Democrats' "let them eat cake" moment: force 30M newly unemployed and uninsured to buy junk insurance on Obamacare exchanges

Hillary Clinton tweeted (and all the usual democratic outlets support this):

These plans cost a lot of money, even the "cheap" ones. "But they'll be subsidized!" Democrats say--yeah, if they qualify, and it only reduces the price, sometimes to (next to) nothing in terms of premium but not cost (there's a difference: even with $0 premium these plans cost a lot of money). These subsidized plans are actually the worst: the government pays a huge premium to the insurance companies that run them, the covered person pays some (generally very small amount), and they have large deductibles and non-trivial copays.

Here's the summary of California's Kaiser HMO Silver plan ("Silver 87 HMO") for a family of four (two adults, two children under 10) on a household income of $50000:
Gov't subsidy: $1030/mo
Individual's premium: $2/mo
Copay: $15
Rx: $5
Deductibles: $1400/individual or $2800/family
Out of Pocket Max: $2700/individual or $5400/family

Various other items have different copays (e.g. labs might have $20).

What kind person proposes that an individual or family who just lost their income be forced to pay up to $5400 per year for coverage, and $15 per visit plus extras for other services (labs, x-rays, medicine)? Is it better than the COBRA payment for their lost insurance? Absolutely, unquestionably it is. Is it better than Trump's suggestion to expand Medicare (he won't, by the way, once his handlers talk him down)? Unquestionably no! Trump’s latest policy is to reimburse specifically for coronavirus related treatment of uninsured individuals as long as the provider doesn’t bill the patients: far short of Medicare, but infinitely better than the exchange “solution”! On this, Trump is far to the left of the Democrats. How embarrassing for them (or it would be, if they actually cared).

These nihilistic inhuman assholes would rather prop up a system of garbage insurance that acts as a transfer of wealth to insurance companies than provide real, useful help to people who desperately need it.

This is why it's foolish of Bernie to have gone with the DNC again. This is why it's foolish to think this country's problems can be solved by reforming the Democratic Party from within. And, most important and troublesome of all, this is why thousands of Americans suffer and die needlessly every year, and more will during this pandemic: so that a fraction of the 30% of Americans who call themselves democrats can pat themselves on the back and feel good about supporting a terrible piece of legislation that happened to be spearheaded by the first Black POTUS. Is it worth it?

That's rhetorical: it isn't, and anybody suggesting "open up the exchanges" ought be ashamed of themselves.

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Comments

thanatokephaloides's picture

Hillary Clinton is a Wall Street tool. Most of us here on c99 know that.

I'm surprised that the item you wrote about is even remarkable to you.

(But I must admit: the description "nihilistic inhuman asshole" applies, too.) Wink

And anybody suggesting "open up the exchanges" really ought to be ashamed of hirself.

Bad

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21 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides of course: it’s a reflex for them to find an opportunity to enrich their masters at our expense.

Hillary is no better than a slave owner enabler and neither are the rest who continue to support democrats.

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19 users have voted.

per month for 2 years, then $2100 for a year, then $1800 to finish it out and until I reached Medicare age.
Thanks, Obama.
I will not say what I am thinking about Hillary.
That might bring the gestapo to my door.

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as it's based on inaccurate info and will scare people.

Someone who is unemployed does not have an income of $50K, it's zero, as in $0.

Anyone in almost all states, who makes 0$ is put on Medicaid via the ACA, and people on Medicaid pay 0$. I know.

You might be of more help looking into Trump's plan to pay all covid costs with Medicaid.

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@ban nock
wealth a person can have? I seem to remember this being an issue in the past ...

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Daenerys's picture

@UntimelyRippd In Minnesota they don't care about assets any more, just income. The insurance company is kind of shitty about how much of prescription they will dispense per month but it changes often--sometimes I only get two insulin pens of each kind per month, but this last time they gave me a whole box of each, so IDK??? I really wish they hadn't gotten any insurance company involved (Blue Cross/Blue Shield), but it's much better than nothing. (They also won't cover Freestyle Libre sensors, even after I sent an appeal letter but they don't fall into any of the not-covered categories. Bah.)

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This shit is bananas.

@Daenerys It's the same in all states that get Medicaid under the ACA. They don't cover many things, but they do cover most truly necessary things. No co pay, no deductible, no premium.

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@UntimelyRippd No, it doesn't. All that changed with the ACA. I was on medicaid, for over a year, maybe two. It's entirely on income, not bank accounts, not cars, not houses, not IRAs.

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@ban nock @ban nock @ban nock

although ACA did do away with many of them (e.g. savings, real estate). High-medical cost applicants in particular aren’t exempt from asset tests.

