Monday, April 19, 2010

Obamacare Doesn't Want You

Got a pre-existing medical condition? Having trouble paying your risk pool premiums?

Too bad.

Obamacare doesn't want you.

Phase I of Obamacare is slated to kick in by July of this year with a national risk pool for those who have been denied health insurance in the individual major medical market. Fulfilling a campaign pledge to make health insurance more affordable the national risk pool will offer premiums that are no greater than the standard premium charged to healthy people.

Ignore for now the fact that it the plan is doomed to fail financially. Yahoo News points out that many of those who want in the pool will not be allowed.

Suppose your cancer is in remission. You had to quit your job while you were having chemotherapy, and your employer coverage ran out. You can't find a private insurer who'll take you, but you're lucky to live in a state that has its own high-risk pool. Still, you have to struggle to pay the premiums, well above standard insurance because sicker people are in the group. Yet as the federal program is designed, you wouldn't be able to switch over and take advantage of significant savings.

The reason: You have to be uninsured to qualify for the new plan.

That means some 200,000 patients now enrolled in more than 30 state high-risk insurance pools will be stuck paying higher premiums. Many are on tight budgets, drawing down their savings and borrowing from family members.

The risk pool won't help those in high cost, guaranteed issue states like NY, ME and MA (home of Romneycare). But how about those who reside in the 34 states with risk pools that are paying up to 200% of the standard rate for risk pool coverage?

Like the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld, no Obamapool for you.

So by doing the responsible thing and paying high health insurance premiums through an existing risk pool, you will be denied access while those who stayed out of a risk pool will be accepted.

Kind of like those who pay their mortgage on time, even though it may be a stretch are penalized while those who stopped paying are offered taxpayer assistance by way of the federal government.

Presumably, many of those currently paying risk pool premiums are also paying federal taxes. I wonder how they feel about not only missing out on Obamapool but seeing their tax dollars used to provide lower cost plans to those who did not buy health insurance?

(Obamapool) will be temporary, a bridge to 2014, when denial of coverage for medical reasons will be against the law, and new insurance markets will offer taxpayer subsidized coverage for millions. Number crunchers at Medicare estimate that 375,000 people will sign up this year.

Crank those numbers through your logic calculator. Roughly 200,000 in a risk pool are paying premiums as high as 200% of standard rates for a program that loses money in every state where a risk pool exists. The Obamapool will charge even lower rates, by as much as half, and is expected to pick up almost double the number of people already in state risk pools.

Can you say train wreck?
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