Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The Republican Health Care Plan — Don’t Get Sick

That’s about all you can say about this disaster of a plan. Where to start?

Oh yes the tax credit thing.

Because middle and low and poor people have the money to shell out for insurance and then wait for a year to get that money back.

But if they just prioritize things everything should work out fine. As that great representative Jason Chaffetz said just don’t buy a new iPhone every year and you can have health care. People will have to take some responsibility and make some tough choices. Like people in these income brackets aren’t make tough choices now. And if you didn’t get a new iPhone that would pay for your health care for around a month. Not sure what you do the other eleven months out of the year.

Here's what he had to say:
Well we're getting rid of the individual mandate. We're getting rid of those things that people said they don't want. And you know what? Americans have choices. And they've got to make a choice. And so, maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest it in their own health care. They've got to make those decisions for themselves.
There's a wonderful article in the Post by Christopher Ingraham about what Chaffetz said and the calculations on just how much insurance an iPhone will get you. Here's a little from it:
Let's start with the most generous comparison, and posit that someone wants to buy the most expensive iPhone — a brand new 7 without a contract and with the luxurious “Plus” version's 5.5" screen — which has a sticker price of $769. With tax, that comes to around $800.

Conversely, a year of individual insurance coverage on the open market will run you about $393 per month, or $4,617 per year, per eHealth. For the purpose of this comparison we'll assume you're a healthy individual who doesn't have to worry about deductibles (which run over $4,000 for these plans), and that that $4,617 is all you have to pay.

Even in this expensive-iPhone no-deductible scenario, the typical annual cost of an individual market plan costs is about six times as costly as Chaffetz's “new iPhone.”
 It then goes on to say:
So let's say we get sick. We break a leg. We have to get lab work done. Our health isn't great, so we need a lot of medical care and max out on our deductible each year. Under the standard individual plan referenced above, that works out to about $18,000 in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses over two years. Or, for that span, the price of 23 iPhones.
 Yes all you have to do is give up your iPhone and you'll have enough money to afford health insurance.

Let’s look at some actual numbers. I would get a $3,500 tax credit.  Now lets look at actual costs. The plan I had the premium was $470 a month or $5,640 a year. That would leave $2,140 I would have to come up with to cover my insurance for the rest of the year. This assumes I could still get this plan (and it was one of the most basic plans possible). It had a high deductible. There were plans with lower deductibles which of course cost more money. I could afford to absorb a cost like this. But for many people this is not something they can afford without the current subsidies provided by Obama care.

Some other fun facts:
  1. Insurers would be able to charge older customers up to five times what they charge younger customers instead of the current three times. In other words don’t get old.
  2. Credits could not be used to buy health plans that cover abortion. Nice to see the far right wing agenda at work here.
  3. 30 percent surcharge on premiums that insurers would be able to impose on consumers who purchase a new plan after letting their previous coverage lapse — a strategy to encourage people to remain insured. I really like this one. A great way to penalize people who can’t afford any sort of a plan because of the miserly tax credits from the Republicans. They end up having a gap in coverage and get to pay even more for insurance.
The bottom line if you are well off or rich you have it made with this plan. You get all sorts of breaks. If you're not so well off well the plan is set up to break you. Or in other words just don't get sick.

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