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The bigger problem with Obamacare and why people will hate it

I’ve noticed a certain sentiment appearing in so-called “progressive” blogs about Obamacare that I find particularly awful.  It’s that people who are desperate for healthcare will be so grateful for something better than the Republican sharp stick in the eye that they will put up with endless amounts of indignities to get it.  Yep, those truly sick or with relatives who are truly sick will gladly spend hours and hours of frustration in front of a hot display trying to log in and get their information correct so they can see the exchange plans.

There’s an underlying heartlessness about this sentiment.  It’s like, well, what did they expect??  They’re poor and they’re sick.  They should be happy we’re doing anything for them at all.  This strikes me as just a hair better than the “let ’em all die!” attitudes of the Tea Party people.

But that’s not why I think Obamacare will eventually come to be loathed by anyone forced to jump through hoops and face indignity after indignity before they even get to see what their options are.

No, I think the biggest problem with Obamacare that will make people loathe it is the lack of the employer mandate.

See, it’s a little like getting on an airplane and finding out the guy in the seat next to you paid a LOT less for his flight.  If you have employer provided insurance, you probably have a policy that doesn’t cost you the equivalent of a couple new car payments.  You health insurance payments are your benefits, not an added expense.  It’s like you’re getting a bonus every month.  You can go on vacation and if you get a severe case of tourista or break your arm, you won’t come back home with a huge bill to pay off for treatment.  (Note to self: vacation in Canada)

And this is a problem because there is a lot more temporary work these days.  A lot more people who were formerly covered by their employers suddenly aren’t anymore.  I met a lot of people like that in New Jersey.  They couldn’t afford their insurance anymore because they were part time employed or unemployed or self-employed or employed by contract.  Those numbers are growing all of the time in this Little Depression.

So, many of them go without treatment, like the lovely, elegant blonde woman in her fifties I met.  She and her husband both lost their jobs and tried to pay their mortgage on what work they could get.  She let her dental care lapse.  And now she has a mouth full of rotting teeth.  Rotting front teeth.

Or the guy I met at the bar of a local restaurant where I was waiting for my car to be fixed who kept bugging me about signing up for his financial services company.  I finally had to be rude to him and tell him to leave me alone (I had been laid off about a week before).  He got quiet and despondent and said very softly, “I wish I had health insurance again”.  Then I noticed how thin and pale he looked.

How would these so-called “progressives” like it if they had to pay for their health insurance by nagging equally poor women at bars for business?  You can only avoid bars for so long.  Or New Jersey, where the problem is lurking in plain sight.

This administration and its party thought all they had to do was pass the bill and then celebrate.  Implementation would take care of itself apparently.  And if the employer mandate didn’t happen or the deductibles weren’t capped, it was no big deal because it was only the poorest and sickest of the poor who would suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.  It’s like all of DC has been living in a glass dome for 5 years and has no idea how segments of the formerly well cared for middle class has fallen through the floor caused by the chronic unemployment they have left festering while they allowed the Republicans to control the message.

They have created a new tier of second class citizens.  Oh sure, the employer mandate will come, maybe.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, there will be resentment and seething and anger.  The costs still come out of our pockets or our income tax returns and now, we’ll have no choice to be shaken down by the private insurance market.  We will be captives to it.

Not all of us.  Just those of us unlucky enough to lose our jobs in the name of “shareholder value”.

23 Responses

  1. Doctor access will be the other seething, festering, sore. These plans? They are Medicaid — Medicaid that costs 2 car payments to buy. Whoo-hooo


  2. What is pushing this notion is not so much economics as sociology. Adam Smith felt that businesses had to be regulated or they would cheat customers to the cost of both the customer and society as a whole. Thorsten Veblen, on the other hand, wrote in “The Theory of the Leisure Class”, “It is always sound business to take any obtainable net gain, at any cost and at any risk to the rest of the community.”

    Veblen saw wealth arising in early societies originally as the ownership of other people, originally women but then other “inferiors.” I don’t think this is actually correct but much of his observations nonetheless are valid. The rich and the powerful see themselves (and much of society sees them” as more than people with bigger houses and bank accounts.

    Our particular society has reinforced this with wealth seen by some as a mark of God’s favor and poverty and need seen as a mark of weakness and inferiority.

