To review the past discussion on this horrid piece of legislation, enter the term "unfolding disaster" in the search box above or just page through previous month;s posts on the right side of this page and click on the various references to Obama Care. Very quickly, as your read the past posts, you will see that this is easily the worst piece of legislation ever passed by Washington.
Not only has it disrupted lives, stymied the economy, and increased healthcare costs in this country, it never addressed the various root causes of high healthcare costs. Thus, by never addressing some of the root causes listed below, the legislation has virtually no chance of actually reducing healthcare costs in this country:
- Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food.
- Americans smoke too much.
- Americans do not exercise enough.
- The healthcare industry in this country needs serious tort reform.
- Federal government crop subsidies lead to our food chain being infested with unhealthy sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
- Current government healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, lose upwards of $100 billion a year to waste and criminal fraud, billions of dollars that could be used to reduce other healthcare costs in this country.
- Cross state line insurance competition needs to be made easier to do.
- The Obama effort never “followed the money” to actually map out where the high costs paid by Americans for healthcare actually end up.
This is our second, but not last post, this month on the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care.
1) Yesterday we reviewed a Washington Examiner article that showed how many large insurance companies that carry Obama Care policies are already filing for double digit premium increases in 2016 despite still getting subsidy help from the Federal government. The Heritage Foundation also recently ran an article by Melissa Quinn with the same message:
- Rate hikes already filed include hikes up to 51% in New Mexico and more than 30% in Maryland and Tennessee.
- According to Ed Haismaier, a senior research fellow in health policy studies at the Heritage Foundation: “This is going to be a phenomenon of insurers that priced more optimistically instead of defensively.”
- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in Maryland is proposing insurance policy premium rate increases of up to 30 percent in the individual market for 2016: “CareFirst has predicted for some time that rates would need to climb from artificially lower levels due to the characteristics and needs of the population that has actually enrolled,” the company said in a statement.
- In Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, who is that state’s largest insurance provider, requested to raise policy premiums by an average of 36.3%.
- Community Health Alliance Mutual Insurance, a nonprofit health insurance co-op in Tennessee, wants to raise its rates by an average of 32.6%.
- Community Health is looking for such a large increase despite receiving $73.3 million in Federal government grant support but who had to stop enrollments in its policies because of bad financial results, results that eventually caused it to drop out of the Obama Care network of insurance providers.The co-op, which started under Obamacare and received more than $73.3 million in federal grants and loans, offered the cheapest plans for Tennessee consumers in 2015 and froze enrollment after it saw an influx of customers, eventually pulling its plans from the federal marketplace.
- In Connecticut, HealthyCT, another co-op started under Obama Care, wants to raise its rates by 14% and UnitedHealthcare, a private insurance company selling plans on Connecticut’s Obama Care state exchange, has requested an average rate increase of 12.4%.
2) Given all of this bad news about Obama Care price increases, it should come as no surprise that a recent Quinnipiac poll found that 51% of registered voters still disapprove of the law more than five years after it was enacted, while only 43%. This level of disapproval has held pretty steady over the past few years so there is nothing to indicate that soon or even eventually America is going to think that the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care is a good idea. approve.
3) A recent Washington Examiner article by Paige Winfield stated that most Obama Care enrollees paid for their plans. On the surface this looks like a big accomplishment, most enrollees paid for their plans. But wouldn’t one expect the majority of people signing up for any kind of product or service to pay for their plans?
The real issue is not what percentage actually paid but how many actually are enrolled at the end of the enrollment period.And the article actually answers that more important question. Of the 11.7 million who signed up for Obama Care health insurance coverage, about 1.5 million never completed the process to actually pay for the policies they started to sign up for, leaving the net additional people covered after two years of Obama Care at just over 10 million.The drop out rate then was just under 10%, not great.
Three other factors about these numbers that are not great:
- Remember, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that by the end of the third year, Obama Care enrollees needed to exceed 20 million in order to stay on track for viability. Given that most industry experts think that the most desperate people purchased Obama Care policies in the first two years, the “low hanging fruit, it is almost impossible to believe that the legislation will attain its 20 million plus objective by the end of the third enrollment period.
- Second, while the net number of Obama Care enrollees is about 10.2 million, this does not take into account the six to seven million Americans who lost coverage directly because of the ObamaCare legislation. Thus, even if you take the lower estimate, six million, and subtract that from the 10.2 net Obama Care enrollees, you get anet net increase in insured Americans as a result of Obama Care of just over a measly 4 million people.
- And finally, if the Supreme Court rules in a few weeks that the legislation’s wording expressly prohibited Obama Care policy holders that got their policies through the Federal exchanges from receiving government subsidies, then about 7.5 Federal exchange Obama Care policy holders will lose their subsidies and many will probably drop their ObamaCare policies due to the increased expense.
SARAH - WASHINGTON
Sarah's daughter was approved for treatment at Seattle Children's Hospital, then was denied four days later because hospital was
"out of network" under the plan she had through the exchange.
This is not an isolated incident. The exclusion of a major provider like Seattle Children’s from a major insurance network in this market is unprecedented. We’re seeing denials of care and disruptions in care.
DAVID - NEW MEXICO
From the point where the law passed my insurance premium went from 189 dollars a month, to 359 dollars a month, to 379 dollars a month-and next year it will be 416 dollars a month. My out of pocket limit went from $2500.00 per year to over $6000.00 per year.
The total increase in monthly premiums alone is $227.00 dollars per month. Subsidies here cut off well below 400% of poverty. The premium increases alone are leaving me faced with a choice between a plan with much higher deductibles and out of pocket expenses-or ridiculous monthly premiums-which (according to the chart from the insurer) will only get worse as I get older.
$400 dollars a month is NOT affordable healthcare. 120% premium increases is NOT affordable health care. $6000.00 a year IN ADDITION TO $4800.00 a year is NOT affordable healthcare.
I'd like that plan you promised I could keep back now.
DAVID - NORTH CAROLINA
In January 2013, my health insurance premium was $199 per month using one of the top insurance companies in the country, Blue Cross. In January 2014, upon implementation of Obamacare, my premium more than tripled to $653 per month with less benefits. Even worse was what happened to my wife. She is trying to recover from Stage 4 cancer. She needed surgery in May 2013.
Because of the impending Obamacare implementation, her insurance was cancelled and the doctors would not perform surgery without insurance. She was not able to get insurance until March 2014 ($850 per month - double her previous premium) and finally had the surgery she needed one year later....allowing prospective cancerous tumors to grow for almost one year without being able to be treated. If she dies as a result, Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi should be charged with murder. We are only in our '50's and we are paying $1500 per month for just two of us.
That will do it for today. Higher insurance costs, lousy enrollment numbers and more personal tragedies as a result of Obama Care, with one irate American calling for the members of the Obama Care leadership to be tried for murder for causing his wife to postpone cancer surgery for a year. Yeah, still the worst piece of legislation ever passed. More unfolding disasters tomorrow.
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