The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The ACA (Obamacare) Has Performed As Predicted

So, Tony linked to a the abstract of a study of ACA cost:

As a measure of affordability, we calculated potential Marketplace premiums as a percentage of family income among families with incomes of 401–600 percent of poverty. In 2015 half of this middle-class population would have paid at least 7.7 percent of their income for the lowest-cost bronze plan; in 2019 they would have paid at least 11.3 percent of their income. By 2019 half of the near-elderly ages 55–64 would have paid at least 18.9 percent of their income for the lowest-cost bronze plan in their area.

Back in 2009 I wrote:

My current belief is that what will be passed will mandate everyone buy insurance but because of inadequate cost controls and subsidies will leave ordinary people forced to buy insurance which will increase in price faster than wages.

I also wrote:

..get ready to pay out for insurance you can’t afford, with co-pays so high you can’t afford to use it even after you’ve been forced to cough up for it.

This only half a “I told you so” because it was obvious. Anyone who didn’t know, who was paying attention, was an idiot, but most of those who said otherwise were liars.

Obamacare was always intended primarily as an insurance company bailout. The expectation was always that it would look OK for a few years, then prices would spiral.

There are a few ways to do healthcare that make sense, they all involve universal healthcare. The simplest is single payer. Cleaning up US healthcare requires more than that, since there are a lot of bad actors using oligopoly power to jack prices up artificially, but a single payer can force-set prices and drive companies out of business who won’t play.

The majority of Americans want universal health care, it’s not at all contentious. The reason Americans don’t have it is that part of the rich don’t want it, because it makes some of them wealthy, and they can afford to pay the inflated prices, so it isn’t a personal problem to them.

What the majority of Americans want is irrelevant, and as the Princeton study found, has zero impact on whether anything becomes government policy. This is as true when Democrats are in charge as when Republicans are.

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Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – November 7, 2021


The EU Needs To Get Clear On Its Interests


  1. someofparts

    I’m glad you are Canadian Ian. If you were American you would not have survived long enough to be running this website.

  2. Dan

    I used to wonder why the majority of large US corporations didn’t support single-payer, when a little higher taxes would likely be cheaper for them in the long run than having to individually negotiate ever-more-expensive health plans for all their employees every year.

    But then someone pointed out how tying health insurance to employment is yet another cudgel for disciplining labor, and then it made sense.

  3. Jason

    I used to wonder why the majority of large US corporations didn’t support single-payer, when a little higher taxes would likely be cheaper for them in the long run than having to individually negotiate ever-more-expensive health plans for all their employees every year.

    It also, theoretically at least, puts them at a disadvantage vis-a-vis international rivals who don’t have to pay employee health care because it’s covered by their respective states. Chomsky used to make this point.

    I said theoretically because the reality is obviously more complicated. Most of these companies don’t in any way aspire to be “U.S.” companies anyway. They are solely profit-making entities at this point, and the highest profits are to be made on a global scale. “Externalities” are also much easier to hide when things are global.

    Then there is the, ahem, larger goal:

    “People, governments and economies of all nations must serve the needs of multinational banks and corporations.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski

  4. Astrid

    As health insurance costs are even less bearable for new business entrants and smaller businesses, it also stifles competition. At least until the whole kit and kaboodle moves out of country (to China and now Chinese owned factories in SE Asia).

    The upside for me personally is that it’s a lot easier to sell emigration to Portugal, Latin America, or even China to my engineer spouse and family in a couple years, assuming the USian MIC doesn’t start thermonuclear WWIII in the mean time.

  5. Jerry Brown

    I have had ‘Obamacare’ ever since it became available. I’m actually very happy with it. It is far better than having no insurance and much better than the crummy insurance plans you could buy as a self employed individual before it. And the insurance premiums I pay are very subsidized by the government. In other words, the government pays the insurance company a lot of money whether or not I get sick. I know it is not perfect. People need health care rather than insurance policies after all.

