Gardner ad: I couldn’t keep the health insurance plan I liked either

posted at 9:21 pm on August 11, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

He’s been called by Stu Rothenberg perhaps the “best GOP challenger in the country,” running a toss-up race in a purple state. His latest ad goes straight to the issue of the perpetual voter concern—whether Gardner “cares about people like me.” Turns out he lost his health insurance plan in the Obamacare fall-out, as he informs the many Coloradans who are in the same situation:

Democrats will argue that many Coloradans have gained health insurance in the wake of Obamacare, but a) that doesn’t deal with the broken promise and b) those who gained insurance are going to be navigating the minefield of costly bureaucracy outlined by National Journal last week. This is what Obamacare’s “winners” are dealing with.

The basics are these, but as with all things Obamacare, even the basics are frightfully byzantine. Many people with Obamacare plans are getting much of their premiums paid by other taxpayers. Those getting subsidies have their subsidies dictated by the price of something the administration calls a “benchmark” plan. If one chooses something more complex or expensive, as NJ reports, they’re on the hook for the difference from the benchmark plan. But here’s the thing. The benchmark plan isn’t the same from year to year. As insurance companies find ways to offer cheaper plans than the benchmark (a good thing at first glance), the benchmark plan may become a different, cheaper plan. So, you signed up for the old benchmark plan, calculated your budget according to the amount you were subsidized, and once your plan was no longer the benchmark plan, you ended up having to pay more. Which means, in order to avoid an increase in premium above and beyond anything insurance companies might add, you have to monitor which plan is the benchmark plan every year and change your plan accordingly if you want your subsidy to work out. (Remember when Obamacare was going to mean falling premiums? Another nice promise.) That means, once again, changing doctors and networks and benefits. That’s a pretty big ask for anyone who’s had the misfortune of navigating the faulty sign-up system for Obamacare once already this year. And, what’s more, the Obama administration in an attempt to keep its coverage numbers high, has set up automatic re-enrollment. When Democrats tout the success of Obamacare, this is the system they’re talking about. That should make all of us very afraid of their definition of success. If a private company operated this way, the CFPB would be after them. More argh-inducing detail from NJ. The whole thing is well worth your time.

As cheaper plans come into the marketplace, millions of consumers will see the cost of keeping their plan rise. But they might not know it.

HealthCare.gov isn’t able to automatically recalculate the subsidies existing consumers are eligible for. So, while the dollar value of your financial assistance drops, you can only find out that’s happening by going back into the system and asking for a redetermination as part of the shopping process.

Consumers who auto-renew their policies will get the same dollar value of subsidies they got last year—even though changes in the marketplace all but guarantee that will no longer be the right subsidy amount for millions of people.

“That’s the totally crazy part,” Pearson said. “They’re basically going to send them what they know to be the wrong subsidy.”

The IRS will eventually figure out how much financial assistance you should have received, and will reconcile the difference on your taxes. If you should have gotten a bigger subsidy, the government will issue you a tax credit. If your subsidy was too big, which would be the case if you keep your plan and lower-cost options come to the market, you’ll owe the IRS money.

Milliman has this example: Your plan doesn’t change its premiums at all, and your income isn’t changing. You auto-renew and keep receiving the same subsidy. But because of changes in the benchmark plan, you shouldn’t actually be receiving the same subsidy. Although it seems to you like nothing changed—not your premium, not your income—you’ll owe the IRS between $300 and $2,500 when you pay your taxes, because your subsidy should have been smaller. Unless and until HealthCare.gov is able to do this math automatically, it’s up to you to figure that out.

Meanwhile in Oregon, home to the worst of the state exchanges, the fight over that expensive and useless exchange has devolved into slander suits. The Oregon exchange never signed up one person despite its high price tag and the full backing of its gung-ho blue-state bureaucrats and Democrats. And, a major pilot program meant to revolutionize cost-savings at hospitals was a total bust. All this success is going to kill us.

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Ratso!!

wolfplus3 on August 11, 2014 at 9:24 PM

I have no idea what the significance of that is, but I’ve always wanted to be a “first”.

wolfplus3 on August 11, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Effective ad

notropis on August 11, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Wow, a good Obamacare ad. Way too many Republicans seem to think they can just say “repeal ObamaCare!” in an ad and they’ll magically get elected. Gardner is looking like a good challenger.

