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Forum Post: ACA is too expensive

Posted 5 years ago on Oct. 14, 2013, 6:20 p.m. EST by Socrates451 (-15)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

No one is signing up at all. $5000 deductibles, upwards of $12000 for a family.


Young healthy millenials will pass this by and the whole thing falls apart. If you don't get sick, why buy this expensive plan?



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[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 5 years ago

Some people trolling for insurance on the exchanges are questioning why Obamacare is called the "Affordable" Care Act.

Many who were uninsured before are feeling forced to buy pricey insurance they don't want. Others who had bare-bones individual plans are seeing the premium prices soar because the Obamacare plans are more comprehensive.

One North Carolina reader was upset to learn her current $267 a month plan was being canceled and the cheapest option on the exchange would cost her family $750 a month. They don't qualify for a subsidy.

"Obamacare is a nightmare for my family," she wrote.

Others were surprised to see how high the deductibles and out-of-pocket costs were in some plans. Deductibles for bronze plans, which carry the cheapest monthly charges, can run $5,000 to $6,000.

"This is like a catastrophic plan, said Deb Hornbacher of Colorado. "I am totally shocked and taken aback at how little it did provide at the level I could afford."

For others, however, Obamacare is a godsend. Many, particularly those with pre-existing conditions, weren't eligible or couldn't afford coverage before. Now, they can get insurance since health reform bans insurers from discriminating against those who had been sick.

Many people signing up for coverage are also eligible for federal subsidies, which can greatly reduce the monthly premiums.

Several readers with employer-sponsored insurance say their premiums are going up for 2014, and blaming Obamacare.

Companies are also changing their plans because of Obamacare. UPS for instance is ending coverage for spouses with access to policies elsewhere, while Trader Joe's and Home Depot are shifting their part-time workers to the exchanges.

It's true that health reform is contributing to higher premiums and plan changes. But Obamacare, which is imposing new fees on companies and insurers starting in 2014, is not the driving factor, experts say. Health care costs are rising because the economy is improving so people are going to the doctor more.



Some families left out in the cold by Obamacare

By Tami Luhby | CNNMoney.com – Thu, Oct 10, 2013 4:34 AM EDT


Obamacare is designed to make health care affordable for everyone, but several million families could get caught in a loophole in the law that leaves them out in the cold.

Those families will find themselves ineligible for Obamacare subsidies to buy their own insurance on the state-based exchanges, even though their coverage at work is considered unaffordable.

That's because the way the Affordable Care Act is written, employers only have to provide "affordable" coverage to their workers, but not to their dependents.

An affordable policy is one where premiums total no more than 9.5% of household income. If a worker's employer-sponsored insurance costs more than that, he can opt to apply for federal subsidies to buy a policy on the Obamacare insurance exchanges.

Companies, however, don't have to meet this criteria when extending coverage to spouses and children. Since employers often subsidize a smaller share of dependents' premiums, many families could pay hefty bills for on-the-job policies. And they're in for a rude awakening when they turn to the exchanges, which could also be very expensive without the help of a federal subsidy.

Nearly 2 million adults and 450,000 children may find themselves in this situation, according to the Urban Institute. More than half are currently shelling out for pricey family policies at an employer or buying coverage on the individual market, which is often expensive too. Just over 571,000 are uninsured.

"It's a big deal for these families," said Matthew Buettgens, senior research associate at the institute. "Those who have coverage will be paying a much higher percentage of their income to maintain it. And it will become harder and harder for them to maintain."

The Moeller family of Clarks Summit, Penn., find themselves in this situation. They need insurance next year, since their current plan will be discontinued. But none of the options they've seen under Obamacare are very good.

Barbara Moeller is a nurse at a hospice facility who could get coverage from her employer for $218 a month, or about 8.2% of her salary. But were she to add her husband Eric, a stay-at-home dad, to the plan, the monthly premium would soar to $490. Including their daughter would send the cost skyrocketing to $620.

