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Class differences on ObamaCare

James Fallows, of all people, has something useful to say on class. He quotes a reader in the Northeast who got work as a bartender at both Robama and Obomney campaign events.* And the bartender says:

The elite on both sides should talk to people who are completely outside their income brackets. When I tell my liberal professional friends that most of the people I work with hate the Mass. Health law, they are shocked. When I explain why, that they are happy taking their chances with clinics and emergency room, I get what I call the "Liberal Lecture." "Someday they will get really sick, everyone should contribute, they will benefit...." Nice argument to make if you get an employer-subsidized plan, not so persuasive if you don't and rely on seasonal and/or hourly wages.

Or free-lance work or System D.

And out on the threads and on Faceborg, it's exactly those same "liberal professionals" who got ObamaCare bennies* because they were already integrated into the system would beat the rest of us poor schlubs about the head and ears with "Do you want my [sister|daughter|wife] to die?" often followed by "Of course I love single payer"** when we would point out to them that not only would single payer benefit everyone, it was better public policy as well.*** I've had this exact conversation with half a dozen people, at least, in the blogosphere and RL, and it always went the same way.****

I mean, great, I'm forced to buy junk insurance in 2014 so somebody else's significant other gets coverage today. Sure, see meek, inherit earth, glad to do it, back of the bus is fine, no, really, but still...

NOTE * Like Swing State Keynesianism in the auto bailout, ObamaCare's phased implementation was a classic case of "visionary minimalism": It focused with laser beam precison only on a slice of the electorate needed to win the 2012 election. There was and is no notion of any larger public purpose whatever. The pre-existing benefit coverage is especially noxious because (1) if you don't have coverage, discovering a pre-existing condition will preclude you from it, and (2) if you discover a pre-existing condition without coverage, what can you do about it anyhow?

NOTE ** And didn't lift a finger while the fight for it was going on.

NOTE *** Saving at least $350 billion a year, and IIRC 23,000 lives. A year.

NOTE **** Occasionally concluded by the lecture on anger and how to appeal to people. When I raised this issue on FaceBorg with William Rivers Pitt, for example, his reponse, IIRC, was "Derp!"

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Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

the uninsured.

It was intended to put the responsibility of health care insurance on the "individual," and off the city, state and federal governments. Many municipalities or cities and towns which own the local City or County hospitals wanted this to cut their losses (from covering the uninsured).

And Governors have been screaming for years about the cost of Medicaid, and the strain that it puts on the state budgets. Heard this for years on C-Span when I watched the Governor's and the Mayor's Annual Conferences in D.C.

And the other major benefactor--small business owners and/or self-employed folks who have a relatively decent income, since they are the ones affected by the "preexisting disease or condition clause."

Which is not to say, that I begrudge this category of folks having insurance. I want everyone to be covered. Even Warren Buffet should not have to pay for medical expenses out of pocket.

But I detest that the fact that the PtB pretend that they created this ridiculous piece of legislation "out of the concern for the average uninsured guy." That's malarkey (Biden?).

As usual, those with more resources can afford lobbyists to protect their interests.

I believe this because one of the think tanks (supposedly progressive) used the term "free loaders" to describe working-class uninsured folks in a white paper.

Other than a very brief (usually 90-day) exclusionary period in a group health insurance plan, the only folks who benefit from this clause are those that carry "individual (private) health insurance."

Regarding "children's coverage," children are able to be kept on their parents policy only if they are unemployed, or a student, or not working full time and therefore not qualified to participate in their employer's group health insurance plan.

IOW, a young Wal-Mart clerk may not qualify in the early years of the ACA. I believe that this changes at some point, probably in 2014 after the full implementation of the ACA.

Thanks for this post. The ACA is very flawed. I'm fortunate to have pretty decent (and every kind of) insurance--major medical, vision care, dental, mental health, etc., AT THIS TIME. 2013 will be the last year of decent group insurance for us. Mr. Alexa's employer has all but said that.

We need "Medicare for All"--NOW!

Reference the bartender quote: "But I think the reader is mainly talking about the blind spots created by class difference, which are real and, in different ways, transcend party." Hear! Hear!

And this quote from Labor Notes: "Out of a population of six million, a quarter of a million residents remain uninsured. About 60,000 have been granted waivers as unable to afford even the subsidized plans."

It is ludicrous that this is the best that the United States can (or will) do for its citizens.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

" ... I believe this because one of the think tanks (supposedly progressive) used the term "free loaders" to describe working-class uninsured folks in a white paper."

The first time I came across that phrase (it entered mainstream very, very quickly) I was grateful that I did not own a machine gun.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

that as the provisions of ACA come into force, as people are pushed into PT work so their employers won't have to provide insurance, as unions find that the ACA actually makes it harder to get good health care, then the push for single payer will be renewed.

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

And I DEFINITELY don't mean "stop talking about it" by that.

But yeah. Medical bills from epilepsy have very nearly "ruined my life". I'm wage garnished and can't have a bank account. I spent most of the summer locked in my house with a DIY cast on my foot having to operate on the assumption, via Dr Google, that I had a broken foot bone.

Great googly moogly does this suck donkey balls. And before any of this happened, I knew a LOT about single payer vs US hc.

Submitted by jawbone on

for-profit insurance company (with a color in its name) is that the bottom line is invoked with little if any care for the well-being of the individual claimant.

Guy can walk to the bathroom? talk? Good to go. Can't swallow, can't see very well, can't remember due to short term memory issues, can't function? Still good to go. To "sub-acute care" where the therapists simply are do not know how to treat such a patient.

By the time one realizes what's been done, the insurer can then say well, benefits already used for rehab. Too bad. Good to go to custodial care. On the individual's dime.

There is hell on earth, so very many varieties of hell on earth actually. One of them is private insurance companies.

Oh, and if you have good insurance, it can still be managed badly and to the patient's detriment.