Skip to main content

U.S. President Barack Obama talks about the Affordable Care Act in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, November 14, 2013. Scrambling to fix flaws in his signature healthcare law, Obama on Thursday announced a plan to let insura
Time to go on offense, Mr. President.

Democrats should not be panicking over the relatively tiny number of people losing their junk health insurance plans. They should be loudly and continuously beating up on the insurance companies using Obamacare to trick people into buying new ones. Case in point: USHealth Group.
The Affordable Care Act was designed to make sure all Americans had a certain level of insurance. But TPM has learned that USHealth Group is actively telling consumers that they don't need that minimum level. In fact, company representatives are telling people they'd be better off without it. And the company may be just one player in a larger industry trend, where companies see non-ACA compliant plans, like the so-called fixed benefit coverage marketed by USHealth Group, as a business opportunity.

Health care industry analysts have long derided the kinds of non-insurance health care coverage products the company is selling as "junk insurance."

"They were not intended to be health insurance," Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University, told TPM, speaking about fixed benefit plans. "They were intended to be what are called income replacement policies. ... But over the years, these things have kind of morphed. And for many people, unfortunately, mainly because they come with a cheaper sticker price, they are marketed as and treated as health insurance. Even though the coverage is really crappy."

USHealth Group's pitch is three-fold, according to accounts provided to TPM by Mortimer and another prospective customer. First, it says, it is a misconception that everyone needs ACA-compliant insurance. Second, USHealth Group plans are cheaper than ACA-compliant policies, even after customers pay the tax penalty for failing to comply with the ACA's individual mandate. Third, Obamacare is scary.

What USHealth Group isn't telling would-be customers, what they are lying to them about, is that these fixed benefit coverage plans, in which the company reimburses customers a fixed amount of money for medical services, don't comply with the law. These plans aren't outlawed by Obamacare, but they don't meet the requirements for coverage. That means that people buying them are just wasting their money, because they will also have to get real coverage and if they don't, they'll have to pay a penalty. They also won't have any coverage if they get sick. One of these kinds of plans, Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation said, is "not health insurance, in the sense it's going to protect you in any way from going broke."

Other, only slightly less dastardly, insurers are misleading their customers, canceling policies that otherwise would have been grandfathered in order to get people into new ones that they can charge more for, and not informing customers about their options on the exchanges. The president's administration fix would at least require insurers who do cancel plans to inform people of their options.

It's not too late for Democrats, including President Obama, to go on offense against the insurance companies that are making the roll-out of Obamacare that much more difficult. Obama has met Republicans partway with his "fix" for policy cancellations. Now's the time to say enough, and to start reminding people about what insurance companies do and why they made this law so necessary in the first place.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:18 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (40+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:18:23 AM PST

  •  Aren't they the corp who owns QSSI? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    You know, the guys fixing the website?


    OBAMACARE WEBSITE. Don't worry, big Daddy insurance company will take care of you...haven't we always? All joking aside, I think it is time to go on offense...and remind everyone how dastardly these insurance companies are...and always have been.  Remember people, the bad old days, when pre-existing conditions excluded you from even purchasing insurance?  Remember???

    •  Exactly. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lencialoo, BusyinCA, cocinero, Fury

      The insurance companies are pulling many of the same tricks they've always been pulling. The only difference is that they're now using Obamacare as an excuse and pretending this is something new and unprecedented, and the MSM is playing along.

      Yes we can! Yes we did! Yes we will!

      by Sister Havana on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:25:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  DDoS Spells Big Insurance! (0+ / 0-)

      Along with the lies the insurance companies are telling their subscribers (like they are getting a magazine!), they are also huge supporters of the GOP/TP.

      Combine all that with the GOP sponsorship of hackers, attacking the ACA web site - as if it needs more difficulty - and you have a criminal conspiracy!

      So, will anyone in the Administration bring those criminals to task?

      I am not going to hold my breath!  Especially with my COPD; I want to live to see the day when Obama tells Harry Reid, "Use the Force" of the Nuclear Option.

