Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Just Get Me To Friday

Will "Being an American" be considered a pre-existing condition?

It appears we will be lurching from Obamacare scandal to Obamacare scandal until everyone sort of runs out of ink pixels.

The current iteration of this is the revelation that Obamacare will - surprise - roil the individual insurance market.

As Chait notes in the piece above, ACA was supposed to roil the individual insurance markets.  Those markets are pretty much broken.  Insurance companies cherry picked the healthy and denied the poor schmucks who actually - you know - needed health insurance.

So the whole point of the mandate was to get EVERYONE into the individual market (who wasn't covered by employer-based insurance or Medicare/Medicaid) and to regulate that market more effectively.

And one thing that happened - again, on purpose - was to make those individual plans more comprehensive and fair than they were before.

It should be noted that this was the primary appeal of the public option: getting these individual buyers access to something like Medicare.

Chait and others tend to come down hard on Obama for saying "Your current plan won't change."  For the vast majority of Americans, this is true.  Employer based insurance and Medicare won't change much at all, except maybe having more benefits and less overhead.

But there are some people who will be moved off old crappy plans and on to better plans.

And yet this is somehow a problem.

Alternately, I like what Josh Marshall is doing.  He's compiling stories of people who either have no insurance or have to buy through the individual markets.

It's a bracing reminder for everyone who has the luxury of good employer-based health insurance.

A nurse who has to buy private insurance at huge costs.

A guy with a good plan, but who will save thousands of dollars a year.

A farmer in Wisconsin who had to choose between working more and losing his kids health insurance.

I know anecdotes are not data, but what's good for the goose...

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