Obamacare or Affordable Care Act? Ed’s Daily Notes for November 22nd   10 comments

Fox News: California health exchange votes to not enact Obama health plan ‘fix’

California’s health insurance exchange voted Thursday to not allow insurance companies to extend policies that do not meet current benefit requirements under ObamaCare, despite President Obama’s “fix” last week.

The Covered California Board of Directors unanimously decided to stick with its current approach of phasing out the non-compliant policies by year’s end, saying Obama’s request that insurers let Americans keep those plans through 2014 will not help consumers in the end.

“The board cited that extending the deadline offers no benefit to the consumer and may create confusion about accessing affordable health care coverage through Covered California,” it said in a press release.

Translation: Sorry Obama, but you were still lying. One of the largest and most liberal states in the country just confirmed it. You can’t blame the insurance companies or the Republicans now. Maybe you can blame the Democrats?

Speaking of which…

The Washington Free Beacon: Obamacare Then, Affordable Care Act Now

The term “Obamacare” has largely disappeared from the mouths of Democrats as the president’s health care reform law has gone from a rallying cry to a political grenade.

President Obama once said he embraced the phrase on the 2012 campaign trail, telling supporters, “I do care.” As recently as Nov. 8, Obama predicted to a laughing crowd in New Orleans that his political opponents would stop using the term once the law became popular.

“I know health care is controversial, so there’s only going to be so much support we get on that on a bipartisan basis — until it’s working really well, and then they’re going to stop calling it Obamacare,” he said. “They’re going to call it something else.”

However, it has seemed to change names with the Democrats instead as the law’s popularity has slumped to new lows in the wake of Obama’s broken promises, rising premiums, insurance cancellations and a disastrous rollout. Obama’s approval rating has also plummeted as a result.

During an apologetic press conference Nov. 14, Obama referred to his law as the Affordable Care Act 12 times but did not say “Obamacare” once. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has referred to the law as Obamacare in the past, told Meet the Press host David Gregory that she “always” referred to it as the Affordable Care Act during an interview Sunday, and other Democrats are backing off the term as well.

Maybe Democrats should try putting their fingers in their ears, closing their eyes, and going “LALALA” really loud, and then it will go away? Unfortunately, the rest of us still have to deal with their mess…

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Posted November 22, 2013 by edmcgon in News, Politics

10 responses to “Obamacare or Affordable Care Act? Ed’s Daily Notes for November 22nd

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  1. To paraphrase George Carlin, “Think of how stupid the average politician is, and realize half them are stupider than that.”

    Below is an email I sent out last night after seeing what insurance is available to me after my wife’s company insurance was cancelled.

    As some of you know I was covered for health care by Nancy’s company policy. It was incredible — paid everything but did cost a little over $900/mo of which she paid $700. However, this policy was cancelled because it didn’t meet some new rule. It had a $5 co-pay for drugs and $10 for doctor visits and NO deductible. Her company has decided everyone is on their own.

    I spent the last 90 minutes on the Obamacare site. It was reasonably easy to use. Good thing I am still on Nancy’s company policy because when I found out what it was going to cost me I damn near had a heart attack. Then when I saw the co-pay for a hospital stay was 30% I hit my head when I fell out of my chair. This is the least expensive PPO policy available. I am going to call to find out what doctors are included on the PPO — I know my Marshall doctor is but the web site repeatedly gave me an error message when I tried to find out about AZ doctors.

    The least expensive policy available for me will cost $420 less than what Nancy and I paid together if I go with an HMO in Marshall. The premium is only $365 but the deductible is $6000 so the total price is $10,380 — 12 months of premiums plus the cost of the deductible — before the insurance kicks in. Am not sure what it will cost us if I get sick in Tucson, or CA or Washington DC, etc.

    Even if a poor person gets their premium paid by the government I don’t understand how they can afford anything other than the most basic HMO policy which has a $6000 deductable.

    Nancy said I need to begin looking for a job with insurance!

    Those who are not on Social Security or have a company policy have been signed up for one hell of a wealth transfer cost. And I voted for President Obama five years ago. (I believe in voting all incumbents out of office so I voted for the Libertarian candidate last year — tells you what I thought of the Republican candidate.)

    I guess the Democrats will run next year on the slogan: More money, Less insurance.

  2. Although I haven’t been happy with all of President Obama’s decision everyday I have more admiration for him as a politician.

    This late Friday afternoon announcement includes:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101221874

    “The other extension delays by one month, to next Nov. 15, the opening of enrollment for insurance beginning in 2015. That extension also will give consumers another week on the back end of that enrollment period, which now will close Jan. 15, instead of Dec. 7.

    The second extension means that many consumers may not see the premium prices for plans until after congressional elections in early November 2014. But administration officials said the delay will give insurers more time to evaluate their first-ever experience offering coverage on the government-run individual plan exchanges, and set their prices accordingly for the next year to reflect that.”

    President Obama’s plan to let people find out what their Obamacare cost two weeks after the election is brilliant!

    Almost as good as: “If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you.” And then after the election go “oops”.

  3. So I’ll add in my experience. I had no trouble navigating NY State’s health care site – although there are indeed still some glitches. I was able to get health insurance for 2014 from the same HMO I have now in 2013, but with better benefits, and at about 2/3 the cost my current plan would have cost next year. I’m a very happy camper.

    True – there will be problems. But the present system is grossly unfair to many. It needs fixing. Denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions is just one example. If one understands the basics of insuring a pool of people it’s obvious that accepting higher risk people into the pool will increase costs for all. So be it.

    I can only wonder how much different things would have been if all politicians had pitched in to help come up with a better health care system instead of denying the problem.

