Repeal and Replace: General Dynamics Obamacare and Single Payer

Out of the facts grows the law.

Let’s look at my facts.

Paying $7,000 a year in premiums for health insurance, family of three for a $10,000 deductible and out of pocket.

But on January 1, 2014 the premiums will double to $14,000.

That’s the equivalent of a cancellation notice.

Go to healthcare.gov and see what they have.

Only one insurance company on the exchange in West Virginia where I live.

Highmark.

But can’t get on healthcare.gov for two weeks.

Reach out to an insurance agent.

He says that given my income, I should be due a subsidy.

We wait a week and he gets on.

He and his staffers lead us through the application.

It takes 90 minutes.

But we make it through the end.

And then, up pops a letter saying that our subsidy will be —

Zero dollars. $0.

The agent says that’s wrong. It’s one of the “glitches.”

A couple days later he says that I have to call a number and tell them about the glitch and they’ll be able to tell me what my subsidy is.

And fix the glitch.

I call the number.

The woman looks up my application. She looks at my income information. My social security number.

And she says — I know that on the web site it says that you call us and you can appeal the subsidy determination, but that’s wrong. We can’t do that.

You actually have to fill out a form, she says. And mail it in.

I ask her — what’s your name?

She gives me her name.

Who do you work for?

And she says she works for healthcare.gov.

I ask her — you mean you get your check from the U.S. Treasury?

No, she says.

Where do you get your check?

She puts me on hold.

She comes back and says — General Dynamics Information Systems.

Okay, so now a defense contractor is looking at my personal information.

I tell my agent that General Dynamics says that I have to print out a form and mail it in.

My agent says — no. We have another fix.

Cancel the application and start again?

No, the agent says, there is no way to cancel an application once you file it.

We’ll just re-apply with your wife as the applicant.

Okay. We make an appointment with the agent to go through the process again. We set aside 90 minutes during the middle of the work day.

We call my agent last week.

Uh, we can’t get into healthcare.gov.

Time is running out, what will we do if we can’t get on in time?

File a hard copy of the application?

Of course, we are not alone.

Obamacare is crumbling around us as we speak.

And even if it worked as efficiently as Amazon, it would be a nightmare.

Because complexity is baked into Obamacare.

And complexity leads to increased costs.

And insurance companies are baked into Obamacare.

And insurance companies lead to increased costs.

Simplicity is baked into single payer.

And simplicity leads to lowered costs.

“The Affordable Care Act is an irreparably flawed model of financing health care, and no amount of patching is going to fix it,” Don McCanne of Physicians for a National Health Program wrote yesterday. “It is and always will be an unstable, expensive and inequitable model of financing health care.”

“You know what is stable?” McCanne asked.  “Medicare. And it is less expensive and more equitable. Yes, it needs continual oversight and refinements, but it has the support of the public. If it were our only health care financing program, in an improved single payer version, virtually all of us would be demanding to keep the insurance that we would then have — an Improved Medicare for All.”

Repeal Obamacare.

Replace with single payer.