Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Getting Rid of More Junk Policies

When Obamacare forced cancellations of health insurance policies in the individual market the supporters first denied it, then said the policies were junk policies. Praise the Lord! Obamacare is now going to rid the small business market of junk policies. From the Washington Post:

When millions of health-insurance plans were canceled last fall, the Obama administration tried to be reassuring, saying the terminations affected only the small minority of Americans who bought individual policies. 
But according to industry analysts, insurers and state regulators, the disruption will be far greater, potentially affecting millions of people who receive insurance through small employers by the end of 2014.
Who knows, maybe the Administration will delay this portion of the law as it has delayed and waived much of the law. Whatever happened to "this is the law of the land" antiphone the supporters of the law made whenever asked about the votes to delay, diminish or destroy the law by the crazy, evil, insane, stupid, racist, Neanderthal, Republicans whose sole focus is to keep people from having access to health care?

I particularly enjoyed this quote:

Jonathan Gruber, a key architect of the health law and a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the number of people covered by small-group policies that will be discontinued is “not trivial.” 
“We’re ending discrimination [against people who are sick, and as a result] the people who were previously benefiting may now suffer,” Gruber said. “That’s sad for them, but it does not mean we should continue discrimination.”
The number will be "not trivial." Well, you know the saying, extremism in the service of health care is no vice.

This word discrimination is thrown around a lot. It is clearly being used in a pejorative sense to connote some wrong-doing. But riddle me this: If I build a house in a flood plain is my higher flood insurance premium "discrimination?" If a driver with a record of drunk driving is charged higher auto premiums, is that "discrimination?" Are life insurance premiums "discriminatory" because an 80 year old is likely to pay more than a 20 year old?

There were four foundational promises of Obamacare:
1) If you like your plan you can keep your plan.
2) If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.
3) Premiums will decline
4) More Americans will be covered

The first three promises are obviously absurd, and now recognized as such by most of the cheerleaders of law, after vigorously making the opposite claim for years. The fourth can be accomplished fairly easily, but the Democrats decided to go around their elbow to get to their rear and came up with Obamacare instead.  They bungled the law so badly it's not clear to me even the fourth foundational promise of this law will be kept.

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