Asshole of the week

And the winner is: Michael Cannon as he discusses ways to game PPACA open enrollment restrictions:

the Affordable Care Act creates so many incentives for enrollees to drop their coverage that maintaining those enrollment numbers may start to resemble something like pushing millions of people up a greased poll.

For Obamacare to work, people must enroll and stay enrolled. An estimated 20 percent of those who signed up have yet to pay their first premium, and as many as 5 percent stopped paying after the first month. If too many drop out, premiums could climb until the exchanges collapse.

Got to love “health policy experts” commenting on the individual market who don’t know shit about the individual market.  Traditionally the individual market is a very high churn market.  Most people only go on the individual market until something “better” comes along.  That something better is either employer sponsored insurance, government insurance such as CHIP, Medicare or Medicaid, or getting on someone else’s plan. 

Obamacare even more dramatically reduces the downside of going uninsured. For example, suppose the day after you cancel your health insurance, you receive a serious diagnosis like diabetes, or cancer. Pre-Obamacare, you would not be able to buy coverage for that illness. Under Obamacare, however, insurers are required to cover you at the same premium they charged when you were healthy. You may have to wait until January for that coverage to take effect, but even so the downside risk of going uninsured is much smaller.

If you’re young and invincible, it is likely that you’ll need major medical care from an accident than a big diagnosis.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan on getting into a car accident this afternoon or being shot by an asshole who was until a moment ago a “very responsible gun owner”(tm) who does not know how to unload his weapon before cleaning it.  Even for a big diagnosis that does not require care this afternoon, Mr. Cannon’s “ideas” are asinine or fraud:

  • If you live in one of the 25 or so states implementing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, you can get coverage immediately by reducing your income below 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($16,102 for a single adult). You can then restore your income when you enroll in an exchange plan in January — or even earlier, depending on how often your state verifies eligibility.

Impoverish your family (especially since his “advice” is for people who make too much for subsidies) instead of paying for insurance.

  • If you don’t live in a Medicaid-expansion state, you can move to one, as this Idaho family did.

Uproot your family and potentially commit fraud as some states have at least a thirty day period before residency is established.  And it has been (thankfully) a while since I’ve moved, but I remember it to be a stressful and non-instaneous event.  There is something about finding an apartment, signing a lease, and then getting the keys from a landlord.  If I have a major diagnosis, this is time spent gaming the system where I am either not getting treated or I’m running up massive bills paying out of pocket. 

The long form version of his “argument” has the sham marriage angle:

Newly married couples can enroll in an Exchange plan on their wedding day, with coverage starting on the first day of the following month, or even sooner. Happily married couples have been known get “Medicaid divorces” to qualify for Medicaid’s nursing-home coverage; we may soon see quickie “Obamacare marriages” formed solely to qualify people Exchange coverage. Websites could offer to arrange marriages between singles who share a sudden need for health insurance. Couples could divorce when they re-enroll in January.

Sure there is always the Vegas wedding route.  However, if I remember correctly, marriage has a massive set (like 1,000 or more) of  obligations, benefits, privileges and responsibilities bundled to that simple legal act.  This only works if the sick person is single AND can trust the sham marriage partner.  There is quite a lot of value of being the spouse of someone who has a good enough job and assets where they think it is cheaper to go naked than to get covered, and the divorce court judge would love to hear the explanation as to why alimony or support should not be given to the spouse as the marriage was intended to be just an open enrollment enabling sham.  Before I met my wife, I had a long, beer fueled conversations with a college friend about being mutual back-ups/green card marriage partners if we were both single in our late 30s.  That is a conversation worthy of college and good beer, not as a serious health policy. 

The converse is also true — Obamacare divorces are a costly, and dramatic.  A divorce, even if it is purely a sham, is time consuming.     An individual receiving a diagnosis on Tuesday won’t be divorced on Friday and coverage won’t start anyways until at least the 1st of the following month anyways.  There is a minimum 2.5 week gap between eligibility and coverage starts.  In some cases, there is a 6 week gap. 

