Monday, January 28, 2013

Ha ha! Obama Sells You Out Again, Liberals

Stupidity has a great way of catching up to you. And the Democrats are nothing if not stupid. What now? Well, it turns out there’s a little known provision of Obamacare that nobody noticed which is freaking out the Democrats. What provision? You’re gonna love this.

Ok, before we continue, I want you to remember that Obama campaigned against big, nasty insurance companies to get Obamacare passed. Remember how those bad companies hurt people and deny them coverage and make coverage too expensive for people to afford? Yeah, that was the rhetoric. Woo hoo! Obama gonna git them big insurance companies! He’s my hero.

Now I want you to remember that the insurers mysteriously backed Obamacare. It’s one of those things science has no answer for, like lemmings heading to the ocean or how pigeons navigate without GPS. Oh... wait a minute... that’s right, they supported it because Obamacare forced 310,000,000 people to buy insurance. I knew it was something.

Anyway, it turns out it’s even better/worse than we thought. See, buried deep in the bowels of Obamacare, next to the legisphincter, is a little known provision that allows those same evil insurance companies to do the following:
● Charge oldsters “up to” three times (300%) what they charge their younger customers. Take that greedy, rich seniors!

● Charge smokers “up to” a 50% penalty on smokers.
“Up to” of course means “absolutely.”

Oh, and those “tax credits” you’re supposed to get to help pay for premiums can’t be used to offset the penalties. So sad. You can, however, reduce the cost of the smoking penalty if (1) you get your insurance through your employer AND (2) they offer a smoking cessation program (which I believe entails letting clowns touch your genitals every time you light up).

There doesn’t appear to be an old-age cessation program.

So here’s what can happen. Assume a 60-year-old smoker making a whopping $35,000 a year. That’s a prime Obama voter. Under the new Obamacare, this person’s premium based on age will be $10,172 a year. Factoring the “tax credits” Obamacare supposedly pays will drop to $3,325.

As an aside, those “tax credits” are a subsidy ($7,000) paid directly to the insurer by Uncle Sam... yes, the same insurer Obama claimed to vanquish.

Then the insurer adds the smoking penalty. That adds $5,086 to the bill, meaning our oldster will pay $8,411 out of pocket and Uncle Sam will pay $7,000 more to the insurer... money which could have gone to any number of good causes. Let’s hope the oldster doesn’t want a home, or food, or anything else really.

Now, the oldster can reduce the $5,086 if they like clowns, but even that is estimated to cost around $1,200 a year, and it will suck the life right out of you.

So much for Obama helping the poor, the middle class, the old, the uninsured. In fact, the only people who seem to benefit under this are insurance companies. . . and clowns.

28 comments:

T-Rav said...

I might have read this if I hadn't been distracted/freaked out by the clown pic. So....health care, or something?

AndrewPrice said...

You don't like clowns? Huh. Then I hope you're not a smoker! :P

tryanmax said...

Don't forget about the additional tax on so-called "Cadillac plans" which are defined not by the coverage they provide, but by the sticker price. If I understand everything correctly, these penalties, while providing no additional coverage, would raise the premium thereby potentially turning non-Cadillac plans automatically into Cadillac plans subject to the higher tax. So it's a win-win for the evil insurers and the government, but another lose for the individual. Unless he likes clowns a lot. Then I guess it's a win-win-win, after all.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Clowns will be key. :P

I haven't looked into the Cadillac plan thing, but I believe you are right.

Looking at this bill, I'm really amazed how brazen it is in terms of being a massive giveaway to insurers... purchase mandates on every American, massive subsidies from taxpayers paid directly to insurers, no real price controls, banning of competition from doctors, etc.

This bill is truly stunning in its crony-dacity.

El Gordo said...

Will the Republicans find a way to make political hay out of this? Sounds like a great opportunity for some righteous grandstanding.

K said...

I think the Republicans should help fix Obamacare. They should pass an immediate bill which requires all Congress critters, Senators and the President to use Obamacare insurance and none other.

Anthony said...

I am not shocked to learn that a mandate that everyone buy insurance which imposes no cost controls will not fix anything.

The US medical system has a lot of problems which need fixing, but no party seems to have an interest in fixing them.

Tennessee Jed said...

A prime example of what happens when government sticks it's nose into things. As a society, we ought to be interested in trying to make the costs of health care as low as possible. It has long since ceased being a mechanism known as insurance. Bring lawyers, guns, and money . . . . the sh*t has hit the fan.

remember the definitions of cost vs. price in discussions.

