Still can't get Obamacare. Will you have to pay the penalty for not doing what cannot be done?

Republicans made a big mistake opposing ObamaCare. If they had just done nothing, the beast would die on its own. There is a story today about CNN’s Senior Medical Correspondent trying for two weeks to sign up for ObamaCare, w/o success. Presumably this is an intelligent woman with computer skills What chances does the average ObamaCare recipient have?

This is not surprising. ObamaCare is a complex and contradictory dog pile of laws and regulations enacted by people who admitted that they didn't know what they were doing. They made it mandatory for people to sign up for something that is unavailable.

This is nothing really new for government. Fuel makers are required to blend cellulose ethanol into the gasoline products. Unfortunately, cellulose ethanol is not available in the quantities needed - at any price - since the process to make it has yet to be invented. The regulators won't let a little thing like reality stand in the way, so producers must regularly pay fines for not doing what they cannot do.

Actually they are being fined because they do not live in the world dreamed up for them by liberals. It is tough to live in reality. For liberals, reality is a far away place, about which they know little and they inflict pain on any firm that must face reality.

ObamaCare will pass this pain on to average folks. They will be unable to understand or get ObamaCare, but they will be required to do so by law. Since they cannot get what cannot be gotten, they will violate the law and have to pay fines.

So you have the right to ObamaCare, but you cannot get it. But you are required to get it, so you have to pay a fine if you don't. That is really generous of liberals to create something great like this. It costs a lot and doesn't really do anything, but you have to take it anyway. Actually, sounds a lot like liberals themselves.

Maybe we got ObamaCare all wrong. Maybe Obama never intended to offer real insurance to anybody, but just came up with a new way to tax people and blame them for not cooperating with his wonderful programs. This sounds like something Obama would think up, doesn't it?

Posted by Christine & John at October 15, 2013 6:00 AM
Comments
Comment #372756

Our open enrollment is done and I guess the Republicans have gotten their way. I just signed up for the HSA. Actually I considered the move last year but our PPO plan was too good of a deal. But that was last year and this year I’ll have a $6800 deductible with 100% in-network coverage after that. I’m going to fund my HSA to the max for the first couple of years and hope that I don’t need to use too much of the money. Then I can use some of the conservative investments available to grow a cushion. My company contributes $1500/yr so there’s plenty there for rountine tests and scripts.

The common ground between Republicans and Democrats was always universal catastrophic coverage with private gap insurance, self insure via HSA’s, or subsidy based on need. Maybe this mess will make that approach a reality. It already has pushed me to the HSA.

Posted by: George in SC at October 15, 2013 9:11 AM
Comment #372757

“The common ground between Republicans and Democrats was always universal catastrophic coverage with private gap insurance, self insure via HSA’s, or subsidy based on need.”

So obvious but so difficult to achieve.

I suspect that opposition comes from the health care industry which would come under a lot of consumer pressure to reduce costs.

There is also a legitimate argument that such a system would result in a reduction of appropriate early medical intervention due to high out of pocket costs during the high deductible phase. You don’t want people with high blood pressure, diabetes or other chronic conditions avoiding treatment.

In any case, George in SC, it is a workable framework that should receive much more attention.

Posted by: Rich at October 15, 2013 9:35 AM
Comment #372758

You add in preventive screenings at 100%. Here’s a detailed plan along these lines:

http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-health-insurance-solution

Posted by: George in SC at October 15, 2013 10:23 AM
Comment #372761

Silly people, the ACA was promoted as providing HC for everyone. The reality is it’s nothing more than another government Ponzi scheme for the purpose of putting an increased 17% of the wealth of the nation into another slush fund for politician’s pet projects. It is turning out that everything Obama said ACA would do is another series of lies. So the congressman who called Obama a liar is once again vindicated.

It appears that IT guys from inside and outside DC are saying the ACA computer glitches are nothing more than part of a plan to sign people up without informing them of how much this will cost them.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 15, 2013 1:38 PM
Comment #372762

I believe that it is already law that high deductible insurance must offer preventive screenings and annual physicals with no out of pocket costs. But, even with that, ongoing out of pocket costs for chronic illness care is a disincentive for many.


Posted by: Rich at October 15, 2013 1:39 PM
Comment #372766

This sounds like something Obama would think up, doesn’t it?
Posted by Christine & John at October 15, 2013 6:00 AM

Yes indeed.

The White House was asked how many people had signed up for ACA. The answer was…”we don’t know.”