Most states have a “cooling-off” period and even those that don’t, the courts don’t move that fast for amicable divorces.    The Britney Spears 55 hour marriage before annullment due to diminished mental capacity and reduced decision making is not the norm. Furthermore, assuming there are either kids or common property involved AND the two people want to stay involved in each others lives, the non-marriage replication of rights and responsibilities through powers of attorneys, advanced directives, living wills etc is, as gay couples living in bigot states can attest, expensive, time consuming, and not guaranteed to work.   So again, the divorce run-out period is time spent either not getting treated or running up massive out of pocket charges. 

And then finally there is this gem:

Alternatively, you could fill the gap with …. the money you saved on premiums; credit cards; or by relying on friends, family, or the kindness of strangers.

The  cheapest premium for a non-smoking 29 year old in one of the most expensive markets in the country (Southern Georgia) is $150/month for a Bronze plan.  So going naked through-out your 20s and using Mr. Cannon’s “advice” saves an individual no more than $15,000 (as a 21 year old is cheaper to insure than a 29 year old).  If that 29 year old lived in the cheapest markets in the country, their premiums would be 50% less.  $15,000 is enough to get you in the door at a cancer center for the first round of treatment if you are paying out of pocket and are lucky. $7,500 in cash will be laughed at a major cancer center.   And what is the probability that a 23 year old will put consistently put $1,000 a year into a HSA instead of spending it on rent, food, student loan debt or beer?  Or the other option is to go into life crushing debt and beg to be considered the “deserving poor”

Mr. Cannon, you sir, are the Asshole of the Week.

83 replies
  1. 1
    c u n d gulag says:

    Richard,
    It’s only Tuesday!
    Or, does your rating period go from Wednesday to Tuesday?

  2. 2
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @c u n d gulag: The original Op-ed/Extended cut was from April 22, so he won it for last week’s work

  3. 3
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Hell, he’s an asshole just for writing the phrase “greased poll” in a context not involving Frank Luntz.

    Homonyms, people. You’re supposed to learn them in the third grade.

  4. 4
    gratuitous says:

    Well, there does seem to be one valid point lurking in Cannon’s dumbassery: people who live in a state where they can’t get insured might very well pick up and move to a state where they can get insured. I’m not sure how that works out to be a “failure” for the Affordable Care Act, but I think Republicans have run out of straws to grasp and are now satisfied with grasping at the air inside of straws.

  5. 5
    HR Progressive says:

    Anyone who dispenses the advice to rely on “the kindness of strangers” for help has clearly never needed it themselves, and probably thinks you’re some sort of heathen if you do.

    Methinks this guy’s Assholism might extend beyond a mere week.

  6. 6
    smith says:

    Can hardly wait until some young Randians try these schemes and find themselves much poorer and/or much sicker. Of course, at that point it will all be Obama’s fault.

    Also, have you been sandbagged by spellcheck? “Young invisible” or “young invincible”?

  7. 7
    dubo says:

    Before I met my wife, I had a long, beer fueled conversations with a college friend about being mutual back-ups/green card marriage partners if we were both single in our late 30s. That is a conversation worthy of college and good beer, not as a serious health policy.

    Serious Health Policy Thinks plagiarized from an Adam Sandler Movie
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0762107/

  8. 8
    dubo says:

    Before I met my wife, I had a long, beer fueled conversations with a college friend about being mutual back-ups/green card marriage partners if we were both single in our late 30s. That is a conversation worthy of college and good beer, not as a serious health policy.

    Serious Health Policy Thinks plagiarized from an Adam Sandler Movie
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0762107/

  9. 9
    beth says:

    You may have to wait until January for that coverage to take effect, but even so the downside risk of going uninsured is much smaller.

    Yeah, right, When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, his first response was “can we operate tomorrow?”. No one wants to wait months to deal with their cancer or diabetes. What a moron. Are their arguments against Obamacare getting stupider and stupider or I am I just really losing my patience with them?

  10. 10
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Are you (or your spellchecker) confusing “invisible” and “invincible,” or is there some context I’m unaware of?

  11. 11

    Impovish your family (especially since his “advise” is for people who make too much for subsidies) instead of paying for insurance.

    Ironically, that was the system pre-Obamacare. I’m amazed Michael Cannon is unaware of that fact.

  12. 12
    MomSense says:

    @beth:

    Are their arguments against Obamacare getting stupider and stupider or I am I just really losing my patience with them?

