can't survive if too few people are paying in and not submitting claims.

      That is why the GOP has been trying to keep young people from enrolling.

      •  Which is why (4+ / 0-)

        Landrieu's proposal - to allow existing junk policies to be grandfathered, but prevent new junk from being issued - is the only possible compromise at this point. The GOP proposal - allow junk policies - would do as you say, and doom ACA.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 10:31:35 AM PST

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        •  I actually don't think (0+ / 0-)

          the insurance companies want a law that will require them to keep these junk policies in force "as long as the premiums are paid".

          They have enjoyed being able to cancel these policies and raise rates with impunity, and continually issue new ones and raise rates on those.

          I'm sure they raise rates every time one of these policies is actually utilized.

          Without the ability to raise rates (is this addressed in the proposed law?), they won't want to continue these policies.

          They don't even want to keep the grandfathered policies in place, and have been misleading people into signing up for policies that they actually offer in the exchanges for a lower premium.

          There is a lawsuit right now because ins cos are tricking people out of their grandfathered policies.  Those are people who are also in the "canceled" group.  not all policies being canceled are junk policies.

          Making insurance companies keep grandfathered policies (that meet ACA requirements re recission and preexisting conditions and caps) in place would go a long way in solving this issue.

          •  We might have to enact Landrieu's proposal (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            If a sufficiently large majority of American want to make a change along these lines, we will have to enact one or the other. Landrieu's proposal is the better one.

            We fight for PPACA as written, but if we lose on that, Landrieu's proposal is our backup.

          •  As ins cos do raise rates on junk plans, ACA will (0+ / 0-)

            be a more attractive option.

            As others have said, not everyone has a junk policy. Friends were on a state pool plan that they were happy with. These people are very health ins savy having worked in the industry. However the plan is being cancelled as of 12/31.

            They have been trying since day 1 to sign up for ACA coverage. They don't qualify for a subsidy so it should have been easier. Yet, it took until today to accomplish this. They did it directly through the insurance company.

            Took about 2hours. Were disconnected twice. Agent could not answer all of their questions. After signing up with the agent, they still had to go to company's  website to complete the transaction.

            Anyone not insurance savy could have major problems just trying to decide which plan from which company is right for them.

            It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

            by auapplemac on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 11:30:28 AM PST

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