    And by the way, I’m sick of hearing people calling O’BamaCare a ‘failure’ because of the software glitches in the sign-up site. O’BamaCare is about health insurance, not software. It should be deemed a failure if the resulting insurance programs prove to be unaffordable or if the insurance doesn’t provide coverage as intended.

    • As I noted I also had very little trouble with the software.

      Problem 1 — My wife’s company policy was cancelled for failure to meet ObamaCare (note: in the week Democrats and the President no longer refer to the new health care law as “ObamaCare”) requirements (And you got to love this, the same policy is still available to government employees!) and I remember being told by the President Obama “if I like my insurance I can keep it”.

      Problem 2 — My new insurance costs almost double what my old insurance cost (assuming my wife who is three years older and is female is being charged 50% of the premium where as I am male, no medical conditions being monitored, and taking nothing but a daily vitamin pill am responsible for the other 50%).

      Problem 3 — My new insurance is an HMO and my old policy was a PPO — a definite downgrade in policies. And if you disagree, please note the cheapest ObamaCare PPO policy I may sign up for premium cost is almost 40% more (HMO is $365.18/mo vs. PPO is $504.10) And most importantly the available PPO comes with a 30% co-pay meaning should I go into the hospital and rack up a $500,000 bill (heart attack, expensive cancer treatment, etc.) I am responsible for $150,000 of the bill! I pay monthly premiums, absorb a $6,000 deductible and may still be responsible for an unlimited upside in cost — to me this sounds like the very policy the Democrats and the President told us we were eliminating with the new health care law.

      Howie, I am glad you came out ahead. I didn’t and when the President picks winners and losers I believe we all come out behind. For example: various doctors (WSJ) have begun to receive reduction notices on how much they may charge for office visits, etc. Some of these doctors have notified the insurance companies they will not longer accept these insurance plans. If your doctor won’t accept your insurance just how good is it? Then there is the factor of the high deductibles. In my HMO case it is $6,000. Does anyone believe someone who can’t afford the premium for the Bronze plan will have the $6,000 available to pay on a yearly basis before their insurance kicks in?

      As I have noted before on Ed’s, I believe the previous system didn’t work. I was for “change”. I voted for “change”. However, “change” for the worse isn’t what I had in mind.

      • Many plans have maximum out of pocket yearly limits on top of the deductible. Not sure if the plan you are looking at does.

        While Obamacare certainly has issues it is immeasurably better for many of us that have to buy private health insurance. For a 1 person plan my yearly outlay (premiums + deductible) is over $21k now. I will wait until after the 2014 election to make any changes since I believe I will end up much worse off if I change to a supported plan and then have that plan killed/dropped if the Republicans win and kill the ACA. Sucks that I have to deal with 1 more year of some of the most expensive insurance money can buy but the previous system was not particularly fair to people with pre-existing conditions.

        In the end I think everyone would have been better off with some sort of compromise legislation but the Republicans have had no interest in proposing fixes/updates to Obamacare and we are all worse off because of it. If the Republicans do kill the ACA it will probably end up backfiring on them. With all the people that are now responsible for purchasing their own health insurance going back to the previous system will be much, much worse. If you think your options under ACA are bad you will be in for a horrific shock if you have to purchase private health insurance under the old system.

        Robb

  4. If I understand the problem with “the” web site properly it is a web site that 35 of the states are using.
    All the state web sites do not funnel into the “main” one.

    For the states that decided to have their own web sites (like California and New York) you are not seeing the problems they were describing.
    Of course they can have their own different problems. One of the things that I find interesting on the California is something that most people wouldn’t think twice about, and it even goes a bit for the “main” site.

    The site is called: http://www.coveredca.com
    Notice the .com, which of course stands for company/commercial.
    And the “main” one is .org.

    Why not .gov?
    I think the main reason is because everyone really knows that these are not government sites, they are sites the government has farmed out to the private sector. Probably because the government hasn’t a clue on how to do web sites like this.

    On the price. I was lucky Kaiser Permanente, had already ensured that all their policies met the laws in the last few years, so I can keep mine and my wife’s. That is a good thing, because basically the same policy on the California exchange would have cost me double, and that even includes one from Kaiser Permanente. That is right I can go to Kaiser Permanente directly and get it for half the price. Why?

    I figure it is just because they only have to match the really high prices the other insurance carriers charge, and for some people with tax breaks (which I don’t get, with my income being over $60,000) paying double and having others pay for them works out fine for them.

    • P.S. California has had to go after copycat sites that have names very similar to the real one, to do all kinds of bad things. Well with picking a .com site they certainly made that easier for the bad guys.

    • “I think the main reason is because everyone really knows that these are not government sites, they are sites the government has farmed out to the private sector.”

      The .com, .org, .gov really has nothing to do with the site being “farmed” out. Many times the decision to use .com is simply to be more user-friendly. I have supported many government websites where we went with a .com URL simply because users are more comfortable seeing the .com than other domains.

      There are plenty of things wrong with the ACA websites inventing issues is unnecessary.

      Robb

  5. Plain and simple this President lies, he is more worried about having signature legislation like Obamacare and now a “historic” peace agreement with Iran. The only thing he understands is politics, which is lying. He told everyone they could keep their policies if they wanted, lie.

    He used his old line that he has used when anything bad happens,
    I wasn’t aware of that, lie. He was told of the problems with the healthcare website last spring, then he said well I was told but not the extent of the problems. This guy is lying or the biggest idiot ever.

    I wonder what he will use when Iran announces that they have a nuclear missle, I never said that this peace agreement would technically stop them from building one, I was never fully informed that things were this bad, or his old fallback that it was Bush?

    Thats not even including how this administration totally ignores any Supreme Court decision that it doesn’t agree with, they simply tell their agencies to ignore it or that it is only a suggestion. Ever hear of separation of powers?

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