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Politico: Hill Staffers Will Be Boon To Obama-Care

From the Politico:

Hill staffers a potential boon for D.C. exchange

By PAIGE WINFIELD CUNNINGHAM | October 23, 2013

District of Columbia insurance officials who have long worried about how many people would sign up for health coverage get a surprise bonus next month: a slew of Congress members and staffers. Three weeks from now, about 15,000 Hill aides and their bosses will be eligible to sign up through the small-business or SHOP exchange offered by the D.C.

The only reason these staffers are going to sign up for Obama-Care is because the Grassley provision in the law is forcing them to sign up. They are doing so kicking and screaming.

And only after they got their 75% premium subsidy from the US taxpayers. A detail that the Politico does not even mention until the 18th paragraph of this piece. And then only in passing.

Not all will enroll — some are on a spouse’s plan or have Medicare. But those who do will most likely be disproportionately young and healthy, reflecting the Capitol Hill workforce — exactly the kind of customers the insurance pool wants and needs.

Since these people will have 70% of their premiums paid for by the taxpayer, they will be be a drain on the system rather than a boost.

They’ll provide a steady stream of customers for the D.C. exchange, which faces unusual challenges. At just more than 600,000 people, the District is smaller than most states. That makes it harder to gather a pool of healthy people to balance out the costs of sicker enrollees and bring down premiums.

Plus a large cross section of those D.C. residents won’t go into the exchanges at all: One in three is on Medicaid.

In a city with the higher incomes and lowest unemployment rate in the country.

Many others who work for the government — but not on the Hill — will stay on federal health plans.

The District had considered requiring all small businesses that buy insurance to do so through the SHOP exchange but ended up creating a two-year transition period…

Oh, how wonderful. And never mind that Obama promised none of this would happen.

Hill aides may be ideal for getting SHOP off to a good start — although officials say it’s still too early to know how many will sign up or what the demographics will end up looking like.

And unless the enrollees from the Hill are dramatically younger and healthier, there probably won’t be enough of them to significantly change premiums for 2015 (they’re already fixed for next year), said Dan Bailey, a Society of Actuaries fellow who has worked with other state exchanges…

So this whole piece is a lie from top to bottom.

Some veteran staffers are frustrated that they may have to change health providers. Abby Gunderson, a senior legislative assistant for Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), has worked on the Hill for six years and has been on the same federal health plan for most of that time.

“I’m quite worried,” Gunderson said. “I might lose all or most of my doctors. I’ve gotten to know them, they know my medical history, so that’s kind of a scary proposition.” …

Tough luck, Abby.

The federal government will continue paying for about 75 percent of [these staffers'] plans…

Despite this being expressly against the law of the land. (And again, this detail is mentioned in the 18th paragraph of this article.) And note that all of a sudden it’s a 75% subsidy, not just a 70% subsidy.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Politico: Hill Staffers Will Be Boon To Obama-Care”

  1. It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.
    – Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar


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