LukeinNE on August 11, 2014 at 9:36 PM

I truly hope that after Labor Day, we really start to ramp up the discussion of what the 60th vote cost us. (I love Cory Gardner — so refreshing after Udall.)

COgirl on August 11, 2014 at 9:36 PM

All this success is going to kill us.

Actually, some people will die.

Unless this disaster crumbles under its own weight we will end up with a system like the UK. Everyone pays for a ‘national healthcare’ system, and most will end up having to endure the hardships and lack of proper care.

The wealthy will avail themselves of private care and never feel the effects. It will be the same here. In the meantime the Dems will have destroyed the best healthcare system in the world.

Cody1991 on August 11, 2014 at 9:39 PM

National Council of La Raza stands with Cory Gardner.

http://blog.nclr.org/2014/08/05/thanking-eleven-republican-house-members-stood-dreamers/

Wigglesworth on August 11, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Gardner is a real good candidate and he is more impressive by the day. But this is CO we are talking about, a state that sadly has been trending blue for a while now, because all those CA locusts invading it.

Raquel Pinkbullet on August 11, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Strongest group of Republican Senate candidates in quite some time.

GOPRanknFile on August 11, 2014 at 9:52 PM

. . . . . But this is CO we are talking about, a state that sadly has been trending blue for a while now, because all those CA locusts invading it.

Raquel Pinkbullet on August 11, 2014 at 9:51 PM

.
Great … you had to bring THAT up … : (
.
(yes, I know it’s true)

listens2glenn on August 11, 2014 at 10:02 PM

So far, the Dems’ ads against Gardner consist of “OMG – birth control” and “ahhhh Koch brothers”.

I’ve been hoping the GOP would start making some solid hits on Udall – more than enough ammunition available – 0bumblscare, gun control, green energy scams, deficit spending, anti oil and gas, and plenty more.

dentarthurdent on August 11, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Any subsidy from the federal exchange is the wrong subsidy.

NukeRidingCowboy on August 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM

. . . . . But this is CO we are talking about, a state that sadly has been trending blue for a while now, because all those CA locusts invading it.

Raquel Pinkbullet on August 11, 2014 at 9:51 PM

.
Great … you had to bring THAT up … : (
.
(yes, I know it’s true)

listens2glenn on August 11, 2014 at 10:02 PM

It has been true since about the mid 1990s – but I think the tide is turning since 0bumblescare and the whole gun control fiasco.

The blue concentration is mainly in the Peoples’ Republik of Denver-Boulder, but the rest of the state is very red – where we managed to recall 2 state senators (even in historically blue Pueblo), and got a 3rd to resign facing recall (in northern Denver area).

dentarthurdent on August 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Democrats will argue that many Coloradans have gained health insurance in the wake of Obamacare, but :

a) – that doesn’t deal with the broken promise

. . . and . . .

b)- those who gained insurance are going to be navigating the minefield of costly bureaucracy outlined by National Journal last week.
.
This is what Obamacare’s “winners” are dealing with.
.
Mary Katharine Ham on August 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm by

.
Who cares ? … They WON ! . . . . . . . . .
.
.
. . . . . . . . . until they start that “bureaucratic minefield navigation” you spoke of.

listens2glenn on August 11, 2014 at 10:12 PM

It has been true since about the mid 1990s – but I think the tide is turning since 0bumblescare and the whole gun control fiasco.

The blue concentration is mainly in the Peoples’ Republik of Denver-Boulder, but the rest of the state is very red – where we managed to recall 2 state senators (even in historically blue Pueblo), and got a 3rd to resign facing recall (in northern Denver area).

dentarthurdent on August 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

.
I’d forgotten about that … thanks ! … : )

listens2glenn on August 11, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Raquel Pinkbullet on August 11, 2014 at 9:51 PM

listens2glenn on August 11, 2014 at 10:02 PM
dentarthurdent on August 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Ya’ know, I seem to recall Coloradans whining about the influx of Texans back in the 80′s. Whining so much that Texans turned their attention inward to the hill country, and Costa Rica. Leaving an opening for Californians.

