Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, September 19, 2019

Health insurance companies are expected to pay $743 billion in refunds to consumers this month because of an Affordable Care Act rule, according to a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Who knew?:

The Obama-era health law requires insurance companies that cover individuals and small businesses to spend at least 80% of the money they take in as premiums on paying out claims and improving quality. Large group plans must spend at least 85%.

#1 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-09-16 10:15 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Thanks Obama!

#2 | Posted by danni at 2019-09-16 10:27 AM | Reply

@#1 ... spend at least 80% of the money they take in as premiums on paying out claims and improving quality. ...

Perhaps that is one of the reasons why Obamacare is hated so much by Republicans.

Obamacare requires that healthcare corporations funnel the money they take in back to the healthcare of the patients, and not into the pockets of the wealthy owners.

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-16 10:30 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Perhaps that is one of the reasons why Obamacare is hated so much by Republicans."

Perhaps but I think the biggest reason Republicans hate Obamacare it's the first five letters of that word.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2019-09-16 10:47 AM | Reply

Nobody wants that money back

Sincerely
Jeffytoecenreberlymansheep

#5 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2019-09-16 10:54 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

@#4 ... Perhaps but I think the biggest reason Republicans hate Obamacare it's the first five letters of that word. ...

There may be some truth to that.

During the Clinton era, a Conservative group (Heritage Institute?) put forth a plan for healthcare that was remarkably like Obamacare. It had the mandatory participation. The justification for that was that the Conservatives had become tired of people getting free services in the emergency room because they could not afford to pay for those services. The hospitals then made up for those costs by adding to the bills of those who could pay, among those who could pay were the Conservatives.

It also was the precursor to the plan that fmr Gov Romney put into place in Massachusetts. The Republicans didn't seem to mind it then.

Then, when fmr Pres Obama put it into place, the Republicans lost it.

So, yeah, there may be some truth to what you say.


#6 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-16 11:07 AM | Reply

Obamacare is not the same as Romneycare. Just because they contained some similar portions, and a slew of dishonest people downplaying their dissimilarities, does not make accepting one and objecting to the other hypocritical.

www.sfgate.com
boston.cbslocal.com
www.mysanantonio.com

Here's Heritage explaining the differences between their plan and Obamacare: www.heritage.org

Nice to see the old lies making a comeback only to get slapped down by facts again.

#7 | Posted by Avigdore at 2019-09-16 11:45 AM | Reply

When I want information about insurance I always consult the Heritage Foundation. Riiiight!!!!

#8 | Posted by danni at 2019-09-16 12:06 PM | Reply

"Just because they contained some similar portions..."

They shared the central provision: a mandate, even though your author claims otherwise. He admits:

"The confusion arises from the fact that 20 years ago, I held the view that as a technical matter, some form of requirement to purchase insurance was needed in a near-universal insurance market to avoid massive instability through "adverse selection"..."

As a "technical matter", meaning when using actual math, instead of Republican Math. A mandate is the only way to pay for the system.

#9 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-09-16 12:10 PM | Reply

@#7 ... Here's Heritage explaining the differences between their plan and Obamacare ...

Thanks for that link.

Here's an excerpt from it...

...Nevertheless, the myth persists. ObamaCare "adopts the 'individual mandate' concept from the conservative Heritage Foundation," Jonathan Alter wrote recently in The Washington Post. MSNBC's Chris Matthews makes the same claim, asserting that Republican support of a mandate "has its roots in a proposal by the conservative Heritage Foundation." Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi and others have made similar claims.

The confusion arises from the fact that 20 years ago, I held the view that as a technical matter, some form of requirement to purchase insurance was needed in a near-universal insurance market to avoid massive instability through "adverse selection" (insurers avoiding bad risks and healthy people declining coverage). At that time, President Clinton was proposing a universal health care plan, and Heritage and I devised a viable alternative.

My view was shared at the time by many conservative experts, including American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholars, as well as most non-conservative analysts. Even libertarian-conservative icon Milton Friedman, in a 1991 Wall Street Journal article, advocated replacing Medicare and Medicaid "with a requirement that every U.S. family unit have a major medical insurance policy."

My idea was hardly new. Heritage did not invent the individual mandate....


I wasn't sure if it was the Heritage Institute (hence the question mark I placed in my comment).

It looks like it was the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and not the Heritage institute, that was involved in the early "health insurance for all" proposals.


#10 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-16 12:21 PM | Reply

@#10 ... It looks like it was the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and not the Heritage institute ...

OK, it does appear to be Heritage, but not Heritage Institute, but Heritage Foundation...

How the Heritage Foundation, a Conservative Think Tank, Promoted the Individual Mandate (October 2011)
www.forbes.com

...James Taranto, who writes the Wall Street Journal's excellent "Best of the Web" column, put forth a lengthy and informative discussion yesterday on the conservative origins of the individual mandate, whose inclusion in Obamacare is today its most controversial feature on the Right.

This came up at Tuesday's Western Republican Leadership Conference Debate, where Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich tussled on the question:

ROMNEY: Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you.

GINGRICH: That's not true. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.

ROMNEY: Yes, we got it from you, and you got it from the Heritage Foundation and from you.

GINGRICH: Wait a second. What you just said is not true. You did not get that from me. You got it from the Heritage Foundation....


Interesting article. :)

#11 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-16 12:45 PM | Reply

Now you see why the GOP wants to kill it.

#12 | Posted by Nixon at 2019-09-16 02:00 PM | Reply

@#9 ... They shared the central provision: a mandate ...

Yup. That was an important part of the Obamacare architecture.

As I said in my comment #6 that seemed to have caused the objections to be raised: "a Conservative group (Heritage Institute?) put forth a plan for healthcare that was remarkably like Obamacare. It had the mandatory participation."

That mandatory participation is key to such a healthcare system functioning. It is how you develop the insurance pool.

It was a part of Obamacare, it was part of Romneycare and it was part of (now that I know the correct name, thanks to the Forbes article) HeritageFoundationCare.

#13 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-16 02:02 PM | Reply

"Thanks Obama!

#2 | POSTED BY DANNI "

Enjoy your $2, Danni

#14 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-16 05:09 PM | Reply

My health insurer sent me an email a week or two ago to say I'd be getting a refund.

Thanks for making them actually pay for health care, Obama!

#15 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-09-18 01:31 AM | Reply

"Enjoy your $2, Danni"

$743 BILLION GOATMAN! I question if there was a typo and a B replaced an M but if not and you still can't recognize the true benefit of this to the American people then you are just obstinate and can't ever admit you are wrong about anything, much like Trump.

#16 | Posted by danni at 2019-09-19 09:01 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Something is wrong with this math...

"The $743 billion is about four times the amount paid last year. It will go to 2.75 million consumers, with average refund expected to be about $270, though some insured individuals reportedly could get as much as $2,000."

2.75 million * $270 is ~$743 MILLION dollars.

My guess is the author confused billion for million.

#17 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-09-19 09:43 AM | Reply

WSJ says it is $743 Million...

www.wsj.com

#18 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-09-19 09:45 AM | Reply

#18 Yes, you are right. Good catch. From the Kaiser website

Using data reported by insurers to CMS, we estimate insurers will be issuing a total of at least $1.3 billion across all markets " exceeding the previous record high of $1.1 billion in 2012 (based on 2011 experience). The amount varies by market, with insurers reporting at least $743 million in the individual market, $250 million in the small group market, and $284 million in the large group market.
www.kff.org

Also this correction from The Fiscal Times:

Correction: An earlier version of this story said the refunds to consumers would total $743 billion instead of $743 million. We regret the error.
www.thefiscaltimes.com

#19 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-09-19 10:05 AM | Reply

"$743 BILLION GOATMAN! I question if there was a typo and a B replaced an M but if not and you still can't recognize the true benefit of this to the American people then you are just obstinate and can't ever admit you are wrong about anything, much like Trump.

#16 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2019-09-19 09:01 AM |"

Do the math, Danni.

#20 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-19 11:49 AM | Reply

Short-sighted Liberals strike again. It's a shame how terrible they are at logic. They can't even understand that when any entity has to spend money, that cost is added to the consumer. This is why plane flights have gotten so high. People whine and cry and want the government to take action, but when they do the people then whine and cry that costs go up. All this is going to do is make insurance premiums rise. And Liberals are so short-sighted they are celebrating that they might get a few bucks. This is how the cycle never ends. People wrongly get excited without actually thinking about the repercussions, and the rich people just continue to sit back and rake in the profits because of it. Companies want more government intervention because it provides a reason to increase prices.

#21 | Posted by humtake at 2019-09-19 11:52 AM | Reply

All this is going to do is make insurance premiums rise. And Liberals are so short-sighted they are celebrating that they might get a few bucks. This is how the cycle never ends. People wrongly get excited without actually thinking about the repercussions, and the rich people just continue to sit back and rake in the profits because of it. Companies want more government intervention because it provides a reason to increase prices.

Posted by humtake at 2019-09-19 11:52 AM

The PPACA requires insurers spend 80% of premiums on providing payments for health care. Actually providing the coverage they're in business to provide instead of how it was before when they hired people whose only jobs were denying payment for health care so insurance companies could pad their bottom lines.

Health insurance premiums were going up by leaps and bounds every year long before the PPACA was enacted.

#22 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-09-19 12:12 PM | Reply

#21 | POSTED BY HUMTAKE

Yeah... you obviously have no idea whats going on here.

