Talking Obamacare at Work

When you work for a government agency, you expect to find many folks on the payroll that lean to the Left. But silly me, when I saw this article on the KOVR-TV website yesterday, I thought I had found a teachable moment. Consider the following:

Anthem Blue Cross Ends Health Care Exchange Coverage in Most of California

Monthly premiums for California health insurance plans sold under Obama’s Affordable Care Act will rise by an average of 12.5 percent next year.

The 12.5 percent average increase is slightly lower than last year, when premiums rose by more than 13 percent.

OK, so that’s a 25.5 percent increase in the last two years. With a rate of inflation at or below three percent annually, such increases in healthcare are astronomical. But there’s more:

About 10 percent of people enrolled through Covered California will also be forced to look for a new plan, as Anthem Blue Cross plans to end the coverage in most of the state. State officials say Anthem will continue providing coverage only in Santa Clara County and parts of Northern California and the Central Valley.

So, in the same story, Anthem Blue Cross is exiting most of California except Santa Clara County—can you say Google, Apple, and Facebook—while the rest of the customers can look elsewhere. So 10 percent of those on Obamacare (Arnoldcare on steroids) in California just got the boot. Only those in the heart of Silicon Valley will continue to be served by Blue Cross.

The same story on the KCRA-TV website has additional details worth considering:

Consumers could lower their increase to about 3 percent if they switch to the lowest-priced plans, officials said, though that could require them to change doctors.

More proof Obama lied. Low premiums and you get to keep your doctor, yeah, right!

The article states that Covered California sells insurance to 1.4 million folks in California.

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said the state shows that insurance markets are not failing. “We in California … are not just stable, but stable in a way that is truly working for consumers,” Lee said.

Talk about lipstick on a pig, this program is a mess and don’t forget that California is the most vibrant and successful of the healthcare exchanges in any state with a large population. Elsewhere premiums next year are going up by 30 percent—if any insurer even offers coverage in your area.

Top health insurance companies in numerous states are looking to hike premiums by double-digits – some by roughly 30 percent or more – for ObamaCare plans in 2018…

Insurers seeking huge premium hikes on ObamaCare plans

However, all the above is only half the equation because you still need to find a doctor willing to accept your insurance and nobody is talking about that particular problem right now. The pool of folks willing to accept the Obamacare insurance is shrinking also.

Given all this, how does a certified Liberal read these disturbing trends? Well the universe next door sees the world quite differently.

Reacting to the news of the rate hike, my Liberal coworker writes, “Great, the rich keep robbing and stealing from the poor.”

My response was:

What do “the rich” have to do with this?

Who is stealing?

These rates are with government subsidies that are supposed to make healthcare more affordable.

Also, rate increases have to be approved by Dept of Insurance which isn’t run by anybody that I voted for.

His reply:
“All of this extra money generated won’t be going to any poor people it will all be going to the rich people. The rich are stealing, when we pay more they pay less.“

My next response:

If what you say is true then how can the rich steal from poor if they aren’t engaged in commerce with them?

Trust me, if there was money to be made then Blue Cross would be insuring more folks not pulling out of markets.

You seem to think that for one guy to get rich that he must steal from someone else. This assumes that the economic pie is only so big and can never grow. This was basis of Keynesian Economics which was popular in the early part of the last century. Reality has proven that this is a defective way to view economics but it remains popular in some circles.

Wealth can in fact be created without screwing someone else. The economy can expand or contract over time, it is not static.

My friend’s next response was like an editorial from CNN:
“Insurance companies are owed and run by Billionaires and Millionaires. Yes, money is very finite….to poor people. Rich people can always get more. Yes sometimes wealth can be made without screwing people, sometimes. The AFA is a 95% Republican bill including the tax penalty which is 100% Republican idea. Of course no rich person ever paid the penalty. The Penalty was put in under the guise of if the poor people are taxed more then we (R) will support the AFC. Of course that was never the plan, no R voted for it, but the Republican penalty stayed in the bill to assure poor people pay more so the rich won’t have to.”

In my response I tried to break the above into pieces and respond. My comments were these:

• Insurance companies are also owned by retirement plans and retired people. Part of your pension is invested in such companies by CalPERS.
• All I can add is that most Wall Street traders are Democrats—look at the New York vote for Clinton and the market reaction to Trump winning. After hours trading on election night was down over 750 points on the news. Lastly, by a large majority, millionaires in Congress are members of the Democrat Party.
No, Republicans did offer amendments, most were described as technical. It’s not their bill.

If you recall, the House Speaker told Republicans that it must be passed to know what was in it. They did try to soften some of the edges of the bill which they knew they could not kill but the bill was never fully vetted thru the committee process in Congress. However, by offering amendments, as the minority party at the time, it does allow the bill to be called bipartisan in a narrowly defined way.
• The penalty was put in to encourage young people to get coverage. It is programmed to increase each year until it gets to the point that insurance is cheaper than continuing to pay the penalty. Trump reportedly has suspended the collection of this penalty by the IRS. The whole thing is wrong so I don’t particularly care what Party you want to blame. Using the power of the State in this way is wrong regardless of who is doing it.

The bottom line is this, logic and facts don’t work with Liberals. As a group, they are economic illiterates that hang their hats on disproven ideas just because they hear something in the idea that they like regardless of how much evidence to the contrary that you can muster. In reality they are the bitter clingers to such dumb and outmoded ideas as Keynesian Economics. Many truly believe that the economy is static and the only way to get wealthy is on the backs of others. Ironically, the people like Buffett and Musk that are in their Party really behave that way so some examples can be sighted but they are the exceptions. They also believe that government creates jobs and other nonsense.

I just need to remember that their blindness is primarily spiritual and their dependence on government to solve their problems is idolatry—a worship of a false god.