How Bad Are Obamacare's Problems?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Only 50,000 people signed up for the ACA in October, and reports say that insurance companies are starting to seek alternatives to the website. Julie Rovner, health policy correspondent for NPR, discusses the latest information and what the Obama administration is doing to fix the insurance marketplace troubles.



Julie Rovner

Comments [68]


"No Bid Contracts..."

Wow! Aren't you even going to cite NewsMax as the source for this? Did you learn nothing form Rand Paul kerfuffel?

Nov. 14 2013 09:20 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


"From the Obamacare website to Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" anti-obesity logo, the administration is increasingly doling out no-bid contracts, prompting allegations of favoritism and questions about shoddy work."


Nov. 13 2013 08:31 PM
Carol from New Hope, PA

It actually does look like the costs will be more than 10% of my income next year--probably about 12% plus. I believe that means I would be exempted from the mandate to have insurance or pay the penalty. But given my recent diagnosis I don't think I can opt out of insurance! And I think there will probably be more people like me.

The real villains in this situation are actually the insurance companies who have strategized to ensure minimum risk and maximum profit. I do think that Obama and the administration were incredibly naive about unintended consequences and likely reactions by the insurance industry to the law and its various mandates.

Nov. 13 2013 02:15 PM

@ Carol from New Hope PA (and any of the many others who mentioned that they will be paying more under the ACA) - are you being asked to pay more than 10% of your income?

Nov. 13 2013 11:50 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretenious Hudson Heights

The ACA is becoming the UCA - Unaffordable Care Act.

Nov. 13 2013 11:30 AM

@Geraldo from Manhattan

"@RUCB_Alum - LMAO. I'm glad you are not only an apologist, but a certified mind reader. Some of your long winded posts and responses on various topics are quite funny."

As opposed to terse but pointless? Just trying to keep the conversation lively.

Nov. 13 2013 11:13 AM

@Ed from Larchmont

"It is getting confusing. Did you notice that President O. has purple lips? Not a good sign, purple lips."

What the what!?! Apparently, you haven't dated many people of color, Ed. Purple lips are a sign of increased blood flow in folks of our hue.

Nov. 13 2013 11:10 AM
Geraldo from Manhattan

@RUCB_Alum - LMAO. I'm glad you are not only an apologist, but a certified mind reader. Some of your long winded posts and responses on various topics are quite funny.

Nov. 13 2013 11:10 AM


"Have the producers ever pondered booking a guest that has an alternate viewpoint on the ACA?"

You think Brian's coverage is cheerleading? Open your ears. Admit it. What you want to hear is someone give protracted criticism of ACA. The problem with that is that very few critics of ACA are not biased.

The real problem with PPACA is that Obama's team is implementing what is largely a Republican plan for comprehensive healthcare. There is more than a whiff of ambivalence and, therefore, underperformance.

BHO would have done better to compromise less and get behind a plan that he was more in favor of personally. Medicare for All.

Nov. 13 2013 11:06 AM
Vic from .

All things considered...Obama Care is just another scam. (where's the money?)
Is it true, the people who helped write this legislation are the same people who will profit when the new regulations go into effect? humm...

Also, with all the issues in this stuttering start, what else is going on behind the scenes, or in front of our faces that we might not take notice of...?
Why are we not talking more about this "Corporate Coup dé État" ?
If this agreement is Fast-Tracked signed into legislation, all our insurance issues & worries won't mean a thing.
It's will be over. Checkmate.

Nov. 13 2013 10:56 AM
John from New Jersey

Enough talk from "experts" who have not done their research. Brian and Julie--if you had taken the time to read your own health insurance policy you would probably see that it covers maternity care, prostate cancer,etc. That's because you work for a good company. Most persons who have employer-provided health care from good companies will see coverage items in their policy that don't apply to them because of their sex.

I agree with others. The insurance companies got us into this mess, but our American need to get fancy helped, too. Why couldn't we use a system that worked, "Medicare" and gradually expand it to cover all Americans?