    I am curious whether other actual people who do get their health care insurance through this system feel the way I do.

  6. NR

    It’s possible to acknowledge that Obamacare did good things for some people while also acknowledging that it has a lot of problems and was a pale shadow of what it could have been.

  7. different clue

    Here is an article about how keeping health insurance tied to employment has made working class/middle class Americans so humble, obedient, fearful. it helps to explain why a general strike would be very unlikely here.

    One other thing Obamacare achieved, through the actual process of crafting and then passing/enacting Obamacare, was to poison the whole Health Care Reform well so thoroughly that it won’t even be tried again for decades.

    I am very lucky in that Obamacare did not destroy the employER based health coverage I already had and still have.

  8. Ian Welsh

    If I were American I’d have died age 25. I spent 3 months in the hospital, didn’t pay a cent. If I’d been in America I’d have died at home rather than bankrupt my parents (which it would have.)

    Yes, some people have benefited from Obamacare, and some people hate it. I regularly see people complain that the plans they can afford have such high deductibles they can’t use them.

    This, of course, eventually leads to catastrophic care, because people don’t get the small things dealt with.

    Even with Obamacare the deductibles and out of network and uncovered stuff still drives many people into bankruptcy, as well. Again, I regularly see people talking about hospital debt-collectors coming for their homes and so on. (You can have a home and be cash poor, btw.)

  9. Chicago Clubs

    >I am curious whether other actual people who do get their health care insurance through this system feel the way I do.

    No, I went on it and it sucked entirely compared to any employer-based insurance I ever had.

  10. bruce wilder

    They bent the cost curve after all apparently.

  11. Jerry Brown

    I appreciate the responses. Personally, I think this country could and should have a medical payment/provision system such as the UK or Canada has. Yes I know they are different systems in many ways.

    But the Obamacare act did have a positive impact on me and my circumstances- so it would be very ungrateful for me not to note that. The cancer surgery and treatments would have bankrupted me in 2018 had I not had Obamacare. Assuming I could have got that care in the first place.

    Maybe I’m just part of a small group that saw a benefit from Obamacare. But I think it also expanded Medicaid for many millions of people also. So it is not such a small group that benefitted.

  12. Ché Pasa

    Maybe I’m just part of a small group that saw a benefit from Obamacare. But I think it also expanded Medicaid for many millions of people also. So it is not such a small group that benefitted.

    Again, it seems to be a “perception reversal” that only a small group of Americans saw a benefit from Obamacare. In fact, a rather large group did and do, and so public opinion of Obamacare shifted some time ago from ambivalent/negative to positive. Medicaid expansion, too, was and is generally positively regarded by patients and the public.

    That doesn’t mean that the programs and systems in place aren’t still vastly expensive, vastly corrupt, and impossible for some people to use thanks to extremely high deductibles among other impediments. Medicaid access and treatment has been limited from the outset of the program many, many years ago and its expansion under Obamacare didn’t do much to fix those inherent problems.

    So ultimately what we got through Obamacare, while an improvement in some/many ways over what went before, was far from what might have been had the rent and profit seekers not been allowed full rein to craft a program to suit themselves. But then, that was the basic flaw throughout the Obama years, no? And it’s a flaw that continues regardless of which party is in nominal power over the government, right?

    Some of the deepest flaws in our system of health care have been revealed by the Covid pandemic. Hundreds of thousands are dead because of it. Yet strangely — or maybe not — there’s no uprising over what’s gone wrong in this terrible system, but only over things like mandates and supposed “government overreach.” When in fact, government hasn’t done enough on behalf of the People while slavishly serving the interests of Big Money and Finance. No matter what.

  13. Plague Species

    But then someone pointed out how tying health insurance to employment is yet another cudgel for disciplining labor, and then it made sense.

    It’s misleading to refer to administrative Non-Essentials in administrative-heavy corporations as labour. Astrid is not labor. “She” is a PMC Non-Essential, just as Yves is/was, so to refer to them as labour is insulting to Essentials everywhere.

