Potpourri of O-care from today

James Lileks writes in Born Under a Bad Site

Point is, you won’t have insurance companies denying you coverage because you went out of the system. The government will deny you coverage because there’s a shortage of tetanus vaccine. That’s much better. Everyone’s in the same boat that way. Muttering through lockjaw, yes, but equal.

Tragic story in today’s WSJ detailing the real-life consequences when you no longer can keep your doctor.

David Freddoso takes exception to his old plan being called junk:

When Obama claims your old plan was “junk,” he’s not leveling with you. Your health plan wasn’t canceled out of some kind of concern that you are insufficiently insured. Rather, you simply must pay more – and get less – to make Obamacare’s finances work.

Rather than prioritize federal or state government budgets to subsidize those with pre-existing conditions – treating them as the rare special cases they are – Obama chose to finance their care by making you pay more into the system and get less out of it whenever you eventually become sick. Someone out there is benefiting from Obamacare. It just isn’t you.

Middle-income cancellation victims are the Affordable Care Act’s first cash cow. Their insurance will now be less affordable and of lower quality – or to use the common phrase, “junk.”

Tim Carney writes that

But in politics, never assume rules are written simply with the public good in mind. Almost always, the rules ended up how they ended up because special interests with insider access were able to tweak them. So it is with the coverage that Obamacare mandates.

HHS’s first proposed rule on prescription drug coverage required insurers to cover at least one drug in every class of drug — in short, one drug for cholesterol, one drug for epilepsy, etc. Drugmakers wanted more. Led by the lobby group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry argued that HHS should require all insurers to not only cover one drug per class, but also to match the benchmark plan in their state… PhRMA and its member companies like Eli Lilly and Pfizer care about this in part because more bare-bones prescription drug plans may cover only generic drugs and not the more costly name brand drugs covered by the benchmark plans.

The more comprehensive the drug coverage, the more expensive the premiums — thus the cancellation of many low-premium plans…

If you wanted to buy insurance with basic drug coverage or a plan that didn’t cover contraception, you’re out of luck. You have to pay for it anyway — to the benefit of Big Pharma.

The drug industry spent more on lobbying in 2009 and 2010 than any other industry. Sally Susman, who oversaw Pfizer’s lobbying shop, was a top Obama bundler in 2008 and 2012. After the law passed, drug companies hired up plenty of the staffers who shaped the bill from both Congress and the White House.

So the more-comprehensive, more-expensive insurance Obama is forcing you to buy may or may not be better for you. But it’s certainly better for the drugmakers.

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