Author Topic: "Unaffordable" Care Act  (Read 23623 times)

Offline bigbear

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"Unaffordable" Care Act
« on: July 14, 2015, 11:42:53 AM »
I could have sworn I posted a link last week about insurance companies seeking increases (20-40%) in the premiums that they can charge.  But I couldn't find the thread or I would have added this there...

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/04/us/health-insurance-companies-seek-big-rate-increases-for-2016.html?_r=2

Now Forbes and the Wall Street Journal both have articles about the rising cost of insurance.

WSJ - you either need to register for (I don't have an account, so I'm curious if someone who does can provide a summary?)
http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-unaffordable-care-act-1436569086

Forbes -
http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2015/07/05/for-many-obamacare-is-becoming-the-unaffordable-care-act/

It's a 4 pager and references quite a few industry and 'non-partisan' research. 

Quote
Commonwealth says 23% of insured people between age 19 and 64 are underinsured, double when it looked in 2003.

Quote
Adds Paul Fronstein, a Senior Research Associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute: “Consumer-driven health care is a lot different than what most of us have been used to seeing in the past.”

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Obamacare’s “Cadillac Tax,” which takes effect in 2018, is encouraging employers to switch to high-deductible plans so employees will share more of their health care costs.

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benefits consulting firm Mercer estimates that roughly a third of employers will owe the Cadillac tax in 2018 — and roughly 60% in 2022 — if they don’t change their plans.
-- The trend is for less employer provided benefits.

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Employees in high-deductible plans are seeing huge increases in out-of-pocket costs and some are trimming medical care as a result.
-- Comparing this statement with the first article, it sounds like the 18 million previously un-insured are loading up on getting medical care (one of the reasons cited by providers why they are asking for the rate increase).  While those who actually have to pay a deductible are foregoing or postponing medical care. 

Quote
Meantime, health costs are outpacing inflation.
-- Probably Boomer impact, but could it be a healthcare bubble?

The Forbes article provides some tips and links for seeking more transparency and lower costs.
http://www.nextavenue.org/6-ways-negotiate-lower-doctor-bills/

http://www.guroo.com/#!

https://healthcarebluebook.com/


Offline The Spartan Dad

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 03:58:09 PM »
WSJ - you either need to register for (I don't have an account, so I'm curious if someone who does can provide a summary?)
http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-unaffordable-care-act-1436569086


Summary from link

Overall:

Quote
In a study across 45 states, the research outfit Health Pocket reports that mid-level Exclusive Provider Organization plans are 20% more expensive in 2016 on average. HMOs are 19% more expensive, and for all plan types the average is 14%.


Fantasy vs. Reality

Quote
President Obama dropped by Nashville last week to claim Tennessee as a state where “the law has worked better than we expected” and “actually ended up costing less than people expected,” so let’s test the reality of those claims. As a baseline, in 2015 premium increases for Tennessee plans ranged from 7.5% to 19.1%.

For 2016 BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee—one of the state’s two major insurers—is requesting a 36.3% increase. One product line from Community Health Alliance Mutual is rising 32.8%, while another from Time Insurance Co. hits 46.9%. Offerings from Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare range from 11% to 18%. If this means ObamaCare is working better than the President expected, then what, exactly, was he expecting?

Personally, we now pay more for our employer provided plan each month than we do for our mortgage. And it's no means a "Cadillac plan" that many public employee union members receive for no monthly deduction. Our local gov employees here were screaming because they may finally have to contribute a measly 5% to the cost of their Cadillac plans. The horror!

Last year, I chose to pay cash and forego our insurance for some visits because the deductible is astronomical. The choice was $600 something on our end after using insurance or $125 cash without using insurance for an ultrasound. Over the past few years, our premiums went up several hundred dollars a month and benefits went down by thousands but it's cool because now I can get $15/month birth control and $50/year child vaccines for free.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 11:37:10 PM »
My big question is why these insurance carriers have to "request" increases.  They're the ones selling the policies aren't they?


Offline bigbear

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2015, 01:03:36 PM »
My big question is why these insurance carriers have to "request" increases.  They're the ones selling the policies aren't they?

In a free market, yes.  But this is the 'marketplace' that the ACA created.

osubuckeye4

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2015, 02:30:21 PM »
When I started at my company 10 years ago, we had awesome coverage. $250 deductible and a large range of doctors and facilites to choose from.