Nov. 13 2013 10:55 AM
Carol from New Hope, PA

Until today when I researched my future options, I was convinced that people complaining about cancelled policies and dramatically higher rates either had very poor coverage or didn't know about subsidies and that a deeper dive would reveal more. I just bought a policy in August 2013 which has high deductibles, but was not a catastrophic policy; the coverage was good and the network somewhat limited but acceptable. Apparently, that policy will not be immediately cancelled but will not be renewed on my anniversary date in August 2014. The shock for me now is that is the closest comparable coverage is $400-$500/month more--potentially $6000/year more than I presently pay. My pension income is too high to qualify for subsidies but that additional $6,000 a year is probably beyond my ability. And the ringer is that I was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I think 60 year olds who don't qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, or exchange subsidies are probably in for a very big sticker shock. I see the problem first hand now. I'm not poor, but this is going to be a very painful transition! And there are probably millions like me who lost their jobs with insurance and started retirement much earlier than they had planned and had to find individual insurance.

Nov. 13 2013 10:52 AM

@S.B. from NJ

"Ms. Rovner is comparing apples to oranges when she says that requiring insurance policies to have maternity is just like having all policies cover cancer..."

Sorry, SB, but you are wrong. Comprehensive healthcare - which on a national level is the ONLY SOUND PRINCIPLE - must cover all possible outcomes in the healthcare universe. *ALL* outcomes even the anatomically impossible and seemingly absurd outcomes.

The failure to understand what comprehensive actually means is yours, not Rovner's.

Nov. 13 2013 10:52 AM
Jeff from Oxford NJ

Why is the law written that the EHBs only apply to the individual and small business group insurance markets? I'm self employed as a freelancer buying my coverage in the open market. I don't need all the pediatric care that is part of the EHBs or even mental/substance abuse coverage. Why is it only this group of policies required to bear these costs?

Nov. 13 2013 10:47 AM
Bill from North Bergen

Anyone who has been following the healthcare reform issue for as long as President Clinton has already knew President Obama was telling the truth, but telling it slant (to mangle Ms. Dickinson). Implementing the ACA was/is/will be like ripping a Band-Aid off a hairy arm. It will hurt like all get-out, but it has to be done. And Congress chose to do it very gradually.

President Clinton was taking a cheap shot, pretending to be surprised by this development even though he saw it coming miles away. Perhaps he's doing this to put a little daylight between his wife and the ACA rollout snafu. It's what he does. It's like a mutant power -- generating spontaneous empathy.

President Obama knew America was asking him a yes-or-no question. Will we lose our coverage or not? And because the last thing you ever want to do is tell the American people something complicated, he fibbed. He made a calculated risk. If I had the choice between throwing an already unpopular, large-scale healthcare reform bill to the wolves and telling a lie to everyone in America, I'd choose to lie. It's wrong, but it's less wrong. This is a lie that hurts the liar. Had the President told the whole truth, that would have been the end of the ACA. That would hurt everyone.

Nov. 13 2013 10:45 AM


I agree with your comment especially with your closing remark about a "single payer" plan.

I'm a brand new MEDICARE customer (age 66). Even though Medicare only covers 80% of my Medical needs and not the 90% that your "Golden" plan covers. My deductible is only $154 this year (I do believe it went up a few dollars)... Don't forget, I'm 66 years old. How much do you think the Medicare 'deductible" would be if we added 200 million new "Healthy" customers to the Group?

For an additional $250 a month I now have 100% coverage.. no deductible.. no copay.. no out-of-pocket... and, all the doctors (4 specialists plus GP) that I used when I was 64, accept my Medicare now that I'm 66.

It just boggles the mind why people are not DEMANDING... Medicare for ALL.

Nov. 13 2013 10:45 AM
Eileen from Brooklyn

This is a case study in this rah-rah system we have. Everyone picks a red or blue team (including the press which should actually be vetting both side but never or rarely does) and as long as your team wins, great. Then we get to see what disaster is actually passed and worry about it then. Sad. Even this program rarely delves very deeply into consequences or we have guests on programs that are not well versed and just know talking points.

