Why Is This A Bad Idea Again?

No wonder Ted Cruz and the Republicans are having hissy fits over Obamacare. They aren’t scared it will be a disaster. They’re scared it will be a huge success:

TN health premiums on federal exchange to be among lowest

In Tennessee, sticker-price premiums are well below the national monthly average, officials said. That’s before taking into account tax credits that work like an up-front discount for most consumers.

For instance, premiums under the cheapest, or bronze, plan would average $181 a month, the third-lowest rate in the country after Oklahoma and Minnesota.

Premiums under the next-highest level, or Silver, plan would average $235 a month, the second-lowest rate in the country after Minnesota.

Death of another right-wing talking point. Ah, well.

We’ve seen a lot of teeth-gnashing and rendering of garments over employers cutting their health benefits for part-timers, pushing them onto the exchanges. The case of Trader Joe’s has gone viral, with the company explaining itself thusly:

Rather than provide affordable options for purchasing health insurance to part timers (those working less than 30 hours weekly), as Trader Joe’s does now, as of January the company will simply cut them a $500 check to help cover the costs of obtaining coverage under the new exchanges forming under the rubric of the Affordable Care Act.

This, in a nutshell, is Trader Joe’s reasoning, quoted from the email:

Stated quite simply, the law is centered on providing low cost options to people who do not make a lot of money. Somewhat by definition, the law provides those people a pretty good deal for insurance … a deal that can’t be matched by us — or any company. However, an individual employee (we call them Crew Member) is only able to receive the tax credit from the exchanges under the act if we do not offer them insurance under our company plan.

The email offers the example of a single mom making $18 an hour working 25 hours a week who currently pays $166.50 per month for her Trader Joe’s coverage. With the tax credits under the ACA, the message says, she can get nearly identical insurance for roughly half that under an Obamacare health insurance exchange. Add to that the $500 she’ll get in January and the bleak picture of lost benefits starts to change rather dramatically.

Over at Forbes, David Whelan whines that it’s “unfair” that he has to subsidize these part-timers, writing:

Here is the fairness issue. Like most working Americans, I pay an arm and a leg to provide my family with a health plan. I pay my own share of the premium and I forego the tax-adjusted employer-provided portion in higher income. I also have seen my taxes go up, on investments, Medicare, and after we went over the fiscal cliff. I also saw my future Medicare benefits decrease while new taxes on health products (devices, insurance) have been passed on to me indirectly.

So in a variety of ways, through new taxes and a loss of services, taxpayers are now paying not only for their own coverage but also for others to get almost-free health care.

There’s a lot wrong with this, but let’s start with “taxpayers are now paying not only for their own coverage but also for others to get almost-free health care.” Dude. Taxpayers already pay for this — a lot. A LOT. We pay more for healthcare than any other developed country in the world and we already subsidize, through higher healthcare costs, those who are uninsured and underinsured. It’s the cost of the broken healthcare system we currently have.

A helpful video:

A lot of what I see Obamacare doing is unhooking our health insurance access from employment. This is a major social transformation, but it’s one that is utterly predictable given the major workplace transformation which has taken place over the past 20 years: namely, the shift toward “independent contractors” and “part-time workers.”

This is something that hit my life about 20 years ago: even when I was “hired” by an employer, I was still considered an “independent contractor,” meaning I was responsible for my own health insurance (not to mention my own “pension”). And then there are the “part-timers” — that increasingly large share of the workforce given limited hours at places like Walmart, precisely so these companies don’t have to pay benefits.

This transformation in the workplace is very real, and it’s utterly predictable that there would have to be some kind of shift in our health insurance and pension delivery systems to accommodate those who no longer get benefits from their employers. You just can’t pretend these changes haven’t happened and carry on with an outdated system.

While most of us on the left would have preferred universal health care — “Medicare for all” — this is at least a start. No one should be forced to stay at their sucky job because they’re afraid to lose their health insurance. No one should be forced to declare personal bankruptcy because they can’t afford their medical bills because their crappy policy won’t cover them (or they couldn’t afford the policy in the first place). These are realities for millions of people.

And I have to wonder if some employers aren’t fighting Obamacare because they don’t want to lose that element of control over their workers? The “you can’t quit because you’ll lose your healthcare” cudgel?