I remember when potus was first having his industry "task force" meetings. The evil insurance companies wanted to be inside the tent hissing out. Not sure what they are, or will become, but it has nothing to do with insurance . . . . sigh.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I have no problem with clowns, and in fact am rather annoyed by the whole "Aaaaahhhhh!!!!! Clowns are scary!" thing. I just happen to think that particular clown is creepy.

Let's not forget, there's also the fact that it's cheaper for a lot of people (like me) to simply pay the fine for not having insurance than to actually buy insurance; so many won't buy it until they get sick and have to. Anyone here think the system will hold up under that kind of stress?

BevfromNYC said...

I am sure no one here is very surprised that this was a huge give-away for the Insurance industry, oh, and Big Pharma too.

No one who wrote and/or signed this bill actually talked to healthcare professionals. Oh, they had medical students in lab coats who have no idea about the "business" of medicine out front and center. But no one actual talked/consulted any doctors who has to keep his/her doors open AND try to help his/her patients was seriously consulted.(and I don't count Rahm Emanuel's "Death Panel" brother OR the AMA). Most doctors do not belong to the AMA because the "doctors" who run it do not practice medicine or healing the sick. They practice politics...

And, just so you know, those non-existent "death panels" that Sarah Palin "yammered on" about? Well, here's something that may give you pause...the open talk of withholding treatment from smokers, the obese, the elderly, post-partum "abortions" (as we have discussed earlier) because they just cost too darn much...

In the UK -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/apr/28/doctors-treatment-denial-smokers-obese

In the US -
http://www.kwes.com/story/20712729/do-penalties-for-smokers-and-the-obese-make-sense

In Japan which has the largest per capita population of elderly over 100 -

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/22/elderly-hurry-up-die-japanese

Nah, it could never happen here they say...I think I'll put a downpayment on a lovely 1-bed/no bath iceburg just in case...

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, I doubt it. My guess is that most Republicans won't touch it because they themselves wanted to hand the system to the insurance providers and they won't see a problem with it.

Plus, even if they do try to exploit this, they'll probably whine about the budgetary cost instead of pointing out the cronyism.

AndrewPrice said...

K, Don't think the Republicans should fix anything. I think they should just criticize and force the Dems to fix whatever it is... and then keep finding ways to attack whatever fix the Dems have come up with.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, That's the problem. Obama's solution is a vile joke. The Republican solution is the same vile joke, only with a different jokester. Instead of handing the system to insurers through the government, as Obama wants, the Republicans want to hand the system to insurers by granting them a de facto monopoly.

No one is even considering actual reforms.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, This is not insurance. The health insurers have basically jammed themselves into the system as middle men. They charge you an annual fee to access the system. And as long as you don't exceed that fee by much, you can keep using them. The moment you exceed that fee, they drop you and it becomes your problem.

And this bill is all about (1) forcing people who won't play the game to play the game and (2) stealing vast subsidies from the government. It's a power play, pure and simple.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, No, the system won't hold it. It was "balanced" on a number of unreal assumptions. It assumes a vast number of people won't get insurance and will instead pay the fine. But there's no mechanism to make you pay the fine. So people will learn very quickly that they can just not pay this. They just need to adjust their taxes so they don't get a refund.

Secondly, the costs for the first five years of the program were balanced against the taxes taken in over the first ten years to make it balance. After that first five years of running, the thing will be twice as expensive as what it is expected to be -- and that's before the usual government factor of 3 times the cost comes in.

So it won't bringing the money they think and it will cost 300% what's expected and it's already under-funded by 50%. That spells doom.

But the insurers will get rich for the first 5-8 years while the program exists.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's exactly what's going to happen. You don't even need to look at Europe to see it. It's the logical conclusion of government control. The government cannot afford the plan. Its first measure will be to find cutbacks. In that regard, certain political goals will be protected, but everything else is fair game. And where the government always starts is with the people who cost the most (old people, the obese, smokers, drug users).

It also starts taking away little things it doesn't consider important, like pills for minor conditions or the number of visits you can make to your doctor.

If you look at Europe, particularly Britain, you'll see that they are starting to deny things like replacement joints and transplants to the obese, to the elderly and to smokers on the basis that they don't deserve it... "they aren't worth it." I've even read there is a debate now about doctors being allowed not only to deny old people treatment that could keep them alive, but not even tell the oldsters they are doing it!!

That's despicable, but it's the inevitable result of a government run system.

Kelly said...

Andrew, I think it goes against the conservative mindset to frame arguments as you do. I wish it didn't, but it does. Your argument above is the kind of thing I can use against liberals and they have no response except open mouths. But when the Republicans start talking, they sounds like they're reading from a college thesis or something and they talk in theory and fake outrages. They need to get a sense of humor.

Love the use of clowns, by the way. :D

BevfromNYC said...

Don't think the Republicans should fix anything.

K and Andrew - The only thing they should fix is to make the new laws apply to government workers/employees/elected officials right up to the WH and its occupants...we should insist.

Okay, I know this will never happen, but Repubs should at least pretend to try and make it happen and let the Dems shoot it down...they should introduce an Amendment to the Cosntitutuion that makes any laws or regulations to be retroactively applied to members of our government...no exceptions. No one gets exempted out legislation like Obamacare by Presidential fiat except by consent of Congress AND/OR by plebicite.

AndrewPrice said...

Kelly, I think the problem is a general misunderstanding of what politics is. Conservatives tend to see politics in a bubble. They see it as a profession with distinct rules and boundaries, much like a boxing match -- the fight only happens between the bells, you can only hit in certain areas, and only certain types of activities are allowed. And the goal is to knock the other guy down.

The Democrats understand that politics is more like WWE Wrestling. Most of the entertainment in WWE happens outside the ring. That's where the public is won over. Inside the ring, anything goes and all of it's fake... just for show. And the goal is simply to get people to watch.

This handicaps conservatives because they are playing by an outdated mindset that keeps them from using some of the most effective weapons and it makes them easy to trick/trap because they are highly predictable.

Mocking the other side's supporters for being taken as fools is not something conservatives think to do because they don't recognize derision as part of the political playbook... that's not "honorable."

AndrewPrice said...

Bev & K, Sorry, I misstated my thoughts. Yes, I like that idea - I like the Republicans pushing to make sure that all government workers and politicians be required to comply with all laws, especially Obamacare.

What I meant to say was, in terms of "fixing" problem, the Republicans need to stop helping. This is something that irked me from that (mis)leadership conference this weekend. They talked about needing to spend the next four years protecting the country from the worst parts of the Democratic agenda. Good God, stop!! Stop trying to protect the country from the Democrats. All we do is make their ideas more palatable and give them cover... we become the bad guys and we absorb the blame. The Republicans need to let Democratic laws like Obamacare wreck havoc on the country so that people are protesting in the streets to repeal the things.

Being the stupid party is getting really old.

Kit said...

"This handicaps conservatives because they are playing by an outdated mindset that keeps them from using some of the most effective weapons and it makes them easy to trick/trap because they are highly predictable."

I don;t really think it is outdated. "Outdated" assumes that it once happened.

AndrewPrice said...

True, it's probably better called a "false nostalgia view" for a time that never existed.

DUQ said...

Andrew, I'm glad I don't smoke, and that I'm not a clown. :D

I think conservatives need to get better at pointing these things out as you've done here. The Democrats' supporters need to be confronted with these things. Calling Obama a socialist doesn't do anything, pointing out how he's sold them out will.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, This could be a great opportunity for you if you're a clown. :)

I agree. I think conservatives are doing the rhetorical all wrong. They're basically reinforcing the idea that the Democrats are genuine, when they should be undermining it.

rlaWTX said...

[1] creepy clown - even creepier than normal clowns or than clowns normally are)

[2] I am even gladder than usual that I am not a smoker (and not just because I don't like clowns)

[3] did they keep that whole "pay the penalty and wait til the last second to get insurance" bit? If so, that's my new plan. (as soon as my job goes away in May)
I figure that I have have had pretty good health insurance for the last 7 years that I have used maybe twice and when it goes away my health is going to crater...

[4] I really hate TOTUS... for so many reasons... upside: now I can blame creepy clowns on him too!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, The clown is from IT, which is why he's creepy.

LOL! I'm glad you're not a smoker either!

Sorry to hear your job is going away. :( Yes, you can just pay the fine (or not pay it as you choose) and get coverage when you get sick.

Yep, TOTUS is to blame for creepy clowns!

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

-- "So much for Obama helping the poor, the middle class, the old, the uninsured. In fact, the only people who seem to benefit under this are insurance companies. . . and clowns."

I guess it's time for me to enroll in a clown college, then! lol

Individualist said...

"There doesn’t appear to be an old-age cessation program."

Dr Kervorkian was unfortunately not aviailable for consultation as teh bill was being passed...

or maybe that is not so unfortunate

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