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1) They are "Junk Insurance Policies" -- think "Junk Bonds."

They don't minimize "financial risk" -- they just bury it.

That Florida woman's canceled Blue Cross policy?  It's junk insurance.

by Nancy Metcalf, -- Oct 29, 2013

Did you recently get a notice saying that your insurance company is canceling your policy because it doesn't meet the new health law's higher standards? Thousands of people are, and many are angry about it. But before you rush to judgement, it might not be as bad as it seems.

Consider the case of Diane Barrette, a 56-year-old woman from Winter Haven, Fla. Her story was featured in this CBS News report and endlessly echoed on the Internet. She was upset because Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida was canceling her $54-a-month “GoBlue plan 91” and offering to replace it with a $591-a-month “Blue Options Essential plan.”

Sounds terrible -- except that Barrette’s expiring policy is a textbook example of a junk plan that isn’t real health insurance at all. If she had ever tried to use it for anything more than an occasional doctor visit or inexpensive prescription, she would have ended up with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical debt.

Is it really "Insurance" -- when you go to use it -- it just vanishes into thin air?

2) "Junk Insurance Policies" can take away life -- not protect it:

Paying for 'Junk Insurance" is usually not the problem -- actually trying to use it to offset the cost of any major illness, is where the "junk" starts to litter the GOP health-highway.

Junk health insurance
Stingy plans may be worse than none at all

from Consumer Reports magazine -- March 2012

Judith Goss, 48, of Macomb, Mich., believed that the Cigna plan she obtained through her job at the Talbots retail chain was “some type of insurance that would cover something.” When the store she worked at closed in January 2011, she even paid $65 a month to keep the coverage through COBRA.

“I was aware that it wasn’t a great plan, but I wasn’t concerned because I wasn’t sick,” she says. But in July 2011 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, at which point the policy’s annual limits of $1,000 a year for outpatient treatment and $2,000 for hospitalization became a huge problem. Facing a $30,000 hospital bill, she delayed treatment. “Finally my surgeon said, ‘Judy, you can’t wait anymore.’ While I was waiting my tumor became larger. It was 3 centimeters when they found it and 9 centimeters when they took it out.” After a double mastectomy, radiation treatments, and reconstructive surgery, Goss is taking the drug tamoxifen to prevent recurrence.

The Talbots Cigna Starbridge plan is one of many similar mini-med insurance products aimed at workers in industries such as retail, food service, and temporary staffing agencies. Their hallmark is extremely limited benefits, often, as with the Talbots plan, no more than a few thousand dollars a year. A Cigna promotional brochure touts the plans as “coverage for everyone” and reassures employers that they don’t have to contribute to the cost of the coverage if they don’t want to.

3) "Junk Insurance Policies" give Insurance Policies a bad name. These Faux-Policies deserve to be cancelled, assuming wellness and good health are our national goals.

It's a consumer-protection issue, at its core.  Got that, Pundits?

4) By getting all in an uproar about those "millions of 'Cancelled Insurance Policies'" -- the pavlov Obamacare-haters are really arguing that We the People have the Right to be duped by Insurers!  

No pesky questions for the Insurance Companies ... they NEED all that "fine print" ... "Exclusions" are their bread and butter, don't you know?

But don't take my word for it. Take it from Consumer Reports and the LA Times ...

Obamacare hysteria:  Don't believe the canceled insurance hype

by Michael Hiltzik, -- Oct 30, 2013

Back in March, Consumer Reports published a study of many of these plans and placed them in a special category: "junk health insurance." Some plans, the magazine declared, may be worse than none at all.

Consumer Reports is right. Plans with monthly premiums in the two figures marketed to customers in their 30s, 40s, or even 50s invariably impose ridiculously low coverage limits. They've typically been pitched to people who couldn't find affordable insurance because of their age or preexisting conditions, or who were so financially strapped that they were lured by the cheap upfront cost.

"People buy a plan that's terrible," says Nancy Metcalf, CR's senior project editor for health, "and if they get sick, they don't even know they don't have insurance."

5) There's a reason why 'Junk Insurance' is cheap ... The reason?

It's Junk.  Calling it "insurance" is an insult to ... the idea of safe-guarding your future well-being, and that of your family's ...

Isn't it time, the Pundits, start telling us the Truth about "Affordable" Health Care?  And exactly what "affordable" means to the average person?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (217+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    engine17, lunachickie, Horace Boothroyd III, shesaid, Roger Fox, karma5230, middleagedhousewife, ctsteve, elwior, MsGrin, Matt Z, greengemini, dRefractor, phonegery, sngmama, kharma, blue jersey mom, madronagal, jan4insight, astage4444, Gowrie Gal, VPofKarma, IndieGuy, Hammerhand, myboo, ninkasi23, allergywoman, nosleep4u, sotiredofusernames, camlbacker, pashber, FogCityJohn, Alumbrados, Australian2, Betty Pinson, Byron from Denver, zerelda, GAS, TracieLynn, science nerd, badscience, mnguitar, filkertom, howabout, GwenM, msazdem, missLotus, flatford39, mollyd, HappyinNM, Heavy Mettle, Its a New Day, annrose, oldpotsmuggler, eeff, gramofsam1, SaintC, PatConnors, Tunk, USHomeopath, puakev, sebastianguy99, prettygirlxoxoxo, BeninSC, wilderness voice, peacestpete, geebeebee, Curt Matlock, howarddream, Capt Crunch, Involuntary Exile, 88kathy, wader, poco, MJB, anodnhajo, splashy, Sue B, Grandma Susie, second gen, dksbook, gmats, TXdem, Cecile, awcomeon, bobatkinson, palantir, chimene, ferg, sunbro, fixxit, LilithGardener, dagnome, pvasileff, Rosaura, Dartagnan, Shotput8, Lawrence, Polly Syllabic, buckstop, meg, johnosahon, Calamity Jean, BlueOak, outragedinSF, Papuska, petulans, roses, chantedor, newinfluence, LamontCranston, Sylv, nirbama, Puddytat, 3goldens, Mary Mike, 1BQ, Marjmar, Kokomo for Obama, Eric Nelson, historys mysteries, newpioneer, cocinero, Tortmaster, slowbutsure, ArtemisBSG, defluxion10, rapala, rsmpdx, VTCC73, IdaMena2, Joe Bob, Flying Goat, ImpeachKingBushII, commonmass, Libby Shaw, hotdamn, Glen The Plumber, pixxer, Doctor Who, MartyM, Sychotic1, enemy of the people, BarackStarObama, IreGyre, arlene, PsychoSavannah, exNYinTX, sethtriggs, wdrath, elfling, Chaddiwicker, fcvaguy, mconvente, FindingMyVoice, Bongobanger, ColoTim, Bridge Master, carpunder, CA ridebalanced, Hey338Too, nomandates, SherwoodB, JamieG from Md, smrichmond, eru, Beezzley, kkjohnson, Steven D, kerflooey, dragonwerx, HeyMikey, Sassy, DavidMS, ladybug53, tofumagoo, owlbear1, DonnaSC, FiredUpInCA, marykk, rogerdaddy, smartdemmg, Pluto, SuWho, skybluewater, leonard145b, K S LaVida, MNGlasnant, pat of butter in a sea of grits, on the cusp, spunhard, Kombema, royce, Brooke In Seattle, Debby, petestern, doingbusinessas, radical simplicity, thomask, 417els, harlinchi, frostieb, Cassandra Waites, Eileen B, riverlover, amsterdam, caul, Carol in San Antonio, TheGreatLeapForward, spooks51, reginahny, mamamedusa, petesmom, GreenMother, Arahahex, retLT, Dodgerdog1
  •  That CR article can't be pushed enough (74+ / 0-)

    seriously. Because "Punditry" absolutely does not have our best interests in mind!

    I've been sending this info out via Twitter, etc, all week. I have a friend who got a similar notice a few weeks ago, and I never made this connection initially (that it was a "junk policy" that she used to have). Soon as I saw the link, I sent it to her. She called me right away--oh, she was pissed at BC/BS, because that's what she'd started wondering herself. She signed up on and saw the same policy for less--and her next move is to call BC/BS back and pretend like she needs a policy, with the same things she just signed up for (I pity the fool who picks up the phone, hehe)!

    Who was it that diaried on a similar theme the other day? Said that insurers were clearly going to use this as a way to shepherd the junk insurance holders into a higher-priced policy, because the cancellation letters also aren't telling folks that they don't HAVE TO take what is being offered, they're just saying "Your premium is going up because this policy is being canceled").

    The biggest takeaway here is that we should all, without fail, check those state or federal exchanges before we buy anything. Often it's prudent to "skip the middleman" and it's exactly what folks will try to do, they'll try going straight to the insurers, thinking they'll get a better deal. That's not the case with this. At all.

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 09:43:23 AM PST

  •  Not always true. (9+ / 0-)

    Certainly there are some policies that you would label "junk," but you can't make those kinds of statements and say categorically that they apply to everyone.

    I'll give you an example I know about personally -- a relative in California.  Had Blue Cross/Anthem for over 20 years.  Very savvy about economics -- college educated couple, well schooled in those areas.  Had a policy for two adults and one now college aged boy.  Had shopped for policy that suited them -- high, but manageable deductible, no lifetime caps, but did not cover things they did not need, like maternity and pediatric care.  They paid most routine doctor visits out of pocket as part of the deductible because it saved them more in premiums.  Monthly premium last year a little over $700.  Got a notice that the policy did not comply with the ACA.  The comparable policy that does comply with the ACA is about double -- over $1500 a month -- and forces them to buy a lot of coverage that they do not need.  

    As Van Jones said on one of the Sunday talk shows this morning, there are clear winners and losers in the implementation of the ACA.  Those who did not have insurance before and now are getting on Medicaid or getting subsidies are clear winners.  But people like my relatives are clear losers.  They are going to pay double for a lot of coverage that they do not want AND do not need.  

    Now, it may well be that we as a society are going to demand that some in the middle class and upper middle class are going to have to pay significantly more for health insurance than they did before so as to subsidize others.  And that's what is happening here.  But it's dishonest to pretend that situations like these don't exist.

    •  Your slip is showing, again. (19+ / 0-)

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 09:53:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  well (31+ / 0-)

      if the insurance company

      "withdraws" the Policies they used to offer

      -- shouldn't the burden of Outrage, be squarely on their marketing decisions?

      •  No, read the regulations. (6+ / 0-)

        If the insurance company,since spring of 2010, changes the co-pay a little, or if, since 2010, you have chose to increase your deductible rather than have a rate increase, that policy is no longer grandfathered.  As a result, almost no policy is grandfathered, since the finances always change slightly year to year.

        And this policy was specifically cancelled because it did not comply with the mandates -- the "10 areas of coverage -- in the ACA.  

        They have more coverage for more money -- but they don't want or need that extra coverage.  And the pool of doctors is smaller, so they'll lose their doctors.  

        And, intellectually, they understand why this is happening -- they are subsidizing others.

        But you can't pretend this is not happening at all.

        I'm only telling you what Van Jones -- no opponent to the administration -- recognized this morning on ABC This Week.  As he said, there are winners and losers under the new law.  You can't pretend there are no losers, because there clearly are.

        •  thanks (7+ / 0-)

          for the apologetics, ct.

          I've just committed them to memory.

          (I'll be sure to bring them up at the my next water-cooler breeze-fest ... or not.)

        •  I did read the regulations (24+ / 0-)

          and "little" changes to the copay and premium would not cause it to lose grandfathered status.  In fact, right in the regulations there's an example of changing copay by $5 would not lose grandfathered status.  They allowed for changes in premiums due to medical inflation.

          If you change your deductible or benefits or premiums increased more than what was allowed for inflation then the plan lost grandfathered status.  And why shouldn't it because that is no longer the same plan.

          •  glynis - For policies to be grandfathered they (6+ / 0-)

            had to have four specific elements required by the ACA. While they didn't need to have all ten of the elements of new policies they had to have the four, no lifetime caps, kids can be covered up to age 26, and two others which may have been some free preventive and contraceptive care. Prior to 2010 most policies did not have the four required elements to be grandfathered. The notion that the insurance companies could grandfather all of their policies, continue to sell them, and were unaffected by the ACA is just total nonsense.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 02:41:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  no (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              and two others which may have been some free preventive and contraceptive care.
              It specifically says they didn't have to offer preventive care.
              •  You are right - I have found the answer (0+ / 0-)

                The elements were no lifetime cap, kids to 26 and no insurance company rescission rights. In any event, few if any, pre-ACA policies had those elements and therefore very few were grandfathered. The point remains that the grandfathering feature was more optics that substance and certainly not consistent with the statement that if you like your policy you can keep it.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 09:18:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  The insurance companies are deliberately (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, mamamedusa

          not wanting to keep the grandfathered plans, because they can't sell them to new customers.

          ACA could not have been set up to obligate insurance companies to keep the plans as of 2010 forever, and even if they had, insurance companies could have still chosen to keep raising the price until consumers left them.

          There are losers, but I don't think that your friends are quite as bad off as they think they are. They can now shop around with other insurance companies, for one thing.

          Ask them again in a year. I find that even though I am pretty smart, that I don't know how an insurance plan will work until I've had a year of claims and doctor visits with it.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 03:41:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They can shop around on the exchange, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            for instance.  Lets hope for their sake they do that, rather than just taking what their insurance company is trying to shove them into.  One of the saddest things about people's partisanship in this case is that they may end up being pushed into a very high-priced policy by their insurance company, or they may end up going without insurance altogether altogether because they can't afford the policy their insurance company is trying to push them into, and all because they're so dead set against having anything to do with the exchanges.

