But we didn't mean this!!!!!

Supracentral

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#1
There's a certain level of schadenfreude that comes about when you're right time after time after time...

I'd say "I hate to tell you..." but that would be a lie. I'm actually laughing my ass off.

In the past I've talked about unintended consequences.

I've also talked about "well intentioned" people who time and time again ask for socialism, and then act surprised when they get it and find they don't like it.

They often say "But we didn't mean this!"

Well, I told you so. Here we go again:

http://news.yahoo.com/unions-now-angry-health-care-overhaul-074904729.html

Some unions now angry about health care overhaul
By SAM HANANEL
Associated Press
40 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Barack Obama pushed his health care overhaul plan through Congress, he counted labor unions among his strongest supporters.

But some unions leaders have grown frustrated and angry about what they say are unexpected consequences of the new law — problems that they say could jeopardize the health benefits offered to millions of their members.

The issue could create a political headache next year for Democrats facing re-election if disgruntled union members believe the Obama administration and Congress aren't working to fix the problem.

"It makes an untruth out of what the president said, that if you like your insurance, you could keep it," said Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. "That is not going to be true for millions of workers now."

The problem lies in the unique multiemployer health plans that cover unionized workers in retail, construction, transportation and other industries with seasonal or temporary employment. Known as Taft-Hartley plans, they are jointly administered by unions and smaller employers that pool resources to offer more than 20 million workers and family members continuous coverage, even during times of unemployment.

The union plans were already more costly to run than traditional single-employer health plans. The Affordable Care Act has added to that cost — for the unions' and other plans — by requiring health plans to cover dependents up to age 26, eliminate annual or lifetime coverage limits and extend coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

"We're concerned that employers will be increasingly tempted to drop coverage through our plans and let our members fend for themselves on the health exchanges," said David Treanor, director of health care initiatives at the Operating Engineers union.

Workers seeking coverage in the state-based marketplaces, known as exchanges, can qualify for subsidies, determined by a sliding scale based on income. By contrast, the new law does not allow workers in the union plans to receive similar subsidies.

Bob Laszewski, a health care industry consultant, said the real fear among unions is that "a lot of these labor contracts are very expensive and now employers are going to have an alternative to very expensive labor health benefits."
"If the workers can get benefits that are as good through Obamacare in the exchanges, then why do you need the union?" Laszewski said. "In my mind, what the unions are fearing is that workers for the first time can get very good health benefits for a subsidized cost someplace other than the employer."

However, Laszewski said it was unlikely employers would drop the union plans immediately because they are subject to ongoing collective bargaining agreements.

Labor unions have been among the president's closest allies, spending millions of dollars to help him win re-election and help Democrats keep their majority in the Senate. The wrangling over health care comes as unions have continued to see steady declines in membership and attacks on public employee unions in state legislatures around the country. The Obama administration walks a fine line between defending the president's signature legislative achievement and not angering a powerful constituency as it looks ahead to the 2014 elections.

Union officials have been working with the administration for more than a year to try to get a regulatory fix that would allow low-income workers in their plans to receive subsidies. But after months of negotiations, labor leaders say they have been told it won't happen.

"It's not favoritism. We want to be treated fairly," said Hansen, whose union has about 800,000 of its 1.3 million members covered under Taft-Hartley policies. "We would expect more help from this administration."

Sabrina Siddiqui, a Treasury Department spokeswoman, declined to discuss the specifics of any negotiations between the administration and union officials. But she said the law helps bring down costs and improve quality of care.

Katie Mahoney, executive director of health policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said employers were concerned about possible increases in health care costs and would do what was needed to keep their businesses running and retain worker talent. The Chamber has not taken a position on the union concerns, but Mahoney said it was highly unlikely that the administration would consider subsidies for workers in the union plans.

"They are not going to offset the expense of added mandates under the health care law, which employers and unions are going to pay for," Mahoney said.

Unions say their health care plans in many cases offer better coverage with broader doctors' networks and lower premiums than what would be available in the exchanges, particularly when it comes to part-time workers.

Unions backed the health care legislation because they expected it to curb inflation in health coverage, reduce the number of uninsured Americans and level the playing field for companies that were already providing quality benefits. While unions knew there were lingering issues after the law passed, they believed those could be fixed through rulemaking.

But last month, the union representing roofers issued a statement calling for "repeal or complete reform" of the health care law. Kinsey Robinson, president of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, complained that labor's concerns over the health care law "have not been addressed, or in some instances, totally ignored."

"In the rush to achieve its passage, many of the act's provisions were not fully conceived, resulting in unintended consequences that are inconsistent with the promise that those who were satisfied with their employer-sponsored coverage could keep it," Robinson said.

Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Firefighters, said unions have been forceful in seeking solutions from the Obama administration, but none have been forthcoming. While Congress could address the problem by amending the health care law, Schaitberger said Senate Democrats told union leaders earlier this month that any new legislation was highly unlikely.

---

Suckers.

And of course it won't change. When the next "grand bad idea" is announced, and people like me analyse it, lay out a logical case for why it won't work, we'll be called nutcases, racists, or whatever the pejorative of the day is... We'll be told to straighten our tinfoil hats. We'll be vilified as heartless bastards.