I believe them. They don’t know. And, they also don’t know who qualifies or doesn’t for the subsidy. They don’t know how much the program will cost taxpayers beyond what subscribers pay. It’s all guesswork done by bureaucrats. The CBO can’t score it as it is constantly changing.

What a mess.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 15, 2013 2:48 PM
Comment #372768

You finally lost patience with it?

LOL.

Let’s see how this develops.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 15, 2013 3:07 PM
Comment #372770

You know, it’s funny, C&J. You really can’t get much attention for Obamacare’s problems when you’ve already sucked all the oxygen out of the room with the extravagance of your threat to continue a government shutdown and force a default.

Your policy failure is much bigger, much worse than computer glitches for Obamacare. Nobody’s going to remember what happened with Obamacare in its first month if the default actually occurs, much less if it lasts.

And this whole thing will not come about because America couldn’t afford it, it will come about because the Republicans in Congress could not get their stuff together.

By the way, I recently experienced a big changeover of a software system with my workplace. It was a huge effort, and there were major glitches. Fast forward a month or two, and things are running fine. I do not see much profit in panicking about a policy. If the first draft doesn’t work perfectly, rewrite it so it works better.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 15, 2013 3:20 PM
Comment #372772

All of this misses the point that each state was supposed to fund its own competitive exchange. Those exchanges were funded by the government, advertising and public awareness funds were available, and navigators to help individuals sign up were available as well. The people going onto the federal site go there because they have been forced to by their own state. Many states, such as Virginia, intentionally sought to sabotage by refusing to set up competitive exchanges within their own states. When their big chance to push states rights came along, the conservatives punted.

Too bad about the problems with the federal site. In the future, don’t live in such a crappy state, or better yet, vote out the bastards that refused to set up an exchange.

In Oregon, the site is just now going up. Months ago, it was announced the site would go up in mid-October, and now, here we are. I will go there soon. If it looks good, I will sign up. If it does not make economic sense, I will pay the fee.

Posted by: phx8 at October 15, 2013 3:38 PM
Comment #372774

If it (ACA) looks good, I will sign up. If it does not make economic sense, I will pay the fee.
Posted by: phx8 at October 15, 2013 3:38 PM

I am certain that our Founders would be slapping each other on the back for creating a Democratic Republic that gave individuals such limited choice.

You can sign up for a government plan that makes no “economic sense” or pay a fee. WOW…great choices. America…what a country.

If obamacare is allowed to stand, I am quite certain that the American people will be treated to more great individual choices by government tyrannical edicts.

Buy the government approved automobile or pay a fee…
Reduce your individual carbon footprint or pay a fee…
Keep your children in failing schools or pay a fee….
Forfeit your handguns and rifles or pay a fee….

I invite my conservative friends to add to my limited list.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 15, 2013 4:21 PM
Comment #372781

Royal Flush,
You misunderstand. No one is signing up for a government plan. The exchanges consist of private health care insurers competing against one another. For people who cannot afford fees, such as the homeless, the deeply impoverished, and the incarcerated, the fee is waived.

Posted by: phx8 at October 15, 2013 4:53 PM
Comment #372792
By the way, I recently experienced a big changeover of a software system with my workplace. It was a huge effort, and there were major glitches. Fast forward a month or two, and things are running fine. I do not see much profit in panicking about a policy. If the first draft doesn’t work perfectly, rewrite it so it works better.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 15, 2013 3:20 PM

Obama has had 3 years to set this up. Tell us Daugherty, how long would your “workplace” IT Department be employed if after 3 years it still didn’t work?

Nah, don’t bother to answer. It would take you too long to try to justify why the system doesn’t work. Consider it a rhetorical question.

The exchanges consist of private health care insurers competing against one another.

phx8, what happens when the Insurance Companies pull up stakes and leave the state? As they are doing…

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 15, 2013 5:56 PM
Comment #372798

Stephen

“You know, it’s funny, C&J. You really can’t get much attention for Obamacare’s problems when you’ve already sucked all the oxygen out of the room with the extravagance of your threat to continue a government shutdown and force a default.” This is what I have said too. Republicans made a mistake.

Otherwise ObamaCare’s problems would be much more evident.

ObamaCare is unworkable. It will take a major revision to make it work at all. It was a system enacted in haste by people who did not understand what they were doing.

Posted by: CJ at October 15, 2013 6:22 PM
Comment #372800

“You can sign up for a government plan that makes no “economic sense” or pay a fee. WOW…great choices. America…what a country.”

