There’s a Story Behind the “Craziest Thing in the World”

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-12-39-26-pmIs he on or off message — or what?  We are taking about Bill Clinton, who said in a speech today/yesterday that small business folks and individuals were “getting killed” by Obamacare….with “premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half.”  

“The people who are getting killed in this deal are the small businesspeople and individuals who make just a little too much to get in on these subsidies,” Clinton said. He added that for many people, Obamacare’s changes have meant “their premiums doubled and their coverage [was] cut in half.”

Ouch.  But then he went on to say that one solution is to allow Americans to buy into Medicare, as Hillary has proposed.   We’re not sure if she’d be pissed or pleased with these remarks.  Perhaps not bad to let Bill signal her awareness that things with the exchanges are not good, and that she might be open to bigger changes in the program than she’s owned up to so far.

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7 replies »

  1. Do you really think that people as smart as Bill and Hillary are (other than in one category) operating without each other’s knowledge and agreement? This is no wildcard comment by Bill. He is almost acting as if her were an unruly Vice President, putting comments out there to gauge reaction. Rest assured, he is not that. They ARE smart. Don’t like ’em, but you must give them that.

  2. I actually kind of agree with old Bill on this one, at least the “getting killed” part.

  3. Seems to me this is just another step to Medicare for all, single payer, NHS. Those who warned the ACA was a Trojan Horse that would eventually lead us to government run National Health Service were not hysterical fear mongers but accurate prophets. “Socialized” medicine is inevitable only question now is how long will the patient, our current unsustainable reimbursement system, survive. Not if but when?

  4. Let us small business owners not be too hasty. I understand most of us have been travelling in the desert for 8 years and are very thirsty for any drops of water we can find. Anish, the Clintons actually believe their voucher idea to buy into Medicaid/medicare is a small business solution. That is how in touch they are with small businesses folks.

  5. Medicare’s per capita cost is roundly $12K and that’s for pretty incomplete coverage on the Part B side. For the under 65 adult population, the equivalent per capita cost would be about half that or $6K. That’s $12K for a couple on a pure community rated basis (age rating band of 1:1). Even if subsidies covered the cost beyond 10% of pretax income with no income eligibility ceiling, health insurance still wouldn’t come cheap. I’m reminded of the joke that says the best health insurance you can have is don’t get sick!

  6. I’m small business – listening closely. Love Bill’s candor. Of course, Esquire labeled him senile for it – going ‘off message.’ But I was disappointed with the solution – essentially here’s a voucher to buy into medicaid/medicare. A 99213 visit – routine established visit for medicaid is around $41. Medicare is slightly less than 2 times this. This is not appetizing if you’re a doc. It also still does not do much about the unit price of healthcare or talk to me about the ever growing meaningless measurements that docs are being held hostage over.

  7. Following last weekend’s NY Times story this story is another very clear signal.

    They’re putting out a very strong message to small business owners who may be temped to vote Trump. Don’t do it. Remember who we are.

    I am quite frankly impressed by how efficiently the Clinton machine has been operating in recent weeks. Now that they’ve recovered from their initial shock and incredulity, they’re handling things quite well.

    The “Bill calls Obamacare crazy” reaction from conservatives was to be expected. The reaction to the news from the progressive raises a more interesting question. Are progressives ready for a return of Clinton politics after eight years of Obama?