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Uninsured Americans Drop Below 12% Of The Population

congress-healthcare

A new Gallup poll indicates that the number of people without health insurance has dropped below 12%:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The uninsured rate among U.S. adults declined to 11.9% for the first quarter of 2015 — down one percentage point from the previous quarter and 5.2 points since the end of 2013, just before the Affordable Care Act went into effect. The uninsured rate is the lowest since Gallup and Healthways began tracking it in 2008.

The percentage of uninsured Americans climbed from the 14% range in early 2008 to over 17% in 2011, and peaked at 18.0% in the third quarter of 2013. The uninsured rate has dropped sharply since the most significant change to the U.S. healthcare system in the Affordable Care Act — the provision requiring most Americans to carry health insurance — took effect at the beginning of 2014. An improving economy and a falling unemployment rate may also have accelerated the steep drop in the percentage of uninsured over the past year. However, the uninsured rate is significantly lower than it was in early 2008, before the depths of the economic recession, suggesting that the recent decline is due to more than just an improving economy.

The uninsured rate declined at a slightly slower pace following the second open enrollment period of the federal exchanges compared with the first. The first time around, the uninsured rate fell 1.5 points to 15.6% for the first quarter of 2014 from 17.1% for the fourth quarter of 2013. Comparatively, in that same time frame this year, the uninsured rate fell one point — from 12.9% to 11.9%.

Perhaps most significantly, the uninsured rate seems to have dropped most among demographic groups that have been most problematic when it comes to obtaining health insurance coverage:

While the uninsured rate has declined across all key demographic groups since the healthcare law fully took effect in January 2014, it has dropped most among lower-income Americans and Hispanics — the groups most likely to lack insurance. The uninsured rate among Americans earning less than $36,000 in annual household income dropped 8.7 points since the end of 2013, while the rate among Hispanics fell 8.3 points. The significant drop in uninsured Hispanics is a key accomplishment for the Obama administration, which led targeted efforts to insure this group as they had the highest uninsured population of all key subgroups. However, despite the gains in insurance coverage among Hispanics and lower-income Americans, these groups still have higher uninsured rates than other key subgroups.

Americans aged 26 to 34 have also seen gains in coverage since the healthcare law went into effect — the uninsured rate among this group is down 7.4 points since the end of 2013, the largest drop among any age group. Blacks have also seen a substantial drop in their uninsured rate since the fourth quarter of 2013 — 7.3 points.

These numbers, along with others from other sources that also show declines in the number of uninsured Americans, are obviously relevant to the ongoing debate over health care policy and the impact and legacy of the Affordable Care Act. Much as they did in 2012, Republicans seem intent on making repeal of the law an important part of their campaign in 2016, and it’s likely that we will see Republicans in both the House and the Senate attempt to pass measure to attempt to repeal or substantially modify the law as we get closer to the Presidential election. None of these proposals are likely to become law, of course, given the fact that President Obama would likely veto them, and most of them probably would not even make it to his desk since Democrats are likely to block them in the Senate using the legislative filibuster.

This means, of course, that the success or failure of the Affordable Care Act will be a big part of the election debate over the next nineteen months. Democrats will point to numbers such as this, was well as things such as the recent Congressional Budget Office report indicating that health care costs are likely to decline in coming years, in favor of their argument that the law is working and that Republican calls to dismantle it are meritless. Republicans, on the other hands, will point to reports that continue to come out about increased premium costs, as well as the fact that the policies that people are able to purchase under the exchanges today typically have much higher deductibles than used to be the case, which makes the overall cost of health care more expensive for the average American. Hanging over the debate will be King v. Burwell, the case currently pending in the Supreme Court over the issue of whether the tax subsidies permitted under the law apply only to exchanges established by the states, or whether they are also available for policies purchased on the exchanges established by the Federal Government in states that declined to set up their own exchanges. If the Justices rule in favor of the Plaintiff’s in that case, it could cause costs and premiums to increase t0 such an extent that some consumers will be unable to afford insurance. In that case, uninsured rates would likely rise again unless Congress acted to fix the law, which seems unlikely to happen.

We already had one Presidential election where the Affordable Care Act was the focus of attention, and we know how that turned out. Then, as now, Republicans argued both that the law would not work and that it was an improper intrusion of government into private business. In the end, though, what will matter to most voters is what the law means for their bottom line and the quality of their health care. If the impact turns out to be a positive one, which is obviously what Democrats are hoping for, then Republicans are likely to have a hard time convincing people to gut the law and return to a pre-PPACA status quo that was both far from perfect and, in the end, economically unsustainable. Their best option at that point would be to come up with a reform plan of their own, and explain how it would make things better. So far, however, they’ve largely failed to do that. If that continues to be the case then they are likely to find once again that campaigning against Obamacare isn’t the ticket to success they assumed it would be.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    Not bad for just a community organizer…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. David in KC says:

    Wonder how the rate would have been affected if more states expanded Medicade?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. C. Clavin says:

    Obama:

    “…I mean we have been promised a lot of things these past five years that didn’t turn out to be the case —death panels, doom, a serious alternative from Republicans in Congress,…the budget they introduced last week would literally double the number of uninsured in America….”

