More Fun With ObamaCare

Last April, American Thinker posted my essay, "Fun With Obamacare." In it, I wrote:

When 2014 rolls around and ObamaCare fully takes effect, I intend to drop my current self-financed ($394/month as I write this, sure to increase at renewal) catastrophic health-care plan and redirect my monthly $350 Health Savings Account contributions (which will no longer be allowed after I drop my insurance) to my SEP or Roth IRA. Or maybe I'll just buy myself something nice. Obama and Bernanke want me to spend, don't they?

Half-a-year later, I thought "American Thinker-ites" might appreciate an update. Surely, as we move ever closer to January 1, 2014, some of AT regulars, whether they agree or not with the original essay, would be curious to know: Will he or won't he? Does he still plan to cancel his insurance come 2014?

Well, if you are able to read the two embedded pages above, of a letter I received just days ago, from Emblem Health, my health care provider, the Affordable Care Act, a/k/a ObamaCare, has made that decision unnecessary.

But before I continue, allow me to digress with some personal background to ensure clarity of what is to follow. When not enjoying the pleasure of writing for American Thinker, I am a licensed commercial real estate broker in New York City. I operate my business as a sole proprietorship, of which I am the sole employee. As a sole proprietor, I am -- well, for the next three months, anyway -- eligible to purchase health care insurance at a special rate, less than half the price I would have paid for an individual policy.

Unfortunately, compliments of Obama, Reid, Pelosi, et al., that eligibility ends at midnight, December 31. Quoting from the letter (emphases mine, CLICK HERE to view the actual letter):

For Sole Proprietors: Since your existing policy is ending effective upon renewal in 2014, you can purchase any other ACA compliant policy offered to individuals through the New York Health Benefit Exchange...

[...]

Please note that under the ACA, when a business is owned only by an individual and his or her spouse, these individuals are not considered "employees" and the benefit plan is not considered a group health plan. As of January 1, 2014, these individuals will no longer be able to purchase group coverage and will need to purchase individual coverage.

Could any liberals who may be reading this, please remind me whether Barack Obama stood before the American people and told us that if we liked our current insurance, we could keep it? Because, frankly, in all the excitement of having your Beltway cohorts try to force me onto an ObamaCare exchange, I forgot.

And let me emphasize the word, "try," because, as a freeborn American citizen-not-a-subject, and as I wrote in my original essay, I have no intention of even visiting, let alone buying a policy on an ObamaCare exchange.

No, on second thought, let me amend that statement, for come to think of it, I may very well, at some future time, buy a policy on the exchange if, and only if, I get seriously ill, in which case, I will gladly apply for a policy on an ObamaCare. Consider it my humble contribution to helping to "terminate with extreme prejudice," as the spooks at the CIA like to say, this horribly misconceived program, ASAP. That is, assuming that ObamaCare is still "the law of the land" at that time, which it very well may not be, judging from the number of comments on the ObamaCare Facebook page, from people who are finding themselves in the same position I am (CLICK HERE to view the original ObamaCare Facebook comments):

Haywood Jablomie WTF?? I thought Obamacare was supposed to be FREE! I discovered that it will cost me MORE money than my current plan for LES coverage! I'm disabled and my current plan costs $398 a month. It pays 100% after I pay $1500 a year out of pocket. Obamacare will cost me $759and I STILL have to pay 80% of all charges.... and I have a lot of cherges [sic]. This is a complete SCAM!

Doug Nesbit Affordable? My a$. Thanks to Obamacare, HealthNet is closing all individual plans in CA and dumping us into Obamacare. My family premium will TRIPLE to nearly $1900/month for WORSE care. As a small business owner, I have nowhere to turn. Thought I was going to be able to keep my health plan and my doctor, Barack? More power to the courageous few in Congress who are standing up to this tyrant and his team of pinhead know-it-alls.

Phil Hersh My healthcare provider informed me they would be dropping my health care coverage in late Dec. This is nothing but a sham on the American People.

Boogie Mann I feel like the most gullible, stupid human on earch. I trusted the president's claims that this would be affordable so I voted for him. Now, today I findout my premiums nearly tripled for less coverage than I had! I wish I had voted for Mitt Romney. I think he was a typical politician but not an outright liar like this president. I should have listened to dozens of my friends.

By the way, I'm 61 years old and so, Bill Clinton, if you're reading this (and who doesn't regularly visit American Thinker?), if you're worried about Obamacare's viability if young people "won't show up," you might want to ask yourself what happens if healthy older folks, such as myself, don't sign up, either.