    This Non-Essential class, which is prodigious, is effectively tangibly worthless. They are welfare queens. They provide less than zero value and yet they are paid a handsome stipend in the form of a salary that is akin to extravagant and gratuitous welfare.

    You could jettison 80% of these bullsh*t Non-Essentials today and the corporation would still function as it does, maybe even more effectively and efficiently, and it would be much more profitable. Silicon Valley knows.

    So, why do corporations do it? It’s called social control. It seems insane because it is insane. The price of social control is to steal the value produced by labor so the wealthy elite can live like royalty and their PMC minions can have their money for nothing and their chicks for free.

  14. Plague Species

    Ché Pasa, that was an excellent synopsis per your last comment. It is my take as well. I have a story as an example if anyone is interested. Just let me know and I will post my email to the CFO of Piedmont Health I sent yesterday. Both of us are former E&Y alumni. It’s yet one more example of how screwed up the healthcare system is.

  15. Plague Species

    Remember, this is beyond single payer at this point. Universal Healthcare like the Canadian model or better is what is now needed. M4A is just glorified Obamacare because it still allows the insurance companies to continue their profit seeking. There can be no more healthcare insurance companies. They are long past their shelf life. Talk about Non-Essentials.

  16. Plague Species

    Okay, here it is since you asked and even if you didn’t. This would not be one of so many issues if America had Universal Healthcare. As the patient/customer, you’re stuck in the middle and seemingly powerless to rectify the disfunction, but try you must because there are no other options except to go bankrupt and die.

    Hello Tom,

    This is a fellow E&Y alumnus. I wanted to bring something to your attention. Often in your position, you’re only as good as the feedback you receive about internal operations and in my experience, that feedback can sometimes be smothered and stymied by managers and employees who have a vested interest in obscuring costly mistakes.

    I can go into details if and when this discussion is hopefully reciprocated and unfolds. To make a long story short, Piedmont’s billing department appears to be coding incorrectly to Ambetter at least for televisits. As such, Ambetter customers are paying out-of-pocket to their deductibles if not fully met for something that is covered fully with no out-of-pocket per Ambetter’s policy/policies.

    The following is authoritative guidance on coding for televisits.

    On January 1, 2017 the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced place of service (POS) code 02 to identify telemedicine services. The descriptor for POS code 02 is “The location where health services and health related services are provided or received, through telecommunication technology.” Use of the telehealth POS code certifies that the service meets all of the telehealth requirements. Many private payers have also begun requiring use of POS code 02 for telemedicine services.

    My expectation, and your expectation too I’m sure, is that Piedmont billing would know this and code POS 02 accordingly. But that’s not what Piedmont billing is doing. They are instead using Modifier 95 and the POS is coded 11 (the default) which indicates office visit versus 02 which indicates televisit. Since Ambetter only recognizes what is coded for POS (it ignores modifiers) to determine televisit versus office visit, Ambetter determines the visit to be office and thus the visit, even though a televisit, is treated as an office visit and the customer is required to pay out-of-pocket if their deductible is not met. If it is determined to be a televisit by Ambetter per proper POS coding (02), a televisit is covered entirely by Ambetter with no out-of-pocket from the customer.

    I have done a great deal of research to get to the bottom of this and unfortunately Piedmont billing has been recalcitrant about rectifying the matter. I simply do not understand the recalcitrance. It’s quite possible many people are affected by this recalcitrance, meaning many people with the same policy or policies at Ambetter are paying out-of-pocket when in fact their televisit is covered entirely by Ambetter with no out-of-pocket.

    I do not mean to come off as litigious. It is not my intent, however, from a legal perspective such a mistake is foreseeable and coupled with the fact that the billing department is avoiding addressing the issue once it is brought to its attention, well, the two combined equal gross negligence or outright fraud. Fyi, by coding it this way, Piedmont gets more money from the patient. As a former internal auditor, I would be all over this to determine what exactly is going on, going down, and why and who. It’s unacceptable.

