Thursday, November 14, 2013

Circling the Drain Again

I don't pretend to know what's really going on with the various political disasters for the Obama Regime brewing in various corners of the world -- such as the health care thing and the Israel thing and the Iran thing and the TPP thing, but man, it's a super-storm these days. We'll take them one by one, mercifully in separate posts.

Health Care Transition: The launch of the Health Care Transition appears to have been deliberately sabotaged, apparently by the contractors hired to implement it, apparently for more money. But there's more going on as well, much more involving the perfidious insurance cartel directly in what looks for all the world like racketeering right out in the open, something they've been loathe to practice heretofore, though everyone knew it was going on, but now they don't seem to care at all about being found out. I wonder why. Hm. Needless to say, the Rs are taking full political advantage of the mess that's been made of things, but they have no interest in actually destroying the thing. Their political interests are to serve the insurance cartel as certainly as the Dems' interests are. As much as the Rs are accused of the sabotage, they aren't really the ones who did it, nor was it ever in their interests to do it. Their fussbudgeting of it is really minor compared to the rising chorus of complaints from the public -- who are being royally, fiercely screwded.

The only faction of the elites who actually have an interest in said sabotage are those who believe they aren't guaranteed enough money via the ACA/HCR/Obamacare. Given what's been going on, it's fairly easy to figure out who they are, too: the insurance providers, the IT contracting firms, and the various medical industry suppliers. They want more, lots and lots more -- guaranteed -- or they'll keep right on throwing stink bombs.

This wasn't anticipated? How could it not be? Every government agency I'm familiar with, at every level of government, has gone through this headache when they launch something big, something new, or something different; it's built-in. It's especially true with anything that involves computer technology. The contractors hired to implement the program ALWAYS want more money, usually double or triple the amount they contracted for, but often enough, they want far more than that. Almost always, they get it, too. It is still very rare for government to cancel contracts for new programs that have gone south.

Because the HCR/ACA/Obamacare is set up to be a permanent profit guarantee for the insurance cartel and to provide "certainty" of payment to the health care industry, but not to ensure either that ordinary people receive appropriate care when needed or to ensure that they are able to easily obtain "affordable" health care insurance -- whatever "affordable" means -- under any circumstances, the launch, of course, had a built in tendency toward screwage of the public. That was its intention all along. However, it seemed rational to me to ease the screwage as much as possible. But we're finding that, no, the screwage is being done as brutally as rape.

People are now noting extraordinary costs associated with this thing, in the many thousands of dollars a year for millions upon millions, and they simply cannot afford it. They cannot afford a rise in insurance costs if they already have insurance, and they cannot afford the initial costs if they don't -- even with subsidies, assuming the subsidies are actually implemented. At this point, I'm predicting they won't be, or they will be cut back so much, they'll be all but irrelevant for most of those affected. It's just way, way, way too expensive a deal for ordinary households. This has been the problem all along, and there is nothing intrinsic about Obamacare that can or will bring costs down. Instead, what we've been seeing since Launch Day is a rise in costs (something that's been under way since the law was passed) that is now totally out of control.

I mentioned when I first got my 2014 Medicare Advantage Evidence of Coverage booklet that my co-pays were doubling in many cases, or going up anywhere between 50% and 70% on nearly every service covered by my plan. Total out of pocket, supposedly, would only go up a few hundred dollars for the year, but the way "out of pocket" is determined meant many thousands of dollars in additional medical expenses were possible, because those expenses might not be counted toward "out of pocket."

When I reported these increases online, the response was nearly universally to blame the victim, me, for "falling for the scam" of Medicare Advantage, with suggestions that I drop it and either go with Medicare alone, or get a Medicare Supplement plan and a separate Medicare Part D plan to cover prescriptions.

When I pointed out that this could conceivably cost me $2,000 a year in additional premiums, in addition to co-pays and costs for services and treatments not covered by supplement plans, it was dismissed as unimportant. "Medicare Advantage is a scam. It's your fault for falling for it."

This is the same blame the victim attitude that has infused responses to the complaints of those who are facing vastly higher charges for insurance they thought they were supposed to be able to keep if they wanted to, or who are facing steep charges to get health care insurance at all.

Unless these insurance cartel charges are reined in somehow, the whole thing is going to implode. And we know what has to be done to rein them in: Medicare for All or something similar. Cut out the middleman, then work on dismantling the for-profit health care industry top to bottom. That's the only way.

And we know it.

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