Royal Flush,

Purchase of private individual health insurance in a large market (exchanges) makes no “economic sense”? Aside from your distaste for Obama, what doesn’t make economic sense?

About the “or pay a fee,” what do you propose to assure that everybody is in the pool? Do you want to continue funding emergency care for anybody that doesn’t have health insurance through general taxes and higher premiums on those carrying health insurance?

The whole concept of a tax “soft mandate” combined with government subsidy for low incomes was promoted by conservatives (see Heritage Foundation presentation before Congress in 2001) as a means of integrating individual responsibility with collective government assistance in achieving universal health care.

I am not a great advocate of Obamacare. There are better solutions. George in SC presented one in an earlier post. However, it is better than the system we currently have. It works in MA and will work nationwide once the glitches get worked out.

Posted by: Rich at October 15, 2013 6:27 PM
Comment #372801

If the Tea Party conservatives in the House have done nothing else, they have certainly brought Obamacare to light. Daugherty justifies he glitches in the system; but the real question is, if Obamacare can’t even get their computer system working…how will they ever handle the load sick people. It will never work. This is what happens when you put community organizers in charge of capitalism.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 15, 2013 6:32 PM
Comment #372802

“It was a system enacted in haste by people who did not understand what they were doing.”

C&J,

It is a wonder that any aspect of Obamacare has been enacted. Republicans have made it their single issue to sabotage at every opportunity. Odd, but only if you don’t think in terms of gutter politics, since Obamacare is modeled after Romneycare, the signature achievement of their own presidential candidate.

Republicans first opposed a national exchange for unknown reasons since on the other side of their mouths they were promoting “across state line” national sales. As a result, only state exchanges could be enacted. OK, but Republicans played their next card, opt out of state run exchanges forcing the Feds to run a whole bunch of separate state exchanges. Complicate the task of the Feds. Sweet!

Posted by: Rich at October 15, 2013 6:44 PM
Comment #372803

Rich asks; “what doesn’t make economic sense?”

I used that phrase from: “If it looks good, I will sign up. If it does not make economic sense, I will pay the fee.”
Posted by: phx8 at October 15, 2013 3:38 PM

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 15, 2013 6:45 PM
Comment #372804

Royal Flush,

So, what are you saying? The fee should be raised? Or are you saying that a private market place for individual health insurance can’t be economically feasible?

Posted by: Rich at October 15, 2013 6:50 PM
Comment #372805

When Congress persons choose to damage the economy, the nation, and millions upon millions of Americans, TODAY, rather than simply vote to fund the government and pay our debts, more than all others, these Congress persons deserve to be voted out of office. If they wanted to represent their local constituency, they should have run for State or County government.

The U.S. Congress is charged with representing the interests of ALL Americans and their nation as a whole. These extremists sabotaging our nation are NOT representing America, or its national interests. Their actions are Anti-American. Al-Queda must be thrilled that these radicals are about accomplish what Al-Queda wished they could, bring the American economy to its knees.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 15, 2013 6:53 PM
Comment #372811

An example of economic sense re health care insurance:

Right now, my wife and I are uninsured, 56, and healthy. This year, we will probably have medical expenses in the vicinity of $4000, due to the minor stuff and one visit to the emergency room for my wife. Last year, we spent less.

Insurance would cost a great deal more, assuming I could find an insurer that would overlook pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, as insurance currently exists, there are co-pays, deductibles, and caps on treatment which also have to be considered.

In summary, under the current health care insurance system, we would have to have a catastrophic accident or illness each and every year for insurance to even make sense.

Under Obamacare, we will be accepted, regardless of pre-existing conditions. There will be free preventative care, a choice on deductibles depending on the plan selected, and no caps on treatment for catastrophic insurance. In other words, good insurance, the way it ought to be. I would be willing to pay more for such insurance under Obamacare than under the current system (assuming I could get it). I am pretty sure I would not be eligible for subsidies, but I have questions about that. My ‘income’ is strange, only short-term capital gains… It’s a long story…

Anyway, I will post a comment after looking into enrollment.

Posted by: phx8 at October 15, 2013 7:08 PM
Comment #372814

Royal Flush,

So, what are you saying? The fee should be raised? Or are you saying that a private market place for individual health insurance can’t be economically feasible?
Posted by: Rich at October 15, 2013 6:50 PM

Ask phx8, it’s his quote.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 15, 2013 7:41 PM
Comment #372815

Rich

Republicans did not cooperate because they thought the law was unworkable. And they were right. It was too comprehensive.