    I have spent I would say easily eight hours or more trying to reconcile this incorrect billing and my fear is Piedmont is not only not acknowledging the mistake and fixing it internally, but will instead write the bill off and send it to collections. I refuse to pay this bill on principle. It would make me a fraud since I know for certain it’s a material costly mistake.

    The Guarantor Number of the bill is 8675309. The patient is my wife. Her name is Melania Species. DOB 06/06/1966. The issue was submitted for review to the Piedmont billing department and the September 27th review ruling was that no mistake was made. That is clearly false and rather unnerving.

    I surely hope to hear from you about this. This is not an affront, but rather a favor. I am doing you a service by bringing this to your attention versus a class action attorney prompted by another customer who is litigious.

    Thank you for your time and attention in advance.


    Plague Species

  17. Plague Species

    This insurance is new to the exchange for Georgia this year. Take a look at the BBB complaints. It’s clearly a criminal organization as most healthcare insurance companies are these days. It’s legal predation and even if it’s illegal what they’re doing, no one is policing them. They’re in bed with the various state insurance regulators. You just knew this would be the end result of the ACA. A quarter measure meant to extend the life of failed healthcare insurance business models.

    Bright Health

    Here’s a taste — just the tip of the iceberg. Biden and tghe Dems have done nothing to right the sinking ship. I see no evidence that the Biden admin has reversed Trump’s cuts to the ever important Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) subsidies. The CSR is in large part what made healthcare affordable by lowering deductibles and copays. Think of how many people are, and will continue to, die early because of this. More than are dying from COVFEFE-45. Many more, in fact. But hardly a peep from the captive corporate media.

    There’s a reason why you probably never heard of this company. They are so inept at what they’re supposed to do that they SHOULD be ignored. I have been battling with them to cover a claim for a mammogram since January! In case you didn’t know, mammograms are a COVERED procedure through the Affordable health Care Act aka Obamacare. Add that to the fact that their premiums are double what I was paying last year. So I’m paying way more for waaaay less service and coverage. What a disgrace. I know that insurance companies are ONLY in business to make money. At least some of the others put a little effort into trying to work with their clients.

  18. Lex

    Hell, my employee insurance is next to worthless. Until $2000 it pays literally nothing, not even any prescription coverage. However, it requires pre-approval for things it doesn’t cover. The hospital system administering my mental health appointments knows this, but didn’t bother to tell me initially, even though they’d charge me 50% for cash payment. The whole thing is a parasitic racket.

  19. Art

    Churchill remark: “Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.”

    It might be apocryphal or a paraphrase but it does carry something about the American character.

    Universal Healthcare, under one of many forms, is the best, possibly the only, workable result. But, being Americans, we just can’t observe effectiveness and copy the form. Not if it wasn’t invented here. So we have to two-step our way around the bush while feigning disinterest in getting to where we all know where we are heading.

    No Obamacare, the ACA, isn’t the desired result. It won’t work in the long run. But it does move the debate. The idea more coverage is better is pretty well established. Many who were previously uninsured are now insured with subsidies. Which built up a constituency that will resist any return to the old ways. Many of these are not working people. A lot of theme are very old, disabled, living on SS. This dilutes the idea that insurance is best delivered through employers. The ACA is a step in the right direction and a stepping stone to the plan we need.

    For all its weaknesses the ACA was a tremendous advancement. Presidents going back to Nixon realized the need to address healthcare issues. It has been a millstone around our collective necks. Holding back economic social and technological progress.

    If it works to get us to the next step, and on to UHC, it will have done its job brilliantly.

  20. Hugh

    Countries that have universal single payer spend less of their GDP on healthcare, cover everyone, have healthier outcomes for their people. And oh yes, those people wouldn’t trade their health system for ours for anything, and they think we are nuts for keeping it.

