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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) gestures as he speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
What is he, a communist?
In the midst of Sen. Ted Cruz's extended filibuster 2016 campaign kickoff against Obamacare, comes further confirmation that the free market works and introducing competition into the health insurance marketplace is working.
When open enrollment begins on the online, state-based marketplaces established under Obamacare, premiums nationwide are expected to be around 16 percent lower than originally predicted, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said in a new report released Wednesday.

The administration sees the lower-than-expected premiums as a sign that the plan to drive down health costs for consumers by increasing competition is working. They also point to the insurers entering the individual health insurance market for the first time as a sign of strong competition, as well as the variety of plans that will be available on the market. [...]

[Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius] noted that, according to the report, six in 10 uninsured Americans will be able to find coverage for less than $100 a month, while the average consumer in one of the 36 states with a federally-run marketplace will be able to choose from an average of 53 different plans.

Yay capitalism! Health insurance companies are jumping on the opportunity to provide millions of new customers an affordable product. Just like the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation said it would.

So why again are Heritage Action and Ted Cruz so worked up about it?

Stand with Daily Kos and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in denouncing Republicans who would completely shut down the government just to destroy Obamacare.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:56:18 AM PDT

  •  Why does he hate Americans? That is the (9+ / 0-)

    real question, like most of the evil elected Rs.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:02:54 AM PDT

  •  Tez Crud who™? n/t (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hulibow, Aunt Pat, Fury, Matt Z, Orlaine

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:05:02 AM PDT

  •  Obviously... (7+ / 0-)

    because it doesn't have an undergraduate degree from Princeton, Harvard or Yale.

  •  what happened with this?? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr MadAsHell, gfv6800
    Oct. 2012.....The Obama administration will soon take on a new role as the sponsor of at least two nationwide health insurance plans to be operated under contract with the federal government and offered to consumers in every state.

    These multistate plans were included in President Obama’s health care law as a substitute for a pure government-run health insurance program --the public option sought by many liberal Democrats and reviled by Republicans.

    .....The federal standards will pre-empt state rules in at least one respect: the national health plans will automatically be eligible to compete against other private insurers in the new exchanges, regardless of whether they have been certified as meeting the standards of those exchanges.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:06:38 AM PDT

  •  Manchurian Cruz (7+ / 0-)

    He represented Chinese companies  against the interest of American companies,how American workers he put out of work ,for the interest of  Chinese companies

  •  Cruz's fatal flaw.....Data. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, a2nite
  •  Cuz h3 loves him sum reel stupide voters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, shoeless, Matt Z

    What other reason could any approximately sane senator for a state we should cut loose, oppose a timid step back toward rational health care?

    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

    by TerryDarc on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:09:01 AM PDT

  •  They Will Regret (7+ / 0-)

    Another of their stupidities was establishing the name as ObamaCare - they've made it impossible to say the ACA has roots in Republican ideas and take any credit.

    It is now and forever inseparably linked to President Obama. And no matter how hard they try to poison people's minds against it, it will be a success, it will improve people's lives and it will be popular.

    Senator (Cruz), you're no Wendy Davis.

    by VA Gal on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:10:24 AM PDT

  •  Raphael is Cruzifying the GOP (8+ / 0-)

    Please proceed, Senator.

  •  Because a truly free market (7+ / 0-)

    --meaning a place where informed consumers choose commodities on the basis of the value they provide, with no externalized costs -- has no place for charlatans. And he is an almost archetypal huckster.

  •  Beck Says Family Health Insurance Costs $330/Month (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, Matt Z, dewtx

    http://www.theblaze.com/...

    This is over at TheBlaze where there is a story about a family who says their health insurance premiums will triple to nearly $1000 a month.  

    Take Andy and Amy Mangione of Louisville, Ky., who were recently told that their health insurance, which was purchased on the individual market, will triple in 2014, according to a letter the family received in the mail.

    “When I saw the letter when I came home from work,” Andy Mangione told Fox News, “(it said) ‘your action required, benefit changes, act now.’ Of course I opened it immediately.”

    The letter said their insurance would go from $333 a month to $965 a month because of the new health care law.

    “This isn’t a Cadillac plan, this isn’t even a silver plan,” he said. “This is a high deductible plan where I’m assuming a lot of risk for my health insurance for my family. And nothing has changed, our boys are healthy — they’re young — my wife is healthy. I’m healthy, nothing in our medical history has changed to warrant a tripling of our premiums.”

    Now just think about that - this is a family of at least 4 who claims they were paying for their own insurance and getting insurance for only $330 a month. And Obamacare took it away from them!

    Obviously some key facts were left out

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:15:42 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, not at all believable. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      And what they can do is drop that individual market plan, and get one on the exchange, with a subidy.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:34:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "I'm assuming a lot of risk..." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Theodore J Pickle

      Sounds like he has junk insurance. As long has his family stays healthy, he'll never know if the insurance would ever pay for an illness or injury, or more likely if he'd be forced into bankruptcy when his junk insurance refused to pay.

