December 20, 2013

If you liked your insurance, but couldn't keep it because Obamacare caused it to get cancelled...

... you can... well, obviously not keep it, because you did lose it, but... how can we put this that might quiet the screaming for a little while?
Millions of Americans who had their health plans cancelled will be exempt from the Obamacare individual mandate, the administration said Thursday — a surprise move that comes just before Monday’s deadline to sign up for coverage starting Jan. 1.

The administration also said people who had their plans cancelled could get a scaled-back catastrophic plan, which has more limited benefits than those included in other Obamacare health plans.
Nothing is working, and the idea seems to be to orchestrate the catastrophe so it feels somewhat better.

With Obamacare, it's nothing but palliative treatment.

91 comments:

C Stanley said...

"Nothing but palliative treatment"

Take the blue pill!

betamax3000 said...

Love the "orchestrate the catastrophe" turn-of-phrase. Sprong Ze in Paniek Op!

khesanh0802 said...

You would think that they would just be honest and suspend the mandate for a year. How are the insurance companies and state commissioners supposed to deal with this latest; and how does this catastrophic policy serve as a replacement for the policy that I evaluated a year ago and decided it fit our needs? That policy was much broader than a "catastrophic" policy and a lot cheaper than its replacement under Obamacare.

What a pile of BS!

DanTheMan said...

I am just amazed at how fast Congress has been able to act and make all these changes to the law.

surfed said...

There is no Brutus. Julius Caesar lives.

Jack Wayne said...

Is anyone surprised by this latest pivot by The Won? Lots of peope were predicting this sort of behavior 5 years ago.

Jack Wayne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
betamax3000 said...

Obama was asked "Will you uphold the ObamaCare Law in its entirety?

Obama answered, “Unfortunately, I cannot.”

Tank said...

What is the cost to taxpayers for all of the many exceptions and changes they've made? Won't they all explode the expense projections (ie. lies) we were told when they were jamming this down our throats?

No worries. More of their intent ... make some people give their money to other people.

khesanh0802 said...

And the big O is off to Hawaii for two weeks, " but expects frequent updates". That two week vacation got the heads of MN and MD insurance sites fired. Wish it could do the same for O.

khesanh0802 said...

…. and I really meant to say what a steaming pile of BS!

betamax3000 said...

'When I use a Law,' Obama said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

MadisonMan said...

I am just amazed at how fast Congress has been able to act and make all these changes to the law.

Well done.

Is everything done by Executive Fiat now?

Dear Legislature: Grow Some Balls.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

"The administration also said people who had their plans cancelled could get a scaled-back catastrophic plan"


If I understand things correctly, post-obamacare, there are NO catastrophic plans approved and priced for those over 30.

Ignoring the fratricidal impacts to other insurance plans, it would seem that companies would need to price these plans for a post-obamacare market, get them approved in the states, and market them.

Another clear sign that Obama hasn't learned that selling insurance is complicated.

That Sebelius, a former State Insurance Commissioner, is pimping this half-assed solution boggles the mind.

Marshal said...

Millions of Americans who had their health plans cancelled will be exempt from the Obamacare individual mandate

Consider that Obamacare is only constitutional because the "mandate" is in fact a tax. So Obama has just claimed the right to unilaterally exempt defined groups from taxes.

Outrageous. This is Banana Republic law. I would never have believed even democrats could stoop so low.

PB Reader said...

So much for equal treatment under the law. If you didn't have insurance before, you still can't buy a catastrophic policy.

PB Reader said...

If this is a banana republic, why isn't it warmer?

Marshal said...

khesanh0802 said...
You would think that they would just be honest and suspend the mandate for a year.


Frankly the mandate is the least of the problem. Millions of previously insured people are going to be uninsured in 12 days, and a fair number of those people are going to be royally screwed because of it. Paying a fine might be salt in the wound, but the wound is the problem to focus on, not the salt.

fivewheels said...

So if you got your policy canceled by the law, you no longer have to obey the law, but if you're just a poor person who never had a policy before, and the law was supposed to help you, well, you still get whacked by the mandate penalty. Is that right?

Why, from the left's perspective, should the person with more money and more options be exempt from the penalty while the more unfortunate get hammered? Oh, right, because for the left it's about votes, and always has been, and never about policy or health care.

Big Mike said...

As I commented on another post, there's no strategy, just lurching around from crisis to crisis.

65,917,258 Americans who voted in 2012 are certifiably insane.

betamax3000 said...

The Law is a Lava Lamp.

Big Mike said...

@khesanh, where you there back then?

EDH said...

The release of HBO's "Getting On" with the roll-out of Obamacare is just what the doctor ordered.

In the latest episode, Laurie Metcalf has to explain to Molly Shannon's character that her mother just has entered palliative care.

"You are absolutely talking, and I'm absolutely listening."

John Lynch said...

So... how can people prove to the IRS that their plan got cancelled? How's the IRS going to process all the paperwork in time for tax season?

Millions of people are going to get fined for not having insurance, unless the IRS just gives up.

This administration is totally clueless about how the federal government works. Idiots.

tim maguire said...

Thank god we no longer have to deal with all that inconvenience of being a constitutional republic.

All three branches (and, frankly, both parties) seem to be on board with the Imperial Presidency, so it must be a good thing.

Henry said...

I especially enjoy this gem:

"allowing people to opt out completely could further depress enrollment"

Yup. Sure could.

Gahrie said...

You would think that they would just be honest and suspend the mandate for a year.

They can't, after spending months attacking the Republicans for suggesting the same thing. Not even the MSM could hold their nose against that stench.

Marshal said...

John Lynch said...
So... how can people prove to the IRS that their plan got cancelled?


The feds will tell insurance companies to re-send the letters (or a newly created notice) to their previous policyholders with their other tax reports (1099's, etc.). The IRS will require individuals to submit the cancellation letters with their returns or the mandate will be assessed and deducted from any refund.

Mrs Whatsit said...

John Lynch said: "This administration is totally clueless about how the federal government works."

And about how insurance works.

And about how the economy works.

And about how the private sector works.

And about how the Constitution works.

And about how to work so that the result is an actual, real-world accomplishment, not just another speech.

And about -- well, apparently everything, so far, except hoodwinking the most gullible voters long enough to elect their guy twice.

Revenant said...

So people who wanted insurance but lost it because of ObamaCare still won't be able to get insurance, but they won't be fined.

People who didn't want insurance in the first place will be fined if they don't buy it.

Amusingly, the courts would probably say that the above passes the rational basis test.

CWJ said...

Gahrie got there just ahead of me.

Yep, we had to "shut down" the federal government theatrically in major part because suspending the individual mandate for a year was unacceptable. But now it is.

Oh what a difference two or three months make.

Phil 3:14 said...

This may be good. If they're cheaper than the bronze plans, it may encourage interest in catastrophic coverage, or as some people call it...

Insurance

John Lynch said...

Marshal-

You think that's going to happen at this late date? The year is almost over. They don't have time to get all that done. There's also the problem of all the affected companies, government agencies, and individuals having to guess at the next rule change the White House makes out of the blue.

khesanh0802 said...

@Big Mike

Yes. Whiskey 1/11.

Tank said...

Phil 3:14 said...

This may be good. If they're cheaper than the bronze plans, it may encourage interest in catastrophic coverage, or as some people call it...

Insurance


WINNING !!!!!!

Marshal said...

John Lynch said...
Marshal-

You think that's going to happen at this late date? The year is almost over. They don't have time to get all that done.


Why would the administration care about how much they're screwing businesses with new requirements? They do this shit all the time. People just don't know about it because it's focused on business, where a tiny fraction of people even in the businesses effected have to deal with it.

This is why Obamacare is such a disaster for Dems. They've always been inept and unconcerned for the impacts of their policies, but this was not widely understood since the effects were concentrated. Obamacare is retail, and it will give those resisting incompetence the ability to tie future stupidity to something the general public witnessed and agrees with.

Joe said...

We must break the law to save it.

Matthew Sablan said...

I wouldn't rely on the president's word when it comes to figuring out what to do with your health policy. Especially for those who liked it, wanted to keep it, but now can't.

Curious George said...

So in review, people lost their coverage because it was "substandard" and the alternative is too costly so the solution is even more "substandard". Got it!

One Big Ass Mistake America.

Original Mike said...

"65,917,258 Americans who voted in 2012 are certifiably insane."

No, just dumb as rocks.

Matthew Sablan said...

I will not be surprise if come January, we have fewer people, with worse insurance, than we had previously.

Original Mike said...

"One Big Ass Mistake America."

I saw a pick up truck (in Madison!) with this bumper sticker on it (though, I think "Ass" was "Awful").

NotquiteunBuckley said...

John Boehner has spent more than any speaker ever. He is the liar. Obama is of course a liar too, but not THE liar like Boehner.