    As with Iraq…Republicans are simply unable to admit how wrong they were/are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Modulo Myself says:

    Correct me if I”m wrong, but before Obamacare (in New York, at least) employer-based insurance allowed you to pick from one of four plans–a high-deductible, a bronze, a silver, and a gold. All four had deductibles, but the bronze, silver, and gold, had co-pays with various constraints about in and out-of-network doctors. Your deductible only kicked in once you actually went to the hospital and rang up some real expenses. Whereas the high-deductible plan required that you pay out-of-pocket for everything until the number was met.

    According to Doug’s link, Obamacare has seen a rise in deductibles, which has led to people not wanting to go to the doctor. But given the misinformation we get on a daily basis about Obamacare, it’s hard to know if this is true or bs. I have a platinum Obamacare plan (in New York). I couldn’t tell you what my deductible is because it hasn’t come up yet. So far, all that I’ve had to pay is the small copay.

    So I’m curious–are there bronze or silver Obamacare plans out there where the copay isn’t valid until the deductible is met?

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  5. ernieyeball says:

    Spin Like a Top

    Despite Obamacare, 11.9% Still Uninsured
    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/brittany-m-hughes/gallup-despite-obamacare-119-still-uninsured

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. C. Clavin says:

    Republicans, on the other hands, will point to reports that continue to come out about increased premium costs, as well as the fact that the policies that people are able to purchase under the exchanges today typically have much higher deductibles than used to be the case

    Increased Premium Costs: What they fail to mention is that this is often compared to policies that never paid off on claims…so in fact were worthless. Should a policy that is worth something, cost more than a policy that is worthless?
    Increasing Deductibles: This was a trend long before Obamacare…and are intended to give consumers “skin in the game” in an attempt to help curb the rise in health care costs. Obamacare is in fact helping to curb the rise in health care costs.

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  7. Modulo Myself says:

    @C. Clavin:

    This was a trend long before Obamacare…and are intended to give consumers “skin in the game” in an attempt to help curb the rise in health care costs.

    Nothing is more effed-up than calling a person going to a doctor a consumer who needs to have skin in the game. Oh yes, that weird game of mortality, pain, suffering, and fear, which is simply a choice like any other.

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  8. gVOR08 says:

    Their best option at that point would be to come up with a reform plan of their own, and explain how it would make things better. So far, however, they’ve largely failed to do that.

    Since any such alternative would pretty much have to be either single payer or a lot like Obamacare. Otherwise, it won’t work. They keep talking about keeping the popular parts of Obamacare and dropping the bad parts. Unfortunately, it’s those bad parts that pay for the popular stuff. Of course they can go to their default, and simply lie a lot.

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  9. gVOR08 says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Not bad for just a community organizer…

    I pointed out to a conservative friend recently that being a community organizer in South Chicago was way harder, more complicated, and gutsier than anything said conservative had ever attempted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. James Pearce says:

    “Republicans, on the other hands, will point to reports that continue to come out about increased premium costs, as well as the fact that the policies that people are able to purchase under the exchanges today typically have much higher deductibles than used to be the case”

    I thought they were going to stick to the “no government ever made their citizens buy a product” line. This is only a slight improvement.

    By 2016, we’ll be dealing with faulty memories, as well as a whole slew of 20 somethings who have no memories of how things “used to be.”

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  11. Tyrell says:

    There are still a lot of people caught in a catch 22: can’t afford the premium cost, yet don’t qualify for a subsidy. The system needs some tweaking, tuning, adjusting, and polishing.
    One of the problems that causes high medical costs are people being over tested, over doctored, and over medicated. Doctors call patients to come in just to tell them their test results are normal (office visit charge).
    This is also the age of specialists: multiple, overlapping tests; no one sees the big picture.
    Also, all of this information being entered on a laptop during an office visit. Doctors don’t have time to talk anymore. Where does all this information go?

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  12. David in KC says:

    @Tyrell: Most of the people caught in the catch 22 are the ones that would have been covered by Medicade if their states would have expanded it.

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  13. michael reynolds says:

    So, let’s see. Of the several dozen Republican scare stories each of which was going to result in the destruction of the United States and the end of liberty for all time as an age of darkness descended, what actually happened was, as @Tyrell says: The system needs some tweaking, tuning, adjusting, and polishing.

    Because death panels, national bankruptcy and a world-bestriding Adolf Joseph Obama Monster, are kinda like “some tweaks needed.”

    And still the critics will not admit that they were WRONG. Plain, vanilla WRONG. Straight-up, nowhere to hide, WRONG.

    Full of sh!t up to their ears.

    If the Republicans manage to kill Obamacare, the rates of uninsured will skyrocket, people will lose their coverage, costs will likely rise again, and once more we will have people driven into bankruptcy by medical bills.

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  14. C. Clavin says:

    @Modulo Myself:
    Point taken…but.
    A friend of mine stabbed himself the other day…knife slipped…small wound in his side a couple inches deep. Two stitches. He is a landscaper with CT Obamacare. They wanted him to get an MRI. He said no.
    Someone like me with employer supplied insurance probably would’ve had the MRI.
    Which is the right decision?

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  15. DC Loser says:

    Republicans said the same thing about Social Security and Medicare when they were first introduced. Now they pander shamelessly to the beneficiaries promising more benefits to them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. An Interested Party says:

    Republicans said the same thing about Social Security and Medicare when they were first introduced. Now they pander shamelessly to the beneficiaries promising more benefits to them.

    Oh my goodness! We’re all socialists now…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Liberal With Attitude says:

    @Modulo Myself:
    Re: “Health Care Consumers”-
    Its effed up because it treats health care like it was a toaster, a consumer good.
    But health care is one consumer good that no one wants, and even if it was free, only those who truly needed it would go get it.

    Think of it- if we woke up tomorrow and all health care was totally free, what health care procedure would you run out to get?
    A free spinal tap maybe? A liver transplant? Or a tall cool glass of chemotherapy?

    This idea that people are flooding the hospitals hoping to get unnecessary medical care is the biggest lie there is.

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  18. Liberal With Attitude says:

    @michael reynolds:

    If the Republicans manage to kill Obamacare, the rates of uninsured will skyrocket, people will lose their coverage, costs will likely rise again, and once more we will have people driven into bankruptcy by medical bills.

    Feature, not a bug for these folks.

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  19. Slugger says:

    I have a friend who is an ER doctor; he has seen about a fifty percent decline in uninsured people in his ER. Obviously this is an anecdote, but this is the internet so it counts. I am in the Medicare demographic, and my supplemental insurance declined by one third. On the other hand, we did have a blood moon eclipse this spring for which Obamacare is totally responsible.
    Guys, when the best that Tyrell can come with is that it needs some tweaking, then Obamacare must be a triumph.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell:

    There are still a lot of people caught in a catch 22: can’t afford the premium cost, yet don’t qualify for a subsidy.

    Yeah!!! Like my little brother who started a new restaurant last year but makes so little money (so far) that he and his wife do not qualify for subsidies yet make too much to qualify for the still pre-ACA medicare!!! Way to go GOP!!! Supporting small business owners all they way to the Emergency room doors (at which point you are on your own).

    Seriously, his wife has had 2 cancers, uninsurable under the old system, insurable under the new system with Republican road blocks only by lying.

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  21. stonetools says:

    I wonder when Doug is goingbto just admit that Obamacare is working and is a worthwhile and successful social insurance program like Social Security and Medicare? Or is he going to be like his libertarian forebear Ayn Rand who railed against social programs till she got sick in her old age and ended her life on Social Security and Medicare?

    Meanwhile Jonathon Cohn brings the math :

    Act and the historic expansion of coverage it has made possible. But the nation’s total spending on medical care hasn’t exploded, as legions of “Obamacare” critics predicted it would.

    In fact, America’s health care bill is turning out to be a lot smaller than economists thought it would be by this point.

    That’s the conclusion of a new paper by John Holahan and Stacey McMorrow, researchers at the non-partisan Urban Institute. The aim of the paper is to tally up all the expenditures the country will make on health care between 2014 and 2019, whether it’s through private insurance, government programs like Medicare and Medicaid or direct out-of-pocket payments from patients to doctors.

    Republicans claiming that Obamacare is a disaster remind me of authorities in Catholic Church who denied the idea that the sun revolved around the earth for centuries after Galileo. Those authorities looked like buffoons and the Republicans are similarly looking like buffoons today.

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  22. MikeSJ says:

    Their best option at that point would be to come up with a reform plan of their own, and explain how it would make things better. So far, however, they’ve largely failed to do that.

    I suspect what the Republicans would come up with is mandatory coverage which allows the elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions. This would be provided for consumers via private insurance companies. For those who can’t afford it subsidies would kick in.

    I don’t understand why they just don’t release something like this – I believe the Cato Institute has this on the drawing board.

    It’s the perfect Republican plan – the Democrats want a Canadian style system so they’d never agree to such a market driven insurance company friendly plan.

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  23. anjin-san says:

    @MikeSJ:

    I suspect what the Republicans would come up with is mandatory coverage which allows the elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions.

    They’ve had years and years to come up with a plan. They have nothing. You need to come to grips with the fact that the GOP is simply not up to the task of governing.

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  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    What an astonishing thing. Who could have foreseen that when you pass a law requiring everyone to buy something, and put the IRS in charge of enforcing that law, more than seven in eight people will actually obey the law? Who the hell knew that threatening people with IRS-imposed and collected fines could get them to do what you wan them to do?

    A truly noble accomplishment, one to bear with tremendous pride.

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  25. Matt says:

    @Tyrell: The people caught in the catch 22 are there because of Republicans in state governments refusing to expand medicare. If the republicans would stop playing politics and accept the expansion I along with millions of others would finally get coverage.

    I am one of those people that make too much to get local help but I don’t make enough to get subsidies. I also said basically the same thing last time you posted roughly the same thing…..

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  26. humanoid.panda says:

    @anjin-san: I think you are underestimating Mike’s snarking abilities. He just described the ACA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. James P says:

    So what? Who cares?

    What difference does it make — to quote someone famous.

    It is not the role of government to provide health insurance for people.

    Creating health insurance exchanges distorts the market and creates bubbles.

    If people want health insurance let them purchase a policy – if they don’t, they won’t.

    It’s not my issue whether 1% are insured or 99% are insured. Insuring people is not the reason this country or this Constitution was founded.

    I simply do not believe in a government which provides anything for anyone. Provide for yourself. This country was founded on a sense of rugged individualism. The further we deviate from that the further we slip.

    The government should play no role whatsoever in the healthcare market place.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’m not sure if you realize it, but once you remove deadbeats from the equation, people are thrilled to have health insurance.

    That you sympathize with the deadbeats is not a big surprise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Liberal With Attitude: The problem is not that people are out there getting medical procedures that they don’t need. The difficulty comes in a situation such as mine. I had gone to the doctor about dizziness. The neurologist suggested that she wanted me to get–not one MRI, but 11–all with dye markers that added to the cost of the procedures. Her explanation of what she was doing? “There is a small chance that you have a tumor–you probably don’t and the MRIs may not even show it, but since you have insurance, they won’t cost you anything.

    In my case, she was wrong about them not costing me anything because my insurance had a $50 copay per image for radiology and imaging services, but imagine how this type of thing runs up costs for medical care in general among those who are not willing to tell the doctor “no” as I did.

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  30. James P says:

    @anjin-san:

    I’m not sure if you realize it, but once you remove deadbeats from the equation

    The deadbeats are the people on Medicaid. I’m all for cutting them off. People should stand on their own two feet.

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  31. C. Clavin says:

    @James P:
    So you have forfeited your insurance and housing subsidies?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Spoken like the free-rider you have bragged about being.

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  33. C. Clavin says:

    @James P:

    The government should play no role whatsoever in the healthcare market place.

    So you have forfeited your health care subsidy?

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  34. Tony W says:

    @James P:

    The government should play no role whatsoever in the healthcare market place.

    The deadbeats are the people on Medicaid. I’m all for cutting them off. People should stand on their own two feet.

    I suppose that is fine to say those who have operable legs. What about the rest? Do we cut them off and let the market decide? Your simplistic mind simply can’t fathom that anybody is different than you. Some people have downs syndrome. Should they just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get a job?

    You display a shocking level of ignorance for a man of your rigorous, international education and experience, LOL

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  35. Scott says:

    @James P:

    I simply do not believe in a government which provides anything for anyone.

    Sorry. I disagree. It is a shame that you are so unhappy with your country.

    You have other options you know.

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  36. stonetools says:

    Folks, stop feeding the troll. I’m sure James P doesn’t believe his own nonsense.

    OTOH, there really are right-wingers out who are there that dumb :-(.
    Sometimes it is hard to distinguish parody from sheer stupidity and self-delusion, so … carry on, I guess.

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  37. C. Clavin says:

    @James P:

    I simply do not believe in a government which provides anything for anyone.

    The abject ignorance in this comment warrants comment…even though I understand I am just feeding the trolls; trolls too ignorant to grasp the reality of it.
    Individuals only have wealth of any level by virtue of the Government, which ensures the existence of property rights, courts, police protection, roads, airports, education (including providing aid to private schools) and a bunch of other functions too numerous to mention. The idea that Government should not provide anything to anyone is so ridiculous in it’s naivete that you have to wonder about the sanity of the person who says it.
    The Republican strategy for some time now has been to make a lot of noise, and accomplish zero beyond promoting the incompetence of Government. Uneducated and un-thinking morons like James P. have bought into their BS hook, line, and sinker.

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  38. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I couldn’t tell you what my deductible is because it hasn’t come up yet. So far, all that I’ve had to pay is the small copay.

    And I could be mistaken, however fulfillment of your annual deductible should occur BEFORE the policy’s coinsurance payment is implemented. – So I’m somewhat befuddled by your statement.

    Unless of course your policy is one of ZERO deductible and 100% coverage, leaving only a “small” co-pay at time of visit. A policy like that is rare and very costly.

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  39. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker:

    My favorite anecdote on hospitals bilking insurance companies came about 6 years ago. I had a mild malady, the symptoms of which could indicate something much worse. Fortunately a simple blood test would clear up any confusion. The nurse drew the blood, labeled it, and asked if i could drop it off at the hospital. (Live in small enough town and your doctor will know where you live and what places are on your route home.)

    Ten minutes later I’m at a hospital and an intake specialist is trying to give me a hospital bracelet and show me to my room.

    I explain–again–that I’m only here to drop off the blood test.

    “Don’t worry, checking you into a hospital room is just standard procedure. Your insurance will take care of any costs to you.”

    I have no idea how much a daily stay at a hospital is, but I have a feeling its magnitude more expensive than any intake costs for a blood sample. The woman’s attitude certainly led me to believe this was a pretty common practice.

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  40. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: How suprising that Jenos, who believes that the only reason for helping poor people is to feel good about yourself also feels that having millions of people able to afford health care is icky because it’s required. It’s never about the result — it’s all whether it allows little peacocks to preen about their moral superiority.

    Which in this troll’s case is a pretty hilarious concept…

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  41. grumpy realist says:

    @C. Clavin: I wonder how much of this is “we’ve got all this expensive equipment around; now we have to find some justification for having purchased it.”

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  42. Modulo Myself says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown:

    I have had health insurance for sixteen years through various providers , and I’ve never once had to meet the deductible before paying a copay for a doctor’s visit.

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  43. C. Clavin says:

    @grumpy realist:
    There is always a “because we can” factor. Ever seen an extremely over-produced power-point presentation?

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  44. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I’ve noted, repeatedly, that wr and cliffy are, without a doubt, the dumbest commenters here. And here again we have proof.

    The entire gist of my comment was to note that ObamaCare legally mandates that everyone has insurance, with the IRS in charge of enforcing that law. The intended subtext was that it was quite absurd to boast of how many people complied with the law as if it was some great victory in persuading people to sign up. They weren’t enticed, they weren’t persuaded, they weren’t convinced — they were coerced.

    And I wouldn’t recommend trying to persuade people that it’s a good thing. As long as it’s accompanied by a threat for noncompliance, that’s all that matters. You’re just persuading people that they should be glad to give in to the threats of having the IRS come after you.

    I’m reminded of being threatened by my parents if I didn’t eat my broccoli. And how hollow the praise was when I did eat it.

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  45. Tony W says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Yours is a “leave me alone and let me continue to freeload” argument. Not having coverage is financially irresponsible because you WILL need care. Most health care providers are morally upstanding people and they will provide it to you for “free” if you come into their facility suffering. That’s not scalable.

    TLDR: We tried it your way – it didn’t work.

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  46. Tyrell says:

    @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker: Exactly. Tests; redundant, overlapping, costly, repetitve, and time consuming. The problem with modern medicine is that you have your family doctor, specialists, and hospital doctors. All ordering tests, procedures, medications, and of course follow ups. Many only too eager to order all this stuff because insurance or medicare will pay for people to see a doctor three-four times a year just to have bp and temperature checked. And no doctor sees the total picture.
    It used to be “take 2 aspirin and get some rest” Now it is “see four doctors and get six prescriptions” The medical/corporate/ government complex.
    “Let’s run some more tests”
    “Let’s do some follow up”
    “Come back in 3 months”

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  47. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tony W: No, that’s not the argument I’m making here. Here, I’m noting that it’s unjustified to gloat about how many people you have gotten to sign up for insurance when you have made it legally mandatory.

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  48. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I’ve never once had to meet the deductible before paying a copay for a doctor’s visit.

    I would not dispute that, as it applies to copay. The copay is generally a set fee that is charged for each visit, and is not associated with the fee for the service.

    Many policies, I would suggest most, have a copay amount. What I found puzzling was that you said that “all” you’ve had to pay is the copay. That would suggest that you’ve not had to pay towards deductible, nor had to pay anything for coinsurance.
    With the possible exception of preventive care visits, a zero deductible, 100% coverage, with a “small” copay policy is rare and costly.

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  49. David M says:

    Having to buy health insurance is pretty much the worst thing ever, except for not having health insurance. That’s the plain fact the trolls refuse to address.

    They also are very good at intentionally refusing to understand the reason for the health insurance mandate, and how health insurance markets work in general. Hence the simultaneous complaints that health insurance is too expensive and doesn’t cover enough.

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  50. Modulo Myself says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown:

    I was going by this, at the article Doug linked to about deductibles:

    “You’re paying a lot of money for health insurance and then you go to use it, and then you say, ‘OK, until this deductible is satisfied, I might be paying completely for doctor and specialist visits?'” he said.

    This seems completely wrong to me, and par for the course when it comes to explaining problems with Obamacare. When you go to the doctor, you pay a copay and that’s it.

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  51. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    They weren’t enticed, they weren’t persuaded, they weren’t convinced — they were coerced.

    There’s some truth to that, but not much. I switched to an Obamacare policy because it was a much better deal. Others have gained access via Medicaid. Others wanted insurance but couldn’t get it because in the halcyon days of yore, you couldn’t get insurance if, you know, you actually needed it. Others were adult children who can now stay on their parents’ plan. Some even got it because they understand that it’s like car insurance or vaccinations or not spitting gum out on the sidewalk – it’s part of what we owe society.

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  52. David M says:

    Health insurance policies work in different ways, some offer certain services for a set copay, regardless of whether or not the insured has met their deductible, while others require the deductible to be met before any benefits are paid out. Ones with higher deductibles and that offer fewer benefits before the deductible is met are becoming more common.

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  53. Stan says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Here, I’m noting that it’s unjustified to gloat about how many people you have gotten to sign up for insurance when you have made it legally mandatory.”

    I’m happy that more people have health insurance. It means that more people will get medical care. That’s the purpose of the Affordable Care Act, and it’s why I supported it. Is this gloating? Is it wrong to be glad the ACA is doing what it’s supposed to do? If so, why?

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  54. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Give it a break, troll.
    Two years ago you were ranting about how Obamacare would be a failure. It wouldn’t reach it’s enrollment goals. Death Panels. End of civilization. Skyrocketing premiums. Skyrocketing health care costs. Doctors going out of business. Mass unemployment. blah blah blah.
    Just admit you were dead wrong, once again, and move on.

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  55. James P says:

    @C. Clavin: He was right. Costs are skyrocketing. There are death panels (they’re called the Independent Payment Advisory Board – IPAB – they’re not actually called death panels), doctors are going out of business.

    The enrollment numbers are indeed cooked. Obamacare is driving unemployment. It has by any metric a complete failure.

    It is not worth turning the Constitution on its head in order to insure people. Heck, I don’t even think insuring people should be a public policy goal in the first place – it’s not the role of government.

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  56. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    When you go to the doctor, you pay a copay and that’s it.

    I hope I’m not misunderstanding you, but if your actual experience under Obamacare is that the only amount you have to pay is the copay — that is a major problem. If that is so, when what is the point of a deductible? What happens after ‘you have met your deductible’?

    I’ve had employer sponsored health care policies for 40 some years, all required that the the deductible be satisfied before coinsurance ( the 70, 80 or 90% ) would be paid out. OK, that was then – maybe it’s different today.

    Today’s Medicare has a deductible. I can assure you that today’s medicare participants will pay the full amount of medicare allowable until their deductible is satisfied. After the deductible is met then the 80/20 cost sharing kicks in.

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  57. C. Clavin says:

    @James P:
    So you have forfeited your Government insurance subsidy?

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  58. David M says:

    Is it wrong to just want to point and laugh now that the GOP talking points have changed from “Obamacare is a complete failure because no one will sign up” to “Obamacare is a complete failure because people are signing up”?

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  59. James P says:

    @C. Clavin: I don’t have a government subsidy.

    Did the government subsidize Jordan Spieth’s Master’s victory?

    Jordan Spieth did not make the golf clubs he used himself – someone else did that. Did Nike write off the salaries of the employees who manufactured Spieth’s clubs on their taxes?

    Given that Nike wrote off the salaries of people who manufactured his clubs on their taxes it is fair to say that his Nike clubs were government subsidized.

    According to your logic government was responsible for Jordan Spieth winning the Masters since he could not have done so without using his government subsidized Nike clubs.

    I have government subsidized health insurance just like Jordan Spieth has government subsidized golf clubs.

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  60. James P says:

    @David M: Obmacare is a complete failure because it is a complete failure.

    It is driving up costs, driving up unemployment, and the enrollment numbers are cooked (they’re double counting).

    When SCOTUS knocks down the subsidies when it rules in the Burwell v. King case nobody will have subsidies and the enrollment numbers will plummnet —— to near zero! :)

    Let’s get government out of the health insurance business completely and let the market rule.

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  61. C. Clavin says:

    @James P:
    Wow…even for someone who lies about their credentials…you are still f’ing looney.
    Explain to me how Obamacare is killing jobs when we are creating jobs at a faster rate than any time since 1999?
    Never mind…you’re a troll…I shouldn’t feed you.

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  62. Modulo Myself says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown:

    Either we are talking past each other or we have had different experiences. When I’ve seen doctors, I’ve always paid only the copay, which then, after I pay it, goes against the deductible. Obamacare has not changed that for me.

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  63. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Stan: I’m happy that more people have health insurance. It means that more people will get medical care. That’s the purpose of the Affordable Care Act, and it’s why I supported it.

    You’re making a few assumptions there.

    “Health insurance” is not necessarily the same as “health care.”

    “Health insurance” is not necessarily the same as “usable health insurance.”

    There are legions of devils in the multitude of details…

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  64. C. Clavin says:

    @James P:
    Here…educate yourself on the difference between a business expense and the ESI subsidy.
    Beware…It may be too complex for someone who has to lie about receiving an education.
    http://kff.org/private-insurance/issue-brief/tax-subsidies-for-private-health-insurance/

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  65. Stan says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: For most of us, health insurance is necessary if you need health care or prescription medicine. It isn’t sufficient, but I’ve seen nothing to indicate that people who received health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act have been unable to find doctors or pharmacies who will accept their insurance. I’ve seen innumerable posts that try to make your case, but no hard evidence that backs them up.

    When I was a teenager in the late 40’s and early 50’s I knew many people who hated the New Deal. They thought that people should provide for themselves, and they couldn’t see why their money should go to people too lazy or too clueless to support themselves and their families. I think you feel the same way, and if you do you ought to say so.

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  66. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I’ve always paid only the copay, which then, after I pay it, goes against the deductible. Obamacare has not changed that for me.

    We may be talking past one another (unintentionally I’m sure). It would help to understand your experience if you can/would tell me what changes after you have satisfied your deductible.

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  67. James P says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Explain to me how Obamacare is killing jobs when we are creating jobs at a faster rate than any time since 1999?

    Labor force participation is at record lows. If the labor force were at the same level as it was on January 20, 2009 unemployment would be roughly 10%.

    We are not creating jobs at a sufficient rate to keep pace with natural population growth. That’s why food stamp participation has increased roughly 50% over the past seven years. That’s why disability claims are at record numbers – is the workplace suddenly less safe over the past seven years?

    Obamacare is a disincentive to hire.
    ___________

    Again, I reiterate that my healthcare is subsidized by government like Jordan Spieth’s Masters title was created by government. Does or does not Nike write off the salaries of the people who manufacture his clubs as a business expense?

    Government is proximately as responsible for me having healthcare as it is for Jordan Spieth having a green jacket.

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  68. Tony W says:

    @James P:

    Obamacare is a disincentive to hire.

    Close – but still wrong. Obamacare is a disincentive to keep working at that crappy job which underpays you but you need the coverage so you just grit your teeth and dream of the day you can quit and go form a business to compete with your old employer. Oh, and drive up that old employer’s labor costs because now they have to find somebody in the open market to do your old job – and those folks have options too.

    That’s why your corporate overlords told you to hate it.

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  69. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Well, not everyone is such a pioneer as to accept expensive medical treatment and then run out on the bill like you.

    Say, do your current doctors know that you believe you don’t have to pay for your treatment? Or are they just going to have to find out about it in the course of time…

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  70. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: I have said nothing that can be disagreed with here, and have said nothing in a disagreeable manner. Why do you feel so overwhelmingly compelled to violate the site’s Terms and engage in personal insults, which could easily be considered libelous?

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  71. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Health insurance” is not necessarily the same as “health care.”

    “Health insurance” is not necessarily the same as “usable health insurance.”

    Do you have any evidence that people who have Obamacare are unable to use it or unable to get care? Or are you just running your mouth?

    And it’s worth noting that millions of people have had issues getting their health insurance carries to pay for care long before “Obamacare” was enacted, or before Obama became president. I know there were times that my carriers, operating within the wondrous free market, fought tooth and nail to deny me benefits that I was absolutely entitled to.

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  72. anjin-san says:

    Hey Jenos, I’ve got an idea. You like to make a big deal about how you are the kind of guy who admits when he makes a mistake.

    So why don’t you simply admit you were:

    WRONG about Obamacare?

    WRONG about Ebola?

    WRONG about Benghazi?

    Horribly, wildly WRONG. Not even in the same solar system as reality.

    Admit you were wrong, apologize for cluttering up the site with so much utter stupidity and childish nonsense, and move on.

    Man up dude.

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  73. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I’m disappointed, anjin. I used your standard approach — I didn’t actually say anything substantive, didn’t actually take a position, didn’t assert a single thing. I simply made irrefutable technically accurate points, and couched them in the weasel word “necessarily.” You assumed things that I didn’t actually say, and then denounced me for what I never said.

    There are anecdotal examples of people being technically “covered,” but not actually being able to get the care they need. I haven’t bothered to try to verify them, but they’re out there.

    Do you have any disagreements with what I actually said above, or do you want to argue with things I didn’t actually say?

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  74. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Sorry, anjin. Really not feeling like submitting to your demands that I engage in your little Struggle Session. For one, I think too many readers would find me talking about myself boring. For another, it would be wildly off-topic. For a third, why would I even consider granting you any kind of authority?

    Besides, I’m not going to let you harsh my mellow. I have about 30 straight hours of obligations coming up starting tomorrow morning. Do you have anything to offer that can command my attention more than promises to friends, earning money, and attending to my health?

    I thought not.

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  75. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: ” I have said nothing that can be disagreed with here, and have said nothing in a disagreeable manner. ”

    Wait, you mean that just because you’ve been spreading trollish crap for years here, repeating every right wing lie, using adolescent rhetorical tricks and insisting that they’re actually substance and essentially making this site a less pleasant place to be simply because you can only feel alive if you are annoying people, now that you think you’ve posted one or two inoffensive messages you’re appalled that people you’ve been pestering all along don’t treat you with the respect and consideration you now decide you’re owed?

    My heart would bleed for you, except that you’ve already used up every shred of available pity on yourself.

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  76. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    wr already said what needed to be said, I will leave it at that.

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  77. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Do you have a point or are you just here to troll?

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  78. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: @anjin-san: So, anything I say anywhere on anything is just an excuse for you (and Cliffy) to spew your venom at me, and engage in off-topic personal attacks, in direct contravention of the site’s Terms? Guess that means I can safely ignore the lot of you.

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  79. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: The points I was trying to raise were 1) you don’t get to claim something is popular by the number of signups when it’s mandatory (imagine if OTB were to implement a mandatory commmenter registration system, then to boast how popular it was by the number of signups), and 2) to repeat, “insurance” doesn’t necessarily mean “useful insurance.” There are plenty of reports of people who are discovering their legally-mandated coverage doesn’t actually help them that much.

    It gets a little tedious to have every single development proclaimed as the absolute proof that ObamaCare is the miracle cure and us doubters just need to STFU and suck it — especially when those developments turn out to mean far less than what they actually mean, if anything at all.

