Someone posting under the name Diane Jefferis (of Massachusetts) has something to say on my site about Obamacare.

Four things, actually in succession. Here they are:

Submitted on 2013/11/10 at 8:39 pm

Well RU it looks like I’m in the doghouse right along with you. I’ve been accused of canned responses and being a paid blogger to debunk the ACA. It’s too bad the progressives can’t open their eyes and see what’s happening rather than attack anyone and everyone along with the name calling when they have different views. The POTUS does this all the time and it’s a technique taught by Bill Ayres to distract from the message. I had passed a long a wonderful article from the Washington Times for you to read but Hoofin deleted it and won’t allow you or the other bloggers read it. Heck, it’s his blog and he has every right to shield people from the truth if that’s what he wants.

By the way Hoofin, while looking for a post from RU to make a comment, I came across a blogger asking you how this ACA would be paid for. From what I recall you said it will be the rich, or the top 1% that will foot the bill. I tend to disagree but won’t get into my reasoning right now. But how on earth can you possibly think that the ultra rich can take on the costs of insurances for 30 million people year after year? The numbers just aren’t there. Then again I guess the Fed can just dip into the magic cookie jar if they come up short.

Then, this:

Submitted on 2013/11/10 at 10:05 pm | In reply to Tom.

I should have also mentioned that I know you’re hoping that rates stabilize in the ACA but here’s some food for thought. Insurance companies start to set rates for their next cycle in February through late Spring for the Fall/Winter. If the pools are loaded with the sick, the elderly and very few of the young and healthy at that time they will base the new rates accordingly and rates will rise much more than the govt. is projecting. So again, if you’re happy with the plan you have, it may be wise to keep it. There are millions out there right now who’d give their right arm to be in your shoes and be able to keep their plan. Moreover, you aren’t being charged for maternity coverage, substance abuse coverage, abortion coverage, birth control, pediatric dental coverage, just about all things people including men in their 60′s don’t need.

Then this:

Submitted on 2013/11/10 at 11:00 pm

First of Hoofin, let me apologize for misspeaking regarding the Medicaid premiums, etc. you are absolutely correct about their non existence. The govt. reimburses providers .17 on the dollar for medical services for Medicaid patients but premiums, etc. are not involved. Your point!

I am however taken aback when you accused me of “crying that people got free stuff. I have absolutely no problem giving to those in need and I am quite charitable. The economy is terrible and in fact I have two very good friends who are both going through extremely trying times with job losses, one lost a spouse, both may loose their homes, and there is little money to be had in each household. One is 62 and the other is 59 so that makes things doubly difficult for each of them. I’ve helped them monetarily and have also helped searching for “free stuff” for each of them with regards to oil, EBT, widower’s property tax relief, etc. etc. So I have no qualms whatsoever when people are truly backed into a corner and will go to bat for them whether I know them or not. I do however take issue with people who are on the take and have made living off the govt. their full time job. There are certainly no shortages of people within this group.

You accused me of hating the Federal Govt. I love my country, love the constitution, have the utmost respect for our fore fathers and the principles they stood for but I detest what the Administration is doing to our country before our very eyes. I’m not saying the Republicans are any better because most are just interested in furthering their political careers at the expense of our nation. We need a party of common sense, we have to set priorities and stop spending needlessly and foolishly, but that kind of thinking doesn’t buy votes and people will keep putting their hand out for more and more………until it will all come crashing down. It wouldn’t surprise me one iota to see a repeat of the Depression only 10 times worse. Maybe then people will realize that all the entitlements weren’t worth the pain and suffering that we may all experience.

And then, this, concerning a poster, Tom, who is in through the ACA on an Enhanced Silver plan:

Submitted on 2013/11/11 at 3:31 pm | In reply to Tom.

You’re very close to the cutoff point. Even though the law states 133% FPL there is also another 5% disregard which brings it up to 138%. I’d be wary of going into Medicaid for a number of reasons if it’s avoidable. Apparently the income you stated on your application for 2014 is what you’ve based your subsidies on. I’d be on top of this if I were you next yr. to ensure that your actual income is relatively close to what you projected it will be. You don’t want to come up with a substantial difference in either direction. If by next Dec you think you’ll come up short from your projected income you might want to increase your taxable income by withdrawing the shortage from an IRA or consider an IRA to Roth conversion for the difference. These funds would then be included in your taxable income on your 1040 . I have no clue what the rule of law is if someone gets a subsidy because they claim he/she would be in the 150%FPL but then does their taxes and discovers the income isn’t at that level but actually below the 138%. There is a clawback rule but again I have no clue as to how it applies when Medicaid is involved. Good luck!

Rather than approve a series of comments by someone who’s been spending way to much time wanting to debate me or criticize the Affordable Care Act all Sunday long, I figure I would instead just give her her own post.

Do these just look like the litany of anti-ACA talking points that are being spun this week? Yup. It’s been going on for several years in our country. It went on for how many decades before then. Mostly all scare tactics. Nothing in the lot about what improvements are being offered that can be seen as an alternative to the ACA. ACA is derided as not perfect. But, then, what would be? “Repeal and Replace” (the Topic of Conversation) is not a health care policy.

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2 comments

  1. Jim · November 13, 2013

    Hello, Hoofin,

    As always, I find your coverage of the ACA to be very insightful. A few potential topics I would love to read your opinion on:

    1) On NPR this morning, there was a story about these programmers in San Francisco who came up with HealthSherpa.com–a much simplified way of checking out the various plans available in your area. You can get the same info on healthcare.gov, but this definitely streamlines the process. Have you checked this out?

    2) Yesterday, I went to a Highmark Direct office–Highmark being one of the insurers offering plans in my area of PA. I was told that they sell the same policies thru their office, and at the same price, as what is posted on the Exchange. However, they told me that if I purchased directly through them, as opposed to signing up on the Exchange, I would not qualify for potential subsidies. My wife and I are currently poster children for what is wrong with the individual market pre-Obamacare. We pay $2115.50 a month just for the two of us and have been unable to change it to anything less expensive because of “pre-existing conditions.” Even if we had to pay the full amount (i.e., no subsidies) for a new Highmark policy, we would save about $1600 a month in premiums. My question: given the ongoing attempts to obstruct, delay, or otherwise gunk up Obamacare, and the uncertainty about whether it will be possible to purchase a policy on the Exchange by Dec. 15th, would it make sense to skip the subsidy in the hopes of at least cutting our bill significantly? Do all the other provisions hold if you purchase outside the Exchange–i.e,, same out of pocket max, etc.? I suppose what I am asking is for you to maybe write a column that gives people like us a Plan B in case the website remains bollixed up?

    Thanks for considering this topic!

    • hoofin · November 14, 2013

      1) Thanks for pointing out http://www.thehealthsherpa.com. I checked out the website versus my own ACA policy, and the plan was there. The premium credit was maybe a 50 cent difference from what the government said—nothing to sweat. Why couldn’t the private contractors brought in by the government do this in a week like these folks did?

      2) I would keep trying to get the plan purchased through the website. You can always go through Highmark at the crunch, but you are much better off, if you can get the credit, to get it. It’s worth the wait.

      With all the tweaking going on, it would be no surprise that they let people buy direct, and then work out the credit. But when I see that, I’ll believe it.

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