Obamacare is increasingly not the answer

The Hill had an article on Obamacare the other day with a surprisingly accurate statement.

ObamaCare forces the purchase of health insurance without regard to its price, quality, or value.

The article goes off on a free market diatribe that is divorced from reality, but the sentence above is irrefutable.
No matter how you cut it, Obamacare forces people to buy private insurance without any cost controls, and almost no one in Washington appears to be incline to fix that. When they talk about "stabilizing the exchanges" they are talking about helping the insurance companies exclusively.

Obamacare is increasingly not the answer for the average American.
Insurance premiums are skyrocketing yet again.

New data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) first reported by The Wall Street Journal show major insurers in Idaho, West Virginia, South Carolina, Iowa and Wyoming are requesting premium increases averaging about 30 percent.
Elsewhere in New Mexico, Tennessee, North Dakota, and Hawaii, insurers have filed Obamacare premium hikes averaging at least 20 percent.
The proposed increases would rival last year’s 23 percent average increase in premiums for silver and bronze health care plans...

Anything going up +20% year after year is not sustainable. It's only a matter of time before it blows up.
Plus, premiums are only one of the problems.

The average deductible for a silver plan through the Affordable Care Act, one of the law's most popular health insurance plans, is projected to jump 20 percent to $3,703, according to a report from Avalere Health.
"If you are an individual making $40,000 and $50,000 per year, and your deductible is $6,000 or $12,000 for a family—which is not unusual on the exchanges—you may have an insurance card, it might have a wonderful name of an insurance company, but you can't have the care because you can't afford the deductible," he said. "People are denying themselves the care that they need."
The report found that out-of-pocket costs are expected to rise in other ways next year.

Obamacare was supposed to have eliminated "junk insurance". In reality, it obviously failed in that task, and it's getting worse every year.
Obamacare was also supposed to provide more options for consumers. In reality, it obviously failed in that task as well. In multiple states, state insurance commissioners are scrambling to plug holes in coverage as insurance companies abandon the exchanges.
Our health care system is a job killer, not to mention being extremely poor at keeping people healthy as well.
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The most popular solution is Medicare-For-All, but establishment Democrats obviously aren't serious about it.
This is leading to a primary showdown between the progressive grassroots that simply has had enough, and the defenders of the corrupt status quo in the Democratic Party.

The Warrner/Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, embodied in the Our Revolution grassroots group, is making it increasingly clear that any Democrat who wants to hold office, but won't sign up for single payer, can expect a primary challenge. They are flipping out.

Democrats have been Hippie Punching for decades. It was great fun, especially since the progressives didn't fight back.
Now the progressives are fighting back. The establishment immediately screamed "racist! sexist!" because that usually makes progressives cower, but this time it isn't working.

The fears are acute enough that when the Nevada chapter of Our Revolution — the political group spawned from the Sanders presidential campaign — endorsed long-shot candidate Jesse Sbaih in the state’s Democratic Senate primary over party favorite Rep. Jacky Rosen, retired former Sen. Harry Reid felt the need to call Sanders directly.
...What’s clear is that Sanders’ large and politically active following has stopped Democrats from confronting him directly — including when it comes to offering alternatives to his Medicare-for-all measure.

Just wait until the corporate Dems start losing primaries to progressives. Then the hippie punching will finally stop.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

Just wait until the corporate Dems start losing primaries to progressives. Then the hippie punching will finally stop.

And the hippie shooting will commence!

Diablo

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"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
Dems are corrupt but spineless. Losing elections will cause them to suck up, buy off, and co-opt progressives.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@gjohnsit

On the contrary Dems are corrupt but spineless. Losing elections will cause them to suck up, buy off, and co-opt progressives.

I hope you're right! I've had enough political shootings for one lifetime already. (I was alive and reasonably cognizant for JFK, RFK, and MLK among others.)

