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In a Collectivized Nutshell

October 16th, 2013 - 11:51 am

James Taranto:

WSJ

If you want the really good plan with the lower deductible, you’re going to have to pony up for “Gold,” which is hardly solid. The deductible for your family is $2000, and copays don’t apply to it. Most folks will opt for a cheaper plan, but the incentives there get really perverse. Ed Morrissey explains:

The higher deductibles are the result of attempting to tamp down the premium hikes, but this raises a big question about the structure of the reform itself. If consumers end up with $4000 deductibles, how are these costs different than the alternate reform model of hospitalization insurance, health-savings accounts (HSAs), and emphasis on the cash/retail system for routine medical care? What we’ve ended up with is the same deductible costs — no one will use $4000 in routine medical care a year — without the cash-market reforms that would drive costs downward through price-signal clarity and competition, while incentivizing providers to get back into routine medical care by wiping out third-party payer red tape and costs.

Most families will face higher — in many cases, much higher — out-of-pocket expenses. Wealthier people opting for the Gold or Platinum plans will have lower out-of-pocket expenses, and since they won’t be getting any subsidies, why not? So we have a situation where the middle class pays more, while the rich (or politically connected) get better and cheaper service.

A few million on the bottom will do nicely — assuming they choose to take part. If these younger and healthier people choose not to buy insurance, just as they often do, then folks in the middle will feel an even bigger squeeze as premiums enter the “death spiral.”

And let’s not even think about the lost productivity gains and the lost tax revenue as people start taking Kathleen Pender’s advice and refuse pay-raises and promotions so that they may keep their ObamaCare subsidies.

If you think the rollout was a disaster, wait until this damnable thing starts working.

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All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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"So we have a situation where the middle class pays more, while the rich (or politically connected) get better and cheaper service." The political class gets subsidies from the middle class taxpayers.

Nothing new there. Name a single situation that the middle class is not the patsy. Same goes to the tax system, Middle class wage earners pay Medicare, FICA from their earned incomes. The rich and politically connected derive their incomes from capital gains, no Medicare or FICA. Thus Buffett pays less tax than his working stiff secretary. When Buffett advocates for higher taxes, he wants higher income taxes which he doesn't pay, never higher capital gain taxes.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course, premiums are going up. We told them they would. You want insurance companies to ignore pre-existing conditions? Well, someone has to pay for it, and (here's a newsflash for you) the rich are not going to do it. They are connected. The young are not going to do it. They'll just pay the small fine (a fine which will likely increase enormously, eventually). The poor are not going to pay it, because the government is picking up their tab. No, the working stiffs are going to pay through the nose.

America voted for this. Good call, morons.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
In my lurking activities, I stumbled across an Excel spreadsheet showing Obamacare "signups." The idea is to collect good news on how well the law is working.

So the owner of the spreadsheet has enlisted fellow Kos Kidz to send him data from their states on signups. They get this data from local news, calling around to local agencies, etc -- so the numbers don't mean a heck of a lot. Even the term "signup" is fuzzy, not necessarily meaning a person who bought a policy through the exchange and got a confirmation packet.

I intend to click on it from time to time, mainly to see at what point he takes it down. http://obamacaresignups.net/

Folks, this is failing beyond our wildest hopes. Not everyone is required to sign up by January 1, but the loudest, most woebegone Obama constituents of that vaunted 7 million have been promised since Christmas 2009 that they could have their free stuff on January 1, 2014. In order to put actual policies in their hands by that date, HHS has to receive problem-free data from all of them by December 15. The portal AND the backend must be fully functional.

Does anyone believe this is humanly possible? I'm plenty gloomy about the effects this law is already having, but how do you think things are going at HHS and the White House?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The word for the day is Schadenfreude.

It explains the smile on my face as all the true believers start hollering at their moment of clarity. "Haaaaaay!.....this wasn't supposed to happen to meeeee!"

It was all there. Always.

LETR'BURN
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the guy behind the tree. Oops, that guy is me.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yesterday, someone commented that Ace had coined yet another awesome new word to commemorate the O-Care rollout: Schadenboner.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wait. Are you saying that market incentives are still working?

ObamaCare was supposed to do away with all that. Because, you know, market incentives are mean.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
This doesn't even take into account the wealth creating entrepreneurialism that has been the hallmark of America since before the revolution. Under ObamaCare, people are going to hang on to their full time gigs w/ a death grip rather than striking out on their own because they're kind of annoyed w/ the boss or just think they could do something they like.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
and so far it is just the money. wait until your health history and financial records are combined at the IRS. that is on top of the monetary costs and the new bureaucracy
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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