    •  The Math Is Easy (0+ / 0-)

      The current policy is $333 per month.  It is a garbage plan ("you pay in, and maybe we'll pay out if we feel like it").  The gross profit to the insurance company after payouts is 57% ($193) - estimated.

      The company wants to maintain the same gross margin ($193), but ACA limits the gravy - er, gross profit, to 20% of premiums, so to keep that the company has to raise the premium to $965. (20% of $965 is $193).

      There's a lot of "insurance" like that in Louisiana, Texas . . . you know the places.  The Northern tier of states have insurance commissioners to keep these scam plans out (until the Repugs permit "buying insurance across state lines").

      Basically, Beck wants to compare real insurance with pretend insurance.

    •  Surprise: The Story Is Bullshit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bernardpliers

      Somehow Fox News neglected to include the fact that Humana has been fined by the state of Kentucky for these bullshit letters.

      Humana is pressuring their current customers with bullshit statements about how high their premiums will rise (due to Obamacare) in 2014.

      UNLESS . . .  the customer re-signs for Humana IMMEDIATELY.  BEFORE the exchanges open.

      If so, the customer can get a price below the "Obamacare price".

      But this price just so happens to be ABOVE the exchange prices.

      I have a question:  Is this the most immoral thing you've heard this week, or is this on a par with pretty much anything you hear from a Republican?

      for the rest of the story:

      http://www.kentucky.com/...

  •  Ted owns "Senator Dumbass". Forever. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, JeffW, a2nite, Matt Z, Orlaine

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:18:18 AM PDT

  •  No, no, it's FLEA market he hates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    You misunderstood, it's the flea market he hates.  He has nothing against health insurance for the American people.

    This is us governing. Live so that 100 years from now, someone may be proud of us.

    by marthature on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:19:35 AM PDT

  •  Yet more differences in outlook (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gfv6800, merrywidow

    First, it's never been clear what "free markets" means -- does it mean no transaction costs?  Does it mean everything is free in the market?

    When used by most of us, it is a proxy for the concept of market economics, e.g. groups of buyers and sellers creating an efficient market by maximizing their individual gains.  This is the approach that the Republicans who came up with the idea behind Obamacare (and by extension, Obama's generally market-solutions oriented advisors) had in mind.  It's working; you'd think the free market acolytes would be crowing about it as a great success for free market economics.

    Except that conservatives redefine the meaning of "free" generally.  Freedom is the freedom to experience outcomes mandated by ideology (these days, usually fundamentalist Christianism).  And "free" markets mean an economy that produces outcomes consistent with the ideology of Republican social conservatives.  There is no concept of maximization of utility: economic outcomes are moral statements by God, and only God can maximize utility.  And health care (and health insurance, private or public, in particular) is contrary to the will of God; it can't work because of this.  And anything to the contrary is inherently evil.

    Looked at this way, Cruz's antics make perfect sense.

     

  •  Corresponds well... (0+ / 0-)

    to the upcoming expected same drop in our expected income --- which will likely result in seeing more patients in less time or just taking on more out of pocket only. All of these savings have to come from somewhere and there is a lot of work going on by insurance companies to provide less coverage and quality.

    "I know the meaning of life. It doesn't help me a bit."

    by dss on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:23:22 AM PDT

  •  The real game changer as far as market (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, JeffW

    competition goes would be for hospitals to be required to post the costs of most every service online and at the hospitals themselves.  Right now, you can't even get a cost estimate beforehand at many clinics and hospitals.

    I once had bells palsy as a side effect of lyme disease on a fishing trip up to northern Minnesota.  There were two clinics and a hospital and none of the places would tell me how much it would cost to get an examination, blood work-up, and prescription to whatever may have been wrong.  Of course, when I got the bill for $900 (30 min examine and blood draw, plus prescription for steroids) a couple of weeks later, Blue Cross Blue Shield denied my claim since Lyme disease wasn't coded for approval as an emergency room necessary condition....typical.

    As long as consumers can't shop prices, there will be no real competition to drive down actual health CARE costs, and not just the insurance rate mark-up.  Good luck getting disclosure laws through our crooked Congress seeing as the health insurance industry is one the largest spenders on campaign contributions and lobbying.  Why are people OK with bribery again?

    "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

    by Auburn Parks on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:27:25 AM PDT

  •  You ask: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Mr MadAsHell, dewtx
    So why again are Heritage Action and Ted Cruz so worked up about it?
    Because they got nuthin'.  They got nuthin' but hate and fear.  And they know it.  
  •  Because it's OBAMAcare!!!111 (0+ / 0-)

    don't you get it?!?!? Socialism!! It's absolutely the worstest thing ever that's going to destroy our freedoms and way of life and the 2nd ammendment too because the IRS is going to come and take your guns if you don't sign up. That's what I heard.

    Freedom isn't free. That's why we pay taxes.

    by walk2live on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:28:50 AM PDT

  •  Yes ... Free Market price controls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    and by this I don't mean "the Free Market Competition will drive down insurance premiums  ... I mean, the PPACA's  "80% rule"  price limit  has done so.

