HHS falls short of pre-existing coverage prediction by … 97.8%

posted at 10:55 am on November 12, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

255 million: The number of Americans with existing health insurance coverage.

20 million: The number of Americans without any health coverage at all due to economic circumstances.

375,000: The number of Americans with pre-existing conditions HHS said would apply for coverage in the first year of ObamaCare, one of the main political arguments for its implementation.

8,011: The number that actually did.

To judge by President Obama’s rhetoric, the insurance industry’s victims have been wandering the country like Okies in “The Grapes of Wrath.” Thus ObamaCare gave the Health and Human Services Department the power to design and sell its own insurance policies. The $5 billion program started in July and runs through 2014, when ObamaCare’s broader regulations kick in.

Mr. Obama declared at the time that “uninsured Americans who’ve been locked out of the insurance market because of a pre-existing condition will now be able to enroll in a new national insurance pool where they’ll finally be able to purchase quality, affordable health care—some for the very first time in their lives.”

So far that statement accurately describes a single person in North Dakota. Literally, one person has signed up out of 647,000 state residents. Four people have enrolled in West Virginia. Things are better in Minnesota, where Mr. Obama has rescued 15 out of 5.2 million, and also in Indiana—63 people there. HHS did best among the 24.7 million Texans. Thanks to ObamaCare, 393 of them are now insured.

States had the option of designing their own pre-existing condition insurance with federal dollars in lieu of the HHS plan, and 27 chose to do so. But they haven’t had much more success. Combined federal-state enrollment is merely 8,011 nationwide as of November 1, according to HHS.

This isn’t what HHS promised in July, when it estimated it would be insuring 375,000 people by now, and as many as 400,000 more every year. HHS even warned that it would bill private carriers for any claims if HHS decided that they had cancelled coverage to dump costs on the government. That outcome would certainly be in keeping with Mr. Obama’s caricature of rampant discrimination against the sick.

That comes to a success rate for that prediction of just under 2.2%.  The Wall Street Journal points out that the program operates at a loss — which means that consumers who qualify for the program in essence have partial subsidies by entering it.  And yet, despite the billions of dollars committed to funding it and the efforts of 27 states to duplicate it, only eight thousand people have bothered to apply for the program.

The Obama administration and its allies in the Nancy Pelosi Congress revamped one-sixth of the American economy, created new federal mandates, and created chaos in system that worked for the vast majority of Americans, just to deal with eight thousand people?  Perhaps they should have tested the issue by creating the program separately first and determining whether the demand required a complete overhaul of a health-care system that mainly worked for the rest of us, instead of arrogating to themselves the task of dictating the shape of a market they clearly don’t understand.


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Thanks for brightening my day, Ed, as I sit here with 80 Health Insurance cold calls to make. Sheesh.

kingsjester on November 12, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Perhaps they should have tested the issue by creating the program separately first and determining whether the demand required a complete overhaul of a health-care system that mainly worked for the rest of us, instead of arrogating to themselves the task of dictating the shape of a market they clearly don’t understand.

Wish in one hand, s**t in the other. See which one fills up first, Cap’n.

gryphon202 on November 12, 2010 at 10:58 AM

That comes to a success rate for that prediction of just under 2.2%.

Well hallfrickinllujah….

>12 mos of harsh, partisan Congressional bickering and maneuvering. Tons of political capital spent. Billions of dollars on the lines and millions of lives. The careers of thousands of people hang in the balance. …..
.
.
for a smidgen of people??
Granted, each of these people are important and so are their concerns, but are you f*cking kidding me?

ted c on November 12, 2010 at 10:59 AM

This isn’t what HHS promised in July, when it estimated it would be insuring 375,000 people by now,

That’s because their destruction of the Insurance industry isn’t going on schedule. Just give it some tome, the numbers will come up.

Tommy_G on November 12, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Marxists aren’t good with math … they don’t need to be.

darwin on November 12, 2010 at 11:01 AM

ted c on November 12, 2010 at 10:59 AM

That’s what I said, brother. Meanwhile, back to the cold calling and bill-dodging.

kingsjester on November 12, 2010 at 11:01 AM

This is due to poor messaging.

