The NY Times prompted high blood pressure across the Upper West Side with this ObamaCare horror story from California:
[My dog] has the kind of health care that I’d hoped the Affordable Care Act would usher in for those who, like my wife and me, have to buy health insurance on the open market. I’d long been frustrated at how health care shackles people to corporate jobs. I believed this legislation, signed four years ago this month, would free people to pursue their dreams, start new companies and not worry about the health insurance penalty.
What I didn’t count on was that it would make things harder for me and my wife.
First, we were notified that we would be kicked out of our existing $263-a-month Anthem Blue Cross plan because it didn’t meet the minimum standards of the new law. No problem, I thought. The plans in the new Covered California exchange would most likely be better and cheaper.
But we were shocked at what we confronted. The least expensive premium for a couple like us in our 40s would be about $620 a month. And because our household adjusted gross income is likely to be over the $62,040 cutoff this year, it’s doubtful we’ll end up with a subsidy to help offset that price increase.
We can see the progressive pushback already - anyone making over $62K per year is rich and ought to thank America, then get back in their private jet and fly to Aspen.
Or, they will wonder why this Evil Republican insists on lying to the rest of us, since he clearly has a better plan now. Or maybe that is not so clear:
I know that Obamacare is helping a great number of people. I understand that for the first time millions of people are getting health insurance. It’s the one thing that gives me solace.
But let’s not pretend that this new policy is the affordable health care savior that many of us were hoping for. For us, our new plan is a big financial hit for a product that does not make it any easier to get basic health care.
It’s still hard to understand what coverage we have. It’s like trying to read tea leaves. Benefits descriptions can be contradictory and run nearly 200 pages long. One summary attached to my online account seems to say that if I go to the emergency room, I could potentially owe thousands of dollars. Another document suggests that I’m responsible for only $300. I’ve had two representatives give me two different explanations. The more I questioned these well-intentioned people, the more I realized how confused, overwhelmed and at times plain wrong they were.
Here’s what I’ve been able to piece together. Previously, our family deductible totaled $13,600 for outpatient care and $6,600 for hospital care (with a maximum combined out-of-pocket cost of $13,600). Under our new plan, we have a deductible of $10,000 (and an out-of-pocket maximum of $12,700). In both cases, having deductibles that high means this is largely insurance to make sure that we don’t go bankrupt if we become very ill. Yes, the new plan has more coverage, including pediatric vision. But we don’t have children, and I’d trade coverage for things like substance abuse treatment and mental health in return for lower premiums.
So he had a high-deductible "junk" plan costing $263/month but now he has a high-deductible Obama-apporoved plan costing $620/month. With pediatric coverage!
The idea that this left coast progressive can bring the right coast home to reality on the absurdities of Obamacare strikes me as madly optimistic. The Annointed have their talking points and will be sticking to them! Still, the fact that the Times was willing to let this whiner splash some of their ink is an interesting straw in the wind. If Obama is losing the Times...