Ineligible for federal help because Barbara Moeller has "affordable" coverage at work for herself, the couple face shelling out hundreds more a month to cover them both on her work policy or having her enroll in a solo policy at work and him in an unsubsidized exchange plan. The cheapest one Blue Cross offers is $334 a month, with higher deductibles and co-pays than they currently pay.

There is a third option that Eric Moeller says he'll likely select: Become uninsured. The family, which drives 15-year-old cars and lives without smart phones and cable television, simply can't handle the premium hike, he said.

The small silver lining: He won't have to pay a penalty for lacking coverage because the policies would cost more than 8% of the family's income.

"If you are going to mandate I do something, you should be ready to help me out with it," said Eric Moeller, who plans to look for work. "There's no way we can afford it."

This quirk in the law will impact spouses such as Eric Moeller harder than it will children because most youngsters can enroll in government health insurance programs, such as Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, said Joan Alker, executive director at the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University. But since some parents won't sign their kids up for this coverage, some children will remain uninsured.

Though consumer advocates are pushing for this loophole to be addressed, experts say that lawmakers intended to let employers off the hook for insuring workers' families. Congress was concerned that employers try to push families onto the exchanges if they were forced to extend affordable coverage to everyone.

"I don't know if it will get rectified," said Gary Claxton, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5909) 5 years ago

A Field Guide to the Koch O' Nuts Behind the Near Government Default

Monday, 21 October 2013 13:41 By Mary Bottari, PR Watch | News Analysis


President Obama signed a debt deal at 12:30 a.m. averting a catastrophic debt default in the nick of time. In a city of manufactured crisis it is sometimes hard to distinguish real issues from fake ones, but the debt ceiling deadline is a serious issue. Since Congress failed to pass a budget, the Treasury Department ran out of authority to borrow months ago. October 17, 2013 was the day that the Treasury Department said it would be unable to juggle the accounts to pay the nation's obligations. The consequences of a default to the economy would be catastrophic, stocks and pension funds would crash as interest rates would jump. Just the two-week government shutdown and the threat of default took a $24 billion dollar bite out of the economy, says the S&P. "There are certain weapons that are just improper to use against humanity," Warren Buffet told CNBC on October 16 as the stalemate continued in Congress. "It is a political weapon of mass destruction and both sides should say we’re not going to touch it, just like with poison gas or nuclear weapons. It’s too powerful." Extremist Tea Party reactionaries in the Congress led our nation to the very brink, passing a deal hours before midnight on October 16. As the very real threat of a catastrophic debt default loomed this week, the Koch Brothers were running for cover. Koch Industries sent a letter to Congress saying the corporation controlled by two of the richest billionaires in the world was not responsible for the shutdown. David Koch's Americans for Prosperity group helpfully clarified that it did not support the strategy to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it just wanted to repeal it. It’s time for a fact check. The Koch family foundations and the newest known Koch vehicle -- Freedom Partners, which is staffed with by operatives connected to the Kochs and housed in the same building as Charles Koch’s foundation -- have bankrolled practically every group working to create a fake grassroots uprising against the ACA. Many of the groups linked to the Kochs have also pushed an extreme “shut-it-down” position that led the U.S. to the brink of a historic government debt default. Here is a field guide to some of the Koch O’ Nuts and what is known about their funding.

Americans for Prosperity’s Goal Is the Repeal of “Obamacare”

Freedom Partners funding in 2012: $31,600,000. Plus an additional $4,278,000 from Center to Protect Patient Rights in 2011. The total amount of funding from David Koch himself directly to AFP versus filtered through Freedom Partners is not disclosed. AFP was founded by David Koch in 2004, when Koch’s “Citizens for a Sound Economy” split into FreedomWorks and AFP. Known funders in the past include Koch family foundations, the Scaife Foundation and the Bradley Foundation. Today it is one of the largest beneficiaries of a previously unknown stream of money from Freedom Partners According to AFP: “Americans for Prosperity has led the charge against Obamacare implementation throughout the summer, with events around the country and millions spent in television and radio ads.” The New York Times reports that AFP has run $5.5 million in television advertising against the law over the past three months. According to USA Today (September 19, 2013): “Between July 1 and Sept. 16, Americans for Prosperity led all advertising [on the subject of ACA, either for or opposed], running more than 3,200 spots to slam the law, according to a tally of advertising by Kantar Media.” These ads include:

•Ad titled "Questions," July 2013: The Hill reports, “Americans for Prosperity is launching a $1 million ad campaign opposing Obamacare.” The ad is the first in a 2013 summer/fall series of TV, radio and web ads opposing the ACA.

