Obama's 'You Can Keep Your Plan' Failed To Anticipate How Much Americans Love Cheap Crappy Plans That Cover Nothing
OMG you guys! Did you hear that under Obamacare, everybody is losing all their insurance and has to buy new insurance that costs a million times more and it is bad? Why did Obama lie to us and tell us that if we liked our plan we can keep our plan, when he knew, HE KNEW!!!! that a lot of Americans have really shitty insurance thatonly pretends to be "insurance," but is cheap? THAT insurance is going away now, because socialist commie Obamacare won't allow insurance companies to sell plans with enormous deductibles and very little coverage. If we want to keep our terrible shitty insurance, we can't keep it now, because insurance companies are being forced to stop their bait and switch games. BUT WE LIKED THE BAIT, WAAAAAH! Why do you lie so much, Obama?
Tommy Christopher at Mediaite has been all over the misleading coverage of the ACA rollout; the "Obama Promised Nothing Would Ever Change" story has actually gotten loud enough that even the rightwing Newsbusters website is acknowledging that Obamacare is not the only reason that some people's policies are changing.
And for what is already a very slim slice of the private insurance market -- people covered by what Consumer Reports calls "junk insurance" -- some insurers are just plain pulling those plans even though technically they were "grandfathered in." Holders of shitty plans can keep them, but only if the insurance companies choose to continue selling them. But since they can't sell new policies in those crappy plans, it makes more sense for the companies to discontinue them altogether, a detail that gets left out of most coverage.
Still, this is a bit of an unforced error for Team Obama -- instead of the unqualified "if you like your insurance plan, your doctor, or both, you will be able to keep them," it probably would have been better to have added "if your insurance doesn't cover essentials like hospitalization, we'll help you get on a plan that does while still being affordable." But the narrative du jour now takes that "you can keep your plan" and turns it into "Obama lied, because insurance companies are cancelling our shitty plans!"
For instance, one CBS story looked at a Florida woman, Dianne Barrette, whose $54/month plan is going to be cancelled, but failed to point out that it pays just $50 of most of the services it covers, and it doesn't cover many. Office visit at $125, the plan pays $50 and Barrette pays $75. Any higher costs for the few services it covers -- complications from pregnancy, for instance -- and she's on the hook for everything over $50. It doesn't cover a single bit of inpatient hospitalization. So basically, Barrette had a plan that allowed her to pay $648 a year for the privilege of going broke a little more slowly in a healthcare emergency. The policy issuer doesn't even recommend that people rely on it as their main form of insurance.
To make matters worse, the insurance company's letter informing her that the plan would be discontinued recommends a replacement, at $591 a month, that is far more expensive than many plans available on the exchange -- Christopher estimates that with the ACA's subsidy, her actual cost for a basic plan would come to around $209 a month. But none of that got reported by CBS, and now, Dianne Barrette has three interviews lined up with Fox News. And to add to the fun, Barrette doesn't even seem to know what her plan covers. It actually pays $50 toward the limited services it covers, but she told WaPo's Erik Wemple that the plan has a "$50 co-pay," which is exactly the opposite of reality.
Expect to see a lot of rightwing crying about how mean old Obama won't let people keep their seriously shitty "insurance." Which didn't really insure a hell of a lot, but was cheap. Damn you for lying about this, Barack Obama. We were perfectly happy shitting in a bucket, and now you want to force us to buy an indoor toilet? Tyranny!
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.