"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, October 21, 2013

Obamacare Premiums or Christmas Presents?

I noticed this minor factoid in an excellent article by Megan McCardle about the Obamacare rollout... the premiums for Obamacare enrollees are due December 15th.

Did anyone in the Administration think this through?   Does anyone in the Administration have any common sense or understanding of how ordinary people live?

Let's see... people who have either been too irresponsible or else are too strapped for cash to buy health insurance get to the middle of December and are faced with the dilemma of either buying something that is a vague promise of future insurance payments for potential health care you might or might need sometime next year... or buying Christmas presents for their kids!!!   

Hmmmm.... wonder what they'll choose?   People with a demonstrated inability to priortize their lives to ensure that they have health insurance.   In a country where our entire culture is geared to conspicuous consumption.   Sure, they'll choose the invisible, contingent, boring insurance contract over the tangible, right here-right now good and happiness of Christmas.   Sure.   That'll happen.

Which leads me to a larger point about Obamacare:

1. Trolling the website does not mean you're insured.
2. Opening an account does not mean you're insured.
3. Even choosing a policy and enrolling does not mean you're insured.
4. Only choosing a policy, enrolling, and paying the first premium means you're insured.

And, even then, I'd like to see how many people end up losing coverage when they stop making payments.   And remember... the second monthly Obamacare payment will be coming due about the same time those post-Christmas credit card bills start rolling in.

In short, here comes the death spiral.

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