Copper Obamacare Plans Sound Hilariously Sad - picture of stethoscope on banknotes

Copper Obamacare Plans Sound Hilariously Sad

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A few days ago, I was conducting some research for a writing project when I came across a juicy little tidbit about the fledgling healthcare law.  According to TownHall.com and many other sources, several lawmakers have recently suggested changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  Interestingly enough, one of the changes currently on the table is the addition of another level of coverage, which they’ve hilariously named “copper.”

Before I go any further, let me go ahead and save you the trouble of sending me hate mail.  First of all, I don’t blame anyone who accepts a subsidy to buy health insurance.  You didn’t create the rules, right?  You’re just doing what anyone would do, including me.

Also, I know that some of you will write to let me know how great Obamacare has turned out for you.  I mean, you got a Platinum plan with no deductible and full dental coverage for only a pack of gum per month, right?  That’s great.  Unfortunately, people who make more than 400% of the federal poverty limit don’t get an ooey gooey subsidy, and have full price for the plan they select.

Anyways, let’s get back to the issue at hand- copper healthcare plans.  Basically, the idea is this: The ACA would begin offering a lower tier of plans for people who found the cheapest plans, currently called bronze plans, unaffordable.  The copper plans would offer lower premiums in exchange for higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.  At first I thought this sounded great.  I mean, many of you may not remember, but my main beef with Obamacare is that cheapest ACA-approved plans cost exactly double what I currently pay for health insurance.  And since we’re young and healthy, we have no desire to pay more for health insurance than is required.

 

Healthcare.gov: The Little Engine That Won’t Go Away

It had been a while since I’ve checked out healthcare.gov for available options, so I thought I would head back over to see what kinds of goodies they’re currently offering.  Strangely enough, the plans it’s showing now are different than the ones they offered the last time I wrote about Obamacare.  The cheapest plan currently available to my family of 4 in central Indiana:

Provider: Physician’s Health Plan

  • Cost: $782 per month
  • Deductible: $12,000 per year
  • Out-of-Pocket Max: $12,000 per year

Obviously, that’s insane.  They want me to pay almost $800 per month for a plan that doesn’t provide coverage unless we spend $12,000 in a single year.  That’s almost as much as my house payment!  I know what you’re going to say.  “But now you have maternity coverage and blah blah blah.”  But do I really?  I had two C-sections and neither one of them cost $12,000.  Having a $12,000 deductible means that I wouldn’t have maternity coverage unless things went horribly wrong.  Besides, Greg had a vasectomy.  So there.

Anyway, the prospect of lower premiums sounds good, right?  But wait….a higher deductible?  And higher out-of-pocket costs?  Well, this is where it goes from intriguing to downright tragic.

Copper Obamacare Plans: Simultaneously Hilarious and Sad

According to Med City News, the new copper plans would be similar to bronze plans, except that they would cover only 50 percent of your healthcare costs after you met your deductible instead of 60 percent.  No news yet on what the new deductibles for copper plans might be, but it sounds like they would be higher than those for bronze plans, and would be in addition to the increased cost-sharing that copper plans would require.

But the good news doesn’t stop there.  Apparently, copper plans would save people an average of 20 percent off the cost of a bronze plan, which means that I may be able to score a Shiny New Copper Obamacare plan for……..wait for it….. as little as $625 per month.

Sigh.  Now, I was slightly insulted when they thought I should pay almost $800 per month for a plan with a $12,000 deductible.  But this?  It just goes to show that we shouldn’t underestimate the level of stupidity involved in the monstrosity known as Obamacare.  They must be living in a fantasy land!  Speaking of fantasy lands…..

Obamacare is Making Me Find Religion

If anything good has come out of this, it’s that Obamcare is actually making me consider becoming more religious.  I had heard about it before, but I recently rediscovered a loophole that says that people can avoid the individual mandate and Obamacare penalty by joining a religious healthcare ministry.  Well, I checked a few out, and the news wasn’t bad at all.  Through a healthcare ministry like Christian Healthcare Ministries, I could buy minimal coverage for my family for as little as $200 per month.  Score!  Of course, I’d have to meet these four requirements in order to qualify.

