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Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:43 AM

PA advocates want single payer; 'Obamacare' doesn't go far enough


http://www.pnhp.org/print/news/2013/january/pa-advocates-want-single-payer-obamacare-doesnt-go-far-enough

But about five years ago, things changed. Goulden was diagnosed with chronic liver disease and as he watched his insurance premiums skyrocket, he said he realized why he had never before had a problem with the company - he had never been sick.

"They pushed me out," Goulden said. "I faced the possibility of losing everything I had worked for."

Now a member of the local organization, Adams Hanover Health Care 4 All PA, Goulden works to share his story with others and to push Pennsylvania past President Obama's Affordable Care Act toward what the group believes are even stronger health-care reforms.

After his diagnosis, Goulden said, he quickly recognized the need for sweeping changes. His insurance premiums rose from $300 to $3,100 a month. As the company continued to raise its prices, Goulden said, it simultaneously tried to drop his policy.

Later, he said, the insurance company demanded he submit his federal tax returns to prove that he had a legitimate business.

"The tax returns show how much money I make, so they could use that information to know how much they could charge me in order to push me out," Goulden said. " I called legislators and asked, 'How can they possibly do this?' And I found out that they can. There is no regulation about what they can require you to submit."

So before long Goulden was forced to drop his policy and go without insurance, despite his critical medical condition.

21 replies, 1448 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply PA advocates want single payer; 'Obamacare' doesn't go far enough (Original post)
eridani Jan 2013 OP
Scuba Jan 2013 #1
djean111 Jan 2013 #2
Kolesar Jan 2013 #3
djean111 Jan 2013 #5
LWolf Jan 2013 #9
Earth_First Jan 2013 #13
Kolesar Jan 2013 #16
Kolesar Jan 2013 #15
LWolf Jan 2013 #19
HughBeaumont Jan 2013 #7
Victor_c3 Jan 2013 #4
brooklynite Jan 2013 #6
LWolf Jan 2013 #10
stevenleser Jan 2013 #18
LWolf Jan 2013 #20
djean111 Jan 2013 #12
Kolesar Jan 2013 #17
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #14
reteachinwi Jan 2013 #8
bluestate10 Jan 2013 #21
PA Democrat Jan 2013 #11

Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:49 AM

1. Remember back when "insurance" meant "sharing risk" instead of "making profits"?

Huge K&R. My family experienced very similar treatment.

Your insurance company will always be there for you if you don't need them. They're now in the business of selling policies, not paying claims.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:06 AM

2. The ACA doesn't address this sort of thing, really. The high premium part.

What happens to this man when he is forced to buy private insurance?
Will he have to pay the ridiculous premiums, or will he have to buy a policy that doesn't really cover his needs?
Private insurance is still guaranteed a profit, and it seems they see people as individual profit centers, not as a group with shared risk.

Hopefully it is not considered Obama-bashing to want single payer. And to work and agitate and demonstrate for it.

Full disclosure - I watched a loved one die of liver disease (no, he did not drink or take drugs, it was not "his fault"; I got that attitude a lot) while the insurance companies and hospitals haggled and delayed over who would get the jackpot money for the transplant. And he worked for a huge company and had a Cadillac health plan. Once the liver fails there is a cascading thing, and everyone just agreed solemnly that he had been a very sick man. Here's the bill. Oh, we don't recommend an autopsy.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:10 AM

3. Is $9000/year for health coverage a ridiculous price?

That's what it would cost me on a "health care exchange" once those start in one year.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:37 AM

5. I think we will be bled out by insurance companies until we have single payer by default.

If people start to HAVE to pay more and more of their disposable income to insurance companies, then they will not be able to buy things like food and clothes and houses. Talk about a cascading effect! Perhaps higher and higher premiums will put people into government health care by default?
I think the current way that the ACA deals with increasing premiums is to send a sternly worded letter and a frownie sticker. The insurance companies have quickly learned to ask for a huge increase, then settle for what they likely wanted in the first place - there is, after all, always next year, and the next.
Wouldn't it be lovely if all enterprises were guaranteed a profit?

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 08:30 AM

9. 9000/12 = 750.

More than my son's mortgage+taxes+insurance. He's a first time buyer and didn't come into the house with a large down payment.

YES. Paying as much for health care "coverage" as for a mortgage is a ridiculous price.

Will that "coverage" be complete, or will there be deductibles and copays in addition?

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Response to LWolf (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:29 AM

13. Or cancelled when needed based on a previously unknown pre-existing condition? n/t

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 08:05 PM

16. Customers cannot get dropped after 1/1/2014

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Response to LWolf (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 08:04 PM

15. Young peoples' premiums would be about a third of that

$9000/year is for people in their late fifties, which will be the age for me when I lose employer health coverage. Actually, it might be less than $8000/year. ACA allows higher premiums for older people.

People within 400% of the poverty line will get a tax credit, and possibly a check from the Treasury/IRS to help with premiums. The tax credit could be 90% of premiums for people with an income <$20,000/year, if I recall correctly. Hence, my premium might be $900/year. I have not read the plan for a long while. http://www.healthcare.gov

Copays and deductibles will depend on the plan one buys. I could buy cheaper coverage with a large annual deductible.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:44 PM

19. Adjustable rates

according to income doesn't negate the fact that an insurance premium should not approach the amount of a mortgage.

Especially when that premium is not the only cost for people who use that insurance.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 08:06 AM

7. I'd say it's deserved Congress-bashing more than anything.

They're the reason we can't have nice shit. You know, unless you're a multi-millionaire.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:25 AM

4. That was my complaint with Obamacare all along

It needs to go further and we need to disconnect ourselves from the "turn everything into a privately owned profit engine" mentality.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:46 AM

6. So, it would have been better to demand Single Payer and get nothing...

...rather than enshrine the concept that everyone (with Govt support) should have health insurance, let the law become permanent and address the flaws later?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 08:31 AM

10. It would have been better to allow single payer on the table.

That's how Republicans make gains; all their crap is on the table, and after it's been there over and over, it finds its way into policy.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 08:10 PM

18. Single Payer was on the table. HR 676. It died in committee.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/111/hr676

It was "on the table". It died in committee.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:46 PM

20. I haven't forgotten HR 676,

which wasn't supported by a majority of Democrats, nor have I forgiven any of them for not supporting it.

I'm talking about the table that produced the ACA.

But I think you knew that.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:24 AM

12. We are addressing the flaws.

It is later now.
We see the flaws.
But I, for one, think that making private insurance mandatory is a huge huge flaw.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 08:05 PM

17. The "mandate" is what pays for the system ... eom

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:28 AM

14. YES, it would have been better

 

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 08:10 AM

8. Waiver on insurance exchanges

 

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Response to reteachinwi (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 10:10 PM

21. Exactly. The waiver was put in to allow Vermont to work toward Single Payer. nt

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 08:32 AM

11. I had a very bad experience with an insurance company as well.

Fortunately my illness was caught in the very early stages and I did not have huge medical bills. I also was well enough to fight the filthy SOBs and got them to pay up after threatening to sue them.

I cannot express how much I HATE these profiteering murderers. There is no other word for people that put profits over providing coverage that they CONTRACTUALLY agreed to provide.

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