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Remember when President Obama pledged that if you like your doctor, and if you like your insurance you can keep it?  This is a link to a very brief video of him making this commitment in a weekly address, which I just cannot bear to post. It makes me both sad and angry.

But though I will vote again for Barack Obama in November, telling Americans they can  keep the insurance they already have--at least if you live in New York State, is simply not accurate.

And when Americans are cynical and refuse to trust a word of what politicians say, it's because we've been asked to drink the Kool Aid far too often. And finally we say, no mas!

Premiums for individual and small group health insurance in New York which is one of six guaranteed issue, community rating statesare going through the roof.  

Health insurance is simply unaffordable for those of us forced to fend for ourselves in the individual, and to a large exten, also in the small group market.  This is because healthy young people would have to be crazy to pay for this defective product, hence only older and sicker people like me buy into this rigged and revolting game. This is what is known as the classic insurance death spiral--when the young and healthy refuse to participate, only old and unhealthy remain.

And every year, as sure as night follows day, the premiums go up, as the benefits go down.

My friend called me crying the other day, because contrary to the guarantee of President Obama, she is losing her coverage and her doctors. Cigna is just the latest to pull out of the individual and small group market in New York.  My own insurance with Blue Cross is ending in December--they too are leaving the small group market.

This is the letter my friend received from the insurance broker.

The onset of Health Care Reform has been causing tremendous change within the industry, regardless of the pending Supreme Court ruling on this law.  We are experiencing insurance carriers leaving the market, as well as the implementation of strict rules and the elimination of many programs.  The new rulings and guidelines that have been implemented recently have made the insurance companies extraordinarily careful when evaluating their group plans and the level of losses that occur within the year.

I am sending this email to inform you that your current CIGNA health insurance program, which has been undergoing an evaluation pending a September 1st renewal, has been affected because of a tremendous loss within the group.  Regretfully, the entire group, as well as your health insurance benefits, are being terminated as of JULY 1, 2012.

In order to make this transition as easy as possible, I have attached a spreadsheet showing several options for you to review.  In addition, you will be receiving a phone call from my office as a follow up within the next day or two.  We can then schedule a time that is most convenient for you to discuss and evaluate these programs with myself or another manager from my office.   During this period, my office will remain open in the evening, as well as during certain times throughout the weekend.

We certainly understand how stressful this transition can be, and we are here to assist you in every way possible.  We are doing everything we can to present several options to those affected, and to make this difficult situation as effortless as possible.
 

These are some of the new rate quotes she received.  Almost all the plans have significant deductibles, co-pays and huge out-of-pocket costs.

The cheapest is Option 1:  $355.00 a month with a $5800 deductible. You got it, a $5800 deductible.

What happens when you have this high deductible junk insurance?  Well, you don't use it, of course, because you are paying out-of-pocket for everything until you've paid the full deductible. So, as I've been saying for close to ten years now, you don't go to the doctor--and a small easily treated problem, becomes after years of no treatment, a big, bad and in many cases a deadly disease.  We Americans are so exceptional. Isn't this a great country we live in--not!

This is my first use of screen shot so forgive the primitive nature of what you  are about to see.

The important point is to look at the unbelievable rates, and the concomitant co-pays, deductibles, etc. This is bare minimum insurance.  Certainly the least expensive products are what we call, 'insurance in name only'.

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So as we all await the SCOTUS ruling, the political class will have to forgive us our cynicism. We got something called the Affordable Care Act, and things are exponentially worse for those this was supposed to help.Yes, of course, there are some benefits which are helping some people, but probably the law remains unpopular because Americans continue to wonder where is the affordable care?

We really need a revolution in the country. We are seriously on the wrong path.

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