•Ads titled "My Daughter" and "Doctor Questions," September 2013: AFP announced a “seven-figure ad buy” in Texas markets.

•Ad titled "Tricia's Story," September 2013: The Hill reports: "Americans for Prosperity launches $3M anti-Obamacare ad featuring cancer survivor."

According to AFP, its state groups held a total of 150 "healthcare related events" in the months of August and September, including town hall style events featuring members of Congress like Pennsylvanian Congressman Pat Meehan. Campaign websites include ObamacareRiskFactors.com and JustExemptMe.com. Controversial Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who spearheaded the effort to shutdown the government over the ACA, was featured at AFP’s national “Right Online” conference last month, where he advocated the repeal of the ACA through defunding it and tying that defunding to the budget fights. Video of Ted Cruz’s speech at the David Koch headlined conference is available here. The Executive Director of AFP, Tim Phillips, praised Jim DeMint for his efforts at the Heritage Foundation to "do what’s right" (Heritage Action, as noted below, was a primary advocate of the shutdown). He also praised Cruz, his featured speaker, for sticking to the agenda of "we're going to do what’s right from day one," like DeMint, plainly referencing their fight against the ACA.

Heritage Action for America Helps Ted Cruz Get His Stump Speech Ready

Freedom Partners funding in 2012: $500,000. Total amount of direct funding from the Koch family fortune is not known. The Heritage Foundation has received an undisclosed sum from the Koch family fortune over the years, but it has close ties to the Koch agenda and David Koch's AFP strongly endorsed the Heritage Foundation’s agenda as Congress returned from summer recess. Heritage Action for America gives Heritage Foundation’s new Executive Director, former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), a big platform for a reactionary political agenda. Heritage Action has pushed the extremes in its effort to defund Obamacare at any cost with weekly Action Alerts demanding that their supporters call Congress and reject any deal that did not defund Obamacare. On the night before the government default deadline the group continued to urge no deal the "proposed deal will do nothing to stop Obamacare’s massive new entitlements from taking root -- radically changing the nature of American health care" and told Congressional leaders their votes would be scored. "Heritage Action was also responsible for running internet ads against 100 Republican politicians who failed to sign a letter to House Speaker John Boehner encouraging him to defund Obamacare at any cost,” reports the Business Spectator. For Heritage Action the war has been many months in the planning. It launched a "Defund Obamacare Town Hall Tour," nine events held from August 19-29 featuring DeMint and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Jim DeMint: "We have an opportunity to change the direction of our nation by defunding Obamacare and advancing conservative policy solutions that will help place us back on the path toward fiscal responsibility."

Tea Party Patriots Push for the Extremes

Freedom Partners funding in 2012: $200,000. Total amount of direct funding from the Koch family fortune is not known. David Koch’s AFP has funded numerous events advancing the Tea Party agenda. The Tea Party Patriots are one faction of the Tea Party. Tea Party Patriots have been among the most extreme "shut it down" factions of the far right. The group produced a "Defunding Obamacare Toolkit for Activists" with talking points, sample social media posts, and more. "We've pushed very, very, very hard, and we’re doing that because we understand that this law [Obamacare] is having very real effects on millions of Americans right now," National Coordinator Jenny Beth Martin told Politico. The Tea Party Patriots joined FreedomWorks’ paid political consultant Glenn Beck at a Saturday rally on Capitol Hill with Sarah Palin and others. On the brink of default on October 16, the Tea Party Patriots were urging no deal. "The Ruling Elites in Washington, D.C. have completely abandoned the American people," said Martin. "The deal cut in the Senate does NOT protect the American people from this unfair and unworkable law."

