As previously noted, Obamacare is going to improve the health of the citizenry and of the economy; it’s going to save people money (except those with income above $250,000, who will pay an extra $38,000 in tax on each additional $1 million in dividends and capital gains they receive); and it’s going to reduce anxiety for anyone who realizes that their current policy has a lifetime cap or that they can lose their insurance for getting sick or that a pre-existing condition could keep them from getting it in the first place. (It is also projected to reduce the deficit.)
Reason enough, cry the Tea Party Republicans, to shut down the government if necessary — even destroy the full faith and credit of the United States for the first time since our founding — to repeal or defund it.
The mind boggles. Right up there with climate change denial . . . and scientists from the Tobacco Institute who for decades disputed the health hazards of smoking . . . and claiming that the wealthy are the job creators (we are NOT) . . . and blocking efforts to put eager job seekers to work modernizing our D+ national infrastructure to kick start a virtuous economic cycle . . . and blocking even better, single-payer health care reform or “the public option” . . . and misleading us into a disastrous invasion of Iraq . . . and voting to cut food stamps for the working poor while continuing farm subsidies for wealthy corporate farmers. All these things — and more (discouraging the stem cell research that may now not come in time to save the life of someone you love?) — associated with the Republican Party.
But I digress. As usual. With my usual defense: I’m old. I ramble. You don’t pay me enough to stay tightly focused.
“The calculator provides a rough estimate of costs for insurance, based on national averages and factors that may not apply to you. It will give you an idea of what someone with circumstances like yours could pay for Marketplace insurance in 2014.”
The real premiums you will be offered, depending on where you live, are supposed to go live in just a few days: October 1. I assume several server farms will explode under the pressure of tens of millions of people attempting to visit healthcare.gov the site that day; but Estimates are that six in ten of the currently uninsured will be able to get coverage for less than $100 a month.
Gerald Marinoff: “Your Thursday post on healthcare describes young people with group health insurance subsidizing the old. However, they, too, benefit from a subsidy that receives no publicity, namely the obscene premiums paid by people who are not members of a group. My wife is a healthy 50 year old with no pre-existing or existing medical conditions and on no daily medications. She has never had a serious medical condition. Other than for an annual flu shot, she does not see her physician. She has healthcare coverage through Oxford’s HMO, a branch of United Healthcare. This plan has co-payments for all services and drugs, and has restrictions on doctor choice — in other words, it is not a ‘Cadillac’ plan. Every year her premiums increase, always in excess of the rate of healthcare inflation. Her current premium is $1536.61/month ($18,439.32/year). People like my wife have no union or employers to advocate for them, so they suffer from this extreme discrimination in rates. If the Republican troglodytes manage to dismantle Obamacare, there is no limit to the excesses that the insurance companies will go to increase their profits. But, of course, unlimited profits for private business is what the Republican party stands for.”
> It appears Gerald’s wife will save about $13,000 a year with Obamacare.
Tomorrow (which you can read today): Paul Krugman on “The Crazy Party”
Quote of the Day
Oil's been discovered in hell! shouts a stockbroker at the Pearly Gates. All bolt; he follows. I know why THEY'RE running, St. Peter says, but why you? Who knows, says the broker. Maybe there's something to it!~old joke
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