*snort*I wish I were a bigger person, but I just can't help laughing...
The real corker for me is that the most effective medical care that I get, and it is real medical care, is not covered by insurance.I am recovering from early adrenal fatigue (it can call you) on a program that is not covered by insurance. I had neck and back pain treated by chiropractic, which as a side effect relieved me of a bunion and daily pain in my feet (the podiatrist offered permanent, increasingly steep orthotics). And then there are the vitamins and juice drinks.It took two years to get me back to having decent bloodwork. Adrenal fatigue will make you miserable and can kill you, and traditional medical doctors don't even know how to diagnose it. Medical doctors don't do nutrition. And, stiffness and soreness and a bunion, which all treatable with posture exercises, have no medical treatment. I know, because I sought treatment.There are a lot of treatments available now that are relatively cheap in preventive, and not covered by insurance. I'm willing to pay, because I'd rather exercise and eat differently than have surgery and never be the same.Valerie
yick. typos. You'll see them as they run past. Valerie
*Snort* I wonder if the Dept of HHS went low-bidder on their hosting services and were totally unprepared for the traffic spike. Nah, not the federal government. I got a "Dear Jane" letter from my health insurance carrier yesterday saying "sorry, your policy doesn't meet the fed standards. You can reapply for a different one, that you may or may not qualify for, or you can go to the feds. Have a nice day." My deductible was too high, apparently. Thppppth.LittleRed1
Not a fair beef. Of course on the first day of something this large, Web site servers will be overloaded. I've encountered lots of this on lots of for-profit sites. The causes are many, and not all of them are nefarious.A fair beef will be in a week if this sort of thing remains widespread.There're lots of things about which to beef concerning Obamacare (et al.), there's no need to deprecate our argument with small potatoes. That's McCain's and Crocker's job.Eric Hines
Oddly, I agree with Eric. I worry we're overselling the problems with Obamacare. If the focus is "the websites don't work" then if (when) they start working or if (when) people manage to sign up not-on-line, the next round of complaints, even if more substantive, will have less impact. Let the dust settle for a month and then see how things are going.Plus it's bad PR to laugh at people having difficulty buying health insurance. It's kind of like hoping Obama destroys the economy: understandable on one level but tough for the people caught in the wreckage. I try to leaven my "I told you so" with a good dose of "and it's the people who really need this who are suffering most".
Thank you, Ma'am. I love you, too. [g]And for that, I'll lighten your burden with a (mild) disagrement: ...it's the people who really need this who are suffering most. Nobody needs government dependency, and that's all that Obamacare is. By design.Eric Hines
But people need health care and, for most people, that means health insurance.I've been buying health insurance through the private market for years. Now I know my current policy won't be available in 2014. I'm reasonably well-educated and reasonably well-off and I have no children at all, much less sick children. My anniversary date isn't until April 1 so I can stay on my current policy for 6 months. Yet I am feeling a fair amount of low-level anxiety over not knowing, for sure, that I will be able to buy health insurance for anything even approaching a reasonably amount of money - and even more anxiety knowing that if I can't, nobody is going to give a darn. It's not like I can complain to the State Insurance Commission that Obamacare won't let me register or won't let me purchase.Now imagine a young family, little faith in their ability to negotiate complicated bureaucracies, without a lot of savings, couple of kids, one of the kids has really severe asthma. They've been buying health insurance in the private market for a while, maybe one of NJ's relatively low-cost policies. Now they've gotten the letter telling them their current policy won't be available - and their anniversary date in January 1. Imagine how they're feeling, not knowing whether they'll be able to buy health insurance for anything even approaching a reasonable amount of money.I hate Obamacare with a passion and hope it doesn't last long. But I have all the compassion in the world for the people who are anxiously trying to negotiate this mess. And telling people that I hope Obamacare crashes and burns without explaining why that doesn't leave them high and dry without health insurance is both cruel and politically stupid.