Center to Protect Patient Rights Acts as a Conduit

Freedom Partners: $114,678,000. Total funding from the Koch family fortune is unknown. The New York Times describes the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR): "Run by a political consultant with ties to the Kochs and listing an Arizona post office box for its address, the center appears to be little more than a clearinghouse for donations to still more groups, including American Commitment and the 60 Plus Association, both ardent foes of the health care law." CPPR is at the center of a probe by the California Elections Board on "dark money" spent through shell groups to influence two ballot initiatives, among other concerns that have been raised about it.

The 60 Plus Association, a Big Money Front Group Focused on Seniors

Freedom Partners funding in 2012: $114,678,000. Plus an additional $14,029,000 from the Center to Protect Patient Rights in 2011. Total amount of funding from the Koch family fortune is unknown. The 60 Plus Association has long campaigned against Obamacare. The New York Times reports that it was "among a handful of groups calling themselves the 'Repeal Coalition' that sent a letter in August urging Republican leaders in the House and the Senate to insist 'at a minimum' in a one-year delay of carrying out the health care law as part of any budget deal." On September 23, the organization called for a budget with no Obamacare, "Pull the Plug" said their release and on September 25, as Ted Cruz began his "filibuster" the 60 Plus Association issued a statement in support to Cruz and his efforts on the Senate floor to stem the funding and implementation of Obamacare.

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5909) 5 years ago

American Commitment Pushes Tea Party Candidates

Freedom Partners Funding: $6,260,000. Total amount of funding from the Koch family fortune is unknown. American Commitment is run by another Koch operative Phil Kerpen. Kerpen was the "legislative strategist" at Americans for Prosperity for over five years. The group has opposed the requirement in the ACA that requires all Americans to purchase health care and has supported legislation to require members of Congress to subscribe to the plan. On its website it has ads in support of Steve Lonegan who was defeated by Cory Booker last night for the New Jersey U.S. Senate seat. Lonegan was the State Director of the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity and ran for governor of New Jersey in 2005 and 2009. Lonegan was passionately opposed to Obamacare and on October 10 boasted that his election would end the shutdown: "When I win, Obama will fold." "My victory in this election on Wednesday will send a message to Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi that the American people want an end to Obamacare and the rest of the President’s radical agenda," said Lonegan.

Generation Opportunity, Another Dark Money Group Marketing to Youth

Freedom Partners funding in 2012: $5,040,000. Total amount of funding from the Koch family fortune is unknown. One of the most well-known and most misleading anti-Obamacare ads comes from a new group called Generation Opportunity. The ad portrays Uncle Sam giving a woman a gynecological exam and calls for people to "opt out of Obamacare." Generation Opportunity purports to be "the voice of young people in Washington and in local communities and we will act to protect our future." But its glitzy ad campaigns and its Freedom Partner funding reveals that it is another astroturf front group for powerful special interests. Prior to joining Generation Opportunity as President, Evan Feinberg was Program Manager at the Charles Koch Institute, where he “Managed the institute’s efforts related to government spending." Generation Opportunity intends to host events at college football tailgate parties, music concerts and other events in the fall of 2013, urging young people to opt-out of Obamacare, which of course would net them a penalty.

Concerned Women for American Legislative Action Committee

Freedom Partners funding in 2012: $8,150,000. Total amount of funding from the Koch family fortune is unknown. CWALAC got a surge in funding, a 300 percent increase (from 2M to 8M) for the 2012 election cycle, almost all from Freedom Partners, which no one knew about at the time, and then it they turned around and announced a $7 million ad campaign on "issue ads" critical of Obama in the summer leading up to the election. The related Concerned Women for America is an overtly religious group that has opposed Obamacare, claiming its opposition is on the grounds of "religious liberty." The president of the group alleges that the exchanges will charge enrollees an “abortion surcharge,” a minimum of $1 per month, which pays into an "abortion slush fund" obscured by a “secrecy clause.” According to the Washington Post, CWALAC spent at least $3 million on 3,141 ads during the 2012 Presidential campaign, spending $1 million on ads in Wisconsin and more than $700K in both Iowa and Minnesota. According to CWALAC, the group spent $6 million on an anti-ACA ad titled "Care" that aired in six states -- Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Virginia and Wisconsin -- in June 2012.

