Junior Ganymede
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Wicked and Perverse: My Obamacare Experience

November 18th, 2013 by Adam G.

dysfunction junction

Here’s my Obamacare story.

I am the sole provider for my wife and several children.  I have a basic mid-level income.  My employer offers good insurance but only for me.  I have to pay $1000/month to add my dependents to my employer’s insurance.  That was not a rate of payment that we could keep up.  We found ourselves having to skimp on food and gas to pay for car repairs, for instance.  Our growing family no longer fit in our very small house, but with the insurance we couldn’t afford to move out or even build on an addition.  So last year it came to a head: it looked like we would either have to go uninsured or stop saving for retirement.

Instead, we hunted around and were able to find cheap insurance we could afford.  The cost was a little shy of $300 a month.  The deductibles were also higher: we had to pay a little over $5000 out of pocket before coverage really kicked in.  So some of the money we saved on insurance we just stashed away for medical costs.  We have been happy with the decision.  We were irritated that we couldn’t save that money tax-free in a Health Savings Account because of stupid government regulations, but on the whole our new insurance worked well for us.

Obamacare just made our insurance illegal.

We received a notice from our insurer that our cut-rate insurance now costs a little shy of $750/month.  The new deductible is now more than $16,000.  Let me repeat that.  Obamacare has increased our cost of insurance by 150%.  It has also increased our deductible by almost 150%.   In return for all this, we get subsidized birth control pills (savings=$0) and free gym memberships in gyms that are nowhere close to where we live (benefit=$0).

And if I want to put my family back on the employers’ insurance, Obamacare has raised it to $1200 a month.  That is more than my mortgage payment.

I am boiling with rage.  I have always suspected in kind of a distant way that the Democrats and our ruling class hates me and mine.  But now I know it in my gut.  They are deliberately pushing me to the wall so they can pay off their clients.  They want to break me.  Because of them, my kids are probably going to go uninsured next year.  Prayer will be our insurance.  If something goes badly wrong, we’ll get treatment and then declare bankruptcy.  That’s what Obamacare has reduced me to.  I used to be an honorable man.

It gets worse.  My family is not eligible for the Obamacare insurance subsidies because I personally get insurance.  That’s right, under Obamacare you are punished for having a family.  Julia gets subsidies and free birth control pills and gym membership so she can keep herself fit to standards that the guys she picks up have become accustomed to in their sluts, but f you’re a family man, the President says F U.

Even though I wasn’t eligible for subsidies I wanted to get on the exchanges to do a little comparison shopping.  I wanted to mitigate the injustice the Democrats were doing to my family even if only a little.

The nightmare began on October 1.  I tried to register and couldn’t even get in.  I tried again and again.  Sometimes I couldn’t get in at all.  When I could, the Obamacare system had delays of up to thirty minutes between each stage of the registration process and most of the time it randomly kicked me out part way through.  Finally, after multiple attempts, I got to the final step of registration: clicking to have a verification email sent to the email address I’d provided.  I did.  A couple of hours later I checked my email, saw the link, and clicked it.  But the Obamacare website refused to complete my registration.  I had waited too long to verify, it told me.  But there was no way to ask for a second verification email to be sent and there was no way to step back into the registration process I had already completed.  I couldn’t even use my username and password again, since they were now blocked.  I had to start from the beginning with the same frustrating registration process.  Finally I got through to the verification step again.  This time I had my email account open in another window when I clicked to be sent the verification email.  Literally 5 seconds later I received the verification email and clicked on the verification link.  I got the same error message I had gotten before.  I had waited too long to verify.  5 seconds was too much.

I contacted Obamacare’s live chat help line.  After frustrating delays, and after getting a number of canned messages from the rep about how Obamacare was helping me to afford insurance, I finally got the answer, which was ‘I’m sure it will all work out in the end.”  The rep had no idea how to solve the problem or anything else constructive to say, other than that I try again at 2 AM when traffic was lighter.  I called the help number and had the same experience.  (At various subsequent stages in the process I tried to get help again and had the same result)

So I tried again at 2 AM.  The registration process was still laggy, but not as laggy, and I only got kicked out randomly once.  I clicked to be sent a verification email, clicked the verification link literally three to four seconds later—and again got an error message that I had waited too long.

I gave up.

But a few days later, desperation drove me back.   This time—finally—the registration process worked and I was in!  Except, not so fast, I wasn’t.  I had to verify my identity.  The Obamacare website asked me a bunch of questions about where I’d lived, prior addresses and phone numbers, stuff like that.  It was slow, given the website delays, but none of them were puzzlers and I answered them all correctly.  The website told me I hadn’t.  I went through the process again, same questions, same result.  A third time, with the same result.  But I couldn’t do it again because three times I was out.  But there was a number I could call.  It turned out to be Experian, who asked me the same questions the Obamacare website had, which I answered the same way.  Except that Experian agreed that I was me.  The identity verification would take about 24 hours to go through.

24 hours later nothing had happened.  I called Experian and they had no explanation.  The helpline didn’t either  (It’s been two weeks now, and still the identity verification hasn’t happened).  So I went with the other option, which was uploading a copy of my drivers’ license.  I did and actually got a response from the website.  It was a form letter stating that Obamacare hadn’t verified my identity and would I please upload a copy of my drivers’ license.  I checked on my account profile, and sure enough instead of saying ‘identity verification pending’ it said ‘identify verification needed.’  So I uploaded my drivers’ license again.  I did this three more times.  Each time the Obamacare website refused to process it and sent me a form letter asking me to upload my drivers’ license.  On the fourth time, last Wednesday, the upload finally worked.  At least, my status has been ‘identity verification pending’ since then.  Although literally every time I have logged in to check, I have been sent another copy of the form letter.

 

While I was waiting for verification, the system gave me the option of entering my family’s insurance application information.  Names, ages, income, stuff like that.  It was the labor of Hercules to do it, because at each step the system lagged for awhile.  I got kicked out twice and each time none of the information I had already entered was saved.  The third time I got to the end, which is the information review step.  You’re supposed to check everything and make sure there are no errors.  I found one, clicked to correct it—and discovered that the website then erased all of the information I had already entered.  The fourth time through I saved at one point and when I logged back in discovered that the income information I had entered had been randomly reset.  I haven’t tried since.

By Wednesday I was staring to wonder just how long it took to look at a drivers’ license.  So I did something I knew to be useless and called the help line.  Amazingly, the guy was able to actually access my account and confirm that my drivers’ license was uploaded.  But he refused to verify my identity and told me to call back on Friday if it still hadn’t worked.

Today is Friday.  After waiting awhile for the website to load I just checked my status and, sure enough, nothing has changed.  I am about to call the helpline again.  I am going to bow and scrape and truckle to an arrogant stupid person who despises me, and at the end he or she will tell me they don’t know what’s wrong, I should call back later, and whatever is wrong is probably my fault anyway.

The last two months have made me a radical.  I have realized that our government is inefficient and tyrannical.  It is not run for the benefit of ordinary people.  It is run to hurt us.  We are pawns in elite games.  The Republicans are not going to save us.  Their recent shutdown theater did literally nothing to help me.  Literally nothing.  The only outcome was that all Washington agreed to keep piling up debt on the backs of my children.  The system is rotten.

The Mormon prophets and apostles have proclaimed that “responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere [should] promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”  No one who believes in their authority can support this government.  No one who believes in freedom can support this government.  No one who believes in government of the people, by the people, and for the people, can support this government.  No one who believes in justice can support this government.  No one who believes in sanity can support this government.

I don’t know what to do.  But something must be done.  We cannot go on in the same old way.

The axe must be laid to the root of the tree.

Update, October 18:

The people on the help line were nice. They seemed pretty beatdown and were grateful I didn’t scream at them.

But they weren’t able to help me. Eventually I got a supervisor who took my information and said the Resolution Center would call me sometime. So far they haven’t.

Update, October 21:

The “Resolution Center” hasn’t called me yet. I tried calling the help line and couldn’t get through.

Update, October 22:

I got through to the helpline again. The representative told me that there was no way to verify my identity that she or her supervisor could find. I asked if I could just create another account. She checked with her supervisor and said that might work. So, I get to go through the whole process all over again. But I’d need to create a new email address, she said, and create a dedicated Obamacare account. To be fair, the President never said that if you liked your email address, you’d get to keep it.

Update, October 22, later:

I tried creating a new account. After slogging through all the delays, I got an error message with no explanation.

So I called the help line again. The representative there also tried to set me up with a new account. She couldn’t either. Neither could her supervisor. Finally the representative told me that I could apply without an account and the plan options my family was eligible. The application took two hours. When we were done I asked when I was sent the plan options, how did I sign up for them? Did I contact the insurers directly? She got puzzled and said that she actually didn’t even know how to have the plan information sent to me. She thought there was going to be a link or a command to do it and there wasn’t one. That took two hours.

I tried again to set up a new account. Cleared all my caches and cookies, entered completely different data as much as possible. I even made up new, fictional answers to the security questions. And it worked!

Even more miraculously, the system linked my new account to the application that the representative had already filled out for me on the phone. So I wouldn’t have to do it all over again.
Except that when I went to submit that application, the system forced to view and confirm each item of already entered information, with about a thirty-second lag between each step, until about halfway through when it wiped the completed application altogether and just made me enter the information again, with a thirty-second lag between each click. It took me 4 hours.

At the very end, the system got even more laggy and started popping up various kinds of error messages and rebooting itself. In the process, it seems to have messed up some of the information in the application as best as I could tell. So at the review step I went back to find and fix whatever was wrong and the system booted me out altogether.

I’ll tackle it again tomorrow. I’ve had enough for today.

Update, October 22

When I logged in tomorrow, I got a notification that my unfinished application had submitted itself somehow! I had been denied a subsidy (no big surprise there).

The system wouldn’t let me check my application to see what information it actually contained when submitted. The Obamacare system also wouldn’t let me fill out a new application. It also wouldn’t let me see the plans available for my area. Let me repeat that—because it decided I wasn’t eligible for a subsidy, the Obamacare system wouldn’t let me know what plans I could buy. Am I still required to buy a plan on pain of being fined hundreds of dollars? Yes. Will the system let me shop for a plan? No.

So I called the help line again. The gentleman was courteous but by no means possessed of an elite mind. However, I was finally able to get him and his supervisor to understand the issue. They had no idea what to do about the prematurely/incorrectly submitted application. They couldn’t reopen the application or let me submit a new one. They couldn’t tell me how to use the system to shop for plans. They had two suggestions: wait and hope that something turned up, or write a letter to some appeal board in hopes they would grant me a subsidy, which they hoped would be enough to let me look at available plans.

I am throwing in the towel. I’ll either figure out some way of squeezing the budget enough to pay for the exorbitant Obamacare insurance my current insurer offers, or we’ll cancel the insurance for the kids altogether. My guess is that the other insurance plans in my area are probably as costly as the one on offer anyhow.

Update, November 18

So if you’ll recall my last update, we were denied permission to look for plans on the Obamacare Exchange.

The Lovely One and I have been redoing our budget to see if we can afford our insurer’s Obamacare replacement for our old insurance.  We can–if we cut our food budget by 20% and eliminate our budget for medical costs.  In addition to paying for insurance, we normally budget some money every month to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses.  To pay for Obamacare medical insurance, we’d have to eliminate that budget item.  To afford medical insurance, we’d no longer be able to afford medical care.

So, in a bit of desperation, I was re-reading the 13-page denial notice again and noticed that there was a number I could call to appeal.  Which is good.  In order to have insurance in January, I have to sign up by December 15.  There’s no way that sending a letter to an appeal board somewhere would move that fast, even in normal times.  But a phone number could move a little quicker.

I waited on hold for thirty minutes.  The number turned out to be a special variation of the normal Obamacare help line.  Instead of the woman identifying herself as part of the “Solutions Center,” she identified herself as part of the “Advanced Solutions Center.”  It took her all of thirty seconds to tell me that she couldn’t help me ‘appeal’ the website’s refusal to let me look at anything.  Her job was to tell people who called the number to . . . send a written appeal to the appeal board.  So I asked her if she could at least tell me *why* I was denied the appeal.  She could not.  I asked her how I was supposed to appeal when I didn’t know what the ostensible basis for my denial was?  She didn’t know.  Finally she said she could refer me to someone who would know.  It turned out to be a navigator.  Would they know the reason I was denied?  She avoided the question several times, then finally admitted they wouldn’t.  She then said I could find out on the website.  I tried to log on while she was on the phone but got an error message:  “we’re busy right now, trying logging in again sometime!”  So I asked her where I would find this information on the website, having looked for it before and never having found it.  After some evasions on her part she finally admitted that the information I would find on the website was . . . the phone number I was talking to her on, and the address of the appeal board.

I asked her if the appeal board would respond to me before December 15.  She said she doubted it.

January 1 Update:

We couldn’t find affordable insurance. We joined a Christian healthcare sharing ministry instead.

Comments (75)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , ,
November 18th, 2013 16:03:23
75 comments

brucecharlton
October 18, 2013

@Adam – this is really horrible.

Just reading it made me feel suffocated.

I wonder whether the LDS could devise a simple and sensible alternative to this evil lunacy.


Agellius
October 18, 2013

Wicked and perverse is right. I have argued with my fellow Catholics, who claim that government social programs are called for by Catholic social teaching, that that’s fine in theory. But I oppose many of them nevertheless, because I simply don’t trust my government in particular to do the right things, for the right reasons, with my money.


Agellius
October 18, 2013

On the bright side, hopefully this disabuses the younger generation of the notion that Big Government solves more problems than it causes, which they may never have learned in their young lives. My and my parents’ generation had learned that lesson by the time of Reagan, after the welfare debacles of the 60s and 70s, but it seems to have been forgotten again. Maybe each young, idealistic generation has to learn it anew.


Geoff B
October 18, 2013

“The last two months have made me a radical. I have realized that our government is inefficient and tyrannical. It is not run for the benefit of ordinary people. It is run to hurt us. We are pawns in elite games. The Republicans are not going to save us. Their recent shutdown theater did literally nothing to help me. Literally nothing. The only outcome was that all Washington agreed to keep piling up debt on the backs of my children. The system is rotten.

The Mormon prophets and apostles have proclaimed that “responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere [should] promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.” No one who believes in their authority can support this government. No one who believes in freedom can support this government. No one who believes in government of the people, by the people, and for the people, can support this government. No one who believes in justice can support this government. No one who believes in sanity can support this government.

I don’t know what to do. But something must be done. We cannot go on in the same old way.”

I agree 100 percent Adam. I am so sorry you had to go through with this, but it is a predictable result of the government we have. This is not socialized medicine — it is fascist medicine.


Adam G.
October 18, 2013

Fascist medicine is literally what it is, Geoff B.


john f.
October 18, 2013

Adam, this is a compelling example — why not send it to the Washington Post or other news outlets to see if they’ll run it. Also, I’m sure you’ve already sent this to your Representative and other members of your state’s congressional delegation. It might even be worth sending to legislators who do not represent you or your state, including Democratic Representatives and Senators. Perhaps it will combine with other testimonials to induce action to fix these oversights and problems with the coverage, etc. (like the “penalty” for being married and the various other problems with the interface).

Also, at the very least this provides anecdotal evidence that the Affordable Care Act fails to address the real problem with health care in this country: unscrupulous insurance companies whose commitment and obligation is to their shareholders and not to the health of their customers or the health and well being more generally of the country at large.


john f.
October 18, 2013

(Also, why doesn’t your employer’s health care plan include your family? That sounds very unfortunate. And why do you seem to hold your employer’s insurance coverage harmless for not including your family on the plan?)


john f.
October 18, 2013

Does your employer effectively have a marriage penalty?


J. Max Wilson
October 18, 2013

John F. did you read the post? He can add his family but the cost was prohibitive so he went with a cheap alternative. Now the cheap alternative is forced to raise the price by 150% with a horrendous deductible, AND the cost of adding them to his work insurance is even higher than before — all thanks to Obamacare.


Adam G.
October 18, 2013

John F.,

It would be nice if employers were willing to pay extra for families, but they are private parties. I don’t have the same expectation that private parties will take a personal financial hit for public ends (like encouraging marriage and family). I expect the government to do so. Instead, the government is punishing me for having a family. Worse, I’m being punished for having health insurance from my employer. I’d be better off I didn’t, because then I’d qualify for subsidies.

The real problem with my healthcare, right now, is Obamacare. Insurance companies are to blame too, but only to the extent that their lobbyists worked hand in glove with liberal progressive politicians to pass this exercise in dysfunctional fascism.

You’re little blame-shifting rant against insurance companies and your passive aggressive commenting here is part of the problem. You and people like you–you writ large–are enemies of sane government and a decent society. As long as people like you continue to run this country, people like me will continue to get squeezed.

Slink back to your pit.


Adam G.
October 18, 2013

Update:

The people on the help line were nice. They seemed pretty beatdown and were grateful I didn’t scream at them.

But they weren’t able to help me. Eventually I got a supervisor who took my information and said the Resolution Center would call me sometime. So far they haven’t.


J. Max Wilson
October 18, 2013

Adam,

This infuriates me. I’ll be praying for you.


Xenophon
October 18, 2013

“I don’t know what to do. But something must be done. We cannot go on in the same old way. / The axe must be laid to the root of the tree.”

Correct. The axe is laid at the root of the tree. But perhaps something must still be done to call God forth from his hiding place (D&C 123). Be strong, and of a good courage.


Justin
October 18, 2013

Same exact story here. There will be many more I fear. But my greater fear is there will be too few of us to counter the trough feeders.


MC
October 18, 2013

I’ve mentioned it before on this blog, but is it possible that the line gets pushed far enough that we start looking at the rest of the country as the “Other,” and discard all guilt about gaming the system? Case in point:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/nyregion/kiryas-joel-a-village-with-the-numbers-not-the-image-of-the-poorest-place.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Do those people seem humiliated about being on welfare? The money comes from outside their community, so no one that matters to them is being exploited. Where’s the shame in taking from those you believe to be unrighteous?

Of course, that’s exactly how the left looks at you. Middle to upper-middle class white men are the “Other.” So you’re suffering is irrelevant, maybe even desirable.

But the poor get welfare. The rich get welfare. Why be the chump in the middle who pays for it all? Is that an unhealthy mentality? Maybe. But are we at war or not? If we’re at war, why let the battle remain asymmetric? Everyone seems to think that it’s hypocritical to deride the welfare state by exploiting it. But isn’t that exactly what the left did when it took over the universities and the churches? They derided the very notion of authority while at the same time acquiring all the authority that they could get their hands on. Maybe the same thing needs to happen with the welfare state. Have all the kids you want, feed them with food stamps and treat them with Medicaid, and then laugh when your persecutors realize they left you to raise the next generation of citizens.

I don’t necessarily agree with all this. I don’t really like how it sounds as I say it. But I find it harder and harder to see the error in it as time goes on.


Joyce Anderson
October 18, 2013

Adam, I am sick reading this. You are my second friend with this nightmare story of getting even an account set up. My friend Elizabeth and her husband cannot afford insurance for themselves, so they, like you, bought an little policy for their son. Now under Obamacare that is illegal and they can’t afford to insure him. In our numerous discussions, my husband and I have talked about how we are going to have to rely more on the priesthood and faith to get people thru this time. I am so sorry about this. I will add you and your family to my prayers.


Jeremy G.
October 18, 2013

I sympathize with your plight. I have been there; one of my darkest memories is trying to navigate the terrible SCHIP maze when we were destitute graduate students trying to get coverage for our kids. It was a terrible feeling, and it was compounded by frustration that the system, itself deeply problematic, was administered by a mechanism that amounted to a Rube Goldberg machine. Right now we’re going through a similar situation with my father, who suffered a severe brain injury in an accident a few months ago, and who, though covered by Medicare supplemental insurance, is facing an outrageous maze of billing, payment, approvals, etc. etc.

Our SCHIP experience was over a decade ago, and my dad’s experience was earlier this summer, which brings me to my first point: the bureaucratic frustrations associated with the “industry” part of the healthcare industry are not new, and are not the result of Obamacare. They are a result of the fact that healthcare as it exists in the marketplace does not always have health as a primary incentive.

Also, even though you’re understandably frustrated, I think before you start using “axe at the root” language and insisting that no good Mormon can support the Obama administration, you should disentangle two separate issues here and look at the two of them closely.

First of all, any insurance company who raises rates is of course going to jump at the opportunity to attribute rate increases to the ACA, rightly or wrongly. I’m very suspicious of what your company is claiming, because since the implementation of the profit cap part of the ACA, the increase of healthcare costs nationwide has decelerated substantially, and your company is required by law to only use a certain small percentage of revenue for anything other than healthcare (such as marketing, overhead).

On a related note, I’m very suspicious about the accuracy of the idea that your family cannot get health insurance on the exchanges because it is offered to you individually. (If that’s indeed the case, it’s the result of messy law-writing, not some anti-family conspiracy.)

That brings me to my second main point: a lot of your frustration is a result of the website not working and the call centers being overwhelmed. I fully agree that the website rollout is an embarrassment. But the law is more than the website, and until you really know what regulations affect your family, and what your options are, I think it’s premature to be lighting the torches and sharpening the pitchforks.

I sincerely hope, and actually anticipate, that you’ll discover that the ACA actually offers much better choices for your family that you realize, and that months from now having much better insurance for your family will go a long way to softening the sting of the terrible experience of the initial rollout and signup.
But I


MC
October 18, 2013

“If that’s indeed the case, it’s the result of messy law-writing, not some anti-family conspiracy.”

Amazing how with all that messy law-writing, they didn’t forget to force Catholics to pay for birth control.

“Conspiracy” is a straw man. To say that the bill was written with indifference to the plight of single-income families with more than 1.5 kids is no more an allegation of “conspiracy” than to say that farm subsidies were written with indifference to taxpayers or food consumers. It’s all just just a spoils system.


Vader
October 18, 2013

I am seriously wondering whether I can, in good conscience, continue working for Death Star, Inc. I have believed all along that the nation needs frightening military technology as a deterrent. Perhaps it still does. But I hate working for the government that funds and controls it.

Well, at my age, new career options are extremely limited. If any of you hear of a viable employment possibility for an asthmatic-villain-American computational physicist with some significant medical needs, let me know. I am a moderately talented computer programmer if that helps. I can also perform basic computations in quantum field theory, which I suspect does not.

My employer has informed me that my current health plan is being canceled. There are two choices for a new plan. One is somewhat similar to the old (which was a co-pay with broad coverage of the kind that I think will soon no longer be typical) but with 30% higher premiums and 50% higher copays. The other is a somewhat cheaper plan with very high deductibles. For my likely medical expenses for the next year, as near as I can guess what they will be, it’s close to a wash: I lose equally either way. I suspect Obamacare is responsible somehow.

But my complaints are absolutely trivial compared with yours.

God help the United States. Because Obama and his minions won’t.


Geoff B
October 18, 2013

“Also, at the very least this provides anecdotal evidence that the Affordable Care Act fails to address the real problem with health care in this country: unscrupulous insurance companies whose commitment and obligation is to their shareholders and not to the health of their customers or the health and well being more generally of the country at large.”

This is a hilarious comment. The health insurance industry WROTE THE OBAMACARE LAW. And Democrats allowed them to write the law and were in the room with them when they did it. Insurance companies, like all companies, will pursue profit to satisfy their shareholders. It is up to the government representatives to prevent the insurance companies from raping the public, but in this case, the government empowered the insurance companies. This is fascism folks, pure and simple.


MC
October 18, 2013

Another thing about “conspiracy”: It’s a pernicious way of framing legitimate complaints as kooky. Yeah, it’s hard to believe that Obama has some sort of secret cabal that devises ways to make our lives miserable. But why would he need to? If everyone in the administration shares the same cultural attitudes, they wouldn’t have to conspire about anything; just do what any good leftist would do.

So enough with the “conspiracy” nonsense. This is good old-fashioned kulturkampf, right out in the open.


Jeremy G.
October 18, 2013

“Another thing about “conspiracy”: It’s a pernicious way of framing legitimate complaints as kooky.”

Are you saying there’s nothing in the OP that suggests a conspiracy?

Also, all this talk of the guvmint being in cahoots with the industry, if this had been a Republican bill, would have been framed as “Government cooperating with private industry,” in order to let the invisible hand do its thing.


Geoff B
October 18, 2013

Jeremy G, there was a Republican plan back in 2008-2009. McCain ran on it in the election that he lost, and Republicans in Congress endorsed it. It was actually a very good plan that would have ended company-provided health insurance while offering subsidies to the poor so they could afford to buy insurance. It was opposed by the insurance industry because….it would have created more competition and lowered profits for the biggest companies. Meanwhile, we got Obamacare, and the top five insurance companies are making money hand over fist. Fascism.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlenzner/2013/10/01/obamacare-enriches-only-the-health-insurance-giants-and-their-shareholders/


MC
October 18, 2013

“Are you saying there’s nothing in the OP that suggests a conspiracy?”

Not that I can tell. Broadly shared animosity by the ruling class is not the same as conspiracy. If there is a suggestion of conspiracy, can you point it out to me?


mondo cool
October 18, 2013

A little farther look down the road & we will find the people “discovering” that the insurance companies are raking in the dough and the people will cause an uproar and then have the proof that insurance companies should not be involved in healthcare because of the evil profit motive and the “best” solution will be to turn it all over to the government with its single payer system. THEN, everything will be better. The problem, it will be argued, is that we didn’t go far enough with the ACA.


Adam G.
October 18, 2013

Jeremy G.,

I hope you’re getting paid for flacking Obamacare. Anyhow, do it elsewhere.

I’m sick of smug progressives watching this trainwreck and telling me that they understand better than me what’s happening to me and who’s doing it. You know next to nothing about Obamacare. Any amount of research would tell you that Obamacare was drafted so that subsidies are based solely on how much the providers’ individual insurance cost. The assumption is that you won’t have any dependents, apparently. Any amount of research would also tell you that the major cost driver here is not Bond villains in the insurance companies. The major cost drivers are two-fold: first, by law my insurance now covers birth control pills and gym memberships and anything else that industry lobbyists could persuade some congressman to put in. Sex change operations, for instance. Second, I am being forced to subsidize the costs of insuring those other folks with pre-existing conditions and the like. The administration didn’t have the political backbone to straightforwardly raise taxes, so its using the insurance companies as intermediaries to tax away my kid’s insurance so they can subsidize their client voters. Not that I want to exonerate the insurance companies completely. All those lobbyists and campaign donations cost good money. The money’s got to come from somewhere, so I’m sure the administration’s subservient corporations get their cut too.

Any more of your silly smarm will be deleted.


Justin
October 18, 2013

“I’m very suspicious about the accuracy of the idea that your family cannot get health insurance on the exchanges because it is offered to you individually.”
You mistyped or misread. It is the SUBSIDY he does not qualify for because his employer OFFERS insurance for his family. Adam, did you have to sign a disclaimer with your employer that they offered to cover your family but did not accept? I did. It covers their butt in case you tried to claim your boss didn’t offer a family plan. They couldn’t care less if it was too expensive.


Adam G.
October 18, 2013

No, my employer just drafted a certification that they offered qualified insurance to all employees.

So what’s your story?


Geoff B
October 19, 2013

Adam G, it appears you are caught in the Obamacare vortex described here:

http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/the-perverse-economics-of-obamacare-earn-less-get-more/


Wes Clark
October 19, 2013

You are sending this to your elected representatives, right? And following up with angry phone calls? They may not react to you, but they might be motivated to act after the 100th such letter and phone call.


Tim
October 21, 2013

I am also frustrated by the fact that the software has had so many problems. I’ve also tried looking into it–the first day it was supposed to be available, and a couple of other times. I’m not willing to put a lot of time into it until December, though. I figure (hope, really) that it will be a smoother process then, and I’ll be able to save time and frustration by waiting several more weeks.

I’m a self-employed small business owner, so I’m looking forward to being able to buy decent, affordable insurance. Such a combination was not available prior. And the subsidies will be nice too.

I’m also hoping that my state will decide to expand Medicaid. Many people in my community are “working poor,” and don’t have the fortune of being offered insurance through their employers. Basic Medicaid coverage would be an enormous help.

It really sounds like you’ve been caught in the worst possible situation–an employer who offers a crappy insurance plan and a government plan that won’t give subsidies to those who already have insurance plans.

I really don’t see Obamacare being repealed. What I do see is it being modified. Your situation is a fantastic example of what kind of change is needed. Hopefully our legislators can get their act together and address those issues.


Tim
October 21, 2013

The specific change that needs to be made–

“One of the key criteria of whether you’d qualify for subsidized insurance through your state’s exchange is if your share of the premium for an individual health plan where you work would amount to more than 9.5 percent of your household income. Whether you take more expensive family coverage doesn’t matter; the benchmark is what an individual policy would cost.”

So the law needs to be changed to make the 9.5% applicable to FAMILY coverage, not individual coverage.

Thanks for informing me about this problem. This is ridiculous. This needs to be changed. I’m off to write a couple of letters to my representatives…


Vader
October 21, 2013

Tim,

No amount of lipstick is going to beautify this pig.


Tim
October 21, 2013

Lipstick on a pig?

Making the changes that would allow those in Adam G.’s position to obtain decent affordable insurance is not merely superficial or cosmetic in nature. It obviously would have a major impact on a lot of people.


DavidH
October 21, 2013

Bookslinger
October 21, 2013

Tim, the problem is that the requirements of the ACA are what is making insurance non-affordable. It is not the evil insurance companies.

I think people need to look at this with dynamic analysis and not static analysis. The ACA is not an end in itself. The stated aims of the ACA are not the end. The ACA is merely a step towards socialized medicine run by the government.

In fact, it has been over-regulation by the government that made health-care and insurance overly expensive to begin with. I worked for a group (employer type) health insurance company back in late 70′s, early 80′s. We saw it back then, when normal (healthy baby) pregnancy coverage was mandated by the federal government to be covered “as any other accident or illness. I think it was law 95-555 or something like that. That threw a big monkey wrench into actuarial calculations. But basically, you had to take the *optional* (at an additional premium) pregnancy coverage, and apply it to all female insureds, which essentially worked out to all those up to age 50. The companies (clients of the group insurance) were *required* to take this “coverage” for female employees and for male employees who had the spouse/family coverage option. Prior, if a female employee got pregnant, or the wife of a male employee who had spouse/family coverage, and there were complications, it would still be covered, as the extra cost of the complications was a legitimate expense that is insured against. But… prior to about 1980 , what was called “normal pregnancy” and “well baby care” was something that couples/women _counted on_ paying out of pocket, unless they had the “cadillac” plan. In other words, normal pregnancy costs were an *expected* if not “planned for” cost of having children. It was something most couples either calculated on having, or calculated on not having, and either took the extra optional coverage or not.

(Again, excess exenses beyond normal pregnancy and well-baby care, were an “insurable” risk and were covered under normal spouse/children policies.

But this whole thing about ignoring pre-existing conditions is a government wrench in insurance. You can’t insure your barn after it burns down. You can’t force insurance companies to ignore pre-existing conditions and not expect rates to go up for everyone. It’s madness. It’s foolishness. It is not longer *insurance* where you are insuring against a *risk*. It is then a known quantity.

We’ve already had two decades of laws where insurance companies cannot drop someone just for being fired or laid off, and when that employee had had an accident or illness when they were covered under the policy at that employer. Insurance companies have to continue to offer insurance to someone who was previously covered at rates comparable to what would have been in effect had the employee stayed at the employer. “Continuation of insurance” is a long used phrase and concept.

But if a healthy person decides not to conintue their health insurance after they are laid off, then gets sick or injured, and then tries to get coverage, then that is like trying to get fire insurance after your house burns down. That is part and parcel of “adverse selection”.


John Sabotta
October 22, 2013

The whole thing is wrong, and I refuse to participate in it.


Vader
October 22, 2013

A big part of the problem is confusion over what insurance is. Insurance is paying someone else to deal with risk. And the risk for which insurance is appropriate is that of a low-probability, high-consequence adverse event. The insurance company can deal with the risk of such events better than the individual can precisely because the company pools risk, so that what to the individual is a low-probability, high-consequence event is to the insurance company a high-probability (because it has so many policyholders), low-consequence (because it has a massive asset base) event.

Routine health care costs are neither low probability nor high consequence. You know you will need a physical examination every six months to five years, depending on your age and state of health. You know you will get flu shots every year, or else you will get the flu every couple of years; whichever way you choose to go, it’s a routine medical event. And so on. Hence, it is not appropriate for health insurance to cover routine medical costs.

Preexisting conditions can be high consequence, but they are no longer low probability once they exist. Hence, they are also not appropriately covered by health insurance.

In other words, health insurance and catastrophic health insurance are really the same thing. If your health insurance is covering more that just the possibility of catastrophic expenses, it isn’t really insurance. It’s a savings plan with a rotten rate of return. Unless propped up by tax subsidies, which themselves distort the market signals.

I believe a sane system would consist of catastrophic insurance, which by its nature would have relatively low premiums; savings for routine health costs, which are highly predictable; and something like an annuity system for chronic conditions, where the insurance company would cover “preexisting conditions” before they actually exist, when they’re actually insurable — that is, when the likelihood of the condition being present is not already 1.000. You’d buy a chronic condition annuity at the time you were expecting to become pregnant, and it would cover both unforeseen congenital conditions and things like diabetes occurring later in life.