People were warning about this for years and were summarily ignored or belittled and here we are. GET OFF YOUR D AND R BLINDERS, people. When a politician says we need to pass a bill before we know what is in it, run!

Nov. 13 2013 10:42 AM
Eileen from Brooklyn

This is a case study in this rah-rah system we have. Everyone picks a red or blue team (including the press which should actually be vetting both side but never or rarely does) and as long as your team wins, great. Then we get to see what disaster is actually passed and worry about it then. Sad. Even this program rarely delves very deeply into consequences or we have guests on programs that are not well versed and just know talking points.

People were warning about this for years and were summarily ignored or belittled and here we are. GET OFF YOUR D AND R BLINDERS, people. When a politician says we need to pass a bill before we know what is in it, run!

Nov. 13 2013 10:41 AM
Tina from Queens

Bottom line - PAY if you want to PLAY.
No one can get quality insurance with little money. American healthcare services are EXPENSIVE. We all want to be treated good while paying bad. We don't think twice about doing that a restaurant (which is not a necessity like health insurance). We, as human beings of western civilations, got to think that medical care is a given. Unfotunately it is not. I wish it did. And, on top of that, insurance companies have to make a profit from the premiums, besides paying for the health care. It's simple economics math. When the income is less than the payout, the system will cease to exist.
I do not have the solution to the financials of health care system. Nobody does yet, or they would use it.
But, I have a suggestion:
1. Everyone has to change their mind set, and realize that they have to allocate more of their income for health, and less for nonvital expenses.
2. Insurance companies should give up making OBSCENE amounts of profits and settle for profits HUGE ENOUGH that enable their CEOs live an upper middle class lifestyle instead of the 1% super-lifestyle they have been living until now.
It is called coming together as humans.

Nov. 13 2013 10:40 AM

Havethe producers ever pondered booking a guest that has an alternate viewpoint on the ACA? Hearing you cheerlead for this topic day after day instead of discussing the actual pros and cons is getting tiresome.

Nov. 13 2013 10:37 AM
Joseph Bell from Downtown

Affordable Care Act policies are no more complex than any other Health insurance policies. All of the questions being asked (and they sound very typical to my experienced ear) would normally be answered by licensed Insurance Agents. Since the ACA largely cuts agents out of the game, we have confusion.
Perhaps I am biased being an agent myself. However, I do support the goals of the law. Any honest observer would have to conclude that the Individual health insurance market has been in a state of crisis for many, many years.

Nov. 13 2013 10:36 AM

@manny from westchester

"What really disturbs me is that during the shutdown Obama argued American's need the AFC because the free market cannot be trusted. Now, he is arguing the opposite. It's more than dishonesty: he has betrayed all Americans."

WTF are you talking about? PPACA has *always* been based upon a private insurance market. If you have a citation for your assertion, please name it. Otherwise, you are making stuff up.

Nov. 13 2013 10:36 AM
PJ from White Plains, NY

Mr. Lehrer, I have been listening to your show for years but you are about to lose me. You appear to have joined with most of our mass media in trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act. You are all but trampling over Julie Rovner's answers. Presumably you've got decent health insurance, but I'll just remind you that the ACA is the first national program of any kind that seeks to provide health insurance for the 40 million Americans who were going without for all these years — and whose medical costs have been pumping up bills for all of us.

I've found NPR's coverage of this topic to be unbalanced at best, but I expect better from WNYC. I can't help but wonder if some of those "corporate underwriters" to which you are expected to pay fealty every fifteen minutes are exerting just a tiny bit of influence here.

Nov. 13 2013 10:35 AM
S.B. from NJ

Ms. Rovner is comparing apples to oranges when she says that requiring insurance policies to have maternity is just like having all policies cover cancer, or having all people pay taxes to support Medicaid, etc.

Is it possible that a correspondent who specializes in healthcare really doesn't understand these differences in these requirements? Or is she just trying to downplay the requirement for men, elderly women, etc. to have maternity care? Very odd.