But I have all the compassion in the world for the people who are anxiously trying to negotiate this mess. I haven't seen anyone making fun of the people trying to sign up, but perhaps I'm not reading the right sources? Who is doing this?I have seen several people (myself included) poke fun at the overconfident, underprepared nanny statists that caused this situation in the first place. As they did during the 2008 campaign they once again oversold the public, raising a lot of unrealistic expectations that I very much doubt will be fulfilled.How are people supposed to make wise choices when they're not even being told the truth? *That's* cruel. Laughing at the people who are lying to them, not so much.And telling people that I hope Obamacare crashes and burns without explaining why that doesn't leave them high and dry without health insurance is both cruel and politically stupid.I am genuinely sorry for your situation Elise, and did not mean to offend you. But if you truly believe the public will be better off with ObamaCare, why on earth should Republicans oppose it? I have lived with (free) military medical care my entire life, and it's not anything I would wish upon your hypothetical poor family, much less a real family. My brother in law is in Navy medicine, so I know there are a lot of very dedicated folks in that system. I also know it was bad enough that I paid out of my own pocket to take my kids outside the system. I got tired of never being able to get an appointment. I couldn't get mainstream medications that any civilian could get for several years, and when I finally managed to get a prescription, I had to go before a medical board to get a waiver to get the drug of choice prescribed every day to civilians.How will it be any less cruel for families to sign up for ObamaCare if it, as you say, "doesn't last long"?
Everybody needs to repeat this "Health insurance does not equal health care."I know something about large health insurance software projects. This thing was never going to work in the time-frame that they tried to do it in. Now, where I work now, the union guys are just beginning to understand that their health plan is going to get classed as a 'cadillac' plan and they're going to face a 40% surcharge by 2016. They are not going to be happy campers. Oh well, it's what they voted for.
But people need health care and, for most people, that means health insurance.Some people need health care, sometimes. True health insurance certainly can help for for the peace of mind of some, and for far fewer, it can help (maybe) should the long odds against their need come home. Or maybe not, if the "insurance" payout is less than their accumulated premiums for that coverage, when they might have set aside those premiums in their own savings against a need.However, as we discussed on your blog, it's a numbers game in which actual insurance companies are able to make a living on very fair (plus a house cut) premium. I like those odds and would not have health insurance--or life insurance--were it not "free" or heavily subsidized by my wife's employer--at their business choice.Health insurance is not needed for health care, as Eric B notes.However, we did not have a free market in health insurance prior to Obamacare, so much of the benefits of health insurance was not available. We have absolutely no health insurance under Obamacare; we have privately funded, federally mandated welfare payments.Now we certainly can have a very serious and valid discussion of how much health welfare we should have in this country, but for the Progressives to masquerade Obamacare as any form of insurance is for them to demonstrate their mendacity.I, too, have considerable compassion for the young family facing the hypothetical you describe, but two things about that: first, the asthma the kid has, unless he was "covered" before hand, one of those evil pre-existing conditions. The problem with those from the insurance company's perspective, is not so much its pre-existance as that the pre-existance means that most of the risk has been realized; there's little left to transfer in an insurance arrangement: only the likelihood, timing, and severity of the next attack. Yet even here there would be, in a free market with risk-based premiums, insurance policies available. It wouldn't be as cheap as a coverage for a smaller risk, or even a commensurate risk that could be laid off against a larger, still reasonably homogeneous pool. Life is tough, though.Second, and I've harped on this before, our obligation to help this less-fortunate-than-us family is individual. It's our duty; we cannot abrogate it in favor of someone else, or some other entity (like a government). We certainly can enlist our hireling government to help us in our duty, but we cannot, morally, have that government do our duty in our stead. Further, government doing it in our stead, of necessity, preempts our choices of means