NBC: up to 10.5 million on track to have @BarackObama/Democratic party take away their health insurance.

Actually, before I get started on that… please watch this related ad on Terry McAuliffe, and his uncritical – not to say, slavish – devotion to one of the greatest American civic disasters since Prohibition. I refer, of course, to Obamacare:

Got that? Good. Go help Ken Cuccinelli.

Anyway, NBC has the scoop: the administration has been planning since 2010 to kill between 40% to 60% of the 14 million individual health insurance policies then in existence. In fact, they’ve apparently gone above expectations; some estimates give the current percentage of soon to be destroyed policies to be between 50% and 75%. The assumption of the administration was, of course, that those policy holders would simply acquiesce to higher premiums and higher deductables… but will it work?

Perhaps… not.

George Schwab, 62, of North Carolina, said he was “perfectly happy” with his plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield, which also insured his wife for a $228 monthly premium. But this past September, he was surprised to receive a letter saying his policy was no longer available. The “comparable” plan the insurance company offered him carried a $1,208 monthly premium and a $5,500 deductible.

And the best option he’s found on the exchange so far offered a 415 percent jump in premium, to $948 a month.

“The deductible is less,” he said, “But the plan doesn’t meet my needs. Its unaffordable.”

“I’m sitting here looking at this, thinking we ought to just pay the fine and just get insurance when we’re sick,” Schwab added. “Everybody’s worried about whether the website works or not, but that’s fixable. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. This stuff isn’t fixable.”

You see, George Schwab can do math. Let us assume, for a moment, that his household income is $100K (it’s almost certainly not, but bear with me). That works out to a Obamacare tax of $900 (remember, it’s 1% of household income above $10K) per year, which is less than one month’s payment on the best exchange plan that he could find. That saves him ([$948 x 11] + $48), or $10,476 per year. Speaking bluntly, unless Mr. Schwab has chronic medical problems (his current policy suggests that he doesn’t) he’s better off not throwing away that ten grand a year. But “Subsidies!,” I hear somebody cry. OK, fine. Since Mr. Schwab in the above scenario would be ineligible for the subsidy anyway, let’s reduce his household income to $60K and assume two people in the household. That puts his tax at $500, but there’s a subsidy, so no worries, right?

Wrong. At $60K Mr. Schwab is just below 400% of the federal poverty level, which means that he is expected to pay no ‘more’ than 9.5% of his household income. That means that his post-subsidy insurance per year is $5,700, or $475 a month. Which means, hey, Mr. Schwab’s insurance only doubled! – And, remember: this number puts the man just below the 400% level. If his income goes up $2,041 per year… his insurance liabilities go up more than $5,000 per year*. Or Mr. Schwab can eat the $500 and use the other $5,200 to pay his out of pocket medical costs… which, given that the man was content to have a $5,500 deductible, isn’t that far a stretch. He’s obviously considering it.

Are there many people like Mr. Schwab? I don’t know – but here’s the problem for the administration: they need the people like George Schwab to join the exchanges. We’ve been concentrating on the so-called ‘young invincibles,’ because they were widely believed to be least likely to sign up for the Obamacare exchanges… but it turns out that other categories of potential Obamacare exchange users were as just as vulnerable to the same gruesome math. Doubling premiums (and, unlike George Schwab, many people are getting horrible deductible increases as well) is making people reassess just how good a deal the exchanges really are. And the more people that decide that it’s a bad idea, the closer to total destruction the whole thing gets.

And, again, the Obama administration knew that they were going to shut down millions of policies through fumble-fingered technocratic social engineering. That they might have misjudged just how badly the Obama administration would mess things up is very cold comfort.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*This should sound familiar.

12 thoughts on “NBC: up to 10.5 million on track to have @BarackObama/Democratic party take away their health insurance.”

  1. The new big area of expansion will be in social security disability since you get medicare coverage along with it. It’s pretty bad out there when medicare looks like an improvement. If congresscritters were complaining about what they’d have to pay under O’bamacare what the heck made them think the average person who makes a lot less then they do would be able to afford it? The words idiocy and folishness don’t seem to quite cover what the Dems have done. And this is only the beginning we may be looking at a Krakatoa level event in the making. And it’s all the fault of O’bama and the Democrats no amount of spin is going to be able to obfuscate that little factoid.

  2. New dealine coming into view insurers who have joined the exchanges have until Oct.31 to withdraw if the find that HHS has materially breached the contract, and non functional exchanges can be defined as a material breech:


    Like I said we may be at the beginnign of a Krakatoa level socio-political-economic event. I don’t see any positive possible outcomes here.

      1. Is the D brand so strong there that they would elect the proverbial donkey, just because he can pay for the best PR? Ugh. Time to give something then.

      2. I was going with D.C.-suburban schlubs voting what they mistakenly think is their class interest, but .. yeah. The money doesn’t hurt.
        I think Cuccinelli’s the better candidate, but ..

        1. I was thinking that, but I was reading somewhere that McAuliffe is up 10 points. Has the state demographics skewed so much because of DC? If he does win by 10 then Virginia is more like California in my mind (with all of the negatives that will bring)

          1. 64% in the WaPo poll said they were voting against Cuccinelli. 6 in every 10 voters not because they think McAuliffe would be worth a shit but because they think Cuccinelli is worse crap. Sarvis, a pseudo libertarian is pulling 10% just on people thinking he can’t be worse than Cuccinelli or McAuliffe. This is the effect of McAullife spending all that dough that Moe talked about.

        2. I’ll put it this way, I live in Sullivan County, TN. Bristol, TN is in the same county. Bristol is a kind of unique town in that the TN/VA border runs through the middle of the city. I am in the Southwest VA media market. Literally inudated with McAuliffe commercials; I have seen two or three pro Cuccinelli commercials and those were actually by the NRA. In comparison, I know Mark Obenshain’s daughter is named Tucker because I have seen about a 100 of his commercials for AG. We are talking SW Va media market. Cuccinelli hasn’t a snow balls chance in hell if he doesn’t run up huge numbers in SW Va and the air is Terry McAuliffe vote suppression commercials.

      1. That was in the summer, now it’s just lack of funding and Terry having turned a good man by the name of Ken Cuccinelli into some sort of inhuman monster.
        It’s disgusting, but don’t expect Dems to apologize for their behavior/

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