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"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

MsGrin's picture

@gjohnsit Read some Sally Albright twitterfeed... nauseating, misdirected, and an unfortunate amount of spine. She and her minions are getting off on their righteous anger at how they have been utterly wronged and robbed by progressives. It all has the ring of a holy war.

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'What we are left with is an agency mandated to ensure transparency and disclosure that is actually working to keep the public in the dark' - Ann M. Ravel, former FEC member

@gjohnsit

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edg's picture

@thanatokephaloides

When the Hippie punching stops, the Hippie nuking will start. The Dem powers that be would rather flatten the village than give up power.

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Wink's picture

@edg

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Wink's picture

@thanatokephaloides
down quietly, and one of the ways they control dirty hippies and the masses is the high costs of Health Care. So, yes, I expect they'll be shooting hippies in the street. This will NOT be a bloodless war.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

k9disc's picture

internet?

"Don't you know that we're drowning in debt and freeloaders like you are wanking off online with your little socialist buddies!"

"You really shouldn't be on facebook so much, man. Someone's gonna notice, and you're behind in rent."

The irony of it being said on the internet, probably by wasting time, will be lost. It'll be crabs in a bucket with freetime. And people love to do that hatin' thing. Especially after they get schooled.

I saw it floated back in 2010, and you prolly did too, @Wink . I could see it being used to solidify the corporate center.

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Meteor Man's picture

Never surrender. Corporate Dinosaurs must become extinct. Preserve their bones at The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History:
https://www.si.edu/museums/natural-history-museum

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Azazello's picture

and voters, in my congressional district. I will never vote for any House or Senate candidate who does support Medicare for All. Ever. Once again, The Chart:

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ovals49's picture

The lack of cost controls with RomneyCare (aka ObamaCare) was obvious to Massachusetts residents within a couple of years, when double digit premium increases resumed apace.

When Obama began his negotiation (capitulation to the insurers and providers) by ruling out both Single Payer and the Public Option, its future failure was assured.

What may be news is that both the media and the general public are finally beginning to understand that further empowering the insurers with a captive customer base without providing consumers with any serious cost or quality/value controls was very bad for we consumers of health insurance.

The failure of ObamaCare was baked into the recipie from the beginning. It can not be "salvaged" any more than a cake frosting made with salt in place of sugar.

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“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
Albert Einstein

@ovals49
You have to watch the mile-markers if you want to know how close the ACA is to failing.

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WaterLily's picture

@ovals49 Here's something I had to acknowledge today, in order to even be seen at a doctor's office (I highlighted it for future educational purposes, though obviously not for members here, who already get it):IMG_0941.JPG

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@ovals49

by the corporatist, Scott Brown, before the final vote on Obamacare. That gave the Republicans enough votes for a filibuster and took the public option off the table. Ted Kennedy would have been the key vote for the public option.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

ovals49's picture

@Timmethy2.0

In his book, Daschle reveals that after the Senate Finance Committee and the White House convinced hospitals to to accept $155 billion in payment reductions over ten years on July 8, the hospitals and Democrats operated under two “working assumptions.” “One was that the Senate would aim for health coverage of at least 94 percent of Americans,” Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.

Despite being “taken off the table” as a result of the “understanding,” the White House continued to publicly deny claims that it was backing away from the provision even as it tried to focus on other aspects of the bill. “Nothing has changed,” said Linda Douglass, then communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform in August of 2009 and many times thereafter. “The president has always said that what is essential is that health insurance reform must lower costs, ensure that there are affordable options for all Americans and it must increase choice and competition in the health insurance market. He believes the public option is the best way to achieve those goals.”

Think Progress

The Public Option was a public bait-and-switch.