Miss us yet?

cozmo on August 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Ya’ know, I seem to recall Coloradans whining about the influx of Texans back in the 80′s. Whining so much that Texans turned their attention inward to the hill country, and Costa Rica. Leaving an opening for Californians.

Miss us yet?

cozmo on August 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

.
. . . . . : )

listens2glenn on August 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM

Miss us yet?

cozmo on August 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Yes!!!!
I’ll trade you 100 Texans for each Kalifornian – Deal?
Actually – it should probably be the other way around – I’d say each Texan is worth more than 100 Kalifornians…..

Except, we already gave you Magpul – that should be worth something in return – maybe take a bunch of Kali’s off our hands?

Honestly – I came to Colorado in the Air Force in 1979 – from Maine (and several other states prior) – and stayed.

dentarthurdent on August 11, 2014 at 10:22 PM

listens2glenn on August 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM

dentarthurdent on August 11, 2014 at 10:22 PM

Spent some time just west of Denver earlier this year. It seamed to me y’all trend more libertarian than actual lefty. Which struck me as odd. Are y’alls republican candidates all that far socially right?

cozmo on August 11, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Ya’ know, I seem to recall Coloradans whining about the influx of Texans back in the 80′s. Whining so much that Texans turned their attention inward to the hill country, and Costa Rica. Leaving an opening for Californians.

Miss us yet?

cozmo on August 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Miss the days when CO went to Bush in 2004 and 2000 comfortably.

Raquel Pinkbullet on August 11, 2014 at 10:34 PM

Spent some time just west of Denver earlier this year. It seamed to me y’all trend more libertarian than actual lefty. Which struck me as odd. Are y’alls republican candidates all that far socially right?

cozmo on August 11, 2014 at 10:28 PM

There’s a mix.
Beuaprez is a fairly good conservative running for governor against Hicky – but I’m afraid he’s a bit too extablishment GOP – I preferred Tancredo. Gardner is solid conxervative, so is my representative Lamborn – solid conservative record – but I’m afraid he’s also gotten a bit too establishment after a few terms in office – I voted for Bentley Rayburn against Lamborn in the primary.
That’s probably a very good point that in general Colorado is more libertarian leaning than “blue” – hence the gun control instigated recalls even in blue-ish areas.

dentarthurdent on August 11, 2014 at 10:34 PM

Man – my typing sucks tonight….

dentarthurdent on August 11, 2014 at 10:35 PM

dentarthurdent on August 11, 2014 at 10:35 PM

Nah, it pretty much sucks every night.

cozmo on August 11, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Nah, it pretty much sucks every night.

cozmo on August 11, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Well, I’m definitely having trouble hitting the right letters tonight – must not have had enough to drink…..

dentarthurdent on August 11, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Why the Republicans can’t hang this failure around the Democrats necks is beyond me. Why would anyone vote for someone who was willing to lie to them about something so important? I guess we’ll find out in November. If I were running I’d be finding out exactly what my Democrat opponent said about the ACA and hang it around his neck, with the term lies, because by the time this bill rolled out, they all knew what the lies were.

bflat879 on August 11, 2014 at 10:41 PM

dentarthurdent, my husband and I went to a meet and greet on Saturday with Beauprez. He believes that GOP will let loose on the ads after Labor Day. He pointed out that with all the ads on the “war on women” that Udall has been running, he isn’t that far ahead of Gardner in the polling. He also pointed out that he can’t believe that the Dems keep pushing on the “war on women” front because he views women as more than sex objects. He’s got a great running mate in Jill Rapella, a real ball of fire — single mother from Douglas County where she’s a county commissioner. Heard her speak a few weeks ago and she is VERY GOOD.

COgirl on August 11, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Met Congressman Gardner several times, a real gem.
Listen intently to my concerns and his aid has responded to EVERY email I’ve sent.
He’ll make an excellent Senator.

Pelosi Schmelosi on August 11, 2014 at 10:58 PM

I’m looking forward to Senator Gardner.

