How about a real cost-savings for Health Care - group health insurance for ALL Democrats!

Hi - after Obamacare passed in 2009, I wondered whether or not the cost of my individual health care insurance would become more affordable. The short answer was "no".

So I wondered if a fraternal organization could be created that would attract people to it and work to build the Democratic Party while offering group health insurance at really affordable rates. So why not form a group called the "Fraternal Order of Loyal Democrats" where the qualification for membership is being a registered Democratic Voter in North Carolina. One of the benefits of membership would be the ability to purchase group health insurance at affordable rates?

I am self-employed. I've been paying my own health insurance since I got out of college. When Obamacare passed, my premium was jacked up $100 a month in the first year alone - from a little over $400 a month to over $500. In the second year it was going to be jacked up to over $700 a month! I am self-employed and my business hasn't increased to allow me to afford that. It's more than the mortgage payment on my house! That extra $2400 a year would be the cost of new lenses and other gear I could actually use to make more money!

So I lowered my monthly premium by raising my deductible from $500 to $2500 - meaning more out of pocket expenses if I get really sick. But now after another year - the monthly premium is back up to where it was before I raised my deductible. Oh - and the economy hasn't improved that much so I can continue to pay more for less coverage.

A friend applied for one of those crappy call-center jobs through an personnel agency - and they offered him roughly the same policy for $25 a week. Meaning that the benefit of being covered by group health insurance saves him nearly $400 a month over what I pay because I am self-employed.

So I wondered if anyone on here would be interested in joining a fraternal organization of Democrats so they could purchase affordable group health insurance coverage?

Oh - and a side benefit would be that the membership fees would go to the NCDP. Meaning instead of having to beg money from big money donors and rock-star candidate campaigns, the NCDP would be funded by the very grassroots that is so important to the Party. Imagine getting great group health care insurance AND having a fully-funded NCDP that could stand up to special interests?

Is this an idea we should take to our Party, and our Insurance Commissioner?


Interesting idea

A self-directed exchange!


PS Please stop calling ACA "Obamacare" and please tell all of your friends and acquaintances to do the same. ACA is the correct and most effective name. Affordable Care Act.


I would call it ACA...

...if there was something in the act that made care affordable for me. Based on my experiences, I want to call it the "Unaffordable Care Act". But then no one knows what I mean - so I call it Obamacare and they know that it's a federalized version of Romneycare.

As you know, Obama never supported mandates on the campaign trail. He even gave Hillary Clinton grief about her support for mandates. Then by June 20008, when he's got the nomination sewn up, he ends up supporting mandates and takes Single Payer off the table. He made secret deals with the drug companies to preserve and protect their profits. He even sabotaged a strong Public Option.

So please me how my health care is more affordable? And please tell me how I am going to be able to volunteer more of my time to canvass and poll greet to get Obama re-elected when I have to work more hours to pay for my now more-expensive health insurance premium and higher deductible?

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Public option

I wanted the public option too, but it was never going to make it through Congress. Obama could have pushed for it, but it still wouldn't have happened.

I know of families all over the state who are able to keep their young adult children on their health plans ... children who wouldn't be able to afford coverage at all without ACA.

I realize however that everything in the world truly does revolve around you, so I guess you should probably call it UCA: Unhappy Chris Act.

Isn't that called "transferance" James?

When someone points out how the law really wasn't about making health care more affordable, you (and Ann Cherry) decide to make your point by making it about me?

I know many people who haven't had health care for years - including several very good Dems who weren't able to afford health insurance before the ACA and still won't be able to afford it. They don't have kids - but they still can't afford to buy coverage for themselves. They won't be able to afford the penalties when the IRS knocks on their door.

Or my friend Lisa who had to move to the other side of the country to be able to afford crappy health state sponsored health insurance that made her wait months for needed surgery, then do it on the cheap. Waited too long and then there complications.

Obama never even tried to sell Single Payer. He took it off the table from the get-go. Nothing pragmatic about it. Stories in the NY Times how he sold out the Public Option:

"Even while President Obama was saying that he thought a public option was a good idea and encouraging supporters to believe his healthcare plan would include one, he had promised for-profit hospital lobbyists that there would be no public option in the final bill."

Can't find the link to the deal on selling out to Big Pharma - but give me time.

In other words - nothing about making health care affordable by lowering costs. Not much about making health care affordable by radically slowing down the increase in costs. So what then makes health care more affordable? Is Obama sticking the increases in health care costs to the rich? And then you make fun of me for pointing this out?

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Ummm... No

There are many issues Chris should probably handle differently.

Discussing the failure of institutional Democrats to act toward truly progressive goals is not one of them.

Defeating regressive politicians of any party is a valid -- though of course, not universally shared -- method to advance progressive goals.

I hope BlueNC welcomes this method to move political discourse to the left and advance policy.


Valid during the Primary, maybe

So where was the progressive candidate to give us a choice over Obama? Exactly.

James - you ain't reading me right

I don't loathe Obama - just the people he hired to run his campaign and work for him in the White House. And the method those folks have crafted to tear down the Democratic Party.

