September 24, 2010

An Obamacare success story

Say, guess whose health insurance premiums are going up, starting next month?

*points thumbs at chest*

This guy.

This was posted at the Mothership (Ewokship? Do the Ewoks have ships?) earlier, but it lays out/repeats some excellent points about how fucking awful this piece of shit is.

On the local news here in SoCal, they mainly interviewed people who think they'll "benefit" from the legislation, like...

• College students, who think it's just Jim Dandy that they and their friends will now have to be covered by their parents' group policies until they're 26.

• People on the street who said it's great that insurers will now have to cover children (I guess that includes 26-year-olds) with pre-existing conditions.

• "Health Policy Experts" from UCLA and USC who, in spite of the cross-town rivalry, couldn't be bothered to disagree with one another that this was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Seriously, I expected at the very least a slap-fight from UCLA and USC profs.

But, say, how's about we look at some of the reasons why my premiums (not paid by a group plan under my employer, I might add) are going up soon:

There are a whole bunch of boring and cheerless individuals called "actuaries" who look at "tables" on sickness and mortality, on which they base insurance rates. Sure, the twenty-something crew doesn't tend to come down with life-threatening diseases, but adding them to their parents' employer-provided group health insurance adds a shitload of new people to the "risk pool," which includes everyone who the companies insure. So, when "Sally-Womyn's-Studies-Major" can't find employment in today's tough job market gets her legs broken in a car accident, you can be happy about the fact that your individual premiums helped her to recover. YAY!!!

Oh, and, hey, when the group plans can't exclude those individuals, guess who those costs get passed to?

*points thumbs at chest*

It's also nice (in theory) that insurers can't deny kids with preexisting conditions coverage, but there was a reason why they used to do that, and it's heartless and sensible at the same time (I know, I know) why that was their policy. Namely, because insurance companies (like all other businesses that hope to be successful) were formed to make money, and people who already have life-threatening diseases ARE NOT GOOD CLIENTS. See, health insurance companies are collecting premiums in the hope that you're not going to get sick or injured, but will pay out if the unfortunate thing happens to you.

Life insurance works similarly. Such and Such Life Co. looks at the way you live your life. If you smoke like a chimney and jump off of the Sears Tower with a parachute to make a living selling EXTREME VIDEOS, S&SLC may sell you a policy. However, they're going to sell the same policy with the same "death benefit" to a non-smoking schoolmarm who doesn't engage in any deathsports for (get this) much less money. Because (and this may be hard to wrap your head around if you're a Democrat) S&SLC is probably going to be able to collect those premiums for many, many more years. They will thus be able to use their PROFITS to hire employees and also invest in industries that do not involve people plummeting to their deaths from tall buildings.

Look, if you have a business where you rely on a pool of investors and someone comes in and says, "Hey, I'd like to get in on this, but I don't really have any money and I may cost you a shitload of cash in the next few months and may have already engaged in some seriously risky behavior," would you be excited about having that partner? Um, no.

And if you had a business where you an investor who said, "I'd like to invest, but I also have a bunch of silent partners who really don't have any stake in the game, but could become liabilities down the road, though they would still like to get up in on this," would you take that person on as a partner? Again, no.

And let me issue a preemptive "fuck you" to BiW. This isn't the H2.

Posted by: Sean M. at 05:21 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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