A big thing like this needs to be enacted a little at time, then adjusted. Revolutionary changes almost always come to grief. This was too revolutionary.

Some things just cannot be done, even if a majority wants them. It is even worse in this case, since a majority opposes the law and always has.

Re the fine - you can raise it if you want. If people cannot figure out how to sign up, they will be screwed. It is typical of the Obama folks to set up a situation where they punish people for doing or not things that are beyond their control.

Posted by: CJ at October 15, 2013 7:48 PM
Comment #372816

The fee increases each year for three years. Like virtually all Americans, my wife and I want health care insurance, but we want insurance that is fair and affordable. Before the ACA, insurance was too expensive and unfair in many ways. The Affordable Care Act has changed that. Based on what I know from preliminary quotes, it will be eminently sensible to sign up for insurance.

Posted by: phx8 at October 15, 2013 8:05 PM
Comment #372819

phx8, what do you consider affordable? This law is based on the normative concept of “affordable”. The President said “cheaper than your cell bill” the other day so that might be the target he has in mind. If so then, based on what I’ve seen, not many people are going to get close without massive subsidy.

But how much are you willing to spend in 2014 for insurance? Would you pay $4k/year, or would you pay $285 fine? Is $4k affordable?

Posted by: George in SC at October 15, 2013 8:41 PM
Comment #372821

George in SC,
Great question. I would definitely pay $4k/year, and probably quite a bit more, and still feel that was fair. One of these days- or years- my wife will need a hip replacement. It runs at least $18k out of pocket without insurance. Under the current system, between the deductible and the monthly premiums, we would have to undergo the equivalent of a hip replacement operation every year for insurance under the current system to make sense. In addition, it could be considered a pre-existing condition, so there would be the risk of denial of coverage too. As for myself, I would like to do a routine preventative procedure that would be @ $2k without insurance, but would either be free or subject to a nominal deductible under the ACA.

I have seen your comments on your insurance situation, but I have to admit, I do not understand what is going on.

Posted by: phx8 at October 15, 2013 9:43 PM
Comment #372822
Based on what I know from preliminary quotes

Phx8, if you have preliminary quotes, then you are doing better than the rest of the people who have tried to log on to government HC.

When Congress persons choose to damage the economy, the nation, and millions upon millions of Americans, TODAY, rather than simply vote to fund the government and pay our debts, more than all others, these Congress persons deserve to be voted out of office. If they wanted to represent their local constituency, they should have run for State or County government.

So why are the Congressmen/women called representatives? I have asked this question before, with no answer, but I will try it again; let’s say Nancy Pelosi votes WITH House Republicans to repeal obamacare…what would be the response of Pelosi’s constituents…and would they be justified in being pissed off at her for betraying their core beliefs? See, it’s fine for Republicans to betray their constituents, whom they represent; but it’s not fine for Democrats to betray their constituents. Am I the only one who see’s a double standard?

The U.S. Congress is charged with representing the interests of ALL Americans and their nation as a whole.

No, the representatives are charged with representing the people who voted them in office. By your thinking, I have the right to expect Harry Reid to represent my interests.

These extremists sabotaging our nation are NOT representing America, or its national interests. Their actions are Anti-American. Al-Queda must be thrilled that these radicals are about accomplish what Al-Queda wished they could, bring the American economy to its knees.

This kind of language is the reason we have a complete breakdown in the government. Why does your side have to result in calling people “extremists”, “Anti-American”, Al-Qaeda”, or if we parrot the rest of the Democrat talking points we could say “Terrorists” or “Terrorists who strap bombs to themselves”?

We can turn on the MSM and listen to the news people or the Democrats being interviewed; or we can turn on CSPAN and watch Democrats on the House or Senate floor, or we can listen to one of Obama’s daily speeches refer to Republicans as extremist, anti-American, Al-Qaeda, or terrorists. What benefit is there for us to listen to the talking heads on WB parrot the same talking points?

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 15, 2013 9:54 PM
Comment #372824

Not to change the topic thread, but how many other commenters are getting sick and tired of the fear-mongering and misinformation regarding a government default?

It’s an unequivocal, Class-A, false narrative.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at October 15, 2013 10:45 PM
Comment #372825

If you look at the political rhetoric, i.e. terrorist, anti-American, extremists; and you combine that with Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”, you will understand why the left uses the personal attacks and fear mongering. It’s the nature of the beast.

