Subject: Affordable Medical Coverage
I can appreciate L.A. Rick The Hollywood Liberal's predicament. I work
for a Dow 30 company.
I would not be surprised to see them eliminate our health insurance
altogether, take whatever penalties
the ACA dishes out, and make us go get our own insurance, if it saves
them a dime. Like Rick, I make
too much for the subsidies, and I live in Texas so I expect there won't
be any comparable coverage
available except at a worse price than I now pay. Bart, I know you've
said this many times before,
but it's worth repeating that it was a big mistake on Obama's part to
throw out single payer from the get-go.
may not have been politically possible to get it then, but at least
conservatives would have had to pay a
political price for blocking it. Instead, Obama did their dirty work
for them and gets no credit for trying to
compromise. Plus he eliminated his own supporter's ability to place the
blame where is belongs - at least not
in a quick sound bite. It now takes a lot of really lame-sounding
explanation to tell the story of how Obama
was trying to be nice and cooperative with the Reps. And the usual
response from someone who considers
himself politically savvy (because he likes to say "both sides do it")
is an incredulous and derisive laugh,
which really makes me want to explain it again to the next ignorant
person. So hey, well played Obama.
How hard would it have been to simply repeat "Medicare for all" until
the last vote was cast?
No matter what Repcons said in response, we could have rebutted with:
"If Medicare is good enough for everyone over 65, it's good enough for
everyone under 65. Medicare for all."
In fact, it's not too late to get that meme out there - it might even
be a better time thanks to the snafus.
Every time you hear a Repcon rag about "Obamacare", agree with them and
say that we liberals were
wrong to support that overly-complicated scheme just for the sake of
compromise. Remind them that any
private insurance plan will be more expensive than Medicare. Then add
the above quote. I did it yesterday
for the first time when lunching with a couple of Republican friends.
One of them is on Medicare already
(incredibly, he's the one who started the conversation with his usual
swipe at "Obamacare") and the other
is a basically a Rep only because he swallowed Reagan's BS when he was
young and doesn't want to
reexamine such comforting economic fairy tales, but he's pretty liberal
on many social issues and a NIMBY
on the gas fracking issue, i.e. not totally incorrigible when he can
see a change is in his own best interest.
after I said it, they went quiet real fast, and it ended the topic with
no screaming or insults.
So if everyone who wants Medicare for all were to adopt the above
slogan, and repeat it at every
reasonable opportunity, I wonder if we could collectively change the
"Medicare for all" Ed
Subject: Rick's sad tale of woe
I am mistaken, the ACA covers a wellness visit,
AKA regular physical annually with no cost or copay.
Bob S in Orlando, FL
Subject: Re: Insurance question from Rick
decided back in June they were not going to play in California this
Definitely a bummer for those using their plans ( which btw were
not rip off quality).
Never mind that tho, the secret here is in Rick's business
organization, he can issue himself
insurance thru his small business and get a tax credit ( and an
expense for an income write off )
for doing so to offset some of the cost. It will still not
be an improvement on his old Aetna plan
but it should come closer to competitive.
D in San Jose
VA Insured so not playing in the ACA Lottery
Subject: Re: My Experience with Obamacare
First, ACA grandfathers in all existing insurance policies. As
long as there are no changes in price,
copay, or deductions, Aetna is free to offer Rick the plan he currently
has. Obviously Aetna had
no intention of offering that plan at that price, so they
Your plan was going to cost you more and/or cover less this year with
or without ACA.
Second, Rick's current policy sounds way too good to be true. I'm
close to Rick's age, live in CA,
have a similar policy thru an employer-managed large group
provider. The employer picks up half
the premium, and I still pay more per month than Rick. No pre-existing
conditions. Two runs to the
local doc-in-the-box for some minor stitching in last ten years.
Last time I enrolled I got a booklet
with page-after-fine print-page of conditions and treatments
covered. What I'm getting at, Rick, is
don't be so sure about the "...after
that, the policy covers 100%" thing unless you've read and
understood the thousand lines of mostly Latin doc-talk in your
policy. Most people don't find out
what a policy really covers until they truly need their insurance and
the 'claim denied' notices start
stacking up in the mailbox.
Last, knock on wood here, Rick, I wish you a long life with continued
good health, but what are you
getting with a new ACA policy that costs you a bit more? How
about peace of mind. You no longer
have to depend on your 52-year streak of good luck to afford health
insurance. If you get Humpty-Dumptied
by a Metro bus on Jan. 2 there will be no cap past which they'll stop
putting you back together again.
Come re-enroll time, you won't even be asked about that unfortunate
run-in with ten tons of transit system,
you'll just pay the premium and enroll at the group rate.
You just can't get that from an individual,
year-to-year Aetna policy you 'kind of liked.'
And last again (also, too) CoveredCA website works fine.
Double check the info you got by phone.
My sister loathes Obama and hated Obamacare until I found her a better
policy at half the cost
(after subsidy) on CoveredCA. Now she just loathes Obama.
James in Paradise
Subject: LA Rick's insurance
would question Rick's assertion that he can’t get a “free” check up
until his deductible is satisfied.
Part of the ACA is that preventative care (like check ups) are to be
covered( without a co-pay).
Rick needs to look more carefully. Insurance is complicated and
insurance companies employ
legions of experts to keep the money and deny the claims.
Subject: Rick's solution
not believe him. The new law requires that free preventative
care, including an annual check-up,
no matter what your deductible is, be 100% covered by insurance.
Either he knows this, or it is proof
of poor messaging. As for me, starting Jan 2010, my company
decided to force everyone onto a high
deductible plan. I paid $438/month for this coverage. It
too included the free annual check-up, but then
nothing until I reached my $3000 deductible, which never happened, so I
wound up paying about
$5,000+/year for one annual checkup. As soon as the exchange
opened, I was all over it.
It took weeks to finally get far enough to see prices, but I am
dropping my employer’s coverage.
My first health exchange account ended with a bugged ‘pending’
application that never got resolved.
(I learned that the best way to handle the exchange is to start
over). My second account ended with
quotes for insurance covering only my son and wife for
$309/month. That was when I learned that
during the application, when you enter who you wanted covered – enter
everyone. (During the
enrollment section you can make different ‘groups’ to compare
prices). I wanted to see rates for just
them then go back and see rates for everyone and learned that once you
get past that part, there is no
turning back. I then created my third account, where I entered
everyone, then created a group containing
who I wanted covered, and found a policy that is both better than my
employer’s policy, and cheaper.
(I am covered by the VA 100% so I picked a plan that covers everyone
but me. My daughter is disabled
so covered by the state, but the state wants to be secondary insurance
for her, not primary, that is why
I needed to cover more than just my wife and son).
I found a policy (gold) that has zero deductible, $12k max out of
pocket (before the insurance goes to
100% coverage) and only costs $369/month. Now the employer took
my health insurance money out
‘pre-tax’ so I will now pay income tax on the $438/month added to my
take home pay, so I figure about
20% - or $85/month goes to income tax, but that means it will cost
about $454/month total, slightly higher
than before, but zero deductible. This is in Arizona. Now
since my employer offers coverage, even if it
is crappy, I do not qualify for any subsidy, so these are the real
One thing - I know Rick. He's
a real person - I was at his house with the lemon trees this
He might be mistaken but he's not lying.
e-mail to Bart
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