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Dems manage to frame "public option" as welfare?

"?" since the sourcing is a tweet:

Karen Tumulty was on a press call with the HELP committee to hear about Kennedy's bill, and she just posted a tweet with the following...

Senate HELP bill: If u hate ur employer's coverage, u have to keep it, unless it costs 12.5% of ur salary. No public plan 4 u.

Looks like you were right ML - anyone above a certain income level is f*cked with this new reform bill. It's Mass-Care all over again :(

Means testing == welfare.

Well done, all.

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a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

from here:

The Health Insurance Exchanges: States would run them. They would be available for the uninsured, people on the non-group market, and small businesses. There would be a so-called "firewall" preventing larger employers from using the exchanges. In the scenario where employees of a large employer are not offered coverage meeting the minimum standards and costing less than 12.5 percent of their income, then and only then can they go to the exchange. (For more on health insurance exchanges, see this primer.)

The public plan: In a slightly weird turn of events. HELP is calling its public option "the Community Health Insurance Option." You have to wonder if that's not an effort to steal some of Sen. Kent Conrad's co-op compromise thunder. It's a level-playing field style plan, and it's available on only the health insurance exchanges.

Submitted by hipparchia on

the 12.5% is for anyone whose income is over 400% of poverty level. as your income goes down, so does that percentage, i think [not entirely sure; i just now got to that part in my reading of the bill].

but yeah, obama kept the if you like your insurance, you can keep it part of his campaign promise. but no, you can't change to a better plan if you don't like your [employer-provided] insurance.

Submitted by lambert on

So, "If you like your insurance, you can keep it."

But that doesn't mean "If you don't like your insurance, you can get anything better."

Yay! Well done, progressives!

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

They always did say he was wicked smart, and I never got why. But you've convinced me. Logically correct. Tricky!

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

12.5% at and over 400% of poverty level (and I'm tempted to go off on a rant about "poverty level," a particular bugaboo of mine)

... and the 12.5% is to be "ratably reduced" to 1% at 150% of the poverty level. I take that to mean that it will reduce stepwise at the same rate as the income goes down from 400% to 150% of the poverty level, that is, reduced at a rate of 1% for every 20% of the poverty level decrease in income (if I've done the arithmetic correctly):

11.5% at 380% of poverty level
10.5% at 360% of poverty level
(I'm not saying that the steps will be 20% steps, just that this is the sort of thing that language means.)

Submitted by hipparchia on

i'm looking for the answer to dcb's question -- whether this bill prevents states from enacting their own single payer plans.

but i'd say you're correct, premiums will cost you 1% of your income if you're just above 150% of fpl, with some kind of sliding scale in bewteen.

Submitted by hipparchia on

the basics --

- there will health insurance exchanges, where one of the plans for sale will be 'the public plan' [and it's still undefined at this point, thoough i'm not all the way through the bill yet].

- the public plan will only be available through the exchanges. if you [or your employer] don't qualify to shop for your insurance through an exchange, you [or your employer] can't get the public plan, not for love nor money.

- only small employers [25 or fewer employees], the uninsured, the self-employed, and those whose employers do not offer affordable insurance will be allowed to buy their insurance from the exchanges.

- the definition of affordable insurance [for those making more than 400% of fpl] is that the amount you pay for the premiums [or your share, if your employer pays part] can be up to 12.5% of your adjusted gross income [this number does not include the cost of copays, deductibles, etc, just premiums].

- if you are eligible for medicaid, you will be steered to medicaid, you won't qualify for any subsidies with which buy anything in the exchange [which knocks about 20 million of the uninsured out of the potential pool for the public plan].

- if you are eligible for schip you will have the choice of staying in schip or taking the subsidy to buy a plan [either private of the public option] through the exchange.

they've basically structured it so that only about 20 million people can even get into the exchange, and probably not everyone who can get in is going to want the public plan.


the best strategy, i think, will be to get yourself fired [so that you truly will have a choice of plans], start your own business [selling stuff on ebay?], make 151% of poverty level [keeps you off of medicaid, but gets you the maximum subsidy to buy a plan from the exchange], and then buy the public plan, whatever it turns out to be.

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

it's not a mandate to buy private insurance, because in this draft, the "public option" (called "Community health insurance" in the bill) is part of the Health Insurance Exchanges, in fact (according to Ezra Klein; I haven't gotten that far) only available through the exchanges. So you could buy into that, you lucky ducky! < /irony >

Submitted by jawbone on

go batshit crazy. Of course, it took a while for them to develop this level of batshitty craziness.

I'm feeling sick to my stomach about these bastards and the parasite pampering.

Does Ted Kennedy know what's being done in his name? Surely he learned from his attempt to be bipartisan about education?

mass's picture
Submitted by mass on

Ted Kennedy flew into MA to photo-op with Mitt Romney for the signing of, so I don't think he would disapprove. I actually think his heart is in the right place. This sort of concoction will help the lower middle class, just not the rest of us, and not the long-term cost to the nation.

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

...lower middle class (a working poor person) with pre--existing conditions who can't get any insurance (even if his pay for it) now?

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

There is so much being written these days that it's hard to keep up - let alone make heads or tails out of it. That's why I come here - at least I feel I'm getting information that is pertinent to the needs of "The People".