Also, any income from assets counts as income. For example, interest in a savings account or withdrawals from a retirement plan.

Furthermore, even if some assets aren’t countable for eligibility, they have to be declared, and any asset transfer (e.g. sale) over some look back period of months will be scrutinized.

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snoopydawg's picture

@ban nock

Utah does have asset limits. Got $1,301 in your bank account? If Medicaid paid any of your expensive that month you pay them back. And you don't get it the following month. If you own your house you don't qualify for it. If you use it for any length of time then they can take your house and all belongings when you die.

There are limits for food stamps and SSI too. This system is designed to keep people in poverty.

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12 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

@snoopydawg n/t

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@ban nock @ban nock on their MAGI, not current income, for qualification purposes. They'd be better off to apply directly for Medicaid, but in California at least it's not a realistic option given the asset tests and other "features".

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7 users have voted.

@ban nock Medicaid is only available when you have limited no income, or any property.
They check the value of your auto and the balance in your bank account first.
At the point where you have nothing to sell or pawn, you qualify.

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longtalldrink's picture

@on the cusp Most notably the Whole Life Insurance that has a monetary value...as opposed to Term Life Insurance...that never really gets paid off.

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6 users have voted.

Well done is better than well said-Ben Franklin

@on the cusp No it's not, you are mistaken. No assets are taken into account. It was part of the ACA, everywhere that has Medicaid under the ACA is following federal rules, and it's all the same. No assets taken into consideration at all. Bank accounts, cars, IRA, house, none of those count, it's based on income alone. You can use pay stubs, 1040, or any other legit documentation.

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@ban nock who was indicted for Medicaid fraud.
Seems she forgot to report her name was on a joint account set up by her husband.
If she had disclosed the account, she would not have gotten Medicaid for her grandchild whom she is raising.
It is a state jail felony.
She is a rn, if this goes badly, her life will be ruined.

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@ban nock If a person is laid off, does unemployment money count toward an income evaluation? Also, I got laid off with a good bye package. That counted as income. I barely qualified but would have to put big money out of pocket.

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@MrWebster treated as income. At least, when my wife made use of it a few years ago that was the case.

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@MrWebster Any money you are paid is income. If you no longer are paid money you no longer have income. Unemployment, dividend checks, interest, alimony, all income.

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snoopydawg's picture

@ban nock

Anyone in almost all states, who makes 0$ is put on Medicaid via the ACA, and people on Medicaid pay 0$. I know.

This is only if states excepted Medicaid. Period. Utah did not expand it until this year and people still have to look for a job 48 times each month. Sorry but you aren't very knowledgeable about Medicaid laws.

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7 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

snoopydawg's picture

He said that the government will pay health expenses for every person who is unemployed at Medicare rates.

I left the tweet in last night's evening blue.

Biden too is only opening ACA and will not allow MFA because it would be a dig on ObamaCare. That wonderful brick that only gave 20 million people access to health insurance.

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19 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

@snoopydawg related treatment: short of true Medicare for these folks. At least, the reporting I have seen (e.g. per this WSJ video).

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snoopydawg's picture

@BayAreaLefty

Did you look at the tweet I linked? I know it is not MFA, but it's going to do more good than opening the ACA for people who get sick from it who might not have the money to buy the crappiest plans.

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12 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

@snoopydawg

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snoopydawg's picture

@BayAreaLefty

Here is more on what Trump is doing.

The Trump administration has said it intends to pay providers treating coronavirus patients at ‘Medicare rates’ and prohibit additional billing – in effect, testing a flagship progressive proposal for nationalized healthcare.

“We will send money to providers through the same mechanism used for testing,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters on Friday, referring to the $100 billion in funds earmarked for healthcare providers in the CARES stimulus act.

The government will reimburse any patients with Covid-19 that lack health insurance at Medicare rates, and will ban them from “balance-billing” those patients, Azar added, noting that this will give the millions of newly unemployed – and therefore uninsured – Americans a better deal than falling back on “Obamacare” insurance exchanges.

More and more people are seeing democrats for the bankrupt corporate cronies they are. Add in Nancy passing the bill that rolls back the SALT stuff passed during the Trump tax cuts and Biden refusing to even consider MFA during a pandemic.

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15 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

It has emerged this week that some GPs around Britain have been sending out letters to patients with existing health issues asking them to sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) forms, in case they catch the coronavirus and their condition worsens.

Where do they draw the line for not treating people with disabilities? But let's not think that this is culling the herd. Oh no that's just conspiracy theory. Right?

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10 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

@snoopydawg half the people put on ventilators die. It's so horrible they have to keep people drugged up continuously on fentanyl. My mom chose to die without one rather than to die months later on one. For patients with a severe pre existing it's maybe better to die, because they will anyway, but in horrible distress.

