Politicians consider adding a 'copper' plan to the affordable care act

In France last year, 2 dr visits, one specialist, 3 Rx meds, no insurance, total paid out of pocket in full about $250.

This year in Spain, prescription meds costing $75 here are over there over the counter, same dosage, for less then $5 US.

We are getting the royal US screwing when it comes to health scare.

I’ve got that beat. A week in hospital last December following a minor heart attack. Heart surgery. About half a dozen followup doctor visits. My total out-of-pocket cost: $0.

There’s no evidence that a copper plan is “shittier”. Presumably it covers the same stuff as the platinum plan, you just pay lower premiums but are liable for more out of pocket expenses. There is nothing inherently wrong with choosing copper over platinum. Neither is better than the other, one just collects your money monthly and the other collects most of your money when you get routine care.

Insurance is meant to insure you against unplanned catastrophes, not things you know will happen.

A copper plan is shittier for exactly the same reason that my previously described “imaginary plan” would be the shittiest of all. It was meant to illustrate a point that you apparently didn’t get: that such a bogus tradeoff appeals to those who are financially stressed and therefore the least capable of meeting those out-of-pocket costs when they actually need health care. It’s nothing more than a fraudulent and shameless exhibition of the barbaric idea that the quality and quantity of essential medical care one receives should be based on one’s ability to pay for it. That nonsense was long ago rejected by every civilized country on earth, but then, those other countries don’t have Republicans shitting all over them.

And that argues for why the conventional insurance model doesn’t work for health care at all. That’s why the US health care system has to have all these intricate priority-juggling compromises, all these complicated plan options named after metals, more rules, regulations, processes and procedures than the IRS, wasting hundreds of billions annually, and it still doesn’t fucking work!

What about the clay plan, which only covers foot injuries?

This is why insurance is unpopular.

“So, I can fly to Madrid, have my hip replacement, fly to Pamplona, stay 8 nights in the best room in the best hotel, eat like a king, run with the bulls, get trampled, fly back to Madrid, have another hip replacement to replace my broken hip replacement, and fly back to the States for less than just the co-payment I’d have to pay at home for one hip replacement.”

and impractical, don’t forget that.

because at some point Mr. Moneybags is going to be exposed to drug resistant TB when one of the cooks at his favorite restaurant gives it to him. or something like that.

and nobody is “covered” really - as long as it’s possible to have “insurance” and still go bankrupt from medical bills. which doesn’t happen anywhere else that pretends to be a first world country.

The US is not a first-world country from the standpoint of health care access, certainly not for the poor and lower middle class. When the charitable organization Remote Area Medical was founded in 1985, it was intended to provide free emergency medical services to countries where people were suffering because of backwards undeveloped health care systems. Since the early 90s, out of obvious necessity much of its work has been diverted to the USA, where poor and lower middle class Americans need its charitable medical services more than the Wapishana Indians of the upper Amazon.

Problem is, adding the copper plan does not make anyone’s insurance worse than the alternative of not adding the copper plan. It just gives people more options and will probably increase compliance with the law. In case you didn’t notice, the young and healthy are giving you a big middle finger right now, so you might want to entice them into the pool.

Maybe that’s because since the '08 recession the young and healthy have had less discretionary income.

And others of course.


As someone who’s shopped ACA plans, I’ve gotta say I don’t understand why they use the 90% 80% 70% 60% descriptor.

Because the differences are in the deductible and out of pocket max. It may be a reasonable description when it comes to ordinary health care, but if you get cancer or get smashed up in a bike accident and need a half dozen surgeries, all of these plans are going to cover most of your costs. Except for the deductible. And the high deductible plans give you the benefit of the insurance company discount from the beginning. But my point is that if you have a million bucks in healthcare expenses for the year, it’s not like you’ll be on the hook for 400K because you have a bronze plan.

I’m actually going to switch from a 0 deductible to a high deductible plan for next year- since I had my cataract surgeries this year I don’t foresee any large expenses. And if the premium difference is even $200 a month, that $200 will buy roughly 2 primary care or 1 specialist visit a month which is way more than I’ll probably need. And if I don’t need to go to the doctor that extra $2400 will pay for a decent vacation.

Now I see the point that high deductible plans don’t do much for people that are struggling to put food on the table but those people should be helped by assistance outside of the private market. But for someone like myself who’s 1) basically healthy. 2) Financially secure enough to be able to handle 10K in out of pocket expenses in the unlikely event of a healthcare emergency - this plan might be a good choice.


I don’t think you grasp the issue which led me to write this post.

The issue is that in the US we ‘could’ make our health care more affordable, but politicians don’t want to. Regulatory capture means that neither political party wants to enact the reforms necessary to make health care cost competitive with Europe, who spend half what we do on health care.

Instead of the true reforms our nation needs, politicians are just passing laws making insurance more and more shitty. That doesn’t solve the problem.

Our health care system needs massive reform, reform that will enrage the medical industry because it’ll cost them business and profits. Neither political party on the state or federal level wants to do that. So instead of the reform we need, we get ‘lets let people buy shittier insurance so they can stay in a non-functional system’.

The problem is that Americans trust doctors more than government. So if doctors say one thing and government says another, doctors win. We can probably get drug costs down and maybe some hospital costs, but doctors are “entitled” to $250-400K a year and any attempt to reduce their incomes will fail until the government establishes that it is as trustworthy as doctors. Other governments have pulled off this feat, but it’s just never been a part of our culture to demand that government work well. Half of us don’t care and the other half wants it to work but wants a of other things more so it’s never really a priority.

I’m on the Iron Plan. My premium is I have to kill somebody.

Isn’t that only if you need a transplant?

Nope. The Iron Plan demands the Iron Premium.

That’s because House Greyjoy is in control of insurance issues. Regulation of the hospitality industry falls to House Frey. House Bolton is in charge of melanoma, leprosy and other diseases of the skin. (The family that flays together, stays together.)

Is Copper referring to the primary contaminant that will be allowed in our water now, or the additional amount that can be added to the air from factories? GOP Health plans can be so confusing…