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Thu Oct 10, 2013, 09:52 PM

Insurance and points of view

It is sometimes far too easy to utterly dismiss any points of view other than your own. On many issues, I myself am tempted. I have said many times I would like to see all guns banned, but I rarely rage at those with opposing points of view, as I am well aware that there is a certain amount of truth to their arguments.

On this board tonight, we have seen such activity regarding the ACA and those who will be paying more because of the laws requirements. Now, there is a certain amount of truth to both sides of the issue, and many of us will be suffering on both sides of the issue.

In this thread. http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023824490 The poster pointed out how because of the requirements of the ACA known improperly as Obamacare, and the requirements that his plan must have certain coverage that he had previously opted out of, his costs are rising significantly. Those by the way mean dollars, real money. Many of us live if not paycheck to paycheck, we're not far from it. Perhaps we have a couple weeks, or perhaps even six week cushion against the unexpected. However that unexpected can go through that money in a minute. That cushion if it exists may not be that deep, and some people with those cafeteria plans may not qualify for the subsidies, and may well find that their costs are going up even with those subsidies.

Ronald Reagan famously said that a rising tide lifts all boats. To paraphrase that let me take it and apply it more accurately. We are not all in boats, we're all standing in the water. Some water is more shallow, and those are the rich people standing with only their feet in the water. Some of us are standing up to our waist in water, and some of us are barely able to touch the bottom and keep our heads above the water. Some of us are struggling mightily to tread water and feel like we are about to drown. The ACA adjusts the slope of the bottom of the bay. So those struggling mightily to keep from drowning can now join those who are barely keeping their heads above the water. But those who's heads were clear, are now liable to be joining those who were struggling to keep from drowning and their meager safety zone is now gone. That is the condition that many find themselves in and they feel some betrayal because they have worked hard to get that safety cushion going.

They have a point. There is some truth in their words. These are not radical RW trolls who are rabidly screaming repeal Obamacare. They are saying that the law has some flaws because all their work is about to vanish overnight. They are saying that they are stuck in the middle.

On the other side of the coin, there is truth too. It is true that those without should be subsidized by those with. The haves should help those have not's that are too numerous in our society. Medical costs bankrupt many families, and are outrageous. Many people have been denied care for far too long, and it is a disgrace.

I am not about to say nor am I alluding to some idea that we should repeal the ACA. I am saying that any law this big, should be open to consideration, and we should approach it's implementation with an open mind. Nothing is perfect, that is one lesson that we adults should have learned long ago. Nothing is perfect, but we should always strive to make things better. There is always some room for improvement, and on both sides of the coin, where there is truth to their statements, we should consider the matter and see if we can find a way to improve the footing of all of our fellow citizens. Perhaps there is a way to do so, but we can only reach that improvement if we stop the dogmatic denunciations of those who say that the one size fits all doesn't fit. I had a friend who described it as one size fits none. That may be true to a certain extent, because each of us are unique, and have our one individual situations and concerns.

In short, what I am asking is this. Must we be so callous in our treatment of fellow Democrats who point out that one size does not fit all?

Once again, I am not discussing nor am I trying to add validity to the Rabid RW doomed effort to repeal the ACA. I am saying that before we declare the program an unmitigated success, perfect in scope and execution, we should listen to how it affects those real people who are helped and harmed by it. So we can figure out if there is a way to improve it, to make it better for everyone. I don't know if it is possible, but I know we should not reject such views which are valid and again, have some truth to them.

13 replies, 654 views

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Response to Savannahmann (Original post)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 09:59 PM

1. It definitely needs improvement, but it's a good start compared to before.

Good post.

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Response to Savannahmann (Original post)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 10:00 PM

2. Thanks for pointing out that ACA still needs work in such an intelligent manner.

Is it better than what we had (nothing)? Yes. Is it as good as it should be? Not even close.

I'm glad many aspects of ACA are finally in place or soon to be realized but we shouldn't forget the mantra of 2010: "Pass it now/Fix it later." Right now it is time to get people signed up and see exactly what flaws become apparent most quickly. After that, it will be time to work on making it better.

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Response to last1standing (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 08:45 AM

12. I wish that many other users were equally open to honest discussions

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Response to Savannahmann (Original post)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 10:09 PM

3. I don't like it when...

... people simply dismiss facts that conflict with their world view. Inconvenient truths, as Gore called them.

Your situation is one I would like to believe cannot happen. Therefore you must be lying.

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Response to BlueCheese (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 10:53 PM

7. I refer to that as the error or Projection

It is another of my truths that we all project our own experiences and values onto others. The difficult thing to remember is that not everyone has the same life experiences or points of view. The hardest thing to do, for which I have great respect for Diplomats in being able to accomplish this, is to see things from another point of view, to better understand the other person. Doing that does not mean that their point of view is the only one, but that does allow a more constructive conversation to take place.

I am ashamed to admit that recently, I've stared to put fellow users on ignore who do that very thing. They just utterly dismiss the opposing point of view and steamroll the conversation with their own argument of minor issues while ignoring the entire point of the conversation.

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Response to Savannahmann (Original post)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 10:10 PM

4. You're trying to justify a misleading post

In this thread. http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023824490 The poster pointed out how because of the requirements of the ACA known improperly as Obamacare, and the requirements that his plan must have certain coverage that he had previously opted out of, his costs are rising significantly. Those by the way mean dollars, real money. Many of us live if not paycheck to paycheck, we're not far from it. Perhaps we have a couple weeks, or perhaps even six week cushion against the unexpected. However that unexpected can go through that money in a minute. That cushion if it exists may not be that deep, and some people with those cafeteria plans may not qualify for the subsidies, and may well find that their costs are going up even with those subsidies.

Everyone who doesn't have employer-based health care can shop the exchange. The poster is claiming that an insurer is forcing him to purchase a plan offering more benefits. The plan has nothing to do with the exchange. The poster can shop the exchange and will likely qualify for subsidies, which the plan he presented does not offer. Those are only available via the exchange.

Until the poster shows the plans available via the exchange, including subsidies, it's impossible to know how the ACA affects him.

Shared cost is not a "flaw." It's a tenet of every universal health care system.

In this case, the cost is being shared by everyone via a package of essential benefits. Some young people can remain on their parents' plan. Others can purchase catastrophic coverage at a lower cost.

Shared sacrifice also means those with higher incomes pay more.

Reposting: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023795712

The new tax on the high-income earners and the wealthy.

Reported when the law passed in 2010:

A big chunk of the money to pay for the bill comes from lifting payroll taxes on households making more than $250,000. On average, the annual tax bill for households making more than $1 million a year will rise by $46,000 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research group. Another major piece of financing would cut Medicare subsidies for private insurers, ultimately affecting their executives and shareholders.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/business/24leonhardt.html


Krugman in 2011:

<...>

What would real action on health look like? Well, it might include things like giving an independent commission the power to ensure that Medicare only pays for procedures with real medical value; rewarding health care providers for delivering quality care rather than simply paying a fixed sum for every procedure; limiting the tax deductibility of private insurance plans; and so on.

And what do these things have in common? They’re all in last year’s health reform bill.

That’s why I say that Mr. Obama gets too little credit. He has done more to rein in long-run deficits than any previous president. And if his opponents were serious about those deficits, they’d be backing his actions and calling for more; instead, they’ve been screaming about death panels.

Now, even if we manage to rein in health costs, we’ll still have a long-run deficit problem — a fundamental gap between the government’s spending and the amount it collects in taxes. So what should be done?