The Party doesn't belong to Obama, or Biden, or Pelosi, or Perdue, or even Dalton. Can you find me anything in the DNC By-Laws or the NCDP Plan of Organization that states that the Party is to be run for the sole purpose of electing top-ticket Democrats at the exclusion of down-ballot Democrats? Or that any one candidate gets to craft the Party platform and decide the agenda for every other Democrat on the ballot or the whole Party?

I want Obama to work for the people who voted for him - not just the people who donated money for his campaign. They are public servants - they serve US - the public.

Do you understand the difference? I don't expect that Republicans understand that. I know some candidates and electeds who don't understand that. But I do know many rank-and-file Democrats who do understand that.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

It's Steve, not James

And I don't mean to attack you personally, Chris. But there's something you need to consider: by trying to erode grass roots support for top-ticket candidates like Obama, you're also going to erode support for all candidates, even the down-ticket ones.

You can't have it both ways. You can't paint something with dark colors and then expect people to give you time or money to fix it. Life just doesn't work that way.

And there is a struggle between OFA and rank and file Dems.

There has always been a power struggle in the Democratic Party between the folks at the top (or those who think they are at the top) and the rank and file.

Did you read "Herding Donkeys"? That whole book was about the struggle between rank and file Dems first against the "Clintonistas", then against those folks in the Obama Administration/Campaign who didn't want to share power.

Folks like Zephyr Teachout wrote about this power struggle. Why do you chose to attack me personally for pointing it out?

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Sorry Steve

I am not trying to erode grass-roots support for top-ticket candidates. I am trying to make them and others understand their proper place in our system.

We don't work for them - they work for us. What I want is for us lowly grass-roots folks to wake up, and take the power that is ours and use it through the political system to get what we want and need.

It's not enough to vote for them - we must put ALL elected public officials in their places. Them, and all the paid staffers and consultants. We don't work for them. We elect candidates, who hire the consultants and staffers.

When any candidate promises us one thing to win our votes (or to get out and volunteer for them) THEN does something else entirely once they win office, do you not understand how that pisses off people in the grassroots and makes them not only not want to get out and volunteer anymore - but it makes them not want to get out and vote?

I don't want to go over the entire litany of what Obama and other candidates have promised us then changed their minds or done exactly what they campaigned against - it would be too depressing.

But it's a very simple concept to show people the NCDP POO and DNC By-Laws and show them that we do have the power if we only chose to use it. That we shouldn't let ourselves be "stroked" by ANY elected public official or candidate, nor should we put them (or their key staffers) on a pedestal. When we do that - we give them too much power over us. We let them rob us of our power.

I am getting ready to go to P.R. Latta's birthday party. I honor a real progressive Democrat who is also a big labor man. He marched in picket lines and took all sorts of crap from management in order to gain better working conditions and a better way of life for himself and his family - and all other workers. Both P.R. and I are VERY UPSET with institutional Democrats, and we both feel the need for a change!

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Today's my birthday, too

Tell P.R. I said "thanks" for all the sacrifices. I only wish North Carolina would get its head out of its butt and realize how organized labor could stop the slow death of our state's middle class.

I will tell him that!

Every time I see P.R., I thank him for his service and for being a great teacher.

I'd love to see whatever fees are paid to "FOLD" be used for party building. Imagine how much money would be raised for the NCDP and all the county Democratic Parties from very reasonable FOLD membership fees? Imagine being able to hire (or even give talented volunteers a stipend) to compensate them for all the time they spend organizing and canvassing precincts, taking days off work to work polling places, paying for voter guides and slate cards out of their own pockets, etc.

I see this being a big win-win proposition now that the mandate is constitutional. Even if there was no mandate, I'd rather have my money going directly to the parties - not going to BCBS-NC, or through the candidates or their consultants. And no one would be "beholden" to big-money special interests.

I'd rather my health insurance dollar (not "health care dollar") go to an organization that works for my political interests - not against them. Also, since any member of the FOLD would first have to be a registered Democrat - that is easy enough to check on. Being able to keep good quality health insurance would be a big incentive to get and stay active in the Democratic Party from the Precinct on up to the State Party level.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

I like your idea

I too am self employed and I gave up the insurance so that I could just pay for the care I needed directly. So far so good but I live in fear of a broken bone or whatever will come some day.

FOLD would be a big pool and that's just what is needed for the insurance to work. Plus, if we can keep each other well with information it will be a win-win-win.

And just like we'd save money by opening a state bank....

...and bypassing the commercial banks for our state revenues, we'd also save money by bypassing BCBC-NC.

There are those who say it's socialism, but we've already had two Republican Wake Commissioners claim that the county BOE can provide lower-cost election equipment maintenance than the vendor can. So one wonders why they would support the government fixing election equipment but not providing lower-cost health care even if it cuts out a private business?

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

I talk with P.R. last night.

He was in a wheelchair - he was complaining about cramps in his leg. Not sure what the cause of the cramps was, but he's seeing a doctor today.

If you want my opinion, I think he was outside working in his garden in this God-Awful heat and probably dehydrated and that might have caused his cramps. You should see how much of his yard he has turned into a garden. And he shares his crops with his friends. I got lots of great beans, corn and other goodies from his garden last year.

So please send him your prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting