Progressives having it both ways (and I'm a progressive, but chagrined!)

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Sorry, but I just don't think we can have this both ways...we can't, on the one hand, rail against the economic tyranny of the giant corporations, and on the other hand, spew forth praise about the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/06/28/hospital-stocks-jump-after-obamacare-ruled-constitutional

It seems hospital stocks jumped after the Act passed...hmm, wonder why.

Here's an interesting paragraph citing some reactions to the Mandate...

Writing in the Huffington Post, Michael Moore criticized mandates as part of a "massive government bailout for the insurance industry."[39] On FireDogLake, Jane Hamsher called it "lemon socialism."[40] Consumer Watchdog (CWD) writes, "Requiring people to buy unaffordable and unreliable insurance policies is not the solution to the health care crisis;"[41] CWD's John Simpson added, "Mandating that everyone must buy insurance from private companies simply guarantees huge profits for the industry."[42] Interviewed on Democracy Now!, Ralph Nader said people are "being forced to buy junk insurance policies" and called the bill's imminent enactment "a disaster."[43]

Folks, I earn $9.50/hr. I simply cannot afford health insurance. Since that puts me at about 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, I don't qualify for Medicaid. Under this plan, I will now be forced to hand over $1,365 a year to a private health care provider. Frankly, the only Progessives I can see supporting this plan must own stock in health care corporations.

klepssydra's picture
klepssydra
Joined:
Mar. 20, 2012 6:27 pm

Comments

You don't have to buy coverage. The fine is unenforcible. If you come down with something you can then purchase coverage to pay for treatment, then cancel the policy after the course of treatment is over. Policies are monthly, so you only need to pay for a month or two a year for physicals, medication, x-rays, preventative [colonoscopy, mamograms, etc.] Just keep switching from policy to policy. The coverage for serious illness also provides for the documentation necessary for SSDI - Social Security Disability Income, which is usually unavailable to uncovered disabled citizens. There are also different states with different Medicaid standards [TX allows you to die], so you might be able to adjust seasonally between civilized states [Vermont] and hell [Texas].

This is a good thing, because it's better than what was, better than status quo. It's not as good as it could be, nor as good as it will be.

Rule of thumb: If the other side is screaming you are winning. The more severe the tantrums the bigger the win. If the church is against a movie, it's worth seeing. If fox agrees with your position reevaluate your position. If you agree with fox, check in to a hospital or seek a mental health professional.

douglaslee's picture
douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

You are not going to get me or any other Progressive to praise the plan concocted by the Heritage Foundation, pitched by Newt and implemented by Mitt where Teddy helped make universal access important.

You are not going to get me (inclusive above) to praise the process or the negotiating strategy followed in the path to the rebirth of Romneycare as Obamacare. Too many corporate Dems got in the way of Single Payer despite its strong popular support. The idea of bipartisan rationality from GOPimps is now considered naivete to the point of idiocy. Content does not matter when it is all about the brand.

We already pay indirectly for the uncovered at the ER. We will pay less when we pay it directly into the risk pool instead of to cover the high costs of ER visits. You do not have to be compassionate to see the value of the universal risk pool to your own budget. However, it does help keep the resentment and the self-justification from blurring your vision.

Making the pirates behave like business people is a start. Having them find honest employment would be a great next step. Technicians who want to apply for public sector jobs managing Single Payer are welcome.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am
Quote douglaslee:

You don't have to buy coverage. The fine is unenforcible. If you come down with something you can then purchase coverage to pay for treatment, then cancel the policy after the course of treatment is over. Policies are monthly, so you only need to pay for a month or two a year for physicals, medication, x-rays, preventative [colonoscopy, mamograms, etc.] Just keep switching from policy to policy. The coverage for serious illness also provides for the documentation necessary for SSDI - Social Security Disability Income, which is usually unavailable to uncovered disabled citizens. There are also different states with different Medicaid standards [TX allows you to die], so you might be able to adjust seasonally between civilized states [Vermont] and hell [Texas].

Well, it's actually a tax, not a fine (a distinction without a difference? unfortunately, no). Here's the nuts and bolts of it...

"Effective by January 1, 2014

Impose an annual tax of $95, or up to 1% of income, whichever is greater, on individuals who do not secure insurance; this will rise to $695, or 2.5% of income, by 2016. This is an individual limit; families have a limit of $2,085.[27][86] Exemptions to the tax in cases of financial hardship or religious beliefs are permitted.[27] On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that this penalty "must be construed as imposing a tax on those who do not have health insurance." According to the Supreme Court, Congress does not have the power under the Commerce Clause to levy a penalty for remaining uninsured. However, Congress does have the power to levy a tax in this instance"

So this tax is clearly enforcible, and although it does start out small, no doubt it will keep growing year after year.

