12/22/13 Substandard Policies Now Acceptable

In an effort to undo all the damage of cancelled policies the administration “strongly encouraged” insurers to comply with requests that these substandard insurance policies be reinstated. Many of those “bad-apple” insurers having spent much time and money to comply with the ACA, which is, as we have been reminded so many times, “the law of the land,” were unwilling to do so. Many state insurance commissioners, also recognizing the law of the land were also unwilling to let agreeable insurers do so. It seems that the only folks who were not recognizing the ACA as the law of the land are those who provided us with this law of the land. They change it at will for convenience.

Insurers have been strongly encouraged to backdate policies, allow people to be covered just because they put their chosen exchange policy in their shopping cart but have not paid their premium, and allow partial premium payments.

Now, Kathleen Sebelius has declared that people who have had their insurance canceled can purchase new substandard, junk, no-good, and otherwise currently illegal insurance policies that do not meet the minimum standard requirements of the ACA, this, in a desperate attempt to make sure that on January 1, the net number of people with health insurance has not actually declined.

For months, the administration has told us that we would no longer be able to purchase substandard insurance, nor would insurance companies be allowed to offer it. They told us this was for our own good. Now, we are told that we can continue to do so. Why, I wonder, was it unacceptable bad for me then, but acceptable for me now? Is this good for me, or good for them? You can decide for yourself.

A law that is so capricious that it can be unilaterally changed by the government for its own benefit is not a law at all, though it has the appearance of one. All the talk about changing the law for the benefit of the people is just bullshit. The law is being changed so that the Democrats will not suffer so bad in the 2014 elections. Expect more dramatic changes as the Democrats become more frightened of the looming cancellations facing small and large employer sponsored group policies starting in August, September and October. The last thing the Democrats want to do is have November get here with terrific uncertainty among the voters, or worse, rage at what has happened to the policies that they liked which they thought they could keep. The President himself, and his Secretary of Health and Human Services seem to be undoing the ACA as fast as it can be implemented.

The ACA is a prime example of how poorly the government can do things. We should have expected this with Nancy Pelosi’s argument in support of the ACA, “Let’s pass this bill so we can see what’s in it.” We are seeing what’s in it, and no one likes it. If the administration likes it, why do they keep changing it?

“It’s just minor tweaks,” Debbie Wasserman-Schultz might argue.

“No, it was the website that just needed ‘minor tweaks’,” I might argue back. “Now that more consultants have been brought in, the tweaks are happening at the speed of the private sector. What you are referring to as ‘tweaks’ are policy changes and unilateral changes to the law itself.”

“Minor adjustments to make the ACA more comprehensive, more affordable, helping millions upon millions of Americans obtain better, more affordable health care insurance and simply being enacted by a loving, caring, administration with the best interests of the people at heart,” she might argue.

“That would be just one million reported enrollments so far, not millions upon millions, nor are most confirmed enrollments,” I might reply. “Additionally, most of them have been enrollees to the expanded Medicaid program.”

“You don’t want poor Americans to have health care?” she might ask me, thinking she had set an ironclad trap.

“Ms. Wasserman-Schultz, I am not going to allow you to define the debate that way. That is disingenuous and an absolutely dishonest way for you to try and frame this discussion. It’s you that don’t want Americans to have health care by providing with them with expensive, comprehensive insurance but offering a substandard provider network from which they would actually receive health care. Don’t you want poor children with Leukemia to receive treatment?”

“Of course I do, and the ACA adequately provides for medical treatment with a broad range of health-care providers” she might declare.

I might toss a network provider catalog to her with the challenge, “Find a Hematologist in this book, please.” She might go rifling through the book, stopping on the page with the Hematologists, and defiantly point out, “There are six Hematologists listed here. So what’s the problem?”

“If you read the fine print, you will see that four of them do not accept Medicaid patients, and two of those are not accepting any new patients at all,” I would likely say.

“Well. That certainly leaves the other two to treat them,” she might say in retort.

“No, ma’am. It doesn’t,” I would say. “The other two listed there have announced their retirement 9from practice on January 1, 2014. That leaves none but the family practitioners and the nurse practitioners to treat people they are not qualified to treat.”

“Well, everyone doesn’t need a Hematologist,” she might say.

“No ma’am, they don’t. But the ones who do damn sure don’t need a nurse practitioner or family medicine physician either.”

After that, I would likely not get in another word, since Ms. Wasserman-Schultz is charged with the responsibility of carrying the torch for her party no matter how personally distasteful she may find it. It’s her job. It’s her responsibility. She has to be as capable with the distortion of words, facts, and themes as Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary. It is a mean and low-down job. I don’t see how they look themselves in the mirror. They must have iron testicles….oops, sorry Ms. Wsserman-Schutz, I meant that you must have iron testicles; Jay seems to have none at all.

Of course, I have put words into Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s mouth that are not hers. I know this. But this is my blog. She says what she says and most of it is closer connected with party-line politics than veracity. Her job requires a kowtowing to the official party line no matter what the truth might be. She doesn’t believe it. She can’t believe it. I’ve heard her talk many times. She is articulate, intelligent, sharp-witted, and savvy. She is not an idiot…she is a partisan, just like me. Unlike her though, I make sense. She, in my opinion, makes none at all. She’d have a hard time persuading me differently on the scenario above.

If you are a Democrat, or a Wasserman-Schultz supporter and fan, I don’t expect you to like this very much. I could have picked any one of a number of others, but I decided to pick on her. She is a big girl. She will face far more serious attacks from people of far more import and means than me, though this one, insignificant as it is, is a bit mean-spirited. Well, I have been up all night. What did you expect?

For a minute there, I felt some remorse, but it is gone now.

Good luck, Ms. Wasserman-Schultz. Progressivism is something I absolutely cannot understand, because it seems to be a progression towards more and more expensive and inefficient government intervention at the expense of personal freedom.

The revelations of failure are not over. The ACA is not settled. The administration is in turmoil. People are angry, including those formerly and solidly in the President’s camp.

I remember the early days of the Reagan administration, with a Republican House and a Republican Senate. I remember thinking to myself, “The problem with having all the power is that everyone is a witness to the fact that you are just as incompetent at governing as your predecessor.”

And that is the truth.

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