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Lambert’s excellent observation

Obamacare is a lot like HAMP.

Same attention to detail.  Same winners and losers.

Way to go, Democrats.

Lambert posted more fallout from Obamacare in his Clusterf%^& series and I have to say that this degree of incompetence is astonishing even for someone who expected Obamacare to be “glitchy”.   I can’t believe so many Democrats have spent the last three years trying to sell this fiasco to us.  At the core of it is the idea that the people who can’t afford health insurance now because their employers don’t pay for it or they don’t get paid enough are going to become one giant pool of people who subsidize the poor and the sick.  All on their own.  We’ve scooped up all the people who lost out in the past decade or so and stick them in a high risk pool where they subsidize each other’s thin coverage networks that they can’t use when they’re not in that network.

But not only is the premise bad and heartless, the signup procedure doesn’t even work.

Even if you get the signup to work, you can’t get rid of the premise that you’ve just lumped the underemployed with all of the poorest and sickest people in America and left them to fend for themselves against the health insurance behemoth with virtually no cost controls except the admonishment that if they didn’t use their health care insurance, they wouldn’t have to pay so much in deductibles.  No, it’s worse than that.  You’ve taken these poor unfortunates and required them to participate in what many of them find are substandard plans.  They have no choice simply because they do not have employer sponsored health care plans to protect them.

It speaks volumes about what the Obama administration and its enablers in the party think of us.

Really?  You guys really tried to sell this as an improvement??


19 Responses

  1. One of the features of the PPACA or Rombama-care is a tax on “Cadillac” heath insurance plans. Where’s the Subsidy Fairy when you need it. But then I guess somebody has to pay for those 27 yo and older Kos posters still living in mommy and daddy’s basement.

    Think something like this is in Don Obama’s post White House life for selling us out ?


    • Well, it is what Obama has been working for. If he is the narcissist some people say, perhaps mass public hatred and despisement of his memory can make him feel bad and enjoy the money less. Perhaps if he doesn’t get to meet all the fun movers and shakers that Mr. Clinton gets to meet.

    • The “Cadillac tax” is the tell. The intent of it is obviously to backstop the insurance cartels–it punishes “scab” insurance companies that break from the pack and refuse to screw their customers with sufficient vigor. It’s a pro-trust measure.

  2. Fantastic summary of what happened.

    • One category that you forgot in all of this is free-lancers and small business owners. They make up a large part of the long-term individual market. The underemployed go in and out.

      And this Obamabot pipe dream that “oh, Obamacare will increase the number of small entrepreneurs”. No, on the contrary. People will be trying even harder to hold onto their jobs because once they’re on this very different individual market, if they get sick they risk succumbing to death by networks/HMO.

  3. The key to this succeeding is the willingness of young, healthy people to sign up. Without it, the entire structure collapses. I helped two twenty somethings look at their offerings on their state exchange. Both single, earning 25 K per year. Employer does not offer coverage. Even with the subsidies, and baseline catastrophic coverage, they pay roughly 175 per month. 175 per month is a big expense for someone earning 25 K per year. It makes sense for them to eschew coverage and just pay the tax which for them I think is 250.00. And that’s not the capper. They have to still meet a 2000 deductible even if they use the insurance AND catastrophic care only covers 60 % of qualified expenses. This is a federal mandate to buy junk insurance. So if, God forbid, someone has a major need for insurance and has to stay a week in a hospital, they’ll still owe 20-30 K in medical debts. But now, they’ll have to deal with the federal government as the bag man for the insurance companies.

    Given the high levels of unemployment and the low wages among many of the young, I don’t see how this actuarially works. I suspect we’ll get a rush of sick people signing up who pre-ACA could not get coverage, but there is little incentive for the young to participate.

  4. The Obamabot young will all sign up. Maybe all the black racial loyalist young will sign up too. Maybe all the latino ethnic loyalist young will sign up too. That might be enough to float the system long enough for the insurance companies to make a large percent of the money they instructed the Democrats to write for them to make.

    • From my anecdotal observation I doubt they will. They loved Obamacare when people were talking about all the free stuff. You couldn’t tell them that all that free stuff is paid for up front via premiums. So now that they see the facts, the ones I know are crossing their arms and saying…hmmm, I’ll just pay my penalty.

      • Good. Encourage them to encourage others to consider doing so. At least encourage them to read the Obamacare-relevant posts on Naked Capitalism.

  5. If someone has to treat a million-dollar illness, they will owe 200-300K under this concept. I read somewhere that hidden in the Obamacare law is a provision making medical expenses undischargable in bankruptcy, just like student loans. If someone were to find this to be true, they might want to discuss it on Naked Capitalism as part of the debtcropper society.

  6. I can’t believe so many Democrats have spent the last three years trying to sell this fiasco to us.

    RD, thank you for keeping us updated.

  7. “So if, God forbid, someone has a major need for insurance and has to stay a week in a hospital, they’ll still owe 20-30 K in medical debts. But now, they’ll have to deal with the federal government as the bag man for the insurance companies.”

    And that is frightening, because once the fed. gov. became the bag man for student loans, those loans became pretty much non-dischargeable under personal bankruptcy. They can and will garnish a person’s Social Security benefit to offset student loan default from 40 years prior.

    • Oops, should’ve read r u reddy’s comment before replying…

      • That’s alright. I sometimes fail to read all the comments first and then find someone pre-state my point.

  8. I have wondered if this isn’t a way for federal govt to get their hands on the income tax credits the working poor get. Let’s say they get 2000 as an EIC….Earned income Credit. If they don’t have the insurance they will take the penalty out of the income tax refund. Or if they owe medical bills, out it come from that check.

  9. This should make the 2014 elections interesting.

    The Dinocrats will be compelled to campaign with the fragrant ex-albatross which is Obummercare (nee Romneycare) around their necks.

    The Reptilians will be compelled to campaign with the fragrant ex-albatross which is the Tea Birch Society around their necks.

    I reckon the outcome will depend largely on which ex-albatross (as in ex-parrot) exudes the fouler fragrance by November 2014.

    Selah. 😛

    • Both parties are going to be under pressure to fix Obamacare. The Republicans will only be able to stand aside and let the Dems fail for so long until they start to lose the gains they’ve made lately.

      I only hope that whatever happens is a move foreword.

      • *forward.

        (I blame Obamacare…I’ve been banging my head on my desk a lot lately, and I’ve apparently developed brain damage.)

        • Since when has brain damage disqualified anyone from making comments on Da Intertoobz? 😈

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