- more -

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/18/opinion/18krugman.html


It's the law, 2013:

Net Investment Income Tax

A new Net Investment Income Tax goes into effect starting in 2013. The 3.8 percent Net Investment Income Tax applies to individuals, estates and trusts that have certain investment income above certain threshold amounts. The IRS and the Treasury Department have issued proposed regulations on the Net Investment Income Tax. Comments may be submitted electronically, by mail or hand delivered to the IRS. For additional information on the Net Investment Income Tax, see our questions and answers.

Additional Medicare Tax

A new Additional Medicare Tax goes into effect starting in 2013. The 0.9 percent Additional Medicare Tax applies to an individual’s wages, Railroad Retirement Tax Act compensation, and self-employment income that exceeds a threshold amount based on the individual’s filing status. The threshold amounts are $250,000 for married taxpayers who file jointly, $125,000 for married taxpayers who file separately, and $200,000 for all other taxpayers. An employer is responsible for withholding the Additional Medicare Tax from wages or compensation it pays to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. The IRS and the Department of the Treasury have issued proposed regulations on the Additional Medicare Tax. Comments may be submitted electronically, by mail or hand delivered to the IRS. For additional information on the Additional Medicare Tax, see our questions and answers.

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act-Tax-Provisions


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Response to Savannahmann (Original post)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 10:12 PM

5. No one ever said that the ACA was the be all end all of health care. In fact, most of us here would

be happier with single payer. But to claim ones increase in health care cost via a employer or a private plan as a result of the ACA is disingenuous.

The poster did indeed blame the ACA and when question as to whether this was an ACA quote- the OP declined to answer.

Generally, the liberals I've encountered over the course of my life have felt that we are indeed our brother's keepers to a certain point and that it is our obligation to contribute to the better good of society. If my house never burns down, I'll never need use of the local FD, but yet I pay those services. The same can be said about schools, if I have no children....

One hardly ever hears a male complain about having to pay higher car insurance rates, but young, single males pay sky high premiums. The reason, young men tend to be more irresponsible drivers.

And as far a whining about having to contribute for things like prenatal care and birth for women- I've got no sympathy. For the same reason that they have to pay higher car insurance rates. young men tend to be irresponsible sex partners. That can't be denied, just look at the young single mothers in this country.

Even with mental health, who can predict if they'll never develop an issue such as depression that will need to be address medically?

So, no. The "I've got mine, screw everybody else" or the "I had mine and somebody screwed me out of it" attitude just doesn't cut it with me. Especially when it isn't true.

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Response to notadmblnd (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 10:41 PM

6. He did answer.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023824490#post61

That he claimed was representative of the five plans in the exchange. BTW All I was doing was pointing out that the ACA was not a one size fits all, and we should now be willing to discuss the effects and see if there was any room for improvement. I'm not sure how that turns into a screw everybody else position. Personally, I think overall, the ACA is going to be a good thing. However, I am also honest enough to admit that there is room for improvement. There is always room for improvement in every human endeavor.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 11:00 PM

10. That's is what he claims.

Apparently, he's only capable of showing us a screen shot of his private plan, nor willing to provide us with more information regarding his income so we could verify his claim that the price on the exchange is the same.

So we will never know if his claim that the prices on the exchange are exactly the same as his private plan, is true. Will we?

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Response to notadmblnd (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 10:54 PM

8. Do you honestly believe the changes in his plan have NOTHING to do with the ACA?

 

What percentage of the change would you guess is due to the ACA? A small sliver? 10%? 50%?

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Response to dkf (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 11:02 PM

11. I believe it has more to do with corporate greed than the ACA

I don't have any sympathy for him. He's making plenty of money if he doesn't qualify for a subsidy via the exchange.

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Response to notadmblnd (Reply #11)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 02:29 PM

13. Dude! Brutal! Just brutal...

You attack me because I'm able to eek out a living at more than 400% above the poverty line so I don't qualify for a subsidy? That's just... you are something else.

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Response to Savannahmann (Original post)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 10:59 PM

9. Thank you for some sanity. Good post.

Rec

Your observation and plea for understanding applies to many issues "discussed" here at DU. Many need to take it to heart.

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