Thursday, October 10, 2013

Jim DeMint, Insurance Fraud

Update: I failed to enter Rod and Florence's ages correctly in the calculator, and got a false number for their monthly Obamacare premium, a little over half of what they would actually have to pay. Corrected in text. Believe me, they can still afford it.
Drawing by Charles Barsotti.
Fightin' Jim (he learned his fighting skills from Sarah Palin: Quit actually fighting and start talking about it instead while you suck up some of that wingnut welfare) DeMint writes a letter to the President:
At a time when so many Americans are suffering because of the rollout of this new law, I remain puzzled by your failure to acknowledge the faults caused by this unfair, unworkable, and unpopular measure. 

The ACA causes "faults"? Speaker John Boehner may not be being too honest when he says it's not a damn game, but it certainly isn't tennis. How many Americans are suffering? Apparently about four, if you follow the letter, and it seems clear that defunding the law would be a pretty inefficient way to put an end to their suffering. There are much easier approaches.
Michael Cerpok, a leukemia patient in Arizona... recently learned he will lose his current health insurance due to this misguided law. He notes that “my $4,500 out-of-pocket [expense] is going to turn into a minimum of $26,000 out-of-pocket to see the doctor that I’ve been seeing the last seven years,” and he worries that he and his wife might need to take second jobs to stay afloat.
A more responsible account (on local TV news) adds:
Michael realizes millions of people will benefit from the coverage, but he wants them to realize that others are making sacrifices to make that happen.  He says that he and his wife will continue to look at their options, try and find a similar plan...
If he's really paying half his income on premiums for a plan with a $4,500 deductible it's no wonder the policy has been cancelled; that's exactly the kind of abusive policy the Act was meant to stop. It was like that because Cerpok has a (devastating) pre-existing condition and before the Act he couldn't find anything better. He can now get a much cheaper plan with a much lower deductible. It may not pay for his Mayo Clinic doctor, but then again it may. Hope the press hears about it when he gets that plan.
Tom Waschura, who voted for you twice,... was shocked by the higher premium bill he recently received in the mail. Tom’s insurance rates will go up by almost $10,000 for him and his family. He fears that these higher premiums will harm his family, and jobs in his area: “When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”
Indeed! A good thing it won't be necessary; Waschura is self-employed and entitled to shop for a new plan on the Marketplace from a nonprofit company competing for his business, because remember Econ 101 and how competition lowers prices and improves quality? Hasn't been happening in the health insurance business, but it is starting to happen now, thanks to government regulation. His income according to the newspaper is more than 400% of the poverty level, so he won't qualify for premium subsidies, but he will still find a very good plan that saves him plenty of money over this extortionate increase from his current insurer.
Rod Coons and Florence Peace, a retired Indiana couple [, are] satisfied with their current coverage. “I’d prefer to stay with our current plan because it meets our needs,” says Rod. But their plan isn’t government-approved under Obamacare’s new rules, so Rod and Florence are losing their health insurance plan at the end of this year.
They're actually right. Coons, a 58-year-old retired factory owner, is paying under $500 a year out of pocket for medical care and
$403 a month for a family health plan that covers barely any of their individual medical care until each reaches up to $10,000 in claims. And that’s just the way they like it. 
That $20,000 deductible plan is no longer allowed, and the new plan they get is definitely going to cost them a little more: if they live in Marion, Indana, don't smoke, and have an income of $1,500,000 a year, just about $1076 A MONTH for the highest-deductible plan available. Because they don't qualify for subsidies (at 9,673% of the poverty level, but it would cost exactly the same if they were making $75,000). Give me a damn break, they can afford it, for the seven years before they start with the government-run Medicare. It would also treat them far better if anything should God forbid happen to them. Michael Cerpok up there probably never spent anywhere remotely close to $10,000 a year on medical care either, until he got cancer, and neither did I. Rod and Florence are subject to the same whims of fate, at their age especially, and if they're "conservative" they need to be responsible. Fucking libertarians. Suck it up, people!
Photocollage by Tim J Luddy, via Mother Jones.

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