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I realize I’m tilting at windmills

… but then my avatar’s name is Quixote. It’s just what I do.

Don Quixote by Picasso

Which windmill is it this time? Obamacare, of course. Let’s get one thing straight right here. It’s a disaster because its purpose is to funnel money to insurance companies. It is not to provide health care.

Anybody in power who wants to provide actual health care knows how to do it. There are only about twenty other wealthy countries that know how: you have some form of single payer / Medicare for All which is transparent to the user, tightly regulated, and provides actual care. It’s cheaper by nearly 50% and it provides better outcomes.

Instead, the US of A has to be special. We get this corporate handout where the last priority is the person who needs the service.

So what’s the narrative coming up on websites? Government can’t do anything right. Let’s have free market health care!

The major media will pick that up in a few months (weeks? days?). “Is The Answer To Give Consumers The Freedom To Pay Their Own Bills? Here’s Dr. Bigman to tell us!”

That didn’t work so well in the Dark Ages, which this country apparently wants to relive. The answer is staring everybody in the face, has been tried all over the world, and is cheaper, faster, better. Medicare for all. Medicare for all. Hello-o? Medicare for all!

But no. The US of A is special. We can find another wrong track to take even though it looks like we’ve tried them all by now.

If you’d like more information about the problems with Obamacare, besides the textbook disaster of a website, Lambert and friends have been doing a lot of the heavy lifting at Corrente and Naked Capitalism. They discuss:

  • The website rollout problems before they happened.
  • “Affordable” premiums that don’t buy much.
  • Deductibles in the thousands of dollars, not hundreds.
  • Big co-pays. Huge out of pocket maximums. Maximums only for in-network costs.
  • Exclusion of quite a few hospitals providing care for expensive diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease. (So, for instance, your pre-existing condition now has to be covered, but you can’t actually get help without paying for it yourself. Rather a neat loophole, yes?)
  • And then we haven’t even started on the fact that the “subsidies” are tax credits. That means they’re based on your income, which means you have to correctly estimate all changes that affect your income (divorce, death of a dependent, for instance), or remember to report them immediately. Otherwise you must pay back the overpaid tax credit at tax time.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has a handy calculator to get some idea of subsidy amounts in individual situations.