    Both.

  13. 13
    MikeJ says:

    $15,000 is enough to get you in the door at a cancer center for the first round of treatment if you are paying out of pocket and are lucky.

    When my dad had a heart attack the ambulance company billed $15,000. Nobody[1] paid that much, but that was the bill. If you were the person responsible for paying that bill and had no insurance, you would be hounded for the rest of your life.

    [1] The hospital I drove him to wound up paying whatever they paid. They lost power in the middle of his cardiac cath procedure[2] and called the ambulance to send him to another hospital.
    [2] Backup power worked fine, but the equipment went tits up went they switched back to utility power. Happily, as soon as the power went out the doc started pulling out.

  14. 14
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Inability to spell on my part.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    or being shot by an asshole who was until a moment ago a “very responsible gun owner”(tm) who does not know how to unload his weapon before cleaning it.

    Shrill! Shrill!

    I feel the Brooksian vapors coming on!

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I’m amazed Michael Cannon is unaware of that fact.

    I’m not. The man is obviously a fuckhead.

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gin & Tonic: “If Arthas’ horse is named Invincible, why can I see him?”

    Sorry, WoW geek joke.

    I’ll go sit in the corner now.

  18. 18
    srv says:

    Now you see all the desperate actions Americans are driven to under this regime.

    Wingnut was telling me all the doctors are going to drop out and move to cash only. Then I thought that might be a real cost containment measure, since we can only get $500 out of the ATM at a time.

  19. 19
    Mary G says:

    Because moving is free…NOT! I always say the people most opposed to Obamacare have never been sick enough to see actual medical bills.

    I love your posts, RM.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @smith: If said actions by young Randians result in their early demise, I’m seeing an upside for non-stupid people here.

  21. 21
    beth says:

    @srv: Well that’s better than my wingnut relatives who keep telling me that soon there will be absolutely no doctors at all because they’re all going to leave medicine I guess to go work at Wal-Mart?

  22. 22
    Patrick says:

    Since this guy is against the ACA, I assume he has also written similar articles on Medicare. Or is he one of the many GOP hypocrites who is against ACA, but can’t live without Medicare?

    “Get the government of my Medicare”

  23. 23
    Stan of the Sawgrass says:

    @Bobby Thomson:
    Actually, “greased poll” is the best inadvertent pun I’ve seen in years! Useful too– I recommend it as a replacement for “push poll.”

    Also, I agree Cannon is an uncomprehending prick, but aren’t you just making an ad homonym argument here?

  24. 24
    boatboy_srq says:

    a) Isn’t it common practice for Reichwingnuts to insist that people are gaming the [insert starvation-and-homeless-preventing public policy] system by becoming part of Teh Poorz? I’ve heard the same about Medicaid for decades. And I’ve yet to see anyone especially eager to endure the grinding-poverty-just-above-living-in-a-box-under-a-bridge conditions just to get into that program.

    b) Isn’t there already an entire industry (comprised of attorneys, investment counselors and accountants) that already “transfers” the wealth of the elderly to their descendants so that they can qualify for public assistance?

    Not that I’m particularly averse to item B here – eldercare is horrifically expensive, and any way to soften the blows there is useful for the retiree and caregivers as well as the rest of the family – but they’ve already played that hand, and it didn’t win the pot the way they thought it would.

    BTW: Mr. Mayhew:

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan on getting into a car accident this afternoon or being shot by an asshole who was until a moment ago a “very responsible gun owner™” who does not know how to unload his weapon before cleaning it.

    That wins the Intertubz for the week.

  25. 25
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @Stan of the Sawgrass: No, I am calling him a name (asshole) and then providing evidence that supports the argument that he is an asshole. An Ad Hom would be me calling him a goat fucker and leaving it at that as a means of discrediting an argument without actually providing reason or support as to why his argument makes him a goat fucker.

  26. 26
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Stan of the Sawgrass: I see what you did there.

  27. 27

    Can you opt into the Nick Gillespie’s leather jacket plan? It keeps you warm, can be cut into strips for bandages, looks “cool”. Does everything, really. who needs healthcare?

