Patterico's Pontifications

1/5/2015

Oh, But This is Rich!

Filed under: Education,General,Health Care,Public Policy — JVW @ 2:45 pm

[guest post by JVW]

A bunch of PhDs who apparently don’t understand the concept of irony:

Health Care Fixes Backed by Harvard’s Experts Now Roil Its Faculty (New York Times).

– JVW

55 Responses to “Oh, But This is Rich!”

  1. This probably deserved a more fleshed-out post, with quotes from the article alongside of analysis, but I am in a rush and I wanted to let the good readers of Patterico’s Pontifications hash it all out. Feel free to include your favorite quotes from the article in your comments.

    Have we at least reached the point where we realize how absolutely phony-baloney most of the academics who rail about public policy are? William F. Buckley had it absolutely right over a half-century ago.

    JVW (60ca93)

  2. They never expected it to apply to them, only the unwashed masses.

    JD (6d366c)

  3. If these professors don’t cough up more money for their premiums, then Harvard coeds might have to pay more for their birth control pills. #WarOnWomen

    JVW (60ca93)

  4. This is what I have been saying for a long time. Academics—part of Teh Clerisy—don’t understand that in terms of class warfare, *they* are in the cross-hairs, too.

    The ghost of Robespierre is laughing.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  5. They were for it as long as other people have to pay for it!!!!!!!11ty!!!!!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  6. It’s not really Obamacare, although the university is sort of trying to attribute it to that. Some Harvard professors have created spreadsheets that show costs have not been increasing that much.

    What it is, is changes, or similar to to some changes, recommended in 2009 a group of economists led by Dr. Alan M. Garber, then a Stanford professor but now provost of Harvard, and what they’re basically complaining about is that Harvard is slightly reducing premiums, but imposing deductibles ($250 per individual and $750 for a family) and co-insurance for hospitalization, surgery and certain advanced diagnostic tests.

    There will now be a $20 charge for office visits and for most other things, 10% till $1,500 per individual or $4,500 for a family is reached.

    They used to have very low out-of-pocket costs.

    The Harvard faculty do not like this change at all. Thhey say it is shifting costs to sick people.

    The Chairman of unoversity benefits committee jstifies this:

    Michael E. Chernew, a health economist and the chairman of the university benefits committee, which recommended the new approach, acknowledged that “with these changes, employees will often pay more for care at the point of service.” In part, he said, “that is intended because patient cost-sharing is proven to reduce overall spending.”

    .

    Sammy Finkelman (6b5229)

  7. “Consumer cost-sharing is a blunt instrument,” Professor Rosenthal said. “It will save money, but we have strong evidence that when faced with high out-of-pocket costs, consumers make choices that do not appear to be in their best interests in terms of health….”
    “It seems that Harvard is trying to save money by shifting costs to sick people,” said Mary C. Waters, a professor of sociology. “I don’t understand why a university with Harvard’s incredible resources would do this. What is the crisis?”
    BwaHaHaHa. Welcome to the real world, dumbasses.

    Walter Cronanty (f48cd5)

  8. JVW @3.

    3.If these professors don’t cough up more money for their premiums..

    No, their premiums are actually to be somewhat lower.

    What they’re complaining about is the deductibles and the coinsurance.

    They had gold plated insurance.

    Sammy Finkelman (6b5229)

  9. 7. Walter Cronanty (f48cd5) — 1/5/2015 @ 3:25 pm

    Welcome to the real world, dumbasses.

    They were quite happy in their ivory tower.

    This sort of thing has happened to many other people in the last 20 or 30 years.

    Sammy Finkelman (6b5229)

  10. Truth be told, Sammy, I don’t think they’ll pass along the increases to Harvard gals on The Pill, either. I am taking some poetic license on this.

    JVW (60ca93)

  11. #Taxtehsick

    felipe (56556d)

  12. I don’t know. I’m surprised that the Harvard professors don’t volunteer to contribute to the health care of people on campus who can’t afford it.

    As I wrote above, they really and truly don’t see themselves as privileged.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  13. 9. Sammy Finkelman (6b5229) — 1/5/2015 @ 3:28 pm

    They were quite happy in their ivory tower.

    And they were quite happy advocating for the monstrosity known as ObamaCare as long as somebody else had to pay for it. Couldn’t happen to more deserving people.

    Walter Cronanty (f48cd5)

  14. And they were quite happy advocating for the monstrosity known as ObamaCare as long as somebody else had to pay for it. Couldn’t happen to more deserving people.

    Just wait until organized labor reaches the end of their ObamaCare waiver period, which ought to be happening just as soon as the administration sees the budget shortfall attributable to the lack of revenue for their pet program.

    JVW (60ca93)

  15. 14.JVW (60ca93) — 1/5/2015 @ 3:42 pm

    Just wait until organized labor reaches the end of their ObamaCare waiver period,…

    Labor unions and Harvard faculty aren’t the only folks due for a surprise:

    Up to half of the 6.8 million Americans who received premium subsidies in 2014 could end up owing the federal government money because of it this tax season, The Wall Street Journal reports.

    But, there is a silver lining:

    On the upside, however, the mass confusion at the IRS and amongst tax preparers could leave the agency without adequate resources to fully enforce the individual mandate. And because the White House is behind on approving paperwork for the IRS’ implementation already, according to a report last month from the American Action Forum, the tax on the uninsured is likely to be only lightly enforced this year.

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/01/02/fuzzy-obamacare-subsidies-could-leave-half-of-obamacare-customers-owing-the-irs/
    The piper won’t have to be paid until Obama is long gone – and then it’ll still be Bush’s fault.

    Walter Cronanty (f48cd5)

  16. Up to half of the 6.8 million Americans who received premium subsidies in 2014 could end up owing the federal government money because of it this tax season, The Wall Street Journal reports.

    Duh! Well, yes, if you misunderestimaticate your income you’ll have to send in a check. If you overestimate, you get a check. This has been happening with people whose paycheck is not a steady number since withholding was introduced, and it was explained very clearly to anyone who knows how to read on my Obamacare exchange.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. It is well known that most progressives/liberals lack the personal generosity gene. They are all about using other people’s money to fund their enthusiasms. It is now demonstrated that they won’t even set aside a modest amount to cover their tiny (10%) share of their medical costs (up to a few thousand dollars) in the unlikely event that they will need it. If these Harvard faculty members are so upset about spending a tiny bit of their own money for their own care, I shudder to think of how they will “assist” their parents as they traverse what is politely called their declining years.

    The call for terminating care for anyone over 72 will be the next big thing for these creeps. That way they can abandon their parents with the sad explanation that it is for the good of the herd. This will be their battle cry, at least for another decade or so.

    The question is, what do Harvard faculty members spend their money on, given that they don’t spend it on the things that the rest of us take for granted?

    bobathome (348c8a)

  18. 16. nk (dbc370) — 1/5/2015 @ 4:30 pm
    -subscribers-taxpayer-funded-subsidies-2015-Supreme-Court-make-65-BILLION-subsidies-illegal.html
    Since 87% of those who signed up for ObamaCare get taxpayer paid subsidies [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2891804/A-whopping-87-cent-Obamacare-subscribers-taxpayer-funded-subsidies-2015-Supreme-Court-make-65-BILLION-subsidies-illegal.html], I doubt that too many of them are familiar with sending the IRS a check on April 15.

    Walter Cronanty (f48cd5)

  19. #15: Walter, Of course, but which Bush? This could be the thing that keeps Bush#3 on the sidelines in 2016. Who wants to bear the blame for eight years of neglect?

    bobathome (348c8a)

  20. #19: Yeah, whoever wins the R nomination will have a helluva mess to clean up – and all of sudden homelessness, job creation consisting of only part-time jobs, etc., will be newsworthy.
    While I believe that both HW and W are decent men, the only Bush I could enthusiastically support is Barbara.

    Walter Cronanty (f48cd5)

  21. That would be the federal exchanges, Walter, if Halbig and King rule those subsidies illegal. It would be one heck of a mess. Which I bet Obama’s IRS will solve with a “No Action” letter to the taxpayers — i.e. “Don’t worry about it, you don’t have to pay us back no matter what the Supreme Court says”.

    But that’s not an issue at all with the state exchanges. And it was always understood that the subsidies were income-based for both state and federal exchanges. I, personally, do not know what my tax return will say in 2016, so I went with a plan that I would be willing to pay the entire premium for, should I not qualify for a subsidy. I can see the guys and ladies, with $60,000 in revolving credit card debt and driving Lexus’s, needing some of that Meprobamate though.

    nk (dbc370)

  22. and all of sudden homelessness, job creation consisting of only part-time jobs, etc., will be newsworthy.

