Saturday, March 27, 2010

Our Obamacare victory message from our Health Insurance Company

My employer, Jukt Micronics, uses Aetna for employee medical insurance.
Our Human Resources Manager knew I would want to do something with this letter that Aetna sent him yesterday. 
We are about to get screwed, glued, and Bar-B-Q'd on the healthcare scam. 
Get ready for it.
March 24, 2010
Dear Plan Sponsor,

Yesterday, President Barack Obama signed health care reform legislation passed by the Senate in December and the House on Sunday. As a result, millions of Americans can look forward to gaining access to health insurance, a significant milestone for this country. The challenge unmet by this bill, however,is how to effectively deal with the critical issue of affordability, which has become a burden for so many people, particularly individuals and small business owners.

The phrase "The challenge unmet" is an ancient bureaucratese expression meaning "Nobody even thought about paying for it".  That would also be "the challenge unmet" if we were to give everyone a yacht, a G.M. vehicle, or even a free pony.  "The challenge unmet" in this bill is that it does nothing, absolutely nothing, to reduce scarcity of medical care.  Therefore, "millions of Americans can look forward to" costs and prices going through what one of our salespeople recently called The Next Stratosphere. 

We are aggressively working to weigh the impact of this legislation on our various businesses, customers, and members. In the meantime, the Senate is still wrestling with a “reconciliation” bill that contains “fixes” to the legislation signed by the President today.

Note the scorn quotes around the words "reconciliation" and "fixes".
In other words, the Senate believes that with enough sanitizing and cleaning and sculpting and power-washing, it will be possible to pick up this turd by the clean end. 

It is important to remember that most of the legislation will not go into effect until 2014 or later.

I remember going to hear Candidate Obama speak at Reunion Arena in Dallas, back in February of '08.  It was inspiring, even to a skeptic.  One of the phrases that Obama used was Dr. Martin Luther King's quote about "the fierce urgency of now".  Whatever happened to now?  If this thing is wonderful, why not now?  Why the fierce urgency to delay implementation until 2014? 
Election cycles, anyone? 

The details of implementing legislation can take months, even years to work through the regulatory process. Much of what Congress has passed will require additional regulations that will bring further clarity to this new law, and those regulations will truly shape the impact on consumers and employers.

"...that will bring further clarity..."
"...that will bring further clarity..."
"Those regulations will truly shape the impact on consumers and employers." 
"Those regulations will truly shape the impact on consumers and employers."
Can clarity be furthered?  Or can it only be increased or added?  Can impacts be shaped?  That sentence is so poorly written that it is almost unfiskable

We will continue to play an active role in the detailed discussions during the lengthy implementation process.

Translation from bureaucratese: "We've been working with Obama to divide your carcass for about a year.  We've got 30 million new customers.  You're on your own.  Keep them checks coming !"

Given what we know about the mandates and taxes included in the legislation,we do anticipate the likelihood of additional new costs.

No shit.  I now anticipate the likelihood of Polar Bears refusing to migrate southward to Miami.  I now anticipate the likelihood of compass needles pointing north.  I anticipate the likelihood of....

The longer I go with it, the worse it gets.  You anticipate things, and sometimes you think things are likely.   Anticipate the likelihood of something is like making a bet that something is probable. 

I didn't mean to become the grammar/style Nazi, but this dude is distracting me from the topic at hand, which is Obamacare.  Sheesh.  Say that the our prices are going to go up.  Speak English. 

We intend to focus our efforts in the rulemaking process to lessen the financial impact of these changes on our customers and members.

How about this: We're going to lobby for less government so you don't have to pay as much. 
Is that better?  Sometimes I get wordy, but I'm usually trying to be colorful or mildly entertaining at the same time.  Intend focus efforts process lessen impact....Christ almighty, I started this post thinking this guy was on my side. 

Aetna plays a significant role in helping both employers and individuals meet the cost challenge. Our role won’t change with this legislation. But, as a nation, we need to come together to bring greater focus on addressing the many underlying factors that are driving soaring health care costs. When the nation inevitably turns to finding ways of reducing this alarming trend, we stand ready to help.

We will continue to keep you updated as this process moves forward.

Yes.  Move the process forward.  Forward moves the progress, addressing that which is focused upon, lest challenges go unmet, not just in helping, but by playing a significant role in helping when mere helping is not enough.  Or something. 


Anonymous Bureaucrat,

Vice President of Sales and Service,
Southwest Region

If you think this is confusing, verbose, and intentionally vague, go here to see the Healthcare bill.  Everyone involved in this debacle - Congressional Staffers, Insurance Execs, Legal Vultures, and Lobbyists - learned English from the same set of Taiwanese DVD player instructions.


Anonymous said...

In Q4, Aetna reported a 9% increase in premiums and $166M in profit. In December last year, Aetna announced plans to dump over 600,000 of it's least profitable customers.

This health care reform is overdue; but quit blaming the Democrats for doing something - finally - about it. Now the US can hold it's head up - just a little -alongside every other developed nation - and many less developed - that provide it's citizens a modicum of reasonbly priced health care.

seran said...

Dea Anonymous,

I noticed you posted the increase in premiums and the raw dollar profits but not the profit margin. I wonder why that could be. Maybe because that would have revealed the truth: Aetna's profit margins went down and are quite low overall.

The increase in premiums is the result an increase in health care costs at the point of service. We are already facing shortages of providers and Obamacare will necessarily have to cause prices to rise if it is to meet any increased demand for services.

Also, please name which specific other nation(s) that you think we should aspire to emulate. Because I'm quite familiar with all the alternative systems and I'd be curious which in particular you think is so much better than ours.

Medical Insurance said...

According to the market-research group Datamonitor, medical inflation is the reason for yearly increases of 8% in health insurance premiums. The steady progress in the development of new drugs, therapies and equipment used to diagnose medical conditions and the resulting costs are an obvious reason for this. This is understandable and everyone wants the latest in diagnostics and treatments. Equipment becomes obsolete with time and invariably the very words newer and improved mean a rise in cost.

Annuity Advice said...

I have to agree with Tony. I have used an intermediary and they research all the companies for you and come up with the best premium.
Annuity Calculator

private medical insurance said...

I must admit I agree with Anoymous "Now the US can hold it's head up - just a little -alongside every other developed nation - and many less developed" Medical insurance in the UK is works well but we have a health service for the massess that gives anyone access to healthcare