Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

The impoverishment of tsenior-counting-coins1he very old who were once middle-class is startlingly common — so common that we scarcely note it.

Why the exchanges probably aren’t going to work very well.

More on the technological problems with the exchanges from Scott Gottlieb and Michael Astrue.

Comments (10)

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  1. Billy says:

    “The impoverishment of the very old who were once middle-class is startlingly common — so common that we scarcely note it.”

    This is just another call for more programs that take wealth from the young and give it to the elderly. Let’s not forget that wealth is directly proportional to age in America, so any programs that try to help elderly Americans should be paid for by elderly Americans.

    • Jackson says:

      Yeah. We’ve created a welfare state in which the people who receive the most are the group that is disproportionately the wealthiest, and the people who give the most are the poorest (young giving to old).

  2. Stewart T. says:

    There will be hiccups with ACA’s implementation, but it will work out in the end. If we judged things based on how well the start went then we should probably conclude that America itself is a failure.

    • JD says:

      We talk about the implementations, but at the core they aren’t the problem with ObamaCare. I’m sure they’ll get better at administration, but we’ll still have high cost and low quality.

  3. John Fembup says:

    Out of curiosity, today I looked at my state’s Exchange website to see what is available for my son and his family. He and my daughter in law are both 38, with two boys ages 5 and 2. Together they make about 125,000 per year. Between them they have three M.A.’s and a Ph.D.

    What I found is that his family’s actual cost can reach more than $20,000 . . . every year. (Keep in mind he and my daughter in law will have to earn something like $27,000, to have $20,000 left over after taxes). That’s 22% of their income. Why is the cost so high?

    First of all, he does not qualify for a subsidy.

    Next, the Exchange says there are 16 plans available to his family from three insurers. One insurer offers HSA-compatible plans. Only 10 plans appear on the page – as of today, the website won’t display any other plans it says are available.

    The cost for the visible, available plans, includes not just his family’s premiums, but also his OOP (“out of pocket”) share of the total cost that he must pay with whatever plan he chooses.

    Depending on the plan he chooses, his premiums will range between $8,200 and $11,600 per year.

    His OOP maximum will be either $12,500 or $12,700 again depending on the plan he chooses. Most of the OOP max is the deductible, which ranges between $6,000 and $12,000 for these plans.

    Add up the premiums and the OOP maximums and you see how his family costs can reach more than $20,000 every year. Not likely to happen every year but still, if it happens even in one or two years, where will the money come from? The cost of a normal delivery is approaching $20,000.

    My son and daughter in law both voted for Obama twice, so I expect they will be satisfied with these affordable choices and costs available to them. I have not spoken with him about this however.

    • Perry says:

      Wonder what they’re paying currently without Obamacare?

      • John Fembup says:

        Their current premium is about $6800 annually. Their policy is not so comprehensive as Obamacare, but is what they chose from a much broader variety of sources than Obamacare offers. Their current plan has a $4,000 family deductible and they own an HSA. Their current plan has a family OOP of $6,000 including the deductible. Their max annual outlay with their current policy is $12,800 compared with more than $20,000 with an affordable plan under ACA. So assuming they are offered a renewal of their current plan for 2014, their overall protection with what they have now is superior to Obamacare and their premiums are lower.

        Despite the last paragraph in my earlier comment – offered somewhat tongue in cheek – I think they have been hoping Obamacare will give them some cost relief. It appears that won’t happen. Lucky for them they can keep what they have. Not everyone will be so lucky.

        • Perry says:

          I think the benefactors of the ACA will be the working poor if anyone. The middle class, not so much, which is ironic, because Obama is supposedly helping preserve the middle class.