Thread: Obamacare Thread
#1 Obamacare Thread
11-04-2013, 01:58 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
There are so many good articles on Obamacare, that it might be a good idea to have some of them in one location.
High Deductibles Chase the Middle Class from Health Services
...In this report, a young lady rails against the costs of her new ObamaCare-compliant insurance coverage. Her previous policy cost her $199 per month with a $1,500 annual deductible ($3,888 total before 100% insurance coverage kicks in). The closest matching ObamaCare plan will cost her $278 per month with a $6,500 annual deductible ($9,888 total before only 70% coverage kicks in). That's a 252% increase between the plans, and she is still on the hook for 30% of all costs thereafter.
When asked whether the government had any influence over the pricing of health care premiums and deductibles, Dr. Gosberg was unequivocal. "Absolutely. As with states, [ObamaCare] has insurance commissioners that approve the ratings, and there is a time when the government and industry negotiate a price schedule back and forth."
When asked to explain the drivers that resulted in such huge increases in premiums and deductibles, Dr. Gosberg broke down the fundamentals. "Under ObamaCare, you cannot underwrite based on health status. You cannot discriminate between men and women. ObamaCare exchange community ratings are one of the biggest drivers to cost. In free-market insurance, community age ratings range from 1 to 5, youngest to oldest, with the oldest expected to cost five times more than the youngest. In ObamaCare, the ratings only range from 1 to 3. Any insurer with a brain sets premiums for the oldest and works backwards, so the young pay more than they would in the free market."
There is little doubt that the Obama administration and its supporters will begin to blame the private insurance industry for any and all ills brought on by ObamaCare. It's what they do, and since neither George Bush nor the GOP can be effectively blamed, the evil insurance corporations are the likely scapegoats.
It's important in the face of the coming PR attacks on insurers to make clear that the soaring costs are to be blamed solely on ObamaCare, as are the millions of policies being canceled.
Recognize that the next time you twist an ankle or want an aching back checked out, ObamaCare's tentacles will be in your pocket, dissuading you from seeing your doctor.
Simply put, ObamaCare, via massive deductibles, discourages people from seeing doctors when they otherwise would have in the past. That is, unless the people are among the privileged dependent on the government, of course.
11-04-2013, 02:02 PM
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- Jun 2008
You Also Can't Keep Your Doctor
...For almost seven years I have fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 2% after diagnosis. I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out: My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.
My choice is to get coverage through the government health exchange and lose access to my cancer doctors, or pay much more for insurance outside the exchange (the quotes average 40% to 50% more) for the privilege of starting over with an unfamiliar insurance company and impaired benefits. (snip)
Two things have been essential in my fight to survive stage-4 cancer. The first are doctors and health teams in California and Texas: at the medical center of the University of California, San Diego, and its Moores Cancer Center; Stanford University's Cancer Institute; and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
The second element essential to my fight is a United Healthcare PPO (preferred provider organization) health-insurance policy.
Since March 2007 United Healthcare has paid $1.2 million to help keep me alive, and it has never once questioned any treatment or procedure recommended by my medical team. The company pays a fair price to the doctors and hospitals, on time, and is responsive to the emergency treatment requirements of late-stage cancer. Its caring people in the claims office have been readily available to talk to me and my providers.
But in January, United Healthcare sent me a letter announcing that they were pulling out of the individual California market. The company suggested I look to Covered California starting in October....
11-04-2013, 02:07 PM
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- Jun 2008
The 'you can keep your doctor' lie starting to hit Medicare recipients
The firestorm over President Obama's blanket false assurances on Obamacare is only going to intensify, as more groups discover they have lost either their coverage or their doctor thanks to the health insurance changes imposed on the country without a single Republican vote. One of the biggest, yet so far almost completely ignored, changes is the looting of Medicare to pay for Obamacare. Now, it is starting to hit home. Evan Gahr of the New York Daily News recounts a story that will soon become very common among America's senior citizens:
Obamacare has a new message to seniors: Take two aspirins and find yourself a new doctor in the morning.
Just ask 84-year-old Dorothy Gaillard, a retired book binder and a patient of my father, an Upper East Side primary care physician, for more than two decades.