I'm not against paying for health insurance, but I am against paying unrealistic amounts for health insurance because we, to our everlasting disgrace, have a for-profit health care system.

klepssydra's picture
klepssydra
Joined:
Mar. 20, 2012 6:27 pm

" I simply cannot afford health insurance."

Who do you expect to pay when you go to the hospital or ER? Since the single payer solution isn't going to pass anytime soon, this is the only alternative to nothing. Unless you have a way to pass a better plan with this Congress, we're stuck with this. Hopefully some non-profit plans are part of the insurance exchange in 2014 that can offer good alternatives to the for profit plans. Having everyone in the insurance pool is the only way to make it work. Oh, the penalty for the 1st year is only $95-so you won't have to pay $1365 for insurance if you don't want to. Unfortunately, Obamacare doesn't do anything for rising costs. But in this crony capitalism country, this is all we have to work with for now.

DynoDon
Joined:
Jun. 29, 2012 9:24 am
Quote klepssydra:

Sorry, but I just don't think we can have this both ways...we can't, on the one hand, rail against the economic tyranny of the giant corporations, and on the other hand, spew forth praise about the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Off-subject, but there are plenty of progressives that gush over Apple products, yet Apple's business policies are anathema to everything progressives preach about. I thought after their practices were publicized last Fall, that there would be a least a little backlash, at least with progressives, but alas, there wasn't much at all, and as OWS showed us, progressives continue to denounce corporate practices while merrily using Apple products, and at the same time make fun of Teabaggers who want their Medicare.

Now as far as your situation, I thought that those making under a certain income level ($88K for a family is a number that sticks in my mind), that there were significant subsidies. But you also get free checkups and few other preventative measures so you do get something for the money.

My big problem was the fact they didn't knock down the antitrust exclusion for Health Insurers. I didn't expect single payer or the public option at all, too big of a lift, but I thought at least they'd knock down their legal ability to collude to keep prices high. I believe they survived that though. Overall I believe it's a first step to a better healthcare system, although there will undoubtedly be some bumps in the road.

.

al3's picture
al3
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote klepssydra:

Sorry, but I just don't think we can have this both ways...we can't, on the one hand, rail against the economic tyranny of the giant corporations, and on the other hand, spew forth praise about the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act....

Well, you take what you can get these days. 30 million getting health insurance is nothing to...sneeze at.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I'm not so sure about that. I do know dental insurance plans have strict waiting periods before they'll cover more than basic preventive care. With my carrier (Humana), the waiting period was 6 months. I ended up waiting about 2 years before I used them for a couple of teeth that needed pullng (wisdom teeth). I may cancel it soon since I mostly got it for getting those teeth out and that was months ago.

If it's not the case now, I'm sure health insurance companies will make that policy for regular insurance as well. Otherwise people will do just as you suggested... and abuse the system. It will be no better than how it was.. with people going to the ER.

Quote douglaslee:

You don't have to buy coverage. The fine is unenforcible. If you come down with something you can then purchase coverage to pay for treatment, then cancel the policy after the course of treatment is over. Policies are monthly, so you only need to pay for a month or two a year for physicals, medication, x-rays, preventative [colonoscopy, mamograms, etc.] Just keep switching from policy to policy. The coverage for serious illness also provides for the documentation necessary for SSDI - Social Security Disability Income, which is usually unavailable to uncovered disabled citizens. There are also different states with different Medicaid standards [TX allows you to die], so you might be able to adjust seasonally between civilized states [Vermont] and hell [Texas].

This is a good thing, because it's better than what was, better than status quo. It's not as good as it could be, nor as good as it will be.

Rule of thumb: If the other side is screaming you are winning. The more severe the tantrums the bigger the win. If the church is against a movie, it's worth seeing. If fox agrees with your position reevaluate your position. If you agree with fox, check in to a hospital or seek a mental health professional.

Cubey's picture
Cubey
Joined:
Aug. 24, 2010 10:32 pm

It turns out that penalties are non-enforceable (and there were no mandates in essence.)
I quote from http://rodgermmitchell.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/the-next-healthcare-struggle-and-how-it-could-be-solved/
"Rodger Malcolm Mitchell says:
June 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Thanks, JK, a truly wonderful video. This is the most relevant section:

(g) ADMINISTRATION AND PROCEDURE.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The penalty provided by this section
shall be paid upon notice and demand by the Secretary, and
except as provided in paragraph (2), shall be assessed and collected in the same manner as an assessable penalty under subchapter B of chapter 68.
‘‘(2) SPECIAL RULES.—Notwithstanding any other provision
of law—
‘‘(A) WAIVER OF CRIMINAL PENALTIES.—In the case of
any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to
any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such
failure.
‘‘(B) LIMITATIONS ON LIENS AND LEVIES.—The Secretary shall not—
‘‘(i) file notice of lien with respect to any property
of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section, or
‘‘(ii) levy on any such property with respect to such failure.