    Man, did you call that one. All the crap they’ve been ignoring, burying or covering up over the last 6 years will suddenly appear and need fixing urgently. You know, the usual leftist “crisis” mode.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  23. 21.

    …if Halbig and King rule those subsidies illegal. It would be one heck of a mess.

    If that happens, can ObamaCare survive? Would such a ruling in effect take the progs off the hook for foisting such a boondoggle on the American public? Something like – “Well, we had a perfectly good plan to provide health care for the children, but the right-wing, fascistic Supreme Court ruined it – so blame the Rs.”

    Walter Cronanty (f48cd5)

  24. The Mensheviks are in for a bigger surprise after the U is closed down.

    DNF (58f71f)

  25. HAAAA-ha!!!

    Nelson Muntz (513e4d)

  26. From the way I played with the numbers when I was signing up, pre-Medicare people in my state could be forced into Medicaid or pay more for, or the entire amount of, their premium. Or opt out and pay the Obamacare tax. The real bitch of Obamacare is that non-compliant plans are illegal. You can’t shop for a plan you can afford. Insurance companies can’t sell them. It’s Obamacare or nothing (with or without penalty). On the plus side, Medicare will pay for my sex change operation when I’m seventy-four and then I’ll be able to get free birth control pills.

    nk (dbc370)

  27. re #23: i wouldn’t presume the GOP hierarchy would sit idly bye if the texts of the law are upheld.
    the GOP hierarchy will provide.

    seeRpea (303c15)

  28. Harvard is self-supporting through its trust fund. Tuition and grants are gravy. These profs who are complaining had Rolls Royce plans. Even the ones they’re going to be “stuck with” are Mercedes’s — better than most employee plans in the best employments. They should just STFU.

    nk (dbc370)

  29. Poetic justice.

    LTMG (0d3d7f)

  30. It’s Obamacare or nothing (with or without penalty). On the plus side, Medicare will pay for my sex change operation when I’m seventy-four and then I’ll be able to get free birth control pills.

    And if your free contraception fails during your septuagenarian years, nk, you will be fully covered for maternity services.

    JVW (60ca93)

  31. it couldn’t happen to a moar deserving collection of fascists…

    and it is always amusing how certain desperate souls feel the need to contort themselves in the endless defense of their Precious and teh all impotent narrative.

    give it a fing rest: some of us are suffering from mendacity overload.

    redc1c4 (b340a6)

  32. #Taxtehsick

    felipe (56556d) — 1/5/2015 @ 3:30 pm

    taxtehsick
    raise teh dead
    make teh little girls
    sleep with Uncle Ted
    He’s teh Won

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  33. They’re clueless. They had it from the horse’s ass’s mouth. Their buddy and colleague, Zeke Eamnuel. It’s not the sick who are paying. It’s the people who, according to the dirty little “medical ethicist”, “won the health lottery”.

    nk (dbc370)

  34. and it is always amusing how certain desperate souls feel the need to contort themselves in the endless defense of their Precious and teh all impotent narrative.

    To be honest, though, the Harvard professors who deal with health care, economics, and fiscal policy seem to understand that this is inevitable. The NYT article quotes four of them — David Cutler, Michael Chernew, and Meredith Rosenthal in health economics and Alan Garber, a former economics professor at Stanford and now the Harvard Provost — who appear to be trying to make their colleagues understand that this is exactly how the legislation was supposed to work. The real idiots in this piece are the other lefties from the Arts & Science faculty; the article quotes Richard Thomas in Classics, Mary Lewis in History, and Mary Waters in Sociology, all of whom are aghast that Fair Harvard would ask its pampered faculty to contribute to the welfare of undesirable riff-raff outside of Cambridge. It’s further proof that not only are most liberal arts and social science academics no more qualified to expound upon public policy than the rest of us, they are perhaps even less qualified due to their cloistered nature in groupthink disciplines. I have a buddy who is a psychology professor at a large state school and a typical academic lefty, and I tease him about this all the time.

    JVW (60ca93)

  35. The university is adopting standard features of most employer-sponsored health plans: Employees will now pay deductibles and a share of the costs, known as coinsurance, for hospitalization, surgery and certain advanced diagnostic tests. The plan has an annual deductible of $250 per individual and $750 for a family. For a doctor’s office visit, the charge is $20. For most other services, patients will pay 10 percent of the cost until they reach the out-of-pocket limit of $1,500 for an individual and $4,500 for a family.