      •  Yes. A lot of the cancellations are unnecessary. (27+ / 0-)

        My policy is being cancelled. The insurance co. has offered to switch me to a new policy that is extremely similar to the old policy -- slightly lower annual deductible, slightly higher copay, those are the only significant differences.  The monthly premiums are also about the same.

        No media types will give a rip about my situation (which is probably typical of people with individual or small-business health insurance plans) because it doesn't fit anyone's agenda -- my premiums are not going up a lot, and they're not going down a lot.

        So why does the insurance company cancel the old policies, instead of allowing me (and everyone else who had them) to keep the old policy?  Two reasons I can think of:

        (1) The insurance company's own administrative convenience.  Instead of offering a set of ACA-compliant policies alongside the old grandfathered policies, the insurance companies choose to streamline their own set of offerings by forcing everyone onto the new policies.  Cancelling policies that could be grandfathered is a choice made by the insurance company, not by the government.

        (2) By cancelling policies that could be grandfathered, the insurance company reaps another benefit:  People who would otherwise just renew their old policy are forced to look at a menu of new offerings.  Some of those people will choose new coverage with higher premiums, putting more money into the pocket of the insurance company.

        •  Also, cancelling them... (4+ / 0-)

          ...means that they can weed out people who have recently acquired new "preexisting conditions" while covered by the existing policy. Forcing them to get a new policy (outside the ACA exchanges) means that they can then be denied coverage or forced to accept new exclusions on their coverage. So the cancellations are a way to keep the plan profitable by kicking out people who cost more money.

          Again, this is part of what the problem with individual insurance policies always has been until the ACA. They're "cheap" until you actually need them, and then they get expensive and/or drop you or become junk insurance.

          What's going on right now, I suspect, is that the insurers are actively trying to dump everyone they can onto the ACA plans if they have expensive conditions, so that they can offer "cheap" plans to those who can still qualify for non-ACA plans. That undermines the ACA exchanges' economics, which is the goal.

          •  You have some basic misunderstanding of the law (13+ / 0-)

            For example, no one can be denied coverage as of January 1. The grandfathered plans don't have to cover pre-existing conditions, so moving more expensive clients onto exchange-based plans -- what I assume you mean by ACA, although that in itself is a misnomer -- hurts the companies, themselves. The insurance companies are very much relying on an influx of healthy, young customers, and have every incentive to make the exchanges work, contrary to your statement. If things go south, it's the private companies who will take the immediate hit, before any rate shock could filter through the system.

            The insurance companies can't weed out the customers that they would like to keep on grandfathered plans, either. If a plan is canceled, that plan is canceled. These aren't issues of companies selectively contacting people for denial; providers are withdrawing entire plan offerings.

            My own best guess is that they are trying to move people to more expensive policies by sending these letters and assuming people will simply allow their plans to convert, rather than to actually contact the company or shop on the exchange to see if that new offering is the best match for them. If Jon Gruber's numbers hold, and 3% of people will end up with higher costs, it's a way for insurers to inflate that number by relying on people's confusion and lack of education regarding insurance and the law.

            No, you can't fix stupid. You OUTNUMBER stupid. -Wildthumb, 1/10/2013

            by newinfluence on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 01:42:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Was that comparable policy (8+ / 0-)

      one being pushed by the insurer, or the best available under ACA?

    •  That All Depends (52+ / 0-)
      But people like my relatives are clear losers.
      I am one of those who had a policy cancelled and have to go to a more expensive plan.  So by your definition, I'm one of the "losers."

      But perhaps not so much, unless any of these are untrue:

      1. Under the ACA there are no lifetime caps.

      2. Under the ACA the insurance company can't dump people who get sick.

      3. Under the ACA, there are far more consumer protections than existed in my old plan.

      4. If your salary suddenly drops (layoffs, disability, etc.) your rates eventually will get subsidized, therefore making you one of the winners whilst being able to retain your insurance.

      5. If you move to another state, your per-existing conditions cannot be used to deny you insurance or jack up your rates.

      Am I missing something here?  How does this make me a "loser" just because my rates are higher during periods of good income?

      •  It all depends on your personal situation. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        geekydee, annecros, caul

        In the case I cited, they don't want -- or need - maternity coverage, pediatric coverage, mental health coverage, all things that now must be covered under their policy, and thus that they will have to pay for.  

        Their previous policy did not have lifetime caps.  

        They going to have to pay double to cover those things that they did not want or need, plus the pool of available doctors is smaller.

        I am NOT SAYING everyone is like that.  What I am saying is that you can't paint everyone who is losing their insurance as having a "junk" policy that was not "real" insurance.  In some cases, it's undoubtedly true.  In other cases, it's not.

        •  Protections? (23+ / 0-)
          Their previous policy did not have lifetime caps.
          It was a lifetime cap as long as they didn't need to ever utilize it, in which case it would have been solely up to the insurance company if they chose to delete further coverage because of some loophole.

          Under the ACA those games are gone.

          Surely you can see the difference?

          •  Sure. And that probably accounts for some (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annecros, caul


            But that doesn't account for all of the difference in cost, or the smaller pool of doctors.  Some of the increase is due to the extra coverage -- the 10 areas -- that the ACA mandates, that they deliberately choose not to include in their coverage, after weighing the economics of their own situation.  

            They clearly believe they "lost" the insurance that they could "keep if they liked it."  

            That's the only reason I'm posting -- simply to say that not all people who lost insurance that they wanted to keep are people who were too stupid to realize that their insurance was junk, as the diary implies.  

            •  If they haven't had to use their old policy, they (23+ / 0-)

              may or may not know what would have happened.

              At one of the hearings held by Congress there was a woman who testified thusly:

              She said she had breast cancer. She had been admitted to the hospital for surgery. While she was in the hospital, but before the surgery had been performed, her insurance company called the hospital to say they wouldn't cover the surgery. They found that she had a pre-existing condition. Sometime in the past she had been treated for acne.

              I don't know what happened after that, but she had very short hair, as if it were just growing back after chemo.

              We're going to assume that your relatives are capable of reading a policy and understanding its terms. However, we'll never know if their insurance company would have treated them in the same way this woman's insurance company treated her.

            •  I don't consider myself a stupid person (7+ / 0-)

              I can tell you that I've fallen for holes in insurance coverage even after spending hours reading the fine print.

              The only way you find out your insurance policy is junk is to make a claim for something that turned out not to be covered. I don't think even doctors can read those things and know ahead of time where the minefields are.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 03:57:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Here's an example of smart people (10+ / 0-)

              not being able to figure out holes in coverage:


              Case in point: Jim Stacey of Fayetteville, N.C. In 2000, Stacey and his wife, Imelda, were pleased to buy a plan at what they considered an "incredible" price from the Mid-West National Life Insurance Co. of Tennessee. The policy’s list of benefits included a lifetime maximum payout of up to $1 million per person. But after Stacey learned he had prostate cancer in 2005, the policy paid only $1,480 of the $17,453 it cost for the implanted radioactive pellets he chose to treat the disease.

              "To this day, I don’t know what went wrong," Stacey said about the bill.

              We sent the policy, along with the accompanying Explanation of Benefit forms detailing what it did and didn’t pay, to Karen Pollitz, research professor at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. We asked Pollitz, an expert on individual health insurance, to see whether she could figure out why the policy covered so little.

              "The short answer is, 'Beats the heck out of me,' " she e-mailed back to us. The Explanation of Benefit forms were missing information that she would expect to see, such as specific billing codes that explain what treatments were given. And there didn’t seem to be any connection between the benefits listed in the policy and the actual amounts paid.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 03:59:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Don't need mental health cavorage? (20+ / 0-)

          Doesn't everyone need mental health coverage? After all, mental illness can hit at any time.

          Women create the entire labor force.
          Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

          by splashy on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:47:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  um (0+ / 0-)

            you mean "cover mommies xanex habit" insurance? Or  little Joeys couch therapy coverage? Most of psychology is a voodoo scam.. the only scienced based successes being pharmacological treatments for extreme mental illness. And a very large number of those people wont be covered by the ACA as they dont have jobs, are homeless etc.

            A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

            by cdreid on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 02:31:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Great points! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          While I may not totally agree with all yourcomments, you bring some great insights here.  But, I would like to bring up an analogy:
          Auto insturance.  I am not sure of the laws pertaining to minimum insurance in your state. Missouri has the following:

          The minimum level of coverage required by state law is:
          •$25,000 per person for bodily injury
          •$50,000 per accident for bodily injury
          •$10,000 per accident for property

          The law also requires you to have uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident.

          If there were no law in place previously, then I could say I don't need uninsured motorist coverage and could save 40% off my rates by not having it.  By the same token, say I have a new Ferrari; of course I will have the higher limits on my police of, say, the following:

          •$250,000 per person for bodily injury
          •$500,000 per accident for bodily injury
          •$500,000 per accident for property

          Along with full coverage of any and all acidental damage

          Simply because I want to keep all I have.  It is the nature of insurance to pool risks, and the larger the risk, the more it will cost, along with the larger the pool, the lower the cost (should be).  It is because of the mandated pooing that the costs "should" be loower for all.  Unfortunately, because of the shareholders and middlemen in the insurance industry, things get really eff'd up.  In a civilized society, nobody should profit from another's misfortunes, be it health or accident.  There should be no exorbitant profiting from healthcare or food production, just as there should be no taxation thereof.  

          On another tangent (or not, as there may be no relation to the starting line of reasoning), there should be no incentive to stay on government assistance forever through multiple generations.  on assistance for more than 5 years, we have a nice old closed army. air force. etc base we can hopuse you oyu at complete complete with a mess hall to feed you a healthy diet, where you can and go as you please; BUT, you will not receive cash payments, just vouchers - clothing, transportation, etc.  All of which shall be based on your productiveness to society.  And guess what, if you are a single mom with a job?  We, as a society owe it to them to help them, to provide some kind of health care and child care, subsidize their introduction to socierty as civilized people.  We need to start bringing people up from poverty, not take the country to their level.  We need to make america a productive nation, not a consumptive one.  (wow, sorry for the rant, need to stop doing that while I am at 46 blood sugar).

          Sorry for the diatribe, but it is how I feel.  I volunteer my time for others, give what money I can to responsible local charities, try to be a good example, but I am only one person, with only one voice, behind the scenes.  What difference can one person make?  We need real progressives in congress, as other diarists have mentioned; not neocons and neolibs, but true representatives of the people and not corporate shills.

          ''The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.'' - Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court

          by geekydee on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 01:13:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Maternity coverage (6+ / 0-)

          Since the people in your example are older, I promise you that the fine actuaries at their insurance company already know that they are not likely to become pregnant again, and have already priced it in to the policy. That is, the cost of maternity is already multiplied by 0.00001 or so, and so it's basically free.

          Similarly, the additional cost for pediatric coverage for 50 year olds is approximately $0.

          Unfortunately for them, that they are older means that they're more likely to get certain other maladies. Those costs are more substantial.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 03:54:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You're going to have to tell me how they got this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          apparently great policy, especially great since they weren't that young (past the age when they might need maternity or pediatric care), since this sure hasn't been my experience with insurance, and it hasn't been the experience of a lot of people.

          No lifetime caps but an inadequate annual cap maybe?  (No, you'll next claim there was no annual cap either.)

          Oh, and since they didn't have mental health coverage, I guess they must be immune to serious mental health issues.

      •  Shhhhh.... (9+ / 0-)'re undermining the attempt to undermine the ACA...


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

        but if you didn't need those things (particularly if they are not made up for by the guaranteed extra money in premiums), then you do lose under the ACA.

    •  Publish the plan (18+ / 0-)

      or shut the fuck up.

      I've no patience for these RUMORS.

      "My third cousin said his friend said her half-brother blah blah blah". NO.

      Backup what you say with facts, or get treated as a liar.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:21:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Curious if your relative (8+ / 0-)

      shopped the exchanges to see other plans that suit their needs for less money?  The exchanges aren't only for those that qualify for subsidies.

      Reach out your hand if your cup be empty, If your cup is full may it be again,

      by VPofKarma on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:21:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No no no!!! Wrong (8+ / 0-)

      "The comparable policy that does comply with the ACA is about double -- over $1500 a month"

      As someone who's had individual policies for decades, the insurer always tries to up sell you to their more expensive policy each year end cancel.

      BUT now the same insurer has to put polices on the exchange that are cheaper and better - also ACA compliant.

      A site that you can search will show all the exchange options for them from their insurer and all the competitors, for their ages and county (no more pre existing conditions) and 'metal' plan level:

      Please don't buy the media lies. Have them compare exchange policies to the one their insurer is attempting to upsell

    •  Coverage they don't need. (27+ / 0-)

      Yeah, nobody needs coverage . . . until they do.  

      Neither you nor your relatives appear to understand the concept of insurance. It's based on pooling risk and cross-subsidy.  I'm a man, and I will never need OB-GYN coverage or breast cancer treatment.  But my insurance covers those things, and I pay for that coverage even though it's useless to me.

      Of course, I can't complain because most of the other people in my plan aren't HIV+ and so they have no need for the expensive ARV treatment my insurance pays for.  That treatment is subsidized by the premiums of countless HIV-negative people.

      So I happily pay for coverage I don't "need" in return for getting the coverage I do need. That's just how insurance works. Pity that your relatives haven't figured that out.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:41:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They don't understand the concept of society (8+ / 0-)

        It's all just personal gain for them.

        Perceived personal gain, of course.  When they need the medical care, somebody else can pay for it (if they're lucky).  More personal gain that way.

        Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

        by yet another liberal on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:47:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because that's how the ACA was sold. (5+ / 0-)

          That's what the whole "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.  Period." was about.  That was a message that the ACA would expand insurance coverage for all of these people, but that won't affect you -- people who like your coverage -- at all.  That was a message that you -- people who like your coverage -- won't have to pay more to let other people have affordable coverage.  

          That's where I have an issue with the Administration.  Not with the structure of the ACA -- I understand that to expand coverage, people who had affordable coverage before are going to be paying more to subsidize others.  But I have an issue with the statements -- "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan" -- because that's a statement to everyone who had insurance that "this won't affect you at all." And that's what wasn't true.  

          •  I don't give a shit (10+ / 0-)

            About "how it was sold".

            People like you harping about how a small percentage have to pay more have no concept of responsibility towards society and you disgust me.

            Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

            by yet another liberal on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:13:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's called (9+ / 0-)

              upholding the social contract ...

              What is the Basic Level of Civilization we should be willing to Pay for?
              by jamess -- Jun 01, 2013

              The Constitution instructs us/them to do no less ...

              Re: their Congressional Oath
              by jamess -- Oct 03, 2013

              thanks yet another liberal,

              I share your outrage at the Me-Only Party.

              •  So it was ok to mislead people, because (5+ / 0-)

                the ends justified the means?  

                You don't think it would have been better for the President to be honest with people so they knew what they were getting into?  

                •  you tell me (6+ / 0-)

                  your side does it every day ...

                  PS. I'm still waiting for your POSTS,

                  to explain YOUR Views, ct.

                  Not that I don't look forward to you
                  hogging my discussion threads.

                  Welcome to my Living Room, as kos once put.

                  Don't bother taking off your muddy shoes.  We don't mind.

                  •  Which side is "my side"? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    annecros, VClib, smrichmond

                    If I don't think that a President should mislead people to get a law passed even if it is a good law? Which side is my side if I think a President should be honest with people even when the truth -- that those of us with insurance we liked were going to have to pay more to cover people who were then without coverage --  is not always what they want to hear?  

                    •  Please (7+ / 0-)

                      Write a single solitary post about it.

                      I'll bring the cheese and whine.

                      •  My view. (9+ / 0-)

                        1.  I think health care reform was badly needed.  

                        2.  I think this law has some very good aspects and some downsides.   The good side is clearly the expanded coverage, the expanded access, the no pre-existing conditions, those kinds of things.  The bad side is -- as always -- that somebody is going to have to pay for that.  The vehicle they chose to have somebody pay for that is the mandate for "comprehensive" coverage -- coverage in the 10 areas -- and the community rating where those with less risk did not get the kinds of favorable rates they got before compared to those with more risk.   In other words, the law was structured so that some people who had insurance they liked would have to pay more to subsidize those without insurance.  That was a necessary downside with the way they decided to structure the law.  

                        3.  I think the President made a mistake to play up only the good things while not being honest about the downside -- that some people who were very satisfied with the insurance they had would have to pay more to subsidize people who could not get affordable insurance before.  That is a self-inflicted wound - it was a choice the administration made at the time, and they are paying for that choice now.

                        4. (here's what prompted me to write in the first place):  I think it's wrong and condescending to assume that people who are noticing,or being affected by, the downside -- that they are going to have to pay more to subsidize people who could not get affordable insurance before -- are simply too stupid to know that they had a "junk" policy before, as this diary says.  

                    •  As right-wing as possible, obviously. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      •  Well this sentence does seem rather, (10+ / 0-)

                        how you say, not so liberal:

                        "The bad side is -- as always -- that somebody is going to have to pay for that."

                        It's a refrain I hear often from some of my relatives- that they have no objection to decent health care, or public education or whatever, but who is going to pay for it?
                        They never want the answer to include them.

                        •  Here's the issue. The President did not tell (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          smrichmond, annecros, VClib

                          people openly WHO was going to pay for it.  That's the problem.  And right now, it's not just "the rich" who are paying more.  It's tending to be people who bought on the individual market -- often self employed, or small business owners (people who employed themselves and only a few others).  It's not based on who can afford it -- it's far more random than that, and based (at least so far) on whether you bought an individual policy.

                          Yes, people who are going to pay more make enough money so that they don't qualify for subsidies. But that does not qualify them as "rich." And yes, the additional money out of pocket does mean something to them.  It won't bankrupt them, as it won't bankrupt my relatives.  But they certainly are going to feel it.  It may mean delaying retirement, for example.  Or kids have to borrow more for college because parents can't afford as much.  

                          And again, I have no problem with the fact that someone has to pay to subsidize those who couldn't get insurance before.  What I have a problem with is when the Administration hid from people that they were going to pay for it ("if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.") when selling the law.  That's what's deceptive.  

                          You can pass anything if you tell people," this is going to do all sorts of good things (no pre-existing conditions, expand coverage, won't lose your coverage) and there's no downside for anybody who has insurance now!" That's essentially how the ACA was sold.   But that's dishonest.  What's honest is to say, "here's all the good things the law will do, and there's going to be some downside for some people who have insurance now, but downside is worth it because of what we need to do and where we want to get in the long run."  

                          That would have been being honest with the American people.  And it really bothers me that some people think it's ok when our elected officials aren't honest with us about a law as big and as far-reaching as this one.  

                          •  Yes I know it really bothers you- (7+ / 0-)

                            you've made that point over and over and over.
                            If you can't get past that, if that's gonna continue to be your focus, that's up to you. And if you feel compelled to continue to post endlessly about how much it bothers you, that's up to you.
                            I think you've made your feelings clear. I also think you might spend your time more productively going forward. But that's up to you too.

                          •  gram - but there are so few here (0+ / 0-)

                            who are pointing out that the ACA has winners and losers, just like in the past, but it is a different set of people. And the President needs to apologize to the American people for misleading them with his statements and put this issue behind him. The President keeps dancing around his statements regarding people keeping their insurance and he is being correctly called on it even by his supporters in the media. It's time to stop digging himself a deeper hole. If he made a candid apology during this period with the focus on the ACA website challenge, it would flow under the bridge as the website starts to work better.

                            "let's talk about that"

                            by VClib on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 08:17:30 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  funny (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jdsnebraska, Tonedevil, amsterdam

                            I understood that people with a lot more money to spare wouldn't necessarily need to use the exchanges, but they'd be paying for it through surcharges or taxes.

                            Remember that the ACA was intended to cover people who couldn't get insurance because of a (real or claimed-by-insurance) preexisting condition, or couldn't afford insurance.

                            And you do rather tend to parrot the conservative line on everything.

                            (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

                            by PJEvans on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:36:15 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But the ACA ended up being much more than just (0+ / 0-)

                            allowing the uninsured to access health insurance. A law to do that would have been much less complex but would have faced a challenge of how to fund it. The ACA is much more comprehensive and uses premiums from younger, healthier people to pay for the healthcare of sicker or older people. And that's OK too, but the President should have been more candid that under the ACA there would be winners and losers, just a different set of them than before the ACA.

                            "let's talk about that"

                            by VClib on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 08:12:58 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Yes they do justify the means. (9+ / 0-)

                  Apparently in your world, politicians ought to be 100% genuine 100% of the time, or face the wrath of Daily Kos coffeetalk!

                  I mean, Jesus, 97% of people will see little to no change, or possibly improvement, in their coverage.  The other 3% were benefiting from a badly skewed individual insurance market that gave the shaft to young women considering maternity coverage, among others.

                  In a political system where health care improvements can be passed once every half-century or so, I don't care whatsoever that a few people are upset that they were misled or whatever.  It was hard enough to make it happen with the Rethugs screaming death panel, so we didn't need to compromise our position by admitting to every possible caveat.  That's politics.

                •  And if he had been, then what? (0+ / 0-)

                  More people may have been against it, which would've made it easier for even more members of Congress to vote against it.

                  Lying sucks, especially when it's done by our elected officials.  But yes, in this case, when it comes to making sure thousands of people don't fucking die because they can't afford healthcare, then it's relatively harmless.

            •  i might agree (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PJEvans, annecros
              "People like you harping about how a small percentage have to pay more have no concept of responsibility towards society and you disgust me."
              If this was taxes, paying into the common good, rather than money going to help buy insurance executives a fourth vacation mansion where they can scheme in peace about how to still screw people over for profit.
          •  Not to pick but... (24+ / 0-)

            I don't understand why it is not obvious that "you can keep your plan" implies "if it still exists; if it doesn't exist any more then bets are off..." Obviously can't keep a thing that doesn't exist.

            Aetna sent a letter indicating my plan would end, citing a decision to get out of the individual plan market in my state. Through sheer inertia I probably would have missed the deadline and kept it if that weren't the case, but I'm actually glad. The coverage is not particularly good. They refused to cover my ex because of a pre-existing condition (he had a colonoscopy within the past few years, which was negative for any disease) (srsly). In my income bracket I will pay more; about the same amount as I currently pay for a prescription med (the only one I take). In my new plan the cost to me for that med is a tenth the cost. With what I save on the other nine tenths I can pay the difference in the premium at platinum level and have zero deductible. Zero.

            I read that cancel letter and never once thought the president had disassembled. I just thought that was par for the course re insurance cos in general. Will I pay more? Yes. But will I really pay more? Actually no.

            Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that would be one step toward obtaining it. --Henry David Thoreau

            by pam on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:34:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "HE LIED Because insurance companies (4+ / 0-)

              are greedy!"

              These folks don't get it. If I like my doctor, I can keep him, too. Except if my doctor only holds office hours for 10 minutes per week, how will I ever get to see him? But it's Obama's fault I can never get in to see him!! WAAAAA

              I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

              by second gen on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:14:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Here's the difference (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jeopardydd, annecros

              it's misleading to say "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan, Period" when the law you are passing makes it extremely likely that at least for some, that will not happen.

              The law does not have to directly cancel the plan, but if the law includes provisions that make it impossible for the insurer to continue to offer the plan, that makes the law responsible.  The law doesn't have to directly mandate a consequence for the law to be responsible.  If the consequence is the foreseeable and likely result of the law, then yes the law is the reason.  

              In your situation, perhaps the law was not a cause.  In other situations, like where the policy did not cover all 10 areas mandated by the ACA, yes, the law is responsible for the fact that the insurer is no longer offering the policy.  

              The administration had information discussing the likely cancellations that would result as a consequence of the law while they were still making that promise.  In fact, the economics do not work UNLESS some of those people were forced into different -- and higher priced -- policies, because that was necessary to subsidize others.  That was, if not an intended consequence of the law, at the very least a likely foreseeable consequence.  So, yes, I think the law is responsible for at least some of those cancellations, and I do not think the administration was being forthright.  

              •  Not buying... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PJEvans, amsterdam

                You say "if the law includes provisions that make it impossible for the insurer to continue to offer the plan".

                I don't see it. Insurers COULD continue to offer their plans. Of course there would be adjustments to them, and price hikes, but there are ALWAYS price hikes. At least we'd have coverage.

                What in the law makes it impossible? The law provides for some waivers for some policies, to prevent cancellations... and those are for some minimal coverage policies.

                I still think it's on the insurers. Oh, and in my case, perhaps one could, if one bent over backward, blame the President... I note the CEO of Aetna, who can't be bothered to provide individuals with a decent plan in CA, was slamming O'care recently. I'm sure if you asked him he'd say O made it impossible. But it's still a business decision.

                Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that would be one step toward obtaining it. --Henry David Thoreau

                by pam on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:27:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Well, this has been an interesting conversation (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pam, coffeetalk, berkshireblue

                I'm as single-payer-supporting lefty-socialist as they come, but coffeetalk does have a point.  The qualification should have been, "if you like your policy, and if it conforms, and if your insurance company continues it, you can keep it," but in this sound-bite world, nobody'd listen.  Yeah, they could have messaged better and not let the GOP run the dialogue, but... shrug.

                We on the left should remember that we're NOT the GOP - we don't walk in lockstep, chanting the party line.  When someone like coffeetalk comes in with his/her story, it's fair to pick it apart.  It's NOT fair to call him/her a troll, a liar, and in the pocket of the GOP.  He/she has been, IMHO, up-front and coolheaded in discourse.

                Bring it on - our side can PROVE it's right, and individual ancedotes, for or against, won't change that fact.

                I'm not the Tone Police, but really - shouldn't we want ALL stories, even if we don't agree with them?  If all we want are we're-all-so-friggin'-happy here stories, then dKos isn't the place I thougt it was.

                (aka NobleExperiments). ‎"Those who make a peaceful revolution impossible make a violent revolution inevitable" ~ John F. Kennedy

                by smrichmond on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:47:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Where have you been (0+ / 0-)

                  the democratic party .. or at least the dk portion.. adopted tea party principles about the time the president got elected.

                  Half this thread is screaming that you are evil if you... dont think dishonesty is a virtue...

                  I dont think ive ever been as let down in politics as i have by the complete abandonment of principle and honesty by the leaders of dk and its now mindless-mob base.

                  A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

                  by cdreid on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 02:42:39 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  The law was never going to force insurance (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PJEvans, Cassandra Waites, 417els

            companies to continue to sell a particular product.

            I hear what you're saying, but the number of people on the individual market is small. I think anyone who looked at the facts understood that some people were going to end up paying more.

            I also think anyone who looked at the facts saw that prices in the individual insurance were routinely rising by 20% annually. So the idea that pre-ACA it was true that if you liked your plan, you could keep it, particularly on the individual market, was also false.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:09:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  FYI Men do get breast cancer (14+ / 0-)

        Relatively uncommon, but it happens.  No contention about the remainder of your comments.

        Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

        by barbwires on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:52:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Trust me, a woman over 50 does not (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, annecros

        need maternity coverage.  Nor do they need pediatric coverage.  

        I think it's rather condescending for you to assume that you know better than they do what they want or need financially or as a matter of risk.  What's your degree in -- finance and accounting, like them?  And how do you know what they have, or have not, figured out?  

        Again, I'm just pointing out the same thing that Van Jones pointed out this morning on This Week -- that there are certainly some who are in a better situation because they can now get insurance they didn't have, but there are ALSO going to be people who are paying more than they would without the ACA because they have to subsidize coverage for others.  That's the way the system is set up.  

        This diary is wrong to assume that everyone who is losing coverage they liked and wanted to keep is too stupid to realize that they had "junk" insurance that they would not have wanted if they were as smart as the diarist thinks he is.  Some of them might be that stupid.  Others knew exactly what they had, and wanted to keep it anyway.  

        It's really condescending for people here to assume that they know better than everyone else out there what everyone else wanted or needed.  

        The ACA supporters on this morning's talk shows recognized the very fact I am stating -- that some are going to have to pay more than they would without the ACA because they have to subsidize others.  That's an indisputable fact.  I'm giving one example of people caught up in that.  It's wrong to assume everyone losing their policy is in their situation, but it's equally wrong to assume nobody is.

        •  Too bad (8+ / 0-)

          They can pay their debt to society?

          Oh, they don't have one?

          Were they born in a hospital?  Did they have school teachers?

          The never ending self-interest greed is sickening.

          Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

          by yet another liberal on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:01:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, here's the problem with that. (5+ / 0-)

            That's NOT how the ACA was sold to them.  Not. at. all.  Nobody said, "hey, even if you like your policy, you might have to pay more, because you are going to have to subsidize others who cannot get affordable coverage now."

            That's what the President SHOULD have said back then, because that's what the ACA does.  The President SHOULD have said, "those of you with good coverage now are going to have to pay more so that we can bring everybody else into the fold.  That's the obligation this country has."  That's what you are saying, and that's what the President SHOULD have said, because that is the truth.

            Instead, the President told them that we could provide affordable coverage for millions of people wo didn't have it, and they -- who had a plan they liked -- would not be affected.  They were told, "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period."

            They feel misled, at this point -- they were never told they'd have to pay significantly more so that others could get affordable coverage.   And it's a self-inflicted wound by the administration.  

            •  I see (6+ / 0-)

              So Obama told them somebody else would pay.  How outrageous!  I'll cry for them.  But, at least, we they need actual health care, even your relatives will have it.  So, they can quit bitching.  Tough shit.

              Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

              by yet another liberal on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:19:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So, in your view, misleading people was ok (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib, annecros, Dr Swig Mcjigger

                because the ends justified the means.  

                Got it.  

                •  No, I just don't feel sorry (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Shotput8, PJEvans, Tonedevil

                  For people who won't pay towards society and are trying to get something for nothing.

                  Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                  by yet another liberal on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:27:20 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  how is (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    annecros, Clues

                    giving money to insurance companies "not paying towards society"?

                    Those companies and the people at the top of them are pure evil.

                    Make this a tax, or a public option, and I agree with you.  Allow an insurance company to take profits from the middle of it, and I strongly disagree with your characterization.

                    •  jeopardydd - the SCOTUS said it was a tax (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      and that's why the ACA is constitutional. I was certainly shocked with that ruling as both the President and Speaker Pelosi said on many occasions the ACA did not impose a tax. They were very clear that even the penalty provisions were not a tax and that Congress was relying solely on the Commerce Clause.

                      However, you are in luck because apparently any additional costs to individuals because of the ACA is a tax. At least that is what the Court ruled.

                      "let's talk about that"

                      by VClib on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 02:29:54 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  well it's not a tax. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        i am giving money to insurance companies.  Justice Roberts is wrong (surprise, surprise. Shocking that he's wrong in a way that forces people to give money to giant evil private corporations).

                        •  The Chief's other option was to declare (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          coffeetalk, mconvente

                          the ACA unconstitutional because a majority of the Court didn't believe you could force someone to buy private insurance under the Commerce Clause.

                          "let's talk about that"

                          by VClib on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 03:03:50 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  what's your point? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            it's still not a tax.

                            My paying money to private insurance companies is not a tax.  And, btw, even if it was a "tax", that still doesn't negate my point re: contributing to the public welfare vs. paying money to private for profit evil insurance companies. The point still stands.

                          •  The penalty for not having insurance is (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            the tax.  

                            Just like your car states where it is mandatory (I think all of them now?), if you get caught without it, you pay a fine...which is, in essence, a tax as it is paid to the state.  But your buy your coverage from a private company.

                            Besides, calling it a tax is good....get people used to it so when we move to single payer that "tax" can go to the government instead of the private companies.

                            Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

                            by PsychoSavannah on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:49:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I HAD (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            a plan.  I need a catastrophic plan.  I had one.  This cancelled it.  To get another one will cost me about $1500 more a year.

                            I won't be paying any fine or "tax" because I need a catastrophic plan and will get one.  But now I'm paying $1500 a private insurance company that would rather I die than pay anything they might owe me so that their CEO can get a fourth vacation home.

                        •  Buying insurance is not the tax, paying the (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          annecros, Tonedevil

                          penalty was argued to be the tax.

                          Consider the case of the mortgage interest deduction, one either makes a mortgage payment or their taxes increase by some amount small than the mortgage interest.  There is no argument that mortgages are taxes.

                          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                          by nextstep on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 03:59:57 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  the fine won't apply to me (0+ / 0-)

                            because I already had catastrophic insurance, and I need catastrophic insurance, and I'll buy catastrophic insurance now that my old plan was cancelled.  

                            Only now I'll have to fork over an extra $1500 to an evil insurance company.

                          •  Are you talking about how much more the insurance (0+ / 0-)

                            company is trying to hit you up for, or are you talking about the exchange?  You can get catastrophic coverage on the exchange up to age 30, I'm pretty sure.  By the way, just as a suggestion, if you're looking at the exchange, you might also want to look at bronze coverage, before deciding catastrophic coverage is really your best choice.

                  •  yet another liberal - what does that have to do (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    with the President's misleading statements?

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 02:30:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  When this effects < 3% of the people (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      PJEvans, Tonedevil

                      Then what's misleading?

                      Besides "you can keep your insurance", means it's not a public option, it's still insurance.

                      But smear artists want to talk about Obama in the Obamacare, they don't want to tell this selfish woman that she has to chip in for everybody's health care needs.  They want to talk about how her complaints are Obama's fault.

                      So, what does Obama have to do with this selfish woman not willing to pay up.

                      Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

                      by yet another liberal on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 02:37:43 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  yet another liberal - I don't think the ACA (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        annecros, mconvente

                        impacts coffeetalk directly. I think she has group insurance through her law firm, where she is a partner. So I have no idea about your selfish comment and to who it was directed.

                        The President mad a very clear declarative statement about the ACA which turned out to be, at best, misleading. He should just come clean and put it to bed. Even his supporters are bashing him on Sunday political talk and late night comic shows. Rather than continuing to dance around this issue the President needs to acknowledge it, make a public apology, and put it behind him.

                        "let's talk about that"

                        by VClib on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 03:01:10 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  you have little credibility with me (6+ / 0-)

                  from past posts.

                  NOT an Obama rox club member, are you.  And no of course you can hold whatever views you want, no dispute there - but  it means that your baggage is coming with the present comments.

                  And you do realise that the President hasn't cancelled any policies, don't you?  Or is he answerable for every action taken by every insurer, that is your take?

                  •  I think that the law is responsible (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    VClib, annecros

                    when it is structured so as to make it extremely likely -- if not certain, in some instances - that insurers will have to cancel policies.

                    you can't pass a law that, because of the way it's structured, almost assures that insurers will cancel policies, and they saw "I'm shocked that they canceled policies!"

                    That's as bad as passing a law that says, if a person works 30 hours instead of 29, each of those prior 29 hours becomes more expensive -- as the ACA does in some instances -- and then be shocked -- shocked! -- that some employers, based on the financial incentives provided in the law, are limiting people to 29 hours.  

                    When you pass a law, you are responsible for its consequences, even unintended consequences.  Especially when the law is this big, we expect our elected officials to have considered all the likely consequences of the law,  So yes, if it was reasonably foreseeable that this would be the consequence of the law, then it is legitimate to hold those who passed the law accountable.    

                    That is especially true in this case where the financial viability of the ACA depended on some people having to pay more for their coverage than they were presently paying in order to subsidize coverage for those who did not have it.  When that is the financial basis of the law, it is not legitimate to say, "but I didn't expect that anybody would have policies cancelled and have to pay more!"

                    •  Do you have a link (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      allergywoman, PJEvans, Tonedevil

                      to people in the administration saying that they're shocked at the cancellations, or that they didn't expect anyone would have to pay more?  
                      Not saying it hasn't happened, but if it did it's news to me.

                      •  I think that is what people understood (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        VClib, annecros, mconvente

                        these words to mean:  "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period."  

                        I think the only rational interpretation of those words is this: If you like your insurance, the ACA won't result in you losing your insurance.  If you like your insurance, the ACA won't result in you paying significantly more for that insurance.  

                        I can't imagine that most people in this country heard it any other way.  

                        •  And you just changed the subject- (5+ / 0-)

                          I asked for a link to the administration expressing "shock" at the cancelled policies. As far as I know that has not happened, while your previous comment suggested it has.
                          So- do you have a link?

                          •  Look it was a figure of speech (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            A reference to Casablanca. Perhaps I shouldn't assume that everyone is old enough to get the reference.  

                            What I meant is that the administration was telling people the ACA wouldn't result in cancelling policies, when they set up the law to make it almost certain that they WOULD cancel policies.  They can't pretend that they had no idea that the ACA would result in canceled policies. Yet that is what some are implying here, but saying "The administration didn't cancel policies -- the insurers did"  as if they had no idea it would happen.  

                            That's like saying I'm "shocked -- shocked that there's gambling going on."  (Casablanca reference.)

                          •  I'm old enough (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            allergywoman, Tonedevil

                            to know the reference, but I usually see it applied when someone feigns surprise or shock at something predictable, so it didn't occur to me in this situation.

                            But whatever- even Casablanca is just a movie.

                            I get that you don't like the "you can keep it" statement, and I think many of us wish they had been clearer about explaining the changing requirements.
                            The larger point is do you continue to focus on that, or do you focus on the broader implications of the ACA and the relief it's already bringing to people who need it?
                            I'm gonna suggest, one more time, that you read the link I posted to Sullivan's dissents of the day. It's a broader perspective with a lot of salient points.

                          •  Not entirely. (5+ / 0-)

                            The comment about keeping your doctor and your plan was said to counter the falsehood being put out there that the ACA was the government telling you what health care you could and couldn't have.  Death panels and all that.

                            President Obama never said that insurance companies wouldn't cancel shitty policies.  At least I don't think that was the intent behind the statement.  It was meant to assure people that this was not, in fact a government takeover, or the government getting between you and your doctor.

                          •  Well, unfortunately, local news (0+ / 0-)

                            seems to be covering this extensively and local reps are being forced to respond. I was curious after seeing this diary and looked to my neighboring state as I'm in MA so don't consider my state a good example.

                            I did a upstate NY news search and found a Buffalo article covering this and the approx 137,000 local residents who were getting cancellation notices. The local D rep is a supporter but is having to respond to these very real cancellations happening to his constituents. I don't think it's helpful to just dismiss or denigrate anyone who brings up this issue. To the people it's happening to, I'm sure it can be very distressing and concerning, especially if they are not affluent and easily able to cough up more money. I didn't know liberal meant not caring about the self employed middle class who have had to purchase health care on their own and pay for it. I'm lucky as I've always had great employer provided care but not  everyone does and I care just as much about the people already having to supply their own policy as those who didn't have insurance.

                            Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, a strong supporter of the health law that aims to provide insurance to millions of Americans who have been living without it while driving down costs, acknowledged a gap between what the president said and what’s happening now.

                            “The Affordable Care Act is meant not just to expand, but also to improve coverage,” meaning some people will have to replace their policies with something better, Higgins said. “I think that’s what’s occurring here. But you know, in truth, the president and others have said that if you have coverage, you can keep it, and that is clearly not what is happening here.”  

                            It is not going to help if people end up having to pay the tax because they couldn't afford the insurance because they're not poor enough to be subsidized. These were people who were being responsible and had bought a policy that they could afford. Maybe it didn't cover things they didn't need and maybe that was because they couldn't afford a bigger policy not because they are horrible rich people who don't care about the social contract.

                            I think the ACA is, eh, just like the one Romney gave us in MA. The only plan I can get excited about and support is single payer. Absent that, we're just talking about repackaging in a way that will still maximize private profit, not maximize good and affordable health care.

                            I don't see the benefit in pretending this law is the bees knees. I'm certainly not going to go to war over supporting it or brow beat people who have legitimate criticisms. The idea that's it's already perfect and needs no improvement is just partisan posturing which in this case will only make us look bad as there are obviously many real people who will be affected by this law in a way that can, justly or not in any individual case, be made to show aspects of the plan in a bad light. To me, denying that just makes us look stupid.

                            "If you think you have it tough, read history books." Bill Maher

                            by berkshireblue on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:27:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I understand that it's a valid concern (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            for many.  And I don't think the ACA is perfect, and would prefer single payer, myself.