My employer is now paying more money for a plan that has deductibles that are $800 and worse services across the board on everything... and when I talk amongst my friends in the area who work for other corporations, they tell me my coverage is actually rather good.
 
It's ridiculous.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2015, 11:27:29 PM »
In a free market, yes.  But this is the 'marketplace' that the ACA created.

"Created" nothing.  There were already free market places to help people find and choose plans well before the ACA, that are now going out of business, because trying to compete with rule makers who can mandate other people use their services... well, it doesn't work out all that well.

So what would happen if the insurance companies just didn't use the "marketplaces" and just sold insurance to private industries like they did before?  Fines?  Jail?  Explosions?

Offline The Spartan Dad

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2015, 05:37:39 AM »
"Created" nothing.  There were already free market places to help people find and choose plans well before the ACA, that are now going out of business, because trying to compete with rule makers who can mandate other people use their services... well, it doesn't work out all that well.

So what would happen if the insurance companies just didn't use the "marketplaces" and just sold insurance to private industries like they did before?  Fines?  Jail?  Explosions?

They can sell plans outside of the marketplaces right now, and many do, but they have to sell "ACA approved plans" by law. You can no longer buy catastrophic insurance plans that aren't temporary. Before ACA, states regulated their own plans. I don't know if all states or only the most regulated required state approval to raise rates but this did also occur before ACA.






Offline BriGy86

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2015, 02:45:27 PM »
My big question is why these insurance carriers have to "request" increases.  They're the ones selling the policies aren't they?

I believe it's the crony way the rules were setup.  Since the gov is forcing people to buy a product, the industry leaders aren't allowed to raise rates willy nilly.  They need to be approved. Perhaps it's a very thin silver lining.  The insurance companies wanted this fascist mess.  What happens if they aren't allowed to raise rates?

And some of the other responses are correct.  ehealthinsurance.com was around before the ACA.  You could get a plan for about 110 bucks a month for a single male.

Offline TiredOldGrunt

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2015, 10:29:53 AM »
I am paying over $880 a month for family plan coverage, the last two years insurance has gone up by $100 a month and I cannot by law go elsewhere because...   get this... the plan my employer's offers meets the standards for ACA. 

Legalized extortion, period.

TOG

Offline The Dark Unicorn

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2015, 12:45:19 PM »
We have insurance thru my hubby's job..... but at the end of the week we still can't go to see the doctor since there's just no money left over for the constant copays!

I've been out of work since last Nov. due to dizziness that's more than 3 days a week with headaches that would take down an elephant.....

Hubby has to come first to control his high blood pressure and gout, so I'm puttin him first since he has a job...

Offline CKMe

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2015, 04:41:32 PM »
When it started my real nice Cadillac plan from work was eviscerated. Good news is my monthly cost for coverage is low, real low. My dental plan costs almost as much as my health insurance. Bad news is that the coverage is so bad that if I get sick or have an accident I will probably have to claim bankruptcy. My old plan covered 100% of hospitalization, new one is 80%. Hopefully I don't need to use it.

Offline BriGy86

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2015, 05:14:16 PM »
I am paying over $880 a month for family plan coverage, the last two years insurance has gone up by $100 a month and I cannot by law go elsewhere because...   get this... the plan my employer's offers meets the standards for ACA. 

Legalized extortion, period.

TOG

Are you required by the employer to use their plan?  Seems a bit odd.  What do couples do if their spouse has a family plan through a different employer?

You may not be able to use healthcare.gov or what ever your state exchange is; due to what your employer offers.... But check out ehealthinsurance.com.  There's no subsidies since it's not government run but its an option you can look at.

I did some googling and found some others.  I have no idea how reputable these are though.

http://www.healthinsurance.org/
https://www.healthinsurance.com/
https://www.aetna.com/
https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/

Offline TiredOldGrunt

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2015, 07:00:05 PM »
Been down the bait and switch road... on the surface the prices look great, $450 for a family.  Before I got off the phone it was $1600 for my wife alone... so I terminated the phone call there.

Im telling you, its the greatest gig on the planet!  The politicians, medicine manufactures and insurance  companies are giving each other a hand shake.

Again, my employer offers health insurance that meets the ACA so I *cannot* go into the program for  any other plan, and if I could its likely more expensive.

Wife and daughter use the insurance more than me, and I have IBD... havent seen a doctor or had a med in over 5 years, like the poster above...  spend so much on insurance I cant even afford the co-pay...  my glasses are so old and so badly scratched I cant hardly see, but never mind that...  some fat cat has a fat wallet off my labors every week... by law... or I get fined.  Again, extortion... legally.

TOG

osubuckeye4

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2015, 08:23:08 AM »

Im telling you, its the greatest gig on the planet!  The politicians, medicine manufactures and insurance  companies are giving each other a hand shake.



Employers are going to start doing the same when they are able to justify getting rid of their plans due to the "cadillac tax" kicking in down the road.
 
Right now, you pretty much have to offer health insurance as an employer (almost an unwritten rule)... or you won't attract qualified candidates for the positions you are filling. When the cadillac tax kicks in and starts impacting more and more employers, you're going to see these employers all agree to stop offering any kind of health insurance, and justify it by not wanting to pay a 40% non-deductible excise tax (understandably so).
 
Sure, wages will probably rise a bit to offset the dumped off health insurance costs, and the government will get their cut in additional payroll taxes as a result (government wins again)... but Joe Taxpayer is going to be screwed because those increased wages will be spent on marketplace health insurance that costs far more (or provides far less coverage) than the employer provided benefits ever did.

It's a complete racket. By the time most people who are impacted by the cadillac tax notice and become outraged over it, it will be so far down the path that change will be almost impossible.
 
People making minimum wage or who qualify for government assistance won't feel the sting. The uber wealthy won't feel the sting becuase they can cushion the blow. It's middle class $50-90k per year workers who are going to once again get bent over the coals on this. They won't qualify for assistance, and they won't have the excess income to cushion the blow.
 
 
The only real question is... are the officials who designed the ACA just stupid, or are they corrupt liars? Were they really dumb enough to think that healthcare costs wouldn't rise tremendously and that the cadillac tax they were saying would only impact the fattest of fat cats, would start to impact the middelest of the middle class? Or, did they know exactly what they were doing and this was an organized plan to scrap employer covered healthcare? I tend to think it's a little bit of both. I think there was a bit of nefarious plannig to increase tax revenue via increased payroll due to the scrapping of (unnecessarily high, which is a joke) plans that were taxed subsidied to a certain extent, but, I also think that they were plain stupid in their calculations of how large and how quickly these changes would impact the average middle class taxpayer.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 08:38:29 AM by osubuckeye4 »

Offline The Spartan Dad

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2015, 10:51:41 AM »
Private companies are already restructuring their health insurance plans to avoid the Cadillac tax. They don't need to drop their health care plans, just reduce benefits until they fall under the eligibility threshold (bolded part below).

https://www.washingtonpolicy.org/publications/notes/how-obamacare%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccadillac-tax%E2%80%9D-will-affect-local-governments-public-employees-and

Quote
United Benefit Advisors (UBA) surveyed 11,000 employers last year. The report found that government-employer annual health care costs increased at double the rate of health coverage in the private sector. The survey also showed that private-sector employees have larger co-pays and higher out-of-pocket expenses than public workers. Since the recession of 2008, wage freezes have been common for all workers, but government employees have been much more likely to receive increased compensation through expanded health benefits, even as public-sector salaries are held flat.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally estimated the Cadillac Tax would generate $137 billion in new revenue over 10 years. Last year the CBO re-calculated the revenue at $80 billion, because private employers were already shifting to less generous health insurance plans. There is no evidence that public employers are doing the same, so public-sector health insurance costs continue to rise.


The only real question is... are the officials who designed the ACA just stupid, or are they corrupt liars? Were they really dumb enough to think that healthcare costs wouldn't rise tremendously and that the cadillac tax they were saying would only impact the fattest of fat cats, would start to impact the middelest of the middle class? Or, did they know exactly what they were doing and this was an organized plan to scrap employer covered healthcare? I tend to think it's a little bit of both. I think there was a bit of nefarious plannig to increase tax revenue via increased payroll due to the scrapping of (unnecessarily high, which is a joke) plans that were taxed subsidied to a certain extent, but, I also think that they were plain stupid in their calculations of how large and how quickly these changes would impact the average middle class taxpayer.

Agree with your analysis. I think it's a case of creation by committee where some provisions came from people who absolutely no idea of the economic consequences and others who embedded poison pills in there on purpose to push for single payer and thus also happily accepted ideas from the first group.

Online David in MN

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2015, 11:25:55 AM »
While I completely agree with TOG and Buckeye, it's worth adding that the insurance companies wrote the legislation. Anyone foolish enough to believe this was a punishment to the insurers (basically all democrats, sorry guys) needs to reassess what the law is actually doing.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2015, 01:33:39 PM »
While I completely agree with TOG and Buckeye, it's worth adding that the insurance companies wrote the legislation. Anyone foolish enough to believe this was a punishment to the insurers (basically all democrats, sorry guys) needs to reassess what the law is actually doing.

Yep. Despite the name, affordability was never the goal.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2015, 01:36:10 PM »
Yep. Despite the name, affordability was never the goal.
This

osubuckeye4

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2015, 02:01:00 PM »
Private companies are already restructuring their health insurance plans to avoid the Cadillac tax. They don't need to drop their health care plans, just reduce benefits until they fall under the eligibility threshold (bolded part below).

I agree that right now we're seeing many companies (my corproation included) respond by dropping benefits below the threshold.
 
I honestly believe that down the not so distant road, especailly as healthcare costs rise and the threshold gets lower, you'll start to see major corporations completely scrapping employer provided healthcare and using the "cadillac tax" as the reasoning.
 
I've had this conversation with a few knowledgeable friends (one of whom is an economics professor at the University of Illinois) and the general response of those in support is, "if employers scrap plans, then they will pass the amount back to the employee in the form of a pay raise".
 
I always respond by asking them if they A) live in fantasyland, B) honestly think that even if employers do "redistribute" the cost back to the employee in the form of payroll... that insurance costs are going to be more affordable through the marketplace. The answer is always no (to A) and maybe (to B).
 
I'll believe that when I see it. I just see the government wetting their beak and extorting middle class taxpaying citizens in the process. The only people making out positively are: the government, insurance companies, people who never had insurance (who are going to have to use it at some point), people with pre-existing conditions who couldn't get insured, and lobbyists.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 02:06:35 PM by osubuckeye4 »

Offline The Spartan Dad

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2015, 03:39:20 PM »
Yep. Despite the name, affordability was never the goal.

What's interesting, and I rarely if ever see this reported on, is that the ACA is financially destroying hospitals too besides the patient consumers. One of the central planks to the ACA was that the uninsured were bankrupting hospitals and forcing insurance on them would solve this "problem" hospitals faced. In return for this boon, medicaid reimbursement rates were further slashed or maybe just not raised as high as expected. Even before the ACA, Medicaid reimbursement rates didn't allow medical providers to even come close to breaking even on their expenses.

A family member who worked for a large, level 1 trauma hospital forwarded me an email from their CEO right before the 2012 election. This hospital predominately serves a lower-income population, the poster-child for whom the ACA was supposedly designed to help. The email pretty much stated that the ACA was destroying the hospital and they didn't know what would happen if it remained in effect so take that in consideration on voting day. They were losing something like 58 million/year. Apparently the uninsured made up a tiny fraction of the population they served and any losses on them were negligible. In contrast, the vast majority of patients who weren't insured were on Medicaid and the lowered reimbursement rates were absolutely wrecking them. It's kind of like a Soviet model where a factory is forced to sell goods at a lower cost than their production expenses.


Offline bigbear

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2015, 10:42:38 AM »
Aetna buying Humana a few weeks ago, now Anthem is buying Cigna. 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/mega-health-deals-bloom-july-153318988.html 

Quote
Larger insurers have negotiating power to squeeze better rates from drug companies and health care providers. But the wave of consolidation could lead to fewer choices for consumers in certain markets. Regulators scrutinizing the two mega-deals will be trying to assess whether these combined companies would have so much power that they could dominate markets and drive already high health-care costs even higher.

Employer-sponsored health insurance is growing slowly and with the recent overhaul of the nation's health care system, providers are jostling for the largest share of the millions of people who have signed up.

So according to the AMA, we just had #4 buying #5 earlier this month.  Now we've got #3 buying #7.  Talk about massive consolidation in the industry...  I wouldn't be shocked if the .gov stepped in and said no.

http://www.darkdaily.com/american-medical-associations-study-of-nations-25-largest-health-insurers-indicates-that-biggest-companies-hold-dominant-market-share-in-most-regional-markets-109

Offline RuggedCyclist

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2015, 08:17:14 PM »
"Cadillac tax?" You mean they decided to fine companies for offering good insurance? What? What? What? Where is the logic? Why?? WHY??

Did they give a reason for this tax?

It seems like the goal here is to drag everything down to terrible in the name of equality... So they can just take over the whole system?



Maybe living outside the system isn't so bad after all.


Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2015, 08:21:26 PM »
"Cadillac tax?" You mean they decided to fine companies for offering good insurance? What? What? What? Where is the logic? Why?? WHY??

Did they give a reason for this tax?

It seems like the goal here is to drag everything down to terrible in the name of equality... So they can just take over the whole system?



Maybe living outside the system isn't so bad after all.


winner winner chicken dinner!   :clap:

Offline RuggedCyclist

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2015, 08:34:29 PM »

winner winner chicken dinner!   :clap:

Actually, with the whole "mandatory" thing and the "voluntarily choosing catastrophic coverage because it fits your life better is EVIL and MUST BE STOPPED" thing, it just makes living outside the system suck more... Because if I'm in a situation where I need insurance, I'm going to be in that system. I'd rather have catastrophic coverage for when I get in a bike crash and smash all of my front teeth out, and then not go to the doctor for years, and pay for insurance that reflects that, than pay for insurance to cover frequent doctor visits and frequent prescription meds that I don't need because I live a healthy lifestyle. THIS IS WHY FREE MARKETS WORK SO GOOD AND CENTRAL CONTROL DOESN'T AHHH
(rant over)


Is it possible to get cheap bare minimum of compliance health insurance that's actually affordable, kind of like there's cheap bare minimum car insurance? Or are we screwed until the government takes it over and just makes healthcare in general suck, without the suck of insurance? Wait no they'll just add another 15% tax like how Social Security works but for everybody. I really don't see any escaping this.

osubuckeye4

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2015, 07:19:13 AM »
"Cadillac tax?" You mean they decided to fine companies for offering good insurance? What? What? What? Where is the logic? Why?? WHY??

Did they give a reason for this tax?

It seems like the goal here is to drag everything down to terrible in the name of equality... So they can just take over the whole system?



Maybe living outside the system isn't so bad after all.

The reasoning behind the Cadillac tax, in theory, is that the funds generated would raise additional revenue for the ACA and help people at the bottom end of the spectrum fund more affordable plans.

You pull the bottom up by taxing the bejesus out of the top.

And in theory, that would be fine... if "Cadillac" actually applied to the top 1% of health care plans.

In reality, what is going to happen (and is happening) is that employers are going to slash benefits for not just the top 1%... but as healthcare costs rise they will start slashing more and more people and within the next decade that "Cadillac" will be about 25% of people receiving healthcare coverage from their employer. As these plans are slashed, all of the burden will be passed onto the individual.

Again, in theory, that shouldn't be a bad thing... because the employers will then boost employees wages and employees can look for the best healthcare that suits their needs.

In reality, employers aren't going to boost wages as they slash benefits... because they don't have too.

This payroll tax increase that the government is banking on, the one that will exist because employers are going to boost employees wages by 20%, to make up for the 20% loss in benefits coverage... won't happen.

Personally, my healthcare benefits have been slashed tremendously, and I've received exactly 2% in wage increases. The other day I met with one of our operations VP's for a quarterly review and he said, "well, I know the raises weren't great... but at least your salary wasn't cut".

My response? "Actually, my salary was cut, because you guys eviscerated my benefits and now I'm paying 3x to 4x as much every time my daughter has to go to the doctor or hospital"

His response? "Oh... I didn't think about it like that".


Maybe he didn't, but the person above him making the decisions most certainly did.

Again, my whole question with the ACA to President Obama is: "Are you lying? Or, are you just stupid?"

It has to be one or the other. He's either lying to his teeth about the "benefits" of the plan, or, he actually believes in the plan and is completely incompetent and can't see the forest from the trees.

I hope he's just lying, that I could deal with. If he honestly believes this is a long-term solution, he is much more narrow-sighted than I ever thought, and I never thought very highly of him in the first place. (that's not a Republican/Democrat thing either)

Online David in MN

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2015, 07:57:38 AM »
FWIW I tried to dissect the legislation to figure out who it truly benefited (so I could make money on it in the stock market). I couldn't make heads or tails what it really changed. Most of the "Cadillac" plans were union members and government workers who lobbied exemptions. No change. Likewise it had no direct impact on prescriptions. After hours of digging through it I gave up. It seems the legislation was a method to not change insurance in America

Sure the policy requirements are inane with their "one size fits all" but the market kinda was moving that direction anyway. Eliminating pre-existing conditions may cause rates to rise slightly but now insurers have streamlined the application process and gained new buyers due to the mandate. Just an offset. And since its a law all your competitors will do the same.

Logically if there really were people dying in the streets without insurance (and this legislation functioned as claimed) the insurance companies would have taken a big hit. If cynics (like me) were right this was a way to boost the insurance rolls with a mandate but the numbers just weren't there.

Ironically I see this legislation as a way to cement the status quo and allow an oligopoly in health care where all growth is inorganic based on buying the competition since every business should have the same profits per policy.

Offline JLMissouri

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2015, 08:53:23 AM »
The act is really the most harmful thing passed for the average working person in my lifetime. I went from paying around $100 a month for a private plan to over $700 for a worse plan. This really hurts the self employed healthy people who just keep coverage for an emergency so they don't loose everything. I really think Jack is right that it is a push to federalize the hospital system.

Pretty rediculous, I pay more for health insurance than any other expense and rarely use it.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2015, 09:05:50 AM »
There is a cheap option, but you need to fall into a particular category, since it is faith based, it is outside of the ACA system. I dont have time to look it up, but it is something like this:

- you dont have to be part of a particular religion, but be religious, not athiest
- you must follow certain lifestyle choices, which I believe are - monogamous, no extramarital sex   - no smoking   - no drug use  - Alcohol, I forget, likely limited

I looked this up once and the monthly share paid is very affordable.

Offline bigbear

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2015, 11:44:46 AM »
Personally, my healthcare benefits have been slashed tremendously, and I've received exactly 2% in wage increases. The other day I met with one of our operations VP's for a quarterly review and he said, "well, I know the raises weren't great... but at least your salary wasn't cut".

My response? "Actually, my salary was cut, because you guys eviscerated my benefits and now I'm paying 3x to 4x as much every time my daughter has to go to the doctor or hospital"

Same boat here...  Coverage is worse, premiums and co-pays are higher. 

Again, my whole question with the ACA to President Obama is: "Are you lying? Or, are you just stupid?"

I think he was so fixated on his utopia that any downside risks were minimized.


I got curious about whether health insurance costs were included in the Consumer Price Index (one of the main inflation indicators), and it does not appear to be.  Hopefully someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm

Quote
What goods and services does the CPI cover?

The CPI represents all goods and services purchased for consumption by the reference population (U or W) BLS has classified all expenditure items into more than 200 categories, arranged into eight major groups. Major groups and examples of categories in each are as follows:
FOOD AND BEVERAGES (breakfast cereal, milk, coffee, chicken, wine, full service meals, snacks)
HOUSING (rent of primary residence, owners' equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture)
APPAREL (men's shirts and sweaters, women's dresses, jewelry)
TRANSPORTATION (new vehicles, airline fares, gasoline, motor vehicle insurance)
MEDICAL CARE (prescription drugs and medical supplies, physicians' services, eyeglasses and eye care, hospital services)
RECREATION (televisions, toys, pets and pet products, sports equipment, admissions);
EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (college tuition, postage, telephone services, computer software and accessories);
OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES (tobacco and smoking products, haircuts and other personal services, funeral expenses).

Also included within these major groups are various government-charged user fees, such as water and sewerage charges, auto registration fees, and vehicle tolls. In addition, the CPI includes taxes (such as sales and excise taxes) that are directly associated with the prices of specific goods and services. However, the CPI excludes taxes (such as income and Social Security taxes) not directly associated with the purchase of consumer goods and services.

The CPI does not include investment items, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and life insurance. (These items relate to savings and not to day-to-day consumption expenses.)

For each of the more than 200 item categories, using scientific statistical procedures, the Bureau has chosen samples of several hundred specific items within selected business establishments frequented by consumers to represent the thousands of varieties available in the marketplace. For example, in a given supermarket, the Bureau may choose a plastic bag of golden delicious apples, U.S. extra fancy grade, weighing 4.4 pounds to represent the Apples category.

Offline The Spartan Dad

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Re: "Unaffordable" Care Act
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2015, 11:59:52 AM »
I'd rather have catastrophic coverage for when I get in a bike crash and smash all of my front teeth out, and then not go to the doctor for years, and pay for insurance that reflects that, than pay for insurance to cover frequent doctor visits and frequent prescription meds that I don't need because I live a healthy lifestyle.

It's actually even much worse than just paying inflated costs for yourself, your insurance costs are subsidizing free and/or required to be provided "treatments" for others. Your premium is also paying for your neighbor's kids vaccines and well visits, their teacher's birth control, the soccer mom's weekly psych visit, and the cocaine addict's rehab.