• be Christians living by biblical principles
• abstain from the use of tobacco and the illegal use of drugs (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
• follow biblical teaching on the use of alcohol
• attend group worship regularly if health permits (Hebrews 10:25)

Hmmm…..this is where it gets tricky.  The first one is certainly questionable, especially on the weekends.  On the other hand, I’m rock freakin’ solid on #2.  I’m not sure what #3 means, but I’m guessing that we might be somewhere on the threshold of possibly not qualifying for that one.  And for #4, we’re totally covered if watching Joel Osteen on TV counts.  He’s adorable. 

What do you think about copper Obamacare plans?  How has the new healthcare law impacted your family?

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95 Comments

  1. Wow, those numbers are crazy. I really don’t understand how they expect a majority of working families to be able to pay for this type of coverage. Can’t wait to hear what the deductibles on those copper plans are going to be. And the whole religious thing sounds really interesting. If those plans are really that much cheaper, I imagine there are going to be a lot more people finding religion through Obamacare 🙂

  2. This stuff is just crazy. It makes me glad that we’re planning on sticking with our employer coverage for a while. Hopefully by the time we’re ready to switch jobs or go out on our own it will have settled down.

  3. Holly, I agree w/ Mrs PoP. We’re also sticking with employer coverage for now. We just went for annual physicals last week and if we had to pay out of pocket it would have been $440 for wife and I. With employer coverage, no direct charge; however, weekly payroll deduction for healthcare is $48. I priced an ACA Bronze plan for us and it was about $1,100 / month along with high deductibles. A employer retiree plan was quoted at about $1,700 / month but it does come with lower deductibles similar to our current employer plan ($2,000 / yr). This is what you, Holly, have to look forward to as you, uh, mature. 🙂

    I should also note that I’m going to continue to invest in the Vanguard healthcare fund (8.85% YTD return, and 36% over the last year). It’s the only way I know how to fight the sticker shock of healthcare as an individual. Maybe, big maybe, in a few years, the ACA will invoke a sense of economy of scale and imparts lower costs of all. But I’m not holding my breath.

    1. Well, we don’t have the option of sticking with employer coverage. We have to either get with the program or become more religious, I guess =)

      I like the idea of investing in healthcare, although I still think the whole thing could implode at some point.

  4. Whenever lawmakers want to “tweak” laws to make them “better” I always get a little bit nervous. I don’t know what it is, maybe I just have trust issues 😛

    1. I definitely have trust issues when it comes to the government.

  5. Lisa Aberle says:

    Holly,

    I know you probably already know that I have one of the “religious” plans, but as long as everything goes relatively well (or even with some complications), my cost for having this baby is going to be $500. Not counting the monthly costs, of course.
    And I actually have been sent about half of the money already, so I will be able to pay my OB’s delivery fee today. And earn some minuscule interest on the rest!

    1. Wait….are you pregnant? I must’ve missed that!!!

      No, I didn’t know that you had a healthcare ministry plan. Are you happy with it?

      1. Lisa Aberle says:

        Yes! 12 more weeks to go :)!
        I am really happy with our plan. They have been really great to work with, and we actually just moved the rest of the family to the same plan, too.

        1. I don’t always read GRS, so I must’ve missed that. Congrats!!!!!

  6. Really interesting… I’m still on health insurance through school. The only good thing I would see to bronze plans, is atleast you would qualify for paying for the rates negotiated by the insurance company instead of the “full-price” bill, which always seems to be 2-3x what insurance “agrees” to pay? Those plans still are rediculously expensive though …

    1. Ummm….yeah. Paying almost $800 per month so that I can get a discount off of my bills doesn’t sound like a great deal at all. =/

  7. First of all, I love that you disclosed Greg’s vasectomy, my hubby got one too, so we do not need to worry about baby bills is our future. Second, I think that Obamacare is just one big IQ test that unfortunately a lot of people are failing. How on earth anyone could think that $800 a month with a $12,000 deductible is a “good” deal needs to move to Colorado and smoke what they are smoking. I really hate it when I am told I am getting a great “deal” when I am really just being screwed and told to like it.