Goldenavatar on November 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM

A trillion for 8,000 people. That’s a big ass broken window, right there.

lorien1973 on November 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM

I probably know this lone North Dakotan.
It’s a pretty small state.
Though I did hear on a lib radio show out of Fargo that we North Dakotans need to fight the repeal of Obamacare bcs it will take away health care options for all of us or something.
It’s funny bcs actually that’s what Obamacare will do to North Dakotans-take away what few care centers & options we have left.
In Dickinson, for instance, there’s like 3 or 4 OB/GYN docs.
My daughter has to wait several months for a standard appt.
I go to Bismarck & had to wait 2 weeks.
Things are bad here in ND when it comes to docs.
We’re getting a lot of PAs taking over primary care & I don’t like that one bit.

Badger40 on November 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Obama = EPIC FAIL

shanimal on November 12, 2010 at 11:04 AM

So they are discounting an additional 20% with added benefits to entice sign ups? How long before they pay people to sign up, at least until 2012?

d1carter on November 12, 2010 at 11:04 AM

It was never about actual coverage, it was about power.

Electrongod on November 12, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Granted, each of these people are important and so are their concerns, but are you f*cking kidding me?

ted c on November 12, 2010 at 10:59 AM

It’s funny how most people do not understand that when you deny people their earned $$ bcs of high taxation for saving a few people that the govt is actually endangering the lives of taxpayers by denying them their $$ to help ‘save’ a few.
It results in people having to make choices that affect their safety, thereby increasing their risks for death, illness, etc.
BTW-that is what charity is for-to help these few people that are needing true help. And charity works.

Badger40 on November 12, 2010 at 11:07 AM

“it’s a framework, a system…”

its the machine that is going to destroy us, we cannot validate it with a reasonable outcome measure. enrollee numbers do not matter, healthcare outcomes do not matter, case studies about flowery wonderful stories about shanequas pap smear is now covered or some kids leukemia…it is not about that. it is a system that will destroy freedom and prosperity in the US and NO ONE will be healthier because of it.

ted c on November 12, 2010 at 11:08 AM

The government needs to assign AmeriCorpse members to go out and sign people up for the programs.

myrenovations on November 12, 2010 at 11:08 AM

I don’t know what I can say about this revelation that won’t get me bounced away for good.

Except: I wonder how many people will hear about this via the MSM?

tru2tx on November 12, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Repeal Obamacare. Up or down vote in the Senate.
Make them vote!
2012 is coming.
23 Dems up for re-election.

humdinger on November 12, 2010 at 11:09 AM

there are some things that are beyond the reach of government.

Case in point.

ted c on November 12, 2010 at 11:09 AM

“Best administration, evah!”

GarandFan on November 12, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Well, obviously, not enough people know about this program to apply for it. The Obama administration needs to make a better effort at outreach to better inform the public that they have this marvelous opportunity to get health insurance.

Perhaps people like Kingsjester could contract with the administration and get their cold calling subsidized by the government if it would also include educational material explaining this wonderful government program where people with pre-existing conditions can now get insurance.

Skandia Recluse on November 12, 2010 at 11:10 AM

What?! OH. My. Aching. Back!… huh?… gimme an application…

cartooner on November 12, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Well, it doesn’t matter. What matters as that we all get under the governments thumb, so we can be told how to be healthier, and when we should die. That’s all that really matters…..isn’t it?

capejasmine on November 12, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Wake me when the Obama-fellating major media jump on this story.

Extrafishy on November 12, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Repeal Obamacare.
Up or down vote in the Senate.
Make them Vote!
2012 is coming.
23 Dems up for re-election.

humdinger on November 12, 2010 at 11:10 AM

The government needs to assign AmeriCorpse members to go out and sign people up for the programs.

myrenovations on November 12, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Yep, I gotta type faster.

Skandia Recluse on November 12, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Brilliant! Increase the costs of health insurance for 85% of the population to provide new insurance for 0.0027% of the population.

If a $5 billion government program is needed to provide health insurance for 8,011 people, that’s about $624,000 per person. Wouldn’t it be cheaper for the government to pay their medical bills if they got sick?

Steve Z on November 12, 2010 at 11:11 AM

tru2tx on November 12, 2010 at 11:09 AM

I’m betting very few will, but on the bright side, very few watch them, read them, or listen to them anyway! :D

capejasmine on November 12, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Perhaps they should have tested the issue by creating the program separately first and determining whether the demand required a complete overhaul of a health-care system that mainly worked for the rest of us, instead of arrogating to themselves the task of dictating the shape of a market they clearly don’t understand.

That would’ve only made sense if they were honestly trying to solve what they honestly perceived as a problem.

The reality, of course, is that this has never been about solving a problem, it’s been about seizing control over huge swaths of the economy and the populace.