The government may be in a so-called shutdown, but it hasn’t stopped taxes from being collected each day or week. What happens to the $200 billion plus that is collected? I guess we will have to stop printing money out of thin air and I guess someone in DC will finally have to figure out what needs to be paid. It took Obama giving threatening speeches of the collapse of the Stock Market to finally get a point drop. I predict we will get up on Thursday morning and the United States will still be here. No one in flyover land really cares about the crisis.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 15, 2013 11:23 PM
Comment #372830

What is going on PH is that large employers like mine are making substantial changes in health benefits for 2014. Some of the changes are in direct response to the ACA (increased premiums and plan changes) and some of them are indirectly linked (surcharge for spouses).

We started the HSA option two years ago, and in 2013 we had 17% participation. So far this year it’s around 65% including me, and I assume that will be a trend for companies that offer the HSA option with a company match (my match was $1500). Companies are already adjusting their plans between the minimum coverages now required by the ACA and where the Cadillac tax will kick in cost wise. That hits people both ways as plans are being trimmed down and premiums contributions are being increased on the top end, and minimal plans popular with dual covered employees have been eliminated. Oh and the plan surcharge that takes effect in 2014 cost my company over $500k based on number of employees and 30% of that was passed on to us.

The key point is that Obama’s promise to folks like me that we could keep what we had isn’t happening, and with the start of open enrollment people are starting to realize that. I know I have.

Posted by: George in SC at October 16, 2013 9:51 AM
Comment #372839

Priceless:

Delaware gets its first marketplace enrollee

After multiple tries, Selbyville woman signs up for insurance


By Kelly Bothum

The News Journal

It took seven hours of waiting on the phone and sitting in front of her comput¬er, but Janice Baker can claim some¬thing few people in Delaware can at the moment – she’s signed up for health cov¬erage through the state’s insurance mar¬ketplace.

Officials from the Delaware Depart¬ment of Health and Social Services de¬clared Baker the first confirmed resi¬dent to have enrolled in the marketplace, which opened Oct. 1 as part of the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The marketplace aims to help an esti¬mated 90,000 Delawareans without health insurance, along with anyone hop¬ing for a better deal on coverage, find a plan to meet their needs.

But crossing the marketplace finish line – where the prize is a chance at af¬fordable health coverage – was more of a marathon than a sprint for Baker, 59, who owns the Heavenly Hound Hotel in Selbyville along with her husband, Jo¬seph.

It required repeated effort online and over the phone – frustrating experiences shared by millions across the country who tried to sign up, only to be sent away because of overwhelming demand and glitches in the www.healthcare.gov web¬site.

“I started looking right at Oct. 1. I had

See HEALTH, Page A2

________________________________________


Janice Baker, 59, is the first person in Delaware confirmed to have enrolled in the state’s health insurance marketplace.

JOE LAMBERTI/THE (SALISBURY, MD.) DAILY TIMES
Article Continued Below
________________________________________
See HEALTH on Page A02
Health: Delays before enrollment

Continued from Page A1

made several attempts online to enroll and activate my membership. I could not get in to save my life,” said Baker, who shared her story with media Tuesday afternoon.

She switched to the phone, dialing the tollfree number set up by the government. But after 1 1 ⁄ 2

hours on the phone, her sign-up attempts were for naught when the representative’s computer locked up. If that wasn’t enough, the same thing happened the next time she called.

It wasn’t until Baker went online after clearing her computer’s Internet browsing history, cookies and other temporary data – a suggestion found on the www.healthcare.gov site – that she had success.

“Right after that, I was able to apply,” Baker said. “It might not be the government computers, it may be your own sitting in front of you.” Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, acknowledged there have been glitches in the sign-up process over the past two weeks. Upgrades to the system and the implementation of troubleshooting suggestions like the one Baker tried should reduce the problem, she said. And thanks to a change in the website, visitors can explore their health coverage options and potential costs before setting up an account.

“My thought is now that we have Janice, we’re going to see more and more people successfully getting through the screens and getting through the enrollment,” Landgraf said. Under the new law, everyone is required to have health insurance by 2014 – or pay increasing fines. In addition to the phone and online options, marketplace guides are available to help people navigate the sign-up process. Landgraf said more than 1,000 people have contacted the marketplace guides in Delaware, though it’s not known how many have gone through the enrollment stage. Despite the snafus, Baker said she’s grateful for the chance to buy insurance on the marketplace. Previously, she had been paying $1,600 a month for a company insurance policy for her and her husband. But after her husband was approved for his own coverage, she had to find her own.

During her hunt, Baker was turned down three times because of what she called minor pre-existing health conditions. No one may be turned away from the new marketplace plans because of a pre-existing condition.

