Friday, November 01, 2013

A Little Affordable Care Perspective

On FoxNews Sunday, Dr. Ezekial Emanuel just used the 50 million number, which is false on it's face.

I guess I'm feeling ambitious.  I don't know why, lol.  It's 72 here in the Shenandoah Valley and I am on the deck getting some Vitamin D.

But as I sit here I read and have to listen to people talk about how heartless Republicans are.  We fought ObamaCare.  We want it to fail.  Not cause it's a boondoggle mind, because we never cared about the uninsured.  Didn't we understand that 50 million people in America were uninsured in 2008?  More than 16% of the population!  Read the census!

Well, did you?  Did you go read the 2008 census they are/were citing?  Cause I did.  And a few others did.  They tried to tell you.  I told everyone who would listen, including my sons who stopped listening, lol!  "Yeah, yeah Ma.  We know.  They are playing with the numbers.  Can I get back to what I was doing?"

But it was more than a headline.  It was more than a soundbite.  People didn't have the time or inclination to fact check.  So they were fooled by the whole "50 million Americans have no healthcare!"  Never mind healthcare is not health insurance.  Word games, numbers games, whatever.

From the 2008 census the number of uninsured in America - Page 20, Table 7.  "People Without Health Insurance Coverage by Selected Characteristics: 2007 and 2008"

Number of uninsured in 2008; 46,340,000.  Not 50,000,000.  OK, so they rounded up a little.

Number of uninsured people whose household income was over $75,000 per year; 9,725,000.  Did they need saving?  No, more likely they decided they could pay out of pocket and  not bother with insurance.

Number of uninsured people whose household income was over $50,000 per year; 8,034,000.  Some might have struggled in that bracket depending on their location, but most?  No, I don't think so.  Again, I believe the majority made a conscious choice to abstain.

Number of uninsured people with a household income under $25,000 per year; 13,673,000.  Now again, this number represents something that is not being discussed.  It includes a great deal of people who qualify for insurance /Medicaid /Medicare /VA coverage and they are not obtaining it.  Why?  Well some just aren't aware.  Some don't understand the process.  Some don't want to be "in the system" whether out of fear or stubbornness.  And in all categories, again, there are those who just don't want to opt in.  I want outreach to help those who qualify get through the process and get coverage through existing avenues.  Don't tell me that there wasn't an easier lest costly way to help this demographic.

Number of non-citizens who do not report health insurance?  9,511,000.  Ok, now there are many differing views on what this number represents and how much we should care.  This number does not represent a solid block of malnourished, abused, illegal immigrants living in abject poverty.  And while you may disagree, I do not think we should be turning 1/6 of our economy to make sure they have insurance.

After I make what I consider to be reasonable adjustments, who is left of those 46,340,000?

Well, I don't want to count anyone making than $75,000 or more per year.  If there is an extenuating circumstance, chances are there is a corresponding charity.  If not, it must be possible to fix that on a small scale.

So we're down to 36,615,000.

Next category is those making between $50,000 and $74,999.  Conceding geographic location, I'll give you half.  How's that?

Down to 32,598,000.

What's left is people with incomes under $25K.  I'll give you a third of them - 4,557,667.  Again, I think that's more than generous.  So I'm subtracting two thirds, 9,115,333 people.

Non-citizens?  I don't want to count any of them.  My Federal tax dollars should not be taking care of you.  Go home to your own country for care.  Or pay the bill.  Taking them completely out would cut the number drastically , but there is no telling where they fell in the income breakdown.  So I can't take any off.  But you know darn well some of them are represented in the numbers for households making over $25,000 and less than $49,999.  And I'm leaving that group whole.

Now our number is 23,482,667.  I won't quibble about people who chose not to be insured, as is their right.  But where does this leave us?  Less than half of what the Affordable Care Act's proponents cried about.

23,482,667 people represent not quite 8% of the 301,483,000 counted..

Now let's watch and see how many people who were responsible and had a policy in 2008 will lose what they had.  And I don't mean just the people getting letters that their individual policies are cancelled.  You know the ones who per this link on Forbes -

"On Tuesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney attempted to minimize the disruption issue, arguing that it only affected people who buy insurance on their own. “That’s the universe we’re talking about, 5 percent of the population,” said Carney."