American Legislative Exchange Council Spearheads Opposition in the States

Koch Industry funding: More than $1 million. Over the years, Koch Industries has given ALEC at least $1 million in addition to the substantial funding ALEC has received from the Koch family fortune, for example from the foundations it controls. The total amount of funding the Koch fortune has contributed to ALEC is unknown. For the past two decades Koch Industries has been a leader of ALEC with a seat on its corporate board, and with Koch Industries playing an influential role bankrolling ALEC, the group has spearheaded efforts to push state legislators to "repeal Obamacare," echoing the same message as David Koch's AFP. ALEC has also urged state legislators to pass resolutions urging Congress to repeal the ACA, in addition to peddling numerous bills to defund or stop implementation of the ACA over the past three years, as detailed in its legislative handbook: "A Legislators Guide to Repealing Obamacare." Through these and other efforts, ALEC has sought to stop the ACA at the state and federal levels, while indoctrinating its legislative members with talking points that have been echoed by opponents of the law in state capitols and also in Congress during the debates over the budget this year. Congress has numerous ALEC alums among its ranks, including House Majority whip, Eric Cantor (R-VA), who was recently given one of ALEC’s highest awards for advancing ALEC’s agenda in Congress.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

To the lady w ho paid $257 for her FAMILY's insurance:

North Carolina & The Affordable Care Act What The Affordable Care Act Means For North Carolinians

In 2007, 16.5 percent of North Carolinians reported they were unable to see a doctor when necessary due to cost. Between 2003 and 2009, the health insurance premiums for North Carolina families increased 55 percent to an annual average cost of $13,087. This amount represents nearly 30 percent of the median annual household income in the state. Single policyholders saw their premiums increase by 37 percent between 2003 and 2009. [1] Of the North Carolina residents who do have health insurance, 47 percent are covered through employment. Public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare insure 32 percent of the population, and four percent of North Carolinians purchase individual private policies. This leaves nearly 1.6 million, 17 percent of the state’s population, uninsured. [2]

North Carolinians are be able to compare and purchase health insurance policies through the federal health insurance marketplace, Healthcare.gov. Policies offered to North Carolina residents cover essential health benefits based on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC’s Blue Options plan. Plans are offered in four categories of coverage levels, with the least expensive plan, the bronze tier, covering 60 percent of medical costs. Plans in the silver tier cover 70 percent of costs. Gold plans cover 80 percent. The most expensive tier, platinum, covers 90 percent of medical costs. The federal website offers information about available tax credits and subsidies. For assistance by phone, consumers may reach the call center 24-hours a day at 1-800-318-2596.

So the AVERAGE NC family - in 2009 paaid over $1000

At $257/mo , her family must be 1/2 of a person

[-] -1 points by HCHC4 (-28) 5 years ago

Did you sign up yet?

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

II do not qualify

[-] -1 points by HCHC4 (-28) 5 years ago

? You already have insurance?

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

Martians are not covered

[-] 0 points by HCHC4 (-28) 5 years ago

"Health care costs are rising because the economy is improving so people are going to the doctor more.

I just spit my drink on my computer after reading that!

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 5 years ago

I almost couldn't believe it when I read it too but I'm constantly reminded of how people have no shame in promoting justifications for the corporate world.

