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White House: Get ACA Insurance Coverage, Launch Start-Ups 578

dcblogs writes that the Obama Administration is urging tech entrepreneurs "to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and said having the coverage will give them the 'freedom and security' to start their own businesses. 'There is strong evidence that when affordable healthcare isn't exclusively tied to employment, in more instances people choose to start their own companies,' wrote White House CTO Todd Park in a post to launch its #GeeksGetCovered campaign. Bruce Bachenheimer, a professor of management at Pace University and director of its Entrepreneurship Lab, said the effort is part of a broader appeal by the White House to get younger and healthier people to sign-up for Obamacare, and is in the same vein as President Obama's recent appearance on Between Two Ferns." Removing the tax structures that make companies by default intermediaries in the provision of health insurance, and allowing more interstate (and international) competition in health finance options would help on that front, too, aside from who's actually footing the insurance bill.
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White House: Get ACA Insurance Coverage, Launch Start-Ups

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:46AM (#46472657)

    >> few hundred bucks a month for health care

    You don't have a family with kids..who occasionally get sick and broken bones, do you?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:47AM (#46472665)

    Spreading the government propaganda.

    Get paid for that?

    You know what would help startups?

    LOWER TAXES, LESS REGULATION and a government doing its job by enforcing the laws equally between the little guy and the mega corp... rather than giving preferential treatment to whomever pays the most.

    Like advertising for Obamacare.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:50AM (#46472689)

    You need to call the GOP... I hear they're having real trouble finding ACA horror stories that don't turn out to be utter bullshit after thirty seconds of digging. Your story isn't utter bullshit like all the others, is it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:52AM (#46472713)

    Most of the ACA plans include all kinds of shit for kids, which is why single young people don't want it, but for you it's actually a great deal, so as DogDude said, I call bullshit.

  • by jeff4747 ( 256583 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:52AM (#46472717)

    allowing more interstate (and international) competition in health finance options would help on that front, too

    Yeah, how'd that work out for banking? Interstate competition was supposed to do things like drive down credit card interest rates.

    Instead, almost every credit card in the US is issued out of Delaware or South Dakota. And interest rates are quite high. Why? Interstate competition also means competition between state legislatures for laws that are most favorable to banks.

    So what would happen with interstate health insurance? Legislatures would compete for the most insurance company-friendly laws. Which would be the least consumer-friendly laws.

  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:56AM (#46472761) Homepage Journal

    $6K/year is about right for real health insurance. What you had previously was "junk insurance" - them paying for and covering the bare minimum. If you were diagnosed with leukemia, your HSA would have been wiped out in the first week and your insurance company would have dropped you as soon as it could legally get away with it. A course of leukemia is going to set them back a cool million bucks, so they'd do ANYTHING they could to retroactively decide you lied on your insurance application and they didn't have to do anything.

    Not true, I know how to read for myself my policies. I had the same good coverage for an emergency that I have now on a W2 gig. The chief difference was that I just paid my own way for routine Dr. visits and meds.

    Insurance is supposed to be there for EMERGENCIES, not to run you $10 copay for routine Dr. visits. That needs to be something you save and pay for, just like any other necessity of modern life, like utilities, food and gas.

    This is the type of policy and situation that is usually perfect for healthy younger folks that don't need tons of coverage for routine things.

  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:01AM (#46472817) Homepage Journal

    BTW, despite the glorification of small business in the US, Europe actually has a larger percentage of its economy in small business.

    And the policies of the current administration are a LARGE reason we're losing small business in the US.

    We almost seem to be actively trying to make it impossible for US small businesses to succeed with ACA and too many regulations and endless paperwork and taxation.

    A major drag on our economic recovery IS the lack of small businesses coming back to life in the US due to governmental oppression of them.

  • by zarthrag ( 650912 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:13AM (#46472939)

    The government doesn't set prices for procedures. The fed could extend the medicare pricing list to everyone instead of having to deal with each insurance company's "negotiated pricing" and arcane "most favored nation" contract rules. Or maybe employers could be required to offer up the cash that would have been spent on the company health plan so you can shop for yourself. Shopping for insurance across state lines would certainly be nice! Also, repealing state regulations that limit the size/capacity of hospitals.