      There is no right way to do the wrong thing!

      by HashHoward on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:16:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just wish (5+ / 0-)

    there more more people speaking up.  Seems all you hear/see from the MSM are people complaining how their insurance premiums and deductibles are going up.   All I can say is, deal with it.  Just because you've  been underpaying for so long doesn't mean the free ride will last forever.

    •  Your "free ride won't last forever" (0+ / 0-)

      phrase is lifted right out of the Tea Party handbook.  Where do you get the idea that people who have been paying for insurance for decades have been getting a free ride?  

      Romae in die non combureretur.

      by Not A Bot on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:17:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  JABL (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Not A Bot

        Just Another Big Lie!

        The GOP and Tea Party are really good at the Big Lie.  So by their standards, people have been getting a free ride.

        When my wife and I were on COBRA - after the Bush economic crash gave me freedom from a good, well paying job - we paid nearly $1,000 a month for only two of us.

        Free ride my patoot!

        There is no right way to do the wrong thing!

        by HashHoward on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 11:19:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They haven't been underpaying. . (0+ / 0-)

      They've been OVERPAYING for years for worthless policies. They think they're covered but, if they ever file claims, the insurance company starts coming up with all sorts of reasons why the particular claims aren't covered.

  •  We need single-payer... (9+ / 0-)

    In the long term, trusting these insurers via the federal government is more effort than it's worth.

    Of course, whereas ACA is more of a regulatory reform of the private markets, and it's the law, until an improved health system rises to existence, we'll have to babysit these greedy insurers and we'll need an active crackdown on these kinds of industry abuses and specious marketing ploys.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

    by rovertheoctopus on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:38:10 AM PST

    •  It's not worth any effort (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      To put criminals in charge of the jail. I's just absurd. They won't behave. they won't be good citizens. They won't do anything that costs them a single dime that they aren't forced to relinquish.

      "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

      by MargaretPOA on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:10:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We certainly do need single payer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Team Leftie

      Insurance companies still want people's money while paying out as little as possible.  At the very least, we need a public option until the time comes when people get so tired of insurance company crap that they'll support single payer.

  •  Not only are unscrupulous insurance companies.. (7+ / 0-)

    ..using PPACA and their republican shills' slander campaign to Up-sell without informing people of better policies available:

    About those letters..
    Chris Hayes talks with health insurance expert Wendell Potter who explains the truth about cancelled insurance policies. They’re junk.

    Plus, Insurance companies are using republican fear mongering to take advantage of people by Up – selling; using PPACA as an “opportunity” to gouge out more profit

    Cancellation letters are being investigated, and in most of the cases (all I’ve seen so far) they are phony stories easily debunked. In every case it was the insurance companies that chose to cancel policies they were designed for profit not for actual medical coverage and did not meet the minimum standards required to law.

    the trick the insurance companies are pulling is that when the cancellation letters are sent out included are options for replacement plans that are more expensive – Up selling – when the same insurance company (in some cases)  has plans according to some excellent investigation @ American Prospect by  Paul Waldman that are less expensive and meet the minimum standards | October 29, 2013

    Time to Investigate Those Insurance Company Letters

    Are they trying to pull a fast one on their customers?

    As a follow-up to this post, I want to talk about the thing that spawns some of these phony Obamacare victim stories: the letters that insurers are sending to people in the individual market.

    People all over the country are getting these letters, which say "We're cancelling your current policy because of the new health-care law. Here's another policy you can get for much more money." Reporters are doing stories about these people and their terrifying letters without bothering to check what other insurance options are available to them.
    There's something fishy going on here, not just from the reporters, but from the insurance companies. It's time somebody did a detailed investigation of these letters to find out just what they're telling their customers. Because they could have told them, "As a result of the new health-care law, your plan, StrawberryCare, has now been changed to include more benefits. The premium is going up, just as your premium has gone up every year since forever." But instead, they're just eliminating those plans entirely and offering people new plans.

     If the woman I discussed from that NBC story is any indication, what the insurance company is offering is something much more expensive, even though they might have something cheaper available. They may be taking the opportunity to try to shunt people into higher-priced plans.

     It's as though you get a letter from your car dealer saying, "That 2010 Toyota Corolla you're leasing has been recalled. We can supply you with a Toyota Avalon for twice the price." They're not telling you that you can also get a 2013 Toyota Corolla for something like what you're paying now.

    -    Added blockquoting by me

    (short ad – sorry)
    Transcript @ link:

    ..but Kossack Libby Shaw has identified another republican form of sabotage - cyber attacks

    "Destroy Obama Care" Cyber Attacks on Revealed

    Roberta Stempfley highlighted one successful attack that is designed to deny access to the website called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack is designed to make a network unavailable to intended users, generally through a concerted effort to disrupt service such as repeatedly accessing the servers, saturating them with more traffic than the website is designed to handle.
     Right wingers have been distributing the link to the necessary tools to perform the attacks on the website through social networking, as pointed out by Information Week, and other websites .

    The name of the attack tool is called, "Destroy Obama Care!"

    Thx Joan McCarter
    •  And another thing; Yes & yes it is not too late.. (3+ / 0-) expose the insurance industry and the republicans shills:

      It's not too late for Democrats, including President Obama, to go on offense against the insurance companies that are making the roll-out of Obamacare that much more difficult.

      Here is something that people should know - imo

      Discrimination: the core of the GOP platform

      GOP “healthcare” = Discriminatory coverage consisting of meaningless one liners and insurance “industry” spun talking points  

      John Barrasso, limited in his ability to lie as seamlessly as other republicans, exposed some truths about the republicans this morning on "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley

      They are protecting insurance companies’ ability to cherry pick from people who do not require immediate medical care and to rip people off who do

      ”..the President may call these junk policies or substandard policies but they’re policies that worked for those people.

      Uh.. I was with a rancher yesterday in Wyoming in Laramie and others who are in Lusk who’ve gotten these [cancellation] letters and it didn’t meet the Presidents standards because the insurance policy didn’t include maternity coverage, but this is a woman who’s has a hysterectomy and she shouldn’t have to pay for that kind of coverage.

      Republican solutions are there..we need to level the playing field so that people buying insurance individually get the same tax breaks as those who buy..get it through work.

      [tax facts: so In fact, most people buying on their own will be eligible for a tax credit and won't have to pay the whole premium themselves.]

      We need to be able to let people to shop across state lines for uh .. better deals with insurance that works for them and their family and not something the government says they have to have.

      Uh in terms of pre-existing conditions, my wife’s a breast cancer survivor, she’s been through three operations , chemotherapy twice.. I know how critical it is to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions have affordable insurance and states are able to do that.”

        - emphasis added to republican shilling insurance spin/talking points

      (short ad- sorry)

      Video of Barrasso starting @ minute 5:35 | CNN Candy Crowley | November 17, 2013:

      Then more trash talk followed by another favorite sound bite to fill the pauses for the republican not as fluent at equivocation (Barrasso)  on MSM: the boilerplate accusations of ‘fraud’

      Setting aside the rest of the BS one liners (all of it iow’s), (eg.the race to the bottom – crossing state lines), Barrasso’s incompetence at obfuscation has exposed the cruelty in the republican agenda to serve their corporate donors over the needs of real people..

      He tells of “how critical” is the importance of his wife’s cancer treatments being covered yet insists that women who have had hysterectomies shouldn’t have to pay for maternity coverage while ignoring the millions of women who may have had hysterectomies because of cancer and have birthed children themselves earlier in life

      So discriminatory coverage is the baseline for republicanism. But in addition to reworking discrimination into the system is the attempt to foul the purpose of insurance altogether. Insurance is the spreading of costs and loss by increasing the pool between all of society from the richest to the poorest, the healthiest to those most in need of medical care. No one has to face a devastating illness alone.

      Republicans would make sure that the insurance cartel doesn’t have to face/serve certain members of society at all when people need it most – when they get sick and can’t afford the needed treatment

      This Is the republican version of  “leveling the playing field” – discrimination  

      Yeah, It’s no wonder that Barrasso who does sometimes comment, mostly just stands behind the more prolific prevaricators at many of the GOP bullshit press statements.

