Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Taking A Few Days Off

Readers- In all likelihood, there won't be any new content here until Monday the 28th. A very close friend (who was also the family physician who steered us through a very rough year in 2013) passed away unexpectedly, and neither my head nor my heart are in politics just now. I'm going to take just a few personal days to regroup. -Stilton

PS: I will mention that for reasons vaguely related to the above, today I tested the waters to see how possible it is to change health insurance plans between open enrollment periods. I knew the situation would be bad - but it's a lot worse than I thought (and I daresay worse than has been advertised).

Here's the deal: the ONLY health insurance you can buy outside of the open enrollment periods (the next one is in mid-November) is expensive, short-term insurance. Remember all the rhetoric about "pre-existing conditions" being a thing of the past thanks to Obamacare? Nope- if you buy one of these policies (again, the only ones legal to sell right now) none of your pre-existing conditions will be covered.

Obamacare also assures that everyone will get "free-ish" preventive care included as part of their plan; check-ups, tests, office visits, colonoscopies, etc. Unless, of course, you buy outside of the open enrollment period. Then, your still-pricey policy will cover no preventive care whatsoever.

But the fun doesn't stop there! Even though these health insurance polices are legal to sell (and the only policies legal to sell) they don't meet ACA standards for basic coverage - which means that these policies, with premiums up to $1000+ per month - won't qualify to show that you've got health insurance...so you'll still be fined by the government/IRS for not being covered.
All of which makes me wish I had a tranquilizer I could take to reduce my anger about all of this - and makes me miss the good man and good friend who could have actually written that prescription for me.

37 comments:

Proof said...

I'll link to this in this week's 'Best of the Web*'

Whenever you think Obamacare couldn't get any worse than it is, you learn something else about what Nancy Pelosi couldn't bother herself to read.

rickn8or said...

Sorry to hear of your loss. You know we'll all be here, yelling for the free ice cream, whenever you chose to return.

Ron Russell said...

Sorry about your loss. As for Obamacare it's akin to the Chicago Protection Rackets of old.

Geoff King said...

Despite the fact that it is unconstitutional for the government to demand that US citizens purchase anything against their will, some of the types of coverage mandated by Ă˜bamacare are simply ludicrous. Why, as a single adult male, must I purchase maternity insurance? I tend to doubt that it will ever come in handy for me.

TrickyRicky said...

Stilton, so sorry for your personal loss. For the rest of us, so sorry for the loss of freedom and choice that is only beginning. I thought the lefties were all about choice. Not.

Gang of One said...

I am sorry to hear about your loss, Stilton. Prayers for all ...
-- Emanuel David a.k.a. Gang of One

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

Pleas pass on my condolences and hang in there! We need our semi-weekly dose of bile!

Sparky @ My Thoughts Exactly said...

I have the perfect 'tranquilizer' to be administered to all government employees but I can't put it into print here since Big Sis watches us all.
That aside, offering prayers for Dr. Drake's family and you all today. May our merciful God open the doors for you to have another source for medical help. He cares and loves us more than any other person ever could. Hold onto that. And know that we all care about you too. We're all in the same boat on troubled seas. Only Jesus can calm the waters.
God bless. xx

Reiuxcat said...

I'm so sorry Stilton. Please take all the time you need.

BC said...

Sorry for your loss Stilt, and pissed about your insurance...

Chuck Ef said...

Of course the progressives lied about healthcare - that is what being a progressive/Marxist is all about - lying to get power. Thanks for the info though - Did not know these details.

As I said yesterday, take care Doc, and grieve for a bit. See you next week.

Jim Hlavac said...

Death & Taxes -- and now apparently health care plans, though maybe not actual health care -- will be with us always. Tend your soul, sir. My condolences.

Geoff King -- you and I are both "single adult males" - but sir, you perhaps have the probability of incurring a maternal situation -- me and mine are simply not going to be involved (the chief complaint about gay guys) -- but we'll have to buy this coverage -- and contraception too! I dare say, some of my younger obamaphiliac friends are beginning to grumble at the definition of "affordable" and I laugh and tell 'em -- "Hey -- you wanted this mess! Enjoy!"

