Saturday, December 3, 2016

Obamacare; "A friend in New York received a call from his stepmother in North Carolina"

"She was upset and scared. In recent years, this woman, who I will call Sally, has grappled with ill health. She was recently refused disability benefits and has a very tight household budget, existing on $1,400 a month. But now she has been hit by another blow. Two years ago she joined the Obamacare health scheme, paying $356 a month in premiums. But last month she was told that the cost had jumped to $1,115 — or $631 with Sally’s tax credit.

An economist might state that this simply reflects hard economic logic: Obamacare was never going to be able to offer low premiums indefinitely, since fewer than expected healthy people signed up and some insurance companies dropped out.

Unsustainable without artificial stability
provided by the government and central banks

But Sally and her family don’t care much about economic logic.

What they face is the threat that their healthcare bills will double, seemingly inexplicably, and consume half their entire monthly income...

...while logic might suggest that many households should feel “grateful” for the arrival of Obamacare, I suspect this is outweighed by anger over rising premiums.

...when Sally looked deeper into the Obamacare system, with the help of a third-party adviser, she eventually found a way to cut through the complexity of the website and the bureaucracy to extract tax credits. As a result, it seems her bill may fall back to $241...

$1,115 - $241 = $874 per month covered by 'taxpayers'
on top of $1,400 per month for disability = $2,274 per month covered by the 'government'
times the millions in the same situation while Big Pharma and the health care industry 
walks with massive profits at the expense of everyone else

That sounds comforting. But there is a catch. Sally has cut her bill because she is savvy, determined and well-educated enough to fight back. Millions of other Americans are not; least of all when faced with the hellish complexity of the Obamacare system and the shockingly user-unfriendly website.

If most are too stupid to figure out how to play,
and then figure out how to get others to subsidize Pfizer's profits,
the whole shit house is going to burn down
and the CEO's and other executives are going to walk away with the money
and get off the hook after buying themselves the politicians who enabled it
with a few more thousand a piece

And even though Sally has not lost out financially, she does not feel remotely happy; on the contrary, after seeing $356 turn into $1,115 and then $241, she is terrified about what shocks might hit next. “This is the part that really scares me — [the risk of] owing thousands at the end of the year [from tax credits],” she says.

Or to put it another way, Obamacare is not just a tale about healthcare and costs; it is also a story of people who feel trapped in a capricious system that they don’t understand, much less control."

https://www.ft.com/content/206b98ec-b74f-11e6-ba85-95d1533d9a62
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