and amounts of aid. We can't do that as a practical matter, either: government acting in our stead is nowhere near as efficient as we can be individually--we're the ones who best know our capacity for help.Finally, the only ones who are telling people that [someone] hope[s] Obamacare crashes and burns without explaining why are Progressives and a mendacious NLMSM putting words in Republicans' and Conservatives' mouths. Those same Republicans and Conservatives have passed out of the House a couple of alternatives, and other alternatives are being discussed and worked out in the House's Republican caucus.The solution to the status quo ante that Obamacare is pretended to fix is to move to a free market in health care and a free market in health insurance. Certainly, even then, and after family, friends, church, charity, local community resources have been exhausted, the remaining 14, or so, would be legitimate targets for government welfare. Welfare it would be, too, not "insurance;" although the vastly smaller numbers that remain "helpless" in a free market aggregate to a far smaller bill for the taxpayers' pocketbook. Which leaves us better able to help still others less fortunate in other situations, and for which we might need government to help us render that aid.Eric Hines
This thing was never going to work in the time-frame that they tried to do it in. Yeah. In a prior life, I was a systems engineer for a defense contractor; my particular role was testing. It would be funny, were it not so irritating, that HHS didn't deign begin testing for a 1 Oct roll out until August.Eric Hines
First, I apologize. I ranted over here when I should have ranted on my blog.No, people are not making fun of those trying to negotiate this mess. But there is a lot of glee out there (not necessarily here) about just how bad the sign-up process is and none of the glee I've seen has expressed sympathy for the people who have no choice but to use this process if they want health insurance.But if you truly believe the public will be better off with ObamaCare, why on earth should Republicans oppose it? I don't think people will be better off with Obamacare. In fact, I think that if someone sat down and deliberately designed a lousy way to deliver health care, they'd have come up with Obamacare. Ditto for a lousy way to deliver health insurance.The problem is that this is the system we have. If people can't sign up for it, what is going to happen to them? The insurance companies are not, out of the goodness of their hearts, going to keep covering those currently insured past their anniversary date. The government is not going to pay their medical bills. They are, to use a technical term, screwed and they know it.How will it be any less cruel for families to sign up for ObamaCare if it, as you say, "doesn't last long"?Because, I hope, if it doesn't last long there will be some kind of orderly transition out of it rather than leaving it in place but making it difficult to impossible for people to negotiate.I read someone the other day - I'll see if I can find it and if I do I'll probably blog about it - who said something like:Let people struggle with this and if, by December 15, it becomes clear it's a mess/disaster/train wreck we'll delay it for a year. That won't be a big deal because nobody's policy would kick in until January 1 anyhow.Really? On December 15 the government is going to tell people, "Um, you know that health insurance you think you have starting in two weeks. Ain't gonna happen. Why, no, we don't have any suggestion on what you should do. Maybe you can get your old insurance policy back."And this is what I mean by politically stupid (although I should have used a nicer word, like "counter-productive"). I know there are Republican plans out there for extending health insurance but I'm not reading anyone who's saying, "Obamacare is going to be a disaster and when it collapses of its own idiocy in Oct/Nov/Dec/six months from now, here's how we're going to help people cope with the collapse." It's pretty easy to spin that into "Republicans want so much for Obamacare to be a disaster that they don't care what or who ends up as collateral damage in the collapse."
My employer sent out an email yesterday letting us know they are continuing the employer-sponsored health insurance for employees (and their dependents) in 2014, but open enrollment hasn't started yet. Still waiting to see what happens to the premiums (though the email did state that what we have has always met the new requirements of O-care).I am in the "health insurance is not health care" camp. Nothing in Obamacare does anything to control costs. When the end-user is removed from the *REAL* cost (not just what their co-pay or deductible is), they aren't really concerned about what the cost is overall. We need to find a way to fix that. Then, maybe people wouldn't be running to the doctor every time they have a runny nose.