    •  So our paranoia was well-founded? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, starduster

      I saw many suggestions on this site about cyber-attacks, both on the federal site and some of the state sites -- but it was hard to know how much of that was justified, and how much was off on the conspiracy wing. I would hope that the Justice Department is investigating this, as I would think that interfering with government services would be both criminal and highly embarrassing for everyone who has been screaming "Government incompetence!!!! Impeach Obama!!!!" over this.

    •  Your tin foil hat is a little too tight. (0+ / 0-)
    •  The phrase 'unscrupulous insurers' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      is unnecessarily redundant.

  •  Compared to the Platinum plan... (5+ / 0-)

    the Bronze plan is junk insurance, yet still available on the exchange.

    Why are we endorsing a multi-tiered system based on a person's ability to pay?? We should all be getting Platinum coverage.

  •  Note to Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MargaretPOA, redwagon

    This is what happens if you sign an Act that reinforces the notion that health care can only be achieved through 'owning' 'insurance'.

    Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as shall never be put out.

    by Bollox Ref on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:03:55 PM PST

  •  That has a tendency to happen (5+ / 0-)

    When you give the robbers control of the bank. Come on! Anybody who didn't see this coming three years ago is kidding themselves. Sure! Let's grant sole control over how people access healthcare to the people that benefit by denying it! I'm sure they'll all behave reasonably and scrupulously.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:07:10 PM PST

  •  The retro TV channels have been showing... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    starduster, indres, BusyinCA

    "health care" or "life" insurance.

    Humana is joining with Walmart...

    OH if we would only have stepped toward single payer universal no-profit insurance...

    I hate this "country".

    We used to be able to run off hoodwinkers tarred and feathered on a rail...

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:10:35 PM PST

  •  Of course competitors will exploit opportunities! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why should that surprise anyone in a capitalistic society? It's not that it's wrong, per se.

    It's that customers can easily be mislead. Even the most moral of competitors do not explain everything about their offerings. Their marketing plays to the wishes and hopes and biases of their potential customers. That's why it's called "marketing."

    Caveat emptor is not an accidental term.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:12:00 PM PST

  •  My right-wing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    talk show guy is always complaining about Obamacare, but his arguments are only making the point that we should have a single-payer system.
    His constant bleat "Why should healthcare be a right?" begs for the answer "Because our society thinks it should be."
    His elderly listeners don't see how Medicare is almost there!
    (How does Medicare for all sound?)

  •  unscrupulous insurers blaming ocare (0+ / 0-)

    for all the evil stuff they planned to do anyway

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:24:09 PM PST

  •  Seriously, did Obama not see this coming? (4+ / 0-)

    Or does he think insurance companies will act in good faith, just like Congressional Republicans do?

    I was up all night trying to think of another word for synonym.

    by jazzmaniac on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:26:06 PM PST

  •  we lost.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indres, redwagon, Lencialoo, greenbastard

    by letting insurance companies dictate terms from day one.

    we should've cut these bastards out, burned down their business, and salted their remains and grounds so they can never grow back into place again.

    I've given up on our country ever having a progressive national health care system.

    perhaps we'll get another crack in 100 years.

  •  Just wanted to add one important point to the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    information in this diary.

    The state insurance commissioners are responsible for regulating the carriers that operate in their jurisdiction. In some cases they wrote ambiguous rules that actually make room for shady practices. People should find out who the commissioner is their state and do a little Googling.  These officials need to have their feet held to the fire.

    It might seem like the commissioners just follow the guidelines of the ACA but they have leeway for the market conditions in their state, whatever that means. In reality they've pursued wildly different accommodations for the insurance companies in their state from complete laissez-faire (Alabama) to mild consumer protection activism (New York).  There's even one, Ralph Hudgens of Georgia, who goes around bragging in public that he's doing everything he can to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Google it.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:40:40 PM PST

  •  I so mad and I am healthy and well off! (0+ / 0-)

    I guess I never thought that would take off as a complain slogan. But then again, I thought, "Get government out of my Medicare." was an obvious loser.

    What's next?

    Cutting themselves to use those benefits?

    They have passed far far beyond mere irony.