Gaillard could easily find a doctor near her Queens home, but she dutifully makes a 45-minute schlep to my father's office for uniquely personal care. He takes her blood pressure himself and even schedules her next appointment, tasks that most doctors shunt off to assistants.
Last Saturday, Gaillard called my father, aghast about a letter she had just received from the Medicare Advantage program of UnitedHealthcare.
Gaillard, one of close to 900,000 aged New Yorkers covered by Medicare Advantage, was informed that my father's contract was being terminated effective Jan. 1; she would need to find another doctor.
"I couldn't believe it," she recalled. "Something ain't right."
That something is Obamacare. Due to reductions in funding under the law, the Medicare Advantage programs, in which Medicare provides money for private insurers to cover seniors, have quietly started to cancel the contracts of providers to save money.
Senior citizens are the country's most potent voting bloc, but because the media ignored the impact of the cuts to Medicare embedded in Obamacare, they were not mobilized in the 2012 election. The Romney campaign did an inadequate job, but in fairness, it was a formidable task, a wonkish excursion into numbers and budgets and second- and third-order consequences. In an era where low information voters predominate, and in the face of the calm, oft-repeated reassurances of the president that "you can keep your doctor," Romney was unable to make his case.
Now, in a manner that would shock his former mentor Jeremiah Wright, "America's chickens are coming home to roost."The number of people deeply angry over being harmed by Obamacare is going to skyrocket, and they all will realize they were lied to. Coming soon: massive numbers of people in corporate group health plans dumped onto the health care exchanges because their employers cannot afford the new, much higher-cost health care mandated by Obamacare....
11-04-2013, 02:21 PM
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- Jun 2008
Top Ten Excuses for Obamacare Cancellations
From talk of “conversion letters” to disparaging remarks about the doomed plans, here are the top excuses Democrats are giving:
Americans aren’t receiving “so-called cancellation notices”; they’re getting help “transitioning” off their previous plans, according to Representative Sander Levin (D., Mich.). He echoed the rhetoric of Florida Blue CEO Patrick Geraghty, who made that same claim on Meet the Press earlier in the week.
2. “Bad-apple Insurers”
During a speech in Boston on Wednesday, President Obama laid the blame for canceled plans on “bad-apple insurers.” The president stood by his original promise and accused critics of being “grossly misleading.”
3. “Conversion Letters”
During her weekly press conference, Nancy Pelosi attempted to correct reports of cancellation letters by referring to them “conversion letters.” She explained that plans that have changed since the law passed are being improved by a “patients’ ‘Bill of Rights,’” and plans change from year to year anyway.
4. “Five Percent”
President Obama, Pelosi, and other Democrats have tried to downplay the scale of the cancellation problem by suggesting “fewer than 5 percent” of Americans will be affected. Ultimately though, that “5 percent” figures comes out to approximately 15 million people who will not be able to keep their plans, and other estimates are far higher, ranging to as many as 93 or 129 million plans’ being changed.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney explained that “substandard plans” would be terminated because they didn’t provide coverage for certain services, such as maternity care or prescription drugs. President Obama use the same word during his Boston speech to describe the millions of canceled plans, as have other Democrats throughout the week.
6. “A Fraction of a Fraction”
Later in the week, on Thursday, Carney said Americans losing their current healthcare plans were a “fraction of a fraction” of the population during Thursday’s daily briefing. Those elusive plans were “crummy,” according to Carney. On Friday, the press secretary claimed that that those receiving letters were just “a small sliver” of the population.
Representative Frank Pallone (D., N.J.) called pre-Obamacare insurance plans “a scam” during an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan on Wednesday night. In a later interview that same evening, Pallone told Megyn Kelly of Fox News that those plans were “lousy” and “skeletal,” and that nobody would want to buy them anymore.
8. “That’s Not Health Insurance”
James Carville argued that the plans that were canceled actually weren’t “health insurance,” because they didn’t meet certain requirements. On Hannity Wednesday night the Clinton operative called it “irresponsible” that some of the previous plans didn’t include certain types of coverage.
Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that previous plans were “empty,” thus meriting cancellation. Patrick introduced the president in Boston the day before and heralded his state’s health-care system, which has some of the nation’s highest premiums, as a model.
10. Only “Good Insurance”
Democratic senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, whose tough reelection effort next year is sure to focus on Obamacare, claimed that her party’s vow was much more qualified than it sounded to most observers. “We said when we passed that, ‘If you had insurance that was good insurance that you wanted to keep it, you could keep it,’” she told The Weekly Standard.