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snoopydawg's picture

@ban nock

I don't think people in a vegetative coma, end stage kidney disease, terminal cancer, etc should be tried to save, but that's not what they are talking about in this article. I was going to play what if, ....but until they draw the line we don't know where it is.

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6 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

that is tested, and gets the result it is ordinary flu, here's your bill.
Trumps swing left was just a little fake to frighten the first baseman.

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@on the cusp have proposed, which is to force people to buy junk insurance.

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@BayAreaLefty The treatment, or the premium.
It is cruel and third world, either way.

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Lily O Lady's picture

@on the cusp

the bills and they still have no jobs? Do the insurance companies repossess their bodies?

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady I am sure that somewhere in the offices of Blue Cross Blue Shield, there is a chart. It reveals the money making possibilities in long term treatment, and the break even point where treatment must be denied.
Who the hell can buy insurance when they have no income?
I need a Hillarysplainin'.
Hey, Trump! Dude! I am suffering a heart attack! Make me a deal!

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@Lily O Lady since your world collapsed you don't see how showing up for a summons when you have no money will help. Then they arrest you and stick you in jail for contempt of court. Any money coming is then essentially theirs. Got bail money? Unh Uh. See, easy peasy.

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@Snode We haven't put into place that FTA/Bond procedure as yet.
We just make it impossible to ever own anything not on that list of property that is exempt.
Some acreage, some cows, some chickens, one vehicle of a kind,two guns...
One of my best pals and also a client, just lost over a million bucks on cattle. He will cull his 500 head, keep 12 around his house, just to hear them low.

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@on the cusp John Connly (?) went bankrupt, and they were auctioning off a lot of his stuff from his (3?) homes, but what he was allowed to keep under Texas law was pretty incredible.

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@Snode There is a specific list in the Civil Remedies Code. You can keep your business and business equipment, certain vehicles, livestock, retirement, etc...
The creditors get their judgment but they already know if you have any real estate that is not homesteaded. What they can do is attach a lien to your homestead, and when you try to sell it or pass it in your estate, they get their money, plus interest, plus attorney's fees. They have to pay to renew the lien every so often. Maybe every 7 years or so.

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Lily O Lady's picture

@Snode

Thank god they haven’t gone so far as to asset-strip THAT yet! Just money for now anyway.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Situational Lefty's picture

No surprise when two weeks ago you were "quoting" Gore Vidal praising the "proletariats", as if Gore Vidal ever once in his entire life used the word proletariat.

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The United States of America is the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez and Emma Lazarus.

janis b's picture

@Situational Lefty @Situational Lefty

but my impression was the same as yours …

that AE and others are now using Sanders to cheerlead for Trump.

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snoopydawg's picture

@janis b

I said Trump is letting the government pay medical expenses for unemployed people who get sick from the virus and you think I'm putting Bernie down to praise Trump? Can you show me where I did this? I'll wait...

But even if I did that so what? Is this not a free place where we can say what we want without putting others down? Or vote for whomever we want? If not either you guys can skip my comments or I'll leave. I have already cut down on commenting because of this. I'm getting very tired of this type calling for censorship here. But I think I've made myself clear on how I feel about Trump. Or do I have to qualify every comment I make?

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“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

janis b's picture

@snoopydawg

but I'm glad you responded to me.

The problem here is one of my responding spontaneously to a ‘recent comment’, having mistakenly thought it was a comment in response to AE's current essay. SL's comment reflected my feeling, that AE was using Sanders to promote Trump. In fact, I wasn’t even referring to you in my comment to SL. But if I am truly honest, I do sometimes wish for a little more consideration about how the intensity of your posts may be received, and how they might contribute or detract from a sense of communal welfare, especially at such a critical time.

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Situational Lefty's picture

My comment was in response to Snoopdawg cheering on Donald Trump up and down this thread.

I'm not a big fan of the fat, bald, old idiot currently occupying the White House and I don't understand how anyone could defend that "fucking moron".

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The United States of America is the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez and Emma Lazarus.

snoopydawg's picture

@Situational Lefty

pick up the tab for people who are unemployed and get the virus? You don't think that was a great thing to happen during this epidemic? Especially when Biden says he won't pass MFA? And after Hillary was bitching about him not opening the ACA?

Foy your information I can't stand Trump, but I'll give him credit when he does something good for people. And who are you to criticize anyone here for what they think? I for one am tired of you doing this. People here are free to vote for whomever they want or say whatever they want. If you don't like it feel free to skip my comments or go somewhere else. This fucking moron won because Obama betrayed everyone who voted for him. Im very tired of your constant criticism of people you disagree with. You might want to read the rules of this blog before you say this again.

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“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack