Tuesday Highlights

G’day again.

  1. Spot the horrible warming trend.
  2. Mr Clinton says it was a lie too. And he’s not alone. Of course that begs the question of why, unlike the rest of us, they didn’t realize it when he said it and not now.
  3. Enrollment numbers, success was 500k, got 50k … and they lied to get to arrive at 50k  … wonder how low it really was, eh?
  4. Doc Ock wasn’t a credible villain … comes to life.
  5. Advocates for any given thing often bring them to demonstrations. Liberals find that odd apparently.
  6. Servicemen drink. Who knew?
  7. Progress in peer review?
  8. No. What we need are people to look at studies (eg) which show no correlation between gun violence a gun control legislation. Or a better approach might be to note perhaps bringing a gun to a party is not warranted and leave it at that.

 

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29 comments

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Jewish group of four men dine out, discuss what to do about people “tagging” bridges and fences in town with Nazi symbols. Group of people show up in parking lot, shouting taunts at Jews, carrying boxes of broken glass, model trains, and little cans labeled “Zyklon B.”

    Woman meets with her divorce lawyer at a cafe, to avoid letting her soon-to-be-ex husband be able to stalk her into a private confrontation. Her husband’s best hunting buddy shows up in the parking lot, carrying a shotgun, peacefully sits on the bumper of the lawyer’s car.

    Four NAACP workers go to lunch. Group of people shows up in parking lot, wearing sheets and carrying ropes tied into nooses.

    Yeah, liberals sure are stupid, aren’t they?

  2. Boonton says:

    2.Mr Clinton says it was a lie too. …

    Clearly he has failed to follow your blog and noted that your own hermeneutic which drives to the conclusion it wasn’t a lie. Perhaps he was put off by your bashing of Clinton’s general hermeneutics when it comes to truthiness.

  3. Boonton says:

    3.Enrollment numbers, success was 500k, got 50k … and they lied to …

    Your source defines enrollment as ‘paying the first bill’ but since a 2014 insurance policy does not require payment until January of 2014 few checks will have been sent in before that. More importantly to ‘enroll’ usually means just that, to sign up. It’s perfectly possible to ‘enroll’ in the spring semester in college but never show up (or pay up).

    Of course before the spring semester actually happens, you’re not going to have a count of how many people show up.

  4. Mark says:

    Ed,

    Yeah, liberals sure are stupid, aren’t they?

    Based on what you say, I concur. Again … what demonstrators do not bring to demonstrations objects (if portable) or representations of those objects on which they demonstrate to the demonstration? Answer. None.

    Jewish group of four men dine out, discuss what to do about people “tagging” bridges and fences in town with Nazi symbols. Group of people show up in parking lot, shouting taunts at Jews, carrying boxes of broken glass, model trains, and little cans labeled “Zyklon B.”

    Woman meets with her divorce lawyer at a cafe, to avoid letting her soon-to-be-ex husband be able to stalk her into a private confrontation. Her husband’s best hunting buddy shows up in the parking lot, carrying a shotgun, peacefully sits on the bumper of the lawyer’s car.

    The “protesters” in your two scenarios are protesting what? And they bring what? This is the stupidest comeback ever. Abortion protesters bring children to protests. Gun violence protesters bring signs and pictures of gun violence. Gay rights parades show their sexuality. Gosh, what do gun rights supporters do …. bring legal guns. Who’d have thought?

  5. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    More importantly to ‘enroll’ usually means just that, to sign up.

    The industry standard definition of “enrolled” is being covered which means the first check. It is what the legal requirement for being covered by April means. Why change the definition of not to inflate the numbers?

  6. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    …and noted that your own hermeneutic which drives to the conclusion it wasn’t a lie.

    Well, that’s your lie. Yesterday’s news gave that 60k insured in Tenessee (?) just got cancellation notices on account of the new law which Mr Obama said would not happen. This is not the first such statement. Perhaps you will wake up and realize that people are losing their current insurance which they might “like” as a consequence of the law. This is in direct contradiction to the obvious meaning of his promise. It was a lie. Politicians do that. Obama does it more than most. Deal with it.

    But you are correct, Clinton was another Democrat who was given to being untruthful. Perhaps you suggest that Clinton is such an impeachable source that his statement should be ignored?

  7. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    College’s don’t report enrollment by who has been sent an acceptance, but by who has paid in their first downpayment after being accepted. Similarly ….

  8. Boonton says:

    The industry standard definition of “enrolled” is being covered which means the first check.

    In that case it would be pointless to even bother asking for a number until April….or at least the end of January. If a Congressperson even asks something like “how many enrolled on the first day?” and that becomes a conversation then by definition no one could be talking about the industry standard definition since you wouldn’t expect anyone to make payment over two months before it’s due.

    Yesterday’s news gave that 60k insured in Tenessee (?) just got cancellation notices on account of the new law

    Show me the provision in the law which mandated cancellation notices for those 60K. Are you telling us absent the law those 60K would not have gotten cancellation notices when your original source asserted the ‘turnover’ in the individual insurance market was 50-60% per year?

    I first warned you you’d have to do better than simply asserting every cancellation notice was evidence of a lie. Later when I finally got you to concede to defining your own hermeneutics you’ve ruled out the media’s nonsensical ‘amber argument’ as an acceptable way to measure this statement.

  9. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    I first warned you you’d have to do better than simply asserting every cancellation notice was evidence of a lie.

    I see. But a cancellation notice where the state reason for cancellation is compliance with the law is specifically not “every cancellation notice” but the one to which I am pointing out as contrary to the Obama statement.

  10. Boonton says:

    But a cancellation notice where the state reason for cancellation is compliance with the law

    Except all plans circia 2010 are grandfathered in to be compliant with the mandate requirement.

    More importantly, if a plan does not comply with the mandate it is not outlawed. IMO if a company discontinues a plan simply because they think they won’t get enough paying customers for it to justify keeping it going that’s not the same as the law banning it. If the plan was so good why don”t enough people want it.

    If Mormon’s in Utah ban beer, I’d say the law made Utah’s bars close. If bars close in Utah because Mormon’s pass a law subsidizing juice bars and huge numbers of people opt for juice bars instead of regular ones I wouldn’t say the law is taking away people’s favorite bars.

  11. Ed Darrell says:

    what demonstrators do not bring to demonstrations objects (if portable) or representations of those objects on which they demonstrate to the demonstration? Answer. None.

    In Texas, tort law works with the “fighting words doctrine.” Not necessary to have the other guy throw a punch first, if his words are equivalent.

    Who gets to decide whether the words are offensive? The person against whom they are aimed.

    It was an assault by those yahoos. They knew in advance where the four women would be meeting, and they bragged about “crashing” the meeting, in a public forum.

    Every dog gets one bit, and those dogs all got their one bite there. Now we know they can be vicious, and we know they intend to harm peaceful women.

    That’s the law.

    But can you imagine the mothers of those guys? How embarrassing to hve your children forget all manners like that.

  12. Ed Darrell says:

    On the other issue, there is no legal mandate that any policy be cancelled. The insurance companies could simply upgrade the benefits. Key case, see the one described on PBS’s NewsHour last night. A 58-year old woman isn’t going to be using pregnancy benefits — and so the company could, without increasing premiums a penny, add those benefits to the policy the woman has now.

    Instead, they cancelled.

    Every one of the problems with the rollout comes from Obama’s attempt to preserve a role for private business, insurance companies especially, who over the years have demonstrated great ability to be greedy, and look greedy on those occasions they actually act nobly. One more indication that there’s not enough socialism in ObamaCare — no other industrialized nation had these problems with their rollouts, and every one saved billions of dollars and improved health care.

    Sometimes, greedy “free enterprise” is not the answer to a problem. These are among those times.

  13. Boonton says:

    Lets work with that example.

    Policies are not usually written individually for each person. A 58 yr old woman may have had a policy that covered 5,000 other people. Let’s say the policy doesn’t cover maternity costs. No problem for the 58 yr old woman, but that would be a drawback for maybe 3000 other people.

    In the meantime, since 2010, the policy has changed a lot, altering it’s deductible and premium making it very different so it’s no longer eligeable to be grandfathered in as fulfilling the mandate (which it shouldn’t be IMO, it’s no longer the policy that existed when Obama said ‘you can keep your policy’).