Nov. 13 2013 10:33 AM
RJ from prospect hts

It's not that complicated on state exchange to find individual providers on state plan. Once at the point of choosing plans, there's metal level, then a list of plans within it with your subsidies if any; choose those and there's a drop-down menu for providers and specialties that tell you if you're provider is in that plan. It's a pain when checking multiple plans before deciding, but it's not complicated. At least in NYS.

Nov. 13 2013 10:32 AM

It never ceases to amaze me why so many people don't seem to understand that the insurance companies are the ones who have repeatedly been deceitful on both sides of the equations.

Health care practitioners are giving up being on provider panels because the paperwork takes more up more time and cost than actually providing care. Why bother when so many insurance companies are set up to deny coverage that people thought they were paying for? Currently there are very few pediatricians on the Upper East Side who will take insurance.

On the other side of the equation even with our so called "gold plated" insurance plan that costs us $20,000 a year we pay a $2,000 deductable for hospital coverage and our insurance denied payment for putting a cast on my broken wrist. After 14 phone calls I gave up. You would think casting a broken arm would be a no brainer medical necessity. My husband is eligible for Medicare now, but that doesn't help us one iota. We will still be in the $20,000 a year range but its unclear whether or not we will be able to keep this plan. How we can afford more is beyond my conception, but given that the insurance industry has raised our rates by 50% a year in the last three years (so we downgrade our coverage) I would be shocked if they don't figure out a way to raise our rates or drop our coverage to even less.

We should have a single payer plan. The insurance industry is rife with corruption.

Nov. 13 2013 10:30 AM
Mike from Long Island

Mrs. Rovner makes a false comparison between insurance and schooling, but school education is public but health insurance - commercial enterprise. If we were talking about single payer system, then there's another thing, but this is typical Obama's demagoguery . Obama is selling the American people to special corporate interests.

Nov. 13 2013 10:29 AM
Gordon from NJ

Ms. Rovner's comments that we are all in one risk pool as if this were some sort of immutable fact. Typically, you insure against things that *might* happen to you, meaning things that *could* happen. A woman will not get prostate cancer, nor will one past childbearing age have children. It makes no sense for her, as an individual, to insure against events that cannot happen.

Ms. Rovner is entitled to her belief that we all *should* be treated as if we were in one risk pool, but she should not present this as some sort of fact about insurance.

Nov. 13 2013 10:28 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

I wish somebody would discuss the real issues with the ACA and cost control.

It's true that the individual market is being shaken up (republican talking point) but the real story is that a huge individual market is being created! It doesn't matter if some freelancer making 400% of poverty (50K) has to pay more, the problem is that people who make 15-20K have to buy insurance AT ALL. Even with a government subsidy nobody who makes less than 20K (a hug % in this P/T Wal Mart nation) can afford to pay anything at all! That is the true injustice in Obamacare and the best reason to move to single payer.

Nov. 13 2013 10:28 AM
Alexa from nyc

Brian, I am losing all faith in you as an objective interviewer. First of all you constantly introduce the Obamacare Act as the "debacle" --NOT objective. You only quote republican figures, where are you quoting any figures about how many people who have received better coverage in all the States that are doing it??? It is THE INSURANCE COMPANIES who are cancelling people NOT the Act itself that is cancelling anyone!

Stop mocking the whole thing! Like your comment "Governor Christie's new 'best friend'" when he was respectful to the President. It is time for you to move to commercial radio I think. Give us less opinion--particularly as you only do it in such a one sided way--quoting republican only figures. Because they are SO GOOD at spewing lies.

Nov. 13 2013 10:26 AM

Clearly, the public (and very few journalists) understands the concept of risk pooling.

Covering 'some conditions' is not adequate for comprehensive insurance. It would be owning comprehensive auto insurance except when you get hit by a blue car...

These are junk exclusions (from my view they usually devolve from some GOP talking point) need to be responded to clearly.

Nov. 13 2013 10:26 AM
Joseph Bell from Downtown

Why did they have to reinvent the Wheel? Because Obamacare was designed with very low Commission payments to agents!