  •  I was an Insurance Agent for 36 years... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lencialoo, tb mare

    and I can honestly say I never had an application for individual coverage accepted by any insurance company.  Now, this was not my line of business, I did small group health and workers' comp.  The fact remains that I always insisted that individuals fill the forms honestly.  They were turned down for everything from occasional headaches to allergies (hay-fever).

    The gambit is that agents are supposed to tell people to deny they have ever been sick or seen a doctor.  That way, if they do get sick and the company is forced to pay out serious money the policy can be rescinded for fraud.

    Another gambit, a favorite of the really sleazy is the "you will not be individually underwritten forcing increased premium" guaranty.  The way this works is, if you have a claim you are automatically moved into a different group.  A group that, guess what?  All have had claims that year.  Your rates are then tripled or you lose the miserable "coverage" you had.  All this was quite legal and in the contract (you know, the one you never read)

    As far as I'm concerned, the ACA has put a group of very wealthy con-men out of business and good riddance I say. I fought those miserable S.O.B's for nearly four decades and I think we all have had quite enough of their B.S.

    Ever hear of a poor Insurance Executive?  Didn't think so.

    You have the right to remain silent. If you waive that right you will be accused of class warfare.

    by spritegeezer on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:51:49 PM PST

  •  Unscrupulous Press (0+ / 0-)

    Not only insurance companies, but our lame press corps not doing a good job of reporting and especially an anti-American, dishonest Republican party. With a group like this ACA has a tough road to go.

  •  What a shock (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rovertheoctopus, malcolm

    grifters are going to grift.

    What's the excuse for not being prepared for it?

    They didn't see it coming. Clearly.

    Just like they didn't see the GOP's bad faith coming after passing their policy plan for healthcare reform instead of a more public focused regime only to find the GOP calling it, their own plan, "Socialism".

    It's one thing to get burned once. Shame on them.

    When you get burned over and over and over again by the same bad faith forces in American politics?

    Then you fight them tooth and nail, obviously, but you have to start looking in the mirror about how you do the people's business. None of this should be a shock.

    But it is. Clearly. Some of the smartest non-Conservatives are constantly being taken aback by a new low in bad faith being set by some clearly legendary bad faith actors in our governance and our marketplaces.

    That's damning. A lot more damning that the roll-out headaches and technical difficulties because it is like being shocked that leaving a thief in charge of a bank tellers window can end in theft.

    They are in the game to make money.

    Everybody, even the most ardent supporter of the ACA model outside of Movement Conservatism, knew that was the case when we all partnered up with them on free market reform, and passing a conservative plan for reform instead of doing a more public form of reform.

    They invented taking away people's insurance for bullshit reasons, junk insurance policies, lifetime caps, and pre-existing condition disqualifiers or policy escalators.

    One of the biggest reasons we needed to reform healthcare is a direct result of the profit chasers greed and mission to always find a way to be maximizing profits at the expense of peoples health and access to affordable care.

    And some of the worst players trying to grift, be deceptive, and lie to consumers is a shock?

    I am willing to give the President and the Democrats a lot of room on the headaches on the ACA roll-out because if Massachusetts roll-out was watched like a hawk by every Movement Conservative interest group and Movement Conservative gelded Villager it might have been hell to get through that first year in the Bay State. So much of this is bad faith fueled, and technical problems and roll-out issues have happened so often in the past, that I cut them slack.

    What is the excuse for not being ready for this shit?

    This is an industry that is legendary for playing the angles and fucking people over to make a buck.

    What should be more worrisome is the lack of going at the industry like a ton of bricks over this.

    I'm not sure that there are not some pretty smart and pretty saavy Demcrats in DC and around the country who are trying to come down on these motherfuckers while not setting the stage for blowback the industry knows full well the Democratic Party will own at the polls in future elections. The insurance industry misbehaves, and the Democrats pay the price, leaving Republicans, who will roll back reform and free the industry to go back to doing whatever they want if they get a big enough majority and a Republican White House.

    There is a lot of malicious reasons for the worst actors to be acting at their worst.

    If the punishment for their wrong-doing is more Republicans sweeping into office, who will loosen the rules and regulations and give them more free reign to be bastards... what is quick a pickle.

    At some point, it has to become clear that the reason the Democrats are not excoriating the industry, including some of its most bad-faith driven players, is that the industry is now their partner.

    And they cannot trust their partner, at least all of them, to do the right thing. But in taking them to task, they have to take some serious headaches into consideration. The (D)'s own the bad outcomes too. The (D)s may very well pay a quicker price for malicious abuses. The punishment being more (R)s who will let up on the industry if they can't kill reform.

    And the Democrats are in the dangerous position to be partially owning the fall-out of the bad behavior of the industry they chose to partner up with to provide free market driven reform.

    Part of the blowback is... they get more Republicans in Congress. Oh noes. What a bad outcome for the health insurance industry. The GOP can't repeal the ACA, they can just hollow it out and make it as poorly overseen and maintained and regulated as possible.

    The Democrats are now partners joined at the hip with some seriously untrustworthy people. Forces in the marketplace who can make things a lot, lot worse, and who can gamble that they won't bear as much of a punitive burden for their bad behavior as the Democratic public policy advocates who chose a pathway that let them remain in a position to be such pieces of shit. To be in place in a way that has collateral damage ramifications for the people who want healthcare reform to work the most. Democrats.

    I'm betting that most of the hesitation to go in guns a blazing is how to give your partners a beatdown without having them retaliate by going whole hog in finding ways to make your life a living hell and reward people they know will sweep in and let them do what they want as a part of the blowback.

    I'm not shocked that we aren't seeing a war on the bastards because I'm betting a lot of people who would like to are kind of vexed by how they do that and make this work considering that one way for this mess to get worse is for the insurance industry to just go to 11 on maximizing the angles, plays, and gifts to make as much money as possible considering that the Democratic Party owns our healthcare system. If the system sucks, Democrats are going to get the blame. These people are the Democrats partners in reform.

    And they know it. All too well.

    There is a reason that the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute came up with this mess.

    The sacred free market must prevail.

    Making money is as big, if not more of, a consideration than access to care.

    And everything that comes with that, comes with that.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:26:32 PM PST

    •  Correction: (0+ / 0-)
      If the punishment for their wrong-doing is Democrats getting blamed for bad outcomes and more Republicans sweeping into office, who will then loosen the rules and regulations and give them more free reign to be bastards... that is quite a pickle.
      Not being able to trust your partners, and their having the ability to fuck you royally and be "punished" by having people who will kiss their asses come into power as a part of the blowback. I wouldn't wish that on anybody.

      The Democratic Party had better get a lot more ruthless and a lot more willing to play hardball with bad faith players or else they better get a higher pain tolerance level because the Village and the GOP also know the Democrats now own America's healthcare system too.

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:31:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who could have foreseen it???? (0+ / 0-)

    Insurance barons exploiting the very scheme that THEY crafted, bullied and bribed into law!

    The Democorporate faction of the party uses the Far Right as its excuse for moving further right.

    by masswaster on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:42:36 PM PST

  •  if you lie down with dogs... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, Team Leftie

    people need to return to the ideas of community and commonwealth. For profit prisons, for profit schools, for profit insurance and for profit government are killing the people.

    Some things, like water and electricity, we should facilitate collectively. For the benefit of the whole. Through government.

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:57:04 PM PST

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    There will be a market for such plans.  For example:

    A married couple living in San Francisco earning $63,000 a year would pay $20,318 a year for a silver plan under Obamacare and $12,647 a year for a bronze plan.  At $63,000, that couple would be making too much money to be eligible for a subsidy.

    This couple would be very much like to buy one of these reduced cost plans by US Health.  Their only other alternative is to have no insurance.

  •  Not quite like (0+ / 0-)

    the woods abound with 'scrupulous' insurance companies.


    Health insurance plans in effect prior to the passing of PP&ACA were grandfathered, and could be kept if you liked the plan.  Plans which were issued or changed after passage but before 2014 would either have to conform to the new law or be changed again by 2014 to conform.  Health insurance companies knew and understood; as did the employers who purchase group insurance.  Why was not the consumer/customer/employee informed by them??  
    I believe the PP&ACA is a victim of one cruel political party with the goal to sabotage and undermine the law and its enactment.  Furthermore, I think a conspiracy or collusion or a tacit understanding between the health care companies and the private contractors who designed and built the health care website to slow the enrollment process, embarrass the administration and provide the health care CEO’s a reason to raise rates.  The first two have occurred while the third has been suggested.  