    MY GOD! If they had cancer or a heart attack, THEY COULD BE OUT $1500!!!!1!!! And they’d be limited to, well, any hospital they wanted, really.

    I get such a better deal under Obamacare. OOP limit is only $6250 per person, the premiums for each of us add up to only slightly more than that and the deductible is $4500, and my choices of doctors and hospitals is limited to about 25% of those I used to have access to under my cheaper, better cancelled policy.

    No wonder they complain!

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  36. I also like where the “poorer” employees are those making less than $95K. Someone needs to check their privilege. I hope their students mock them relentlessly. Does the Harvard Lampoon still publish?

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  37. I’ve been saying this for years. Do these fools think they’ll be spared the calamitous results of the policies they espouse? It’s like the Muslim apologists who think that crying out, “Hey…I hate America too” will save them.

    Funeral Guy (afbf7b)

  38. BTW, this isn’t “just deserts.” This is people who are still getting a FAR better deal than almost anyone complaining that they have to accept a very mild form of what they forced on the rabble.

    They should have to choose an Obamacare plan and pay for it themselves. I suggest a special personal income tax levy on the imputed value of medical plans with low deductibles at schools in Cambridge, MA.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  39. “But you don’t understand…in a world of special snowflakes, I’m the most special-ist of all!!!!”

    Or if you prefer:
    Don’t tax you…don’t tax me…tax that man behind the tree!

    Funeral Guy (afbf7b)

  40. Somebody probably knows who and what I’m talking about, but there was a woman representative questioning Gruber at a hearing who told how her husband had foregone one recommended test because of the cost under their ObamaCare plan who subsequently died of a heart attack. She was not amused by Gruber’s playing the “oh stupid me” game.

    It will be interesting to see if people will come to see that this is what ObamaCare did, or will they put blame on the evil capitalists (they must be!) who run Harvard’s administration.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  41. They’re worse than capitalists. They’re beneficiaries of inherited property which is theft and parasitism. And intellectuals to boot. Counter-revolutionary elements without a doubt.

    nk (dbc370)

  42. maybe, nk, I was suggesting how they would paraphrase it, not what the reality of it is.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  43. This reminds me of when William F. Buckley said he’d rather be governed by the first 2000 names in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard University. The wisdom in that statement is manifested more and more.

    norcal (b8f701)

  44. I see. No, it cannot be Obamacare’s fault because Obama is always right. It is the subversive bourgeoise in the Harvard administration.

    nk (dbc370)

  45. exactly, nk.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  46. Isn’t Harvard in Massachusetts? Then Romneycare is to blame.

    AZ Bob (34bb80)

  47. I imagine the faculty is smart enough to do the math and find the $2500 savings that Obama told each of us we would save on our health insurance. I’m still looking for mine but then I didn’t attend Harvard.

    HoldOnSweetie (341e2f)

  48. JVW (60ca93) — 1/5/2015 @ 6:31 pm

    i was referring to our in-house cadre of willfully dishonest/blind/stupid posters…

    redc1c4 (2b3c9e)

  49. Let me imagine I am a Media Matters employee, it goes something like this:

    The problems with Obamacare are because Republicans did not vote for it.

    Thank you, try the veal and tip the waiter.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  50. The problems with Obamacare are because Republicans did not vote for it.

    Yeah, it’s pretty clear that the left’s narrative will be something like this: the government regulating and subsidizing private insurance won’t work because it is too complicated for the public sector to manage, so the only alternative is for the government to run the whole program via single payer. That’s left-wing logic for you: we fail at the little things so it makes sense for us to expand our role to encompass the whole enchilada.

    JVW (60ca93)

  51. The people at Harvard (undoubtedly nearly 100% of the left) remind me of Franklin D Roosevelt, who after raising income taxes in the 1930s, had the nerve to tell the IRS the tax rate in question didn’t apply to his own sizable income.

    The word of the day when liberals get a taste of their own nasty, cruddy medicine: SCHADENFREUDE.

    Mark (c160ec)

  52. “Deserves” has everything to do with it!

    askeptic (efcf22)

  53. The ghost of Robespierre is laughing.

    Heh. Good one!

    Patricia (5fc097)

  54. 51. Was FDR right? (had a loophole been carved out?)

    Sammy Finkelman (6b5229)

  55. The New York Times retains its ability to impress. No article like that would ever appear in the Los Angeles Times. Ever. LAT prefers its stable of tedious commentators, or gushing, multi-page articles on demonstrators interrupting brunch.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)


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