Let us focus on the Great Lying Spender and his spending lies. They are the lies that bury folks.

eddie willers said...

So in review, people lost their coverage because it was "substandard" and the alternative is too costly so the solution is even more "substandard". Got it!

Congratulations. You and Phil 3:14 are neck and neck for thread winner.

MattL said...

This administration is totally clueless about how the federal government works. Idiots.

"...what we’re also discovering is that, you know, tax returns are complicated to process."

rehajm said...

This may be good. If they're cheaper than the bronze plans, it may encourage interest in catastrophic coverage, or as some people call it...

Insurance


I'm on board with this, too. When you allow insurers to offer real choices and options in coverage that lower the cost of a policy instead of restricting everyone to the same larded up policy with different levels of deductible and co-pay, you incentivize participation from the young healthies.

Unlike the current law...er...'future' current law: Food. Obamacare. Rent. Pick two.

jaed said...

A couple of things:

1. The "catastrophic" plans on the exchange aren't really catastropic plans (naturally): they include all the mandated coverages, free birth control pills, etc.

2. They also require that you stay within the provider's narrow networks. (True catastrophic plans let you go to any provider who agrees to treat you, and the insurance pays a set amount, typically. This lets you make choices and, when practical, negotiate cost.)

If I understand things correctly, post-obamacare, there are NO catastrophic plans approved and priced for those over 30.

There actually are, because there were already "hardship exemptions" that let over-30-year-olds buy a catastrophic plan. Bankruptcy is one I've seen mentioned, but there are others. I haven't seen a way to buy them directly on any exchange website, but it's legal so the insurance companies presumably have a price somewhere for ages over 30.

Andy Freeman said...

This round of changes is yet another body-blow to the insurance companies.

Insurance companies must price policies so the total revenue covers their costs, aka "insurance companies don't subsidize anyone". Individuals try to avoid policies where their costs are significantly less than what they pay, aka "individuals won't voluntarily subsidize others".

Insurance priced the "bronze, silver, gold" policies based on a given mix of participants.

The "hardship" exemption came about because some individuals noticed that they were getting screwed. By letting them escape, the insurance companies have lost a lot of revenue and avoided a much smaller amount of cost, which means that they're likely to lose money.

As they said in "Animal House", "you screwed up, you trusted us". The insurance companies trusted that Obama wouldn't do exactly what he said he'd do, destroy them.

Scott M said...

So...let's say you got one of the cancellation letters early and you dutifully sat through all of the Healthcare.gov fail and actually persevered enough to actually enroll for a plan, bronze/silver/gold whatever, and actually sent in a payment.

At nigh upon the 11th hour, POTUS declares you were, indeed, a chump for having done exactly what they wanted you to do.

And let me get this straight...the Democrats forced a shutdown because the GOP wanted to delay the individual mandate. The administration, in it's desperate maneuverings to rationalize their advertising fraud, said that the cancellations were of "sub-par" plans.

Now...people who got cancelled are getting that delay. And they're getting it by purchasing catastrophic plans that are basically "sub-par" by this administration's own definitions?

Is that correct?

mccullough said...

What about my free birth control?

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

This is looking more and more like trying to juggle Jello.

Sad thing is - I mean REALLY SAD - civilization depends on respect for the law.

Curious George said...

"jaed said...
A couple of things:

1. The "catastrophic" plans on the exchange aren't really catastropic plans (naturally): they include all the mandated coverages, free birth control pills, etc.:"

Phew. That's good news. Because as a 50 something single male at least I have maternity coverage to go along with a $10,000 deductible.

jacksonjay said...


This is looking more and more like trying to juggle Jello.

I'm struggling just trying to follow along!

n.n said...

There are medical professionals who are offering primary care for less than 100/month. Everyone, including illegal aliens, already had access to emergency care. What is the reform offered by Obamacare? What justified a progressive intrusion in to people's lives? Has Obamacare increased the number of doctors, nurses, and other medical resources? Has Obamacare improved the quality of the product and service offered by the medical sector? Has it served to educate the public about personal responsibility? It seems that the market already offered choices for people who wanted them.

Lucien said...

What a bonanza for Con. Law professors. For years there was not much call for teaching the "take care"clause, but now it can be sexy.

Not only that, but it ties into the "3 felonies a day" theme. When the State criminalizes so many things that: 1)it cannot possibly enforce all of the laws; and 2) everybody is always technically guilty of something, then the rule of law becomes the rule of prosecutorial discretion, and as all power tends to corrupt . . .

Big Mike said...

@n.n., didn't you mean "retrogressive intrusion"?

Matthew Sablan said...

"At nigh upon the 11th hour, POTUS declares you were, indeed, a chump for having done exactly what they wanted you to do."

-- I hate how following the rules ends up punishing me more than breaking the rules. In fact, quite often, FOLLOWING the rules is the only way to get hurt.

Original Mike said...

"I am just amazed at how fast Congress has been able to act and make all these changes to the law."

The House should pass a bill codifying these changes with one addition; catastrophic plans (i.e. "insurance") shall remain legal into perpetuity.

hombre said...

Maybe Boehner should stop whining about conservatives and the fact that the political system is, after all, political, and hire a lawyer to stop the President from amending the law by executive fiat.

Obama's actions are a much greater threat to the integrity and role of the legislative branch than conservatives who honor the principles of the people who elected them.

Republicrats are the new RINOS.

Original Mike said...

From the article: "Obama, whose poll numbers have dropped sharply, was forced to concede last month that he was wrong to have made that pledge."

Wrong. Yeah, right. He was "wrong".

Crimso said...

Reality is turning inside the administration's decision loop.

Each move they make is in reaction to circumstances. Circumstances beyond their control (i.e., the collision of their theories with objective reality) and constantly changing such that every move they do make is the wrong one.

Comprehensive healthcare reform. A strange game. The only winning move is to not play.

Original Mike said...

How about a nice game of chess?

Original Mike said...

Crimso, I think you were the guy who turned me on to the problems the climate models have with poor predictions of the spatial distribution of temperature changes. You might find this interesting.

Scott M said...

Ah...a day is not fully complete without a meaningful 80's movie reference.

Crimso said...

OM:
I saw that piece. What's funny is when people lament the cherry picking of only focusing on the past 15 years, saying things like you need to go over at least a 30 year period to get an accurate sense of what climate is doing. They miss the point that it is less about an accurate picture of what the climate is doing, and much more about how over that cherry picked 15 year period the models have diverged substantially from the measurements.

It would be like saying my blood pressure is not a problem, since over the course of my entire life it has mostly been okay. I'm cherry picking when I focus only on the past 15 years (the time period over which my bp has been a major problem).

If the models had lovely agreement with observations in the 90s, that means shit when it breaks down later.

But hey, if you like your climate model you can keep your climate model. Unless it is a subtandard model, of course.

Andy Freeman said...

> The House should pass a bill codifying these changes with one addition; catastrophic plans (i.e. "insurance") shall remain legal into perpetuity.

The house has passed a number of bills legalizing Obama's "fixes" and have gotten nothing but abuse for their trouble.

Perhaps you can tell us why they should bother again. Do you expect a different result this time? If so, why (and what)?

Crimso said...

I'm automatic when it comes to 80s movie quotes. I think it may be a pathology. It certainly results in too much fucking perspective.

Scott M said...

Unless it is a subtandard model, of course.

A point of order, sir, for this is an inapt analogy. They are all substandard.

Freeman Hunt said...

So, you're cancelling my gold plan and have made replacing it too costly, but I shouldn't be upset because you'll let me replace it with an extremely low coverage catastrophic plan? Say what?

khesanh0802 said...

@ Freeman Hunt

To be completely accurate that's an "extremely low coverage", high deductible, high co-pay plan.

Ain't we wonderful?

Cheers and Happy Holidays.

Your gummint.

wildswan said...

"What we've found is that being above the law is hard. Feel our pain."

MadisonMan said...

I'm automatic when it comes to 80s movie quotes.

There are men that can help you with that.

(beat)

Top. Men.

damikesc said...

Nobody has standing to sue over this? Really?

Obama to Obamacare adopters: F-U suckers! Shouldn't have paid into this horrible system!!


damikesc said...

Because some people who HAD catastrophic care went to the horrible Obamacare site and got raped on cost --- then learned that if they did nothing, nothing would've happened.

But, Obama voters are fucking morons and incapable of learning from mistakes.

n.n said...

Big Mike:

Well, yes, and no. Progressive is a qualifier of intrusion. It simply denotes monotonic change. It's unfortunate that progressive is an intrinsically ambiguous concept, even if there is a common perception or misconception of a positive connotation. Forward!

eric said...