    1. Oh, I know. People always remind me that preventative care is “free” now. It’s not free! They want me to pay $800 per month for it!!!

      1. “Free” birth control too! Seriously, birth control pills weren’t THAT expensive back when I had no insurance and was paying the full cost! Math people, math!

        1. I haven’t been on birth control for a long time, but it has never been expensive. I would gladly pay for it myself if I needed it!

  8. Man, that religion deal is sweet. Of course I’m vehemently anti-religion so there may be an internal conflict of interest there, but for that kind of savings, it’s worth exploring. I’ll see what’s waiting for me when my insurance end is June and I venture onto the exchange myself.

    1. Yeah, it’s a sweet deal, isn’t it? I’m seriously considering it!

  9. If you think prices are bad now, just wait until next year when everything skyrockets after having been artificially “low” during this initial sign up phase. The fallacy of this law is the word “affordable” in its’ title.

    1. Yeah, I keep hearing that we should expect double digit increases at the very least. Sigh.

      1. Holly,

        Double digit rate increases are the norm, and have been for years..even BEFORE Obamacare. I would look into this more.

        1. Nate, do you realize that double digit increases every year are unsustainable? You act like it’s something that we should all expect. Besides, the new Obamacare plans would actually increase my premiums by a triple-digit sum. 100%!

          1. Of course I realize it’s unsustainable, that’s not what were talking about though. You made it sound like double-digit increases were a result of Obamacare which is factually not true. I just wouldn’t want your readers to get the wrong impression. I can’t stand inaccuracies in the media and false reporting. I just want the facts to be seen straight.

          2. Okay. FACT: The cheapest plan on the Obamacare exchange is almost exactly 100 percent of what I’m paying now, except that the deductible is $1,000 higher. Fact: I refuse to pay 100% more for less coverage than I have now. FACT: The cost of plans varies from state to state, and even county to county.

  10. Anyone enrolled in a “healthcare sharing ministry” is exempt from the mandate to buy coverage. But these plans are more like a limited medical plan than real insurance. Your monthly contribution will help smooth out any unexpected medical expenses for common conditions, but won’t protect you from a catastrophic medical event.

    Finding your faith has benefits of it’s own.

    1. I don’t know….I was looking in to Liberty Healthcare Ministry last night and it looks pretty legit. For $449 per month, we could have $1 million dollars of coverage per incident. Of course, that wouldn’t cover us for truly catastrophic illnesses of more than $1 million dollars, but I suppose I’m not willing to pay for Obamacare for that purpose alone. Furthermore, most of the specialty hospitals in central Indiana aren’t taking most Obamacare plans anyway.

  11. Chin up! I’m sure there will be an “aluminum plan” any day now! 🙂

    1. We were just joking about that last night! That and “tin” plans. 50K deductible. What could go wrong?

  12. You.crack.me.up.
    And I agree, Joel is a total hottie.
    I am paying $200 for one child through my employer which felt pretty crappy until I read this…INSANE.

  13. This is what happens when you get politicians that already have great healthcare plans trying to create plans for the rest of us. It doesn’t matter which political party they are in, this is just a train wreck.

  14. Being young and healthy does not mean you don’t need health insurance. You just want to use your money elsewhere. Although it kinda sucks not being able to fully have freedom to choose where and when to spend all of your money because of this. Focus instead on how to retire a millionaire, and just let this thing pass. Only the future will determine if this was a good move now or not. Where would you rather spend your money instead?

    1. The point isn’t whether or not I need insurance. I think it’s safe to say that everyone needs health insurance. The point is whether or not it’s fair to ask someone like me to pay almost per month for a plan with a $12,000 deductible.

      I certainly will not pay that much for coverage that I’ll never be able to use, nor should I be expected to.

  15. I had a well written comment about this, then my work computer froze up and it is gone. So I will just cut to the chase… I am not a fan of having to pay more, for less insurance than I had before.