    Obamacare was fairly unpopular until the Republicans started pushing their end it and go die in a ditch alternative. It is another case of our upside down world. We have lots of examples of healthcare systems that work, that are better, cheaper, and well liked. So naturally our rich and elites treat them like poison. And this isn’t just greed. It’s the murder of tens of thousands a year who can’t get healthcare or good healthcare and sicker more painful lives for tens of millions.

  21. Art

    Thinking more about it I’ve decided that the single most important thing about the ACA was that it weakened and defeated the pan-institutional logjam using the weak and nearly insufficient tools available, and did it in such a way that return to the previously ossifies system is largely impossible. For the first time in a century things changed in a significant way. We are moving.

    Which is why conservatives despise it viscerally.

  22. Plague Species

    For all its weaknesses the ACA was a tremendous advancement.

    I wouldn’t call it an advancement and the key word in your comment is “was.” The ACA WAS certainly better than what it replaced, but as I said and most intelligent people know, it WAS always a quarter measure and its intent WAS to keep the too-big-to-fail healthcare insurance industry afloat another decade or more. Since its inception it hit a peak of respectability several years ago and has been nosediving ever since. It is being compromised at every turn, i.e. the elimination of the CSR subsidies, and the insurance companies that are providing policies on the healthcare exchanges are legally sanctioned late stage capitalism predatory kleptocratic criminal enterprises.

    The point of all that is to counter your sugar coating the ACA which has effectively become dogsh*t. It’s not going in the direction you say it is. The direction is exactly opposite of what you say, Art, as is the case with the direction of a great many things for the unwashed.

  23. Willy

    ACA was sold as being a step, with a public option possibly being the next step. But competition in our form of capitalism is often considered pure concentrated evil. Of course, no matter how much you try to demonstrate the success of health care systems in practically every other developed nation to the naysayers, they’ll always steer the discussion back to Venezuela. Always Venezuela. And when you state that the health care system in Venezuela is among the most advanced in South America, you’re told to move there. And then the singing of the American National Anthem begins. I always hate that part.

  24. js

    I had Obamacare/ACA equivalent plan (more on that) when unemployed and it sucked. The provider network was very narrow, many doctors straight out said we don’t take ACA type plans.

    It cost a fortune because here’s the thing, I was unemployed and looking for work and didn’t know when I’d find it. I could get a plan on the exchange and pay more for it in the hopes of a subsidy if I was unemployed a long time, or pay less for an ACA equivalent plan without a subsidy. What kind of insane system requires unemployed people to KNOW when they will find work to make decent healthcare decisions. I went for the latter, because more money in my pockets now, and I had hopes of finding a job soon. I was foolish and naive to think I would find a job soon, though I found one eventually, it was contract work without healthcare, so I stayed on the ACA equivalent plan. Eventually I found permanent work and went on an employer plan. How I loathed the low quality of that ACA equivalent plan. But employer plans had gotten so much worse in the intervening years, that I’m not sure how much better they are either. At one point they were better, but they definitely seem to have gotten worse. So I don’t know, nothing in American healthcare is all that great.

  25. Mary Bennett

    “The reason Americans don’t have it is that part of the rich don’t want it, because it makes some of them wealthy, and they can afford to pay the inflated prices, so it isn’t a personal problem to them.”

    In addition, access to health care has become a coveted status symbol.

  26. Plague Species

    I’m considering going without health insurance and rolling the dice. I have to accept the consequences of that, and what that means is, if anything happens to me, I must refuse medical care and just ride it out to its conclusion like the good ‘ol days.

  27. Plague Species

    What it also means is, every single day I have remaining that I can still breath and think, I wish death upon the rich and their PMC minions.

  28. Hugh

    I always laugh at the news stories on a health topic. They always end with a “Call your healthcare provider/doctor to discuss,” like he/she is waiting by the phone with nothing to do but wait for your call. You have to understand that for national TV reporters and newscasters, they probably expect to be able to do this and act like the serfs can do it too because it makes for a nicer story.