                            But I think it's disingenuous to say that the president lied when he made the statement he did, for reasons I've mentioned elsewhere.  And I don't think that, in and of itself, is productive here.  If there are legitimate problems with this, and it seems like there may be, then that needs to be changed.  But what the president said back before the bill was passed is what he said before the bill was passed.  Not much can be done now about what he said, and I would argue that on the totem pole of lies told by presidents, it's pretty low, as far as the severity level.

                          •  You're right of course (0+ / 0-)

                            but I do see it as a political problem for D's. It unfortunately fits into the R narrative and meets the MSM need to only be able to focus on a simplistic story. So the media is exploding with these "simple" woeful tales of the "victims" of the ACA.

                            I can't keep track of the "me & the missus had us a good policy for $300 a month and that ole pres said we'd be able to keep it but we just got us a notice that it's been cancelled and the new ones we can get cost at least $1200" stories. The MSM is reporting people's "stories" which repeat the Pres promise about keeping your insurance. It's a simple narrative that D's not have to "explain" which is not simple, or as simple so it sounds like deflection or doubletalk and so the story does not "read" well for D's.

                            "If you think you have it tough, read history books." Bill Maher

                            by berkshireblue on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 06:54:22 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This is confusing to me. (5+ / 0-)

                            Every self-employed person I know who has been buying insurance on the open market, (including me), is seeing their rates go way down as a result of being able to get on the exchange. Before, I was a pool of one, and now I am in a much larger pool. My rates are going down 60-70% for comparable coverage, and that is before any subsidy I might be eligible for.

                            Anyone who was buying insurance on the open market and actually got a serious illness either saw their policy rescinded or cancelled, or their premiums skyrocketed. That can no longer happen.
                            I can't speak to small businesses, but the self-employed who do not have coverage through a spouse are definitely better off financially after passage of ACA.

                            To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate--that is strength undefeatable. (Helen Keller)

                            by kareylou on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:57:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  I rarely agree with coffeetalk (0+ / 0-)

                    But I do on this.

                    We need to be arguing policy rather than personalities.

          •  That's a bit out of line (0+ / 0-)

            You're not talking 1%ers here, you're talking about the working class and the various shades of middle class in the US who have been squeezed six ways from Sunday for the last 40 years.

            I'm a person actually in favor of the working/middle classes fighting back in the class war, but what you're doing is aiming the gun directly into the crowd.  Your comment is off-target, and fighting among ourselves over the scraps they've left us is not good strategy.

        •  Why should we trust you re women over 50 and ... (5+ / 0-)


          Just sayin.

          Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that would be one step toward obtaining it. --Henry David Thoreau

          by pam on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:39:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  They aren't PAYING for pede, pregancy coverage. (6+ / 0-)

          That's why the questions that are allowed as you buy your insurance is age and sex.  If you put "male", and ask the insurance company to just refund the amount of premium for pregnancy coverage, you'll get zero.   Same if you put "80" if you're female.

          "One faction of one party in one House of Congress in one branch of government doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election."

          by Inland on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:47:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  As you know, my degree is in law. (9+ / 0-)

          And insurance coverage has been one of my practice areas.

          But it requires no particular expertise to know that your relatives' "cheaper" insurance may not actually be cheaper than what they'll be getting, because their new policy will likely have broader coverage.  In addition, you're looking only at a very narrow time horizon.  If there were no ACA, they'd almost certainly have faced increasing premiums as they aged, and they might have suffered coverage exclusions if it looked like they were at risk of developing expensive conditions.

          I also don't ever recall anyone promising that people could keep junk insurance, since that was one of the primary evils targeted by the ACA.  Nor do I recall a promise that they could keep policies that didn't comply with the well-publicized coverage mandates of the law.  You're pretending that this discussion was had in a vacuum.  But it wasn't.

          Your insistence on taking one sentence totally out of context shows just how disingenuous your argument is.  That's no surprise to anyone who knows your posting history, of course, but it demonstrates that your position is indistinguishable from that of the Republicans who are now feigning outrage over this.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 02:46:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well the President repeatedly said (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annecros, VClib

            If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.

            He used almost those exact words over and over and over. The President did not qualify those words in any way.  Over and over and over.  

            I also don't ever recall anyone promising that people could keep junk insurance, since that was one of the primary evils targeted by the ACA.  Nor do I recall a promise that they could keep policies that didn't comply with the well-publicized coverage mandates of the law.  You're pretending that this discussion was had in a vacuum.
            I don't EVER remember him saying, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan, as long as it's not junk insurance or as long as it complies with the  coverage mandates in the ACA."  Do you?  Can you point me to even ONE instance of the President saying anything like that when he was promoting the ACA?  

            I think you are adding things to the President's words -- things that he simply did not say.  I agree -- he SHOULD HAVE said those things.  But he did not.  And so the fact that he is now being criticized for NOT saying those qualifying things is a wound of his own making.  

            •  Wait, your super-smart relatives ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ignored all the discussion about what the ACA was going to do?  You mean they listened to exactly one sentence from the president and nothing else?  They never once gave any thought to whether the insurance plan they had would meet the coverage requirements of the statute?

              Has it occurred to you that maybe your relatives aren't as smart as you say they are?  Because anyone with half a brain who had any interest in this topic would have figured it out.  

              But that's not the issue, is it?  Not really.  You're desperate to find a reason -- any reason -- to attack the president and support the Republican line on this.  

              I might have hoped that someone who claims she's a lawyer would understand the importance of context.  I might have hoped that someone whose supposed job requires the ability to interpret language would know that taking a single phrase out of context is highly likely to distort its meaning, no matter how often such a thing is done for cheap political purposes.

              Yes, I might have hoped for all of those things.  But then I remembered I was dealing with you.

              "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

              by FogCityJohn on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 09:06:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The insurance companies file their rates with the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                insurance commissioner in California every year and they're available to the public. The individual policy data can be mapped to a corresponding exchange policy with the same insurance company, number of people covered, their ages, and county of residence.  The premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, co-pay, and out-of-pocket caps from a year ago can be compared to the pricing of exchange policies to see how the cost is trending.

                For a family of 3 or 4 shopping on the exchange, there’s a small increase in premiums of a few percent on average with lower deductibles, lower co-pays and lower coinsurance.   Of course the coverage is much more robust.  

                California’s individual insurance was already ridiculously expensive a year ago because there were several back-to-back years of 11-12% rate hikes.  So if the exchange premiums show very little increase from a year ago why are anecdotes appearing with premiums doubling and tripling? Using data as a scientific measure of a large cohort produces reliable results.  Using anecdotes is a logic fallacy because they can be true individually but untrue for the larger cohort.  

                It’s also possible to back test the exchange premiums to see whether there were any at half the price a year ago that were comparable.  If the anecdote is untrue it could be because there is so much room for error.  

                Some policyholders added a young adult child to their plan without any billing for it until now. That could cause a premium spike.  Details like the medical cost ratio refunds that people received should also be counted.  

                My complaint about the new rules is that they leave consumers unprepared to deal with insurance companies that will squeeze for every dime they can get, especially right now. It’s not going to get easier for them to scam in the future but I wouldn’t get complacent because they’ve had a lot of practice.

                There is no existence without doubt.

                by Mark Lippman on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:43:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  I find the whole idea that insurance companies (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, 417els

          Are charging men and 50+ year old women for maternity care to be ridiculous. My niece, an actuary, explained to me that average costs by gender and age are used to price the plans. If historical data says that men don't spend money on maternity care, then it will not add additional cost to the policy.  With the ACA standardizing some major elements of the policies, the companies have some (not enough) incentive to price their plans competitively.

          •  it's because (3+ / 0-)

            people didn't realize that insurance would actually be the same for everyone - a lot of men (especially conservatives) seem to think that women should have to buy special policies to cover maternity care, because it's 'different'. But they also seem to think that their reproductive health should be covered as a matter of course.

            People who can't, ore, more likely, won't, think should probably be require to have keepers.

            (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

            by PJEvans on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:45:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I have no sympathy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          None. There's a ton of stuff I don't need covered, but I am not about to bitch about it because I'm not an entitled, selfish human being. It's the same concept as my taxes: There's a ton of stuff I hate that it goes towards, but I recognize that I live in a shared society so I give up the right to dictate completely where my money goes for the good of the many. Complaining that old women shouldn't have to pay for maternity and pediatric coverage is no freaking different than men complaining that they shouldn't have to cover stuff only women need or take, like birth control pills. The selfishness exhibited here takes my breath away.

          Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

          by moviemeister76 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 08:52:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  that argument (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, annecros
        "Coverage they don't need. (11+ / 0-)
        Yeah, nobody needs coverage . . . until they do."
        could then be used to say that nobody should have the silver or gold plans, and that they should only have the platinum plans under the ACA.

        Nope. Sorry. Sometimes it makes sense to have less coverage for less money.

        •  Yeah, it makes sense ... (0+ / 0-)

          until you need the coverage you don't have.  So pray you don't have an accident or develop a serious illness.

          Good luck.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 02:57:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  again (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coffeetalk, annecros

            then they should outlaw all but the very best, very most expensive plans, huh? your argument says that that's how it should be.

            •  No. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              417els, amsterdam

              My argument is that human beings as a whole are very poor judges of risk.  That is why insurance companies employ actuaries -- people who look at risk in terms of hard data uninfluenced by emotions and other distorting factors.  Of course, insurance companies only use that data to their own advantage, and people trying to purchase policies often lack the information they need to make intelligent choices.

              That's why the ACA has coverage requirements.  Certain basic services must be covered because everyone is likely to need them at one time or another, or because they help prevent people from needing more expensive services later.

              Insurance exists because individual risks are never entirely foreseeable.  You think you don't need coverage because you're young and healthy, or you're a good driver, or your house is unlikely to catch fire.  You may be right about all of those things, until you develop an unexpected disease, or a drunk driver runs into you, or lightning strikes your house.  Then suddenly you're really, really glad you have that insurance you didn't need.

              "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

              by FogCityJohn on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 09:14:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  My takeaway (12+ / 0-)

      from your story is that your relative is probably a) self-employed, since they've shopped for individual coverage, and b) in the top 2% of wage earners since their rate will not be subsidized.

      However, I call bullshit on some of their claims. "No lifetime caps" is simply not something that existed prior to ACA. Also, they maintained a "high but manageable deductible." If this is the case, they should be able to find a comparable policy, since deductible is not a primary concern.

      I am also a part of a family that is experiencing some insurance changes, albeit through employee-sponsored plans. I know better than to whine, however, since great insurance coverage keeps my MS-addled body healthy. I know I use far more than I'll ever pay in, and I appreciate that there are those who feel hosed because they pay in more than they--hopefully--will ever use.

      It's how insurance works.

    •  Correct me if I'm wrong- (9+ / 0-)

      but you (and your friends) seem to be echoing the Republican objection to maternity and pediatric care being required because men don't have babies.

      •  No, the person in the family who did the (0+ / 0-)

        shopping for insurance was a woman although she is married.  She is past the childbearing years, and so no longer wanted -- or needed -- that included in her coverage, but the ACA mandates that it be included and paid for.  

        •  Good grief- talk about (15+ / 0-)

          missing the point. I don't care if it's a man or a woman past childbearing years- the point is that insurance is always always always about spreading risk and spreading cost.

          I'm past childbearing years too but I see the importance of making maternity and pediatric care mandatory. Just like I see the importance of paying taxes to support public schools even though none of my kids are in them.

          •  Well, here's the two points. (0+ / 0-)

            Before the ACA, she had the option of declining that coverage that she was sure she wouldn't need.

            After the ACA, she does not -- because she has to subsidize others who may need that coverage.  

            Now, that may be the right thing to do as a policy matter. I completely understand that.  But here's the two points:

            1.  That does NOT mean that her prior insurance was "junk" insurance, as this diary says.  

            2.  That DOES mean that the President misled people when he said, "if you like your policy you can keep it."  I generally don't think it's ok for a President to mislead people so he can get a bill -- however good that bill is -- passed through Congress.  

            •  Where does this diary say (6+ / 0-)

              that HER insurance was junk insurance? Seems to me it was a much more general statement. I'm sure you're aware that junk insurance was very much in existence for a lot of people.

              As for your other point, yes, that was an unfortunate statement. He should have included the caveat "as long as it meets minimum standards"- which of course we all knew to be the case but the general public did not.

              •  this was exactly my point in the first place. (0+ / 0-)
                Where does this diary say that HER insurance was junk insurance
                If you look, this was exactly my point -- that not everyone who is getting insurance cancelled is someone who had "junk" insurance. This was EXACTLY why I posted -- because some people here -- and i pointed out a couple in my comments -- assumed that if someone's insurance was being cancelled because of the ACA, then it was "junk" insurance and they were just too stupid to realize it.  

                My whole point to begin with - if you read my first post -- is that while that may sometimes be the case, that is not always the case.  And it is condescending to assume that anybody who is not happy about not being able to "keep" the "plan they liked" is too stupid to realize that their plan was "junk."  That is not always the case.  That was my initial point.

            •  Anyone who didn't realize (0+ / 0-)

              that the ACA, since it mandates health care, would require everyone to subsidize everyone else's care, doesn't understand how insurance works.

        •  It also mandates coverage (10+ / 0-)

          For prostate problems, testicle cancer and various other conditions that I will never need coverage for. To say nothing of little blue pills.

          To single out maternity benefits is the usual sexist crap. Why is it that the right is worried about mandatory coverage only for things that women need?  

          And by getting all hot and bothered about one point that turned out to be true only for 97 percent of the population is also buying into the right wing talking points.  Look at the outright whoppers the rethugs told about the bill. That's where the focus should be. No death panels, where are they?  And they are still telling them, so it's not like its ancient history.  

          I have no sympathy for your friends. They gamed the system when they could, now they can't and now they are whining.

          Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

          by Leftleaner on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:34:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  So, is that $1500/mo from the same (8+ / 0-)

      insurer, for a replacement policy? Or is that $1500 on the Exchange? Because I can bet you, they just read the letter that said "We can't offer you this cheap policy anymore, but we have one for $1500. Just go ahead and sign up." Most of them are doing that. The person just accepts that, doesn't bother to look at the exchange, and pays triple what they should.

      I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

      by second gen on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:57:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's weird. If I go to the Anthem site and (9+ / 0-)

      shop their plans, the most expensive is only $1400, with zero deductible. It's a Platinum plan. Their cheapest Bronze is $751. (not knowing exact age or location may alter this figure, but not likely significantly)

      Maybe not so savvy about economics.

      I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

      by second gen on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:09:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In the same way, going without any insurance (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, sethtriggs, elfling, 417els

      makes economic sense to people going without insurance.  They are simply gambling that they will never need services and if they do, someone else will pick up the tab.

      Makes perfect rational sense, and it's why health care costs so much, as long as you put "insurance they will not need" as meaning "health care costs that they would rather not pay".

      "One faction of one party in one House of Congress in one branch of government doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election."

      by Inland on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:44:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you may be overlooking an... (5+ / 0-)

      important fact. Yes, the ACA policy a 55 y.o. would purchase would state that it covered maternity but remember that the insurance company still gets to set - within limits - premiums based on age. It determines those premiums based on its experience in covering various conditions and at what age those conditions might crop up. In the case of the 55 y.o., the insurance company knows that someone that old is not going to become pregnant so the premium for the 55 y.o. will not include a component for maternity. So in effect, your older relatives will not actually be paying for maternity benefits. Now the limits on the ratio of premiums for the elderly vs the young is limited compared to what it used to be but that actually reduces the premiums older folks would pay compared to before.

      I have noticed another interesting thing. My existing individual policy defines "maximum out of pocket" differently than the new ACA plans do. My existing maximum out of pocket does NOT include co-pays or the deductible, rather it's defined as the the maximum I pay in co-insurance after the deductible is reached. As I understand it, the new ACA plans consider maximum out of pocket everything you pay apart from premiums - which is a far more honest definition. So you have to be careful when comparing an ACA plan with an existing one.

      Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

      by Ian S on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 01:08:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please post the name (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allergywoman, PJEvans

      of the insurance company and the plan that this relative had. Let's look at it and verify what you are describing.

      I'm sure that you would agree that this is a very simple request. It will ensure that no one can ascribe malice to your intentions here.

    •  Less than 3% (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, PJEvans, sethtriggs, 417els, amsterdam

      Study: ACA provides 97% of Americans with equal or more affordable coverage - by Kossack jdsnebraska

      The bottom line is that the number of people who have to pay more for additional benefits perhaps considered unnecessary is very small--less than 3% of the population.
       But this does not take into account the extra ACA benefits that may not be printed in the insurance policy:  insurance carriers can no longer drop you if you get sick, you can elect to change insurance policies without worrying about preexisting conditions, free preventive care, and the medical loss ratio which prevents insurance companies from padding their profits too much.
      Not really clear why a defense of a point blown into a major anti- healthcare meme by republicans is a valuable addition to the discussion.

      It sure seem that the point the republicans are desperately trying to make has little if anything to do with health care or anything useful - imo

    •  my question would be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      could they be dropped if they became uninsurable due to the onset of a medical condition (cancer, heart condition, high blood pressure, etc), or could rates be arbitrarily raised? If so (and things like that happened all the time under the old insurance system) then clearly the insurance company's liability would be limited to the one-year of the policy and they could afford to charge lower premiums. Not so now, so everyone pays a little more.

      Bold at inappropriate times.

      by steep rain on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:01:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I realize you've already seen a lot of push back - (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PJEvans, kareylou, elfling, amsterdam

      But I hope you can consider this comment as one looking, somewhat dispassionately at the numbers. A comment that might lend itself to leading your aggrieved California couple to both short and long term relief from their presently offered $1500 quote.

      My first point concerns the inclusion, per ACA, of coverage for pediatric care and maternity (pregnancy) coverages. What I look at here are the original premium cost and that now being quoted.

      Original $700 - New Quote - $1500 - an increase of 114%.

      So, how much of that increase is rationally assignable to the mandated maternity coverage now in the ACA-compliant plan?

      Here are some relevant numbers:

      -- cost of pregnancy in the US: $50 Billion+, per year.

      Total proportion of GDP spent on health care in US - just under 18%

      Total GDP - same source - $15.7 Trillion.

      Imputed health care costs, somewhere near 2.8 trillion dollars.

      Which would mean that the total pregnancy related costs are less than 2% (1.8%) of any rational group premium - for the entire population.

      Of course, a significant number of people are covered by Medicaid, being older. The total cost (in 2012) for that program was 21% of total health care spending. Adjusting for that  out of insurance pool increases the role that pregnancy related costs from 1.8% to 2.1%.

      Still, that is not a significant number, I'm sure you'd agree. It certainly does not give any basis for a 114% increase in premium.

      Now, I could go through the same argument for pediatric care, but I'm sure you know where that will lead, to another very small number.

      So, that leads me to this - what is the underlying cause for the significant boost in rates your California couple and college-aged son are seeing? And, further to that question, what would be a reported expectation of rate increase based such underlying causes?

      So - first, a large underlying cause of rate increase, a feared influx of the ill into the pool cited as a source of a 27% rate hike - LA Times.

      A number of factors are driving up rates. In a report this year, consultants hired by the state said the influx of sicker patients as a result of guaranteed coverage was the biggest single reason for higher premiums. Bob Cosway, a principal and consulting actuary at Milliman Inc. in San Diego, estimated that the average individual premium in 2014 will rise 27% because of that difference alone.
      What would the typical rate increase run? (La Times, same article, prior page). On average, for middle-income payers, around 30%.
      But middle-income consumers face an estimated 30% rate increase, on average, in California due to several factors tied to the healthcare law.
      Yet your couple reports a 114% increase? Which makes me wonder two things.

      First - is that quote for a replacement policy offered by their current insurer? (I mean, has it been compared to other offerings at Covered California?)

      Secondly, just which apples are being compared to our new ACA-compliant oranges? Here I'll go back to your original comment.

      Had Blue Cross/Anthem for over 20 years.  Very savvy about economics -- college educated couple, well schooled in those areas.  Had a policy for two adults and one now college aged boy.
      So, one child, college aged and two parents who have had an individual market policy for 20 years, with a $700 price tag per month. Which we can assume had the following profile:
      policy that suited them -- high, but manageable deductible, no lifetime caps, but did not cover things they did not need, like maternity and pediatric care.  They paid most routine doctor visits out of pocket as part of the deductible because it saved them more in premiums.  
      Setting aside the pediatric and maternity provisions, which would not rationally cause an overall hike in group premiums reaching double figures, what you have here is something that sounds like a silver plan, or even a bronze.

      Yet, on CoveredCA to get rates approaching $1500 you might have to assume a relatively mature couple, very well into their 50's, moreover, you would have to assume that they were choosing a Gold, or higher metal level plan. (Yes, the rates vary by region, but I'm using Orange County here). Not exactly a high deductible plan.

      Now, I totally understand your reluctance to divulge personal information for your Californian family. But, it might help us better understand their predicament. For, even putting in relatively "nuclear" assumptions for the trio does not lead to a high deductible plan bearing a cost of $1,500.

      I'll summarize thusly, the cited rate hikes are not supported by industry cost data (this does not mean they are not real examples, it simply means they are not justifiable. The hoped for policy profile (absent the relatively minor issue of pregnancy and pediatric care) does not seem to cost as much as you report. Again, that does not mean the cost is wrongly reported, it means there are other more cost-effective options available, and they are easy to research.

      On the premium being asked, let us assume, for the sake of argument, that the reported $1500 per month cost is the very best offer for your relatives. If that is so, I go back to the earlier data on proportion of likely premium hikes attributable to various causes (coverages mandated, fear of added sick people in pool). No matter how one slices and dices such numbers they always come up as being onerous and unsupportable increases being imposed by the insurer. So, what do you think would happen, say by this time next year, when insurance companies begin to justify the costs they have imposed on those carrying plans with better benefits (as would be the case for a $1500 family premium)? Rebate, on the proportion of premium for actual medical expenses rule, that is what will happen.

      Lastly, just as you chide some for suggesting, or implying, or writing something you interpreted to mean that they meant all the increases are on "junk" policies - it is also fair to point out that the proportion of private policy holders is not uniform. It is also important to know who wants such action taken and why. Back to the LA Times article.

      Nearly 2 million Californians have individual insurance, and several hundred thousand of them are losing their health plans in a matter of weeks.

      Blue Shield of California sent termination letters to 119,000 customers last month whose plans don't meet the new federal requirements. About two-thirds of those people will experience a rate increase from switching to a new health plan, according to the company.

      HMO giant Kaiser Permanente is canceling coverage for about half of its individual customers, or 160,000 people, and offering to automatically enroll them in the most comparable health plan available.

      The 16 million Californians who get health insurance through their employers aren't affected. Neither are individuals who have "grandfathered" policies bought before March 2010, when the healthcare law was enacted. It's estimated that about half of policyholders in the individual market have those older plans.

      As for the why?
      All these cancellations were prompted by a requirement from Covered California, the state's new insurance exchange. The state didn't want to give insurance companies the opportunity to hold on to the healthiest patients for up to a year, keeping them out of the larger risk pool that will influence future rates.
      •  Thank you for a comprehensive comment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ItsSimpleSimon, amsterdam

        with some thoughtful analysis.

        I'll add another - $1500 a month is $18,000 a year for a family plan. The median family health insurance plan in the US is around $16,000. Thus, this premium is a smidge above the median... noting that our family is also above the median age.

        That suggests to me both (a) that there may be lesser premiums available and (b) that what they were offered was not (alas) all that different from what a lot of other people are paying.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 08:34:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The pundits who have broadcast the right wing (24+ / 0-)

    propaganda instead of actually doing research into the situation are not just misleading the public, they are risking the health and well being (physical and financial) of millions of Americans by being complicit in feeding them lies.

    “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

    by ahumbleopinion on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 09:53:26 AM PST

  •  Starbridge was the policy my employer (9+ / 0-)

    offered. I never bought it. I'm glad.

  •  I would add to this diary that Metcalf, (7+ / 0-)

    as stated in the CU Article, could get good insurance now for $165 a month, in order to complete the picture.

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:21:49 AM PST

  •  Rec'd and I agree, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Alice Olson

    there are people who seem to have policies that are NOT junk, that are going to be adversely affected by ACA - as I posted in another diary, this article was on the front page of my local paper this morning, as I imagine it was elsewhere as well

    And I'd like to write a good LTE explaining why the AP is full of shit here - but I am not knowledgeable enough to do it right now.  It's not enough to say the guy featured will be on Medicare in a year - although perhaps that's part of why his replacement policy is so expensive?  I don't know.  What I'm concerned about is the optics and the political ramifications for Democrats next year - if there are a lot of middle class people in this category, we could be in serious trouble next November.

    I will  go do some research and see if I can come up with a LTE on this, but any help here would be appreciated.

  •  It's frustrating, yet predictable (11+ / 0-)

    I saw our local GOP-owned daily newspaper (The Plain Dealer) start pushing this meme weeks ago.  

    They refuse to admit the distinction between insurance that you pay for but will probably never cover anything and real insurance.

    Most workers know the difference.  Junk insurance vs real insurance.

    Thanks for the diary.

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 10:32:23 AM PST

  •  This is the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    berkshireblue, Alice Olson

    "One-characterization-fits-all -- dissenters are stupid or liars" ACA defense strategy.

    Why it is so popular with an issue that many people's personal experience will trump is mystifying.

  •  "If you have junk insurance that tries to rip (8+ / 0-)

    you off, you won't be able to keep your junk insurance" should have been the second sentence.

  •  I had catastrophic insurance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kentucky Kid, Alice Olson

    that has just been cancelled. I know have to go buy much more expensive insurance.

    It will cover more, but it's not worth the extra money, as I'm young and healthy and it's really unlikely that the extra money spent on premiums will be made up for the extra coverage (basically, lower but still high deductible.)

    I'm not happy about this.

    •  It's called (8+ / 0-)

      meeting the "minimum requirements"

      in order to be called "Insurance."

      Shop around in the Bronze Plans tier,

      you may find something "affordable."

    •  How young? (6+ / 0-)

      under 30 and you can still get a catastrophic plan.  And if you're over 30 you don't think you'll use it you can just go the high deductible route and you'll still get preventive coverage including an annual physical for no out of pocket costs.

      •  33 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'll have to pay almost $1500 more a year for the high deductible plan.  That's a heck of a lot more than an annual physical (which is nice but unnecessary).

        The other part of this is that my income fluctuates A LOT (I've been doing temp contract work).  I'm not totally sure how it will work for subsidies.  If the subsidies part works out (wouldn't qualify for at least one year from now), then it could be a bit better.

        •  You might still qualify for an exemption... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ... and get to keep your catastrophic-only insurance.


          What are the statutory exemptions from the requirement to obtain minimum essential coverage?