Under Baker’s new plan, she will be paying $700 a month for individual coverage, almost $150 less than the cost of her previous coverage.

That makes the wait on the phone and the frustrations online worth it, she said.

“I was thrilled to be able to have this happen,” Baker added. “This is so much better than the policy before. I was very impressed.”

Contact Kelly Bothum at (302) 324-2962 or kbothum@delawareonline.com.

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf (left) was on hand when Selbyville resident Janice Baker became the first confirmed enrollee in Delaware under the Affordable Care Act. COURTESY OF DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Find answers to your questions about the Affordable Care Act at delawareonline.com/ obamacare. Enrollment in Delaware’s health insurance marketplace runs Oct. 1- March 31, 2014.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at October 16, 2013 5:30 PM
Comment #372840

$700/mo sounds about right for a single policy with no employer contribution or Government subsidy. Again once folks start figuring out what “affordable” really is there might be some sticker shock. Kudos to Ms. Baker

Posted by: George in SC at October 16, 2013 5:49 PM
Comment #372842

George in SC,

If you read the full article, you would find that the person (Ms. Baker) was thrilled with the coverage under the state exchange since it cost her less than her previous policy and provided more coverage. It was kudos by Ms. Baker to Obamacare.

Posted by: Rich at October 16, 2013 6:44 PM
Comment #372844

Obamacare saved her $1800 per year? Nice.

Posted by: phx8 at October 16, 2013 7:12 PM
Comment #372846

Rich I read the whole article thank you. Kudos to Ms. Baker for saving money and I was not negative towards Obamacare. My point was in reference to my earlier post: what do people think is affordable?

Obviously Ms. Baker thinks this is affordable since she saved her $150/mo. over what she was paying. But this entire law was named “affordable” and I wonder if people who do not have insurance, the main target of the legislation, will think that $700/mo is affordable? Or will they just pay the $95 (this year) fine? That’s where PHX8 is right now and I’m sure others are debating this too.

This is the entire reason the fed site is so slow by the way. They make you sign up and provide financial information (taking bandwith and disc space) so that they can show you the subsidized prices and not the full ride price. That way you don’t get sticker shock.

Posted by: George in SC at October 16, 2013 7:27 PM
Comment #372847

My apologizes if I took your post the wrong way.

I do think, however, that you are wrong about the reason for financial information from the applicants. It is not to hide the full cost but rather to minimize fraud. Remember, this is an insurance application process involving federal subsidy. The system is having its difficulties primarily in the financial verification area which requires complicated links with other data basis to verify the information. The Senate compromise CR being voted upon tonight contains additional provisions for verification. It is an important issue. Not defending the Obamacare web site. However difficult and complicated, it should have been up and running with only minor glitches.

I basically agree with you, though about the whole “sticker” price issue. Most Americans don’t appreciate the full cost of their employer group policies. They only see their portion which is a fraction of the total cost. They also don’t appreciate that it is highly subsidized by the federal government. Federal tax expenditures for employer group insurance (ESI) is by far the largest tax expenditure of the federal government. “it reduces federal and state tax revenues by $260 Billion per year and is the government’s third largest expenditure on health care, after Medicare ($400 Billion) and Medicaid ($300 Billion.” http://www.nber.org/bah/2010no1/w15766.html

Frankly, the full cost of health insurance is frightening. “Affordable” is a relative term. But, that only leads us to the cost of health care provision. The escalation in health care costs and pricing is astounding.

At some point, we will begin to work together to solve this problem. We will have no choice. Your suggestion in the first post in this thread is a start toward some common ground.


Posted by: Rich at October 16, 2013 8:36 PM
Comment #372869

Rich, I got that from this story:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/14/obamacares-website-is-crashing-because-it-doesnt-want-you-to-know-health-plans-true-costs/

A key stat from Open Enrollment season this year will be how many people, like me, choose their company’s Consumer Driven plan with the HSA if offered. Last year it was 11% of covered workers (17% in my company). I’m betting it will be much higher in 2013 and more press will be given, good and bad, to HSAs.

Posted by: George in SC at October 17, 2013 1:41 PM
Comment #372873

Password glitch plaguing federal site for the first 10 days, has been fixed. All glitches will be fixed long before the enrollment deadline arrives. This is a big deal for its frustration factor for consumers and of course, Republicans who dream of Democrat glitches proliferating with everything they touch, much as Democrats do of Republicans. What’s wrong with this country is not government, its political parties.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 17, 2013 2:58 PM
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