    My HSA should stay that way, if it's my money, no one should be able to take it but me! ...Actually, I wish my HSA could be grown and used as some kind of bond-like health insurance that also lowers my own premiums over time.

    There are lots of political problems that could be fixed without repealing the ACA. 99% of it is removing greed, the #1 killer in America.

  • by pnutjam ( 523990 ) <slashdot.borowicz@org> on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:24AM (#46473043) Homepage Journal
    I've turned down jobs with small companies because the insurance was enough to wipe out a 20% pay increase, going from a midsize company.

    /say yes to single-payer (you would if you saw what the economies of scale allow large companies to pay for insurance)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:37AM (#46473193)

    DogDude: Hey lotard, he's paying a few hundred bucks a month for ***insurance*** - not healthcare.. They are two separate entities, the later being far more expensive than insurance premiums..

    Oh, you haven't realized ACA doesn't do squat to reduce actual healthcare costs?? Maybe you and Pelosi should hook up.

  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:40AM (#46473217)

    getting reasonably priced insurance even with preexisting conditions

    Except that it is not reasonably priced.

  • by mr_mischief ( 456295 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:42AM (#46473229) Journal

    How about instead of cost shifting and purchase pooling we actually work on what medical care costs in the first place? In the US you can got to Cook County or the US Federal court in the Eastern District of Texas and drive up a drug company's everyday costs by suing them in a class action for side effects they already disclosed before you bought their drug. There should be some sort of grand jury or board of people with a clue who decide the merit of these things before millions are spent on lawyers.

    The for-profit speculative commission-only trial lawyers are a big part of service and product costs for drug companies, hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses, and even medical assistants and medical techs. If you want to make healthcare more affordable through insurance cost changes, change the cost of malpractice insurance so that only people who actually screw up need to pay exorbitant premiums. When I lived in Illinois it was really difficult to get a doctor's appointment within six months without crossing state lines because the malpractice rates caused several of the doctors in the area to retire early or move to more sensible states.

    Also, why do we have federal and state funds going into basic research at universities that gets patented and sold to corporations to turn into products? If research comes from a largely government-funded school then the NIH or someone should be licensed to then sublicense any of those patents to all comers for a reasonable fee.

    Also, why do the drug companies pay the FDA to fast-track drugs? The PDUFA [] means that in order to get faster drug trials, the deeper pockets get faster times to market. If we're spending billions of dollars to improve healthcare, why don't we fund the FDA sufficiently to get the best drugs approved fastest rather than the most heavily promoted ones? Why don't we partner with other developed countries to do joint trials that meet the standards of the FDA and its counterparts in, say, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Finland, Sweden, and Brazil with all the agencies reviewing all the data and making decisions for their own constituencies rather than repeating the trials over and over?

  • So we've got young and middle aged people carrying the burden of health care costs for their elders (been that way as long as I've been alive), the least you can do is kick in for contraceptives and maternity care. It's only fair. It's not like fairness and consideration for others is a cornerstone of a functioning society or anything.

    Too many people would rather burn it all down if it isn't done their way, or it benefits people they don't value.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:55AM (#46473351)

    I have a great plan now through work for my family and I, and I know if ObamaCare isn't changed or repealed, my out of pocket costs will absolutely jump by hundreds of dollars. Why? Because our plan now doesn't technically cover all the things that ObamaCare mandates (but crap we don't need and never will need like contraceptives, maternity, etc. etc. etc.). Once it's required to cover those things, the costs will absolutely increase, there's no getting around it.

    Complain all you want about the cost of covering contraceptive. The Department of Health and Human Services has studied it and concluded that it actually costs LESS to include it:

    And when you say "my family", do you just mean you and your wife, or do you mean you have kids too? If the latter...gee, it's great now that you already have your kids that you no longer need that maternity coverage, but perhaps you could think about somebody besides yourself. Even if it's the former (you don't have kids), or if you weren't fortunate enough yourself to have insurance when you had kids, I can't really support the idea of not providing maternity care. You could make the argument that you shouldn't have kids if you can't afford the cost of the care and delivery yourself, but the reality is, you know that's not going to stop 99% of people. Most people are going to just get pregnant (intentionally or not) and then figure out how to deal with the costs, which probably means minimizing the amount of prenatal care they get, which is a terrible idea for the health of the unborn kids (who have no influence over the care they receive but have to live a lifetime with the consequences of it)

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:55AM (#46473353)

    Why would anyone think the Government could run healthcare?