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47 Comments

Filed under health insurance, healthcare

47 responses to “Why Is This A Bad Idea Again?

  1. This is a great post. It clearly explains why we pay more for health care yet are not leaders in health care. Thanks for posting this.

  2. “And I have to wonder if some employers aren’t fighting Obamacare because they don’t want to lose that element of control over their workers? The “you can’t quit because you’ll lose your healthcare” cudgel?”

    An interesting hypothesis. However, no hypothesizing is needed when it comes to the Republican strategy. Being deathly afraid that the ACA is going to work, they are doing everything they can to ensure that it doesn’t work. When your modus operandi is that government doesn’t help people, it’s hard to accept that in some ways the government can serve the populace.

    • When your modus operandi is that government doesn’t help people, it’s hard to accept that in some ways the government can serve the populace.

      Four stars.

      Republicans like to say over and over that once the government offers a benefit it’s there for good. I’m not sure that’s entirely true but what they’re really saying is, “We’ve been unable to dismantle the New Deal.” That’s it in a nutshell. GOP is saying, “We can’t kill Social Security, we can’t kill Medicare, etc. etc.” Well, if your entire reason for trying to kill Obamacare is because you failed to kill everything else? That’s pretty weak sauce.

      Especially when you remember that the Republicans have failed to come up with a viable alternative.

      • GregH

        You mean Republicans have failed to come up with a viable alternative to the system THEY originally suggested back in the 1990s, as faux alternative to a possible single-payer, national healthcare system. Everyone seems to forget that the Obamacare system, which relies on private insurers, was originally a Republican idea. The Republicans just never expected Democrats to actually embrace it and turn it into law! They just hoped to use it as a diversion to stop HillaryCare.

      • Everyone seems to forget that the Obamacare system, which relies on private insurers, was originally a Republican idea.

        Oh, we haven’t forgotten. I seem to recall that was a big issue during the last presidential campaign! Everyone calling Romney on his bullshit. Which makes Jim DeMints allegation that …

        “Because of Romney and Romneycare, we did not litigate the Obamacare issue” …

        … all the more ridiculous. Yes because in essence Obamacare IS Romneycare and Romneycare exists because it was a fucking Republican idea in the first place!!!!!! Republicans have a handful of good ideas and they run away from them every time the Democrats decide they like them, too. And then they whine that Democrats refuse to compromise.

        It’s like, whut?

  3. democommie

    Just one question. Where is the Trader Joe’s that’s paying $18/hr to part-time workers? I can’t get a job that pays minimum wage, here, so it would be good to know that there is one near my mom’s old house (they have TJ’s in Omaha, not here). Our local TJ”s is Aldi (owned by the same family) and I’m pretty much certain that nobody working there is making $18/hr.

    Having said that, I thihk that Obamacare is a STEP in the right direction. First get everybody involved–then go single payer after you demonstrate the cost savings over what we’ve been doing. There will be a massive sadface for the 1%ers, fuck ‘em.

    • According to their website, they currently have 159 job openings nationwide. Over 300 stores and just 159 openings. But maybe one is near you?

      Let me also add, a friend of mine tried for several months to get hired at the Trader Joe’s in Nashville. The manager never even called him back. He tried several times, even went in there and filled out an application, but never got a call back. I don’t think there’s a lot of turnover over there.

  4. Jim in Memphis

    From the article: “According to the research, a 27-year-old male nonsmoker in Nashville would pay $114 a month for the lowest-cost package. That compares with a $41 bill for a bare-bones policy today.”

    So you are happy with a 278% increase in the premium? I am sure all of the young healthy people just can’t wait to jump on these great deals.

    • Yes but the story also says that is according to “an analysis by The Wall Street Journal,” which right there raises a red flag for me, but more importantly it goes on to say,


      However, experts say the plans under the health care law are not comparable to what’s currently sold on the individual health insurance markets, because coverage is broader and financial protection for policyholders is more robust.

