October 31, 2013

JAMES TARANTO: Another ObamaCare Victim: One man’s insurance cancellation is a cause for Schadenfreude.

He liked his health-insurance plan–or close enough: “It was there, and it did its job.” He seems to have believed President Obama, who said–and said and said and said–that if you like your health insurance, you can keep it.

Now our protagonist has become “one of the hundreds of thousands of people whose insurance coverage was canceled for not complying with the terms of the Affordable Care Act,” the euphemism for ObamaCare. “As a result, not only will I pay more, but I have had to divert many otherwise useful hours to futzing around with websites and paperwork.”

Before ObamaCare, he paid $668 a month for a high-deductible plan. He actually managed to get through to his “state” exchange (he lives in the District of Columbia) and price a more or less comparable plan. It’s $865 a month, and the deductibles are higher, by $600 within the plan’s network and $1,200 without. By our calculations that means he will pay $2,364 more a year in premiums, and a total of $4,164 more if he maxes out on the deductibles.

Don’t get him wrong. He doesn’t want your pity. “I am not presenting myself as any kind of hard-luck case,” he insists. “Maybe from some social justice perspective it’s perfectly fair and reasonable to load all the costs of health reform onto people like me.”

Still, it hurts him that “this administration has been less than candid about what those costs would be.” And he’s not sure all people like him will be quite so magnanimous about what the Daily Beast headline calls “The Obamacare Ripoff.”

“Those Washingtonians who earn too much to qualify for subsidies probably do not regard themselves as wealthy,” he writes. “An extra $2,400 a year to keep a high-deductible policy may feel to many of them like–if not a hardship–then certainly a serious nuisance.” He adds that those people “probably voted for President Obama” and “probably believed his promise that the ACA would deliver improvements for them personally.”

Now this is especially rich because in 2010, just after the House sent the Senate’s ObamaCare bill to the president’s desk, Frum wrote a blog post titled “Waterloo” that was a work of either liberal triumphalism or conservative despair, depending on where Frum’s true sympathies lie. . . . Frum in 2010 didn’t criticize the Republicans for allowing the Democrats to achieve unchallengeable majority status. Instead he criticized them for opposing ObamaCare rather than making peace with it.


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