  16. Probably the craziest thing is that these premiums and deductibles are arguably too low. A couple of the big health insurance companies have publicly said they expect a loss on the exchanges. The first couple years here I think a lot of people will sign up who have pent-up demand for pre-existing conditions that were not previously covered. I guess we’ll see where the rates are a few years down the road, but I would expect them to remain high. Employer-sponsored coverage is still ‘gold’ in my mind because the employer subsidizes the plans quite a bit.

    1. I keep hearing that premiums will climb next year as insurance companies get a better look at their risk pools. If that’s the case, this will only get worse.

  17. I’m always surprised when you post those figures. Might I ask if you’re in a relatively rural area. I’ve come across stories that show how providers have insurers by the short ones in rural regions.

    1. I live in Noblesville, Indiana, which is somewhat rural but also a suburb of Indianapolis. Indianapolis is the 12th biggest city in the U.S.!

      1. I hear you! We’re buying our first rental property in Indi right now. Maybe I can pick your brain sometime about the neighborhood?

          1. @ Done by Forty – Was going to email you directly, but can’t figure out how. Are you from Indy? I can share some info on that area, if you’d like more input(growingherworth@gmail.com). I grew up around 10th and Rural, and now stay with the BF around 56th and Franklin.

  18. Thankfully my current HDHP hasn’t been cancelled yet. I looked up what a similar plan would cost on the exchanges and its 3X the price! The Obamacare system just doesn’t work well with HDHP. The exception would be I guess for someone who gets a large subsidy, in some scenarios the price drops to $0 a month.

    1. Yeah, I hear ya. We still have our old plan as well, at least until it expires later this year. I heard that certain plans may be extended another year, but not whether mine will or not.

      The problem with high deductible ACA plans is that they also have high premiums.

  19. A quick beef with your article. You state, “And since we’re young and healthy, we have no desire to pay more for health insurance than is required.”. That attitude is fatally flawed. You have no way of knowing that you will stay healthy today, let alone tomorrow, or a week from now.

    1. Sure, Nate. So why don’t I just pay more than my house payment for the rest of my life, just in case? Sounds like a great plan.

      Of course, no one knows whether they will remain sick or healthy. I still don’t want to pay 100% more for coverage than I do now. What exactly is your point?

      1. Because health care is NOT LIKE ANYTHING else. Everyone is human, and everyone will eventually get sick and die. A lot more people are now able to afford insurance and get access to quality care, not to mention other benefits such as not falling through the cracks if you lose insurance from losing a job and etc.

        What is your point with the house analogy? That makes no sense. We in this country have decided that if someone doesn’t have health insurance, but is found on the road dying, we are going to try and save their life and get them better. As soon as you make that choice as a society, then everyone is in it together. It’s not just about you anymore.

        That’s the difference.

        1. Nate,

          Before you go any further, please disclose how much you’re paying for healthcare. I’m tired of being lectured by people who are asked to pay a small percentage of what I’m asked to pay, or people who are getting huge subsidies for their care.

          The point I was making about my house is that my house payment is somewhere near $800- my four bedroom, 2 bath beautiful home. Asking people to pay as much for insurance with a $12,000 deductible as they do for their home is crazy.

          1. Sure, I’ll gladly get the numbers for you. I’m on my employers plan currently and will have to dig the exact numbers out for you tonight. I live in the Minnapolis area and I’m not lecturing, I’m just letting you know my thoughts.

          2. HAHAHAAHA~!!!

            So let me get this straight. You have employer-subsidized coverage, and none of the Obamacare madness applies to you, yet you feel you’re in a position to impose your will on me? Figures! Try starting your own business and then having someone ask you to pay $800 per month for a plan with a 12K deductible. You can’t possibly know what that feels like while having employer coverage!

        2. Furthermore,

          There are other problems with the ACA that have nothing to do with how much it would cost me personally. Do you know what WILL bring healthcare costs down? Getting people healthier, not giving them free doctor visits and insurance. When people can go to the doctor for free or almost-free, it doesn’t force them to be accountable for their own health. The preventative care that comes with the new plans should help with that, but Obamacare does nothing else to actually keep healthcare costs down.