So Jay Carney doesn't think *those* 5% are any big deal.  You know, it's not like it was 8% or anything.

However, in addition to the people who had individual policies and will lose them.....let's add people whose employers lost or dropped coverage.  And what about people who lost access to their employee insurance coverage when employers cut their hours?

So at the end of the day, you will have disrupted far more than 8% of the population.  You will have moved them out of policies that were adequate.  You will have forced people who simply paid their own way into purchasing insurance they didn't want.  Because the ACA also forces insurance companies to drop bare bones policies to offer policies with bells and whistles that some Americans neither needed nor wanted.  You will have people moving from adequate plans to plans with higher deductibles and out of pocket costs.

In the big picture you will have a net loss of coverage.


Yer Marine said...

Excellently stated.

We will have a net loss of coverage. But we will have two very desirable results that should not be minimized.

1. We will have forcible redistribution of the wealth on a truly massive scale.

2. Insurance companies will give way to a government single-payer system, which will allow the radical left to dole out health care to political favorites and withhold it from political opponents such as Tea Party members, home schoolers, and gun owners.

Mark Tempest said...

Spot on.

Stella Jonsson said...

Great post from the formidable Bostonmaggie... again. Do I agree with everything? No. But, it's a great post.

I suppose I need to look up some statistics of my own. As always, one set of statistics will disagree with another. I'm ready to get off the computer, but wanted to save the best for last.

Yer Marine, please don't be offended. I just want to add my two cents for what it's worth.

I'm not so sure forcible RE-distribution of wealth is such a bad idea. There has been a forcible distribution of wealth that has created massive increases in wage disparity over the past 20 years. Working Americans are far more productive than ever (50 hours is now pretty much a standard workweek) in history and are barely surviving: wage increases are disproportionate to those of corporations. And, corporations have never been more profitable.

We have major corporations shipping our jobs overseas and getting tax credits. NAFTA (Clinton) and CAFTA (Bush)has caused tremendous economic problems and decline of job opportunities as our manufacturing jobs get off shored. I agree with neither of them.

Now, who are the radical left? Well, maybe to you, that's me. I am a progressive liberal who wants to consider all sides of a given issue. Radicals don't think for themselves.

I've seen no such evidence that most of us on the left want to withhold health care from gun owners. The Second Amendment, after all, is a Right. I'm not anti-Second Amendment. I support more stringent background checks which I hope, if instituted, will save lives. But, I do not think responsible gun owners should be denied their right to bear arms. And, I know many, many progressives who are gun owners and vehement defenders of the Second Amendment.

Some home schoolers are progressive, some are conservative. Both feel schooling children at home is better than public schools. That decision does not automatically obviate them from getting health care. If so, how so?

The Tea Party? I can't see that happening, either. Yet, the Tea Party cut SNAP on which many of our veterans relied. Fact.

Yeah, the Tea Party. They're sure quick to call Social Security and Medicare "entitlements" that need to be cut. These programs are investments not funded by taxes.

And, the Tea Party doles out political favors to their contingent and withhold it from their opponents.

That's just politics: it happens on both sides of the aisle.

I don't really care if the Tea Party is given health care. I vehemently disagree with them, but they are Americans and should be accorded equality like any citizens. But, they are radicals.

And, radicalism in any form is dangerous.

Please help me understand why you both feel a single-payer system is a bad idea. I've read articles on both sides of the issue.

You both inspire me to look at the statistics and analyze your statements any my views more closely. I hope I have done the same for you.

No one can have an educated view without questioning themselves. Ya can't learn in a vacuum.

My best to you both.

Yer Marine said...

Well, Stella, others who thought forcible redistribution of wealth was a good idea include Karl Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dorhn, and Barack Obama.

And why would I not think my own government would persecute me by withholding services I paid for, and impinging upon my liberties? I have already been labeled a likely terror suspect by the FBI based on my race, religion, and military service, and the VP of the United States and several Senators have already used the same language to describe me that they use officially to refer to Al Qaeda.

It isn't as if use of government authority and power has not already been used to intimidate political opponents and ensure compliance of thought. The IRS, the Justice Department, and DoD training are all fresh and ongoing examples.

The Constitution is a great read.