    So now the insurance company is confronted with a different market. Since the policies sold on the exchanges mandate maternity coverage should the insurance company continue this policy or not? Consider that 60% of their customers do find maternity coverage relevant so there’s a real risk the company could loose a lot of customers. The company could:

    A. Create a mandate worthy policy. Kill others.

    B. Keep their current policy for customers who don’t care about fulfilling the mandate.

    C. Create a mandate worthy policy and keep their current policy too.

    Absent any fixed costs, C would seem like the best way to go. You’d likely keep the 2000 customers who don’t care about maternity coverage and have a shot at getting the 3000 others under your exchange worthy policy.

    But fixed costs are a problem. A coffee shop that sells 45 coffees an hour may be viable but one that sells 20 is not. If the insurance company thinks only 2000 or fewer people will want their policy, they may figure it’s not worth the effort to keep it so they will ditch it.

    This IMO creates a problem for those claiming Obama lied. Marc has admitted that he doesn’t consider Obama’s statement to be a promise to preserve the 2010 market in amber. Well if that’s the case then how has the promise been violated? If the ACA never passed the insurance company could very well have lost 3000 customers. What if another company introduced a better policy? What if a spurt in hiring caused more people to get employer provided insurance? Any reasonable reading of the promise, IMO, has to be made with a lot of contingencies one of the chief ones being that decisions by insurance companies to change policies either by kicking people off or scrapping plans and introducing new ones is not by itself a violation of the promise especially considering that was the pre-ACA norm!

  14. Mark says:

    Ed & Boonton,
    Now you are just wrong.

    On the other issue, there is no legal mandate that any policy be cancelled.

    Boonton, C is not on allowed by law. Sorry.

    From Forbes:

    Section 1251 of the Affordable Care Act contains what’s called a “grandfather” provision that, in theory, allows people to keep their existing plans if they like them. But subsequent regulations from the Obama administration interpreted that provision so narrowly as to prevent most plans from gaining this protection.

    So the Admin (at Mr Obama’s direction presumably) decided on a narrow provision so the grandfather clause isn’t available. Other places noted if you did as much as alter your co-pay by a few dollars, woops that’s a “new plan”. Who knows, if you change the font on your effing documents, woops, new plan.

    Try again Boonton, he lied. The law is the proximate cause of the cancellation. It is the reason. Either, Mr Obama knew this would happen (lie) or he didn’t (he’s dumb). Pick.

  15. Mark says:

    Ed,
    I am offended by your use of the word yahoo. I can sue? Truly? Texas it seems is not the sort of place as reported. Btw, for a tort case do there not have to be damages?

    They knew in advance where the four women would be meeting, and they bragged about “crashing” the meeting, in a public forum.

    Uhm, so you think every counter protest is offensive? Everywhere?

    Now we know they can be vicious, and we know they intend to harm peaceful women.

    Who was harmed? Seems nobody was harmed. Woops.

    I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll stop defending protesters bringing guns to assemblies if you stop calling semi-automatic rifles assault guns. An assault gun has full-auto. It’s part of the definition of what constitutes an assault rifle, so you stop calling semi-autos that and start chastising those who do and I’ll stop defending peaceful protesters who openly carry.

    My guess is you won’t take me up on that.

  16. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    So, let me get this straight. Sometime in the future when/if changes are made to welfare or Social Security disbursements but current beneficiaries payment levels are “grandfathered” you will claim that inflation adjustments or cost-of-living changes break the grandfather agreement.

    Interesting.

  17. Boonton says:

    It helps to delve more deeply into the law if you’re argument is going to hing on things like this.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/29/2590.715-1251 clearly defines what qualifies a plan to be grandfathered (essentially the plan has to have continued in existence since March of 2010 with at least one person enrolled in it….it doesn’t have to be the same person, though).

    Likewise http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/oct/30/valerie-jarrett/valerie-jarrett-says-nothing-obamacare-forces-peop/ makes it clear, there’s nothing in the law that prohibits a grandfathered plan from continuing

    Health policy experts told us that, in a technical sense, insurers are pulling the plug on these old, grandfathered policies. Echoing what Jarrett tweeted, Timothy Jost, a Washington and Lee University law professor, said that “if a grandfathered plan is being terminated, it is the insurer’s decision — nothing in the law requires it.”

