Meet the Obama-supporting couple who just got hosed by ObamaCare

posted at 4:01 pm on November 6, 2013 by Allahpundit

Read it in full — and do not quit before the end or else you’ll miss the most important part. A simple premise from Pro Publica: Let’s take an ObamaCare “sob story” from someone whose plan just got canceled and give it a thorough fact-checking to see if it’s as bad as they say. Sure, their new coverage is expensive, but maybe they qualify for subsidies and don’t even realize it. Sure, their new plan isn’t that great, but maybe their old plan really was one of those “cut-rate” garbage plans that fly-by-night insurers have been peddling to people for years. They only think they’re getting hosed.

Nope. After the fact check, it’s clear: They got hosed.

I asked Hammack to send me details of his current plan. It carried a $4,000 deductible per person, a $40 copay for doctor visits, a $150 emergency room visit fee and 30 percent coinsurance for hospital stays after the deductible. The out-of-pocket maximum was $5,600.

This plan was ending, Kaiser’s letters told them, because it did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. “Everything is taken care of,” the letters said. “There’s nothing you need to do.”

The letters said the couple would be enrolled in new Kaiser plans that would cost nearly $1,300 for the two of them (more than $15,000 a year).

And for that higher amount, what would they get? A higher deductible ($4,500), a higher out-of-pocket maximum ($6,350), higher hospital costs (40 percent of the cost) and possibly higher costs for doctor visits and drugs.

As I say, read to the end for the ominous conclusion, in which Hammack contemplates how he might qualify for subsidies. Not only was their old plan not cut-rate, it was “comprehensive” just like all the new ObamaCare exchange plans are required to be. Turns out Hammack and his wife lead a healthy lifestyle and had qualified for a solid plan with low premiums for years because of it. That makes them the perfect target for O-Care: One of the key ways that coverage for people with preexisting conditions will be subsidized is by gouging healthy people with expensive new “comprehensive” plans that they won’t much use. Their premiums are almost pure net gain for insurers and that gain can be applied to offset the losses they’re taking from the sick. In any redistributive scheme, there are winners and losers; these people, to their great surprise, ended up as losers for having committed the sin of taking good care of themselves for a long time. The spokesman for Kaiser Permanente, Hammack’s former insurer, made no bones about that either in speaking to Pro Publica: “[I]n sort of pure economic terms, they are people who benefited from the current system … Now that the market rules are changing, there will be different people who benefit and different people who don’t.” And like I said Monday, I don’t think rate shock is even the biggest political landmine in all this. The big landmine will go off when people realize they’re not only paying more, they’re getting a smaller provider network in their new “comprehensive” plan despite the added expense. Pro Publica doesn’t get into that in its story about Hammack; I look forward to the sequel.

I feel no schadenfreude about this, for what it’s worth. A friend of mine who got caught up in Hopenchange fee-vah five years ago and who has since soured on O told me recently that she didn’t know what to believe about health-care reform in 2008 because the subject is so fantastically complex. Even now, three years removed from ObamaCare’s passage, I doubt you’d find one voter in a hundred on the street who could give you a solid, fairly comprehensive five-minute explanation of how the law works. To a non-ideological voter, Obama seemed sincere and he had a plan endorsed by lots of lefty eggheads; only recently has the full extent of his willingness to lie to people’s faces in the name of getting the bill passed in 2010 been revealed. It’s easy to say “they should have known better” but that’s not how politics works for most people, I think. Most people find a pol whom they like and trust, who seems competent, and then support his/her schemes without getting too deep into the eye-crossingly complicated details. There are surely some righties who support Paul Ryan’s entitlement reforms for the same reason. Doesn’t excuse their poor judgment in supporting O, but back-breaking premiums is a steep price to pay for trusting a guy who assured them 8,000 times they’d be able to keep their plan. No president would lie that brazenly. Right?

Update: Speaking of Obama fans being “my-zeld,” as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz would say:


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Not Even Close To Over. ; )

Bmore on November 7, 2013 at 12:08 AM

I truly hope this law bankrupts them.

crrr6 on November 7, 2013 at 12:12 AM

I wish these were the kind of people who got hurt. Because they voted for this.

But I didn’t! And I’m in the same boat. How is that just?

petunia on November 7, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Meet the Obama-supporting couple who just got hosed by ObamaCare

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
The best medicine, man. Thanks.

