Have We Found The Stupidest 'Obamacare' Story Yet? Maybe!
We read a thing. A thing that is so stupid, we literally don't know where to begin. It is from asad little newspaper thingie, by Richard Pollock, their "senior watchdog reporter," and it purports to compare health care plans from Walmart to those offered by Obamacare. So far so good! Except that it is mentally disabled.
The thesis is that Walmart's employee insurance plan is not terrible -- we are not actually a healthcare reporter, so maybe that is even true! And if Richard Pollock, senior watchdog reporter, had stuck with that thesis, he might have even been able to convince us! But watching him struggle through cherrypicked, conflated, and shockingly false data has left us with the teeny impression that since every word out of this guy's fingers is a lie, we will probably not believe him about the Walmart plan either.
Here is his "nut graf" (journalism!):
But a Washington Examiner comparison of the two health insurance programs found that Walmart's plan is more affordable and provides significantly better access to high-quality medical care than Obamacare.
Really? Is it more affordable than "zero dollars"? Because that is what a lot of people are paying for their healthcare under Obamacare. This is called "subsidies," and it is rather a major portion of the act. We will get back to costs later. First, let us skip around and find all Richard Pollock, senior watchdog reporter's, evidence that Walmart's plan is of higher medical quality than "Obamacare." (Hint: one slight problem with this watchdog reporting is that "Obamacare" is not actually just one plan! There's, like, at least three.)
The retailer's employees can use eight of the country's most prestigious medical facilities, including the Mayo Clinic, Pennsylvania's Geisinger Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic.
At these institutions, which Walmart calls "Centers of Excellence," Walmart employees and their dependents can get free heart or spinal surgery. They can also get free knee and hip replacements at four hospitals nationwide.
Many top-rated Walmart hospitals — such as the Mayo and Cleveland clinics — are left out of most Obamacare exchange plans.
Let's parse. If you are within a reasonable distance of the Mayo Clinic, you can use the Mayo Clinic. That is awesome! Good job, Walmart! There are a total of 12 hospitals, including eight "centers of excellence" -- in the nation -- where Walmart employees can get free heart surgeries or hip replacements. Great! We are sure the distance and travel costs to these excellence centers is totally negligible for all Walmart employees. And did you catch that last line? Here, we'll repeat it: "Many top-rated Walmart hospitals -- such as the Mayo and Cleveland clinics are left out of most Obamacare exchange plans." Not all Obamacare exchange plans, but "most." We live in California. We do not believe our Obamacare exchange plan comes with benefits at the Mayo Clinic, in Minnesota. THANKS OBAMA.
Here, let us read more evidence from Richard Pollock, senior watchdog reporter.
Robert Slayton, a practicing Chicago independent insurance agent for 11 years and the former president of the Illinois State Association of Health Underwriters, described to the Examiner the differences between Walmart and Obamacare provider networks.
Slayton said the BlueChoice exchange network for President Obama's hometown has very limited hospital participation. “In downtown Chicago, the key is the number of hospitals: 28,” he said.
“Now we’re going to the national network — this is what the Walmart network would most likely be — and you have 54 hospitals. That’s a big difference,” he said.
So their expert picked one network in Chicago (one), and compared it to what the Walmart network would "most likely be." Cool expert! (Also, is it just us, or is having a choice of 28 hospitals in one city a pretty good spread of choices? Eh, it is probably just us.)
Walmart also offers a free preventive health plan that mirrors the Obamacare plan. Its employees can take advantage of a wide range of free exams and counseling, including screenings for colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, chlamydia, diabetes, depression and special counseling for diet and obesity.
"Mirrors Obamacare" = "is better than Obamacare," obvs.
Very excellent evidence for why Walmart's medical care is better than "Obamacare's," Richard Pollock, senior watchdog reporter. Now let us move on to costs.
Unlike Obamacare, there are no income eligibility requirements.
Age and gender do not alter premium rates. The company plan is the same for all of Walmart's 1.1 million enrolled employees and their dependents, from its cashiers to its CEO.
Hey, you know where else gender doesn't alter premium rates? Obamacare! That is another rather large portion of the act! Of course, it does alter by age, with rates for the oldest and sickest among us capped at three times the rate paid by young invincibles. (The GOP finally has a "replace" to its "repeal" that caps the rate paid by the eldest as five times that of the kidz.)
A Journal of the American Medical Association analysis from September showed that unsubsidized Obamacare enrollees will face monthly premiums that are five to nine times higher than Walmart premiums.
The medical journal reported a 30-year-old smoker would pay up to $428 per month, in contrast to roughly $70 each month for a Walmart employee.
You know whose Obamacare is unsubsidized? Ours! And we are a 40-year-old smoker, paying $300 a month, because we chose the Gold Plan, because we are rich and fancy and also tend to get hospitalized a lot for stupid things like "our ovary exploded" and "what the fuck is going on in our breast oh sweet jesus christ," so we went with the ZERO DOLLAR DEDUCTIBLE. (Thanks Wonkers, for all the muneez. We appreciate you!)
Todd looked at a 30-year-old woman who could qualify for the government subsidy. “The nonsubsidized premium is $205 a month for this 30-year-old. If they get a subsidy, then the premium is zero. But that person has to come up with $6,300 if something catastrophic happened,” he said.
Gold Plan, dudes. Go for the Gold Plan.
The Walmart monthly premium for the same 30-year-old woman would be about $40. Her deductible would be $2,750, minus $250 in cash advance, for a total net deductible of $2,500.
Hmmm, surely healthcare for that 30-year-old woman wouldn't actually cost only $40 per month. Perhaps someone -- maybe even Walmart -- is paying for a hefty portion of it! Good on you, Walmart!
In conclusion, Washington Examiner, you are bad at your job of being a newspaper, Richard Pollock, you are bad at being a senior watchdog reporter, and all of you also too go fuck yourself.
Rebecca Schoenkopf is the owner, publisher, and editrix of Wonkette. She is a nice lady, SHUT UP YUH HUH. She is very tired with this fucking nonsense all of the time, and it would be terrific if you sent money to keep this bitch afloat. She is on maternity leave until 2033.