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View Diary: Why Mary Landrieu's Obamacare bill is a political winner (201 comments)

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  •  I ran through the site (40+ / 0-)

    Gave it all my info, looked at my choices and chose to stay with my employer provided policy.

    I'm sure I'm not counted in the enrolled number, but the site did what it was supposed to do for me - take my info, give me choices, and let me make an informed decision.

    "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

    by nightsweat on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 01:44:51 PM PST

    •  You don't. (7+ / 0-)

      Only those who signed up for a policy through the exchange counted.

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 01:54:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not quite (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If you put a plan in the "shopping cart", but did not actually pay the Administration is counting it in their total.  So, if you picked a plan, didn't like the price and simply decided to leave it online in case you changed your mind later -- that counts.

        •  Incorrect, devil (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The administration is counting 'enrolled' the same way an insurer does; when you have sent in the first premium.

          •  Only Washington (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Berkeley Fred, HCKAD, bobatkinson

            could so complicate a simple concept like health care for citizens as badly as this.

            There is ZERO added benefit for the citizen by accommodating the private health care insurance industry.

            Health care should be a governmental service; provided as a function of taxes, with no deductible.  It's absurdly simple and easy to do.  Most civilized countries do this without tying themselves into knots to accomplish it.

            What IS the problem here?

            "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." -Jimi Hendrix

            by Four of Nine on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 05:22:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "What IS the problem here?" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Money. Greed to be more exact.

            •  Consider this Phase One. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yumn, ntsinback, rabrock

              As the right wing fears, and working poor and middle income people hope, circumstances will eventually force us to go to single payer, so that every patient will have a doctor available, every doctor will be sure of being paid on time, and the insurance companies are selling some other product.

              In the meantime, once the startup bugs are worked out, it sure beats what we had before: zero chance for some is now a reasonable chance.  And no one who has DECENT insurance has to worry about being canceled, since it can always be replaced on the exchange (except for Medicaid expansion; but once the big battle to stop the ACA is finally lost, red states will be pressured by advocacy groups on the left AND hospitals on the right to go ahead and take it).

            •  This is a very old problem. (0+ / 0-)

              It dates back to 1946, when Harry Truman wanted to do what Britain, France, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries were doing:  establish basic health care as a government service, paid for by general tax revenues, with no deductible--just as you described.  The AMA hired one of the first political PR firms to sell the myth that "socialized medicine" would lead to Communism.  That worked:  conservatives in Congress shot down Truman's proposal.

              Meanwhile, American companies, having practically the only manufacturing base in the world not left in ruins by WWII, wanted to keep the wheels turning and avoid strikes, even though labor unions were much more powerful then than now.  So they took to offering health insurance and pension benefits to their employees in lieu of higher wages and/or shorter working hours.  Here in California, where Kaiser is one of the four biggest health insurers (and the only one joined at the hip with a health service provider), the history is illustrative.

              Henry J. Kaiser was a big industrialist:  Kaiser Steel, Kaiser automobiles, building materials, etc.  He started what we now think of as Kaiser as a captive service for the employees of his various firms.  That was so successful that he began making it available to other companies such as Southern Pacific, who wanted to offer something similar without having to develop it from the ground up.  When I write a check for my Senior Advantage plan, I make it out to "Kaiser Permanente", named after Permanente Creek.  That creek runs past the Kaiser cement plant, which is still in operation today.

              That, basically, is how North America wound up with employers being responsible for helping their workers get health insurance, while the unemployed, indigent and uninsured headed for the emergency rooms, driving up everyone else's costs.  The weird twist is how Canada, decades later than Europe, broke away from the unsustainable American scheme and adopted its own form of socialized medicine.  If you're interested, you can look that up.  Google "Tommy Thompson".

          •  I'm afraid you are wrong (2+ / 0-)
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            Jon Says, sotiredofusernames

            The Administration is using a more expansive definition of who is an enrollee than the insurance companies.  The article from the Washington Post earlier this week  states:


            Excerpt from article:

            When the Obama administration releases health law enrollment figures later this week, though, it will use a more expansive definition. It will count people who have purchased a plan as well as  those who have a plan sitting in their online shopping cart but have not yet paid.