              Religious conscience. You are a member of a religious sect that is recognized as conscientiously opposed to accepting any insurance benefits. The Social Security Administration administers the process for recognizing these sects according to the criteria in the law.
              Health care sharing ministry. You are a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry.
              Indian tribes. You are a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe.
              No filing requirement. Your income is below the minimum threshold for filing a tax return. The requirement to file a federal tax return depends on your filing status, age and types and amounts of income. To find out if you are required to file a federal tax return, use the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA).
              Short coverage gap. You went without coverage for less than three consecutive months during the year. For more information, see question 22.
              Hardship. The Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the Affordable Insurance Exchange, has certified that you have suffered a hardship that makes you unable to obtain coverage.
              Unaffordable coverage options. You can’t afford coverage because the minimum amount you must pay for the premiums is more than eight percent of your household income.
              Incarceration. You are in a jail, prison, or similar penal institution or correctional facility after the disposition of charges against you.
              Not lawfully present. You are not a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or an alien lawfully present in the U.S.

        •  I think (sombody correct me if I'm wrong, please) (6+ / 0-)
          The other part of this is that my income fluctuates A LOT (I've been doing temp contract work).  I'm not totally sure how it will work for subsidies.  
          that you estimate your income for 2014 at the beginning of the year and your subsidy is figured based on your estimate.  Then at the beginning of 2015 you declare your actual income for 2014.  If your actual income is more than your estimate you may need to refund part of the subsidy you got, or if your actual income is less than your estimate you get the additional subsidy as a one-time payment.  Obviously it's to your advantage to estimate as accurately as possible, but you aren't expected to have a crystal ball.  

          "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

          by Calamity Jean on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 01:42:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  When you're not a single W-2, that makes your life (0+ / 0-)

          much messier. I sympathize.

          As I understand it, you qualify based on your expected 2014 income. If your 2014 income was more than expected and you no longer qualify for the subsidy you took, you will have to pay it back. If you didn't ask for one but qualified after all, you're entitled to get it paid back as a tax credit.

          The other thing to note is that it's your income after you take IRA-type deductions (but not other normal deductions). So, qualifying for a subsidy could be a good reason to max out your IRA.

          If you're doing 1099 work, you have other opportunities to make deductible investments in your work. At that point, I'd suggest getting an accountant to help.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 08:42:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You don't want to save for retirement either (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, you're young. You can start saving for retirement when you're 60. Or maybe you can start paying into insurance AFTER you become sick or in an accident. You're young, and it's not fair for you to have to pay into a system now so that later, when you need it, you'll have paid into it.
      I don't know the details, and maybe you don't either, of your plan and why it is no longer available.
      You see, the medical insurance system is sick in this country, and it is not surprising that certain policies, and insurers too, are going to go away. Until it stops being a money-making scam, and insurance companies actually have to manage risk rather than fleecing rubes, there will be no progress in our failing third-party payer system.

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:39:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What a condescending, agist (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        Can you understand one basic point please? - More coverage for more money is not always the best choice for everybody in every situation.

        •  It is true that more coverage for more money (0+ / 0-)

          is not always a good choice. Can you say why your plan was dropped? Maybe there are reasons that are not so obvious, for example, the insurer was going to kill the plan anyway.
          The real problem is that there are still third party payers. Finding a compromise position while still protecting insurer profits is a high-wire act that ultimately is doomed for failure. As the system is reformed, there is going to be pain, and it will be shifted to the younger, poorer citizens, just like every other problem is shifted in this country.

          "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

          by shmuelman on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:38:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  that doesn't even make sense (0+ / 0-)

        it's most cost effective to save for retirement due to compound interest.

        it's least cost effective to have anything but catastrophic health insurance if you are young and healthy. True, this is a gamble.. but it's one that pays out often.

  •  Individual Polices Are Canceled Routinely (8+ / 0-) you age.  The policy is canceled and maybe you are offered a new policy with a higher premium.  Even "guaranteed renewable" policies only mean the can be renewed at a higher price.

    It's only group policies where the individual is protected from cancellation, but the entire group can and is often cancelled.

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

    by bernardpliers on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:34:31 AM PST

    •  is that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      post- or pre-ACA?

      •  Carriers Are Still Going To Able To Cancel I Guess (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It will probably be against the rules to cancel an individual's policy, but if the carrier wants to cancel everybody of the same age or occupation or credit score or nonmedical risk, I would imagine that's still possible.  That's just normal underwriting as a long as it's not singling out specific people in a group by race or religion or individual traits.

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

        by bernardpliers on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:15:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Otherwise, every one would be grandfathered in. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bernardpliers, Eric Nelson, shmuelman

      The junk policies are churned, so that when people say "I can't keep my insurance", they mean a policy they've just had for a couple years and had no expectation to keep.  

      "One faction of one party in one House of Congress in one branch of government doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election."

      by Inland on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:51:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep! (6+ / 0-)

      Even my union multi employer plan has fallen under the "we don't offer this plan anymore" syndrome. And this was long before the ACA or Obama. There was a day we paid only a $1 per prescriptions, now we pay $10. $0 for office visits, now we pay $10. It's sad that people don't realize how long this has been going on and it has nothing little to do with the ACA.

  •  Couldn't Have Put It Better . . . (12+ / 0-)
    By getting all in an uproar about those "millions of 'Cancelled Insurance Policies'" -- the pavlov Obamacare-haters are really arguing that We the People have the Right to be duped by Insurers!  
    Some of them post on this site and I won't be surprised if they show up in this diary to defend their right to be duped.

    I miss Speaker Pelosi :^(

    by howarddream on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:35:39 AM PST

  •  I, for one, am thrilled over the fact that (19+ / 0-)

    our new insurance policy is better than our old one. Months ago, our insurance company told us we'd have to switch policies. They gave us the information we needed, and we chose a new policy. It was a very easy process.

    As a matter of fact, we didn't realize that "Obama had lied to us" until last week when the MSM told us that we should have been able to keep our inferior policy. Oh, the rage we are wasting because we actually appreciate the fact that we have much better insurance now, thanks to the President and the Dems in Congress who voted for it.

  •  Not only that, a cursory glance at most (7+ / 0-)

    of the exchanges will tell you that the media is reporting incorrectly what the new policies will cost under the ACA.

    I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

    by second gen on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 11:54:45 AM PST

    •  heck, I'm seeing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sulthernao, jdsnebraska, 417els

      trolls giving page counts for the ACA itself well into the thousands. And the claims on the page count for the regulations (which they don't understand and wouldn't be able to find0 are into tens of thousands.)

      I point out, and frequently include the link, to the text of the final law, at - 906 page PDF, with legal (meaning really wide) margins.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:54:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When transformed into a reading format the public (0+ / 0-)

        normally reads...the ACA is the size of a Harry Potter book.

        "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

        by 417els on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:06:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They need to change the wording (9+ / 0-)

    They aren't 'junk' policies. They are SCAM policies.

    Which they are.

  •  Important diary! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, jamess, Eric Nelson, PJEvans, 417els

    This is an aspect that I haven't seen covered before and I hope you keep reporting on it.

    It will emerge when all these canceled policies are eventually counted that the number of uninsured people in America was closer to some multiple of the number we thought it was.

    What was it ~45 million? I'll venture that it will easily turn out that the number of people who were uninsured or grossly underinsured will reach as high as 70-80 million, maybe even higher.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:22:36 PM PST

    •  thanks LilithGardener (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, LilithGardener, 417els

      I appreciate it.

      My hope is someone like Front-Line or Sixty-Minutes,

      will research and explain the topic in depth.

      But for for that to happen,

      it first has to become a Topic.

      •  That's right - it has to break through the noise (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess, PJEvans, 417els

        Consider pairing the topic of under-insured with gun violence.

        I imagine there are plenty of gun shot victims who didn't have adequate insurance and who lost their jobs and were pushed into medical bankruptcy. Not meaning to give you an assignment, but that would be a great diary for the Firearms Law and Policy group to publish, a topic for us to take on.

        IIRC one of the references in the CDC report listed the cost of a gun shot injury averaged about $500K. Let me know if you need a link, and I'll go dig it up.

        Please feel free to collaborate with us to help make it clear that "under insured" is a topic

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 03:02:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  $500,000? Am I reading that correctly? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson

          If so (or even if I'm not) under-insurance is costing society a humongous amount of money.  Plus, the ramifications of home loss, job loss, permanent impairment, family disruption, etc. -  the costs beyond just medical treatment - are staggering.

          "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

          by 417els on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:24:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  These were low info consumers making bad choices (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Eric Nelson, ferg, 417els

    for the most part.....exactly the people who would a) need a standardized minimum of coverage because they'd never actually think about what they were paying for in coverage and b) will never in a million years appreciate that fact.

    "One faction of one party in one House of Congress in one branch of government doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election."

    by Inland on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:41:00 PM PST

    •  Or even high information consumers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els, Inland

      These plans were designed to look comprehensive and to look like good choices.

      Scroll down to the chart comparing a policy in California and Massachusetts. The California plan looks like a far better deal. And then they show you what your actual expenses and benefits would be and the Massachusetts one is dramatically better, because the California plan has big unexpected gaps in what is covered.

      The problem isn't that consumers are stupid. The problem is that without regulation, the house always wins.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 08:48:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some plans may be junk some (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Clues

    definitely are not. Many people are happy with their current plans, period. And many are not happy at the significant new costs (and unnecessary coverage) in their new plans. Rightly so.

    •  Yet the Media (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kentucky DeanDemocrat, 417els, Clues

      just frames it as Obama's "Broken Promises"

      about Obamacare.

      as always the Reality is much too complex,

      for most Talking Heads to understand,

      let alone explain.

    •  Easy to be happy with a plan you've never (4+ / 0-)

      had to use for anything serious.  Which does, admittedly, make for a lot of handwaving unless you want to dig into the meat (Or low-grade meat substitute?) of every plan people complain about being cancelled.

      •  Name them? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, annecros, berkshireblue

        The people whose plans were canceled and they will be better off because they get better coverage, that is more affordable and they want it. I'll wait. My point is it is also easy to label everything getting cabled as crap without having any idea what those plans do or do not cover.

        The undertone on this post is quite condescending that "those people" are too stupid to know what they have. Friends in another state have new plans, much higher co pay, a triple in deductible, and pediatric and maternaity coverage that two older women with no children will never use. They had a once simple plan they liked. I realize a lot of pole will be better off under this. But to lump sum all the rate shocks as 'stupid people don;t know what's best for them" is ignorance serving your politics.

        •  you know, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          insurance companies cancel policies and make people buy new ones all the time.
          It's just that this year, they're cancelling a lot more because the policies aren't very good, and people are unhappy because they didn't know how bad the policies were.
          But this year, they can actually get good insurance instead.

          (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

          by PJEvans on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:51:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Like I said, (0+ / 0-)

            name them.

            •  The "unnecessary" coverage of maternity, etc. is (0+ / 0-)

              dealt with by insurance actuaries as explained in several comments above. The actual cost to your cited two older women with no children is zero.

              "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

              by 417els on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:32:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That is not the case (0+ / 0-)

                with my friends at this point. Their coverage clearly covers items they do not (and in some physically can not) Use.  And their costs are mush higher.

                •  We had gender specific health insurance policies (0+ / 0-)

                  in the individual market and a deliberate choice was made to create a new market consistent with the goal of one day achieving universal health care.

                  One of the foundations of the insurance industry is the risk pool.  A pool of one insured individual is a greater risk to the company than a pool of 10 million. If the individual in the pool of one gets endocrine carcinoma resulting in half a million in claims. The insurance company looks for ways to avoid duplicating that loss. It could raise premiums but they have to be affordable to the market. The future health of a single person is unpredictable too but the insurance company defeats its own purpose again because selecting only healthy people also shrinks the market.

                  A pool of millions with a composition that resembles the general population is less risk because the insurance company can use Arithmetic to predict the incidence of illness in the pool, the cost of treating it, and the amount of premiums that ensure a solvent business with profits.
                  The entire construct exists for the sake of profits, doncha know?

                  So if you eliminate gender specific policies and expand coverage by creating 10 essential areas of coverage, are you raising cost?  Not necessarily because you're not adding only cost to the pool. You're also adding more people and the premiums they pay.

                  People who object aren't looking at how all elements of the system work together. There's more - the providers, hospitals, and other facilities play a role too, but I'm stopping here.

                  I hope this description is useful to you or other readers.
                  Once people understand the system, they can move on to deciding whether it really works the way that it should. The public is going to enjoy this open enrollment process again next October. Eventual savings could take a number of years to work their way into the system. Or it could be another scam like trickle down.

                  There is no existence without doubt.

                  by Mark Lippman on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 06:35:38 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Name one of whom? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And it has nothing to do with intelligence - the fact is that health insurance is complicated, and I suspect most people don't know all the fine print in theirs, particularly when they've not yet had any major health issue.

  •  About those letters.. Up-selling using fear and .. (7+ / 0-)

    ..republicans spun misinformation.

    Chris Hayes talks with health insurance expert Wendell Potter who explains the truth about cancelled insurance policies. They’re junk.

    Plus, Insurance companies are using republican fear mongering to take advantage of people by Up – selling; using PPACA as an “opportunity” to gouge out more profit

    Cancellation letters are being investigated, and in most of the cases (all I’ve seen so far) they are phony stories easily debunked. In every case it was the insurance companies that chose to cancel policies they were designed for profit not for actual medical coverage and did not meet the minimum standards required to law.

    the trick the insurance companies are pulling is that when the cancellation letters are sent out included are options for replacement plans that are more expensive – Up selling – when the same insurance company (in some cases)  has plans according to some excellent investigation @ American Prospect by  Paul Waldman that are less expensive and meet the minimum standards | October 29, 2013

    Time to Investigate Those Insurance Company Letters

    Are they trying to pull a fast one on their customers?

    As a follow-up to this post, I want to talk about the thing that spawns some of these phony Obamacare victim stories: the letters that insurers are sending to people in the individual market.