      So really it’s an apples and oranges thing. And finally, I don’t necessarily buy those figures in the first place. We’ve been told from day one that the 20-somethings don’t buy insurance right now at all. Not at $41 (there are $41 policies?? Seems specious to me…), not at all. Under the Obamacare mandate, everyone has to buy insurance. So that means more people will be in the pool and prices will go down. So the Wall Street Journal’s analysis just doesn’t make a lot of sense, even if a $41 policy exists.

      • Jim in Memphis

        If they are not buying insurance a $41 a month what makes you think they will pay $114 a month when the fine not to (sorry tax not to) will only be about a $100 for the year?

      • Re-read my response. You missed everything that I said.

      • Jim in Memphis

        I do agree that it is impossible to really compare the plans since we do not know what is covered by each and at what dollar amounts. On that note, you can’t really claim what a great deal the premiums are compared to what they were projected to be when nothing is known about what is covered and which doctors will actually see you if you have this insurance. All we know is that it will be less of an increase than originally expected at least for now. If the young healthy people decide to stay out of the system since the fine is cheaper, then premiums will have to go up to cover the fact that mostly high cost individuals are the ones signing up for insurance.

      • On that note, you can’t really claim what a great deal the premiums are compared to what they were projected to be when nothing is known about what is covered and which doctors will actually see you if you have this insurance.

        Not true, we do know what is in the plans. You can look them up yourself at http://www.healthinsurance.org, click on your state. And all of the plans in the exchanges are required to cover the 10 “essential health benefits”:

        hospitalization;
        ambulatory services (visits to doctors and other healthcare professionals and outpatient hospital care);
        emergency services;
        maternity and newborn care;
        services for those suffering from mental health disorders and problems with substance abuse;
        prescription drugs;
        lab tests;
        chronic disease management, “well” services and preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (including blood pressure screening, breast cancer screening, colorectal cancer screening, obesity screening and counseling; tobacco use counseling ad interventions, and breast-feeding counseling);
        pediatric services for children, including dental and vision care;
        rehabilitative and “habilitative” services which include helping a person keep, learn or improve functioning for daily living. (Examples include therapy for a child who isn’t walking or talking at the expected age physical and occupational therapy, help for those experiencing problems with speech, and treatment for individuals suffering from a variety of disabilities.)

        Furthermore, as for what doctors will take this coverage? It’s the same as any other insurance. It’s not some special thing, it’s the usual players: UnitedHealth, BlueCross/BlueShield, Cigna, Community Health Alliance. If your doctor accepts these major insurance carries — and I can’t imagine too many don’t — then you’re covered.

        As for young people, a big part of Obamacare was allowing young people under the age of 25 to stay on their parents’ insurance. So that right there brings a lot of people into the pool. I’m sure there will be some fools who’d rather run the risk of going uninsured but even if the Wall Street Journal’s numbers are to be believed, paying an extra $14 to have insurance isn’t that big of a deterrent, if you’re having to pay $100 to do without. I think most sensible people would rather pay the $114 and not have to worry about being uninsured.

        That argument just doesn’t make sense. And I still maintain that more people will in fact sign up, and the costs will as a result go down.

    • Jim in Memphis

      The penalty is $100 for the year vs. a minimum of $114 per month. Plus, since they cannot be denied insurance for a pre-existing condition there is no risk in waiting to sign up for insurance once a big problem is discovered. For example, you could get diagnosed with cancer, then sign up for insurance, get treatment, then drop insurance once your treatments are completed.

      • You can’t sign up for the ACA whenever the spirit moves you, or to just get treatment once a big problem is discovered. It has enrollment windows, just like most other plans. For its kickoff they’re starting out with a big window – Oct 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. Coverage begins January, 2014.
        After that it will re-open for enrollment in Fall of 2014. to begin January, 2015.
        So sure, you can play medical roulette and hope your problem is diagnosed close to an enrollment period, but there’s still going to be a gap before you’re covered for treatment.

      • My bad on the $100 per year thing vs $114 per month thing, but what Mararama said about enrollment is true. Also, as I said before, 25 and unders are already able to access the markets by staying on their parents’ insurance. In fact, surveys show young people do, in fact, want to sign up for ACA. The issue has been affordability, not feelings of “invincibility.” And state after state is showing the exchanges are more affordable than even the experts thought they’d be.