And we'll sit back and wait, and will be right once again.

And our descent into oblivion will continue, because you people just don't fucking learn.
 

te72

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#2
Bwahahahaha... Nice post Mike. We recently had an election to remove the local 800 union that was representing our employees. Fortunately for all involved, the vote turned out overwhelmingly to remove the union from the company. If nothing else, they were *terrible* at being the middle man, which they even made the laughably bad move to point out that is exactly what they are. It's a wonder that unions even still exist in this country, given that they are only of value to people who can't stand on their own merits.
 

Nick M

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#3
[video=youtube;hfP6LmJiSec]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfP6LmJiSec&feature=player_embedded#t=48[/video]

:biglaugh:
 

Supracentral

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#5
And the hits just keep on coming...

Take this sack of shit for example:

“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.”
It was OK as long as you were using the force of government to extract it from SOMEONE ELSE? Glad you're taking it up the rear honey, you deserve every bit of it.

----

http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/10/no-one-expects-the-obamacare-sticker-shock/

No one expects The Obamacare Sticker Shock
Legal Inurrection
Posted by neo-neocon
Monday, October 7, 2013 at 4:49pm

There are a lot of surprised people in California now that more Obamacare details are coming out:

In California, 1.9 million people buy plans on the open market, according to officials with Covered California, the state’s new health insurance exchange. And many of them are steaming mad.

“There’s going to be a number of people surprised” by their bills, said Jonathan Wu, a co-founder of ValuePenguin, a consumer finance website. “The upper-middle class are the people who are essentially being asked to foot the bill, and that’s true across the country.”

Covered California spokesman Dana Howard maintained that in public presentations the exchange has always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare.

“Some people will see an increase who are already on the individual market purchasing insurance,” he said, “but most people will not.”…

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.”
Raise your hand if you think Dana Howard has much of a clue how many people will actually see premiums go up and how many will see them go down. No one expected the Obamacare Sticker Shock:

Also, the levels that premium payments are set this year are not necessarily what they will be next year, or the next—and those levels will to some measure depend on how many people sign up for Obamacare and how many people opt to pay the penalty instead—another unknown.

But it’s that last quote from Vinson that seems to encapsulate a common liberal mindset on Obamacare—or on government-funded benefits in general—that so infuriates conservatives. Who doesn’t “want people to have health care”? But the real question—and the real difference between the approaches of conservatives and liberals, inflammatory rhetoric aside—is how such a thing would be paid for, and especially whether it is possible to do so without putting an undue burden on the wage-earning tax-paying public.

Vinson, like so many people, uses the term “health care” to mean “health insurance,” but let’s gloss over that and stipulate that most people couldn’t afford the former (particularly if a major health problem were to arise) without having the latter. Vinson probably isn’t saying that she didn’t expect to pay for her own health insurance. She is saying that she expected to pay only for her own health insurance, not for the health insurance of those others she “of course” wants covered.

So the trillion-dollar question is: who did she expect would pay for their insurance?

It couldn’t have been the poor themselves who would pay. And if it wasn’t someone like Vinson, whose income clocks in at four times the poverty level—who would it have been? A good guess would be: people who are richer than Vinson.

It’s an interesting phenomenon that’s not at all uncommon among liberals; call it the “do it to Julia, not to me” phenomenon. In this case, something that is recognized as unfair and/or unwanted for oneself is acceptable if the responsibility is put on others instead, those people who for some reason are thought to deserve it more or to be able to absorb it better. But if it’s unfair for the first group, why is it suddenly fair for the second?

Perhaps some people such as Vinson haven’t thought it through even to that extent. Perhaps their thinking stops at the “Of course, I want people to have health care” point. That makes them good people in their own eyes: nice people, compassionate people, unlike those who disagree with them and are imagined to be mean people who do not “want people to have health care.” The idea that conservatives actually might also “want people to have health care” and yet be more realistic than liberals about the costs and benefits of such an undertaking, and might have different ideas about the best way to effect the greatest amount of health care for the greatest number of people, seems to be a foreign notion to many who think as Vinson does.

But hope springs eternal, even for them:

“I’m not against Obamacare,” Waschura said. “It’s just the initial shock. I’m holding out hope that there will be a correction over a handful of years.”
There will probably be a “correction” all right. It just might not be in the direction Waschura assumes.

----

I'll go a step further - there will be a correction, and rates will go up as quality of care goes down. I guarantee it.

But, "we didn't mean this!" you say? You were told this was going to happen, back when we all still had a choice, and you maligned, insulted, vilified, cursed and lambasted anyone who tried to talk sense into you. You rammed this bullshit through, and now we all have no choices. Fuck you.
 

Supracentral

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#6
This is so much fun....

Or it would be if it weren't fatally wounding what little is left of this nations concept of liberty.

I guess I'll laugh anyway, because what else is there to do?