    Forbes and others are confusing a matter of law with a matter of markets. If you had a plan that lots of people liked and was profitable in 2010 there’s no legal reason why it couldn’t continue even if it lost it’s grandfathered status. Forbes is essentially trying to argue that because 2010 plans can’t compete against exchange plans with subsidies or at least against full-service plans that satisfy the mandate they will die. That may very well be, but 2010 plans had a half-life to begin with of one year at best. And competition often kills health plans. Unless you present evidence that a reasonable person would have believed Obama was promising to not only not outlaw 2010 plans but actually shield them from any and all changes forever, I don’t think this counts.

    Sometime in the future when/if changes are made to welfare or Social Security disbursements but current beneficiaries payment levels are “grandfathered” you will claim that inflation adjustments or cost-of-living changes break the grandfather agreement.

    Not sure this analogy really follows. If benefits are changed but older beneficiaries are ‘grandfathered’ wouldn’t that depend upon the law that changes benefits?

    A better analogy might be this, imagine a law that said you could no longer drive cars that burn gas on the road. Currently registered cars are grandfathered in, though.

    I think one could say that law let’s you ‘keep your car if you want’. However at the same time the age of the typical car on today’s road is only ten years. An administration that passed this law would ‘know’ that in a few decades America’s roads would be more or less free of gas burning cars. I wouldn’t read that promise as a promise to ensure that today’s existing cars suffer no wear and tear, no accidents, and last essentially forever. Likewise if the price of gas went up causing some gas burners to declare gas has become too expensive to use I wouldn’t consider that a breaking of the promise. Likewise if a highway was shut down and a new one built with a different path I also wouldn’t consider that breaking the promise….even though lawyer-minded critics could declare a decade later the promise meant not only wouldn’t cars be outlawed but the roads themselves would never change.

    Likewise one could probably quibble about how the ‘grandfathering’ would work. If I took the hub caps left on my old gas burning car that got totalled and built a brand new car to put them on could I claim it’s the same car? What if it was the hub caps and the tires? A bumper? A trans?

  18. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Except how I read what’s going on, you are driving your gas car …. and the regulator decides to “intepret that narrowly” and finds that your car was burning “regular” gas, and you’ve been putting premium in it, so your car is no longer allowed on the road.

    Again, the point I’ve repeated is that you are not allowed to drive the car as a consequence of change in the law is a violation of the plain meaning of the text.

    Unless you present evidence that a reasonable person would have believed Obama was promising to not only not outlaw 2010 plans but actually shield them from any and all changes forever, I don’t think this counts.

    I agree. And I’ve seen the “narrowly construed” point on what constitutes grandfather in a number of places. I don’t believe your contention that it is just market forces holding them to their line, I think that plans are not being allowed grandfathering when they aren’t “locked in amber” as you put it but that the only thing in the plan changes are some increases (probably minor) costs related changes and coverage details.

  19. Boonton says:

    Except how I read what’s going on, you are driving your gas car …. and the regulator decides to “intepret that narrowly” and finds that your car was burning “regular” gas, and you’ve been putting premium in it, so your car is no longer allowed on the road.

    We can quibble about that, but if you read the COrnell details that doesn’t appear to be the case. Even co-pays are allowed to go up provided they don’t exceed medical inflation.

    I agree. And I’ve seen the “narrowly construed” point on what constitutes grandfather in a number of places.

    I don’t think the ‘construed’ is so narrow.

    I think that plans are not being allowed grandfathering when they aren’t “locked in amber” as you put it but that the only thing in the plan changes are some increases (probably minor) costs related changes and coverage details.

    So clearly the changes are not ‘minor’ and the law does avoid playing ‘narrowly construed’ games with grandfathering (for example, it doesn’t say only the people in the plan in 2010 are allowed to be in the plan today, in fact the plan today might have all of it’s members be from after the 2010 cohort making it an example of ‘keeping a plan you didn’t happen to have back then but now can’).