        I don’t get the “young people won’t sign up” argument. If that turns out to be true and the pool is all old sick people, we’ll find out soon enough and Obamacare is a fail. Wait and see what happens. I think Republicans are really afraid that all of their fearmongering will end up not happening and they’ll look like assholes.

  5. Jim in Memphis

    Also, there is something not right about Trader Joe’s explanation. If the company does not offer an “affordable” healthcare plan that covers at least 60% of the employees expected health care costs then the employees are still eligible for the subsidies on the exchanges (and TJs is subject to a fine). It looks like from the article that the employees currently are paying some if not all of the premiums for their insurance. I am not sure if this would meet the “affordable” definition in the ACA. It sounds to me like TJ is just following Walmart’s example and letting the taxpayer pick up the tab for at least part of their employee’s health insurance costs – they are encouraging them to take the government subsidies. Why would TJ get praised for this while Walmart is vilified?

  6. OzarkHillbilly

    Funny how nobody ever complains about paying inflated prices for their soda so that the CEO of PepsiCo can get gold plated insurance.

  7. Dear Jim in Mem: Walmart gets vilified because their employees are so poorly compensated they are still eligible for Medicaid and SNAP–and because their employees are treated like widgets. Their schedules are shuffled around irregardful of the burdens involved, they are constantly driven to do more on shorter hours, and because they have had no benefits at all.
    Happily, from what i read elsewhere this week, even Walmart appears to be grasping the potential of Obamacare and may be maneuvering to help their abused employees take advantage of the new coverage opportunities.
    Granted, Obamacare is baby-steps toward a sane healthcare system, but at least it is forward progress.

    • Jim in Memphis

      Bert, come next March when it is time to renew my company’s insurance policy I will also be looking at these exchanges and seeing if it is advantageous to go that route. The problem I am seeing so far is that the exchanges only really reward small businesses that pay their employees a very low salary. Since our payroll will average out higher than $50,000 per employee, my company will get no tax benefits for offering and paying for insurance.

  8. Excellent post. I will link to it in my post tomorrow if that’s all right.

  9. democommie

    Southern Beale:

    TJ’s does keep employees, partly because they offer a less rigid “jobstyle” and partly because they pay better than most of the other people in their market. I just don’t think that $18/hr figure is a national average.

    I know what Jim’s insurance coverage looked like a few months back ( I have the PDF he sent me). I used to buy similar insurance 20 years ago, it was shitty coverage and pretty high pricing. I couldn’t see anything about coverages and deductibles in the Health Exchange link, is there somewhere that it can be looked at?

    I’m enrolled in VA healthcare and that is NOT insurance. If I go in with a complaint they try to fix it. I don’t get a bill. I also don’t get liposuction or plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons.

    I’m good with that.

  10. democommie

    “I think Republicans are really afraid that all of their fearmongering will end up not happening and they’ll look like assholes.”

    Their “cloaking device” failed around 1964.

    • George

      Republicans’ cloaking device must have failed when they passed the Civil Rights Act while democrats tried to block it. That must be it!

      But, on the subject of insurance, I think a lot of people don’t understand what the exchanges are all about. The big deal (for insurance purchasers) is that the exchanges offer a tax subsidy — the government will spot you some money on your tax return. But, some of the details are fuzzy. The exchange websites (and Kaiser Foundation subsidy calculator) factor the subsidy across your yearly payment, but in reality, the subsidy only applies in arrears on your tax return. For example, a family of 4 in TN making $50k/yr (two parents each working $25k/yr jobs and two kids), is quoted at $5936/yr ($494/mo) unsubsidized and $3365/yr ($280/mo) subsidized (accounts for $2571 annual subsidy).

      So, the family of 4 with two parents working $25k/yr jobs will still have to pay $494 each month for insurance, but will receive a tax credit of $2571 when they file their taxes. If they owe tax, the money comes out of that tax credit. We’re told that lower income people tend to spend money as soon as they get it (as opposed to higher income people, who tend to save and budget money over longer periods), so I don’t think that most of the people Obamacare targets will use that subsidy in the form of a tax credit to lower their monthly payments. Instead, they will see more expensive insurance (on a monthly basis) than they bought before, will have higher co-pays and co-insurance, and will have fewer provider choices.