That it’s only 8,000 people doesn’t matter, because what they’ve done is not control those 8,000, but the rest of us as well.

That’s the end game, and that’s why a ‘test run’ was unnecessary.

Midas on November 12, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Obamacare was never about health care.

tinkerthinker on November 12, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Yet this will be touted as one of the great accomplishments at the State of the Union address. Expect more “You lie” outbursts.

ctmom on November 12, 2010 at 11:12 AM

there are some things that are beyond the reach of government.

Case in point.

ted c on November 12, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Such as understanding how markets work?

Steve Z on November 12, 2010 at 11:13 AM

The government needs to assign AmeriCorpse members to go out and sign people up for the programs.

myrenovations on November 12, 2010 at 11:08 AM
Yep, I gotta type faster.

Skandia Recluse on November 12, 2010 at 11:11 AM

That’s what worries me. Rather than admit it’s a boondoggle, they’ll purge the records of insurance companies, or go thru the states and find those with pre-existing conditions, and MANDATE that they sign on.

capejasmine on November 12, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Hey, I have a Great Idea…!

Let’s elect Barack Hussein Obowma as President of the United States!!

…. Who’s with me???

Seven Percent Solution on November 12, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Not really a failure for the progressives, because this was not really about ‘covering the X million uninsured’, or whatever marketing-group tested narrative you want to recall. It was about a government takeover of a large sector of our economy. It’s the socialism, first and always.

slickwillie2001 on November 12, 2010 at 11:16 AM

You’d think we would be thanking him….

Kafir on November 12, 2010 at 11:17 AM

So how many people are employed to run this program? 8000?

WashJeff on November 12, 2010 at 11:18 AM

I’m sure this is only because they failed to communicate it well to the American people. Or maybe people are just too confused or afraid to understand what the wise and powerful HHS is trying to do for them. It certainly isn’t because it was a stupid, poorly vetted idea in the first place. No way.

BillyWilly on November 12, 2010 at 11:20 AM

WashJeff on November 12, 2010 at 11:18 AM

No, 8,011.

lorien1973 on November 12, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Such as understanding how markets work?

Steve Z on November 12, 2010 at 11:13 AM

such as developing an efficient healthcare delivery system that can meet various needs across diverse geographical areas that the fed has far less of an understanding about than do the people that live in them.

ted c on November 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Obamacare was never about health care.

tinkerthinker on November 12, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Ding ding ding ding. Give that man(?) a cigar.

Extrafishy on November 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM

The government needs to assign AmeriCorpse members to go out and sign people up for the programs.

myrenovations on November 12, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Please, don’t give them any ideas.

This is probably coming anyway. Only it will probably be SEIU purple people beaters.

Missy on November 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM

This administration gives all new meaning to i love my country but fear/hate my goverment.

SHARPTOOTH on November 12, 2010 at 11:27 AM

This kinda reminds me of the small business “crisis” of not having enough credit available to them so they can borrow money to cover payroll.

It’s a phony crisis crafted to sound like a huge problem to people who don’t know much about business. Totally bogus.

Almost every argument the Democrats have made for their horrible schemes have been disingenuous at best, and usually carefully calculated lies deigned to dupe people just long enough to get another disastrous bill passed into law.

forest on November 12, 2010 at 11:27 AM

WashJeff on November 12, 2010 at 11:18 AM
No, 8,011.

lorien1973 on November 12, 2010 at 11:21 AM

And they all make $150,000+ a year, plus benefits.

capejasmine on November 12, 2010 at 11:28 AM

they’ll purge the records of insurance companies, or go thru the states and find those with pre-existing conditions, and MANDATE that they sign on.

capejasmine on November 12, 2010 at 11:13 AM

ACORN maybe can come to the rescue of these poor nitwits who don’t know about all of the wonderful govt programs that are there to help them, like telephone assistance, heating assistance, WIC, food stamps, other food programs like commodities programs, free & reduced lunch programs for school kids (you know, the ones schools BEG & HARASS you to apply for so THEY can get more federal money?), etc etc.
Perhaps they will set up mandatory checkpoints on highways & such to force people to become educated about all of the wonderful govt programs they could be eligible for.
And as an added bonus, ACORN employees would receive a bonus for siging up more free loaders.
It’s a win win!

Badger40 on November 12, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Ding ding ding ding. Give that man(?) a cigar.

Extrafishy on November 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Cigars are verboten under Øbamacare. Give that man a tofurkey sandwich on wheat. Hold the mayo.