    Oh, and how the bad news from ObamaCare is swept under the rug. That gets old, too.

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  80. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The points I was trying to raise were 1) you don’t get to claim something is popular by the number of signups when it’s mandator

    You are making a lame point because that is not what they are saying. What they are saying is that Obamacare is effective at reducing the uninsured rate – exactly what is was designed to do. And none of the catastrophic consequences (destruction of America, and so on) that the right assured us would take place have happened.

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  81. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    spew your venom at me, and engage in off-topic personal attacks,

    Hmm. Sounds like you are describing yourself. If commenting etiquette concerns you, perhaps you should put your own house in order. The victim thing of yours is beyond tired.

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  82. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    here are plenty of reports

    Then it should not be a problem for you to produce multiple cites from credible sources.

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  83. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: You can’t act like a scumbag for years, suddenly decide you’ve reformed, and expect everyone you’ve dedicated endless hours to annoying to embrace the “new” you.

    It’s like Pinky declaring that the liberals here cheer for the murder of police on one thread and expecting to be taken seriously on any other.

    Until, that is, he accepts the vileness of what he posted and apologizes for it.

    Same with you. If you want to stop being a troll and become a real member of the commenting community — that is, someone with something to say rather than someone who exists only to annoy — then come clean about what you’ve done in the past. Admit your trolling, face up to your sockpuppeting and let us know that you’re seriously trying to change. I wouldn’t even ask for an apology from you — just some honesty.

    Until then, you’re just a troll and your “honest, sincere” posts are just another of your trolling techniques, allowing you to wallow in self-pity when no one takes you seriously.

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  84. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    WRONG about Obamacare?
    WRONG about Ebola?
    WRONG about Benghazi?
    Horribly, wildly WRONG.

    This accurately sums up Republican opposition to Obama since 2009.

    It is a bit too long for a bumper sticker, but would easily fit on a “Mission Acomnplished” sized banner up on Capitol Hill.

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  85. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    First, you were doing a few things. The primary purpose of that comment appears to be to make an argument by implications so that you have what you see as plausible deniability because you say that is Anjin’s style. You did that to troll him and wr and then claim to have said nothing, as you often accuse Anjin of doing. In short, the primary purpose of that comment was to troll. I think that is apparent to pretty much every regular commenter.

    Now that you are making actual statements
    1) When the purpose of a program is to insure more people, yes, you do get to point to insuring more people as a success. When the people opposed to said program repeatedly claim that sign up targets wont be reached, yes, you do get to point out that they were wrong.
    2) Do you have any proof whatsoever that insurance since the implementation of the ACA is less “useful insurance” than pre ACA? You haven’t produced any. Certainly the prohibition against insurance companies denying coverage based on preexisting conditions makes post implementation policies more useful for quite a few people.
    3) When the people opposed have made claims about specific ways in which the ACA would fail, it is entirely appropriate to point out when each of those claims has been shown to be false. It was repeated ad nauseum that the ACA would not reach it’s sign up goals, that prices would skyrocket due to increased demand, that it would send the economy into a tail spin, etc. When each of those points has been shown wrong it is entirely appropriate to point that out and to tell the people that made those claims that they were wildly wrong.
    4) How has this development turned to mean far less than it actually means or nothing at all? Do you have any real argument to that effect, or is this just another weasel worded statement to provoke a response?
    5) What is the supposed bad news about the ACA that has been swept under the rug? Enlighten me with the bad news that makes the post implementation situation worse than the previous status quo.

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  86. David M says:

    @Grewgills:

    5) What is the supposed bad news about the ACA that has been swept under the rug?

    I’m not sure you understand how things work for Jenos. The GOP said the ACA would cause problems. The GOP was not wrong, all their predictions have actually happened, and all the reports to the contrary are propaganda from the DNC media complex designed to hide the truth from us

    That’s literally the truth. Obamacare can’t work, so the lack of reports of it’s failure are proof that it’s a disaster and the media is actively hiding the problems with the ACA.

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  87. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I mean, I read that as an indictment of the healthcare system Obamacare was designed to reform, and that the reforms therefore didn’t go far enough.

    You’re trying to make it seem like Obamacare is some unique blight because its results didn’t match its promises. That’s a reason to have sober reflection on the promises next time they are made, but not an excuse to trash the entire enterprise of reform as you have consistently done in the past. It is an especially negligent use of time to do so when available historical evidence from a scant six years ago can be linked to in order to demonstrate most of the problems with the design of Obamacare were provisions placed to get Republican support, which Republicans unilaterally withdrew from in order to score cheap political points on a newly-elected, inexperienced Democrat recently in office. They gambled, they underestimated how crazy Obama was to actually pass health reform in his first term, and for some reason, unable to accept its legislation and enactment, they went full scorched earth on it.

    So if people don’t respect you when you feel the need to make legitimate points, consider making legitimate points more often. And if you find yourself dismissed as a partisan, consider the possibility that’s because your position was born of a political strategy and not as a reasoned idea about reality. The considerations alone will make you a better person, if not more liked around here.

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