      • That’s making a lot of assumptions which may or may not bear out in reality, including: neither parent receives insurance at their job; the insurance “they bought before” is exactly the same coverage as the insurance purchased through exchanges; how people will or won’t spend tax refund money; and finally the “fewer provider choices,” which is something RWers keep mentioning without ever explaining why they think this will be so. Because I have yet to visit a doctor who doesn’t take BlueCross/BlueShield, UnitedHealth, Cigna, etc.

        Basically the RWers arguments against Obamacare boil down to “boo!” without any real facts to back up their fearmongering about death panels and government intrusion in healthcare and whatnot. Sorry but I’m not buying it.

        No one says the healthcare law is perfect, and I have no doubt problematic areas will need to be tweaked, but Republicans have failed to make a case for repealing the law the same as they’ve failed to come up with their own alternative to it.

  11. Kyle

    They aren’t scared it will be a disaster. They’re scared it will be a huge success.

    This meme needs to be pounded home to friends and family like a pile driver.
    Republikkkans aren’t looking out for the country in opposing health care reform, they’re defending a broken ideology at the country’s expense.

  12. democommie

    Oh, goody, I see that Georgie is back with a fresh load of horseshit.

    “Republicans’ cloaking device must have failed when they passed the Civil Rights Act while democrats tried to block it. That must be it!”

    Nope, sorry Georgie. It was the former CSA who tried to block the legislation, almost totally. Of 126 House and Senate votes from the traitorous states of the CSA, 8 voted for passage, 118 voted against the bill.

    Racist traitors tried to torpedo the bill–and within a few years of its passage those same racist traitors, in a number of instances, switched parties.

    This:

    “By party and region[edit source]

    Note: “Southern”, as used in this section, refers to members of Congress from the eleven states that made up the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. “Northern” refers to members from the other 39 states, regardless of the geographic location of those states.

    The original House version:
    Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7–93%)
    Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0–100%)
    Northern Democrats: 145–9 (94–6%)
    Northern Republicans: 138–24 (85–15%)

    The Senate version:
    Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5–95%) (only Ralph Yarborough of Texas voted in favor)
    Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0–100%) (John Tower of Texas)
    Northern Democrats: 45–1 (98–2%) (only Robert Byrd of West Virginia voted against)
    Northern Republicans: 27–5 (84–16%)”

    is from Wiki but unless you’ve got a better source for the numbers, well, you’re full of shit. Or you’re just lying because you think that other people are as stupid as the average SKKKrotalMurKKKanPatriotiKKK Front pawn. I’ll go with you’re lying AND you’re full of shit.

    And this:

    “But, some of the details are fuzzy. The exchange websites (and Kaiser Foundation subsidy calculator) factor the subsidy across your yearly payment, but in reality, the subsidy only applies in arrears on your tax return. For example, a family of 4 in TN making $50k/yr (two parents each working $25k/yr jobs and two kids), is quoted at $5936/yr ($494/mo) unsubsidized and $3365/yr ($280/mo) subsidized (accounts for $2571 annual subsidy).”

    is an argument?

    You’re throwing out the $50K figure with no other data? What are their deductions? Do they own a home and pay a mortgage? Are they saving money, currently, in a Medical Savings Account? Are they paying student loans? Iow, do you have anything to work with besides a number you pulled out of your butt? You liberpublicans REALLY hate to show your work when it comes to backing up your breathless assertions about, well, anything. It is annoying on the one hand; otoh, it makes dismissing your talking points less problematic. Do all you KKKlowns hear voices?

    As you point out, Southern Beale, the ReiKKKwhiners are complaining about Obamacare being all smoke and mirrors (no large scale program EVER has data to look at BEFORE it starts) are using, um, smoke and mirrors to try to scare people away from it.

    Fuck off, Georgie.

    • It’s almost like Republicans want a pass for disenfranchising African American voters in 2012 because 150 years ago a Republican freed the slaves. As if the parties haven’t changed radically over the past few decades. I mean, seriously?

      • democommie

        Their real problem is that they think the rest of the nation is as braindead as the 27%ers who swallow everything they put out there as if it was manna from heaven. They don’t get that some of us know how to fisk their “arguments” and point and laugh.