And yes, I know that there is only a short annual enrollment period for applying for insurance on the exchanges, so you liberals can stop reminding me, okay?

Whatever hard feelings I have I'll get over as I watch my savings grow as I deposit, each month, the money I am not paying for insurance. Stay healthy long enough, and the money saved might even cover my medical bills should I get sick in between enrollment periods. If I don't? Well, I'm sure I'll think of something to do with that extra loot in my golden years.

I know I sound bitter and I really don't mean to be. Cynical, yes. Sarcastic, definitely. But bitter, no. So let me end by saying, and not without considerable effort, something positive about ObamaCare. As I am writing this, over the first weekend after the official debut of the ObamaCare Web site and which Web site is down for repairs, having managed to get no farther off the launch pad than the average North Korean ballistic missile. This unfortunate, albeit totally predictable, "glitch" has some ObamaCare critics charging that the ObamaCare Web site will never work. I, however, predict that it will, and much sooner than many think. Why am I so confident?

This is why: Though the ObamaCare site has attracted a massive number of visitors, almost a fraction of the traffic the Drudge Report attracts -- without crashing, one might note -- on a typical day, the percentage of visitors who actually buy health insurance would seem to be... well, Obama administration officials won't say (though the Daily Mail put the number at a pathetic 51,000). But other, less taciturn sources have reported New York's signup rate as 0.32 percent, a conversion rate that I suspect would embarrass, say, your average Nigerian Internet scam artist. Kentucky's rate, at about 7 percent, has been cited as the highest. So let's be generous, split the difference and award ObamaCare an average signup rate, nationwide, of 4 percent. If that rate holds up, then one can reasonably conclude that 96 percent of those visiting the ObamaCare website are curiosity-seekers, who probably will not be returning anytime soon, which in turn should lead to a sharp drop in the number of visitors, going forward.

If my prediction bears out over the next few months, weeks or perhaps even days, the ObamaCare website will soon have more than enough capacity to handle the relative handful of Americans actually interested in signing up for ObamaCare.

I'll also take a wild guess that most of these enrollees will be seeking subsidies to cover at least a portion of their premiums, so how all of this ultimately gets paid for, I don't know.

But then, perhaps, à la Nancy Pelosi, the nation needs to suffer from ObamaCare to know what's in it.

Follow Gene Schwimmer on Twitter. Visit Gene at geneschwimmer.com.

Last April, American Thinker posted my essay, "Fun With Obamacare." In it, I wrote:

When 2014 rolls around and ObamaCare fully takes effect, I intend to drop my current self-financed ($394/month as I write this, sure to increase at renewal) catastrophic health-care plan and redirect my monthly $350 Health Savings Account contributions (which will no longer be allowed after I drop my insurance) to my SEP or Roth IRA. Or maybe I'll just buy myself something nice. Obama and Bernanke want me to spend, don't they?

Half-a-year later, I thought "American Thinker-ites" might appreciate an update. Surely, as we move ever closer to January 1, 2014, some of AT regulars, whether they agree or not with the original essay, would be curious to know: Will he or won't he? Does he still plan to cancel his insurance come 2014?

Well, if you are able to read the two embedded pages above, of a letter I received just days ago, from Emblem Health, my health care provider, the Affordable Care Act, a/k/a ObamaCare, has made that decision unnecessary.

But before I continue, allow me to digress with some personal background to ensure clarity of what is to follow. When not enjoying the pleasure of writing for American Thinker, I am a licensed commercial real estate broker in New York City. I operate my business as a sole proprietorship, of which I am the sole employee. As a sole proprietor, I am -- well, for the next three months, anyway -- eligible to purchase health care insurance at a special rate, less than half the price I would have paid for an individual policy.

Unfortunately, compliments of Obama, Reid, Pelosi, et al., that eligibility ends at midnight, December 31. Quoting from the letter (emphases mine, CLICK HERE to view the actual letter):

For Sole Proprietors: Since your existing policy is ending effective upon renewal in 2014, you can purchase any other ACA compliant policy offered to individuals through the New York Health Benefit Exchange...

[...]

Please note that under the ACA, when a business is owned only by an individual and his or her spouse, these individuals are not considered "employees" and the benefit plan is not considered a group health plan. As of January 1, 2014, these individuals will no longer be able to purchase group coverage and will need to purchase individual coverage.

Could any liberals who may be reading this, please remind me whether Barack Obama stood before the American people and told us that if we liked our current insurance, we could keep it? Because, frankly, in all the excitement of having your Beltway cohorts try to force me onto an ObamaCare exchange, I forgot.