One of the few things Romneycare and Obamacare actually have in common, and one of the few things that is defensible, is a tax or insurance requirement of some kind for catastrophic coverage. I shrink from the idea that an emergency room should turn away individuals who haven’t got insurance. It is in keeping with our ethics that we take whatever action is necessary to save life without much reckoning of the cost. Unfortunately, this creates a moral hazard (in the strict economic sense) that a significant number of individuals, including some who have ample means, will not bother with insurance, because their only real concern is emergency treatment and they know they’re going to get it anyway. An individual mandate to cough up their part of the cost of an emergency medical system actually makes some sense.

But having this mandate include routine medical care or chronic care does not. Perhaps there is some public interest in basic preventative care, although the HMO experience showed that the value of most preventative care is grossly overrated. I can see subsidizing flu shots, particularly given the anti-vaccination lunacy in some corners. But routine costs really ought to be the responsibility of the individual.

Perhaps there is also a compelling argument for an individual mandate on the annuity insuring against chronic conditions. I would have to reflect on that one.

None of these possible public interests in health care translate into a requirement that the government itself provide the health care. There are huge conflicts of interest when the producer, consumer, and regulator of a product or service are the same person or entity. When government pays for a government-regulated product or service, and runs the provision system, it has become consumer (because it’s paying), regulator, and provider. That isn’t going to work out well. Just look at public education.


ACA Guy
October 23, 2013

Adam G. wrote: “My family is not eligible for the Obamacare insurance subsidies because I personally get insurance.”

Actually, that’s not quite correct. You’re wife can apply for insurance from the exchange for herself and your kids. Whether or not she would be eligible for subsidies would depend on your combined family income and whether whether the combined cost her insurance (for her and your kids) insurance exceeds a certain percentage of your family’s combined income. But yes, if your combined family income is too high, she won’t be eligible for subsidies. Have you wife set up an account for herself and give it try.


ACA Guy
October 23, 2013

Well, after a little more research, I must confess that my previous statements are probably not entirely correct. Indeed, depending on the details of the plan that your employer is offering, your spouse may be prohibited from receiving subsidies.

Here’s a link to more information:
http://www.zanebenefits.com/blog/bid/288577/ACA-Limits-Premium-Subsidies-For-Families-of-Covered-Employees

I’ll just add that you should still check out the cost of plans for you wife and kids that are available from the exchange. In my case, I’m not eligible for subsidies, but the plans are nonetheless quite affordable for me. So you might be surprised.

If no plans from the exchange are affordable for you without subsidies, you still have another option: Depending on your income, you may be exempt from the requirement that you purchase a conforming plan (such as one from your employee or from the exchange) for your wife and kids. If that’s your situation, then depending on where you live, you could probably buy a catastrophic plan (which is what you likely already have) directly through an insurance broker, and not through the exchange. That is, just because your particular plan will no longer be available, don’t conclude that other such plans won’t be available. Catastrophic plans will remain available in many locations, even though such plans don’t comply with the ACA. Or at least that’s the case in my state.

Oh, and one more thing. This issue seems to have resulted from a fairly trivial drafting error when the act was written. Such drafting errors are common when drafting legislation and are typically corrected by Congress without much need for debate. If only certain members of the House were willing to work across party lines to fix such errors…


Vader
October 23, 2013

“Oh, and one more thing. This issue seems to have resulted from a fairly trivial drafting error when the act was written. Such drafting errors are common when drafting legislation and are typically corrected by Congress without much need for debate. If only certain members of the House were willing to work across party lines to fix such errors…”

Stuff a sock in it, ACA Guy.

The ACA was rammed through Congress, using every parliamentary trick in the book to avoid a proper debate and opportunity for amendment, on a largely party line vote by Congresscritters who could not possibly had had time to review what was actually in the bill.

Don’t go shedding crocodile tears about the Stupid Party being reluctant to accept the Evil Party strategy of passing the law first, and working out the details of the law’s text after.


ACA Guy
October 23, 2013

“Don’t go shedding crocodile tears about the Stupid Party being reluctant to accept the Evil Party strategy of passing the law first, and working out the details of the law’s text after.”

No crocodile tears shed here. Like I said, I’m not even eligible for subsidies. But given all the outpouring of supposed support for Adam in this thread, I would have thought you might be interested in a solution. And in case you missed, the solution is: Convince the “Stupid Party” (your words, not mine) to work with the “Evil Party” (again, your words, not mine) to fix a few of these otherwise trivial drafting errors.

Oh, and as for debate, there was PLENTY of bipartisan debate in conference. If fact, there was much more in conference debate than typical. As for whether the “Congresscritters” outside of the bipartisan conferences had time to review what was actually in the bill, simply put, no, they NEVER have enough time for that. That’s not how Congress works.

Blame whoever you want. But if you want this fixed, then stop blaming and start fixing.


Vader
October 23, 2013

By far the best fix is to repeal the thing and start over. The whole model is wrong, as I outlined a few comments back.

But the Evil Party won’t hear of it.


ACA Guy
October 23, 2013

If I had written the law, I too would have taken a very different approach. But laws of this sort are written by committees, not individuals. And that’s part of the reason drafting errors, such as the one identified here, creep into the final product.

I don’t pretend speak for the “Evil Party”, but knowing well those who do, I am certain that the “Evil Party” would be more than pleased to discuss any substantive proposal that the “Stupid Party” puts forth. But so far, although the “Stupid Party” is headstrong on repeal, they offer no workable replacements, or at least none that would make it past their own committees.

Seriously, no one denies that the ACA includes its share of flaws. But most of those flaws could be patched pretty simply to result in a system that, although not perfect, would be pretty good.

To paraphrase Voltaire, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of good.


Vader
October 23, 2013

My problem isn’t that it’s imperfect. My problem is that it is far worse even than the awful system it is meant to replace.


ACA Guy
October 23, 2013

“My problem is that [the ACA] is far worse even than the awful system it is meant to replace.”

There was no previous system. So no, I can’t agree with you on that.

Personally, I think single payer make most sense, but I know full well that not going to happen, so I won’t even bother arguing the point.

Reading some of what you wrote in your other posst, I would compromise with you by offering “catastrophic” plans for all who want to by them, not just the young. But really, I’m not sure how much that would save most of us. In my case, although older, I’m healthy and so currently a “catastrophic” policy, much like you advocate. Upon moving from that “catastrophic” policy to a “bronze plan”, I’ll see an unsubsidized increase of about 20%. But given I’m no longer subject to lifetime caps or the possibility of being dropped, the extra 20% is well spent.

Again, although not my first choice, if I were to patch the ACA, in addition to fixing the drafting error mentioned in the thread, I’d scrap (or completely rework) the employer mandate, smooth out the cut offs for subsidies, and offer subsidies to those who are at 100% of poverty or below. And if I were to give it a little more thought, I could probably find a few more areas to patch.