      • That’s life inside the bubble. Then they lose presidential elections and wonder what the hell happened or conclude, hilariously, “I guess we weren’t conservative enough.” Yes, DO shut down the government and see how well that works for you guys this time.

    • George

      Thank you, democommie!! You made my point exactly!

      You said: “You’re throwing out the $50K figure with no other data? What are their deductions? Do they own a home and pay a mortgage? Are they saving money, currently, in a Medical Savings Account? Are they paying student loans? Iow, do you have anything to work with besides a number you pulled out of your butt? You liberpublicans REALLY hate to show your work when it comes to backing up your breathless assertions about, well, anything. It is annoying on the one hand; otoh, it makes dismissing your talking points less problematic. Do all you KKKlowns hear voices?”

      You’re pointing out one of the flaws of Obamacare — it makes its affordability assumptions based on gross income and doesn’t account for anything other living expenses you encounter. I used the $50k figure because that is at the top of the subsidy range. It represents the largest income you can have and still get a subsidy. It also represents what my friends and I saw growing up — a two-income family with hard working parents who make too much money for assistance, but too little money to do without assistance. The US Census tells us that this situation is much more common (35 times moreso) than the “single working mother” situation batted around in liberal circles. But, you can use whatever hypothetical you wish — just be sure to play it fair and include deductions, etc, in your example if you want me to use them in mine. (BTW, no one else, liberals, Obama, and mainstream media included, includes the info you’re asking for)

      The point I was making was that everyone who buys this insurance needs to read the fine print and be aware that the price that is shown in big bold print may not the amount you’re required to pay. You will probably pay something larger than that and have a single payment at the end of the year to even it up. If you don’t plan and budget accordingly, you could end up with something that uses up much more of your money than it did before.

      • The point I was making was that everyone who buys this insurance needs to read the fine print and be aware that the price that is shown in big bold print may not the amount you’re required to pay.

        Which is a radical departure from the system we have now exactly how?

        I think everyone needs to read the fine print and make sure that Obamacare doesn’t cause monkeys to fly out of your ass. It’s a very real maybe possibility. You should look into that.

        Pfft.

  13. George

    Reading the fine print is important in a number of things, but I think it needs to guide our conversation here. Using my hypothetical, the government is telling this family that they would pay only $280/mo for healthcare, but the check they’ll be required to write will be $494 (more than 1.5 times higher).

    It reminds me of income taxes when I was in high school. I worked part-time for $4/hr. Even in the summer (when I was logging 80+ hrs /wk), my yearly total wages were low enough that I owed no total tax. When I filed my federal taxes each year, I got a refund check for the entire amount of federal income taxes they took out of my paycheck. But, that tax amount still came out of my paycheck and I couldn’t use it.

    So, it’s a lot like Obamacare. Their “big bold print” said that I owed no tax, but that money still came out of my check and it was settled up at the end of the year. The “big bold print” of Obamacare says my premium will be lower, but it is actually higher and will be settled up at the end of the year.

    To your other point (about levels of coverage), according to a story on WSMV ( http://www.wsmv.com/story/23532308/estimates-show-tn-would-have-among-lowest-aca-premiums ) insurers are already cutting some hospitals from some plans. According to healthcare.gov, most silver plans have 70:30 co-insurance (after deductible is met, patient is responsible for 30% of covered items). Compare that to AHIP (US health insurance industry association) data showing that most plans of Obamacare’s silver level before ACA had 80:20 co-insurance.

    The data show that fewer options are available to patients at a higher cost with Obamacare.

    • The data show that fewer options are available to patients at a higher cost with Obamacare.

      That’s bullshit. The data shows no such thing.

      But, Georgietroll, if Obamacare is as awful as you RWers keep claiming it is, we’ll know soon enough. Just implement the damn thing. If it’s a disaster, then we won’t be arguing about maybes and what people might do and and what your data says and what my data says. We’ll know for sure.

      But no we can’t have that. Because we all know it’s going to be a big success. And the party of no will again have proved how unfit they are for government service.

      The reality is, most employers have said they will continue to offer health insurance for their employees. The few who’ve said they’ll drop coverage have gotten a lot of attention but they are a minority.