    I understand that the Administration will always  give lip ( and tongue) service to the pieties of Corporate Capitalism ... if a socialistical government measure actually WORKS -- it's only gracious (and prudent) to give the credit to The Markets.

    Because Teapublicans will be mollified, thereby.

  •  While talking about Free Market... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    ...there will be no real free market as long as authorities will protect private interests against uprising while passing regulations against unions.

    Private interests don't want intervention of authorities? That should work both ways: a REAL free market would allow people to settle their own score with "job creators" without interference from authorities...

  •  Plus with increased access to insurance, it (0+ / 0-)

    increases consumption (demand) which will create health care jobs. Jobs that can't be outsourced. Good jobs which would increase demand. creates more jobs.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:41:36 AM PDT

  •  Devils/Details (0+ / 0-)
    However, the data provided only a partial picture of the reality that consumers will face. The government did not identify the insurance companies offering policies in the federal marketplaces, also known as exchanges. Nor did it provide any information about the many policies that will cost more than the amounts cited in its report. Such information will not be available until the exchanges open...
    The figures, almost by definition, provide a favorable view of costs, highlighting the least expensive coverage in each state.
    Consumer advocates said that people shopping for health insurance should consider not only price, but also other factors like the list of covered drugs and the doctors and hospitals available in a health plan…
    In most states, health plans will be offered by two or more insurance companies — a high of 13 companies in Wisconsin, but just one apiece in New Hampshire and West Virginia….
    Insurance experts said the prices reported on Tuesday should be viewed with caution for several reasons. In many cases, the statewide figures are averages. The rates may be available only in parts of a state, and premiums can vary as much within a state as among states.
    Peter V. Lee, executive director of the state-run exchange in California, said that his state had 19 rating regions and that the variation in prices among regions was “quite significant.” For example, he said, a 40-year-old buying the least expensive silver plan would pay $240 a month in Los Angeles, but $330 in Sacramento, about 38 percent more.
    In New York, a premium charged in New York City might be more than 80 percent higher than the charge in Rochester — $611 a month against $337, for the same level of coverage offered by the same insurer. Even within Rochester, prices for the same level of coverage might range from $218 to $366 a month.
    http://www.nytimes.com/...
  •  About that report... (0+ / 0-)

    It's very nice to be able to make a headline about costs being lowered than you predicted, but that's not the same thing as saying costs will be lower.

    That report rather studiously avoids making comparisons between 2013 (or 2012) and 2014.

    I remain hopeful that ACA will improve my health insurance situation, but I'm 60 years old, overweight, and have a family with a couple of daughters on my health insurance.  The new law forbids differential pricing based on gender and pre-existing conditions.  With any luck, I may be able to buy one of the approved new plans for the cost of my existing catastrophic coverage and net a win by having better insurance.

    Most young people won't do so well.  If you cap premiums for  high-cost individuals, you've got to make it up by increasing costs for healthy individuals.

    At least the talk and speculate phase is now coming to an end.  The rubber's about to hit the road and nobody will need to guess who ACA will affect them.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:51:58 AM PDT

  •  There are no truly free markets. Or unicorns. (0+ / 0-)

    There are, however, artificial markets, and markets established by government policy, within which competition takes over, as private industry does its thing.

    THIS is Capitalism. It always was...but somehow, Obama messed that all up, just by being himself, and brought out the pining for unicorns.

    Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

    by Floyd Blue on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:04:22 AM PDT

  •  Sorry, but this isn't a free market (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    It is a regulated market.  It has price control and minimum quality standards and subsidies.  It is a market set up to allow for competition but it isn't close to being free.  Which is rather the point.  The mess we currently have is the result of a fairly free market.  The whole point of PPACA is to impose regulations on the health insurance market to make things fairer to Americans.

    "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

    by Quanta on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:09:14 AM PDT

  •  The IRS is managing our care now, according (0+ / 0-)

    to the Cruz twitter feed....they are so misinformed there...but I think they all know they are lying but think it works

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:56:12 AM PDT

  •  Why do I get this blockquote? (0+ / 0-)

    ... when I try to submit my name to the petition?

    There is no such supporter, or you do not have access to this supporter.
    I get that blockquote (above) when I click 'submit'.
  •  You know what a "free market" is? (0+ / 0-)

    It has NO regulation.  Entities operating within it are able to lie, cheat, steal, undercut each other, and inevitably, universally, a single monopolistic entity eventually plays dirty enough to gain complete control of that market.  I refer you to the original John D. Rockefeller as the unparalleled example of the "free market" at work.  I consider tht result neither desirable nor progressive.

    I don't think Ted Cruz hates that at all, I think it's exactly what he believes in, and it is a huge ideological triumph of those behind the Ted Cruzes to get his alleged opponents to share the same ideological rhetoric, worse yet, cluelessly.  

    Clap On, Clap Off, The Clapper!

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:08:54 PM PDT

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