The discussions that don't seem to bark: In this recent post, Kevin Drum describes the state of deductibles under Obamacare.
For those who care about such things, his information will be interesting. Based upon cable news air play, that will be virtually no one.
Drum says the deductibles aren't as bad as conservatives like to say. Based upon official data, he says, "Only about a fifth [of Obamacare enrollees] had the horror-story $6,000+ deductibles that we hear so much about."
He also offers a "guess," a guess which may well be accurate:
"My guess is that the majority of the people with high deductibles are the famous 'young invincibles' who are single, don't qualify for subsidies because they're fairly well off, and don't think they're going to get sick. So they buy the cheapest plan they can."
This may all be true. We'd love to see these topics discussed much more, but the truth is, nobody actually cares about this Over Here in our tribe. (Also, nobody cares about low-income schools or about what occurs in such places. Few things could be more clear. Our team lets every kind of propaganda and misinformation slide by uncorrected, unchallenged. We've done so for many years.)
Meanwhile, for what it's worth, this is what Sarah Kliff wrote in her recent report for Vox. As she starts, she's talking about a 59-year-old working class woman who can't afford to go to the doctor because of her $6000 deductible under Obamacare:
KLIFF (12/13/16): The woman was mad because her costs felt overwhelmingly expensive. These are some of the most common frustrations with the Affordable Care Act. Surveys show that high deductibles are the top complaint; 47 percent of enrollees told the Kaiser Family Foundation they were dissatisfied with their deductible.We have no idea how these matters shake out. We do know this—within the tents of our upscale liberal world, no one actually cares. (We exclude Drum from that judgment.)
A study from the Commonwealth Fund earlier this year found that four in 10 adults on Affordable Care Act plans didn’t think they could afford to go to the doctor if they got sick. Fewer than half said it was easy to find an affordable plan.
We'd also like to return to those data we posted here last week. To simplify matters, we pulled these numbers from the craziest data set in the world, as we've been doing for years:
Per person health care spending, 2015In France, everyone received full health care despite that lower per capita spending. Meanwhile, here in the States, health care spending that year broke down as shown, according to the OECD data:
United States: $9451
Per person health care spending, United States, 2015In the United States, government health care spending, all by itself, exceeded all French health care spending that year. If we had a liberal or progressive movement, questions like these would routinely be asked:
Government spending: $4672
Personal expenditures: $4779
Given that amount of government spending, why do we have any deductibles or co-pays at all?
Given those numbers, why do we have anyone who is uninsured?
And also this:
Where is all that extra money going? When we compare our overall spending to that of France, who's siphoning all that extra money out of our national health care?
Those questions are never asked. You'll see your favorite stars on MSNBC exploring the work of the Bolshoi Ballet before you'll see any such questions pursued.
In response to Kliff's report, we liberals showed that we don't give a flying fig when 59-year-old women in Kentucky can't go to the doctor—can't afford health care. But then, we've shown for many years that we have no progressive politics at all, except the kind which lets us drop our various bombs on Those People's heads.
It's the only play we know. It's our only pleasure.
We aren't very smart and we aren't very nice. In each of those ways, our tribe has unwittingly worked, for many years, to create these deeply troubling Days of Trump.
Why we lack a progressive journalism: Jim Garland famously sang, "We don't want your millions, mister."
Again and again, the people we accept as upper-end mainstream and liberal journalists rather plainly do.
How much will Greta Van Susteren be paid? You will never be told.