Screw You, Mickey Kaus
I've been thrown off my health insurance -- THANKS,
OBAMACARE! -- and have spent hours and hours over the past month trying to
figure out my options now that the Democrats have made my old plan, which I
liked, "illegal." (I prefer to think of my plan as "undocumented.")
Whom do I bill for the hours of work Obamacare forced
me to perform? How about you, Mickey? You're the smartest living liberal (faint
praise), and you assured us that Obamacare was going to be fantastic.
By now, Obama has issued "waivers" from
Obamacare to about 99 percent of the country. (Perhaps you've heard, there's a
big midterm election this year.) As one of the few Americans not granted a
waiver, I'm here to tell you: You have no idea what's coming, America.
I thought I had figured out the best plan for me a
month ago after having doctors and hospital administrators look at the packets
of material I was sent by my old insurance company -- the same mailing that
informed me my old plan was "illegal" under Obamacare.
But when I checked online recently, I discovered the
premier plan -- the "platinum," low-deductible, astronomically
expensive plan that might be accepted by an English-speaking doctor who didn't
attend medical school in a Hawaiian shirt and board shorts -- does not include
treatment at any decent hospitals.
That's sort of unfortunate because THAT'S THE ONLY
REASON I WANT INSURANCE! That's the only reason any sane homo sapien wants
health insurance: to cover health care costs in the event of some catastrophic
illness or accident -- not to pay for Mickey Kaus' allergy appointments. But my
only options under the blue-chip plan were hospitals that also do shoe repair.
I called Blue Cross directly to ask if its most
expensive insurance plan covered the only hospital I'd ever go to in an
emergency. Since that's all I wanted to know, that's what I asked. (I like to
get to the point that way.)
But -- as happens whenever you try to ascertain the
most basic information about insurance under Obamacare -- the Blue Cross
representative began hammering me with a battery of questions about myself.
First my name. (Does that make a difference to what
hospitals its plans cover?) Then my phone number. By the time he got to my
address, I said, CAN YOU PLEASE JUST TELL ME IF ANY OF YOUR PLANS COVER XYZ
HOSPITAL? I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF I WANT TO SIGN UP WITH YOU!
Finally, he admitted that Blue Cross' most expensive
individual insurance plan does not cover treatment at the hospitals I named.
Their doctors are "out of network" (and the person who designed this
plan is "out of his mind").
This was the rest of the conversation, verbatim:
ME: None of your plans cover out-of-network doctors?
ME: Why is it called "Premier Guided Access WITH
BLUE CROSS: Where did you see that?
ME: On Blue Cross' own material describing its plans.
BLUE CROSS: Oh. I don't know why it's called that.
ME: None of your plans cover (the good hospital)?
ME: I don't know who you are, but I have a very
specific set of skills that will help me find you. And when I find you, I am
going to kill you. (Click.)
True conversation. Except the last sentence. That was
I decided to approach it from the opposite direction
and called one of the nation's leading hospitals to ask which plans it
accepted. The woman listed a series of plans, but she couldn't tell me if I was
eligible for any of them. For that, she said, I'd have to go to the Obamacare
Does Obamacare cover suicide?
I went to "healthcare.gov" and -- I guess I
had heard this, but had blocked it from my memory like a rape victim unable to
remember her attack -- you can't even peek at the available plans until you've
given the government reams of personal information about yourself.
How about they let me look at the merchandise first?
Inasmuch as the cost of health insurance under
Obamacare is so high that it will generally make more sense just to pay for
your own catastrophic health emergencies, I was not interested in telling
Kathleen Sebelius everything about me in order to have the privilege of glancing
at the government's crappy plans.
But that's the only choice. As the Obamacare website
(1) Create an account. (Name, password.)
(2) Tell us about yourself and your family. (Every
(3) Choose a health insurance plan. (That's where you
finally get to see the plans.)
I wonder if other consumer-oriented businesses will
start demanding names, addresses, passwords and phone numbers before the
customer is allowed to browse the merchandise. Maybe Williams-Sonoma could pick
up a few sales tricks from Ezekiel Emanuel! Oh, you'd like to see the bronze
muffin tin? Sure, but first I'll need your Social Security number, date of
birth and mother's maiden name. Sign here, here and here.
The main point of the Obamacare website is to
encourage people other than me to get a government subsidy. There's also a
section helping you register to vote. You just can't see the insurance plans.
(Guess which one you need a government ID for?)
With zero help from the Obamacare website, I
eventually figured out that there was one lone insurance plan that would cover
treatment at a reputable hospital. The downside is, no doctors take it.
So my only two health insurance options -- and yours,
too, as soon as the waivers expire, America! -- are: (1) a plan that no doctors take; or (2) a
plan that no hospitals take. You either pay for all your doctor visits and
tests yourself, or you pay for your cancer treatment yourself. And you pay
through the nose in either case.
That's not insurance! It's a huge transfer of wealth
from people who work for a living to those who don't, accomplished by forcing
the workers to buy insurance that's not insurance. Obamacare has made actual
health insurance "illegal."
It's not "insurance" when what I want to
insure against isn't covered, but paying for other people's health care needs
-- defined broadly -- is mandatory.
It's as if you wanted to buy a car, so you paid for a Toyota -- but then all you got was a 10-speed bike, with the
rest of your purchase price going to buy cars, bikes and helmets for other
Or, more precisely, it would be like having the option
of car insurance that covers either collisions or liability, but not both. Your
car insurance premium would be gargantuan, because most of it would go to buy
insurance, gas and air fresheners for other people in the plan.
If you have employer-provided health care, you may not
have to make the 400 phone calls I had to, but the result will be the same:
You're not getting what is commonly known as "insurance." You're
getting a massive bill to pay for other people's chiropractors, marriage
counselors, birth control pills, smoking cessation programs, "preventive
care" appointments and pre-existing conditions.
Health insurance has been outlawed, replaced with a
welfare program that has been renamed "insurance."
When Matt Drudge decided he'd rather pay for his own
health care, liberals hysterically denounced him for not buying an Obamacare
transfer-the-wealth, fake "insurance" plan. It used to be shameful to
be a public charge. Now it's shameful to pay for yourself.
And it's shameful to work for yourself. The
self-employed are currently the only Americans subjected to Obamacare. (In a
way, it's lucky for the Democrats that there aren't enough of us to hurt them
in this year's midterm elections!)
But we're the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. You may
have an employer-provided plan now, but the waivers can't go on forever. If you
live in America, your health insurance is going to disappear, too.
The government simply cannot force all insurance companies
to give subsidized health care to a third of the country, to ignore the
pre-existing health conditions of its customers, to pay for every little thing
tangentially related to health -- like smoking cessation programs, marital
counseling and pediatric dental care -- and also expect them to cover your
It doesn't matter if you've been paying for insurance
your whole adult life. That policy is now "illegal." Put your
hands in the air, nice and easy, and step away from the policy ...
You 99-percenters still unaffected by Obamacare will
blithely go to the polls this November and vote on some teeny-tiny issue,
completely unaware of the total destruction of health insurance in America. The waivers have worked.
Now we'll have to wait 40 years for a future Mickey
Kaus to come along and expose the disastrous consequences of this horrendous
government program, just like the real Mickey Kaus did with welfare. But for
now, I say: Screw you, Mickey Kaus.
Labels: Healthcare, Obama