This is pretty rich. From the article:

"“We believe that an individual whose 2013 plan was canceled and considers their new premium unaffordable should qualify for a temporary ‘hardship exemption’ and thus, be able to purchase a catastrophic plan,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Sebelius."

What is this hardship exemption?

"experienced financial or domestic circumstances, including an unexpected natural or human-caused event, such that he or she had a significant, unexpected increase in essential expenses that prevented him or her from obtaining coverage under a qualified health plan.”

Basically, the administration is now saying that being subjected to Obamacare itself qualifies one for a hardship exemption within Obamacare.

We live in interesting times.

tim in vermont said...

Crappy plans to the rescue.

Crimso said...

"They are all substandard."

I tell my students that all models are wrong. They shouldn't fall into the trap of thinking that the way we describe atoms to them (be it Dalton's concept of the atom, the plum pudding model, the Bohr model, the quantum model, etc.) is what atoms actually are. I then go on to explain that a model is only of use if it works. The Bohr model works well for some applications, not so well for others. Know the limits of your models. To do that, you must accept there are such limits, and EVERY model has them.

And speaking of Dalton (can't recall if this was 80s or how close the quote is, but close enough): take the biggest model in the world, if you crush its knee it'll drop like a stone.

"It's an entirely different type of flying...altogether."

Original Mike said...

"Perhaps you can tell us why they should bother again."

Bother? Maybe because we're paying them to legislate?

"Do you expect a different result this time? If so, why (and what)?"

Campaign fodder.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Crimso: In flying there is a phenomenon called "Pilot Induced Oscillation". This is when the pilot's inputs get out of phase with the plane's behavior, so everything the pilot tries makes things worse.
Of course, the aeronautical analysis usually assumes that the pilot was not TRYING to crash the plane...
Here's another flying thing that may be helpful: Many normally stable planes can be pushed into a violent out-of-control regime, such as a spin. Pilots often fail to recover by struggling for the right inputs. However, often, the right thing to do is to LET GO OF THE CONTROLS, and the plane will recover by itself.
I leave the analogizing to the Federal government and the USA, as an exercise for the reader.

Paul said...

Well you guys voted for the little fucker so just tough it out.

Hope for change in 2014.

Scott M said...
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Scott M said...
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DanTheMan said...

>>Is everything done by Executive Fiat now?

We are a nation of laws, not men, and thus there are three co-equal branches of government:
The President,the Supreme Court, and the President.


Sam L. said...

Nah, it's a kiss on the boo-boo, and nothing more.

Andy Freeman said...

> "Perhaps you can tell us why they should bother again."

> Bother? Maybe because we're paying them to legislate?

They've already legislated on this topic, repeatedly.

> > "Do you expect a different result this time? If so, why (and what)?"

> Campaign fodder.

The past votes have already provided said fodder.

They may not be willing to use said fodder, but more votes won't change that.

Tom said...

I haven't seen anyone on the right credit or anyone on the left criticize Chief Justice John Roberts. When he reconstructed Obamacare to make it constitutional and the SCOTUS voided the Medicare expansion requirements for states as coercive, he introduced a poisoned pill to the already flawed law. The Obama administration didn't help itself but botching the website roll out and and has contiued to self-inflict damage by continually postponing requirements of the law until after future elections. But people are forgetting the role John Roberts played. I don't think Obamacare had much hope for success. But Roberts ensured it would die a gruesome death.

The other thing Roberts did with his ruling was to separate the cause and effect. Right now Americans equate the botched website as the reason for the botched law. That's natural, if not flawed thinking. At the time, I thought Roberts did something genius. Now I'm convinced of it. He let the country have the law and, knowing it would fail, he let the Dems take the fall for it. No blaming Bush. No hiding behind the court. Dems own this disaster. And Americans will finally feel the full consequences of poor election choices. Humpty was pushed and Roberts did the pushing.

jacksonjay said...


A letter to six Democrat Senators is how they announce the latest change? Really? How about a letter to all the poor saps who had their policies cancelled! Kinda shows you who they are concerned about!

Original Mike said...

"But Roberts ensured it would die a gruesome death."

I call chicken counting! Don't count your chickens, Tom.

Big Mike said...

@Original me, point taken, but I agree with Tom. Roberts' vote switch was excoriated by conservatives and celebrated by liberals. But if he had ruled the ACA unconstitutional the Democrats would have had a powerful stick to beat Republicans with. These days the charge of "Republican obstructionism" mostly has people remembering that Republicans tried desperately to stop the abomination before it starting hurting people.