Meanwhile, I'm sure all here will agree -- the country will continue to teeter into bankruptcy while the gov't accrues more endless power while we await the next charming episode of "As the country collapses." Ah, to live in this soap opera was not one of my life's "to do" thingies.

Jimmy Murphy said...

Sorry for your loss, I am informing the Twittersphere. I share your cartoons and links on ever update that I get.

Queso Grande said...

Your friend is in my prayers. So sorry for your loss.

SC said...

Stilt, sorry about your friend. Like a warm blanket on a chilly night, let's God's Love enfold & comfort you during this sad time.

MadJack said...

Stilton I am sincerely sorry for the loss of your friend. It is always tough when you realize you will never see that person again in this lifetime. :-(

I know that Obamascare with your wife's condition has to be terrible for you and her. As an old guy on Medicare and SS I can tell you Obama wants us old folks dead and it seems you younger folks as well. I know you have to be near the top of his enemy's list which can't be good. I'm on his list as well and the future looks dim from where I sit.

As a strong believer in the Almighty Father I pray that you and your wife get the good and competent health care that you need. I don't post often but you know I have read and watched your highjinks for years, keep up the awesome job Stilton and God Bless!

Larry Sheldon said...

Peace.

JustaJeepGuy said...

@Stilt and friends/family of the late good Doctor Drake, I offer my condolences.

@Geoff King, remember, you and I and Jim H. and the rest of us single men all NEED to pay for maternity coverage in order to pay for "health insurance" for those who don't (won't?) pay for "health care" themselves. It's all part of the redistribution plan, remember?

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. We'll be waiting when you're ready to return. Meanwhile, you're in my prayers.

John the Econ said...

Yes, it's a shame that you can't sign up for ObamaCare outside of the "enrollment period". But then again, If you could, then what would be the point? No healthy person with any sense would buy insurance before they were sick if they didn't have to. It would be like being able to buy homeowners insurance the day after the fire. Even Obama knew he couldn't slide by destroying the existing insurance for over 6-million people and the expect them to actually sign up and pay for his crappy plan (I won't call it "insurance", because it barely is) if they weren't motivated by the fear of being caught uncovered.

Of course, as I've said many times before, the entire agenda of ObamaCare was never to provide "affordable health care". It was to destroy what was left of privately purchased and managed care in America. And unfortunately, @Stilton is experiencing the reason why; the plan is to make surviving health care practically and economically impossible so that we'll all finally cry "Uncle!" and let the Progressives implement what they've really intended all along; a "single payer" regime that will be "free for all", except for the punishing taxes they will levy on every corner of the economy.

My next observation is even more pithy, given @Stilton's current situation. It seems that a new memo has gone out to the media and the few Democrats who still wish to cling to supporting ObamaCare: ObamaCare is actually working and is a success! Yes, that's right. If you are currently suffering, lack adequate coverage, or can't afford rising rates, you are mistaken; it's all in your imagination. You have been misinformed. You are the victim of right-wing obfuscation. It's not happening.

That's right: Obama and the Democrats have gone "Baghdad Bob" on ObamaCare.

"Clearly, there's a lot of misinformation about the Affordable Care Act." say leading Democrats.

Finally, a nugget of truth.

And an observation for the older folk here, and those who plan to someday be older folk in America: As we slide further and further into socialism, I'd like to point out what happens in the only truly functional and sustainable socialist societies I'm aware of; ant colonies. Once an a worker ant is old and used up and no longer able to contribute to the collective...

There's no such thing as working for a mere 30 years or so in an ant colony, and then getting to lay back for the next 20 or 30 and watching everyone else do the heavy lifting.

CenTexTim said...

Condolences on your loss. I had to go to an 'unexpected' funeral for a friend last week, so I understand to a small extent what you're going through.

One possible loophole for you on the insurance front - if I understand this bureaucratic nightmare correctly (highly doubtful), you can still sign up for an obamacare plan that covers pre-existing conditions:

"If you have a qualifying event, a life qualifying event, which means you get married, you get divorced, you get fired from your job" says Goodman. Or you have a child, or lose a spouse or have a change in income.

I don't know if any of the above apply to you. I also don't know if that's good or bad...

Best wishes.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- I'll agree that it would be nonsensical for Obamacare to offer anything other than horrendous insurance between open enrollment periods. But seriously, these policies are so bad that the supposedly compassionate folks in Washington would clearly rather see people entirely uninsured rather than trying to join the system in an unregimented way. Because, again, the goal is NOT to get people insured - it's to destroy private insurance.

For the record, I've GOT health insurance. I pay $16k+ a year, have a $10k deductible, and just found out that there are riders (which I thought were removed a long time agon) making this hideously expensive policy nearly useless. It was this discovery, made after open enrollment closed, that made me see what I could buy - no doubt at top dollar - when the exchanges had closed.

I had sort of thought that maybe people could still buy the overpriced plans, but simply be denied subsidies. Nope- there is simply NO good insurance legal to buy anymore except when Obama deigns to open his marketplace.

And by the way, none of the "special factors" which will allow some people to get Obamacare plans apply to me. Though looking over the list, I'm just as glad.

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, the not-so-funny part is that there are liberal groups, like MoveOn.org who are actually complaining that ObamaCare is still a "free market" for health care, and are fighting to put an end to it by replacing it with their much-desired "single payer" paradigm.

"Free Market"? Exactly where is this "free market" for health care they speak of? And how might I be allowed to participate in it? Where is it that I and people like us can freely contract with an insurance company to cover what we want covered, exclude what we want excluded, and without government interference? Where?

Chuck Ef said...

@John the Econ and @Stilt,

There never was a free market for health insurance. Health insurance was banned from crossing state lines, thus reducing the risk pool. The corruption of government intrusion was always there, in the tax code and Medicare/Medicaid. The former incentivized the employer cadillac plans, made insurance non-portable, and turned the patient into an interested observer, not a customer. The latter is driving costs up dramatically as it has since its inception - just like college tuition has due to government loans (way beyond the inflation rate - and without the patient acting as a consumer, the hospitals (and that is another matter - the loss of the physician as a professional to the physician as employee) have no incentive to keep costs down.

So the Dem-progs destroyed the free market long ago and then wonder why the free market has failed.

As they are wont to say about Marxism, the free market was never tried in the last several decades starting with FDR. But whereas Marxism (contra Piketty) can never work, a free market, properly defined, would. It would not be an utopia because such things are unicorns.

But if you are the Unicorn Prince ...

Glad to see you are at least still rational in your grief, Doc.

John the Econ said...

@Chuck Ef, that was pretty much my point. You are right; when the left argues that the "free market" for health care is a failure, it's a straw-man. There hasn't been a "free market" in health care for the better part of the last half-century. What has failed is their attempts to control it piecemeal. So now they want to run it all.

And the only people who will be pleased with the results are those who think the public schools are a raging success.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for brilliant and pertinent commentary. I spent an hour and a half in pain after discovering Johnny Optimism, and I always check to see what's new.

My condolences for your recent loss, I can barely imagine the pain/frustration/rage/impotence that accompanies the irrevocable loss from this world of a close friend, I pray for your swift and loving healing.

David in SoCal said...

Stilton: Check out 'Atlas,MD' out of Kansas. It's a perfect model for coping with Otakeitinthebuttcare, and may be available in your area.
I have a 'Cadillac' plan at work which has tripled deductibles and doubled co-pays since '08, and I now do the 'Out of Pocket' plan with my physical therapist, and am saving $300.00 a year over what it would cost with my now 'Yugo' insurance.
Here's a link for ya:
http://www.hannity.com/pages/conservative-solutions-caucus-healthcare
Love ya bro! David.