Kafir on November 12, 2010 at 11:32 AM

small business “crisis” of not having enough credit available to them so they can borrow money to cover payroll.

It’s a phony crisis crafted to sound like a huge problem to people who don’t know much about business. Totally bogus.

forest on November 12, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Our small town bank believed in us enough to loan us a chunk of change to buy a newer semi truck so we could expand our trucking business. And we are in hock with them for a butt load on the ranching end of things.
Evidently there’s still banks out there that want to make money on the $$ they loan people.
Go figure.

Badger40 on November 12, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Electrongod and tinkerthinker have it right. I am thinking that there are 23 Senatores who need an email with a link to this info. In fact a daily drumbeat until a vote on repeal would probably be helpful. Problem is they are Dems so reality may not have much impact.

txmomof6 on November 12, 2010 at 11:34 AM

“Never let a good crisis go to waste, and if there’s no crisis invent one, then exploit it for all it’s worth, even if it’s just a crappy little pretend crisis.”

Akzed on November 12, 2010 at 11:36 AM

I can just hear Sebelius…”you vill sign up”!

d1carter on November 12, 2010 at 11:37 AM

And we just have all this money to burn….dont’ we?

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/11/12/doj-gave-millions-sanctuary-communities-report-finds/

capejasmine on November 12, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Badger40 on November 12, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Nothing disgusts me more. I give as much as I can, and as often as I can…and it’s just never enough. Is it! I’m all for giving, and being charitable, but this litter of dems is just pushing every button I have, and driving me into overload.

I get depressed, but I get angrier. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH with this waste, and crap. I’m sick of it!!!

Sorry for the rant.

capejasmine on November 12, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Obama has admitted he “realized too late that there were no shovel-ready jobs” after the Democrats already spent most of the $800 BILLION Stimulus. The Democrat majority, in collusion with the Obama admin passed Stimulus in Obama’s first weeks without doing any homework. They spent more time on their message of “create or save jobs” and “unemployment will be at 8%” all of which turned out to be lies.

TN Mom on November 12, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Expose the fraud-in-chief.

Repeal and replace this monstrosity.

THIS is why Romney can NOT become the next nom for President.

ornery_independent on November 12, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Very appropriate ad that initially popped up with the post -

No Insurance: Bad
Paying too much for Insurance: VERY BAD

heh.

Wind Rider on November 12, 2010 at 11:44 AM

The government needs to assign AmeriCorpse ACORN members to go out and sign people up for the programs.

myrenovations on November 12, 2010 at 11:08 AM

fify

JustTruth101 on November 12, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Insurance: you bet something will happen and the other person bets that it won’t. You win if it does within the given time period.

Health Insurance: you bet that you will get sick and need health care in a given period, the insurer bets you won’t.

Pre-existing condition: you have a known condition, you cannot bet against not getting it as you already have it.

Often those with pre-existing conditions are prone to secondary problems stemming from those conditions. Some can be ameliorated by medication, maintenance of your health, and keeping track of your condition’s progress. These individuals get placed in a separate insurance pool because of those things… when insurers need to ‘cover’ them, the cost for everyone rises as there is a known increase in payouts for all in the pool.

What this requires is not a ‘health insurance’ model, but a ‘health payment and maintenance’ system that addresses particular diseases and disorders so as to spread that cost amongst a known risk pool. This risk pool will have known changes to their conditions due to their pre-existing conditions, and this can be addressed in multiple ways through private organizations, corporations and physicians groups with specialties targeted towards those conditions. This is best done not through an ‘insurance’ model but through a ‘health savings account’ model in which all participants must put in an allotment per month/quarter/year to get services. This removes these individuals from the ‘insurance’ model save for other conditions not related to their pre-existing one, for which insurers will not be able to refuse them as they have their pre-existing condition covered and want other things covered unrelated to it.

Another system would be an investment system, in which organizations sell prospective treatments before you need them, so that you can accumulate treatments before you need them. For some conditions that have known problems years or decades later, this allows for a low cost pay-in when you get the condition and assured treatment at the time you need it with no other cost: your investment is used to keep up treatment facilities, train doctors and ensure that you can get that treatment even if it is outside of the system you purchased it from.

Can we please get away from the insurance model for things that don’t fit it well or at all? That just might change our attitude about health care (not health insurance) as something the individual must do, not depend on an insurance company to just ‘pay the bill’ no matter what the cost. The cost can and should matter to the individual so that the individual can put a valuation on it and decide if the value is worth the cost.

ajacksonian on November 12, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Socialism: Long on promises; short on delivery.