          Meanwhile, people like me are being asked to pay a huge monthly premium for care we will likely never be able to use. With a 12K deductible, I would think long and hard before going to the doctor for anything.

      2. Also, you say “Having a $12,000 deductible means that I wouldn’t have maternity coverage unless things went horribly wrong.” That’s not entirely true. I quick looked up Indiana plans and all the Bronze ones I saw had INDIVIDUAL deductibles to go along with Family ones. So really, the deductible for just you would be $6,000 in that case, NOT $12,000.

        1. Wrong!

          It probably depends on the provider and plan though. I’ve seen some plans that have individual deductibles within the family plan. Regardless, we are done having kids so I don’t have to worry about it either way.

          1. Are you positive about that? Please link to documentation that supports that

            I found this:

            http://file.anthem.com/03259INMENABS.pdf

            Note the deductible section. For non-HSA plans, each individual has their own deductible.

        2. Yes, I’m sure. There are several providers offering plans on the exchange, not just Anthem. But like I said, I’ve seen plans with separate individual deductibles as well. There were several available in the county we lived in just before we moved here.
          Our current plan also does not have a separate individual deductible, even though we have a $11,000 deductible. The only difference is, we’re now paying $393 per month and not almost $800.

          1. Well, that’s not the ONLY difference, if you’re being honest. You do get some of the benefits of the law. It’s not like you’re just getting a huge rate hike and getting nothing for it.

          2. Oh yes! I know all about the “free” preventative care that I would actually be paying almost $800 per month for!

  20. While I don’t directly pay for healthcare, my company pays for it. Healthcare is part of my compensation package. Cost for healthcare last year $12,000.

  21. OMG Holly, you’re hilarious! I’m sitting at work trying not to bust out laughing….I may or may not be crying from trying to contain it behind my computer screen….Obamacare: The Life of the year!

  22. I’m torn on this issue. Luckily I’m under my employer so it has less of an impact on me.

    But being that I have been denied health coverage before makes me think that this is a step in the right direction. Back when I was 24 I was denied health coverage because…. I was underweight. So they, whomever “they” exactly is, decided that something had to be medically wrong with me. I’m just a small guy from a family of small people yet because my body type doesn’t fit in with the “standard” I was denied health coverage.

    Basically what I did to get heath coverage was apply again the next month and lie on my application about my weight. I still think universal health care is a step we need to take, I just hope it evolves to be a better system. The first steps are always the hardest.

    1. Yeah, I think it’s easy to be torn on the issue when it’s not your money they’re coming after. I used to be torn on the issue as well.

  23. The problem is that we aren’t paying based on our risk anymore, but based on our income. In fact, we are actually paying MORE based on being less of a risk to subsidize those who are more of a risk. (why obamacare needs more younger people to sign up for it to work). When buying insurance that is actually insurance, all it is is shifting risk. Term Life Insurance is a perfect example. Because I am very unlikely to die in the next 20 years based on my health information and lifestyle choices, my premium is very low.

    I can handle paying $X,XXX for a healthcare issue, but I want to transfer the risk of me having a healthcare expense above $X,XXX to an insurer, in exchange I pay the insurer for taking on that risk. The risk of myself having a healthcare issue over $X,XXX is very low, (thus my low premiums), and did not change with the implementation of ACA, it certainly did not triple. Sorry, but healthy non smokers in their 20s with high deductibles should not be paying several hundred dollars a month for coverage, these premiums are not representative of the risks. There are a lot of people this is just not a good deal for.

    1. Yeah, same thing was us. We’re both 34 and our kids are 2 and 4. We’re relatively healthy and fit, and take good care of ourselves. Over the last few years, we have only gone to the doctor for well visits and a few small things. I don’t think I went to the doctor at all last year and neither did my husband.

  24. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel says:

    It’s sad to think how hard they’re trying. They’ve got to know they’re doing poorly. Why else would they commission Magic Johnson and Lebron James to do commercials for them? (Note A: I wonder how much that cost taxpayers, Note B: Lebron’s commercial was awkward and I hope they never make him a commentator after he retires).