---

http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_24248486/obamacares-winners-and-losers-bay-area

Obamacare's winners and losers in Bay Area
Mercury News
By Tracy Seipel
tseipel@mercurynews.com
10/05/2013 04:52:50 PM PDT

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.

"Welcome to the club," said Robert Laszewksi, a prominent health care consultant and president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates in Virginia.

For years, the nation has been embroiled in the political rhetoric of "Obamacare," but this past week the reality of the new law sank in as millions of Americans had their first good look at how the 3 1/2-year-old legislation will affect their pocketbooks.

This much quickly became clear:

As state- and federal-run health insurance exchanges debuted across the country offering a range of prices for different tiers of insurance coverage, the new online marketplaces -- which represent the centerpiece of Obamacare -- could greatly benefit more than 40 million Americans who now lack coverage. But an additional 16 million -- who buy individual health insurance policies on the open market -- are finding out that their plans may not comply with the new law, which requires 10 essential benefits such as maternity care, mental health care and prescription drug coverage.

In California, 1.9 million people buy plans on the open market, according to officials with Covered California, the state's new health insurance exchange. And many of them are steaming mad.

"There's going to be a number of people surprised" by their bills, said Jonathan Wu, a co-founder of ValuePenguin, a consumer finance website. "The upper-middle class are the people who are essentially being asked to foot the bill, and that's true across the country."

Covered California spokesman Dana Howard maintained that in public presentations the exchange has always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare.

"Some people will see an increase who are already on the individual market purchasing insurance," he said, "but most people will not."

Covered California officials note that at least 570,000 of the 1.9 million people who buy their own insurance should be eligible for subsidies that will reduce their premiums.

Even those who don't qualify for the tax subsidies could see their rates drop because Obamacare doesn't allow insurers to charge people more if they have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and cancer, he said.

People like Marilynn Gray-Raine.

The 64-year-old Danville artist, who survived breast cancer, has purchased health insurance for herself for decades. She watched her Anthem Blue Cross monthly premiums rise from $317 in 2005 to $1,298 in 2013. But she found out last week from the Covered California site that her payments will drop to about $795 a month.

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," Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.

"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."

A frustrated Vinson went on the Covered California site to see what she would pay for the same policy if she lived in Los Angeles or Sacramento. She discovered she would save at least $100 monthly.

According to data compiled by ValuePenguin, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco as well as Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties have some of the highest health insurance rates in the state. Covered California officials say that in addition to the higher cost of living here, more hospitals in the Bay Area are owned by hospital groups that can demand higher rates because of the lack of competition.

Not all of the sticker shock can be blamed on Obamacare.

Health care inflation costs routinely increase at least 4 percent annually, said Ken Wood, a senior adviser for Covered California. Those increases, he noted, are due to an aging population and the rising costs of new medical technology and drugs, among other factors.

But Wood, Wu and others also said premiums will rise as a result of people getting better insurance under the new law, which requires most Americans, with few exceptions, to buy health insurance no later than March 31, or pay a minimum $95 annual penalty.

The law's intent is to cover people who are now uninsured by making insurance accessible to everybody. But that means rates will rise for many because sick and healthy people will now be charged the same premium.

Adding a required list of 10 essential benefits to all plans is also significant. A study published last year in the journal Health Affairs said more than half of Americans who had individual insurance in 2010 were enrolled in plans that would not qualify because they didn't meet all the new requirements.

Wood likened these mandates to the higher cost of buying cars today that must have safety features like air bags and anti-lock brakes.

The law also will often make some policies more expensive because it limits out-of-pocket expenses to $6,350 annually for an individual and $12,700 for a family. In addition, the law restricts the minimum and maximum premiums that people can be charged based on their age.

Now, a 64-year-old can be charged almost five times more than a 21-year-old. Beginning Jan. 1, it will be a 3-1 ratio.

Those explanations, however, don't completely satisfy Waschura and Vinson.

"I'm not against Obamacare," Waschura said. "It's just the initial shock. I'm holding out hope that there will be a correction over a handful of years."

But to Gray-Raine, the breast cancer survivor from the East Bay, that correction has already come.

"Obamacare is a huge step in the right direction for those of us without employer coverage," she said, adding that she hopes everyone will "join in and make this new legislation a success for all."

---

[video=youtube;ztVMib1T4T4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztVMib1T4T4[/video]
 

Supracentral

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#7

te72

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Mike, I know your headaches with this are only getting worse. I'm genuinely hoping that our company doesn't drop (or isn't forced to drop) the current health insurance we have. It's quite good, but... if that company decides to go out of business rather than put up with this bullshit, then... hmm. I do have faith in the ownership and management of our company though. Have NEVER seen a company so 'employee before profit' focused in my life.

On the original problem though, we need to educate people that the government produces absolutely NOTHING, and therefore cannot GIVE anything without first STEALING it from someone who has produced it. If we can pound that into enough people's heads, maybe they'll finally get it and shit like this won't happen. I'll bring the hammers.

"Do you support the ACA/Obamacare?"

*whack*

Seems like a step in the right direction. :p
 

Nick M

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GM had to close their doors there, in case you missed it. Much like Toyota leaving California, and it not being on the news.