On 9/28/13 I tried accessing various sites which purported to be informative about the PPACA (obamacare) premium pricing .
Most of them didn’t work but I was able to access the Kaiser Family Foundation.org site and the PPACA calculator.
What I found was highly unacceptable, so much so that on that same day I authored the following inquiry letter to the ACLU via their website
Request for an Investigation by ACLU
I am a physician board certified in Physical medicine and rehabilitation.
My practice has included many people with injuries and disabling conditions. I am very concerned about having non-prejudicial access to quality private practice healthcare and wellness for all persons. As we are perched on the edge of PPACA activation I am concerned about the high risk for fraud and abuse.
I believe that you will agree that it is wrong to charge a person more money for a product or service based on their income . The cost of an item or service is the cost and it should not change prices depending on who wanted to purchase it.
It would be especially wrong to exclude people you have a prejudice against from a transaction by telling them the price was 327% of what you would charge another person for the same service/product.
This would be especially wrong if the vendor especially disliked the poor and charged them more than people with high incomes for the same service or product to push them out of the market.
Checking on the Kaiser website http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/ I discovered that if I listed my income at a $5000 level vs $50,000 Kaiser would charge much more for presumably the same coverage if I entered $5000 than if the value entered is $50,000!
I am still the same 60 year old nonsmoking man whether I make $5000 a year or $50,000 a year. My health risks are precisely the same.
Clearly , this is a planned systemic design which can have no explanation except prejudice, fraud, collusion and exploitation. I would bet you that any such “calculator ” is biased the same way no matter where it is located within the “exchange market place”
I am contacting you because I have no trust or faith in the federal government , Kaiser or the health insurance cabal to correctly behave. Asking a pirate to not rob you will not make them stop.
They need to be punished for this scheme , ideally before they steal too much more money and denigrate/abuse any more people.
I would like you to carefully look at what I have discovered and consider what it means.
Then I would like to meet with you directly to discuss my concerns in as much detail as needed so that you will be motivated to investigate the extent of this wrongful collusion ( these are precedent RICO level infractions including the federal government itself!) and take effective actions. This scheme needs to be interrupted/ limited for the protection of our citizens at risk and those involved in the racketeering need to be punished maximally.
Sam Wise MD
On October 2,2013 I got the following response from Allison Bowmer
( email@example.com )
October 2, 2013
Dear Dr. Wise:
Thank you for contacting the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada. Your letter requesting assistance has been received and reviewed by this office. Unfortunately, the ACLU of Nevada is unable to assist you or provide representation in this matter.
The ACLU of Nevada is a privately funded non-profit organization that relies heavily on the services of both volunteer interns and attorneys. Our mission is to protect and promote the Bill of Rights which places restrictions on abusive government policy. In this endeavor, we are often faced with limited resources to meet the many challenges to freedom and justice.
Due to these constraints, the ACLU of Nevada must focus on cases where the facts are not in substantial dispute and which have wide-ranging civil liberties implications. In order to use our resources most effectively, we limit our representation to those cases where our participation can benefit a large sector of people and lead to a change in law. Even among those types of cases, we can take only a small percentage of the many meritorious complaints that we receive.
Our decision in your case was based on these factors alone and not on a legal judgment of its merits. This letter should not discourage you from pursuing a resolution through other appropriate channels. Please be advised that there may be statutes of limitations or other deadlines that affect your lawsuit or grievance. To protect your rights, you may wish to consult with an attorney to find out what deadlines apply in your case.
The ACLU of Nevada cannot provide referrals to individual attorneys. However, you may wish to contact the State Bar of Nevada’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (800) 789-5747 for the name of a local attorney who may be able to assist you in this matter or your local legal services may provide assistance on selected matters if you fall within certain income and other guidelines. A list of possible referrals that may find you some resolution is available at: http://aclunv.org/files/Referral.pdf. Additionally, informaiton about your rights is available on our website at: http://aclunv.org/kyr.
In the future, if you have a complaint that you would like to file with the ACLU of Nevada, please visithttp://aclunv.org to fill out our on-line intake form.
We wish you the best in resolving your difficulties.
ACLU of Nevada
The response from aclunv.org vv Alison Bowmer was about what I had anticipated.
There was no specific comment on the actual concern which they called “your difficulties” , whatever that really means. It seems to me that prejudice against the poor or ill is a bill of rights issue, but what do I know? Further the letter infers that the facts were in dispute, and they are not.
When I was looking at the KFF.org site I entered several values for income and found that the premium estimates for coverage
changed significantly based upon how much $ was entered.
Note that one option they provided to me is to purchase catastrophic insurance which has a $12,700 out of pocket deductible threshold, but covers “preventive care” (?).
No estimate of premium was given for catastrophic insurance.
I would like an official Explanation how and why a person making $5000 (32% of poverty level) income would not be given a subsidy and a person making $50,000 per year would be given a $9,011 subsidy.
A person making $500,000 annually would not be given a subsidy ( go figure).
A proper system would provide an appropriate subsidy based upon actual income, so making only $5,000 annually should have resulted in a larger subsidy than the $9,011 offered during the calculation based upon $50,000 annual income.
The demonstrated Prejudicial pricing is just the tip of the iceberg.
There is no evidence that being poor makes you unwell, but certainly being unwell can make you poor.
Likewise, being wealthy won’t necessarily make you well. If you have the wrong spiders for doctors , being wealthy can make you dead like Michael Jackson.
If forced into programs like the killing fields of medicaid which are designed to implement demise via structured neglect , the poor, disabled and elderly are going to the ovens.