      • George

        Even the WSMV link reported that providers are offering fewer choices at higher prices. Just b/c a Dr. office or hospital says it accepts BCBS or something else doesn’t mean that your specific plan is accepted. We’re already seeing employer-sponsored plans skyrocketing in price, just to keep up with Obamacare requirements. Out-of-pocket costs, like deductibles and co-insurance, are also climbing, as a result of Obamacare.

        And your position is “let’s do this and if it tanks, a lot of people will be poor, in financial ruin, and in poor health. But, if it works, we’ll all have more expensive insurance.”

        Doesn’t really sound like a bargain.

  14. “It also represents what my friends and I saw growing up — a two-income family with hard working parents who make too much money for assistance, but too little money to do without assistance. The US Census tells us that this situation is much more common (35 times moreso) than the “single working mother” situation batted around in liberal circles.”

    Really, “single working mother”, do you even know how to read? I’m dead certain that Southern Beale and others who comment here NEVER posited that only single mothers could be in that situation. Nice strawlady ya got there. You do have a citation for that figure from the U.S. Census, yes?

    As for the $50K figure, where’s it coming from?

    This:

    ” Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), individuals who purchase insurance after January 1, 2014 through an Exchange will be eligible for subsidies for health insurance premiums and cost-sharing if their income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) — $89,00 for a family of four in 2011.” (source: http://101.communitycatalyst.org/aca_provisions/subsidies)

    says your figures are wrong. When you make assertions and provide no citation/data to back them up, reasonable people call, “bullshit”.

    This is why people can’t argue with ReiKKKwingers like , you, Georgie. You tend to make shit up.

    • George

      While you’re focusing on irrelevant minutia and avoiding the larger issue, I think you’ve highlighted one of the problems with Obamacare — no one has the same story. An article from CNN said that all subsidies stopped at $50k household income. An article from Mother Jones said that subsidies stopped at 400% of poverty level for a single person, not a household — number of people in your family didn’t matter. Your link says that number of people in your family DO matter. It’s hard to know which one is right.

      On the single working mother piece — that tired hypothetical is used all the time when it comes to insurance and wages. If that’s the example you want to use, you can use it. If not, you don’t have to use it.

      But, your problem is with the hypothetical I picked. So, which one would you pick? Why would you pick that one? Does picking a different hypothetical mean that the point of my example (understand what you have to pay and how the subsidy is disbursed) is any more or less true?

  15. Georgie:

    I don’t argue with liars and bullshit artists. You’re both. A citation does not run: “I read this somewhere.”. A citation runs, “This writer, this article or a link to same.”.

    In your universe, $39K is “irrelevant minutia”?

    Please send me a couple of envelopes stuffed with “irrelevant minutia”.

    This:

    “On the single working mother piece — that tired hypothetical is used all the time when it comes to insurance and wages.”

    is complete fucking bullshit and if you don’t know that by now, you’re too damned stupid to be driving a car or using any machinery.

    “But, your problem is with the hypothetical I picked.”

    No. I don’t have a problem with you making shit up, you do.

  16. George

    Demo, your arguing that I used the wrong hypothetical because I used the wrong info. So, I thought I might go back to the Kaiser Family Foundation subsidy calculator ( http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/ ). When I plug in info for TN ZIP 38138 and use a family of 4 (2 non-smoking adults and 2 non-smoking children), I get $0 subsidy for $89k. So, I stepped it down by $1k until a subsidy showed up. The highest even thousand dollar mark with a subsidy was $66k/yr ($44/yr subsidy) This is coming from the Kaiser Family Foundation subsidy calculator — I did NOT make it up. I encourage you to check it for yourself. So, I’m not sure where the $89k/yr subsidy mark you’re referring to comes from. The leading authority on subsidy calculation says that $67k/yr in 38138 gives you absolutely no subsidy.

    You were arguing that I chose the wrong income figure for my example. I said that I chose $50k/yr b/c it was the highest income at which one qualified for the subsidy (according to CNN). You said that I was wrong and that it was $89k/yr. When I went to the Kaiser Family Foundation subsidy calculator, it told me there was no subsidy at $67k/yr for the same hypothetical family of 4 living in 38138. The irrelevant minutia is that you were objecting to the reason that I picked the $50k/yr figure. I say that it doesn’t matter which figure is picked — the point is that as long as it is drawing a subsidy, there will be a difference in the pre- and post-subsidy number. Is that incorrect?

    So, to fix this example and make it more palatable to you, what value should we use? Should we use the $50k, $89k, $66k, or something else? If we use your $89k, we get $0 subsidy. But, you said we get a subsidy for that. You must be a fucking liar then.

  17. Georgie:

    Once again you demonstrate your stupidity.

    It appears you pulled the first number, $50K out of your ass. Or, maybe it’s the newer number.

    YOU don’t like Obamacare, don’t fucking use it. It’s pretty obvious from your previous comments that you’re a lieberpublican hybrid (most likely Poutyfaceous Teabaggus) and you would rather push for outlawing abortion (and if you’re like most teabaggers, contraception and sex ed) so that MORE babeez can be born to folks who can’t afford the children that they already have.

    You and some substantial fraction of the U.S. population have the notion that taking care of everybody who needs help is somehow wrong. Your premise is fucked up and everything else you think proceeds from there.

    Obamacare, much like AGW is something that you and a lot of other people don’t understand and, more importantly, don’t WANT to understand. Grow the fuck up.

  18. George

    I told you why I chose the $50k/yr value — it came right from a CNN article. When I plugged your $89k/yr value into the calculator, it told me that we both were wrong — $66k/yr was the highest income for a subsidy.

    So, are your opinions as invalid as you told me mine were, since your number wasn’t right, either?

    Let’s get back to the question I’ve posed twice now. For our example of how the Obamacare subsidy is handled, what value should we use? Should we use the $50k, $89k, $66k, or something else?

    On the topic of taking care of someone else — I totally support taking care of everybody. My family and I don’t have much money, but we donate money to Remote Area Medical ( http://www.ramusa.org/ ) every year. This group offers health, dental, and vision care to anyone who shows up at absolutely no cost to the patient. They offer their services around the world, but also have a robust program right here in the US. Many of their missions are in TN and they are based in Knoxville.

    What I don’t support is the government taking money from cash-strapped folks (middle class or otherwise) via higher taxes or expensive marketplace regulations in order to give it to its target demographic of choice. I want to help people, but I don’t think its right to forcibly take from others to do it. I don’t think its right to force my beliefs on others like that.

  19. George

    We established weeks ago that I’m not forcing my belief on anyone. You wanted to put words in my mouth about some religious thing that doesn’t exist, but it was obvious that you didn’t know what you were talking about.

    When you change everyone’s insurance system and levy taxes on the many, just to give your chosen few a payout, you most certainly are forcing your beliefs on others.

    Sorry, you can’t double dip.

    Fuck off.

  20. “We established weeks ago that I’m not forcing my belief on anyone.”

    Delusional gits will be delusional gits.

    Georgie, the one thing I really HATE about the internet is that it lets morons like you continue to spew the same completely debunked bullshit to whoever doesn’t put a “no dopes” firewall on their blog

    This:

    “Even the WSMV link reported that providers are offering fewer choices at higher prices. Just b/c a Dr. office or hospital says it accepts BCBS or something else doesn’t mean that your specific plan is accepted. We’re already seeing employer-sponsored plans skyrocketing in price, just to keep up with Obamacare requirements. Out-of-pocket costs, like deductibles and co-insurance, are also climbing, as a result of Obamacare.”

    is supposed to be some sort of evidence to back up your claim? No citation to any studies or white papers? It’s bullshit. You know it and, unfortunately for your, we also know it.

  21. I think we need a demoneologism for whatever it is that the SKKKrotalMurKKKanPatriotiKKK Front and its fellow slimetrailiers are doing when they come a’trollin’. They seem to confuse feelings with facts and “anecdotal evidence”/apocrypha with actual data. I think I’m going with apochridence (evidence of doubtful origin or veracity). My mind can be changed, but it usually costs some money.

    Case in point:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/27/ted-cruz-filibuster_n_4003947.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

    it would prolly bother me if I did something like what Cruz did, but then I’ve got morals AND a conscience–even though I’m an atheist.