So, the government will have to pay more for Obamacare, which is economically stimulative.

As I’ve said forever, our Monetarily Sovereign federal government should provide free Medicare for every man, woman and child in America."

Is there such a thing as an optional, non-enforceable tax?

pshakkottai's picture
pshakkottai
Joined:
Jul. 11, 2011 10:27 am

Sorry but obamacare - as well as obama himself is about as far from progressive as it gets.

Understand there is a HUGE difference between progressives and democrats.

And if you think that fine/tax in unenforceable I bet you'll be surprised when the irs fines u and then simply takes the cash out of your bank account if the amount isnt paid in full in a certain amount of time.

The fact that obamacare is a Heritage Foundation plan tells us all we need to know about how 'progressive' the obama admin really is.

They ARE NOT progressive but in fact Fasist. Merging the corporate and governmental power structrues and apparatus.

In fact the obama admin shows us the absolute folly and Disaster that is the failed Lesser of Two Evils strategy. 30 years of disaster and STILL the democrats can't see a failed startegy when its hitting them the face on a daily basis.

The Black Agenda Report calls it the ODE - the Obama Delusional Effect - i simply call it Cognitive dissonance.... In fact democrats are the lefts version of the rightwing christians and their 6,000 year old earth..... No matter how many times the truth is shown to them they still cling to their failed strategy.

A strategty that has neutered the left into doing the bidding of the vey same folks that they bitched about for 8 long years.

Keep buying the hype that the democrats will save you and we'll be Mexico in a few short years.

TPP is Treason. Pushed by Mr Free Market - aka Corporate rule - Obama.

Thanks
Tracy
Green Party - where voting your consciense is Never a wasted vote. But supporting Fascism is! Reject the duopoly.

Scappoose's picture
Scappoose
Joined:
Mar. 30, 2012 6:49 am

Klepssydra did not give his age, family size or location, but I am 55 and live alone in the San Francisco area. Kaiser estimates my 2014 premium at $11,000. It also says that my "share" (scary quotes explained soon) will only be 9.5% of that (in my case about $4000) For K that figure would be $1800.

Honest question. Would K have to spend $11,000 (out of his $19,000 income) on insurance (and withholding on top of that) before filing his taxes and getting his $9200 credit, or is there a mechanism that will allow him to buy food and pay rent while waiting for the credit? And for that matter, $9200 is far more than his federal taxes - is the credit refundable (it must be - obvious but I haven't heard it said)

And another thought about that credit: Let's say you spend $10,000 on insurance. The insurance company keeps $2000. The doctor saves something like $2000 in reduced overhead, (accountants, lawyers and collection agencies) but Ricardo says most of that will go to higher office rents, etc. On the other hand, you will have to put $10,000 on your credit card. (pick a number - $500 in interest - I'm making a point, not counting) Now it's tax time. Say $30,000 income. Family of 1, about $3000 in federal taxes (including FICA). Insurance credit = $7000. Refund = $4000. Now what would most Americans do with a refund check of $4000. My assumption, make a credit card payment and take what's left to the nearest mall.

Typical Obama. $7000 borrowed to pay for the tax credit. $4500 for the 1% (some will be kept by doctors) $3000 in reduced tax revenue from the 99%. And $500 in increased consumer debt costs. All for $5000 worth of health care and $3500 in stimulus. Oh, and the promise that increasing the amount of money available to pay doctors with will reduce the amount they bill us.

doh1304's picture
doh1304
Joined:
Dec. 6, 2010 9:49 am

Private health insurance is a rip-off. I overpaid for premiums the last 15 years since I left the company I worked for and worked for myself. And because corporate health benefits often have low deductibles many doctors and health institutions gamed that coverage and WAY overcharged. I presume you've heard of the $25 band-aid actually worth about 5 cents? I was a big party for unscrupulous health professionals not to mention the hospital and insurance CEOs.

I took to calling my premiums "extortion fees" and wasn't above being rude on the phone if I had to deal with the insurance company to show my displeasure with them. It actually resulted in getting me a lower priced premium with a higher deductible that they didn't really want me to know about.

So no, I didn't root for Obamacare. I wanted to see single payer. However it's a moot point for me as of last December I went on Medicare. However I am still besieged regularly by the health insurance companies anxious to sell me (rip me off for) supplemental. For the record the only time in the last 15 years my private insurance had to pay out was for cataract surgery and the cost of surgery was about the same as the total cost of premiums for a year. IOW, a wash.

Given our advances in technology health care should cost far less than it did 10 years ago. Recently I argued with a friend that the cost of a standard blood panel and urine test, what you usually have with a typical doctor's physical should have come down due to advances in technology or remained the same. I located a local lab where I can actually walk in and get the test myself, no doctor needed and yes I know how to read those test results, and the cost was ~$70 or what I paid about 10 years ago.

