Friday, May 14, 2010

High risk patients will still pay more

Well, surprise, surprise, surprise.  Madam Pelosi's statement that they'd have to pass it before we see what's in it may go down as one of history's most prescient.  The Associated Press, getting down to digging through a bill it should have dissected six months ago, finds that patients paying into high risk insurance pools will get virtually no relief from Obamacare, whatsoever. 

But in an exceptionally cruel "Screw You" quirk of Obamacare, patients who already pay into a high-risk insurance pool will keep paying high rates, while new patients enrolling in the new Obamacare flavor of the program will get coverage at much lower rates.

Julie Kramer, 53, is feeling a bit cheated. She's paid high premiums — about $700 a month — for nearly seven years into Illinois' high-risk pool.

"It feels very unfair. It goes against the spirit of what health care reform was supposed to be," said Kramer, a self-employed writer and owner of Full Moon Marketing Communications in Vernon Hills. "This does seem like a low blow."


Kramer's deductible, which she has to pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in, is $1,000. Last year, her medical expenses didn't reach that amount, so she paid all her medical bills herself.

This is just one of a myriad of nasty surprises found in the 2,300+ page abomination, and it classically illustrates the pitfalls of "comprehensive" reform packages like Obamacare.  Such sweeping measures are inevitably shown to be incredibly large, incredibly foolish Rube Goldberg machines.  They routinely fail to address the problems they purport to address.  They routinely turn small problems into big ones and manufacture massive headaches where none existed before.

Ms. Kramer's situation is a dreadful one to be sure, but who is surprised?  Did anyone seriously think that Obamacare was going to create a net benefit?  Many of the programs' costs are scheduled to start kicking in this summer. Very few of its benefits will be realized until 2014, and "low blow" surprises like this are coming from a law not even two months old.