Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, November 04, 2013

Obamacare Horror Stories and Hope

Whatever happened to rational argument? Foolish question no doubt in the Age of Media Mayhem, but the debate over Obamacare is hitting new lows in inhuman discourse.

Today’s special is a Wall Street Journal OpEd by a California woman: “You Also Can't Keep Your Doctor: I had great cancer doctors and health insurance. My plan was cancelled. Now I worry how long I'll live.”

Think Progress responds by pointing out her loss of coverage resulted, not from Obamacare, but California warfare between insurers in which her disadvantaged company “packed its bags and dumped its beneficiaries because it wants its competitors to swallow the first wave of sicker enrollees only to re-enter the market later and profit from the healthy people who still haven’t signed up for coverage.”

Whatever rocks advocates and opponents throw at one another, they are all wrapped in the fine print of those who profit from life and death in America, insurers with the ethics of cosmetic makers.

Meanwhile, the New York Times points out, “Millions of people could qualify for federal subsidies that will pay the entire monthly cost of some health care plans being offered in the online marketplaces set up under President Obama’s health care law, a surprising figure that has not garnered much attention, in part because the zero-premium plans come with serious trade-offs.”

As with most bargains, they will get what they pay for: more out-of-pocket costs and less coverage but such policies could obviate for some people a choice between going to the doctor or dentist and buying food or drugs and could also attract the young “invincibles” who don’t believe they need insurance.

Whatever, but we may be seeing the beginning of the end for Aetna, Cigna, Humana and United Health Group, the big four of profiteers from American life and death.

With all its flaws, the furor over Obamacare will eventually subside into grudging acceptance, but the whole process looks like a hell of way to ensure survival of the human race.

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