    1. I didn’t see those commercials but they sound really lame!

      1. How dare they try and sign people up! The horror!

        1. If Obamacare was so great, they wouldn’t have to talk people into it. People would flock to it. I haven’t see the commercials but I resent having my tax dollars spent on hiring celebrities for commercials.

          1. That’s laughable and I’m sure you know it. So nothing should be spent on marketing? Come on.

          2. Marketing? Let’s see- the government is flat-ass broke yet we’re hiring big name celebrities to encourage people to sign up for a government program? Only a clueless liberal would think that’s okay. Guess what…there isn’t an endless pot of money. We’re broke!

          3. Haha. Ok. Reach for insults if that makes you feel better.

          4. It doesn’t make me feel better at all. Our country is broke. We can’t afford to hire celebrities. The fact that you are okay with it tells me that you probably have poor money management skills. It isn’t that hard. People (and countries) shouldn’t spend money that they don’t have.

          5. Ok sure. My money skills are just fine thanks. I appreciate the concern though.

          6. Ummmm…..no thanks. Regardless of whether they were paid or not, it’s still silly and insulting. Professional sports players are insulated from the extreme costs of Obamacare. I really don’t care if a multi-millionaire thinks it’s a great healthcare plan or not.

        2. I’m glad you are so open minded about it that you won’t even watch a 30-second ad. Amazing. And whether or not he is personally insulated form it is irrelevant. What would you say if instead a self-insured individual made the ad?

          Also, the argument that because I have employer group coverage the “ObamaCare Madness” doesn’t apply to me is ridiculously flawed. Part of your total compensation package included what your employer pays for coverage. In my case my employer shells out 700/month for my family of 4, and I kick in another 300. I could go out on my own, but I would lose that 700/month, just like I would lose a paycheck. It’s part of my total compensation. If you’re self employed and you can’t pay this, then like any other business, your expenses exceed your revenue and you need to find a solution.

          So if I look for another job, and they won’t subsidize my healthcare, they won’t get my services – or they can pay me enough extra to compensate. If you endorse the free market economy when it comes to purchasing healthcare, why wouldn’t you endorse it when it comes to purchasing yourself as a service? Seems flawed, no?

          Lastly, sickness aside. If you get in a car wreck, society eats that cost…the hospitals eat that cost, the fire department eats that cost. Asking you to carry a policy is asking for you to do your civic duty. We can keep going down the route we are on now, and we can see where that puts us in 40 years. Healthcare makes up 17% of the GDP *1 , and that figure grows about 3.5 % per year. The affordable care act has already slowed that rate down. *2 Thinking that’s a bad thing is asinine. You’re merely being asked to do your part so that companies and the individuals they employ don’t get put on the hook for people who failed to plan for medical spending appropriately.

          Times are different, technologies are different, treatments are different. Adapt or fail. I guarantee that when something happens to you or someone you love, you will want those new technologies, treatments, and any other miracles that science can conjure in the meantime.

          *1 – http://www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/2011/en/index.html

          *2 – http://www.cnbc.com/id/101313516

          1. Nate, I’m working today. I’m not really interested in stopping to watch Obamacare commercials just for fun.

            I’m glad that your employer subsidizes your health insurance. I used to have employer coverage as well, and I was glad when I did. However, I started my own business last year and struck out on my own. My husband does work for someone else, but they’re a small employer with only a handful of full-time employees and don’t offer coverage.

            I’ve never gone without health insurance in my entire life. The problem I have with Obamacare isn’t that they’re requiring me to have coverage, it’s that they want me to pay 100% more than what I’m currently paying. How would you feel if someone wanted you to take a $400 monthly pay cut to provide coverage for others? And how would you feel about a $12,000 annual family deductible? Trust me, you wouldn’t be happy about it. And it’s not only the high premiums that are the problem. With a $12,000 family deductible, we could be on the hook for $22,000 before any meaningful coverage kicks in. Of course, we get “free” well visits and preventative care, but those visits only cost a small fraction of what they are expecting me to pay on a monthly basis.