REM1875 said...

Doc my families prayers are with you in these troubled times- and there ain't a danged thing you can do about that :-)

REM1875 said...

Walk into the ER, speak with heavy accent, say you have no I.d. because you are here illegally.Presto- bango you will have the finest medical treatment other peoples money can buy, better than most of those paying for it can afford, and best of all -it's totally free to you.
Problem solved.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@REM1875- Pretending to be indigent (and possibly illegal) is a temptation sometimes - though I DO have very expensive insurance which pays nothing until I meet a $10k deductible, after which it still pretty much pays nothing. (Side note: my insurance company applies "Medicare/Medicaid" rates to my deductibles - so if my doctor charges me $500, they say "we'd only reimburse $17.50 of that under Medicare" and so THAT'S what they take off my deductible - effectively making it $50,000 or some damn thing.

Meanwhile, I'm paying for a separate insurance policy for my adult daughter (unemployed because of health issues) and just found out that her new doctor won't take Blue Cross. D'oh!

As far as sending your prayers for me and my family, and "not a danged thing I can do about it," yes there is. I can thank you.

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, I thought the dream of "health care reform" was that creative people such as yourself would be freed of the agony and stress you are currently experiencing so that you could focus on your work. Or at least it was according to Nancy Pelosi. Instead, we're getting fewer cartoons and not more. Gosh, I'm feeling lied to again.

What gets me is that we were supposed to take the President who said that "we could keep our doctors" and that our insurance would be $2,500 cheaper seriously last week when he said that ObamaCare was working and a success. Did I miss something in between?

Chuck Ef said...

Good to see the good doctor's comments. Suffering from HnC withdrawal. Not .... sure... how ... long ... I.... can ... aaaarrrrggggghhhhh.

The way things used to be.

Sparky @ My Thoughts Exactly said...

@Chuck Ef ~ ROFLOL!! :)

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Chuck Ef & Sparky- You'll have to wait just a little longer for your HnC fix; I'm skipping Monday too. Happily, the main reason is that we're celebrating a family birthday today and part of the day's good vibes will come from ignoring the news as much as possible.

Pete (Detroit) said...

Birthdays are Important!
And HEALTHY!
TruFact - the more birthdays you have, the longer you'll live!

John the Econ said...

Okay, since @Stilton is taking a well-deserved vacation, I'll fill in the slack here with a few observations:

Anyone else note how subdued Earth Hour and Earth Day were by the media last week? Why? Is it because Obama has healed the planet? Or is it because he has enough problems? Or is it because for the most part this is a phony agenda promulgated by the left and only intended to be deployed against conservative administrations?

Like with the homeless (who have somehow totally disappeared as a daily media staple, even as the Obama economy has created more than ever) expect "Earth Hour", "Earth Day", and "the environment" to re-appear with daily talking points as soon as the Democrats are exorcised from Congress and the White House.

The Supreme Court upholds laws outlawing quotas in the name of "Affirmative Action" for college admissions. The most amusing aspect of this was comments from "wise Latina" justice Sotomeyer admitting that she wouldn't be where she sits without quotas. Well, there's a surprise.

The sad part was a television profile of some dumb (and yes, I mean "dumb") high school kid complaining that without quotas, he won't be able to get into Harvard.

How stupid do you have to be to go on national television and advertise the fact you aren't smart enough to qualify for a top-tier school, but should go anyway just because of your skin color? Not only are you publicly self-identifying yourself as intellectually inferior (as any future employer who will Google his name will discover) but you are confirming to the rest of the world the sham that "affirmative action" really is.

So yeah, I guess it might be unfair that he can't get into Harvard. But certainly no more unfair that I didn't either.

You'd think that after the reality of over 5-years into America's first "Affirmative Action" President, that would be self-evident enough, even for the slowest among us.

WMD said...

I see the Catholics are in the process of cannonizing two former popes.

sigh...

Maybe next time barack..