Ronnie on November 7, 2013 at 12:41 AM

I wish these were the kind of people who got hurt. Because they voted for this.

But I didn’t! And I’m in the same boat. How is that just?

petunia on November 7, 2013 at 12:35 AM

There is no such thing as justice in progressive utopia petunia. It’s about fairness. Fairness is decided by capricious rulers elected democratically by the sheeple. Some animals are just more equal than others. Now get in line.

Murphy9 on November 7, 2013 at 12:43 AM

@kirstenpowers10
I just learned that I have to buy my insurance on the Maryland exchange (even tho i live in DC). Just went there…site isn’t working.

Gee, that’s a shame. You’re probably going to need a specialist to pull your head out of your ass too. Start saving.

Ronnie on November 7, 2013 at 12:46 AM

obama’care’

Schadenfreude on November 7, 2013 at 12:50 AM

here is a question – what constitute a Cadillac Plan, if you get one of the ACA plans with no subsidy does that constitute a Cadillac plan and will you also have to pay taxes on it?

RonK on November 7, 2013 at 1:01 AM

Well, sure, it sounds bad. But you have to remember that it was really awful in California before Obamacare came along.

How bad?

“We certainly had an individual market, especially in California which was the Wild Wild West, where there was huge price increases, cancellations, a range of other practices.

See? Just like the Wild Wild West. You start giving people freedom to make their own choices about health insurance, and you’re basically going back to the days of being shot in the streets because … uh … maybe because of a pre-existing condition?

I for one think it’s a wonderful thing that this couple got smacked by reality. Not that I’m taking pleasure in their problems, but maybe paying through the nose for less than they had before will make them learn something.

As least, maybe after they have done it for a few months. So far, they’re not learning anything at all.

There Goes the Neighborhood on November 7, 2013 at 2:13 AM

Maybe, if we work it right, we can convince them to come to our side.

franksalterego on November 6, 2013 at 5:20 PM

I got zero indication that that was any kind of a possibility.

Cindy Munford on November 6, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Experience keeps a dear [expensive] school, but a fool will learn in no other. — Benjamin Franklin

Short term, absolutely nothing is changing. I’d be interested to see if a few months of watching money go down the drain will change their perspective.

But I think the only way they will actually learn a lesson is if they try their plan of reducing their income to “manage” the problem and get a subsidy — and fail.

In short, the only thing that will change their minds is pain.

Which is really depressing.

There Goes the Neighborhood on November 7, 2013 at 2:35 AM

“We’re not changing our views because of this situation, but it hurt to hear Obama saying, just the other day, that if our plan has been dropped it’s because it wasn’t any good, and our costs would go up only slightly,” he said. “We’re gratified that the press is on the case, but frustrated that the stewards of the ACA don’t seem to have heard.”

No schadenfreude? I’ve got plenty for both of us.

These idiots aren’t going to let a crazy thing like reality change their opinions.

“From all of the sob stories I’ve heard and read, ours is the most extreme,” Lee told me in an email last week.

Their sob story is pathetic compared to the woman with stage 4 cancer.

These are just a couple liberal idiots who think they’re compassionate as long as it’s someone else’s money being spent.

They need to quit whining and eat their peas.

arik1969 on November 7, 2013 at 3:29 AM

Nice to read about someone in the same boat as me. My wife and I make just under 400% of the poverty level. As long as we don’t go above that, I get to use all y’all’s money to subsidize my premiums (still for a much crappier plan, but much cheaper now since I’m using all y’all’s money to pay for it). We get to use all y’all’s money to the tune of about $8000.

I’m a contractor. So, when next November rolls around, and I get a request to bid on a job that’s gonna be worth 10 or 12 K and require me to work my ass off to get it… where the hell is my incentive to even bid? Answer: there is none.

I don’t feel the least bit good about taking all y’all’s money, but these are the new rules of the game, and smart people play by the rules they’re given. I’ll still work my ass off to get these charlatans defeated, but I imagine a lot of other middle class folks, like myself, once they realize the government’s paying them off, will not vote for it to stop.

That all said, system will collapse under its own weight before long. I have no idea where I’ll end up when that happens. Or, where any of us will. We’ve got a serious clusterfark heading our way.

Arnold Yabenson on November 7, 2013 at 3:51 AM

It’s easy to say “they should have known better” but that’s not how politics works for most people

Did you not read to the very end Allah?