    The Great Depression saw a change in business ethics and behavior as more people fell into a constant go-go sell mode and the consistent, cheery over promise as a means to get something, anything. This was countered by overt business regulation, especially of Wall Street and the banks. The Great Recession has aagain seen a change towards desperation on the part of the many. This time the trend has been towards less government regulation of business and taxes; not more.

    Bad trend.

    • Of course the New Deal/Fair Deal legislation forcibly regulated much bussiness into a grudging posture of respect and decent behavior. The reversion is due to massive repealing or stealthy neutering of most of the New Deal/ Fair Deal laws and regs.
      I have read very little about Veblen. I had thought he understood the
      Leisure Class as a class of pirates who were proud of what they could loot from their surroundings. Did he ever imply that this was good for their surroundings?

      • I read Veblen quite a while ago but was tempted to read a little of his stuff recently when someone I know got a fancy cane while rehabbing. Yep, conspicuous consumption with Veblen’s walking stick. None of my recent samples or the original indicated that the rich were anything other than socially acceptable pirates, as you mention.

        The New Deal/Fair Deal were in reaction to outrageous behavior. Indeed, Veblen wrote the Theory of the Leisure Class in 1899 after a five year recession (the Panic of 1893) with double digit unemployment was just ending.

        The ideas of Social Darwinism, etc. don’t seem to be a part of Veblen’s work.

  3. So, many of them go without treatment, like the lovely, elegant blonde woman in her fifties I met. She and her husband both lost their jobs and tried to pay their mortgage on what work they could get. She let her dental care lapse. And now she has a mouth full of rotting teeth. Rotting front teeth
    This is literally my worst fucking nightmare.
    Why, yes, I’m Irish, why do you ask?

  4. Spam troll cleanup in Aisle 4! :mrgreen:

  5. I suspect there will be vast waves of employER dumping of employEE group plans. Many opportunities were written into the ObamACAre deliberately on purpose for employERS to find and use. If any employER cancels its insurance, we may be sure they were doing exactly what the Obama Group wanted them to do, which is why the Obama Group wrote all these “drop employEE coverage” opportunities into the law to begin with.

    And no, I don’t think the employER “class” lobbied for these escape hatches. I think Baucus’s little insurance-lobby staffer and the Obama Group themselves wrote them into the law to specifically and only benefit the insurance companies, who will harvest millions of higher cost-per-person revenue streams than what they harvested from the same persons when those persons were part of large groups.

    The huge universities may be some of the last places to retain any group plan coverage at all. I got a letter from my University place of work saying basically “we value our employees and want to keep covering you. But by law we have to let you know that you can go into the individual plan exchanges if you want to. If you don’t want to, all you have to do is do nothing and you keep the group plan coverage you have.” It would be an interesting experiment to see how many covered employEES at this University choose to ditch their group plan coverage and buy individual plans on the exchanges. It would be easy enough to track.

    Praise the Great Doggess that every progressive who sells the line you describe ends up suffering exactly what the people you describe have suffered. There should be some justice in the world.

  6. I was listening to Ed Schultz this morning (don’t ask!) and he was spitting with glee telling everyone that the insurance plans that will soon have to be replaced by most costly ACA plans (with lots of loopholes in coverage) is JUNK INSURANCE…he screamed it whenever he got the chance. In other words, you stupid poor schmucks should be on your knees in front of Obama thanking him for making you buy Obamacare. These people are seriously delusional. So sad.

  7. Gypsies carried away the democratic party and left Obama in the cradle.

  8. A bit OT, but not really, if we ask yet again why we got the ACA instead of single payer/public option…but where are the liberal doppelgangers of the Kochs and others who use their obscene wealth to dictate policy? I assume we would find them in Hollywood: Spielberg, Streisand, Roseanne Barr, Clooney…Over the past five years I’ve wondered why they aren’t buying politicians with campaign contributions that are a drop in the hat compared to their net worth.

    Can we get a progressive version of the Koch brothers to swing things left? I find it hard to believe those like Clooney are dumb enough to think Obama’s progressive.

    • Hollywood liberals display liberalism as a fashion statement. They are caviar socialists. They are in love with their anti-racist selves for supporting the First BLACK PREsident in HIStory.