Nov. 13 2013 10:25 AM
RJ from prospect hts

The people who have been left out of this discussion is the growing numbers of entrepreneurs who are in associations and get their plans as a group without an employer. I've gone through the NYS Web site, and while it looks like I'll still be paying ~$10,000 (I have a chronic medical condition), it's better than the $17,000+(what would have been next year's increase) for an individual. My old association plan met the ACA requirements in part because of NYS's already pre-existing mandates. 2 of my providers are not in the network, but the $10,000 (still approximate) includes the full payment for them. The other thing that's not discussed is that there is virtually no out-of-network coverage--that's why it's more expensive for me.

But unfortunately, since Obama was forced to avoid a "public option" or "medicare for all" plan, and include for-profit, dollar-focused insurance companies. If they included out-of-network provisions, premiums would go up--the only question would be whether the increase in premiums would, in toto, be less than the ~$10,000 I'm going to be forced to.

And believe me, these costs have had a major impact on my way of life, my work, my stress level--but chronic medical conditions do not leave much room: death or deprivation. It's as blunt as that.

Nov. 13 2013 10:25 AM

Will from Nyack - is your new rate more than 10% of your income?

Nov. 13 2013 10:25 AM
Dee from Brooklyn

The problem is Obama compromised too much on his original plan and now put something out that was destined to fail. I support universal health care and I support the President's intentions but too bad what he wanted is not what was put out or what we got. We should have the same "free" health insurance as those in office. So sick and backwards this whole debate and discussion is...

Nov. 13 2013 10:25 AM
Scott from NJ

I can think of no better argument than my own highlighting the need for young and healthy people to have healthy insurance. I'm in my mid twenties, and always thought I was healthy. A few weeks ago, I ended up in the hospital, and was diagnosed with a chronic condition, which after several weeks of testing, we now know will be manageable. If I did not have health insurance, I would be either in a really bad financial situation right now, or would not have received necessary treatment and testing. Fortunately, my employer does provides good health insurance, but until a few weeks ago, I never used it. Even if my employer didn't provide insurance, I'd have it anyway for unpredictable situations.

Nov. 13 2013 10:24 AM
manny from westchester

What really disturbs me is that during the shutdown Obama argued American's need the AFC because the free market cannot be trusted. Now, he is arguing the opposite. It's more than dishonesty: he has betrayed all Americans.

Nov. 13 2013 10:24 AM
BK from Hoboken

Why does maternity care keep coming up Brian? Because you keep bringing it up. It's basic insurance. Can I choose to not have coverage for breast cancer because it afflicts 99% women? Can my wife opt out of prostate cancer coverage? It's the definition of insurance. Stop bringing it up.

Nov. 13 2013 10:21 AM
Will from Nyack

I have a small business plan with Oxford with two employees - myself and my wife. I have been told that some time in 2014 if I do not hire someone I will no longer be qualified for a small business plan because husband and wife will not count as two employees and I will be forced to go to the exchange. The individual rate on my current plan is about $735 now and my insurance agent tells me the equivalent plan in the exchange now is about $925.

Nov. 13 2013 10:21 AM
The Truth from Becky

I have the same insurance and a decrease in premium. ALL situations are different.

Really Bill Clinton? People who live in glass houses should not throw stones...STFU!!

Nov. 13 2013 10:21 AM

Is anyone paying more than 10% of their income for their plan? Thought that was one of "the promises."

Nov. 13 2013 10:21 AM

As it always does -- this conversation is really a discussion of the difference between companies won, Health Insurance, and what people need, Health Care.

Nov. 13 2013 10:20 AM
Pat from Nyack

My gosh, it is amazing how many, including Julie Rovner commenting on the story on air, are trying to make excuses for President Obama. He's a big boy, has a brain, and screwed up with his statement. He deserves to be on the hot seat. He wasn't running for Senior Class President. And yes, I'm a Democrat, lifelong.

Nov. 13 2013 10:20 AM
Dee from Montclair

If you fall down and break a leg it can cost 100K, if you have crappy insurance and get hurt, you are out of luck and the rest of us pay for you, or you don't get fixed. Stop talking about maternity, coverage is coverage. A big pool of people pay in, we need a single payer system.

