On Jan. 7, 2014, Matt Drudge of the politically influential Drudge Report declared, "I've opted out of Obamacare for life. Not interested. Pay the tax. Monopoly money anyway."
Ezra Klein, of The Washington Post, tried to pin Matt down, asking,
Klein is making the point that Matt's statement could be all bravado, because it only qualifies if Drudge is buying insurance, not self-insuring. Since all insurance purchases now must meet qualifying Obamacare standards, whether Matt goes through the health care exchange or purchases private insurance, any new insurance he purchases would fall under the Obamacare umbrella as long as ithe Affordable Health Care Act remains the law of the land.
Like Obamacare, Matt's possibly soon-to-be-viral statement is confusing. The same Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein who questioned Matt Drudge questioned the Obama administration's decision to allow those whose insurance was canceled to opt for the catastrophic plans closed to others, pointing out that “A 45-year-old whose plan just got canceled can now purchase catastrophic coverage. A 45-year-old who didn’t have insurance at all can’t.”
Since the cancellation of thousands of private policies, policies many thought would automatically be "grandfathered" in, there has been considerable anger. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of the employer health benefits of 2013, information found in Chapter 13 indicates that since ACA has been even partially implemented, the percentage of grandfathered plans have substantially decreased. See the percentages of grandfathered plans below:
- 56 percent in 2011
- 48 percent in 2012
- 38 percent in 2013
Over on Forbes, the possibility was raised that the nearly five million Americans whose insurance was canceled might "opt for cheap catastrophic coverage or avoid coverage altogether." Their conclusion was if this did, indeed, happen, it could result in a dive in premiums the insurance industry was counting on, ultimately leading to huge losses. If that happens, what's next, bailing out the insurance companies?
In short order the Twitchy team pondered, "Is the Drudge Report founder uninsured?" Whether Matt is merely adhering to his status as top pot-stirrer or not, there appears to be several schools of thought on the wording of Drudge's provocative declaration. Some are parsing his use of "for life." Over on Twitchy, a very confident BoscoBolt opined, "'For life' might only mean another year (or a few) - Obamacare will eventually be repealed."
Others are clearly offended that Drudge appeared to refer to the tax as "Monopoly money," with one a quick snark from Michele @haymakers, "It's nice that you've got Monopoly money to burn. Millions aren't as fortunate as you."
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