  28. 28
    dmsilev says:

    I found this to be the most impressive of his suggestions:

    If you’re pregnant, your can use one of these Medicaid options for immediate prenatal care, and/or enroll in Exchange coverage effective the day your child is born.

    Need insurance for that car accident you just got into? Well ladies, we have you covered! Just get yourself knocked up, wait a mere 9 months, and then you’re good to go!

    (I’m half surprised he didn’t suggest ‘get pregnant, get on Medicaid, and then have an abortion’)

  29. 29
    Gypsy Howell says:

    I like his theory that not having insurance and paying cash at the hospital results in a lower charge for services than the negotiated rate you’d get through insurance. Just the opposite in the real world.

  30. 30
    muddy says:

    If you’re on Medicaid, expanded or no, you have to immediately report any changes in your income from any source. You can’t just move, change $ etc once you are signed up.

  31. 31
    lgerard says:

    The idea that people who are uninsured have chosen that status via some sort of convoluted cost/benefit analysis makes me laugh out loud.

  32. 32
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Richard Mayhew:
    D’OH!!!
    I shoulda known.

  33. 33
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gypsy Howell: This man does not live in the real world. He lives in 1% land where socialism is the law.

  34. 34
    MomSense says:

    @dmsilev:

    Or you could just borrow money from your parents! That’s the genius of Mitt Romney. His advice is perfect for every situation.

  35. 35

    Republican philosophers just can’t face the central issue, the one argument that dominates the whole concept of Obamacare and makes all their silly arguments meaningless. Not having insurance sucks. Knowing that you can’t go to a doctor when you’re sick sucks. Knowing that death and/or bankruptcy awaits if you’re even a little unlucky doesn’t just suck, it’s terrifying. If your arguments about Obamacare don’t take into account that people desperately want what it offers, you’re just talking shit.

    @dubo:
    Once again, Mr. Cannon, you miss the obvious: You didn’t go through with this plan, and neither did any of your friends.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    If your arguments about Obamacare don’t take into account that people desperately want what it offers, you’re just talking shit.

    Well, they’re always talking shit about everything, not just Obamacare, so there’s that.

  37. 37
    catclub says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Invisible to death and his scythe?
    Of course, death is free. It is healthcare to keep alive that you need to be invisible to.

  38. 38

    Perhaps Richard or someone can weigh in on this weird experience I had when I went for my annual mammogram recently. I suspect it’s the hospital trying to trick people who are new to the healthcare system, but then again, maybe I’m being unfair. I’ve just never had a hospital billing department tell me I can pay if I want to and get reimbursed later, like anyone would actually WANT to do that.

  39. 39
    Another Holocene Human says:

    You may have to wait until January for that coverage to take effect, but even so the downside risk of going uninsured is much smaller.

    Lol. This is one of the dumbest notions I have ever seen.

    And it’s not like there wasn’t downside risk to being INSURED pre-PPACA. Like trying to file a claim and having the insurer retroactively cancel your insurance. That happened to me in MASSACHUSETTS which has a strong consumer protection law. (That’s the reason I got my premiums refunded–thank goodness nothing really serious had happened!!) Has he forgotten that if you got on insurance after making all the proper incantations and then turned up with certain conditions within the first 12 months they might decide it was pre-existing after all and refuse coverage? Henghhhh???

    “Oh noes, we can’t rip the clothes off the backs of our suffering, even dying marks any more!” is just not a persuasive argument where I sit. Boo. Fucking. Hoo. You’re guaranteed 20% to cover all non-medical expenses and ought to be able to squeeze a good living out of it. Kind of like the electric company. Stop whining.

  40. 40
    Tone In DC says:

    Impovish your family (especially since his “advise” is for people who make too much for subsidies) instead of paying for insurance

    Richard, I really appreciate your writing. Thanks for all you contribute to my blog reading.

    Just one quick thing, though. I figure you meant “impoverish”.
    Having gone grammar police for just a moment, we return to our regularly scheduled B-J comments/rants/baseless personal attacks.

  41. 41

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Yeah, but that ties together. Like all abusers, they don’t just want to hurt people, they demand praise for it. If real people actually need help rather than cruelty, Republicans don’t get their ego rush. They NEED that fix of asshole self-righteousness, man. If that means ignoring what’s right in front of them, so be it.

