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Why I wouldn’t feed Obamacare to my dog

If Obamacare was dog food, and if I actually could afford to have a dog, and if I could afford the time commitment to keep DoggyMars (isn’t that a cute name?) happy, I still wouldn’t feed Obamacare to that self same pooch!

“Why is that?”, I can hear the chorus of my 5 devoted FDL fans ask.

It’s very simple, really. When you take a dog into your life, you should treat that dog very well – like a member of your human family. But I wouldn’t feed Obamacare to my human family, either.

“Oh, really? Why is that?”, I can hear the chorus of my 5 devoted FDL fans, now even more drawn into this diary, ask.

Well, you see, I’ve read a couple of diaries over at nakedcapitalism, viz.:

Michael Olenick: Comprehensive Review of ObamaCare Plans Reveals Not Only High Cost for Atrocious Coverage, but Also Apparent Violations of ACA Requirements

and

Michael Olenick: Obamacare Pits the 50% Against the 49%

From the first diary

Yves here. From what Lambert and I can tell, Michael Olenick is the first to publish any sort of comprehensive analysis of Obamacare plans. And when you read his piece, you will see why we’re are likely to continue to be subjected to barrages of cherry-picked anecdotes in lieu of analysis.

His three-person family in his Florida zip code has 132 plans available to them. As he describes, the one mechanism that Obamacare stipulated to simplify the shopping task a bit, that of showing what the each plan would pay out under two specific treatment situations, was not disclosed for the overwhelming majority of plans on the healthcare.gov site. That meant that Olenick had to find the the information elsewhere and input it into his comparison.

But the most stunning part is the degree to which the plans fall short of their stipulated “actuarial” payouts. At least for Olenick’s family, the plans fall well short of the mandated level of reimbursements (for instance, a bronze plan is touted as covering 60% of expected medical costs). It’s unlikely that Olenick’s family would produce results that are out of line with results for states with similar regulations (note that some states have additional requirements that will influence plan structure and pricing).

From the second

Buried on CNN’s website is a story about an early Obamacare success, Jessica Sanford, a court reporter in Washington State. Jessica was so elated to receive an initial quote for $198 for a gold plan that covered her and her son she wrote to Obama, who quoted her.

YOUTUBE of OBAMA TELLING JESSICA’S STORY

Later, it turned out that thanks to software mistakes she actually faced a much higher premium for a worthless bronze plan. Now, Jessica says convincingly, she will have to remain uninsured. That’s because the state website provided estimates showing that she would receive a subsidy but she has since gotten a letter that says the opposite. So she has said she will pay a tax penalty that she believes will be $95.

I hate to be the bearer of even worse news but she’s the penalty is actually 1% of her income, which means she must make at least a frothy $62,040 a year (400% above poverty for a family of two). Clearly this woman is rolling in dough – a regular Donald Trump sans the bankruptcies – and deserves to pay jacked up prices for lousy insurance to subsidize those less well off than she is.

This is the sorry state of the Affordable Care Act, the ultimate betrayal of the self-employed middle class who are supposed to magically produce income to single-handedly support those who are uninsurable. As I demonstrated in prior articles this promise, when objectively judged, borders on sadistic. Politicians must have looked towards the student loan system for inspiration and forgotten to tell the public this was their goal. In that system students from families of about the same “rich” income bracket – in Jessica’s case a high-flying $62,000 a year for a family of two – are forced to take out loans so those slightly poorer can go to school for free, or to skip school altogether. There is another alternative that would require the genuinely rich to pay taxes like the rest of us but that’s obviously a non-starter. [Link: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/11/michael-olenick-comprehensive-review-of-obamacare-plans-reveals-not-only-high-cost-for-atrocious-coverage-but-also-apparent-violations-of-aca-requirements.html]

So, you see, I wouldn’t feed Obamacare to my dog, because if I did, instead of getting happy “Bark Bark!” from my dog, I would get “Barf Barf”!

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