Thanks for the explanation, Elise.I truly didn't mean to offend you, but I'm happy to see you're blogging again! Work has been completely insane lately and probably will continue that way for the next 6 months, so I am not doing much reading online. I had been wondering if you were back but just hadn't gotten over there to check yet.I understand your point wrt "This is the system we have", and agree that mockery can come across as being tone deaf or unconcerned about how all of this affects people in your situation.Every time I think about this, I just get so angry. I finally have a great HC plan that I hardly ever use. I went to the doctor in 2007 for the first physical I've had in over 30 years, and have been to a neurologist once a year. That's it, really. I just don't go to the doctor.But with my Dad's recent health issues, I can see the peace of mind in having medical insurance. He would be dead without it, I'm pretty sure. What's harder to balance out in my mind is that that whole situation is a metaphor for all sorts of decisions we make at the end of life: how much is it "reasonable" to spend to prolong life in the last few years?It's all agonizing (I start tearing up every time I try to write about it and have to wave off, so I really do sympathize with your insurance problems). Somehow the more abstract ideological issues are harder to parse when someone you love is sick or in pain.You just want it to be better. Again, please accept my apology if I offended you.
I read someone the other day - I'll see if I can find it and if I do I'll probably blog about it - who said something like:Let people struggle with this and if, by December 15, it becomes clear it's a mess/disaster/train wreck we'll delay it for a year. That won't be a big deal because nobody's policy would kick in until January 1 anyhow.Charles Krauthammer has said things along these lines in the last week or two and, I think, Stephen Hayes, too.Eric Hines
You just want it to be better. Again, please accept my apology if I offended you.Now I'm tearing up. No, you didn't offend me, Cass, and I hope I didn't offend you. I'm sorry about your father's health problems. I went through that with my mother and my beloved aunt and it is agonizing.
Charles Krauthammer has said things along these lines in the last week or two and, I think, Stephen Hayes, too.Thanks, Eric. Not Krauthammer, maybe Hayes - I'll poke around a little.And now that I've regained my sense of humor:Thank you, Ma'am. I love you, too. [g]:+)
You didn't offend me in the slightest, Elise. You made a fair pointWe're lucky to have had Dad around for so long (and still luckier that he has enjoyed reasonably good health). But it really is astounding the amount of coordination among specialists that goes on in the senior years. On the one hand, I suspect that if he didn't have insurance, these doctors and hospitals would end up charging less. On the other hand (the policy hand) I look at the overall cost and am shocked.Hard to price a human life in the marketplace, and I'm pretty sure that the market distortions caused by government tinkering aren't helping things.My parents have saved for years, and so have enough money. I do wonder how long it would last in the absence of government subsidies on medical treatment, and how all this would affect their longevity. It's hard to know the answer, though I have my suspicions.The big question here is: how much of this is (or ought to be) paid for by other taxpayers and households?
The big question here is: how much of this is (or ought to be) paid for by other taxpayers and households?I can't bring myself to say "none of it". But at the same time, I don't know how we build a safety net; don't let people (especially children) die because they or their parents truly can't afford needed health care; don't distort the market in health care; don't let bureaucrats ration health care; don't create disincentives for those who work and pay taxes; don't encourage overuse of health care; don't put our elderly out on ice floes; and don't bankrupt ourselves - all at the same time.
There is only one real solution, as I see it. If we don't want to let children or old people die for lack of medical care they can't afford, then we'll have to give up goods and services we'd have liked to enjoy for ourselves in order to spend money to pay their medical bills instead. It's the desperate attempt to avoid this harsh reality that leads to monstrosities like this collectivist garbage.
Yup, reality is no fun. And that's the rub. I don't want to let children and old people die but, on the other hand, I'm not crazy about higher taxes. About all I can congratulate myself on is that at least I realize those I can't have both lots of government goods and low taxes - at least not in this reality.
You can't have lots of government goods and individual liberty, either. Government has nothing of its own, and it makes nothing of its own. All it can do is take from us and hire/draft us to do the making.Eric Hines
Indeed--it's important to remember that "higher taxes" are one thing and "giving up our own goodies to pay the medical bills of other people" is quite another.
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