Nov. 13 2013 10:20 AM
J M from UWS

I am getting socked with less comprehensive care for the same price!!!!!

I had good insurance. But the premium was high.

Now the high premium plans offer less care!!!

Nov. 13 2013 10:19 AM
The Truth from Becky

I have the same insurance and a decrease in premium. ALL situations are different.

Really Bill Clinton? People who live in glass houses should not throw stones...STFU!!

Nov. 13 2013 10:19 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Just couldn't have a public option, through an expanded medicaid. Nah, hail to the insurance companies.

Nov. 13 2013 10:19 AM
J from nj

Here's a naive question... If there's money to be made (as the insurance companies are clearly doing), why doesn't the government just create a national insurance company that covers everyone?

Nov. 13 2013 10:18 AM

Insurance companies are not unilaterally choosing to drop people. They are required by law to provide more coverage. They are for-profit businesses and need to make their own financial decisions. I hate the medical insurance model that exists in this country, and find it disgusting that insurance company CEOs make so much money from that system, but things are they way they are because government keeps giving insurance companies more control over medical care.

We do not have medical "insurance" in this country. We have "all you can eat" buffet tickets. That is not a sensible approach to providing universal access to healthcare.

Nov. 13 2013 10:18 AM
Elizabeth from Kingston, NY

My husband runs a small non-profit in Manhattan. While the insurance for his employees is not 'cancelled', the plan they use is being 'discontinued' so he has to change plans and the new one will likely be more expensive than the current one.

Nov. 13 2013 10:16 AM
J M from UWS

My individual plan was not artificially low in price. It was artificially high. And it met more than the minimum requirements of the ACA.


It offered out-of-network coverage -- which is a must in NYC where half the doctors are out of all networks.

No referrals.

Low deductible for out of network only.

No in network deductible.

However, it was cancelled. And I am now in the throes of finding something on the NYS exchange, and am confronted with paying high prices for in-network only, high deductible, and no one can tell me what plans my doctors are on.

As long as health care is in thrall to insurance companies they will call the shots.

I don't think Obama lied. He was just clueless about the realities of the situation -- that millions of people have insurance privately, not through their "jobs."

Nov. 13 2013 10:16 AM

Past savings? Hell, no. Hasn't really been implemented yet. A 'fair test' is at least 3 years long.

Worth Saving? That would depend on what comes in its place. It's a damn site better than the way it was. If we can move forward to a public option, I'd say why not.

The full truth about canceled non-ACA compliant plans is that 60% of these go away every year regardless. Insurance companies are pinning cancellations on Obamacare which is not the whole truth.

The 'sticker shock' of the actual price of a compliant plan is now out there.

Get an estimate of your cost under Obamacare in seconds at

For Brian L - Are the President's "If you like..." quotes edited down from a longer sentence as is so often the case with the President's outrageous utterance, e.g. "You didn't build that", "fifty-seven states".

Nov. 13 2013 10:15 AM
Debra from New Jersey

My insurance plan premium will actually be reduced(!)$200/month with the new requirements. My plan was always compliant, but reading the information, I see that they are updating the other plans to become more compliant.
I understand that the insurance companies aren't cancelling the policies, they are "phasing out" certain plans and we were given an opportunity to switch plans if necessary.
Everyone wants to gamble with going without adequate insurance - UNTIL they need it. I see too many people make this mistake.

Nov. 13 2013 10:14 AM

The market has been distorted. So no we need a law requiring insurance company's to NOT charge what the fair market value has become. It's Orwellian to call it the Affordable Care Act. Enough apologizing for Obama.

Nov. 13 2013 10:14 AM
steve mark from UES

As Tom Friedman said, "you break it you own it." You can fix the law by legislating the individual issues: pre-existing conditions, tort reform, interstate competition, premium limits, deductible limits, etc. Leave Medicare alone and stop making excuses for Obama.

