Friday, December 20

The latest "fix" from Team Obama to work around the cancellation of policies that IT forced

An old rule of thumb in the U.S. has been "three strikes and you're out:"  If you can't get something right in roughly 3 swings, it's probably a sign that something's fundamentally wrong.

Of course "progressives" and socialists exempt themselves and their programs from this guideline.  For things they've decided to do they'll keep swinging til the media divert voters' attention to something else, or until a lousy program is staggering along just well enough that they can claim it as a total, stunning, brilliant victory.

Thus we've seen a series of "fixes" for Obamacare.  You may have heard that Obamacare  forced the cancellation of over 5 million individual health insurance policies.  This was done deliberately, to force the people who had those policies to buy more expensive, higher-deductible policies approved by the crapmeisters in Washington.  When it became clear to Team Obama that the bug-riddled website would leave a LOT of people without health insurance on January 1st, they held a press conference "urging" insurance companies to offer to keep the old, cancelled policies in force until some future date.

Gotta love that euphemism "urged."  In the current fascist environment, if you're a big company and the government "urges" you to do something, do ya think there might just be an iron fist hidden under that nice velvet glove?

In any case, potential voters continued to complain to their congresswhores.  Since all members of the House and a third of the senate must stand for re-election every two years, those members in contestable seats (about 30 altogether) were none too happy about the pressure.  Facing a possible revolt from the usually-compliant congress, Team Obama sprang into action with the latest "fix:"

They noted that their wonderful law contained a "hardship clause."  Thus all Team Obama needed to do to fix everything was to decree that anyone whose policy was cancelled should claim "hardship"!
December 19, 2013
Subject: Options Available for Consumers with Cancelled Policies

The Affordable Care Act provides many new consumer protections.  [Would that be "protections" like forcing men to buy maternity care?  Forcing teetotalers to buy coverage for substance-abuse counseling?  Those kinds of "protections"?]  In some instances, health insurance issuers in the individual and small group markets are cancelling policies that do not include the new protections for policy or plan years beginning in 2014. 
Note how the decree blames "health insurance issuers" for cancelling the policies--cleverly avoiding mentioning that the insurance companies were *forced* by the law itself to stop selling health-insurance policies that didn't include all the fabulous provisions listed above. Cuz, see, that would be way too close to admitting that their law had thrown everyone into this jeopardy.
Because some consumers [actually almost everyone] were finding other coverage options to be more expensive than their cancelled plans or policies, President Obama announced a transition period allowing for the renewal of cancelled plans and policies [thru] October 1, 2014, under certain circumstances. Some states have adopted the transitional policy, enabling health insurance issuers to renew their existing plans and policies. Some health insurance issuers are not renewing cancelled plans or policies.
"Announced" sounds so much nicer than "decreed," doesn't it?
To ensure that consumers whose policies are being cancelled are able to keep affordable health insurance coverage, we are reminding consumers in the individual market of the many options already available to them, and we are clarifying another option for consumers in the individual market.

Options for Consumers

If your individual market health insurance policy has been cancelled, a number of options are already available to you:

• You have the chance to buy any of your health insurance issuer’s individual market
policies available to you in 2014.  
• You may shop for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace (the Marketplace). Depending on your income and other factors, you may be eligible to receive a premium tax credit that will help cover the cost of purchasing coverage through the Marketplace or cost-sharing reductions for Marketplace coverage. You may also be eligible for Medicaid.  
• You can also shop for policies outside the Marketplace. This is a good option if you do not qualify for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions [what the hell does this mean??] based on your income. If you do qualify for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions, you can only get such assistance if you enroll through the Marketplace.

If you have been notified that your individual market policy will not be renewed, you will be eligible for a hardship exemption and will be able to enroll in catastrophic coverage. If you believe that the plan options available in the Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy, you will be eligible for catastrophic coverage if it is available in your area.

In order to purchase this catastrophic coverage, you need to [much less fascist than "you must," eh?] complete a hardship exemption form, and indicate that your current health insurance policy is being cancelled and you consider other available policies unaffordable. You will then need to submit the following items to an issuer offering catastrophic coverage in your area: (1) the hardship exemption form; and (2) supporting documentation indicating that your previous policy was cancelled. For example, you can submit your cancellation letter or some other proof of cancellation.

If you are applying for catastrophic coverage from the same issuer that cancelled your previous policy, the issuer may be able to confirm that based on its internal records. You may then purchase catastrophic coverage from that issuer. Your issuer will send these items to CMS, and CMS will verify that you were eligible for this hardship exemption.  If you are not able to submit supporting documentation at the time you submit the exemption form, CMS will contact you to let you know your application is incomplete and cannot be processed until you submit supporting documentation of your previous policy’s cancellation. 
See, told ya that soothing bullshit "you need to" a paragraph earlier was actually a "you must."  If you analyze bureau-babble for awhile it's easy to spot when they're trying to disguise commands as "gosh, you could do this if you really wanted to, but really, we're not at all forcing you."

My wife gets exasperated when I mention this sort of thing.  "It's just words," she says.  "Why do you get so worked up because some bureaucrat chooses to phrase things badly?"

Because it's not "phrasing things badly."  The phrasing is very carefully chosen to mislead the distracted citizen (and doesn't that cover almost everyone?) into thinking the government hasn't just taken one more step toward totalitarianism.  By a thousand such small steps is freedom lost.

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