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“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
Albert Einstein

@ovals49

And his main issue was health-care which he pushed for many, many years. Yeah sure the Clintonites were not behind a public option, but Ted Kennedy was and his vote would have been the difference.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

@Timmethy2.0 @Timmethy2.0 I don't really know. There is a parallel universe out there where one or the other's plan was passed and one had a better outcome by now. Either way, I don't imagine any of those universes overlapping much in the better-outcome venn diagram with Obamacare and wherever our future leads. A failure here. A failure there. Aaand..we are truly F(***)ed.

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@peachcreek

Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if somebody like LBJ was President, but Obama decided to roll over and be "bi-partisan" at that point, after Ted Kennedy's death, and the rest is half-measure history.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

Wink's picture

move to Medicare - to the tune of nearly 10,000 a day - it won't be long before the Trumpster and his Repub congress gets their hands on that to raise rates thru the roof. I was happy as all hell to dump out-of-sight ObamaCare rates for Medicare, but I fear it won't be long before Medicare is "corrected" or outright killed. Just got my colonoscopy bill in the mail a couple days ago. Total was over $1,300 for the procedure, my total cost was about $100 (including anesthesiologist). With ObamaCare I would have paid over $1,000. Thanks, Medicare! I know the Oligarchs just hate that. A 47%er paying just $100?! "They" can't be having none of that!

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Wink's picture

@Wink
fifty and fearing your first colonoscopy, fear not. The Worst part is drinking that crap to clear the bowels the night before! Nasty. I already cringe about having to drink thaat crap 5 years from now. I'd almost rather slit my wrists! Almost. But, the procedure itself... nothing to it. Best 25 min. nap you've had in quite awhile!

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

ovals49's picture

@Wink

For my first go I received a fancy preprinted multicolor Prescription for that incredibly noxious glycol based gallon, which cost me over $50. I could NOT possibly finish it all, but it worked well enough that I got no complaints from the Dr.

The next time around I bought two small bottles (@$2.00/bottle over the counter) of magnesium citrate from CVS, which tasted almost like something meant to be swallowed. No complaints from the Dr. with that prep either. "Clean as a whistle" he said, unaware that I had never filled his glycol gallon prescription.

BTY, in many civilized countries the use of anesthesia for the procedure is the exception. My last inspection was anesthesia free, only mildly uncomfortable around the sharp bends, and I was free to drive myself home in the time it took to get dressed. It was also very interesting to be able to watch along on the monitor!

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“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
Albert Einstein

Wink's picture

@ovals49
on the mag citrate!! My prescription was $95. As for the watching along... I'll take the nap. Weak stomach.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

SnappleBC's picture

@Wink

You paid NINETY FIVE FREAKIN DOLLARS for the bowel draino? I just had my first colonoscopy done here in Canada. I think my total out the door was for the prescription and as I remember it was $8. The pharmacy in the hospital had already opened up the box and separated it out into the right amount all the colonoscopy patients needed. It was sold at no mark-up -- in the pharmacy in the hospital. I had no other costs.

Oh yeah... and I was SO behind watching TV during the whole thing. How often do you get to see inside your own self like that? I figured anesthesia was for the homophobes out there.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Creosote.'s picture

@ovals49
because that glycol stuff is beyond putrescent. How did you learn about that, and is the magnesium citrate something in tablet form - so that you also drank a gallon or more of water?

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ovals49's picture

@Creosote.
and comes in small (6-oz.?) bottles and is like flavored tonic water. It is a salt, so for those who must watch their sodium intake it might not be appropriate. Best to ask your primary care physician about that.

My first experience with the glycol was so horrible I looked online for alternative bowel prep and was surprised to find that the magnesium citrate was still commonly in use, far more palatable, did not require a prescription and was way cheaper than the fancy pharmaceutical gack. I think those prescribing it must be earning vacation credits or Green Stamps or something. I can't imagine they'd be recommending the stuff to loved ones or using it themselves. It's horrid stuff.

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“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
Albert Einstein

Creosote.'s picture

@ovals49
Haven't been to a CVS store before and will now have a look. Wonder who manufactures the glycol stuff - 3M? Dow & friends? Kindly benevolent Johnson & Johnson?

