Monday, June 17, 2013

Obamacare in Action: Transfer Your Wealth to Insurers

Obamacare made it over the Supreme Court hurdle, and companies are rushing full bore into implementing, designed, administering and executing on the new rules. Plenty of economic and financial writers mention how Obamacare is a sop to the insurers or that it is going to create a de facto single payer system administered by private insurers for a profit. There is the other side of analysis (usually on conservative sites) that explains Obamacare as a Trojan horse for a future single payer system. I doubt the lawyers of America will allow that as a single payer system destroys the current medical malpractice system. A recent discussion with medical insurance guys has me leaning towards option one now, as the insurers are too damn smart and wrote the law themselves. The insurance companies figured a way to shift tax dollars and your wealth into their pockets without providing you a good or service.

Obamacare's implementation has been terrible, partially due to concerns over the Supreme Court decision and partially due to it being a government program. The insurance companies have been hard at work on this one, so rest assured, this will get handled appropriately enough for them to make a buck and the liberals to see insured lives increase. There were roughly 30 million Americans without insurance. Some by choice, some by stupidity, and some by the horrible system of capitalism. Recent news reports have spotlighted the practice of employers dropping nonessential employees to under 30 hours per week to skirt Obamacare rules for requiring employer paid coverage as well as hiring only part time employees. This makes sense for them from a cost perspective. Will these employees go uninsured? No, because then they slide over to the exchanges and the government subsidy programs. Some uninsured people will just pay the fine, others will pay the fine and start up an HSA, but some will want coverage. Insurance companies are just waiting for them there.

Insurance companies right now are designing programs that meet the government's bare bones bronze level coverage that only costexactly what the government subsidy is. There will be higher level coverage, but these marginally attached employees will have to pay actual dollars for those above the subsidy line (not happening). The focus is on getting the minimum coverage to fulfill government regulations but to only cost the subsidy. This will provide crap coverage, jack up everyone else's rates and not make anyone healthier, but it benefits insurance companies. The insurance companies are taking your wealth turned into tax dollars, using the government mandates to create a new, required pool of customers for them. >Sarcasm Alert< You're not going to believe this, but there is a big pool of Spanish speaking uninsureds. The goal is to make a simple, stripped down plan that will be easy to market in English or Spanish.

Crony capitalism at work to push the progressive agenda. Libs pretend they are helping people's health situation. The focus is on access to health insurance, not even health care or being healthy. The insurance companies have a new pool of risk to cover and make money. Through the mandates and subsidies, the pool of risk is forced to be a buyer at a set price. It could be higher, but why set it higher when you could scare marginal buyers away into the ranks of penalty payers and not insurance consumers? As a penalty payer, they don't send the money to insurance companies, but to the federal government. All the insurance company has to do is set up a crappy insurance program that gets the dollars from the underclass and uninsured. The uninsured are just the conduit of taking your money and sending it to the insurance companies. This will get recycled back into the government system through taxation of profits and lobbying.


asdf said...

I worked for the company building the exchanges. They hired me four months before they were set to go live and they were completely unprepared in fundamental ways. I actually fixed a problem that would have prevented go live from even occurring. Yes, one person not doing their job could have crashed the entire dysfunctional enterprise.

After getting it to work they announced that they were out of money, shifted everyone around, laid people off, and some of my coworkers were saying they were 60% over budget. After going through four bosses in one month of complete dysfunction I got another job and quit.

Also, lying and fraud are rampant on the project. I was lied to in my interview as were most people. They are constantly bringing in new bodies to replace people who catch on and leave.

Finally, huge backdoors were left in the fundamental pricing formula used for the exchange. Whether by incompetence of purposeful corruption they are there and will be there the entire first year at a minimum.

Son of Brock Landers said...

You always leave insightful comments on blogs. You need to start one up. Thanks for these details.

I just know the product development and marketing approach. The premium jacks due to all the odd covered features and increased risk was suppose to prep companies for the coming claims, but the medical insurers didn't price in the loss of covered lives that they have faced due to corps slicing down ees hours to 29 and rolling off of coverage. Those ees were usually younger and healthier.

asdf said...

I did, sort of. I made one post, and I have three more in my head, but haven't followed up in many weeks.

Both commenting and running a blog are time sinks that don't improve my life much. But of the two bad habits, commenting is probably the least bad. I'm not expected to provide regular updates or admin something. I should probably cut both out.

asdf said...

Everyone will be thrown on the exchange eventually, assuming the thing even works.