Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On the Oregon Trail

FoIB Holly R forwarded the link to this story, about which I can only ask "on what planet is Hannah Wallace living?" It is so full of inconsistencies and outright misinformation, one wonders how The Onion could possibly do better.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

"For a writer living in New York state, there were plenty of reasonably priced plans"

Really? The actual numbers tell a different story.

Ms Wallace continues apace:

"That’s largely because in Oregon, “medical underwriting”—during which insurance companies cherry-pick healthier customers ... it’s one of five states with so-called “guaranteed-issue” laws that mandate insurance companies cover anybody regardless of health status."

(See above)

The last thing we want to be doing as a state is hampering that sector with high insurance costs. It’s exactly the wrong way to stimulate the economy ... Yet this is precisely what Oregon is doing by not providing affordable health insurance options."

We've written about Oregon's insurance situation before; they have a very effective (if lethal) way of dealing with increased health care costs (which, of course, drive health insurance costs).

But wait, there's more!

"The only plan I can find here that would cover my pre-existing condition costs more than half my rent"

This is another of those little "throwaway" canards that's never made any sense to me: what does one's rent have to do with one's insurance? If Ms Wallace lived with her parents, then her insurance would be infinitely higher than her rent, yet that is no more meaningless (or meaningful) than her comparison.

She continues:

"I don’t want just so I don’t become one of the 51 million Americans who are uninsured."

And again with the oft-debunked number of uninsured (anyone else notice how that number keeps growing, despite the advent of wonderful ObamaCare©?). It's a bogus number to begin with; that it keeps growing is itself a wonder.

Are we done yet? Of course not:

What really needs to happen for you is that it needs to be 2014 ... when the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ... will eventually force insurance companies to cover everyone, pre-existing conditions or not. They have had to cover sick children since September; adults, however, have to wait until January 1, 2014—three long years away."

Except they haven't; healthy kids hardest hit. And if you want to see what's in store for '14, you need look no farther than the current ObamaPool© programs. These are guaranteed issue plans which cover all pre-existing conditions (sound familiar, Hannah?), yet their reception has been, well, underwhelming. Why would any rational person believe that's going to change in 3 years?

Bu the very best (well, funniest) line comes near the end:

"For freelancers ... Massachusetts is mecca"

Oh, absolutely, it's just been so successful! If that's Mecca, then one shudders to think what Armageddon looks like.
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