    I do think there’s a difference between real life here and the car analogy. Even if tomorrow new gas cars were outlawed, we’d expect to see older cars linger for a long time as part of our fleet of in service cars. Individual health plans, with a half-life admitted by your source of less than 1 year, would disappear very quickly ‘naturally’. If the ACA never passed but we just happened to take March 2010 as a baseline, we’d discover a lot of people then ‘couldn’t keep their plans’ today in other words.

    It wouldn’t be expected that many plans would remain after 2010 and the only plausible case for some to remain a real long time would be a plan that was both very popular with consumers and very profitable or viable for the company offering it. Such a creature may simply not exist and even if it does it’s certainly not a large portion of individual plans.

  20. Ed Darrell says:

    Another issue to consider is history, what was happening before.

    MIT economist Jonathan Gruber notes there about 12 million people in the individual policy market. Of the 12 million, historically only 2 million would remain with a policy longer than two years.

    In other words, normal turnover, “cancellations,” would be about 5 million per year.

    This year? 2.5 million. Just on the face of it, it appears ObamaCare has cut insurance cancellations in half.

    Quibble with the numbers all you want — any quibble is also a quibble with the ObamaCare critics’ numbers.

    But overall, this isn’t a huge problem, except in public relations.

    See some data here: http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/winners-and-losers-in-obamacare/

  21. Boonton says:

    So this would seem to present a problem. How exactly do you have a market where 10M out of 12M fail to keep their policies more than two years?

    Either cancellations are the norm absent Obamacare, in which case the promise is fulfilled. If you like it keep it. The ‘it’ being a policy liable to be cancelled any moment by insurance companies itching to pull the trigger on plans. Or there’s no one who ‘likes’ the plans otherwise why do so many dump them so quickly?

    It’s not just a PR problem, we have Senators proposing ‘fixes’ that will try to grandfather in any crappy 2010 program essentially forever. Before we get anywhere near such an idea we have to really ask is this a real problem that real people are having? That has yet to be established.

  22. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    It’s not just a PR problem, we have Senators proposing ‘fixes’ that will try to grandfather in any crappy 2010 program essentially forever.

    The first problem is to solve the dichotomy in your head in which you agreed that your choice is superior for you than choice made in Washington, but you want to claim your choice is at the same time “crappy”.

    But that makes it a lie in another way. Go to your car example. You make the statement “if you like your car, you can keep it.” It is found that the average car owner keeps his car for 5 years. You “Grandfather” all cars purchased 20 years ago or more, if you like that, you can keep it. If it is more recent however it must hold to newer standards and you can’t keep it. Alas, basically very few have such policies so your statement while sounding grand and nice is a lie because you’ve structured the law so almost nobody can hew to it. If you like the policy you got in 2012. You’re f**ked.

    And furthermore, his statement didn’t say “If you like your policy and you got it before 2010, you can keep it,” It was a blanket statement that if you happen to prefer your policy you won’t be forced out. Your pretense of the 2010 grandfather just reinforces the falsehood. You admit it to be there plainly. Give it up dude. He lied. Deal.

    You also have completely ignored the second part, what part of the law prevents me from losing my policy or doctor. That was implied in the statement. What provisions of the law stablise my relationship with my insurer or my doctor if I happen to like that relationship? If there are none, then the statement is false in the other obvious meaning.

  23. Mark says:

    Ed,
    So what? What we are “quibbling” about is whether or not “If you like your insurance you can keep it” was a intentional lie. Bush Sr took a hit in the polls on the “no new taxes” whether or not taxes were warranted. He was seen to be not holding up to a promise made. This is not just a “public relations” problem. It’s about honesty. When a person says “you can keep it” and then interprets “narrowly” the definition of what constitutes “the same” regarding changes in plans these two ideas are not compatible. That is the problem.

    The question at hand has the new legislation caused any cancellations for people would have preferred not to have their policy cancelled.. It has. Ergo the statement “If you like it you can keep it” did not hold and in fact was never intended to hold.

  24. Boonton says:

    The first problem is to solve the dichotomy in your head in which you agreed that your choice is superior for you than choice made in Washington, but you want to claim your choice is at the same time “crappy”.