“We’re not changing our views because of this situation, but it hurt to hear Obama saying, just the other day, that if our plan has been dropped it’s because it wasn’t any good, and our costs would go up only slightly,” he said. “We’re gratified that the press is on the case, but frustrated that the stewards of the ACA don’t seem to have heard.”

Shorter version: He lied to our face. But we still support him. Now, how can we get other people to pay us a subsidy. It’s clear that they still haven’t learned, they still haven’t “changed their views”. Not even this is enough to wake them up.

Dollayo on November 7, 2013 at 3:53 AM

“We’re not changing our views because of this situation, but it hurt to hear Obama saying, just the other day, that if our plan has been dropped it’s because it wasn’t any good, and our costs would go up only slightly,” he said.

As others have pointed out, honesty isn’t terribly high on their priority list–having their notions validated is the most important thing, and when the curtain moves slightly to give a glimpse of reality, their reaction is to feel hurt. And where do they think the federal subsidies that will “help” them come from? The money tree out back? Liberals really are thick as planks.

DrMagnolias on November 7, 2013 at 5:56 AM

verbaluce on November 6, 2013 at 6:01 PM

 
Wait, you mean other than the entire threads you claim you never get answers in?
 
This is all yours, verbaluce.
 
rogerb on November 6, 2013 at 8:35 PM

 
BTW, please don’t misunderstand and think I meant a general “you” as in “you (D)s are damaging savings accounts” or “you liberal/progressives are forcing private funds once available for local churches and charities (and tax deductions) to be given to massive insurance corporations at the point of a gun”. I don’t mean it that way at all.
 
I mean you specifically.
 
Congratulations again, verbaluce, for what you’re accomplishing against middle class Americans. You’re getting exactly what you wanted.
 
Go ahead and get your “Mission Accomplished” banner ready for when your employer mandate kicks in.
 
Maybe even have a little party.

rogerb on November 7, 2013 at 6:21 AM

To a non-ideological voter, Obama seemed sincere and he had a plan endorsed by lots of lefty eggheads

That is, the “plan” was concocted and endorsed by lots of socialist social engineers who think they are smart enough to plan and control a multi-trillion dollar market and industry, health care.

The arrogance and hubris of socialists knows no bounds. And they lie a lot, for The Cause. And in the case of Obamacare, the lying started at the top with the Liar-In_Chief in the WH.

farsighted on November 7, 2013 at 6:22 AM

I just learned that I have to buy my insurance on the Maryland exchange (even tho i live in DC). Just went there…site isn’t working.

You wanted it, you got it, Kirsten, so spare me the whining.

Isn’t Communism sooooo much fun?

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 7, 2013 at 6:23 AM

Obamacare Shouldn’t Have Been Managed Like a Campaign

“Democrats believed that the unpopular bill they had just rammed through on a party-line vote would not only get more popular, but also make them more popular, thereby giving them the political support they needed to pass more fixes — fixes that would have been needed even on a less messy draft bill, because anything this complicated is unlikely to work as written. As I noted at the time, this seemed borderline delusional….

Democrats lost the House and some Senate seats in the 2010 election, and Obamacare was a major contributor to that loss. Whereupon Democrats learned what apparently didn’t occur to them in 2009: that there might be other elections, with different consequences.

There is a point to this history review, and it’s not to laugh at Democrats — I’ve made plenty of my own sizable analytical blunders. No, the point is this: Political support matters. Not an election mandate after beating the party of Iraq, Katrina and the financial crisis — popular support for your law. If the bill had actually been popular, Republican opposition would not have been a problem; they would have folded, or the voters would have kicked them out.

Democrats have been complaining — loudly and repeatedly — that Republican opposition tactics on the Affordable Care Act are unprecedented. This is true, but not for the reasons that Democrats are telling themselves. No political party was ever foolhardy enough to pass such a big bill, with such sweeping consequences for so many people, without the support of a majority of their countrymen and at least a few members of the opposite party. Once they had done this unprecedented thing, the unprecedented reaction was predictable — and indeed predicted by myself and others…”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-05/obamacare-shouldn-t-have-been-managed-like-a-campaign.html

workingclass artist on November 7, 2013 at 6:39 AM

A homily for O-JugEars to consider:
One of my early jobs was flipping burgers for Mickey D’s. The guy training me had been on the job for a few years. He expressed the importance of quality and the customer’s experience during their visit, by relating the following-

