Saturday, November 23, 2013

Call me a pragmatist; we have a problem; a solution; GOP wants to unsolve it

The shouting match between left and right on health care reform roars  with the  hyperventilating right calling anyone who supports Obamacare ideologically insulting names.  Just call me a pragmatist.
Earth to  ideologues: we have a problem here and whatever you call the solution, you want to unsolve it by replacing Obamacare  with nothing that protects consumers from bad insurer practices or  makes insurance affordable for the uninsured.  
Leave  it up to the free market system, you say. That is returning to  the same that  has refused  coverage of  so many for pre-existing conditions  and screwed its customers lucky enough to even get coverage. There is a good reason medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy.   Insurance had  small print clauses  capping dollar amounts of coverage or with  impossible to pay high deductible while  raking off more than 20% for overhead.
Legalized  monopolies extended  across state lines s that make true cross state free market competition a farce, permitting price   and benefit collusion. The only free market place, ironically,  is in the Obamacare exchanges where multiple carriers compete for your business with coverage and premiums  compared side by side, and all meeting at least   minimum standards. See
Heads up: your neighbors know we have a problem and need, want, and appreciate a solution as polls running in this newspaper this month have revealed .. More support Obamacare than want to repeal it; only 41% responding had employer provided insurance.   Surveys taken by Colorado Health Institute 2013 confirm the similar  numbers:  nearly 20% of your  Grand County neighbors do not have health insurance, 82% because of cost , and an additional  13% are underinsured.
Why?.  In order to make a living in this county many must  have one day job and two part time table waiting, drywall,  ski instructor , maintenance, hamburger flipping jobs.  Few   employers of such have ever  provided  insurance.
The newest fear hyping   prediction from the right is  that no young people will sign up so that only the sick and infirm with pre-existing conditions will be left in the insurance pool, causing Obama to  self destruct.  That did not happen in Massachusetts , the only testing grounds for a plan similar to  Obamacare. The young and healthy had more sense than what the old folks comfy with insurance credit them with.  It is not just the fines that got them into the system: though losing 1%  or $95 of your income this year and  much more in future years  with no insurance to show for it, too, is no  joke. What gets them into the system is the ability to afford insurance thanks to subsidies or to qualify for the expanded free  Medicaid  or  for those under 30 to get cheap catastrophic insurance.
Bike crashes and ski wipeouts happen  The cheapest knee replacement, per recent Aspen Times and Vail Daily surveys , costs $55 thousand  in Denver. Either you have cash, good credit,  or bankruptcy.
 Young people are  able to stay on their parents’ insurance policy until they are 26, thanks to Obamacare. An unemployed 19 year old  I know well tore his acl/ ncl and chipped a bone  and his parents said that since Obamacare let him stay  on his parents insurance, the coverage saved  $40 thousand  out of pocket.

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