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- Jun 2008
11-04-2013, 03:20 PM
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- Jun 2008
ObamaCare Will Raise Average Insurance Claims By 32% For Individual Coverage The Next Four Years
In my search for the truth about how much ObamaCare will increase the cost of health care insurance, I came upon a frightening map of the United States that projected what the percentage hikes would be state by state for people with individual coverage. The projections, prepared by the Society of Actuaries in March 2013 predicted some pretty outrageous total health care increases for people with individual coverage in the likes of California (62%), Alabama (60%), Texas (34%) and Arizona (41%). Only in New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey would the premiums decline slightly for people with individual coverage, a segment of the market that is expected to increase from 11.9 million people at present to 25.6 million as more Americans sign up for insurance coverage under ObamaCare.
The Society of Actuaries contacted me this morning to explain that the large percent increases are the projected estimate for “underlying claims costs… not the expected premium. So, I was incorrect in pinning the 32% just on the rise in the cost of buying health insurance, but rather it refers to the projected average increase in the insurance claims to be paid by the health insurance companies.
Maybe the computer models used by the Society of Actuaries are just plumb ridiculous and wrong. I printed out the actuarial study entitled “Cost of the Future Newly Insured Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)” and I learned that the Actuaries predict ACA-driven changes in individual market composition of the individual healthcare market could drive up underlying claims costs by an average of 32% nationally by 2017.” Moreover the projections showed double-digit increase in 42 of 50 states over the next four years.
These projected increases, which you won’t hear the White House mentioning, are due to “the fact that premiums are driven primarily by the underlying cost of medical care and not health plans administrative costs and profits.” In general, the states expected to have large jumps in the premium now have “low current individual costs and those having high current individual costs” will show decreases.
See how murky and complicated this all is? No wonder there is widespread dissension about the new plan, because, let’s face it, the Obama White House never truly prepared the population for the gritty truth. My housekeeper told me this week she had just received a letter from her insurer canceling her policy and raising her premium far more than she could ever have dreamed....
11-04-2013, 03:27 PM
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- Jun 2008
Expert: At least 129 million will ‘not be able to keep’ health care plan if Obamacare fully implemented
If Obamacare is fully implemented, 68 percent of Americans with private health insurance will not be able to keep their plan, according to health care economist Christopher Conover.
Conover is a research scholar in the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. In an interview with The Daily Caller, he laid out what he estimates the consequences of Obamacare’s implementation will ultimately be.
“Bottom line: of the 189 million Americans with private health insurance coverage, I estimate that if Obamacare is fully implemented, at least 129 million (68 percent) will not be able to keep their previous health care plan either because they already have lost or will lose that coverage by the end of 2014,” he said in an email. ”But of these, ‘only’ the 18 to 50 million will literally lose coverage, i.e., have their plans entirely taken away. This includes 9.2-15.4 million in the non-group market and 9-35 million in the employer-based market. The rest will retain their old plans but have to pay higher rates for Obamacare-mandated bells and whistles.”
Conover also says it is hard to imagine President Obama didn’t know these statistics when he was flacking for his health care bill by promising Americans they could keep their health insurance if they liked it.
“If President Obama himself believed this the first time he said it, he was poorly advised,” Conover said....
11-04-2013, 03:53 PM
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- Jun 2008
You need to make a Diane Feinstein graphic with this (real) quote:
SCHIEFFER: The president said in the beginning that one thing was that if you liked the health care program you had, you could keep it. We now know there was debate within the administration before he said that as to whether that was actually a promise that could be kept. Should the president not have made that statement?
FEINSTEIN: Well, as I understand it, you can keep it up to the time — and I hope this is correct, but this is what I’ve been told — up to the time the bill was enacted, and after that, it’s a different story. That part of it, if true, was never made clear.
Feinstein: Hey, you could have kept your plan … until we enacted ObamaCare
Sen. Dianne Feinstein appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation yesterday in part to face the music. Bob Schieffer led off this portion of her appearance by noting that the Obama administration has failed to deliver on many promises of ObamaCare, not the least of which was “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” Feinstein tries to explain that the promise was true … up until the bill passed.
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