Tuesday, April 02, 2013

More right-wing scare tactics on Obamacare

By Carl 

So, next year, the Affordable Care Act fires up in earnest. Yesterday, Vermont released its proposed health-care exchange rates for 2014, the first state to do so.

Guess what? There's great news:

After years of anticipation, Vermont became the first state Monday to publish proposed 2014 individual health insurance rates under the federal health law. Despite Republican and insurers' predictions, there was no "rate shock" in the new premiums, according to the Vermont governor's office and insurance representatives.

That state may not be the best barometer of the impact of the heath overhaul on premiums, however, because it already prohibits insurers from using health status to determine an individual's premiums. It is one of only seven states in the country which have so-called community rating regulations.

Vermont also requires prices to be the same regardless of person's age. Two of the health law's biggest changes include prohibiting insurers from using health status to determine premiums and prohibiting insurers from charging older people more than three times the rates of younger people.

Now, the caveats in those last two paragraphs should be noted: Vermont already had tight reins on some of their insurance carriers.

But here's the thing: the right wing is terrified of the free market coming to one of the most lucrative plutocracies known to so-called "free" enterprise. The ACA expands coverage to encourage young people and others who don't have health insurance to pick some up or be subject to a tax. This will have all sorts of good ripple effects for the rest of us who have insurance and are getting older and sicker by the minute.

Our insurance rates will first stabilize and then come down. This is how free markets work. This is why conservatives are a) hypocrites and b) terrified of Obamacare. It will force doctors to do actual work, instead of jetting off to Boca on Wednesday and returning Sunday night to see a few patients, whom they can massively overbill for procedures and testing that are unnecessary and futile.

How desperate are conservatives? This desperate:

A challenge filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation contends that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because the bill originated in the Senate, not the House. Under the Origination Clause of the Constitution, all bills raising revenue must begin in the House.

Yup, you read that right: the originalists are going to go all originalist (after putting away their muskets, I'm sure) on the Constitution. This is what conservatives believe.

(Cross-posted to Simply Left Behind.)

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