And let me emphasize the word, "try," because, as a freeborn American citizen-not-a-subject, and as I wrote in my original essay, I have no intention of even visiting, let alone buying a policy on an ObamaCare exchange.

No, on second thought, let me amend that statement, for come to think of it, I may very well, at some future time, buy a policy on the exchange if, and only if, I get seriously ill, in which case, I will gladly apply for a policy on an ObamaCare. Consider it my humble contribution to helping to "terminate with extreme prejudice," as the spooks at the CIA like to say, this horribly misconceived program, ASAP. That is, assuming that ObamaCare is still "the law of the land" at that time, which it very well may not be, judging from the number of comments on the ObamaCare Facebook page, from people who are finding themselves in the same position I am (CLICK HERE to view the original ObamaCare Facebook comments):

Haywood Jablomie WTF?? I thought Obamacare was supposed to be FREE! I discovered that it will cost me MORE money than my current plan for LES coverage! I'm disabled and my current plan costs $398 a month. It pays 100% after I pay $1500 a year out of pocket. Obamacare will cost me $759and I STILL have to pay 80% of all charges.... and I have a lot of cherges [sic]. This is a complete SCAM!

Doug Nesbit Affordable? My a$. Thanks to Obamacare, HealthNet is closing all individual plans in CA and dumping us into Obamacare. My family premium will TRIPLE to nearly $1900/month for WORSE care. As a small business owner, I have nowhere to turn. Thought I was going to be able to keep my health plan and my doctor, Barack? More power to the courageous few in Congress who are standing up to this tyrant and his team of pinhead know-it-alls.

Phil Hersh My healthcare provider informed me they would be dropping my health care coverage in late Dec. This is nothing but a sham on the American People.

Boogie Mann I feel like the most gullible, stupid human on earch. I trusted the president's claims that this would be affordable so I voted for him. Now, today I findout my premiums nearly tripled for less coverage than I had! I wish I had voted for Mitt Romney. I think he was a typical politician but not an outright liar like this president. I should have listened to dozens of my friends.

By the way, I'm 61 years old and so, Bill Clinton, if you're reading this (and who doesn't regularly visit American Thinker?), if you're worried about Obamacare's viability if young people "won't show up," you might want to ask yourself what happens if healthy older folks, such as myself, don't sign up, either.

And yes, I know that there is only a short annual enrollment period for applying for insurance on the exchanges, so you liberals can stop reminding me, okay?

Whatever hard feelings I have I'll get over as I watch my savings grow as I deposit, each month, the money I am not paying for insurance. Stay healthy long enough, and the money saved might even cover my medical bills should I get sick in between enrollment periods. If I don't? Well, I'm sure I'll think of something to do with that extra loot in my golden years.

I know I sound bitter and I really don't mean to be. Cynical, yes. Sarcastic, definitely. But bitter, no. So let me end by saying, and not without considerable effort, something positive about ObamaCare. As I am writing this, over the first weekend after the official debut of the ObamaCare Web site and which Web site is down for repairs, having managed to get no farther off the launch pad than the average North Korean ballistic missile. This unfortunate, albeit totally predictable, "glitch" has some ObamaCare critics charging that the ObamaCare Web site will never work. I, however, predict that it will, and much sooner than many think. Why am I so confident?

This is why: Though the ObamaCare site has attracted a massive number of visitors, almost a fraction of the traffic the Drudge Report attracts -- without crashing, one might note -- on a typical day, the percentage of visitors who actually buy health insurance would seem to be... well, Obama administration officials won't say (though the Daily Mail put the number at a pathetic 51,000). But other, less taciturn sources have reported New York's signup rate as 0.32 percent, a conversion rate that I suspect would embarrass, say, your average Nigerian Internet scam artist. Kentucky's rate, at about 7 percent, has been cited as the highest. So let's be generous, split the difference and award ObamaCare an average signup rate, nationwide, of 4 percent. If that rate holds up, then one can reasonably conclude that 96 percent of those visiting the ObamaCare website are curiosity-seekers, who probably will not be returning anytime soon, which in turn should lead to a sharp drop in the number of visitors, going forward.

If my prediction bears out over the next few months, weeks or perhaps even days, the ObamaCare website will soon have more than enough capacity to handle the relative handful of Americans actually interested in signing up for ObamaCare.

I'll also take a wild guess that most of these enrollees will be seeking subsidies to cover at least a portion of their premiums, so how all of this ultimately gets paid for, I don't know.

But then, perhaps, à la Nancy Pelosi, the nation needs to suffer from ObamaCare to know what's in it.

Follow Gene Schwimmer on Twitter. Visit Gene at geneschwimmer.com.

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