  •  Real Examples: (0+ / 0-)

    I work for a clinic. Verifying insurance benefits is part of what I do. In the past week alone, two patients have come in with cards for "indemnity life insurance" from companies I have never heard of. The first is this piece of crap,
    Transamerica Transchoice Plus

    This link is from their own website, and explains, among other things, that the plan will pay up to $200 per year on a "Wellness Benefit" aka all preventative care. Meaning if a woman wants her annual checkup, this will cover either the physicial exam or the mammogram or the pap smear testing. But not all three because $200 barely covers the first one. The plan recipient, meanwhile, pays over $100 a month for this "coverage" - more if the recipient has family.

    Also, if you have a heart attack, the incredibly generous $2,000 reimbursement doesn't even kick in until 30 days after you are diagnosed with a heart attack. Same with cancer, end-stage renal failure, stroke, organ transplants.

    If your employer adds a "death and dismemberment rider" (which costs extra), and you only lose hearing in both your ears, 50% of your care is covered. However if you lose hearing in both or your ears and lose a limb or lose your ability to speak, 100% is covered.

    Hospital stays are only covered up to 30 days.

    In addition to having to tell a patient her mammogram won't be covered, I also couldn't tell her it will be covered by law starting January 1st 2014, because this bullshit plan is legal under the ACA. There is a loophole that allows these indemnity plans as long as they specify a benefit paid per period rather than per service. So you know damn well all the "per service" plans just switched to equally useless "per period" plans.

    Important: Transamerica is a Life Insurance company, not a health insurance company.

    Second example is from the mysterious "American Heritage Life Insurance Company" which a quick search reveals is a cutesy cover name for a plan for Allstate employees. Also not a health insurance company. I have no link because they have been very careful not to publicize their benefits. When I called to ask for them to fax me the benefits for a particular patient (which is a standard request) - they refused. They said I could inquire about a specific benefit and that's it.

    I am horrified that people continue to be sold these plans by their employers instead of real insurance. Most people have no idea that indemnity insurance means a specific, set time period will be covered, and nothing after that, because normal insurance does not work this way. I'm not even sure if employees with plans like this are eligible to shop on the exchange, because technically these are "employer sponsored health plans."

    This is an outrage, and this loophole needs to be closed immediately.

    Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

    by bull8807 on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 07:43:49 AM PST

  •  It's not a problem with ObamaCare. (0+ / 0-)

    Not a single insurance policy has been cancelled by Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, or anybody else in the administration.

    Once again, the supposedly intractable, obstinate Barack Obama is being too conciliatory.

    Debating with a conservative is like cleaning up your dog's vomit: It is an inevitable consequence of your association, he isn't much help, and it makes very clear the fact that he will swallow anything.

    by David Franks on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 02:36:57 PM PST

  •  Crap Insurance (0+ / 0-)

    Deny, Delay, Defend, Distract and Distort in addition to lying...

  •  Today on our site there was an ad from TN (0+ / 0-)

    Blue Cross that said "You need insurance by January first." I called them and questioned that date. Tina in sales could only repeat ACA says so. I think the ad is misleading so will make more calls to state offices.

  •  HSHealth Group (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry for the folks who will get taken in by those who peddle fear and deceit-

    Business people often scream & yell about "restrictions". legislation, monitoring of businesses and their practices, free trade, open markets-

    Clearly, more careful monitoring and legislation is in order in the health insurance industry- not because Obama is an ogre, not because Democrats are anti-business, not because the US is becoming a Socialist country, yada, yada.

    It's because, time and again businesses choose to adopt practices and policies that are designed for their profitability only, hardened to the misery, illegality, or unfairness of their decisions because greed overcomes all.

    If companies such as HSHealth cannot meet standards, remove them from the list of ACA vendors, and let them figure out how to stay viable in the field- legally & honestly.


Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site