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Tab dump

1) "When my brother developed kidney disease and his health insurance refused to pay to treat it," recalls Karen Tumulty, "I looked into Texas' high-risk pool and discovered it would be far out of his reach, with premiums that typically run twice as expensive as regular insurance policies."

2) Rick Hertzberg makes some predictions for the next four years in American politics.

3) Don't worry about the weak dollar.

4) The difficulty of cutting Medicare costs.

Recipe of the day: Salted brown butter Rice Krispy treats.

By Ezra Klein  |  November 3, 2009; 6:33 PM ET
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Tumulty's quote ought to have said, "When I failed to look out for the well-being of my mentally disabled brother and he misused short-term insurance policies by buying them in succession for years, his insurance company did what they are legally obligated to do by not paying for his kidney disease on the new policy. Paying what is not a contractual benefit would be illegal for them, and they'd have to retroactively pay the claims for anyone else whose claims were not covered by the contract. Because of the extenuating circumstances they did offer to give him a true major medical policy that would pay for his care, despite the fact that with this new condition he could not pass underwriting and they were under no obligation to extend him such an offer. It was a gesture of good faith that I have chosen not to report on, because I wouldn't want to let facts and fair and balanced reporting get in the way of a good polemic. Why should I tell my readers about the extremely generous offer they gave when that might mitigate their hatred of the big evil insurance company?"

That's what it should have said, but then again, I'm not one for brevity.

Posted by: ab13 | November 3, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

In the interests of not just being propagandists for reform, let's take a closer look at the situation of KT's brother.

-54 y/o man with Aspergers and chronic kidney disease
-Single, makes $1257/mo (~150% FPL--wasn't clear if this was before or after tax)
-Owns his own condo and car, and has $36,000 in the bank (!)

Under the House bill, he might have qualified for Medicaid but his assets are too high. It's unclear if/how they are going to address this.

Under the Finance bill, a silver plan would be ~$731/yr but because of out of pocket costs approaching $1500/yr he would probable choose a more expensive plan. KHN estimated a person in this situation would probably choose a plan costing ~$1960/yr. That's 13% of income which anyone would agree is a major burden.

Meanwhile, right now he's paying $40/mo in low-income insurance pool in Texas and seems to be getting by.

Posted by: bmull | November 3, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Realness1 | November 4, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

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