No One Could Have Predicted This Problem With The PPACA

Nope, nobody at all. Sarah Kliff, in “The Obamacare problem that Democrats don’t want to talk about“, writes (boldface mine):

Bill Clinton made a very specific critique of Obamacare last week — one that most Democrats won’t.

“The people that are getting killed in this deal are … individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies,” Clinton said while campaigning last week in Flint, Michigan. “People are out there busting it [and] wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half.”

This was not just some off-the-cuff riff. Clinton was addressing a serious problem with Obamacare. It’s one that people like Julianna Pieknik know all too well.

Pieknik is a 37-year-old PhD student in Maryland, who shares a house with four roommates. She earns $42,000, which is just slightly too much to qualify for tax credits where she lives. This year, she paid a $250 premium for a plan with no deductible. Next year, to keep same level of coverage, she needs to pay $450 — and she doesn’t think she can afford that.

So right now she’s facing a choice: Pay a lot more money, or scale back her level of coverage….

This is true, but it also leaves out something important: that there are millions of people buying their own coverage outside of the marketplace. And none of them receive subsidies. So they don’t have any financial cushion to protect against the larger premium increases most observers expect to see in 2017….

These subsidies limit how much an individual has to pay for coverage. For example, someone earning $47,000 won’t have to spend more than 9.6 percent of her income on midlevel coverage. The government will kick in subsidies to cover the rest.

(The reason that Pieknik, who earns $42,000, does not qualify for subsidies is that a midlevel plan where she lives only costs 8.6 percent of her income. So the government considers her under the affordability threshold and doesn’t provide a subsidy. But committing 8.6 percent of income to premiums, as Pieknik has found, can still be a pretty big strain on a budget.)

Well, this Democrat, along with a lot of Democrats with experience of Romneycare, has been making that exact point from day fucking one:

…those of us who were actually paying attention to what was happening in Massachusetts [not *cough* Paul Krugman *cough*] told you this would happen. Over six years ago:

…most humans, as opposed to MIT economists, would think, when it comes to your health, that, let’s say, one out of five adults not being afford health care isn’t all that, erm affordable….

For those wondering what “150-299% FPL” means, for a family of four, that’s between $31,812 – $63,612 per year. That’s right, households that are in the second fifth take it in the chops (MA has a high median household income). Even if you’re around the median (~$89,000), there’s still a good chance that your healthcare really isn’t affordable.

And the Boston Federal Reserve, the Dirty Fucking Hippies that they are, made the same point a few years later.

By the way, since 2010, nothing has really changed in terms of affordability:

23insurance_graphic1

This was not only predictable, it was predicted.

When Clinton wins (and I think she will), remember that many Respectable Democrats ignored us Dirty Hippies. Don’t let them do that again. Your health just might depend on it.

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