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Wink @Wink

raise Medicare premiums and deductibles. The so-called 'Doc Fix' was signed into law in 2015 after Pelosi and Boehner 'negotiated' it. It went into effect on 1 January 2016.

Pushed, but here's a sample of the recent rate increases.

(Annual) Part B Deductible

2013-2015 $147

(After signing of 'Doc Fix' Bill in 2015)

2016 $166

2017 $183

Rumor has it, there may not be an increase this year--probably an election gimmick, since the bill called for these increases as part of an 'offset.'

(Base) Medicare Premiums - Higher For Those Individuals Paying A Medicare Surcharge

2013-2015 $104.90

(After signing of 'Doc Fix' Bill in 2015)

2016 $166.00

2017 $183.00

But, I agree that we're at risk of further increases. What concerns me greatly is the bipartisan consensus to voucherize Medicare (Gephardt, Alice Rivlin, and Ron Wyden have all proposed voucherization bills, as well as various Repubs).

I understand that the biggest target will likely be Traditional Medicare. Partly, because it is much easier to voucherize Medicare Advantage, than TM. And, steering more folks into MA might lead to the eventual collapse of TM--another reason to keep raising the monthly premiums, and Part A and Part B deductibles.

BTW, Part A deductibles also are rising--just don't have time to look them up--and can't remember them!

Pleasantry

[Edited: Corrected typo, and added 'and Part A and Part B deductibles.']

Mollie


“I believe in the redemptive powers of a dog’s love. It is in recognition of each dog’s potential to lift the human spirit, and therefore, to change society for the better, that I fight to make sure every street dog has its day.”
--Stasha Wong, Secretary, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Wink's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
more afordable than ObamaCare! But, the Oligarchs are getting edgy. They know we're on to them, want to end this War on the Poor sooner rather than later. With them the big winner, natch.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Wink

when I posted the Medicare premiums.

Should have read,

2013-2015 $104.90

2016 $121.80

2017 $134.00

Sorry about that!

Wink

And you're right--heck of a lot better than many premiums in the ACA Exchanges, group health insurance plans, individual market, etc.

Have a good one!

Mollie

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Bollox Ref's picture

Quite why Americans think that their empire will last much longer than every other historical empire is beyond me.

Time for a massive rethink/reboot.

I mean, we're still quibbling about health care for all, decades after other countries quite comfortably provided for all... and that still have armies, navies and air forces, should they so choose.

WTF!!

(Edited)

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

@Bollox Ref They're still quibbling because that's what they're paid to do.

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k9disc's picture

... forces the purchase of health insurance without regard to its price, quality, or value.

Isn't that their wet dream?

Like seriously. "If I could mandate by law that they'd have to buy my product, I'd do it tomorrow." "I'll have them legislating profits in no time!"

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

ObamaCare forces the purchase of health insurance without regard to its price, quality, or value.

I consider myself lucky in that I only had a short period of time in which I was forced into Obamacare (i.e. unemployed) so I didn't get a hit on my taxes for not having it. But, I had no idea how long I'd be out of work so I basically just risked it and ran right up to the limit. When I looked at buying in, the first option was pay a bit over $300 for the bare minimum plan, which was really just a payoff to get the government off my back. It covered nothing and the deductible was so high, I'd would have been better just paying out of pocket and negotiating a rate with my providers. The other option was to pay for a plan that was better, but the cost was so astronomical, it wasn't realistic and the coverage was very weak anyway.

I really studied the plans and because I'd heard anecdotal evidence of people benefiting, approached it with an open mind. I just couldn't find a single way to make it worthwhile. The only plans even slightly worth a damn were extremely expensive. Given that I'd just lost my job, I felt the attempt to force me into their "marketplace" was another kick in the pants.

If someone has benefited from Obamacare, that's great. I can't possibly imagine how anyone other than an insurance company could though.

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