      The Koch Brothers actively fear and loathe us. The Hollywood liberals merely pity, patronise, and despise us. They are with Obama all the way, esPECially people like Clooney; based on how he has lectured disatisfied liberadicals over and over and over again about how we have to support Obama and his Obamacare.

      So no. We don’t have, and never will have serious billionaire supporters on the left. George Soros isn’t a liberal. He just plays one on TV. We have eachother and no one else.

      • Exactly. Rich “liberals” are just shrewd conservatives who know the real purpose of “liberalism” is to provide us peasants just enough so we don’t decide that maybe the Jacobins had a point after all.

        The Nitwit Right thinks the welfare state (for the common citizen, as distinct from welfare for the rich, aka “crony capitalism”) was dreamed up by silly, soft-hearted idealists. Horsefeathers! It was dreamed up by plutocrats and aristocrats to keep their heads on their shoulders.

        • And yet if their support for Obama and his Care end up pushing people over the edge of rebellion and resistance, these liberals will have turned out to be not quite shrewd enough. If screaming mobs of health rioters storm through Hollywood and Beverly Hills, will the Limousine Liberals even understand why?

    • OMG, what planet are you people from?? How far left does Obama, lamestream media and hollywood need to be to satisfy your leftist, give me everything for free ideology?? Pathetic…. Record high unemployment, record high disability claims, record high people on food stamps, takeover of healthcare, all thanks to Democrats. Any farther left Obama has taken us and we’d be a 3rd world country. Frankly Im Lmao to all the misery you Obamanites voted for. Liberalism is big Goverment and what has big Goverment done to improve the lives of Americans in the last 100 years?? Again you leftys are are dillusional, and thats putting it mildly.

      • Slowly, slowly, back away from Fox News.

        Here’s the problem with your comment: Obama is not now nor never has been a lefty. Nope. Not even a little. And most of us are New Deal Democrats, not the knit-your-own-sandals variety.

        The ACA is FUBARED because it is essentially how the government outsourced health care to private industry from insurance to IT. That’s why it doesn’t work. If you bothered to exercise your atrophied brain cells for even 30 sec, you would have figured that out. And this is what Obama wanted and got. Hence, very little chance that he is a lefty. As left as we are, which is moderately left, our team wouldn’t have him. He’s not one of us. Noooooo. He’s YOUR baby.

        Enjoy it while it lasts.

        • Again, what planet are you from? Typical ‘Pms’nbc response. When you can’t debate the issues you slander….LMAO….Enjoy 3 more years. You voted for it, you got it!!!!

          • First, I didn’t vote for Obama either time. He wasn’t liberal and didn’t believe in new Deal programs. You are obviously new to this blog.
            Second, I don’t watch cable news or network news of any political persuasion. I don’t listen to talk radio. I am a geek. I read and look for historical patterns. I am a scientist and I base my observations on data when I can get it.
            Third, I believe in big government to do some things very well. It’s especially good at acquiring services at an economy of scale that individuals pay a premium for. It’s good at insurance against risk. That’s why social security, Medicare and the post office work so well. It’s like buying in bulk at Costco.
            Fourth, I am a STEM professional who has been laid off and has a dependent who is very sick. We pay for our own insurance right now and have no idea how long that’s going to last in spite of the fact that I work a full time job. So, you know, STFU.
            Fifth, what shadow archetype has the right been pinging in your shriveled brain that would make you think it is ever ok to cut a kid’s food supply? You have to be the lowest kind of human animal around to think that’s ok while you let rich people pocket everything that’s not nailed down.
            Begone, toad.

          • By the way, I notice the slander sprinkled throughout your two comments. Rather ironic the way you practice that which you pretend to condemn in others.
            Big government? TVA, CVA, BPA, HooverBoulder Dam, loads of other dams, the Morrill Act, etc. etc.
            By the way, if you were to learn how to spell “dillusiional” and “leftys” correctly, you might earn the minimal respect acorded to fully literate people.

          • Little sooner did I mention the “Nitwit Right”, than an example of the species appeared. 😛

      • If you like dog eat cat eat mouse eat cheese capitalism so much, move to Russia. Move to China. Ha ha ha!

  9. Oh dear . . . my lonely comment sits and weeps in moderation.

  10. Off topic: Happy Halloween! 😈

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