"The President's Proposal": Doing the math for families (and it's not pretty)
When I was going through "The President's [cough] Proposal," I was struck by how much it read like a health insurance company's brochure: There were so many %s and $s and decimal points and complicated explanations of who qualified when for what how, that one might conclude the point was to obfuscate, rather than clarify. Fortunately for the rest of us, while the access bloggers keep trying to pump blood into the so-called public option zombie, PNHP's Don McCann does the arithmetic for the family of four:
Let’s look at what the President expects a family of four with an income of $66,000 to pay for health care. The premium contribution would be 9.5% of income, or $6270 for the basic plan with an actuarial value of 70%. If they wanted or needed a better plan, they would have to pay the full difference in the premium. At an actuarial value of 70%, they would also have to pay an average of 30% of all health care costs. This can vary considerably because of plan design in the form of deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, non-covered benefits, stop loss, out-of-network care exempt from stop loss, and other factors. If they either elected not to or were unable to pay the premium, they would have to pay a penalty of $1650, but then, of course, they would have no protection at all against potential health care costs.
Clearly, President Obama has not done any better than Congress in protecting families from financial hardship should they have the misfortune of developing significant medical problems. Unaffordable underinsurance is not the change that we needed.
No, but a bailout is what the insurance companies need. And Obama gave it to them. Yay!