  42. 42
    Roger Moore says:

    @beth:

    Are their arguments against Obamacare getting stupider and stupider or I am I just really losing my patience with them?

    Fallacy of the excluded middle.

  43. 43
    MomSense says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I was under the impression that mammography is considered preventive care and is covered at 100% without co-pays or being counted as deductible.

  44. 44

    @MomSense:

    That was what I thought, too. That’s why I was so confused. I never had to pay before. I doubt I’ll have to pay anything, I just thought it was really sleazy of them to even ASK. Or as they put it, “offer me this great opportunity to pay IF I WANT TO.”

    WTF.

  45. 45

    @MomSense:

    That was what I thought, too. That’s why I was so confused. I never had to pay before. I doubt I’ll have to pay anything, I just thought it was really sleazy of them to even ASK. Or as they put it, “offer me this great opportunity to pay IF I WANT TO.”

    WTF.

  46. 46
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Southern Beale: I was really aghast but then I saw that your hospital is owned by Rick Scott which pretty much explains it all. He is a crook and he wants all your monies. Since he’s going to lose in the fall he needs monies more than ever.

    Have you complained at all to BCBS? After all, they negotiate a price and apparently this hospital is trying to go around them. I guess it depends if you’re in an employer self-insured plan (which will probably start making phone calls) or some massive group where BCBS provides the reinsurance, which may not get off its red tape bound ass to bother.

    You could try the Tenn AG office, dunno if they actually care about the little guy or are too busy god-bothering and trying to attack ACA and figure out who had an abortion.

  47. 47
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @Tone In DC: TY

  48. 48
    Another Holocene Human says:

    If you live in one of the 25 or so states implementing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, you can get coverage immediately by reducing your income below 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($16,102 for a single adult).

    I love this “plan”. It ought to be repeated everywhere.

  49. 49
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @Southern Beale: Actually, this is legal and from a certain POV, it is legit. The hospital’s defense is that there is a decent probability that the contracted rate between the insurer and the hospital for the service will be consumed entirely by deductible, so the patient is going to pay either today or in 3 months, so getting the money today reduces cash flow fluctuations for the hospital.. and when the hospital bills the insurer, the deducitble is automatically applied.

    Skeevy but not illegal.

  50. 50

    @Richard Mayhew:

    Thanks, I didn’t think it was illegal but definitely sleazy and greedy.

    But I’m sure I’ll get a newsletter with a bunch of cool recipes and exercise tips in it, so I will continue to love them and know that they really, really care! /sarcasm

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I believe that MRS Rick Scott is the owner now, as it would be, um, unethical for Rick Scott to be both the owner of a chain of hospitals AND Governor of Florida.

  52. 52

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Again, this is the existing “plan.” I know people who are spending their elderly mother’s money so they can get Medicaid to pay for her nursing care.

    Poverty as a “plan,” sorta like “you can get free healthcare at any hospital if you’re poor!” Not much of a plan if you ask me.

    Stupid conservatives.

  53. 53
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @gratuitous: I think they will move, too, but not in really enormous numbers (the poorest people have way too much to lose by moving away from family, and those that moved away from family as soon as they turned 18 are, you know, already gone). As Mayhew points out, it’s not an instant fix and rather a slow drip drip. Likely as the economy improves in expansion states vs non that will also draw people, just as states that took the stimulus well out-performed (MN vs WI) states that refused it. And there may be some in-state moving by older, sicker people from rural areas into bigger cities as the refusal to take Medicaid expansion forces the closure of more rural hospitals. There’s nothing really keeping rural people who aren’t engaged in agricultural there but inertia and fear of the cities.

    There are always poor young couples anticipating a first child who will be thinking about a lot of factors including healthcare availability. A friend of a friend had a baby in Canada for this reason, but she was quite rare. (And the Canadians have made this tougher.) She was from Texas which has had one of the absolute worst records on health insurance coverage for children. If a couple is already planning to move I’m sure the healthcare status of the state will go into scoring along with job availability, average rent, climate, etc.

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Stupid conservatives.

    Department of Redundancy Department alert!

  55. 55

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Actually, Rick Scott got fired from HCA almost 20 years ago after creating the largest healthcare fraud scandal in U.S. history. He retired to Florida with his $5 million golden parachute.