- With the size of this grill, I can cook 720 burgers an hour. Cooked in batches of twelve, three batches at a time, for three minutes a batch. You have equipment to toast as many buns, apply condiments and wrap then for our customers to buy. Because the cooking process is routine, there is little chance I will screw up on my job. However, your placement of ketchup, mustard, and 2 pickles MUST BE dead center and include each ingredient- for each of the twelve in the batch. Now, you may figure, ‘If I fail on one, that’s still a pretty good average- less than one percent error rate!’. But, the guy that walks in and buys that burger? His experience is 100% of a bad /messy burger.

Mr. Obama, each O-care failure may not push a voter from Dem to Rep. But, the more likely option is for the dis-enchanted Dem to stay home. Ask Romney, after his camp and the GOPe spent a year ‘sliming’ his primary opponents and their supporters, his turnout was no better than 2004 ( considering the growth of voting population, he failed to exceed McCain). There is a lesson to be learned, sir.

socalcon on November 7, 2013 at 8:15 AM

here is a question – what constitute a Cadillac Plan, if you get one of the ACA plans with no subsidy does that constitute a Cadillac plan and will you also have to pay taxes on it?

RonK on November 7, 2013 at 1:01 AM

Ron, like they have metrics for the Death Panel to use ( a new hip for an 85 year old versus contraception for Sandra Fluke), they have ‘graded’ various levels of coverage and services. The ACA plans offered on the website are “affordable” . Other plans, that include the base affordable coverage, also have ‘extended’ coverage–let’s say, for $100 a month in premium, you can buy-down your deductible from $6,000 to 4,500. Those extras, make the plan a ‘Cadillac’.

socalcon on November 7, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Wait til a lot of those people who were so for comprehensive health care reform from the govt get to apply for MC and see just how long they get to keep their docs again. All of the libs pushing for single payer need to find out just how badly they will be treated by that coverage from a regime who lies to their faces about just about everything. I had a very good insurance plan that paid well and was affordable until I turned 65 and lost it to MC. You can’t keep your plan then, either. Now I have to carry a supplement to MC so my doc will continue to see me. It also helps to get lab work done. Glad these folks got their eyes opened, maybe they’ll spread the word.

Kissmygrits on November 7, 2013 at 8:49 AM

This is what change looks like…

Pest on November 7, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Elections have consequences….. even for progressive liberals. Who knew?

ultracon on November 7, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Arnold Yabenson on November 7, 2013 at 3:51 AM

Contractors are in a great position to do work on a barter basis. You do a job for someone, they call up the appliance store and have a new TV or set of furniture delivered to your home. Common in countries with high sales/VA taxes.

slickwillie2001 on November 7, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Sow, reap. repeat!

faol on November 7, 2013 at 9:45 AM

socalcon on November 7, 2013 at 8:15 AM

I love that story. A man who takes pride in honest work, no matter what the job, is a man who has my respect.

DrMagnolias on November 7, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I don’t know what to do!
Do I go without insurance since my ‘bad apple’ insurance company cancelled my policy and perhaps be financially wiped out by a catastrophic event, or go to the exchange and expose my most personal information to a potential criminal identity thief who will wipe me out completely?

maryo on November 7, 2013 at 11:01 AM

“From all of the sob stories I’ve heard and read, ours is the most extreme.”

Nevermind the people who make less money than these well-off liberals, and who have serious medical conditions. “It’s all about ME!”

Dagnar on November 7, 2013 at 1:11 PM

From all of the sob stories I’ve heard and read, ours is the most extreme.”

Nevermind the people who make less money than these well-off liberals, and who have serious medical conditions. “It’s all about ME!”

Dagnar on November 7, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Exactly!

I had never heard the phrase “self-absorbed” until I moved to the west coast.

But it is a very common phrase out here, for good reason.

wren on November 7, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Contractors are in a great position to do work on a barter basis. You do a job for someone, they call up the appliance store and have a new TV or set of furniture delivered to your home. Common in countries with high sales/VA taxes.

slickwillie2001 on November 7, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Thanks. I’m a big fan of ham. Maybe I can get a contract with a pig farmer. :)

Arnold Yabenson on November 8, 2013 at 3:43 AM

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