    People all over the country are getting these letters, which say "We're cancelling your current policy because of the new health-care law. Here's another policy you can get for much more money." Reporters are doing stories about these people and their terrifying letters without bothering to check what other insurance options are available to them.
    There's something fishy going on here, not just from the reporters, but from the insurance companies. It's time somebody did a detailed investigation of these letters to find out just what they're telling their customers. Because they could have told them, "As a result of the new health-care law, your plan, StrawberryCare, has now been changed to include more benefits. The premium is going up, just as your premium has gone up every year since forever." But instead, they're just eliminating those plans entirely and offering people new plans.

     If the woman I discussed from that NBC story is any indication, what the insurance company is offering is something much more expensive, even though they might have something cheaper available. They may be taking the opportunity to try to shunt people into higher-priced plans.

     It's as though you get a letter from your car dealer saying, "That 2010 Toyota Corolla you're leasing has been recalled. We can supply you with a Toyota Avalon for twice the price." They're not telling you that you can also get a 2013 Toyota Corolla for something like what you're paying now.

    -    Added blockquoting by me

    (short ad – sorry)
    Transcript @ link:

    Plus the President calls out the MSM for failing to resist repeating the republican/teabagger slanted half of their ginned up lead story;

    “You’re being grossly misleading to say the least”
    Nailed it jamess

    My comment @ Daily Kos:

  •  We need to use the junk cancellation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, jamess, kareylou

    argument as a pivot to the benefits of ACA: no pre-existing, no life-time benefits limit, etc.

    At the moment, R's are eating our lunch on this bogus issue.

    I can't help it. I love the state of Texas. It's a harmless perversion. - Molly Ivins

    by rsmpdx on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 02:25:56 PM PST

  •  It is a feature, not a bug, and it was anticipated (4+ / 0-)

    Now, if we had gone with Medicare for all, I think there would be a lot less bitching.

    "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

    by Sychotic1 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 03:11:28 PM PST

  •  Thank you for making this point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, PJEvans

    I wanted to do so earlier this week but didn't have the time to do so, so I'm glad you had the time to write this great diary.

    The reason why some insurance plans are being canceled is because they are so terrible that they don't meet the minimum requirements now established under Obamacare.

    So it's clear the pundits have glossed over that fact.  However, it does explain the very true fact that some individuals are seeing increased costs due to Obamacare.  Mostly, these are the same people that are seeing their junk insurance plans going away.

    If you go from a plan that had a $10,000 deductible, high co-pays, and a low maximum limit, and now you have a plan with free preventative care, no lifetime max, low co-pays - well, sure, you're gonna be paying more.

    So, the terminology should have been different from the start.  Sadly, it is what it is, and we have to deal with getting the optics straightened out.

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 03:49:06 PM PST

  •  The Wall St. Journal Actually Ran (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a fairly good article on this in their weekend edition.

    here's the prob: a bunch of independent, "we don't want the government telling us what to do" types have their fee fee's hurt now because their current junk polices are being called "substandard" policies.

    nothing hurts more than the truth.

    one guy stated "it's like they're saying I'm a bad father". now, I don't know or want to know all of the details-- I suspect some of these people intentionally bought junk policies because they are cheaper and either they were just dumb lucky enough to not have a large, expensive medical need where it became evident their policies were lame and didn't cover much-- or, they did get caught in an expensive medical need-- and just paid out of pocket, thus crushing any sort of "savings" they thought they had by buying junk insurance.

    I think the crux here is these folks want to be free to take the risk, even though it's a stupid and irresponsible thing to do-- especially if this is a family and you end up losing your house, etc., because of stupid risk taking.

    But THIS IS 'Murica and we must be free to take stupid risks and get burned if it doesn't work out.

    the other problem is Obama did initially promise "if you like your current policy, you can keep it".

    Uhhh, that's not true, so that's a problem.

    "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

    by Superpole on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:00:30 PM PST

  •  aca provides access and sets standards (5+ / 0-)

    what is so hard to understand?

    people need to stop hyperventilating.

    the system will work out after all the smoke has cleared.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:34:11 PM PST

  •  If CNN had programming that (4+ / 0-)

    explained things clearly like this, instead of putting the President on trial night after night (it's David Gergen's turn tonight), I just might start watching CNN occasionally, instead of immediately surfing away after 1.5 seconds of dead, repetitive Republican talking points.

  •  No free lunch (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Alice Olson, kareylou, elfling, 417els

    I'm retired now, but at one point in the not-too-distant past I was president of our local teachers' union; I was forced to learn a lot about health insurance in a short time.  I was lucky to work with and become friends with a guy who operated as a middle man between our association (the buyer) and the insurance company (the seller). He was a fantastic guy, extremely knowledgeable and savvy.  You know the basic thing I learned, a very simple thing--there's no free lunch with health insurance.  If you sqeeze it tighter in one place, it will pop out somewhere else, so to speak.  If we want to move as a society toward having a lot more people covered, some people are going to be inconvenienced.  If you happen to be one of the folks inconvenienced, you're probably pissed off a little.  I get that.  But the alternative, for now, seems to be to go back to status quo, a completely failed system, by any measurement.  Maybe your rates will be going up to some lesser or greater degree under the ACA, but do you think your rates wouldn't be going up under the status quo, a status quo which offered zero protections for the consumers of health care?  The last year I was president our group rate increased 18%, and there was nothing we could do about it since only one company was bidding.  The previous year it had gone up 14%.  Those increases were either directly or indirectly passed along to teachers, usually in the form of salary freezes to pay for health care premium increases.  Teachers would complain bitterly to me and my response was always the same--insurance costs are killing us, you did get a raise actually, it just went into your insurance.  This is what I meant by no free lunch.  I'm actually for a simple single-payer system, but the ACA is certainly a step in the right direction.

    •  And honestly, the high cost of health insurance (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, 417els

      becomes the high cost of education.

      I'm sure you've seen those alleged international comparisons that say that the US spends more on education than other nations. The truth is we do the accounting quite differently, and a huge percentage of what is spent on American education is actually spent on health insurance for staff. Other nations spend half of what we do on health care, and what they do spend may not be accounted to schools at all.

      That 18% increase... that's basically one teacher salary for every 50 teachers or so. IE, if the district absorbed it, and didn't get more funding, they basically have to fire a teacher to pay for it. And when those increases come every year, that's another teacher down every year.

      It's insidious, the way it echoes through our economy.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 08:55:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think we do ourselves any favors by (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, elfling, Clues

    ignoring the loss of perfectly good health insurance by Americans whose insurance companies have gotten out of the business, out of their state, whatever.  

    A friend of mine is a veterinarian. The group policy that he has taken out for decades through his professional association has been cancelled and New York Life, the underwriter made it clear that is was "uncertainties" related to the affordable care act that have caused them to decide to get out of the health insurance business altogether.  He says (and I have no idea whether or not this is true, but don't know why he'd lie about it) that there are "tens of thousands" of US Veterinarians who are now searching for health insurance though they were perfectly happy with the insurance they've had for decades.

    It's possible, of course, that theirs was a "junk" policy -- but I doubt it. And there may be a lot of ways to interpret the company's decision to quit underwriting the policy. But the fact remains that he feels lied to and abandoned insofar as his health insurance is concerned.  I think we need to learn a lot more about such cases as this one before we assume that they all are chicken littles whose sky isn't really falling.

    The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

    by Alice Olson on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:51:28 PM PST

    •  The company left the business at the moment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      when regulations kick in so that it wouldn't be so easy to rip people off anymore as it did for decades.

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 09:01:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think there's a certain writing on the wall (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess, 417els

        where smaller insurers are feeling that this is not so much a great business for them any more, and that they potentially have more exposure in a volatile individual market that they felt they could control when they could have New York veterinarians as a captive market.

        The thing about health insurance is that it's almost not possible to be an ethical health insurance company and survive.

        But I can't see how ACA could have prevented this company from picking up its marbles and going home, an event that takes place from time to time in all insurance markets. It was probably inevitable with any kind of health reform.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 09:27:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not so sure about that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alice Olson

        New York State used to offer some small business/sole proprietor plans that they've cancelled now.  They weren't junk insurance.  The replacement plans cost more.  These were state-sponsored plans and not some predatory insurance company ripping people off.

        Alice's point is a good one.  If we respond to every person's report of problems with the new insurance regs in the manner some people here are doing, it's not going to help anyone appreciate the new law at all.  

        •  New York Life is a private enterprise company. (0+ / 0-)

          It doesn't care to compete in the health insurance business anymore which is its right in the free market capitalist system.

          The company sent an announcement to its customers letting them know that it doesn't want their business anymore.

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 04:19:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alice Olson

            was just making the point that not all of the discontinued plans are ripoffs, and that's it's not a boilerplate answer that can be used to refute every claim that someone has lost a good insurance option.

            •  Policies that began before 3/24/10 were (0+ / 0-)


              If the policy lost its grandfathered status since then, the policyholder was notified at that time.  That was when it should have been addressed if the insured was interested in keeping the same policy.

              Policies that predate 3/23/10 aren’t grandfathered today because the insurance company and policyholders agreed to make changes in their coverage after the law was enacted.  Policies lost their grandfathered status due to certain events:

              • coverage for a particular condition or illness was eliminated,
              • an annual dollar limit on benefits was imposed or an existing limit was reduced,
              • a coinsurance percentage was increased,
              • a dollar co-payment was increased by more than 15 percent,
              • deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums were increased by more than 15 percent.

              If  policyholders didn’t want these changes they should have refused them.  But they accepted the changes, most likely to save a little money. They can't have it both ways and  if they want to cry about it now, they can’t take a flying leap.

              An insurance policy is a contract.  That should be clear to policyholders.   Nothing can be changed for the “time in force” duration of the contract without the holder’s consent.  The insurance companies obscure this with the use of “negative consent” letters, in which the issuer says it will proceed with specified changes unless the holder responds.  

              If you want consideration for the quality of some policies, I want to know if the holder was alert to the loss of their grandfathered status, especially if they valued the policy as they say they do. Why didn't they do anything to keep the policy if it was so great and it mattered that much?

              And why do they tell some parts of the story and omit the rest?

              There is no existence without doubt.

              by Mark Lippman on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 05:37:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good grief (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Alice Olson

                 That's an awful lot of explanation not strictly relevant to my comment.  Not every discontinued policy has to do with grandfathered status.

                Not every policy fits a boilerplate explanation.  That is my point.

              •  I don't even know what "grandfathered" means (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                in the ACA context. What I believe, however, is that tens of thousands of US veterinarians and their families likely didn't settle for junk policies for decades on end. Their company got out of the health insurance business throwing every member of the group (these were not individual policies, it was a group policy issued through their professional association) into the market for individual insurance. The company told them it was because of Obamacare and they believe it, whether or not that is true. I believe that supporters of the ACA (of which I am one, sort of, as I'd much prefer single payer) don't win friends and influence people by pretending this isn't a real problem or telling them their policy must have been junk.

                The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

                by Alice Olson on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 01:00:58 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Yup, it's these mini-med plans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, elfling, 417els

    I had a mini-med plan from Blue Cross once that I didn't even know was a mini-med plan.  I was pretty excited about the $50 premium.  Until I had to some expensive diagnostic labs and found out that after the deductible, the plan only covered up to $2000 per year total for anything.  Then after that I was completely on my own.

  •  This is what happens (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when you try to negotiate with conservatives.  We are in an awful spot with the ACA rollout.

    We need to remember what the ACA is and is not.  It's not single payer, it's not even the public option.  It's not medicare for all.  It's a Republican idea that we've adopted in order to get something...anything..started.  And then after we adopted it, we compromised on even more stuff, making it even weaker.  Now we've got to sell this crap, in an environment where even if it were absolutely golden, the conservatives would lie about how awful it is.

    And it's not golden, far from it.  There are winners and losers, and sorting them out is complicated.  The conservatives would like to say that everyone loses.  We'd like to say that everyone wins, and that if you think you're losing, you're obviously not intelligent enough to appreciate what's really happening.  The environment surrounding the rollout is so muddy and complicated that nuance and specifics are needed to discuss it, and we all know how far nuance and specifics go when trying to influence public opinion, don't we?

    I'm disappointed in the implementation, in the rollout, in the response to it, and in the inevitable slide from what we'd hoped would be a groundswell of welcoming acceptance to a complicated mess that will likely gum up the next couple of elections.

    If we continue to go around condescendingly telling everyone who is unhappy with the ACA that they're just too stupid to understand what's good for them, we lose.  If we go around telling middle class working Americans (who have been squeezed for 40 years) that it's about time they supported the society they're living in, we lose.  We need to accept that some people are not being helped by the ACA, and we need better answers.  Mostly we need to start selling the idea that the ACA is a step forward, but what's really needed is "medicare for all", and that would fix the (real) problems that some people are having with the new system.

  •  Jamess--check out this TPM on Insurer Fraud (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Lippman, jamess

    involving the ACA.

    Special Investigation: How Insurers Are Hiding Obamacare Benefits from Customers.

    Across the country, insurance companies have sent misleading letters to consumers, trying to lock them into the companies' own, sometimes more expensive health insurance plans rather than let them shop for insurance and tax credits on the Obamacare marketplaces -- which could lead to people like Donna spending thousands more for insurance than the law intended. In some cases, mentions of the marketplace in those letters are relegated to a mere footnote, which can be easily overlooked.

    The extreme lengths to which some insurance companies are going to hold on to existing customers at higher price, as the Affordable Care Act fundamentally re-orders the individual insurance market, has caught the attention of state insurance regulators.

    More at the link provided above.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 07:38:43 AM PST

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