So simply we are being gouged but they have so many of the tea party IQ public scared that unless they have expensive coverage they are going to die that it's going to be difficult to change things. For one thing we need to get rid of the "old boy" system that limit the numbers of doctors we are graduating. That in and of itself is a crime. And more doctors competing would certainly bring down costs.

captbebops's picture
captbebops
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Single Payer is the way, but was "off the table." I think it means that Obama did not want to lose the glorious fight and was more interested in getting up to everybody covered that playing Don Quixote.

For passionate Progressives, Obama does not excite because he seeks compromise and instead of conflict. That may or not be a flaw. It does mean that we will get a corporate friendly reform package rather than sending the health insurance privateers off the field. Still, 1% of income is a lot better than what was available before. And, the enforcement provisions are virtually non-existent. I agree with Wendell Potter, as serious critic of what we have now, who sees it as a small but significant step away from the full press abuse we had before.

Keep on pushing, but try not to lose sight of who is in the way. Obama is hardly the farthest thing from a Progressive. That would be any GOPimp. But, we did not nominate and elect Dennis Kucinich. If you think you can make that happen, dis Obama and get to work. But, if you are not going to get a Progressive past the money masters, make Obama do as much as you can.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am

http://www.healthcare.gov/law/information-for-you/index.html

Top Things to Know for Young Adults

  • Under the Affordable Care Act, youcan now be insured as a dependent on your parent’s health insuranceif you’re under age 26. The only exception is if your parent has an existing job-based plan and you can get your own job-based coverage.
  • New health plansmust now cover certain preventive serviceswithout cost sharing.
  • Starting in 2014, if you’re unemployed with limited income up to about $15,000 per year for a single person (higher income for couples/families with children),you may be eligible for health coverage through Medicaid.
  • Starting in 2014, if your employer doesn’t offer insurance, you will be able to buy insurance directly in anAffordable Insurance Exchange. An Exchange is a new transparent and competitive insurance marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy affordable and qualified health benefit plans. Exchanges will offer you achoice of health plansthat meet certain benefits and cost standards. Starting in 2014, members of Congress will be getting their health care insurance through Exchanges, and you will be able buy your insurance through Exchanges, too.
  • Starting in 2014, if your income is less than the equivalent of about $43,000 for a single individual and your job doesn’t offer affordable coverage, you mayget tax credits to help pay for insurance.

===

So, Kless will either qualify for Medicaid, or get tax credits to buy insurance. $9 / hr, part timer, is say 250- 330 / wk $300 * 52 = $15,600, puts him just over Medicaid, but well under the level for tax credits. So, he will likely get enough credits to pay for most if not all of his insurance costs, or his employer may offer an affordable plan.

Phaedrus76's picture
Phaedrus76
Joined:
Sep. 14, 2010 7:21 pm

Ah...no.

Here's the actual quote..."Tax credits to help the middle class afford insurance will become available for those with income between 100% and 400% of the poverty line who are not eligible for other affordable coverage."

Didya see that part there, "who are not eligible for other affordable coverage"? So I will simply be told that I am eligible for "affordable" coverage, whatever the hell that means, and not qualify.

Gotta read the actual stuff, folks.

klepssydra's picture
klepssydra
Joined:
Mar. 20, 2012 6:27 pm

"Well, you take what you can get these days. 30 million getting health insurance is nothing to...sneeze at."

But, of course, that is a non-sequitor; my diatribe is specifically aimed at the mandate, and the unrealistic machinations of its implementation.

klepssydra's picture
klepssydra
Joined:
Mar. 20, 2012 6:27 pm
Quote DynoDon:

" I simply cannot afford health insurance."

Who do you expect to pay when you go to the hospital or ER? Since the single payer solution isn't going to pass anytime soon, this is the only alternative to nothing. Unless you have a way to pass a better plan with this Congress, we're stuck with this. Hopefully some non-profit plans are part of the insurance exchange in 2014 that can offer good alternatives to the for profit plans. Having everyone in the insurance pool is the only way to make it work. Oh, the penalty for the 1st year is only $95-so you won't have to pay $1365 for insurance if you don't want to. Unfortunately, Obamacare doesn't do anything for rising costs. But in this crony capitalism country, this is all we have to work with for now.

Sorry, perhaps I didn't express myself clearly. You want a $20,000 car. You have $3,000. You simply cannot afford a $20,000 car. But I know, those driving $40,000 cars really do have trouble comprehending the concept.

klepssydra's picture
klepssydra
Joined:
Mar. 20, 2012 6:27 pm

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The world we're leaving for today's teens...

Without immediate global action on climate change, today's teenagers will be forced to live with the consequences of our inaction. The World Bank has issued their third report of climate change, and it says that global temperatures could rise by as much as 4 degrees Celsius by the time today's teens hit their 80th birthday.

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