            “In the data that will be released this week, ‘enrollment’ will measure people who have filled out an application and selected a qualified health plan in the marketplace,” said an administration official, who requested anonymity to frankly describe the methodology.

            The disparity in the numbers is likely to further inflame the political fight over the Affordable Care Act. Each side could choose a number to make the case that the health law is making progress or failing miserably.

        •  I'm gonna go do that right now. (0+ / 0-)


          Reaganomics noun pl: blind faith that unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods and services, that government is bad and it can increase revenue by decreasng revenue. Synonyms: Friedmanomics. Antonyms: common sense. Related Words: Laffer curve

          by FrY10cK on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:42:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm registered, but looking at my options. (7+ / 0-)

      I still have time, and I don't have the money to pay for the policy up front yet. I don't consider myself a failure, or someone who isn't going to sign up. Anyone who signed up immediately either already knew exactly what they wanted, or is going to be sorry later when they realize they didn't really shop and aren't getting the best deal.

    •  taxes (0+ / 0-)

      Your employer provided insurance is tax deductible.  If you buy a private insurance policy not only would it not be tax deductible, it will pay higher taxes.

      On an after tax basis it is hard to see how it would ever be beneficial to obtain a private policy.

      Here are the additional taxes Obamacare places on health insurance:

      don't drone me, bro

      by BradMajors on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 02:45:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  maybe (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        it depends on how much of your policy you pay for out of your check, and how much your employer pays.

      •  "Tax deductable" to your employer ... but only (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sotiredofusernames, Cordyc

        "untaxed income" to you.

        And this was a splendid idea in 1940-something when wartime regulations put caps on wages ... and in the 1950s when top executive  pay might be taxed at as much as 90%.

        This may not have been the BEST Tax Policy.  It certainly helped create "dependency" ... but the good kind ...  employees dependent on employers -- not the BAD kind, citizens depending on Government.

        Remember: no employer ever "GAVE"  insurance to an employee, free/gratis.  Insurance was provided in lieu of other compensation.

        But today ...  "How would it ever be beneficial to obtain a private policy?"  By which, I think you mean "a private policy bought on an Exchange underf the PACA  ..."

        Well .. the first thing coming to mind is "value for money."

        There are people ... young, healthy, and entrepreneurial, with good credit and significant assets ... but maybe a little cash-strapped.  A high-deductable low premium plan with annual and lifetime benefit limits MIGHT be a good choice.  At the very least it means money which would spent on premiums can be redirected to "investment."  A risky strategy ... but that's the nature of Entrepreneurialism -- one takes risks.  Fifty percent of the people "going West" in the 1800s DIED along the route ... more Soldiers of Fortune find early graves than affluent lifestyles -- but that's the nature of Risk -Takers.   "Get rich or die trying"

        But for everyone else:

        Insurance policies with 80% of premiums dedicated to patient care ... that's a honking great improvement for most of us.

        Prohibition of "rescission" and "benefit caps" --  there's another two reasons.

        And then the "community rating" of premiums -- it's a little rough on 50-65 year olds ... but combined with "no prior condition exclusions" and "no cancellation" regulation -- is that  TWO or THREE more reasons?  

        And then there's the possibility  (remote, I admit) that "competition will drive down prices."  But one can hope.

        Now ... frankly ... had I been asked I would have said that Employer-Provided Insurance is one of the biggest millstones around the neck of American "competitiveness" ... and it's one that Employers took on willingly ... eagerly -- with just a little "enabling" by Government.

        What President Obama  OUGHT to have done was announce and enact a long-term program to transition from Employer-Provided, private, for-profit health insurance  to a Single Payer Plan or National Health System.

        And ... for that matter ... a close look at the "premium to payout" ratio on the  policies  the Insurance Cartel sells for homeowners' and automobile insurance would be a good idea.