Adam G.
October 23, 2013

Don’t come on here when my family is on the brink of losing insurance and tell me that I just don’t understand the system, that its just a minor drafting error, and its also the Republican’s fault. With you liberals its always the wreckers and kulaks who are to blame.

Patch number one is junking the thing and starting over. We were much better off before Obamacare got enacted. You need to break out of the mindset that there is no problem with overfunded and overregulated programs of corporate welfare and Democratic client group subsidies that more funding, more regulation, more welfare, and more subsidies won’t fix. We’ve been “patching” the welfare regulatory state for decades now. We’re always just one more patch away from utopia. Meanwhile me and my siblings are worse off then my parents were and the young men I work with at church can’t get a job flipping burgers or washing dishes.

You’re the third Baghdad-Bobesque flack to try and come on here to tell us that straw we’re being fed is a tasty repast, or that the set of dodgy, self-enriching, self-regarding and cocooned manipulators in Washington are being stymied in bringing us the quality government they really, really (no, really) want to bring us. None of you have displayed either common humanity or common sense. The yawning gap between you and reality won’t be cured by yapping.


ACA Guy
October 23, 2013

“None of you have displayed either common humanity or common sense.”

Seriously? I took a fair amount of time to provide you with a few options. You’re welcome.

“Patch number one is junking the thing and starting over.”

You write the replacement law and then get back to us, okay?

“We were much better off before Obamacare got enacted.”

No you weren’t. You were subject to lifetime caps and from being dropped by you insurance provider. And if you got sick and lost your job, you wouldn’t have been guaranteed insurance. Now you just have to pay a little more. Suck it up.

Well, I’ve put enough time into this futile effort. Back to billing an obscene fees to my paying clients. But that’s the ‘merican way that you advocate, isn’t it?


Vader
October 23, 2013

“Back to billing an obscene fees to my paying clients. But that’s the ‘merican way that you advocate, isn’t it?”

Indeed. “There’s a sucker born every day.” — P.T. Barnum.


Adam G.
October 23, 2013

You took a fair amount of time to condescend and brush off my problems as if they were my fault. You should know that, but I don’t expect self-awareness from liberals.

I’m getting sick of you, so I was planning on editing your last email to make it sound snotty and stupid and self-absorbed, but someone already beat me to it. Vader, was that you?


Zen
October 23, 2013

ACA guy, I do think you mean well, and your heart certainly is kind…

but the fact is, Adam has significantly less money and control than he did before. You are trying to tell him, that you know better than he does, and understandably, he resents that.

Full government control never does as well as freedom because when we are all free, we have the combined brainpower of 300 million people. That is a lot of brain power looking optimizing solutions. The real question, is Freedom vs Risk. Liberals have decided that Risk is not worth Freedom, so we should all lose Freedom. That is a big simplification, but it is the heart of the matter – who is in charge and what are we willing to risk to be in charge of ourselves.


ACA Guy
October 23, 2013

Adam,

I know better than you what’s best for you. You’re probably lying about your experience, but if you aren’t you deserve what’s happening to you and your family. You should be properly grateful.

[Ed. - drastically summarized to improve readability]


Zen
October 23, 2013

What we have here is a vicious cycle, or a feedback cycle.

And a major part of it, is the middleman called insurance. Nowhere else do we insist on a middleman to bring costs down.

In order for insurance to work, it must pay for a FEW things as possible. But in order for doctors and hospitals to be profitable, they must charge as MUCH as possible, and why not, because it is not people paying it, but faceless insurance. Thus, we pay more and more for few and fewer things.

With the ACA, we are cementing the feedback cycle in place. It is worth remembering, the Insurance companies largely wrote the ACA and they are reaping great profits right now, now that we no longer have a choice.

The ACA is short-term thinking at its finest.


Vader
October 23, 2013

Adam,

No editing was required. I am reminded of an exchange from Johnny Quest:

“Colonel, he means to make fools of us.”

“Too late, bub. Nature beat me to it.”

ACA Guy,

“Quite frankly, after looking again at your original post, I’m not sure if I believe the information that you provided.”

I believe you have just sunk to ad hominem.

“Let me get this straight. You’re complaining that you aren’t eligible for government subsidies, which if given to anyone else you would likely call a “handout”, but you’re accusing me of being too liberal? That’s rich.”

Yes, let’s get this straight. Adam is complaining that, due to ACA, insurance that was previously just affordable has now become unaffordable. Since the government has imposed the regulations that have rendered his insurance unaffordable, it might be some consolation if the government provided a subsidy to counter this loss of affordability. It apparently has not.

My own experience, as I noted earlier, echoes Adam’s, though to a much less painful degree. I am blessed with full coverage for myself and dependents through my employer at a rate I can (if not happily) afford. And I will continue to be covered in the new calendar year — but, thanks to the effects of ACA, the coverage will be 30% more expensive and have 50% greater copays. It will also greatly increase the costs of out of network treatment, which, since I metaphorically am armored with Class C medical devices, is a serious concern. (I will resist the urge to tangent into a rant on the medical device tax.)

So, thanks to ACA, I now have markedly inferior coverage at significantly greater cost. This is an objective fact. If you want to argue with me about the value of ACA, you will have to argue that there are benefits for others, which I am not personally seeing, that outweigh the harm to me, and that it is just and right that this cost should be shifted onto me. This requires first arguing that ACA is actually a good way of providing these benefits, superior to the system it is replacing, which is a proposition I regard as utterly risible. And, yes, what it is replacing is a system. Not all systems are planned or centrally controlled. That you seem to think otherwise screams “liberal” to me.

“Actually, I represent high income clients, and they reward me well for my efforts. Some might even say that I ooze free-market capitalism.”

The same could be said of the Manhattan Madam.

The fact is that Big Business is no friend of the free market, and never has been. If you seriously believe otherwise, that’s another shout of “liberal.”

“I’m a pragmatist. And in my view, the ACA is the only practical solution that is presently available.”

I’m having a hard time reconciling these two statements. ACA is a disaster, built on a hopelessly wrong model of health provision, on the entirely mistaken assumption that health care is not fundamentally an individual responsibility. It is a step backwards, not forwards.

[Ed. - some of Vader's quotes are taken from the unabridged version of ACA Guy's last comment, before it was beneficently abridged for easier consumption]


ACA Guy
October 23, 2013

Vader does not believe ACA will improve health care. The villain, opposing improvements to health care!

[I must reluctantly decline credit for the previous edit. That was Adam. However, I am happy to provide the edit for brevity and comprehension this time around. --V.]


ACA Guy
October 23, 2013

Whoever is editing my comments is a bad person. My unedited comments solve your healthcare insurance problems and whiten teeth.

[Ed. - Summarized for brevity.]


Vader
October 23, 2013

ACA Guy,

“When I was under the mistaken impression that you edited my post to remove the bits that could actually help others, I truly believed that you had no desire to help anyone. But now that I know otherwise, I no longer have any basis to believe so.”

