Dennis the Peasant: “It’s interesting to note that this sounds exactly like the sort of thing that would happen if you allowed a bunch of health insurance industry plutocrats to write a law to guarantee their profits.”
This statement from Dennis in response to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate that under Obamacare, you will be required to buy insurance (even if you don’t need it or don’t want it) to the tune of about $12K/year for most families:
If Congress passes the Senate health-care plan, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, American families will be required by federal law to buy a federally approved health insurance plan that will cost a minimum of $12,000 per year–and, on average, will cost $15,000 per year — whether their employer or the government helps them with the premium or not.
Beginning in 2014, the Senate plan would require all individuals to buy health insurance. Anyone who does not obtain insurance through an employer would be forced to buy it out of their own pocket. Families of four that make up to 400 percent of poverty level–currently $88,200 per year–would receive a subsidy from the government to help pay for their premiums. That subsidy would attenuate as their income increased and would disappear when their income reached the 400 percent of poverty level.
Families earning more than $88,200 a year (or whatever 400 percent of the poverty level equals in any given year) would be entirely on their own. Under the Senate bill, employers would not be required to purchase health insurance for their workers, and if they decided not to do so, the maximum penalty they would have to pay would be $750 per year for each worker they did not insure who subsequently received a federal subsidy to buy insurance. The $750 penalty on employers who decided not to insure their workers would be far less than they would pay in premiums for the $12,000 minimum required plan.
According to the CBO analysis, the insurance plans the Senate bill would require families to purchase would cost an average of $15,200 per year in 2016.
“Average premiums among all types of plans in 2016 would be about $5,800 for single policies and about $15,200 for family policies,” CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf wrote in a letter to Sen. Olympa Snowe (R-Maine).
But even the bare-bones, minimum coverage required by the individual mandate in the bill–known as the “Bronze” level insurance plans–would cost families an estimated $12,000 to $12,500 a year, Elmendorf told Snowe.
“Overall, CBO estimates that premiums for Bronze plans purchased individually in 2016 would probably average between $4,500 and $5,000 for single policies and between $12,000 and $12,500 for family policies,” he wrote.
At “bronze” level, an insurance plan covers only 60 percent of medical services. “Silver” level plans cover 70 percent, and “Gold” level plans cover 85 percent or more.
Elmendorf reiterated the average cost to anyone not covered under an employer policy in a letter to Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.): “Average premiums per policy in the nongroup market in 2016 would be roughly $5,800 for single policies and $15,200 for family policies under the proposal, compared with roughly $5,500 for single policies and $13,100 for family policies under current law.
Premiums for specific individuals would differ somewhat on the basis of their age, average spending on health care in their area of the country, and the specific plan they chose, Elmendorf added.
Experts predict that more and more families will be forced off of employer insurance and have to buy their own coverage because employers will be faced with the choice of paying premiums of several thousands dollars per employee for group insurance or paying a fine of just $750 per employee for not providing coverage.
Our only hope — other than voting every single person who voted for this out of office in 2010 and 2012 — is to make sure our state Governors and legislatures stand strong against this unconstitutional affront and invoke the 10th amendment to refuse to force its citizens to purchase insurance from the federal government.
We’re all seriously fucked now — well, except for the members of Congress who have exempted themselves from this travesty, and Labor unions who have been exempted from it too. Look for other Democrat voting blocks to get their exemptions, too, during reconciliation.