For one, the ACA by statute limited how much profit insurance companies could make, so this is them RETURNING MONEY to consumers that they otherwise would have just kept as profit.

For another, you are obviously a Republican because you have no clue how businesses and economics really work. I have explained to other conservatives on this site MANY times where they are wrong and it never does a lick of good. So I am not going to do it again without solicitation. But, you are wrong. Read up on micro-economics. It won't make you "elitist". It will just make you educated.

#23 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-09-19 03:39 PM | Reply

Short-sighted Liberals strike again. It's a shame how terrible they are blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blahblah blah blahblah blah blahblah blah blahblah blah blahblah blah blahblah blah blahblah blah blaaaaaaa reason to increase prices.
#21 | POSTED BY HUMTAKE AT 2019-09-19 11:52 AM | FLAG: PPPFFFTTTT!

Republiclwns and other conservatrons sold the nation out for a $200 tax "rebate" and a 3 trillion dollar set of wars we're losing.

KMLPA you petulant little twit.

You wanna talk about short sighted...

pssssst... if the Taliban take over Afghanistan they will take out 90% of the worlds opium supply... mmmmhmmmm that's right. The world's legitimate supply I might add. I mean WTF will Big Pharma do?

Anyone ever notice when the clowns get involved in global reorganization we suddenly have major drug problems in the country?

#24 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2019-09-19 04:47 PM | Reply

#23 | Posted by gtbritishskull

It turns out health insurers are now profitable with their Healthcare.gov plans, which made quality health insurance available to 20 million people like my wife and I, who are self employed and couldn't buy into group plans the PPACA made possible.

Now health insurers are returning to markets they left in the past. Because it was such a new concept to America, actuaries didn't know how exactly where to price plans. Once their actuaries got it right, health insurers are all about the PPACA.

#25 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-09-19 04:47 PM | Reply

After reading through all the bs, I don't see the main reason that the ACA wasn't liked.
The mandatory sign up OR pay a fine.
We should be used to the left bullchiters I guess.

#26 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2019-09-19 06:14 PM | Reply

The mandatory sign up OR pay a fine.

If you drive your car without insurance you pay a fine and loose your license, why to protect others.

The only way to protect people from those who don't have health insurance is to allow doctors and hospitals to refuse treatment to those who can't pay. For some reason most people take a dim view of people dying in the streets because of a lack of health care, in the most prosperous nation in history, so we told hospitals they couldn't refuse treatment.

As a libertarian as much as I dislike stepping over dead bodies if that's the price I have to pay for freedom I'll pay it. So either join me in lobbying congress to get rid of both the insurance mandate and the mandate for hospitals to treat everyone or STFU.

#27 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2019-09-19 06:39 PM | Reply

"I dislike stepping over dead bodies??"

Omg
This is how it works. If someone declines health insurance, they are on the hook for the treatment bills. If someone is poor enough, they get medicaid which covers most everything.
Hospitals cannot refuse treatment, which makes more sense than worrying about "stepping over dead bodies".

#28 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2019-09-19 07:33 PM | Reply

#28

If there is no mandate for health insurance then how can you mandate hospitals treating everyone regardless of ability to pay? So fine fair is fair no mandate for health insurance and hospitals are no longer required to treat everyone. Join me in fighting the injustice, write 3 letters just like I did, one to each senator and congressperson.

There is a pretty significant gap between poor enough to get Medicaid and able to afford insurance or a major hospital bill. Catastrophic plans were allowed so you could get an inexpensive plan and still avoid the penalty you know kind of like basic liability insurance for a car, won't really do much but does offset what you cost others a bit.

You are right about one thing though I was being hyperbolic about stepping over dead bodies. My property taxes cover garbage removal.

#29 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2019-09-19 08:20 PM | Reply

#27 | Posted by TaoWarrior

"The individual mandate had actually emerged decades earlier in the right-leaning think tank world as a market-based means to achieve universal coverage."

Then Trump and the Republican congress of 2017 did away with it, tacking it onto their multi-trillion dollar tax cut that helped a few ( and we'll borrow to pay for), hoping to kill the Affordable Care Act that helped tens of millions of Americans.

#30 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-09-19 09:12 PM | Reply

If someone is poor enough, they get medicaid which covers most everything.

#28 | POSTED BY PHESTEROBOYLE

Remember how I said Republicans live on a different planet? Point Proven.

People don't just qualify for Medicaid by being poor. They can generally only qualify if they have children and are so completely dirt poor that they can't even feed themselves. Otherwise, they have to be on SSI, blind, pregnant, etc. to qualify.

Only some states allow people without kids to be on Medicaid and generally they have to earn less than HALF the poverty level to qualify.

#31 | Posted by Sycophant at 2019-09-20 04:02 PM | Reply

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