Nov. 13 2013 10:14 AM
carolita from nyc

Obama is not responsible for the actions of the greedy insurance companies. And sub-par insurance policies NEED to be cancelled. What needs to happen is that subsidies must be offered to people who were paying for those sub-par policies because they can't afford better ones. But one thing nobody is talking about is how many people are living on their credit cards these days, and whose tax returns don't reflect their debt load, and who really cannot afford the "brass plans" nor are offered subsidies based on their tax returns.

Nov. 13 2013 10:14 AM
Jim in Brooklyn from Brooklyn

Wouldn't the simplest solution be to offer an additional subsidy to anyone who lost their individual policy to make up the difference between the "artificially low" rate they paid on the private market and the best deal they can find through the exchange?

Nov. 13 2013 10:12 AM

This is all a ploy by the insurance companies. Their goal is profit.

Nov. 13 2013 10:12 AM
Dee from Montclair

Why don't you ever speak to people who lost their life savings and their homes, because they couldn't get affordable insurance before the law passed? Insurance companies have treated people with complete disdain for years. The insurance companies are the villains here.

Nov. 13 2013 10:09 AM

Dear President Obama:

This is the price you pay for having made a pact with the devil insurance industry.


Your friend Richard

Nov. 13 2013 10:09 AM
BK from Hoboken

Not sure where the surprise comes from regarding costs going up for young healthy people. We knew that many young healthy people with bare bones policies were going to end up paying more, while many sick people or those with pre-existing conditions are making out better. This was all analyzed a long time ago.
That said, I think with the disaster, the government should give the same one year relief from penalty to individuals that it gave to businesses.

Nov. 13 2013 10:09 AM
Jenna from hamilton heights

This should bring to everyone's attention how completely insane and distorted our delivery of health care is. Obama care or not. We actually may need a total systems failure in order for people to realize this, and move to a single payer system.

Nov. 13 2013 10:09 AM
Janet Moyers-Bowmer from New Jersey

The young man bill Clinton showed such sympathy for makes 400% of poverty level makes $94,000 plus per year and should have NO problem paying for it. He needs to get over it and realize that with 2 kids he SHOULD have the best health insurance he can. He would certainly expect help if one of his children became seriously ill or injured.

Nov. 13 2013 10:08 AM
art525 from Park Slope

Are you going to unpack it Brian? Are you going to drill down?

Nov. 13 2013 10:03 AM

I used to like Obamacare when I thought it was other people's problem. I mean I have insurance what do I care? All those people in the NY Times comments complaining are probably just whiny Republicans. Then I found out my insurance doesn't qualify and I'll have to pay a fine or sign up for a more expensive plan I can't afford. I feel like a peasant whose lord just told him he has to give up the rest of the surplus from the harvest. Obamacare doesn't feel very "free market" and it sure doesn't feel "socialist" either. Some people might use other "F" words to describe it but to me it just feels like rent-seeking feudal behavior. Awful.

Nov. 13 2013 09:42 AM

There is a very simple way to fix ACA - demand that Obamas, Pelosis, and families of everybody else who voted for the law get their health insurance through the ACA website.

Let them eat what they cooked!

Nov. 13 2013 09:10 AM
Ed from Larchmont

It is getting confusing. Did you notice that President O. has purple lips? Not a good sign, purple lips.

Nov. 13 2013 08:55 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

The real question is whether or not Obamacare is WORTH saving? For the people who are really sick and/or have preexisting conditions this program is a godsend but for everyone else it is an expensive taxpayer funded handout to the insurance industry. It is political poison and will put a Republican in the white house in 2016.

If the Dems don't have the grapes to fight for single payer then they ought to let the ACA be partially repealed and fight to preserve the Medicaid expansion and further extend medicare/medicaid to people who the health insurance companies refuses to cover. Obama has done a few good things but the ACA is NOT like the "Part D" roll-out problems, it's a false analogy. The ACA is NOT popular and will get less popular over time. Obama and the dems have foolishly bought the entire screwed up US Healthcare system and now they own every crappy thing the insurance industry pulls from here on in because those are their "partners". Complete idiocy.

Nov. 13 2013 08:50 AM

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