        The Government Accountability Office is really good at that kind of audit.
        That'd  get  Teabag Knickers in a twist !

        •  very good comment (0+ / 0-)

          In CA I believe that all in Exchange and out of Exchange ACA compliant plans will be under the same community rating.

          I've been looking at the Blue Shield rate filings to understand market pricing and I see that an ACA plan is almost the same price as the Grandfathered plans.

          I have a high deductible grandfathered plan and the closest Bronze Plan in the Exchange is only $1 per day more.  Having a guaranteed rate if I get sick sure seems worth it.

          Congressional elections have consequences!

          by Cordyc on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 05:51:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What he "should have done" would not have passed. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yumn, rabrock

          What he DID get has been watered down by negotiating with conservative Democrats and a few moderate Republicans (some of whom are now out office and replaced by foaming at the mouth Teabaggers).  It does need some tweaks, but the kind of tweaks that THIS Congress would never pass.  If you want single payer, support and vote for a progressive to replace a right wing Republican in your district; and give what you can afford to support as many progressives in other districts and states as you can.

          If we can shut down the Tea Party, the Crusade for Christ, and the good old billionaire's club, things may get better starting in January 2015.

          •  I woulen't have had to PASS ... (0+ / 0-)

            I cannot tell you how TIRED I am of hearing how "it couldn't be helped." and how the only and best solution is to Give More and Clap Harder for the same bunch of soi-dissant "progressives" who failed in the last four election cycles.

            All that was called for in this case was to Fight the Good Fight, in the Noble Lost Cause ... like the Anti-Abortion and War on Christmas people -- and reaped the loyalty and cash contributions that THEY have been enjoying for all these decades.

            But Mr. Hope and Change wanted His Legacy ... a Real Big Package ... an Historical Grand Bargain -- . his name as the correct answer on middle school history exams multiple choice questions for decades to come.

            It WOULD have been nice.  But ... how it was supposed to happen based on "You legislators work  something out among yourselves, BiParftisanally(tm),  and then get back to me with a Bill I can sign" -- is now anybody's guess.

            So ... instead of  snatching an admittedly  Pyrrhic Victory from the Jaws of Defeat, the White House managed a Major Fail  from the Jaws of Victory ...

            I guess that was Destiny, eh?  UNforseen.  UNforeseeable.  But INescapable.  AND Not HIS fault.

            So  Give More, Clap Harder, Feel Good About Yourself.

            Yeah:  "Hold the football for me AGAIN, Lucy."


      •  a caveat to your post... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cordyc, nightsweat, jham710

        for self employed people, like my husband and I ALL health care premiums are 100% deductible. Not your out of pocket or deductibles, if they don't exceed a certain % of your income.

        But, if you're self employed, your premiums will continue to be 100% deductible, whether you're buying private insurance or signing up for Obamacare.

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 05:13:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My employer (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StellaRay, rabrock

          doesn't offer insurance, so I'm on the private market and from what my accountant says, my premiums will still be tax deductible no matter how I get my insurance.

          by jham710 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 09:21:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Correct. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            100% deductible. We're on the private market too, and the deduction takes a nice bite out of the cost. We will be signing up for Obamacare and saving three hundred a month for better coverage.

            "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

            by StellaRay on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 09:37:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  taxes (0+ / 0-)

        You can't make any assumptions about cost until you know a persons income and what if any subsidies apply.

    •  No Choice But To Stay With Employer Policy (0+ / 0-)

      I am sorry to hear that you wasted your time.  As I understand it, you do not have a choice between your employer provided policy and one on the exchange.  If your employer provides health care insurance, that's what you must take.

      Think how many hits on the web site could have been avoided if they had made this more clear from the outset - or told you this when you went to the web site.

      •  UNLESS your employer's plan (0+ / 0-)

        charges more than a specific percentage of your paycheck for your share of the cost (which in more and more of today's jobs is 100% -- the only advantage of the group policy is the spreading of the risk).  Once you know your gross pay and your share of the health plan, you may find that you DO qualify to use the exchange.

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