[-] 0 points by toomanygk (11) 5 years ago

As did I

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

here is a real number in stead of an alec-koch-heritage-cruz number
FROM healthcare.gov - WITH NO DOWN TIME
a 30 year old Kansas man making $60,000 can buy
a minimum plan for $85/month
a silver plan for $180.month
a platinum ( top of the line ) plan for $300/month
[probably less than your car insurance]


[-] -1 points by HCHC4 (-28) 5 years ago

A 30 year old person making 60k a year had all those options before this monster was passed.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

What is the name of the company that offered a person
in Kansass a plan for $85

[-] -2 points by HCHC4 (-28) 5 years ago

Blue Cross Blue Shield, they have tons of junk plans for 80-100/month. So do all the other insurance monsters.

Hope you like privatized SS, because forced payments to Wall st for your retirement is the door that is now officially open.

How we have people that think the feds forcing people to purchase from corporations is progress is beyond me.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

I repeat - I believe this is the path to single payer.
2 simple questions -

Is the ACA better than no ACA ?
what is America's path to single payer ?

[-] -2 points by HCHC4 (-28) 5 years ago

Is the ACA better than no ACA? I cannot think of much things that are worse than forcing the population to purchase from huge corporations.

America's path to single payer, or anything for that matter, is to stop tolerating this absolute bullshit. I mean, if people think that single payer is ever coming when we have people who claim to be liberal jumping up and down about being forced to support corporations and getting fined otherwise.,.. if that is the current state of our country, then the path to universal is going to be a long, long way out.

I mean, Obama specifically made the case against this during the campaign. Repeatedly. But now he did it, and most of his backers are just like "Oh well" .

Our government is owned by corporations. 100%. So much so, that they have now effectively lobbied to force the population to pay them directly.

This is so absurd I cannot even talk about it without getting pissed.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

so you cant give me a simple answer to either question? check it out:
the ACA fine - how much will you pay i f you do not have ins ?

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

koch-alec-1%-wingnut propaganda
do you know what it will cost a single $25,000 30 year old ?

[-] -1 points by Socrates451 (-15) 5 years ago

To promote the Oct. 1 debut of the exchanges, the online marketplaces where consumers can shop and buy insurance, Obama administration and Illinois officials touted the lower-than-expected monthly premiums that would make insurance more affordable for millions of Americans. But a Tribune analysis shows that 21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange for Cook County have annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage.

I thin I posted accurate info originally. For a 27 year old, single, the premium will be $130/month with a $4000 deductible.

My link was the WashPost, not exactly FoxNews

as it is, that means he will be paying $5000 or more for med ins. I doubt a health person will pay for that.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

Not sure how $130/mo x 12 = $5000
130x12 = $1560
if he is healthy and sees his doctor twice a year = $1560
ACA: if he has a heart attack that costs $200,000, he will pay $6560
no ACA:if he has a heart attack that costs $200,000, he will pay $200000

of course, the real answer is Medicare for all
If the Rs are weak enough in 2016, Hillary will push it like she did years ago

[-] -1 points by HCHC4 (-28) 5 years ago

HA!! Hillary was the one pushing the mandate, and Obama was telling her how stupid it was! Some of us were actually involved in 08, Bensdad. As I have said many many times, if you solution involves Dems beating Republicans, then get your ass down to the local campaign office and get going.


So this 27 year old is healthy and gets a $40 tax on his income? A guy making $12 an hour? Nice deal. What a fuckin scam. Then say something happens to him. He's fucked out of another $4000.00.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

First Lady Hillary - not Senator Hillary

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Actually, there has been quite a bit of signing up.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 5 years ago

500,000 as of today



[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Yep, I saw that.


[-] -3 points by Socrates451 (-15) 5 years ago

To promote the Oct. 1 debut of the exchanges, the online marketplaces where consumers can shop and buy insurance, Obama administration and Illinois officials touted the lower-than-expected monthly premiums that would make insurance more affordable for millions of Americans. But a Tribune analysis shows that 21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange for Cook County have annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage.

I thin I posted accurate info originally. For a 27 year old, single, the premium will be $130/month with a $4000 deductible.

My link was the WashPost, not exactly FoxNews.