    I think I’ve been very clear here, and you’ve been very wrong. I have no problem with people choosing a crappy insurance plan and no problem with a company selling a crappy insurance program. You’ve claimed the ACA bans such plans, it does not.

    But that doesn’t alter the facts that:

    1. They are crappy.

    2. They should not get the benefits of non-crappy plans.

    But that makes it a lie in another way. Go to your car example. You make the statement “if you like your car, you can keep it.” It is found that the average car owner keeps his car for 5 years. You “Grandfather” all cars purchased 20 years ago or more, if you like that, you can keep it.

    You seem to forget that the original source for this ‘lie’ claim was premised on the fact that since there’s turnover, after a period of time very few, if any, would keep their plans.

    To use the car example, you seem to agree with me. If we said “you can keep your gas powered car” knowing that in 50 years almost all gas powered cars would cease to be on the roads, that would not be a lie. Well your problem is the people claiming a lie are basing their claim on plans turning over at their normal pace. Well the plans ‘you like’ have a half life of less than a year so by itself there’s no break in the promise if in 3-4 years there’s almost no plans still left in that category. On that we both agree.

    If it is more recent however it must hold to newer standards and you can’t keep it

    All the law requires is grandfathered plans remain roughly the same. Even copays can be increased. If you liked your car in 2010 but then change it’s engine, it’s trans, it’s body, it’s dashboard….well if you liked the car so much why such radical change?

    It was a blanket statement that if you happen to prefer your policy you won’t be forced out. Your pretense of the 2010 grandfather just reinforces the falsehood.

    So now you’re telling me that if you liked your policy in 2005 you can keep it? But if you didn’t have the policy in 2010 you either:

    1. Didn’t like it.
    2. It was discontinued before the law passed meaning it’s unavailablity to you today cannot be linked to the law.

    Or are you saying if you liked your 2011 policy you should be able to keep it? That’s nice except if the policy was created after 2010 it had to be in compliance with the law.

    So yes it doesn’t make sense to view this promise as anything other than talking about the status of plans in 2010. If you liked your father’s Blue Cross plan when he was a teamster in 1965 that’s all well and good but that has nothing to do with Obama’s statement about the law.

    You also have completely ignored the second part, what part of the law prevents me from losing my policy or doctor.

    I’ve avoided harping on this out of an act of Christian charity towards you. Now that more people are reading this blog I didn’t want you to appear any more foolish to them. But if you insist look back at my previous comments. No one has or can loose their doctor due to the law.

    Your previous statement that the law should require all insurance companies to have all doctors in network and all doctors should be required to take all insurances:

    1. Was never promised by anyone.
    2. If it was it would have been a disaster effectively destroying the very concept of private insurance.

  25. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    This is off point but

    1. They are crappy.

    2. They should not get the benefits of non-crappy plans.

    You said they weren’t crappy. They are what the consumer wants, which doesn’t mean they aren’t crappy. A 32 y/old gay man does not need maternity coverage. A celibate woman of any age doesn’t need maternity coverage. If they choose to buy a plan that doesn’t cover things that don’t or can’t actually apply to them the plan may be called “crappy” by idiot in the beltway but that doesn’t make them substandard in any way except your fevered imagination. And they should get the benefits of plans that fit their needs, in fact Mr Obama promised they would …, but in doing so lied.

    All the law requires is grandfathered plans remain roughly the same

    No. What is construed as “grandfathered” was construed very narrowly, so what might have been reasonably considered grandfathered is not.

    So now you’re telling me that if you liked your policy in 2005 you can keep it?

    No. I liked my 2012 plan. But I can’t grandfather that. Where in his statement does he link the 2010 date as important? These laws are taking effect in 2013 … not 2010.

    That’s nice except if the policy was created after 2010 it had to be in compliance with the law

    You must be mistaken … you meant 2013 when these laws are now taking hold right?

    Your previous statement that the law should require all insurance companies to have all doctors in network and all doctors should be required to take all insurances:

    1. Was never promised by anyone.
    2. If it was it would have been a disaster effectively destroying the very concept of private insurance.