But then it’s only the bait in the trap. The object was never to improve the lives of people, but to concentrate more power over the people in the centralized government.

Socratease on November 12, 2010 at 11:53 AM

They need for Andy Griffith commercials.

angryed on November 12, 2010 at 12:03 PM

A trillion for 8,000 people. That’s a big ass broken window, right there.

lorien1973 on November 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM

On a government grading curve, that is approximately a B+

Vashta.Nerada on November 12, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Policy by anecdote to rationalize absolute control.

BuckeyeSam on November 12, 2010 at 12:08 PM

The #’s will look much better once 30 million illegals are granted amnesty……………

dmann on November 12, 2010 at 12:09 PM

The House GOP needs a hearing on this immediately. Call Sebellius and get her to explain these numbers.

BuckeyeSam on November 12, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Perhaps they should have tested the issue by creating the program separately first and determining whether the demand required a complete overhaul of a health-care system that mainly worked for the rest of us,

That was just an excuse, the control was what they wanted all along, but they didn’t dare admit to that.

LarryD on November 12, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Of course only a few people signed up. We tried this in Washington state. Guess what we discovered while destroying individual insurance with this stupid proposal? People with pre-existing conditions only signed up just before they needed care or hospitalization. So they would get tens of thousands of dollars worth of care for a few lousy hundred dollars.

It is called gaming the system. Only the very stupid or the very arrogant cannot understand that.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.–George Santayana

iconoclast on November 12, 2010 at 12:15 PM

*facepalm*

jnelchef on November 12, 2010 at 12:26 PM

HHS did best among the 24.7 million Texans. Thanks to ObamaCare, 393 of them are now insured.

I wonder how many of those would have signed up for THIRP had they not seen this notice (pdf)?

I shouldn’t laugh, but I did.

VerbumSap on November 12, 2010 at 12:40 PM

They said what?

“What good is reading the health care bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”
I vote yes. –John Conyers

“You know we’re going to control the insurance companies.” — Joe Biden

How many people are getting insurance through their jobs right now? Raise your hands. All right. Well, a lot of those folks, your employer it’s estimated would see premiums fall by as much as 3,000 percent, which means they could give you a raise. — Barack Obama

Still waiting for that raise there Barry.

1IDVET on November 12, 2010 at 12:44 PM

I’ve probably tried to explain this at least 100 times since they started making noise about health insurance reform.
but because I work at a health insurer, I’m accused of “towing the party line” instead of people figuring out that I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT because of where I work.

So when I predicted their insurance premiums going up by at least 20 to 60 dollars per pay period (if not more) and they laughed at me as not understanding how health insurance reform worked, you should have seen me laugh when they came to complain about their health insurance premium increases to me. “I told you so” was fun…

mjk on November 12, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Oh great. Now Obama & Sebilius will have to conduct another round of speechifying to educate us rubes out in flyover land.

KS Rex on November 12, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Ed, Ed, Ed, you’re a lot smarter than I am, so you should have known that socialist programs don’t work that way. Who ever heard of determining the market BEFORE offering the service.

Mr. Grump on November 12, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Most of the people with pre-existing conditions without insurance can’t afford the premiums, anyway. I also think most people were expecting their insurance to be FREE with this bill. The lame stream media did NOT explain this bill well to the folks who are not plugged in politically. I doubt if most of them even KNOW this program is in place now. I just that that little faith in the ignorant people who generally vote for Dems for the freebies.

I have diabetes and you bet I make sure I pay my premium. It took me SEVEN years to figure out how to get insurance with this pre-existing condition and being self employed. I only got some because I hired a personal assistant when I lived in CA and then I was able to get “group” coverage for the 2 of us. We went on Cobra when I moved out of state and I had to use her address to keep my insurance until I figured out how to get insurance 4 years later.

By then I had moved to MI and was able to get a local provider coverage by joining a local credit union. Also, MI has some pre-existing laws prior to this health care bill. My premiums have gone from $340 per month for HMO type of coverage to $540 per month for the equivalent coverage in 4 years. I think the last 2 major jumps were due to the anticipated costs of the new national Obamacare bill.

Also, when I renewed my policy this year, I noticed that instead of about 10 choices, I had 3, my “grandfathered” policy, which was the best choice, but most expensive, or 2 new plans that complied with the new law that would cost me THOUSANDS in out of pocket expenses this year, and was only marginally cheaper. I just don’t get what was accomplished by Pelosi’s over-reach here with Obamacare. I hate her.