  29. Willy

    In 12 years I’ve seen the doctor which that provider gave me exactly once, a physical reserved a month in advance. Every other time he’s been at least a couple weeks out no matter what my concern. And then a nurse practitioner is suggested who’s either incompetent and/or a gatekeeper to an in-house specialist. Double dipping. American capitalism at its finest.

    Maybe this belongs in the preparing for bad times thread, but medical care costs are sure to skyrocket cost during bad times. An American man will surely need to know his limitations. Mine is high bad cholesterol, a tendency for overuse injuries and the potential for arthritis. For starters, I read the side label of every box I see in grocery stores and damn near every one is full of poison. Fortunately, I don’t have a taste for rich or exotic foods and can stick to superfoods with the occasional splurge day. I wonder about reasonable naturopath alternatives who I’d rather be my gatekeeper.

  30. Plague Species

    The entire healthcare system in America from patients to insurance companies to providers is f*cked. Over 20% of Medicare expenditures is devoted to those suffering from kidney failure. Wrap your head around that. How can so many people be suffering from kidney failure? WTF?

    The answer to this problem? Less dialysis and more kidney transplants per McDonald Trump. Cost of a kidney transplant? On average, total cost, everything included, $450,000 and then every year thereafter is $15,000, for now, for anti-rejection drugs.

    An effort is being made to harvest more organs but how do you push harder on that? You make it so not so lucky but otherwise healthy people have no access to healthcare and thus die younger and you start harvesting their organs without consent, that’s how.

    We’re in the prelude to Never Let Me Go. Who will get my organs, I wonder? Yves? IM Crock? Lambert? McDonald? All of the above? They’re all good candidates and they’ll get the last laugh, won’t they?

    That Monty Python skit from The Meaning of Life was rather prescient, wasn’t it?

    My won’t wear a mask brother gets a kidney but my wears a mask wife can’t get a preventative colonoscopy. That’s fair, right?

  31. Plague Species

    It’s perfectly emblematic of late stage predatory capitalism, isn’t it? Peaky Blinders swaps a blue collar for white. Thomas Shelby and Co. have gone legit.

    The Times’ Investigation Into How Companies That Harvest Body Parts Upend Death Investigations

    Companies that harvest human organs, bones and other parts have moved into government morgues across the country to gain access to more bodies. In some cases, procurement teams are taking body parts before coroners are able to conduct an autopsy, even in the midst of sensitive investigations such as possible homicides. The procurement companies say there has never been a case in which a death investigation has been harmed by the procurement of body parts. Yet, The Times found more than two dozen cases in which investigations were complicated or upended by procurement, in just two Southern California morgues.

  32. different clue


    Some hard times are too hard to survive. All one can do is anticipate which those might be for one’s personal self and then try to pre-mitigate them, pre-avoid them, etc.

    The healthier you can be and can keep yourself, the less health care you may need until something goes wrong. And maybe you can strengthen and resilientise your body enough to delay the day of something going wrong.

    Avoid zones of personal risk, hazard and danger as much as feasible. Keep your hobbies safe. Gardening/birdwatching/etc. Not scuba diving or skydiving or whatever.

    Try avoiding what body-eroding stress one can in the teeth of today’s stressogenic world. Hard to avoid, I know.

    So, yes. Bad health prevention and mitigation might be good to write about on the Hard Times thread.

  33. different clue

    @Plague Species,

    I have chronic kidney disease, now stabilized at partial function level. How did that happen? Possibly years of borderline high blood pressure, neglected due to borderline depression.

    But also possibly, and quite likely actually, the slow steady consumption over 3 years or so of a couple of kilograms of ibuprofen. Why? Because I was repetitive-motion injured at work and the philosophy was to keep the working wounded working, so Ibuprofen 600mg 4 times a day was prescribed for several years to contain the pain enough to keep working. And when my hand-arm system failed so comprehensively that I needed months of medical leave and hand-arm treatment, keep eating the ibuprofen all through that too.