    Actually the “you can keep your doctor” can be reasonably interpreted to mean that this law includes statutes to assist me in holding my doctor even if my plan changes (and to prevent my insurance from cancelling its policy that I now hold). Neither of these interpretations are true, which is problematic for the truthfulness of the statement. And #2 is irrelevant. Why on earth did Mr Obama then promise something even his rabid supports like yourself think is a disaster? Hmm, oh wait, that’s because he was lying.

  26. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    I’m seeing discussion on liberal sites that “crappy” plans will no longer be available. Why do you think the law still allows them, can you cite why you think so?

  27. Boonton says:

    You said they weren’t crappy. They are what the consumer wants, which doesn’t mean they aren’t crappy

    Consumers can want crappy things. McDonalds is crappy food, sometimes I want it, sometimes I don’t. That doesn’t alter it’s status as crap.

    How about an auto insurance policy that only pays out costs over $1M? That’s crappy since almost every accident you’re likely to be liable for will be for less than $1M. But these policies exist, they are called umbrella policies and their purpose is to protect the assets of very wealthy people. They ride on top of the regular auto and home insurance people have.

    So don’t get too hung up on the word ‘crappy’, it’s not meant to be as judgemental as it sounds. But if you didn’t have auto insurance there is a problem with letting you drive with just an ‘umbrella policy’. There’s an auto insurance ‘mandate’ in most states to ensure that if you cause an accident, there’s a good chance the victims will get paid without too much hassel. I have no problem letting people buy umbrella policies, but I don’t think they should count as equal to a regular policy when it comes to the mandate.

    A 32 y/old gay man does not need maternity coverage. A celibate woman of any age doesn’t need maternity coverage.

    If this existed I’d be with you, it doesn’t. If there was a non-maternity plan that was very popular with gay men and celibate women then there would be no need for the insurance company to change it (absent adjustings costs for medical inflation). They would have no problem meeting the grandfathering requirements and this offbeat plan would continue today.

    (And as our friend pointed out, a plan which catered to gay men could easily declare that they will cover maternity and not increase costs since they would never actually have to pay a claim).

    Few qualify for grandfathering, though, because they are often radically changing what they do and don’t cover. The individual market is a never ending ‘whack-a-mole’ game where insurance companies change policies to try to offload the sick to their competition and attract the healthy to their own pool (for example, I could see maternity coverage being added as oncology is quietly subtracted…people with a history of cancer probably aren’t thinking of having more babies but people with few health issues are more likely to be inclined towards making babies). BUT if these plans have been changing year after year that belies your picture of the carefull consumer who has strategically selected a policy designed only to cover the issues he feels are likely to impact him.

    No. What is construed as “grandfathered” was construed very narrowly, so what might have been reasonably considered grandfathered is not.

    Really? Show me.

    No. I liked my 2012 plan. But I can’t grandfather that. Where in his statement does he link the 2010 date as important?

    The law passed in 2010, not 2012. Let me modify this a bit. Say we pass a law banning gas powered cars. This law passes in 2014 and grandfathers in any car manufactured before 12/31/2014. The law goes into effect, though, in 2017. From 2015 to 12/31/2016 gas powered cars can be made and sold and driven but they don’t enjoy the grandfathering. Come 1/1/2017 they can’t drive on the road anymore. The politician said in 2014 “if you like your car you can keep it”. Well you voted for the law in 2014 and at that time you liked your car and you can indeed keep it. If you buy a car a year later that can’t be a car you liked in 2014.

    In other words, it’s pretty absurd to read the promise as a promise that not only would all current policies be preserved but policies created after the law was passed would be preserved forever…in fact every future policy that will ever be created will forever exist. In 2050 a company can’t introduce a policy, run it for a year or two and then discontinue it. Once created it must always remain!

    You must be mistaken … you meant 2013 when these laws are now taking hold right?

    Err no, refer to the above example. If Ford puts out a ‘Last of the Gas powered F150s’ in 2015 they are in compliance with the law. But if you buy it you are buying it knowing it only has two years of road drive time before it must become a museum piece.

    In other words, how could you read a promise from Obama to be allowed to keep your current plan made in 2010 in a way to apply to something that didn’t exist in 2010?