You would not be justified in believing I have no desire to help others even if it [i]was[/i] I that had edited your original post. Nor do you have any justification for thinking Adam has no desire to help others. I do not know Adam well, but I know him better than that.

This is not a “how to” site for working through government bureaucracy. But you are welcome to construct your own site for that purpose, if you wish, and if you really think doing so will help. I doubt it. I am not much impressed by the bystander who offer suggestions to the condemned on how to fit his neck more comfortably into the lunette.

Incidentally, I, not Adam, deleted my post where I asked if you really thought I didn’t want to help anyone. I feel at liberty to delete my own posts when I think better of them before there has been time for a response. I am surprised you were watching this thread that closely.

It is hard to imagine you haven’t picked this up by now, but just in case: I see a great need for reform in how health care is provided in this country. I believe ACA is a big step in the wrong direction; hence, positively harmful; hence, I feel it my duty to call for its repeal rather than just reform, which I believe can only be cosmetic. It’s a pig because that’s it’s DNA, not because more lipstick is needed.


Miss Piggy
October 23, 2013

Hey!


Agellius
October 23, 2013

I’m aghast at the comment censorship. But it’s pretty funny too!


Vader
October 23, 2013

Agellius,

Adam is unclear on the concept that blog owners are absolutely obligated to tolerate posts by anonymous strangers who suggest they are liars in the comments thread.

As am I, I’m afraid.


Vader
October 24, 2013

Let me share a couple more thoughts about the train wreck that this comment thread became, from my point of view as assistant blog manager, CEO (chief evil overlord), and not-Adam Greenwood.

The first post Adam censored included a suggestion that Adam was lying. My feeling is that this was a close call. I would probably have left it in place but firmly pointed out that the suggestion was out of line. But then, I wasn’t the one whose honesty was being questioned. I don’t fault Adam for his decision to replace it with something much less turgid and much more entertaining.

The second censored comment was a repeat of the first comment, with the added suggestion that I, Vader, had deleted the comment because I wanted to keep people from being helped (to wade their way through the Obamacare morass.) Of course, being an evil overlord, that would have been perfectly in character for me, but it happens it wasn’t the case this time, which I found professionally annoying. Since Adam had seen fit to delete the first posting of that post, I went ahead and deleted the rerun. I’ve always hated reruns.

I don’t recall all the particulars of the third deleted post. But by this point I was very disinclined to stand up for ACA Guy’s posting privileges.

ACA Guy has since tried five times to post again. The first post was signed with Adam Greenwood’s name and email address but posted personal identifying information about Adam that seemed very much out of character. Sure enough, the IP address was one previously used by ACA Guy. At this point I deleted the post and blocked ACA Guy.

The second post was an identical repeat of the first, but from a second, unrelated IP address. Tricksy trollses! I blocked that, too.

The three subsequent posts went back to being signed with variations of the ACA Guy moniker but continued to reveal personal identifying information, with additional incorrect and fairly risible speculations about Adam’s employment situation, salary, and economic status, and further suggestions that Adam is a liar. All deleted.

I can understand the discomfort with censoring the first post. I cringed a little myself. But, on reflection, I think censoring a borderline libelous post is defensible. ACA Guy’s actions since them have, I submit, thoroughly vindicated that decision.


Agellius
October 24, 2013

Vader:

Sorry if I sounded judgmental. I was surprised to see it, but it was none of my business and I acknowledge that I didn’t know the original content of the edited comments, so for all I know it was completely justified.

I did think the edited comments were very funny.


Geoff B
November 2, 2013

Adam G, I wrote the following for you:

http://www.millennialstar.org/obamacare-fascist-medicine/


Vader
November 12, 2013

“God have mercy:”

Because Obama and the Democrats won’t.


Vader
November 12, 2013

Yet another experience paralleling, in some ways, your own. Very similar to mine.

http://www.article6blog.com/2013/11/09/dear-mr-president


Bookslinger
November 12, 2013

And just think of the TENS of millions who are going to lose their _group_ insurance coverage through their employer when the _employer_ mandate kicks in.


Vader
November 18, 2013

So it appears that the Democratic chorus is now singing that Obamacare was actually a Republican plan, that it was the last best hope for a free market solution, and its incredibly disastrous failure only proves that we should have gone to single payer to begin with.

I am coming around to the view that Obama never intended this to succeed, that he intended all along to throw the insurance companies under the bus, and the only thing that is disconcerting to him is that this has failed beyond his wildest dreams.


Bookslinger
November 18, 2013

Vader: it’s the Hegelian Dialectic: thesis, antithesis, synthesis.

Or in other words, fabricate a problem for which you have the solution, in which the solution is what you wanted in the first place, but wouldn’t have been accepted had there not been a much worse problem against which you propose your solutions.


Vader
November 19, 2013

Why the fact that many people in other countries like their socialized medicine may not actually mean much:

http://accordingtohoyt.com/2013/11/19/a-slip-in-time/


Geoff B
November 19, 2013

Adam G, I continue to be appalled by your experiences. I don’t know if you saw this story, but I actually went to junior high school and high school with this poor, unfortunate woman. To summarize, she signed up for Obamacare in Wash state and was so excited that she wrote a letter to Obama letting him know how excited she was, and Obama cited her in his Rose Garden photo op. Now it turns out that her whole experience was a mistake and she will not be getting insurance after all. She is aghast. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/woman-hailed-president-obamacare-success-story-now-cant-afford-obamacare_767868.html


John Mansfield
November 19, 2013

Not completely unrelated: a couple years ago, my county’s police switched to black uniforms. This ACA abuse sounds so much like a hassle I had correcting an IRS mistake. Multiple letters, hours on the phone waiting on hold, months before I could discern the real reason a deduction had been denied and finally remedy their data entry error from three years earlier. That was taxes, which have been a sore spot in the relation between man and government for millenia, so not an unexpected frustration, but as Mark Steyn has been telling us, IRS-like control and conflict is the template for our future relationship with our government, and government control permeates all we do, even tending to our families’ health expenses. Since Department of Education SWAT teams raid the homes of delinquent student loan recipients already, Health and Human Services functionaries for the cause of affordable care will likely knock doors off hinges of the uninsured at some point.


Harry Reid
February 27, 2014

Liar, liar. Pants on fire.


Adam G.
March 27, 2014

Ann Coulter’s Obamacare experience was about as pleasant as mine:

http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2014-03-26.html


Vader
March 27, 2014

As Ann points out, the only real reason for health insurance to exist is to cover low-probability, high-consequence events.

Like visiting your emergency room.

We found out today at Death Star, Inc., that the company health plan does not cover emergency care at the local hospital. It does, curiously, cover emergency care at the hospitals at the next two planets over.

They are calling this an “oversight.”

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