schadenfreude

Do Not Laugh!

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My heart bleeds:

 

Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.

They are part of an unusual, informal health insurance system that has developed in New York, in which independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans, typically set up by their professional associations or chambers of commerce. That allowed them to avoid the sky-high rates in New York’s individual insurance market, historically among the most expensive in the country.       

But under the Affordable Care Act, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies. For many of them, that is likely to mean they will no longer have access to a wide network of doctors and a range of plans tailored to their needs. And many of them are finding that if they want to keep their premiums from rising, they will have to accept higher deductible and co-pay costs or inferior coverage. Continue reading

Quotes Suitable For Framing: Miracle on 34th Street

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But… but maybe he’s only a little crazy like painters or composers or… or some of those men in Washington.

Mr. Shellhammer, Miracle on 34th Street, (1947)

Something to brighten the Christmas Season courtesy of Mary Katharine Ham at Hot Air:

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, Hill staffers!

Capitol Hill staffers are hitting multiple obstacles in trying to enroll in the Obamacare exchange just days before the federal government’s deadline for getting coverage.

They and lawmakers have until Monday to sign up on DC Health Link, the District’s insurance exchange, if they want to maintain the government’s generous employer contribution to their health insurance.

But as crunch time approaches, Democratic and Republican staffers are getting error messages, denials, notices that they’re enrolled in multiple plans and incomplete confirmation — as well as a website that went down briefly Thursday.

Officials at DC Health Link say that they are working quickly to fix each problem. But the snags are causing a lot of frustration and grief.

I feel for anyone who has to go through this process who didn’t have a direct hand in passing this thing. As for the true believers, it is quite useful to have them experience exactly what the rest of America is going through. And, this is what that looks like:

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We are in the best of hands.

Rep. John Boehner’s journey through the system has been well documented. It took him 3-4 hours to find out his premiums will double and his co-pays and deductible tripled.

“I’m thrilled to death, as you can tell.”

An amendment to the Affordable Care Act required federal lawmakers and their personal staff to forfeit their government-sponsored health care plans and enroll in state-based insurance exchanges. The goal was to make lawmakers experience what many Americans face in the individual marketplace.

But with the enrollment deadline looming, the complaints are growing louder — and are aimed particularly at the D.C. small-business exchange that members of Congress are supposed to enroll in.

The D.C. exchange’s log-in tool experienced technical difficulties Thursday morning.

“Sigh. I was just in the middle of signing up,” the chief of staff for Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, tweeted in response to an internal Senate email about the hiccup.

Sen. Ted Cruz’s speechwriter and communications adviser Amanda Carpenter has also been tweeting her experiences. She went to a physical DC Health Link help line offered for staffers after her first online attempt failed. Continue reading

Maybe We Should Take Up a Collection?

 

 

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Well it’s a Friday, I will be picking up my son for Thanksgiving Break and then tomorrow, he, my bride and I will be going to Monmouth College to see my daughter performing in A Christmas Carol.  Life is good, and the story below makes it even better:

Veteran House Democratic aides are sick over the insurance prices they’ll pay under Obamacare, and they’re scrambling to find a cure.

“In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office (folks over 59) have now found out their personal health insurance costs (even with the government contribution) have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before,” Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO. “Simply unacceptable.” Continue reading

Schadenfreude

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I really do think that the average Obama voter really did believe that Obamacare would lead to lower health insurance prices, except for mean rich Republicans perhaps.  Many of them are now learning just how wrong they were:

 

 

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.

Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.

Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.

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But people with no pre-existing conditions like Vinson, a 60-year-old retired teacher, and Waschura, a 52-year-old self-employed engineer, are making up the difference.

“I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,”

 ”I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”

Both Vinson and Waschura have adjusted gross incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level — the cutoff for a tax credit. And while both said they anticipated their rates would go up, they didn’t realize they would rise so much.

“Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.” Continue reading

Election Schadenfreude

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No national polls today because of the disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see any more until last-minute weekend ones.  To tide over political junkies, there is a fun story in SFGate about California liberals petrified over the prospect that the Southside Messiah may not be reelected:

 

Uncomfortable 1st debate

Edelman hosted a bunch of friends to watch the debate over dinner. But after  the first five minutes unfolded, nobody ate. Few spoke. “And right after it  ended, everybody just got up and left,” she said.

Berkeley resident Jim  Blume yelled at the television while he watched the debate with family  and friends.

“C’mon! Say something! That’s wrong what he (Romney) is saying,” Blume  recalls telling the leader of the free world.

Alas, Obama didn’t respond to Blume’s pleas. And for the next two nights,  Blume didn’t sleep. A man who has voted for only one Republican in his life -  when the  Beatles were touring – found himself questioning Obama and the state of  the campaign.

“What was happening? Who was this guy?” Blume asked.

Zuzana Ikels knows the pain. Since the first debate, the Albany resident has  done a lot of poll checks at 3 a.m. And rechecks.

She tried to convince herself that the first debate wasn’t as bad as it  looked. Maybe, she said, it was like how you thought you bombed a test but you  really didn’t do that badly. Continue reading

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