    Actually the “you can keep your doctor” can be reasonably interpreted to mean that this law includes statutes to assist me in holding my doctor even if my plan changes

    Yes, you can change your plan. Or you can keep your plan and pay your doctor cash and get reimbursed for whatever your plan pays for an out of network doctor.

    I read “you can keep your doctor” as the law doesn’t alter the economic relationship you have with your doctor. (As it would if, say, the bill was some type of “national health system” that assigned doctors to patients). Maybe your doctor thinks your insurance hasn’t delievered all the patients their sales rep promised and he’s fed up with the low rates they pay him. Maybe he’s the one whose going to drop your plan next year. I don’t read the statement as promising you can keep both your doctor and your plan no matter what.

    Look suppose there was a bill that regulated your industry and your boss said “can I hire who I want!” and the politician says “if you like your workers you can keep them”. Well next year you may walk in and tell your boss you want a big raise. Or you may tell him your wife found her dream job in Ireland and you’re moving the family there. Would it be reasonable for him to recall the promise to ‘Keep your workers’ as meaning the law must cap your salary or prohibit you from leaving the country?

    I’m seeing discussion on liberal sites that “crappy” plans will no longer be available. Why do you think the law still allows them, can you cite why you think so?

    Because the law does. As I pointed out you are confusing facts of law with facts of the market. In the auto example above it may very well be that even though it’s legal to make gas powered cars from 2015-2017 consumers simply won’t pay a reasonable price for a car they can’t use past 2017 and manufacturers will simply switch to non-gas powered cars in 2015. That’s a reasonable prediction of what the market will do, but don’t confuse it with a legal requirement.

  28. Ed Darrell says:

    This should also make a difference in how we evaluate the events: The law does not require that these non-grandfathered be cancelled now. In fact, the companies could have renewed them now, and they would be good until 2014.

    So, why did the companies decide to dump these clients?

  29. Boonton says:

    There’s another angle here Ed.

    Consider the hypothetical where Mark’s boss is promised “you can keep your workers if you like them”. Even if the law has no impact on the boss’s workers, things change after it’s passed as they always are changing. There is now, though, a line in the sand. Anything that changes after the statement can be taken as a break of the promise. If Mark demands a raise, now the boss can say he can’t have ‘his workers’ since they are demanding too much money. If Mark moves againt he boss can claim his workers have been taken from him.

    I agree with Mark that proper hermeneutics needs to be the starting point here for those who don’t have agenda. I think a simple rule we can all agree upon as a starting pint would be any hermeneutic that leads you to an absurd conclusion no reasonable person would have believed in 2010 should be rejected.

    For example, suppose Mark’s doctor dies in a surfing accident. If Mark were to say the promise was broken because he thought the law would raise dead doctors so they could continue to accept his plan, then we’d say he’s a fool. But Mark’s assertion that the promise to ‘keep your doctor’ means stabalizing or freezing which doctors took which plans leads you down the same path. If you tell a plan they must take a doctor, you destroy a huge part of what insurance tries to do, achieve savings by negotiating with providers (Sorry Mr. Blue Cross, I’m charging $1000 per patient per visit and since I was part of your network in 2010 you have to pay me!). This IMO would be analgous to Mark demanding a raise and the boss crying foul because he can’t ‘keep his worker’. In that case I wouldn’t even say the gov’t is required to ‘help’ pay for Mark’s raise. A hermeneutic that leads to an absurd place needs to be rejected from the start.

    Now the problem here is that people do have agendas. The media has an agenda, to issue sensational stories that get attention. Hence the original accusation was based on an absurd hermeneutic….because Obama ‘knew’ plans turnover so rapidly he knew few if any 2010 plans would be around for more than a few years after the law passed. Change ‘years’ to ‘decades’ and you can say the same thing about our hypothetical ban on gas based cars. Other politicians have agendas and insurance companies have agendas too which colors their hermeneutics. In itself that’s not a horrible thing, I don’t think it would be horrible if they extended grandfathering to post 2010 plans or something like that but I don’t think it’s required to ‘keep the promise’….nor do I think keeping the promise requires making a fetish out of the freezing the state of the insurance market circa 2010 as though that was some type of Platonic ideal moment where everything was perfect.