Health Care Reform: Good News, Bad News

15 Jan

Obamacare according to insurance industry

As the new year turned over, I went for a visit with my health insurance broker to discuss upcoming changes in the insurance industry. After I talked him down from the ledge, he filled me in on how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect me and you in the coming years. Now, since it came from an insurance professional, the info may be slightly less-than-balanced; but here’s my understanding of what’s good and bad about Obamacare:

1. GOOD NEWS: If you are already insured—particularly with an established health insurance provider—your costs will only rise about 5%.
BAD NEWS: That only applies to 2013. Next year your monthly costs will octuple and you’ll have to either sell your healthiest child to the salt mines or take that job as CEO of Time-Warner.

2. GOOD NEWS: As of 2014, insurance companies must provide coverage for any adult who requests it (regardless of their health status), as well as for all their children up to age 26. Also, they must spend at least 80% of premiums on medical services for their customers.
BAD NEWS: As of 2015, insurance companies will be bankrupt. Sell those stocks now, baby.

3. GOOD NEWS: After years of complaints about how supremely good Congressional insurance is compared to everyone else’s, legislators have made it a rule that every citizen have access to the quality care our elected officials enjoy for their entire lives.
BAD NEWS: You’ll need to sell three children, your house, your pet, the CEOs of Time-Warner and Microsoft, and your mint collection of original Beatles vinyl to afford it—and that’s just for the monthly premiums. The deductible is equivalent to the GNP of France.

4. GOOD NEWS: Everyone—including the unemployed, people with chronic illness, and the homeless—will be required to purchase health insurance, which will encourage them to go to the doctor instead of waiting for their health issues to become expensive emergencies.
BAD NEWS: The unemployed, people with chronic illness, and the homeless—as well as prostitutes, meth dealers, bohemian street mimes, and singer-songwriters—still won’t be able to afford the high premiums (not being personally acquainted with any CEOs to trade in), so the government will pay for it instead. To get the funding, the feds will mug state governments or the wealthy, or simply ask insurers to cover the cost by raising your premiums.

5. GOOD NEWS: Confident that the federal government has everything in hand, medical providers will stop overcharging insurance companies to cover the cost of deadbeat patients.
BAD NEWS: Ha ha ha. Riiiight.

6. GOOD NEWS: Companies with 50 or more employees will be required to provide health insurance. Small businesses will get tax credits if they offer insurance, also.
BAD NEWS: Unless these small companies are drug cartels, they likely won’t be able to afford the insurance. To help out, the government will fine them $2,000 per employee per day until they go out of business, freeing them from this financial obligation.

7. GOOD NEWS: With the “healthcare crisis” averted, medical professionals will be able to focus more on healing the sick and injured than on their exhausting, resource-and-paperwork-intensive efforts to recover unpaid fees from clients, insurance companies, and state and federal governments.
BAD NEWS: By 2017, any doctors still making over minimum wage will discover heretofore unimagined levels of paperwork and red tape, prompting them either to flee to a desert island with no government, or take up meth or songwriting so they can get insurance.


5 Responses to “Health Care Reform: Good News, Bad News”

  1. Atticus January 15, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    I can’t afford any more deductions from my paycheck. 😦

    • Maximum Know-How January 15, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

      Maybe the feds can simplify it by taking ALL of your paycheck except for one deduction—your living stipend.

      • Atticus January 15, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

        I was paid today – 2% less – feels sooo good. Thanks Obama!!


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