            Furthermore, self-employed individuals pay one of the highest tax rates in the country because we have to pay both halves of social security and medicare taxes. Burdening the self-employed with disproportionately high healthcare costs only stands to decrease the number of people who are able to strike out on their own. To me, owning my own business is part of the American dream, and paying 100% more for healthcare just makes it that much more difficult. I don’t think that only the rich should have the opportunity to become self-employed.

            It’s easy to sit back and expect other people to pay more for healthcare, but it’s an entirely different experience when someone is handing YOU the bill. I will not pay $800 per month for a plan with a $12,000 deductible. Like I said, I will likely join a healthcare ministry or go without. I couldn’t give two shits less what people like you think about it.

  25. I’ve had lots of patients telling me that the ACA plans are even less affordable than their workplace plans. Many of them are not even aware of the registration deadline. Healthcare in this country is a mess, and it’s hard to believe it will get any better unless there’s a total overhaul.

  26. This whole thing is a mess. From skinny networks to higher premiums, it’s a joke. The administration likes to brag about the 7M enrollees, but honestly it was mostly a transfer from individuals who had private coverage moving onto the exchange. I’ve seen most figures estimate less than 1M people that previously didn’t have insurance are now covered.

  27. I for one totally agree with Holly.

    You’re clearly the victim here.

    Those welfare cheating poor people are stealing your hard earned money. We should just send all the poor people to Mexico so thought leaders like Holly can keep living the American Dream.

    You go Holly, you don’t need to breathe the same air as these devious scoundrels. A good soul like you doesn’t need to “do onto others.” Pfft, you’ll never need help with anything. These institutionally poor people can make there own way, just like you did.

    See you next Tuesday.

    1. Ummmm…..yeah. I definitely didn’t say any of that. Actually, I’ve always been for single payer healthcare where everyone gets the same level of care, not Obamacare where people like me are asked to pay more for worse care than the people we’re subsidizing. I’m all for healthcare equality, not the financial raping of the middle class.

      And I doubt you’ll see me next Tuesday!

      1. Rape. Excellent analogy. It’s just like that.

        1. I’m sorry, but what is your problem? I’m suppose to be happy to pay 100% more for less coverage? You act like anything other than an open checkbook is unacceptable and everyone should just grin and bear it. It doesn’t work that way.

        2. By the way, smooth move on anonymous email. You obviously have something to hide. Obviously I don’t.

          1. Holly,
            I just think your world views might be a tad myopic. There are lots of people far worse off than you and helping them out is a good thing. That goes for poor people here and abroad. I wish the world were a better place and I want to help make it one.

            Some people make that harder because they’re selfish and think they deserve something. Lots of people don’t have the same opportunities as you or me. Something as simple as the zip code you were born in or the color of your skin drastically changes your opportunities in life. You’re fortunate to ‘strike it out on your own.’ Perhaps you think everyone could do that, but the world I know is much different than that, so I’m willing to sacrifice in order to foster those opportunities. Or maybe I’m totally wrong about you and you climbed out of the gutter yourself to build a nice life. If that’s the case then maybe you could recognize how hard that is and give your fellow ‘man’ a hand up instead of being mad that he has his proverbial hand out.

            I concede, maybe you got the raw end of the deal in ObamaCare, but all the odds point to you having plenty of other entitlements in your life…entitlements that millions of people who are now getting health insurance because of the Medicaid expansion or healthcare subsidies didn’t have a shot at.

            I hope you can find a cheaper health insurance plan; but I’m also very happy that you and your family can afford the one on your table and get the care you need and deserve. I hope you can stop thinking of healthcare as a commodity and start thinking of it as a right of all mankind. Everyone has the right to life, and unless we’re willing to let people die on the streets we all have a responsibility to help with that.

