This is so entertaining.
BTL, Buck, Judi… enjoy this. Really savor it.
San Francisco architect Lee Hammack says he and his wife, JoEllen Brothers, are “cradle Democrats.” They have donated to the liberal group Organizing for America and worked the phone banks a year ago for President Obama’s re-election.
[Right off the bat, aren't they obnoxious? - Aggie]
Since 1995, Hammack and Brothers have received their health coverage from Kaiser Permanente, where Brothers worked until 2009 as a dietician and diabetes educator. “We’ve both been in very good health all of our lives – exercise, don’t smoke, drink lightly, healthy weight, no health issues, and so on,” Hammack told me. [Yep. Special people. Doing everything right. Small carbon footprint, I bet. - Aggie]
The couple — Lee, 60, and JoEllen, 59 — have been paying $550 a month for their health coverage — a plan that offers solid coverage, not one of the skimpy plans Obama has criticized. But recently, Kaiser informed them the plan would be canceled at the end of the year because it did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The couple would need to find another one. The cost would be around double what they pay now, but the benefits would be worse.
[Wait! What? That can't be right. It must be one of those bad apple plans. - Aggie]
But, Gentle Reader, you haven’t even begun to experience how obnoxious these Liberals are. Wait til you read this:
“From all of the sob stories I’ve heard and read, ours is the most extreme,” Lee told me in an email last week.
Oh, really. Worse than the lady in California who will likely die because health care policies cannot cross counties? Worse than that? Or are you just so self-involved that you cannot even notice exactly how much pain people of your ilk have caused so many Americans? Isn’t that just like a “Progressive”? “I am the most kind, gentle, humorless, giving, narcissistic person on the planet,” they tell us. And here in America there are probably 150 million of them.
This is from the “journalist” – also a Progressive:
So I tried to find flaws in what Hammack told me. I couldn’t find any.
The couple’s existing Kaiser plan was a good one.
Their new options were indeed more expensive, and the benefits didn’t seem any better.
They do not qualify for premium subsidies because they make more than four times the federal poverty level, though Hammack says not by much.
Hammack recalled his reaction when he and his wife received a letters from Kaiser in September informing him their coverage was being canceled. “I work downstairs and my wife had a clear look of shock on her face,” he said. “Our first reaction was clearly there’s got to be some mistake. This was before the exchanges opened up. We quickly calmed down. We were confident that this would all be straightened out. But it wasn’t.”
[Barry will take care of it - right? - Aggie]
More from the “journalist”:
I asked Hammack to send me details of his current plan. It carried a $4,000 deductible per person, a $40 copay for doctor visits, a $150 emergency room visit fee and 30 percent coinsurance for hospital stays after the deductible. The out-of-pocket maximum was $5,600.
This plan was ending, Kaiser’s letters told them, because it did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. “Everything is taken care of,” the letters said. “There’s nothing you need to do.”
The letters said the couple would be enrolled in new Kaiser plans that would cost nearly $1,300 for the two of them (more than $15,000 a year).
And for that higher amount, what would they get? A higher deductible ($4,500), a higher out-of-pocket maximum ($6,350), higher hospital costs (40 percent of the cost) and possibly higher costs for doctor visits and drugs.
When they shopped around and looked for a different plan on California’s new health insurance marketplace, Covered California, the cheapest one was $975, with hefty deductibles and copays.
Here’s something for all the liberal Baby Boomers to cogitate on: ObamaCare states that no plan can charge more than 3x the price for coverage for an elderly person over what young people are charged. If a couple in their 60s would pay $975/month for the cheapest plan with hefty deductibles and co-pays, a young couple just starting out must pay 1/3rd of that amount for said crappy plan. If a better plan costs $1300 for a Boomer Couple, their adult kids must pay $450ish. Hahahahahaha.
Ok, the journalist now quotes Obama, and then speaks to someone at Kaiser:
“Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad-apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received, or use minor preexisting conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy. So a lot of people thought they were buying coverage, and it turned out not to be so good.”
What is going on here? Kaiser isn’t a “bad apple” insurer and this plan wasn’t “cut rate.” It seems like this is a lose-lose for the Hammacks (and a friend featured in a report last month by the public radio station KQED.)
I called Kaiser Permanente and spoke to spokesman Chris Stenrud, who used to work for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He told me that this was indeed a good plan. Patients in the plan, known as 40/4000, were remarkably healthy, had low medical costs and had not seen their premiums increase in years. “Our actuaries still aren’t entirely sure why that was,” he said.
While many other insurance companies offered skimpier benefits, Stenrud said, “our plans historically have been comprehensive.”
Kaiser has canceled about 160,000 policies in California, and about one third of people were in plans like Hammack’s, Stenrud said. About 30,000 to 35,000 were in his specific plan.
“In a few cases, we are able to find coverage for them that is less expensive, but in most cases, we’re not because, in sort of pure economic terms, they are people who benefited from the current system … Now that the market rules are changing, there will be different people who benefit and different people who don’t.”
“There’s an aspect of market disruption here that I think was not clear to people,” Stenrud acknowledged. “In many respects it has been theory rather than practice for the first three years of the law; folks are seeing the breadth of change that we’re talking about here.”
Let’s focus on just one sentence that the CEO of Kaiser uttered: “In a few cases, we are able to find coverage for them that is less expensive, but in most cases, we’re not because, in sort of pure economic terms, they are people who benefited from the current system … Now that the market rules are changing, there will be different people who benefit and different people who don’t.”
In other words, California Boomer Couple, you are LOSERS. Get used to it.
OK, a final bit of humor from our Loser Couple:
That’s little comfort to Hammack. He’s written to California’s senators and his representative, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., asking for help.
“We believe that the Act is good for health care, the economy, & the future of our nation. However, ACA options for middle income individuals ages 59 & 60 are unaffordable. We’re learning that many others are similarly affected. In that spirit we ask that you fix this, for all of our sakes,” he and Brothers wrote.
You wrote to Nancy Pelosi? To ask if she’d ever gotten around to reading the bill, perhaps? But that isn’t my favorite part. This is my favorite part:
“However, ACA options for middle income individuals ages 59 & 60 are unaffordable. We’re learning that many others are similarly affected. In that spirit we ask that you fix this, for all of our sakes,” he and Brothers wrote.”
These people are so self-centered that they aren’t troubled by what happens to someone who is 58. Or 61. Or 57. Or 62. Why should they worry about them. This couple is 59 and 60 years old. Those are the ages that Nancy Pelosi has to fix.
Finally, I wish I could recall the source, but there is a story about a futuristic time in which the government throws a huge “60 Party” for each person turning 60. Then they off them. Perhaps Nancy Pelosi can fix health care that way?