I still don’t understand why there is this pervasive belief that health care is a RIGHT. This is no different that expecting your neighbor to pay for your house insurance or renter’s insurance, or your car insurance.

When I chose to blow off corporate american in 1991 because I HATED an engineering job in a cubible working for idiot bosses and clueless companies, being responsible for my own health care was what I took on as part of my choice to find an alternate way to make a living. There were years when I had to pay everything out of pocket because of my pre-existing condition and I just accepted it. I was furious that I was blocked out of the system due to the pre-existing condtion, but I was not willing to pay the price of sitting in a cubible and work for an idiot just to get insurance. Back before I figured out where to find insurance, I used to think that I should have been allowed to buy into the federal employees insurance or something. I didn’t have an answer then for the problem, but I found a solution that worked for me.

karenhasfreedom on November 12, 2010 at 1:08 PM

geesh, the idea of having to get a real job in corporate america has me so rattled, that I could not even properly type CUBICLE :) Sorry about the typos above, but I was on a good rant.

karenhasfreedom on November 12, 2010 at 1:12 PM

This means we must spend
Millions on advertising
To promote this deal…

Haiku Guy on November 12, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Many more than 8,011 people will die this year as they work to pay the frieght on this program that helps so few. But they will die in ones and twos, in car accidents or from stressed-induced heart attacks or a hundred different ways, and nobody will ever make the connection.

Haiku Guy on November 12, 2010 at 1:33 PM

2010 we slowed him down, 2012 will stop him. Just click your heels together and keep repeating “healthcare repeal in 2013, healthcare repeal in 2013.”

Done That on November 12, 2010 at 1:46 PM

presidentin sho is hard

Alden Pyle on November 12, 2010 at 1:55 PM

I’m a type 2 diabetic who recently moved back from Taiwan (where I somewhat guiltily enjoyed their nationalized health care) to New Mexico. I have the option to apply for the NM high risk health insurance pool or the federal (which doesn’t appear to have a 6 month waiting period for pre-existings like the state does). I admit to being tempted to apply for the federal, but with the talk of repeal, it seems like a foolish move. That, and the feeling that the feds would run the program less efficiently than the state, make me lean towards the state program. Anyone else personally dealing with this issue?

tikvah on November 12, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Perhaps they should have tested the issue by creating the program separately first and determining whether the demand required a complete overhaul of a health-care system that mainly worked for the rest of us, instead of arrogating to themselves the task of dictating the shape of a market they clearly don’t understand.

They got what they really wanted, which was to seize control of the health industry and ruin the economy.

Come on, Ed – you know that was the unstated plan. It’s the only answer that makes sense of the destructive things this regime has done.

disa on November 12, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Even if you have a pre-existing condition why buy insurance if the cost of the insurance is CURRENTLY less than out of pocked for it, especially when you can wait until the out of pocket/insurance premium balance reaches a point it makes sense?

Since you believe that the insurance will always be available to you, wait until it reaches the point that you will have big bills.

Same thing happened in Massachusetts. People waited until they found out they needed knee surgery (for example), signed up for insurance, got the surgery and the therapy, then dropped it.

PastorJon on November 12, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Bah, “if the cost of the insurance is CURRENTLY MORE than out of pocket for it”

PastorJon on November 12, 2010 at 4:42 PM

If the insurance companies are required to take you regardless of preexisting conditions, why would anyone purchase in advance? Unless there’s a break in period of something, I’d just wait until something comes up, apply for coverage, and wait for the card to show up.

Stegall Tx on November 12, 2010 at 7:27 PM

It seems like the data suggests that we’d be much better off establishing a welfare program to pay for the cost of providing each of the “pre-existing condition” folks a dedicated, full-time personal physician.

Even if this extreme “solution” required $1 Million per patient per year, it would cost the nation only $8 Billion: less than 0.4 % of the cost of Obamacare!!! And Obama would only have to give up 4 trips to India to pay for it!!!

landlines on November 13, 2010 at 2:16 AM

tikvah on November 12, 2010 at 2:03 PM

My brother, while between jobs about 8 years ago, got a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer.

Nevertheless, he was able to get health insurance via an “assigned risk” pool available in the State of Kansas. Cost was only $550/month.

There was NO lapse in coverage between his COBRA coverage from his old job and the new coverage, and the COBRA policy was about the same cost.

The need for the Obamacare debacle has been vastly overstated. And Obamacare does not offer a better solution to any problem: it makes everything worse.

landlines on November 13, 2010 at 2:29 AM