    When I told the expert senior attending nephrologist about that , he said that . . . . oh yes, that much ibuprofen could really do it.

    I remember a conversation with a pharmacist co-worker only a few years ago where he was reminiscing about how his fellow pharmacists were talking many years previously about the rise of mass consumption of mass quantities of ibuprofen by the public. They were all predicting to eachother the rise of mass quantities of kidney failure all over the public, and the rise of mass dialysis. And sure enough, after some years of mass-ibuprofening of the public, the rise of dialysis centers all over everywhere began rising.

    I myself offered to another other different pharmacist my personal suspicion that the rise of mass treatment of tens of millions of Americans with statins would lead to mass dementia throughout tomorrow’s population of old people. What did I base that on? Statins prevent the production of cholesterol so effectively that I suspect that cholesterol will be stripped out of wherever it is in the body to send it to wherever it needs to be . . . . in bodies rendered borderline-defficient in cholesterol by a steady diet of statins. And that includes stripping cholesterol out of the myelin sheaths which insulate every neuron in the brain. And that pharmacist said .. . . ” interesting. It could happen.” So there is my prediction. Starting in 20 years or so, mass dementia way beyond anything happening now.

    When I was offered statins and urged to take them, I declined the kind offer and resisted the urging. For that reason among others.

    Another cause of so much high medical costs in America is the mass deprivation of foodborn nutrients through the mass feeding of nutrient-free virtual-vegetables and petrochemical GMO shitcorn and shitsoy derived ” phake fuud produkt” to the mainstream public. The American public is distinctly unhealthier than other national publics, though some other national publics are racing to catch down to American levels of anti-health through anti-nutrition. Coca-Cola in Mexico, for example. Rising obesity and diabetes throughout the world. etc.

  34. StewartM


    I used to wonder why the majority of large US corporations didn’t support single-payer, when a little higher taxes would likely be cheaper for them in the long run than having to individually negotiate ever-more-expensive health plans for all their employees every year.

    The more fundamental reason is that CEOs (and yes, the investors too) betray the interests of the institution of the corporation they are supposed to protect and further. Yes, for the *corporation* (the business) MFA would be a godsend. But for *them*, as *individuals* it would mean higher taxes.

    Ergo, most CEOs and even large investors would rather drive a corporation into its grave rather then bear the smallest of individual cost to themselves. That’s a big part of the reason why you see these Wall Street geniuses drive US business after US business into the ditch. Isn’t capitalism grand??

    (And isn’t laissez-faire capitalism , Ayn Rand style, irrevocably at odds with the “republican virtue” that Tony Wikret maintains the Founders thought necessary for a Republic, where everyone is expected to make some modest sacrifices for a common good?)

  35. StewartM

    Jerry Brown

    have had ‘Obamacare’ ever since it became available. I’m actually very happy with it. It is far better than having no insurance and much better than the crummy insurance plans you could buy as a self employed individual before it.

    The only good thing you can say about Obamacare is that it’s a HUGELY expensive way to give some people real insurance at a cost of subsidizing our bloated insurance- and medical industrial complex. Before Obamacare, private plans offered to individuals were a scam—they were happy to take your money as long as you made few claims, but the month after you got a cancer or other severe health problem diagnosis, and you’d be a cost rather than a revenue source for the insurance company, you’d get a letter from your insurance company “friends” cancelling your policy. In my state the R government allows for non-Obamacare plans, and a Trump-loving person whose beat-up pickup truck is plastered with Trump stickers brags about how cheap his non-ACA insurance is.

    I’ve tried to tell him the first time that he or anyone in his family really needs it, it will go “poof”, but to know avail. What’s frustrating is that I’m sure he knows that is exactly the way that both the car and homeowner’s insurance works–make claims, and you’ll see your policy cancelled–but to no avail.

  36. someofparts

    What a heartbreaking conversation. I’m so sorry that things are so hard for people in this community.

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