    The company was founded by the Frists (of Senator/Dr. Bill “I’ll diagnose Terri Schiavo via videotape” Frist.) I don’t know what ownership stake they still have in the company.

  56. 56
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I love this “plan”. It ought to be repeated everywhere.

    The bosses keep wages artificially low and Republican pols refuse to raise the minimum wage. Then they complain that people are signing up for Medicaid. The cons are masters of throwing shit all over people and then complaining that they stink.

  57. 57
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You assume Governor Voldemort has ethics. That’s so cute.

  58. 58
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: My neighbor, who didn’t get insurance thanks to Rick Scott & the Florida Lege, is now seriously searching for another job. She’s been FT for a year and promoted once but the boss, despite telling her he wants her to stick around long term, is not offering any benefits.

    She’s not obsessing over insurance like she did over a car because her walk to work was getting pretty scary. She’s still in her 20s. But she is pretty upset about not having it. Every time it comes up her voice rises. She’s the kind of voter that the GOP wants to keep home because she knows exactly who is fucking up her life right now.

  59. 59
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @catclub: Death is not free. Have you been to a funeral home lately?

  60. 60
    Keith G says:

    Folks will claim all sorts of imagined awfulness (and a few real problems), but in this case, time is on the side of the good guys. This system is fiendishly complex and from what I have experienced, very few of the actors involved were ready for what the process entailed.

    As things evolve, it will be in the administrations advantage if they wage what would be in effect a propaganda campaign to keep good information out in front of the public. That certainly would be a worthwhile change.

  61. 61
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Southern Beale: IDK, but HCA executives/administrators had his back when he ran for governor–they’re basically the reason he won.

    His wife owns Solantic which I thought was still tied to HCA somehow. Solantic is a chain of shitty/sleazy urgent care clinics. They refused to forward my records to another practice so I refuse to go there any more. They have now changed their name AGAIN (3 names in 5 years?) because that way nobody will catch on that they’re that Solantic, the one that sucks.

    Urgent care was better and cheaper when all the docs were from India and trying to get their US license. Now it’s a mix of MDs who I guess must have been through a bankrupcy or something and various levels of nurses with various levels of actual knowledge. The 4-year degree nurses can do about everything a doctor can at those places but those 2-yr degree nurses are like ignorance embodied. They can do nursing tasks but don’t ask them medical questions.

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @boatboy_srq: He does have ethics. They’re Bizzaro ethics, but they’re ethics. Sort of like how you can say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it was an ethos.

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Keith G: This assumes of course that the MSM is a neutral player in this process.

    It is not.

    The deck is stacked against Obama getting his message out.

  64. 64
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I stand corrected. He did indeed attempt to carry out his campaign promises, which has to count for something. Something Lawful Evil, probably, but still something. Makes you wonder which is worse: the creature FL elected, or the bitter resentful electorate who played dumb afterward: “Sure I voted for the guy – I liked what he said – but I never thought he’d actually DO it!”

  65. 65
    Calouste says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    Quite obvious the man has never even looked at an Explanation of Benefits statement. I’ve seen enough items on there along the line of: Provider charges $140, Insurance pays $20, My cost $0.

    American health insurance charges should be filed between the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson.

  66. 66
    Keith G says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Some are (actively hostile), but even if, that does not have to be decisive.

    To my knowledge, no media platform (excepting a very few bad actors) would turn down a conversation with a Cabinet Secretary, Senior Adviser, Congressional Leader, Vice President, or POTUS himself – not to mention a score of slightly less important Executive Branch officials. There is a game to be played, and be played it must.

    Yes it can.

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    “Sure I voted for the guy – I liked what he said – but I never thought he’d actually DO it!”

    Proof positive that Homer Simpson lives in America’s wang.

  68. 68
    NorthLeft12 says:

    And now the RWNJs are counciling people how to avoid being accountable and responsible.

    Frankly, they are the experts at dodging their responsibilities to US society; ie. avoiding the draft, taxes, criminal liability, alimony and child support payments,…….just like they complain about those other people doing.

    Project much?

  69. 69
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NorthLeft12:

    Project much?

    Like the octoplex down at the mall on Memorial Day Weekend!

