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Slacker Mandate: The Real Numbers

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  A couple of health care news items here before we head back to the phones.  First up, the RAND Corporation did a survey on this whole health care business.  And the upshot of it is, only one-third of Obamacare exchange sign-ups were from the previously uninsured.  Only one-third of exchange sign-ups were previously uninsured. 

"The RAND study hasn’t yet been published, but its contents were made available to Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times. RAND also estimates that 9 million individuals have purchased health plans directly from insurers, outside of the exchanges, but that 'the vast majority of these people were previously insured.'"  So Obama's sitting there, "Oh, yeah, we're the only country that --" We're not doing anything that this law set out to do.  It's a mishmash. 

And from the National Center for Public Policy Research: "3.1 Million Young Adults Have Not Received Coverage via Their Parents' Insurance." Now, this is one of those billing deals even the Republicans say they can't oppose. There are two things the Republicans say about Obamacare, there are at least two.  That we can't repeal no matter what, we can't do away with 'em and we're not gonna do away.  One of them is coverage for preexisting conditions.  We're not gonna touch that.  Everybody wants that.  Everybody wants everybody, no matter what their problem, to be covered, to be able to have insurance.  Well, yeah, everybody wants a lot of stuff.  I don't know, I guess I'm too big a stickler. 

Preexisting condition insurance is not possible.  It's not insurance.  It's something else.  And if you call it something else, you might change the percentages of people that support it.  And that's why they call it insurance.  "Well, I think everybody ought to have insurance. I don't think insurance ought to be denied to anybody when it comes to health care."  Of course, everybody thinks that.  But then what if you're talking about offering people something that isn't insurance but is, in strict definitional terms, welfare?  Well, then what kind of support does it get? 

See, that's the kind of stuff that matters to me.  It makes me, you know, a stick in the mud.  Let's say you decide for some reason you have enough money, you don't have to get a mortgage.  So you don't have to have homeowners insurance.  So you don't.  You plop down whatever your house costs, and then one day you drive home and you see smoke coming from your neighborhood, and you get closer and closer and you see it's your house on fire.  "Oh, my God, oh, no."  Then you realize, you know what, I don't have any insurance. 

So you call the insurance company and say, "Hey, my house is on fire.  About 20%'s destroyed.  I want homeowners insurance."  And they would tell you to go pound sand.  You gotta buy the insurance before the fire.  Now, if you want the insurance company to pay you or to pay for the repairs that the fire caused, you're not buying insurance at that point; you're buying repairs. 

Now, the equivalent you decide, because you're young and healthy, take the risk or whatever, that you're just not gonna get catastrophic health insurance. You've got enough money to pay as you go when you go to the doctor, this or that.  Then you do go to the doctor and they come out and say, "You know what?  You've got X terminal disease or X catastrophic disease."  You call the health insurance, "I just was diagnosed with blah, blah.  I want insurance."  "Sorry.  You can't get insurance for something that -- you should have bought insurance before this happened." 

"Well, I want it now." 

"We don't sell that.  That's not insurance." 

But we are a compassionate country, so we're calling that preexisting condition insurance, but there really is no such thing.  It isn't insurance.  It's something else.  And if you termed it something else, would it have the universal support that it's gotten?  Side point. 

The second thing that the Republicans said they would never tamper with, the American people want it, is your children being covered by your policy until they are 26.  That's not gonna change no matter if we got our arms around Obamacare, we're able to get rid of the whole thing, we're not getting rid of that.  Well, the National Center for Public Policy Research has done some research.  I mean, that's what they do.  And they have found that the number of young people who can now stay on their parents' insurance plan until 26 -- the slacker mandate we call this.  Spoiled kids who don't want to pay their own way until they're 27 stay on their parents' insurance.  Well, 3.1 million young adults have not received this coverage via their parents' insurance. 

Here's the pull quote.  And look, this gets into the weeds here. It's a little deep, of analyzing -- the whole story does.  But here's the upshot of this story.  "What HHS did amounts to little more than a 'back of the envelope' calculation. To really get at how many young adults are newly covered under their parents' policies would require surveys asking very detailed questions about the source of insurance. It would probably also require more sophisticated statistical analysis that could estimate the impact of the slacker mandate while controlling for other factors such as the economy and Medicaid enrollment. As it stands, all we have is an estimate of the number of young adults who gained coverage via their parents that is unreliable -- far too unreliable for major newspapers to be repeating it."

And the Health and Human Services has not updated their figures in nearly two years, and the reason is the program is losing its effectiveness and the numbers are declining.  There aren't that many kids staying on their parents' policies.  It's something that's not being utilized.  There's no way of determining it.  There just isn't enough statistical analysis and data for people to figure out how widespread the benefit is, and the best that they've been able to come up with here is, despite what Obama and the LA Times and the media is saying, there are 3.1 million young adults who have not received coverage via their parents' insurance.  David Hogberg wrote the story.  He's a PhD. 

It's another lie about Obamacare.  The point of this little research project is to say that this magic of all these kids being covered, they're not, is the bottom line.  It's a feel-good talking point. (impersonating Obama)  "And you parents, your kids are gonna be able to stay covered on your policy 'til they're 26."  But it's not happening, as best anybody can tell.  

END TRANSCRIPT

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