COgirl on August 11, 2014 at 11:06 PM

COgirl on August 11, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Ya, I like Gardner, and Beauprez is ok, but I just preferred Tancredo – in fact my wife and I split our vote in the primary – she went for Beauprez.
I’m looking forward to the GOP cutting loose with more ads as we get closer – at least I hope that’s what they’re planning.

dentarthurdent on August 11, 2014 at 11:09 PM

The Democrats have destroyed the best healthcare system in the world.

There’s a man going round taking names. And he decides who to free and who to blame. Everybody won’t be treated all the same.

Lonetown on August 12, 2014 at 6:38 AM

you have to monitor which plan is the benchmark plan every year and change your plan accordingly

This is just insane. A different plan every year?

Patriot Vet on August 12, 2014 at 8:09 AM

That should make all of us very afraid of their definition of success.

I’ve been afraid of their definition of success since I was old enough to understand they were fellow travelers with the Russian dude with the bushy mustache. Even more so since I understood they were also fellow travelers with the German Austrian dude with the neat little mustache. I just thank Heaven that Obama doesn’t have a mustache.

GWB on August 12, 2014 at 8:55 AM

All this success is going to kill us.

Of course, with this crew,
Not a bug, but a feature.
They gain if you die.

If you high medical costs or, even worse, if you have stopped working and paying income taxes, you are what they would consider a “Useless Eater”. The sooner you are dispatched, the better.

Haiku Guy on August 12, 2014 at 9:15 AM

I didn’t have the sound on. I thought it was an advertisement for a home improvement store.

Hat Trick on August 12, 2014 at 9:51 AM

I’ll trade you 100 Texans for each Kalifornian – Deal?
Actually – it should probably be the other way around – I’d say each Texan is worth more than 100 Kalifornians…..

Except, we already gave you Magpul – that should be worth something in return – maybe take a bunch of Kali’s off our hands?

Honestly – I came to Colorado in the Air Force in 1979 – from Maine (and several other states prior) – and stayed.

dentarthurdent on August 11, 2014 at 10:22 PM

Not all California transplants are bad. I relocated from California to Arvada, CO in 2000 because I was tired of living in a State that could conceiveably tax you for the oxygen that you breathe.
There’s a lot of conservatives and libertarians in California but since the Democrats have been in control for decades, they’ve rigged the districts so only Democrats will be elected.

Beauprez is a little to establishment GOP for me but I will vote for him over Hickenlooper for certain. I wish Tancredo were more electable because I like him far more than Beauprez.

I don’t know too much about Gardner, but he’s GOT to be better than that moron Udall. I just hope Gardner doesn’t turn out to be another GOP establishment guy, I’d like to have someone in there that will give some backbone to a limp Republican party.

Zooid on August 12, 2014 at 9:52 AM

The Oregon exchange never signed up one person despite its high price tag and the full backing of its gung-ho blue-state bureaucrats and Democrats.

funny when I look at ACAsignups.net I find:

August 6, 2014
Update: Private coverage and Oregon Health Plan enrollment through Cover Oregon

Medical enrollments through Cover Oregon: 337,518
Total private medical insurance enrollments through Cover Oregon: 96,910

Oregon Health Plan enrollments through Cover Oregon: 240,608

Dental enrollments
Total private dental insurance enrollments through CoverOregon: 19,489

Net enrollments
Net private medical: 82,305
Net private dental: 15,605

http://acasignups.net/14/08/06/oregon-total-qhps-873-medicaid-499

Tlaloc on August 12, 2014 at 2:12 PM

The Democrats have destroyed the best healthcare system in the world.

Lonetown on August 12, 2014 at 6:38 AM

Why was the best healthcare system in the world the most expensive with only middling results?

What criteria are you using for “best?”

Tlaloc on August 12, 2014 at 2:13 PM

http://acasignups.net/14/08/06/oregon-total-qhps-873-medicaid-499

Tlaloc on August 12, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Signups were done via paper application, not the website.

The Oregon exchange never signed up one person despite its high price tag and the full backing of its gung-ho blue-state bureaucrats and Democrats. And, a major pilot program meant to revolutionize cost-savings at hospitals was a total bust. All this success is going to kill us.

The expensive disaster of the ‘Cover Oregon’ website could not have happened to a more deserving group of citizens and politicians.

Elections have consequences.

s1im on August 12, 2014 at 9:12 PM