    Let's see, maybe because they already do through Medicare and other programs. Maybe because governments around the world do a highly competent job of it for better outcomes and lower cost than we incur in the US. Maybe because reflexively assuming governments are incapable of doing anything well is demonstrably false. Maybe because health insurance is a marketplace that is used by everyone and CANNOT be operated effectively or humanely without government involvement.

    Is there any sign of competence or efficiency in Medicare, Medicade, or the VA?

    Quite a bit actually. Not saying they don't have their flaws (they do) but they are hardly the debacles you seem to be implying.

    There is not one single thing that the Government of the US has ever done more efficiently than the private sector.

    What a bunch of crap. There are plenty of things the private sector does an absolutely crap job of. Policing, firefighting, military, infrastructure, medical care for at risk groups (elderly and poor especially), basic research, the judiciary, banking regulation, environmental protection, and quite a bit more. Any time you have a situation where market forces do not work well, the private sector is demonstrably unable to deal with the problem. I'm all for doing as much with the private sector as we can but the argument that the private sector is always better is absurd, wrong and frankly damaging to our society.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday March 13, 2014 @11:06AM (#46473451) Homepage Journal

    Single payer would be nice. I think we will get there. Sadly there are a lot of people who don't understand economies.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @11:38AM (#46473729) Journal

    I am. Cost me 12% more than last year. Which is about how much my plan went up 3 years ago, and about 4% more than it went up last year. I cover myself, wife, and child.

    And you must be the shittiest consultant in the world if a 1% penalty (this year) or a 2.5% penalty (cap, in 3 years) on your AGI will cost you more than losing your consultant income. If you get taxed on $100,000 a year, it will cost you $1000 this year; $2500 next year. If you're not making at least 50% more as a consultant as you do as a grunt, you're doing it wrong.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @11:49AM (#46473839) Journal

    Congratuations, you've just found out what the Republicans felt was the best system for healthcare. If the Democrats had had there way, it would be single payer - not "how much profit can we make" insurance companies.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2014 @11:56AM (#46473905)

    Traction? Democrats have been wanting to take over healthcare for years. They finally got their chance and they ramrodded it through. There was no traction.

    Ramrodded through the 1990s Republican plan, in fact. Because the 2010 Republicans would rather die than work with Democrats, even if it means repudiating their own ideas.

    The old health care paradigm was broken. It was based on the idea that the majority of people went to work for a single employer and stayed there for life, so that they didn't have to deal with the "pre-existing condition" gotcha. It assumed that employment was more or less continuous, instead of months, and even years between jobs when something medically crucial might happen but no employer was there to provide insurance. And it assumed that workers weren't sliding down the income scale so that they could better handle minor medical expenses out of pocket.

    Those days are gone.

  • by Ksevio ( 865461 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @12:01PM (#46473951) Homepage
    So we're shifting the tax burden off of the businesses - are you then in favor of higher property taxes? A larger income tax? Maybe you'd like to cut programs to help poor people? Is there any evidence that shows lower taxes make the economy stronger or the country better?

    Now which regulations are we going to get rid of? Typically the government adds regulations in response to abuse of the system. Maybe we should let companies pollute the rivers as long as they promise not to do it too much? How about lower the safety requirements as long as not many people get chewed up by machinery. Or maybe just let people discriminate against the handicapped.

    But yeah, let's worry about getting people health care because it was working perfectly before Obama came along and ruined it for everyone.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2014 @12:20PM (#46474117)

    With "take over" you actually mean "do anything about". The Republicans had, and still have, absolutely no ideas whatsoever about how to fix our broken healthcare system (well, they did have one idea a few years back that involved keeping a system of mainly private health insurers and stipulating a mandate that people need to sign up. But they seem to have abandoned that as of late..........)

  • Does the threat of violence oppress you from strolling to work nude? Do you pay for groceries under the specter of a gun? Is violence the only thing that keeps you from running your sewage line into a creek that passes through your property?

    You live in a sad world. I live in a society.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"