if this is the best AFP can do, does that mean that no one is truly being harmed by Obamacare? Hell, I’m a diehard defender of Obamacare, and even I concede that there ought to be at least hundreds of thousands of people who are truly worse off than they were with their old plans. But if that’s the case, why is it that every single hard luck story like this falls apart under the barest scrutiny?
There are a couple of categories of people who are undeniably worse off under Obamacare than they would have been under a no change policy. They can be clustered into a few broad groups.
- People earning over $250,000 per year in Modified Adjusted Gross Income who have employer sponsored health care or Medicare and are paying more in taxes
- Young single males with absolutely no health problems, no relatives with health problems and incomes over 250% Federal Poverty Line that previously had a $42 a month, $25,000 deductible plans that did not cover maternity or mental health needs. Those policies got cancelled and they actually have to buy good insurance. Young guys making under $25,000 a year usually will get decent subsidies, past that, it is hard to be sympathetic to someone bitching that they (a member of a high accident group) have to buy decent insurance. Avik Roy has been trying to make this class sympathetic and failing miserably)
Those are the two big classes of losers under the law. Neither are particularly sympathetic. Most insurance companies (mine included) have a very unofficial directive of “Don’t make us the highlight of a sob story on all four major local news channels tomorrow” to their employees. There are bumps, there are gaps in transition, and there are screw-ups but the insurance companies are trying not to fuck up transitions of care. The AFP ads have been “horror” stories for transitions of care as that is a privileged subset of people who are touching PPACA policies — people who had pretty decent insurance before Jan. 1, 2014.