            The reason healthcare is so expensive is extremely nuanced; from America’s subsidization of for-profit pharmaceuticals, to the AMA selectively determining RVU based reimbursement, to shrinking primary care med schools, and to our end of life decisions as a society. There are lots of reasons, it’s a very complex problem, I think this is the first step in the right direction. If you look at it through a different lens, which is admittedly difficult when you’re shelling out 800/month for insurance, you might change your opinion. You decided to be self-employed and therefore self-insured, many of the folks signing up didn’t get to make that choice. They have simply done without.

          2. Everyone’s world view is myopic- that’s human nature.

            Listen, I appreciate the lecture on how incredibly privileged I must be, but I have to tell you that you’re wrong. I’ve experienced all sorts of awful things in my life, from an abusive marriage at age 18, to two spinal fusions in my early 20’s. Ten years I ago I was cleaning houses and babysitting for a living and going to school part-time at community college. I’ve been broke. I used to smoke. I’m not some elitist who has never stepped outside of my the happy little world my parents handed me.

            And that’s the whole point of my problem with the ACA. You act like I’ve “made it” and how it’s now somehow my responsibility to make sure that other people have that opportunity as well. Well guess what, I’m still trying to “make it.” Since I’m self-employed, I have zero income security. I could literally lose all of my income at the drop of a hat if I should happen to lose a job or two, or a big google update comes my way and my blog traffic tanks. I’m solid middle class- my husband works as a mortician, caring for the dead and getting up at all hours of the night to pick up their bodies. We have worked anywhere from 40-80 hours a week for the last few years, building our websites in the morning before work and in the evening after work. I’ve missed birthdays, vacations, time with my kids. When our friends have been out on the weekend, we’ve chosen to stay home to work and find ways to improve what we’re doing and make more money. We’ve given up so much and are only finally making real progress.

            The subsidies drop off at $94,000 for a family of four. In Indiana, making a penny over the subsidy cut-off means losing a $3,400 subsidy and having to accept whatever insurance rates the market decides. Paying $800 per month means almost 10K per year just in premiums. Having a $12,000 deductible means that I would have to spend over $22,000 on healthcare before my insurance kicked in for anything other than preventative care. For someone who lectures so much about fairness and equal opportunity, I’m surprised you think that’s fair.

            The other problem with the ACA and everything you’re saying: I have always been a proponent of single payer healthcare, meaning that we would all get access to the same care. Of course, I expect to pay more for that privilege as I earn more. The problem with the ACA is that I have to pay more- a lot more- to have care that isn’t anywhere close to the care of the people I’m being asked to subsidize. If I had to pay $800 per month to the kind of coverage someone with a huge subsidy is getting, it would be a whole different story. But that isn’t the case.

            You can lecture on fairness all you want. You can think I’m a selfish, bad person. You can say that I don’t want to help others, or that I am uncaring or unkind.

            But the truth is, I’m a middle class mother of two small kids that I would do anything for. I’ve worked my ass off to improve my family’s situation and to take care of myself and my family. You say that most people don’t have the option to strike out on their own like I did, but you’re wrong. No one told me to wake up at 5:00 a.m. before work with my husband and create a website for two hours before work every morning. Nor did they tell us to stay up late and spend the weekends working instead of relaxing and hanging out.

            I believe that society has a responsibility to make sure that people don’t get sick and die unnecessarily. I also believe that society has a responsibility not to blame certain classes of people for all of society’s woes and ask them to carry the entire financial burden of an entitlement class. Fairness cuts both ways.

            I disagree that the ACA is a step in the right direction. It’s just a different pile of shit than we had before.

        3. I hate when people do that. Yes, rape is a harsh word. It’s meant to be. But the word itself is not only defined as a sexual act. Merriam-webster: Rape (noun) – An outrageous violation. Holly’s use of the word is not incorrect, nor is it inappropriate. It’s meant to convey a strong emotion. And using it in a way not referring to a sexual violation in no way demeans or trivializes the word, nor makes light of the sexual abuse that it also can be used to describe.

          And yes, that’s coming from a “victim”, although that isn’t the way I like to define myself. I’m so tired of people changing or limiting the meaning of words, and making their use inappropriate in all but the most limited of circumstances.

          1. Anything to distract from the topic at hand, Cindy!

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