    Pass the popcorn!

  70. 70
    Flying Squirrel Girl says:

    Anyone who opposes the ACA has never had to accompany their mom to her cancer treatment appointments at the local free clinic. Fuck these assholes.

  71. 71
    gorram says:

    Obamacare even more dramatically reduces the downside of going uninsured. For example, suppose the day after you cancel your health insurance, you receive a serious diagnosis like diabetes, or cancer. Pre-Obamacare, you would not be able to buy coverage for that illness. Under Obamacare, however, insurers are required to cover you at the same premium they charged when you were healthy.

    Wasn’t the GOP argument all through 2012 that the mandate made this prohibitively expensive though?

    Just because Obamacare makes it possible to find health care in an emergency where you haven’t had it but just got a serious diagnosis doesn’t mean it makes that a desirable situation. But just the fact that people can pay for a service these companies offer is apparently too much for their massive profits to take!

  72. 72
    burnspbesq says:

    @beth:

    Are their arguments against Obamacare getting stupider and stupider or I am I just really losing my patience with them?

    Both, it would appear. Although even the first round of arguments was pretty damn stupid.

  73. 73
    Keith says:

    The other effort Cannon is pushing for is making all premium support given the insured through the federal exchange invalid. His sick cheer-leading for any (other) means to bring the ACA down – even at the expense of those in red states that most need premium support – would be merely unseemly. Like someone with a penchant for brutalizing ants with a magnifying glass on a sunny day. Would be, if it were not that a GHW Bush appointee to the bench bought the Halbig plaintiff’s facetious argument (which Cannon cheers) that Congress only ever intended to give premium support through state-based exchanges. Thus, he argues, no policy bought on the Federal Exchange (established in lieu of a single state exchange only because said state would not establish such an exchange) would ever qualify for premium support.

    It is a yearning for a win that ignores any carnage, turns a blind eye to collateral damage and embraces no redeeming human quality – not life, not even liberty and certainly not the pursuit of happiness.

  74. 74
    Chris Grrr says:

    @dmsilev: Coverage can become effective only on the first day of the month, so those pregnancies better be timed just right.

  75. 75
    Jeffro says:

    @Another Holocene Human: How does someone even write that without laughing to themselves? (the quote, not your comment) So amaze!

  76. 76
    bemused says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I read your story and we too have received those “healthy” choice coupons. I actually called Blue Cross and asked why a health insurance company is sending us coupons for food that isn’t healthy or barely and that I never buy those products. I thought it was pretty bizarre.

  77. 77
    Barry says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “If said actions by young Randians result in their early demise, I’m seeing an upside for non-stupid people here. ”

    Like the old joke that Obama should strongly warn Americans about the dangers of drinking bleach?

  78. 78
    Barry says:

    @muddy: “If you’re on Medicaid, expanded or no, you have to immediately report any changes in your income from any source. You can’t just move, change $ etc once you are signed up. ”

    And IIRC, if you move to another state, you’re off the first state’s rolls, and not on the second states rolls for a while (maybe until the next year).

  79. 79
    r€nato says:

    I’m going to really stick it to Obama! I’m going to drop my insurance, get in a horrible car wreck, then get back on Obamacare so that I can pay virtually no premiums and stick the insurer with my massive hospital bills!

    Who’s with me?

  80. 80
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @r€nato: You first, I’ll follow as the Germans won’t be expecting the 43rd rush out of the trenches after they defeated the first 42

  81. 81
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    And the fundamental point here: Cannon is spinning out a bunch of fantasies and fapping to them in public. It has no relevance to reality.

  82. 82
    g says:

    WTF? This idiot thinks people are going to do spend their times jumping on and off policies, getting married, divorced and moving in and out of state, just so that they can game the system by being covered by health insurance….when, alternately, they could just stay covered by affordable health insurance?

    The wingnut mind is a strange thing. You game the system when the thing you want isn’t accessible otherwise. Not when it is.

  83. 83
    Shantanu Saha says:

    Cannon’s essential argument seems to be that Obamacare is a failure because a small subset of sociopaths will game the system for their own benefit at everyone else’s expense. I can name another system that is perceived by many to similarly be a failure. They call it… Capitalism.

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