Sunday, March 13, 2016

March, 2016, Part 1, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: Bad Data Systems, Fraud, and Higher and Higher Deductibles

Every month for years now we have had to discuss how bad Obama Care is turning out to be under the continuing theme, “the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care.” This month is no different. As the legislation continues to march through America, driving up health care and health insurance prices as it serves as dead weight on economic growth, it cements its rightful place as the worst piece of legislation Washington has ever produced.

It never had a chance to be successful since it really never addressed the underlying root causes of our ever increasing health costs in the country:
  • Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, resulting in obscenely high obesity rates for the country.
  • Our food chain is infested with overdoses of high fructose corn syrup, salt, and other unhealthy additives.
  • Americans smoke too much.
  • Americans do not exercise enough.
  • The country is in serious need of health care tort reform.
  • Barriers to insurance company competition across state lines need to come down.
  • Obama Care never “followed the money” to find out who is actually profiting from the ever escalating healthcare costs in this country and how to get those factors under control.
  • Obama Care never got the immense amount of fraud and abuse in current government healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, under control in order to save money to efficiently fund other government health care initiatives.
  • Obama Care never put serious research money towards curing the major diseases that drive high healthcare costs such as high frequency cancers and dementia type diseases.
You cannot resolve any problem unless you understand and address the underlying root causes. No difference here: Obama Care legislation never addressed these listed root causes and thus, has no chance of ever being successful.

But it is not just missing the root causes of our healthcare costs that makes Obama Care so horrible. It resulted in millions of Americans losing access to their favored doctors, hospitals, and insurance policies. It has caused insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays to escalate substantially. It will likely add trillions of dollars to the national debt. It has exposed millions of Americans to higher than necessary identity theft chances. It has created government bureaucracies that are wastefully spending taxpayer wealth and being exploited by criminal elements. It has stifled economic growth and job creation.

These are just a sample of the types of idiocy that we have been reviewing for the past several years in this blog relative to Obama Care., To read those past posts, just enter the phrase, “the unfolding disaster,” in the search box above.

For the next several days we will be reviewing the latest unfolding disasters from the worst piece of legislation ever written by Washington:

1) We have often discussed and proven that Obama Care has resulted in higher premium payments and higher deductibles. A recent report and analysis from Freedom Partners, a Virginia non-profit organization, verifies that these past conclusions are still valid. According to reporting in the Biz Pac Review:
  • 41 states will see Obama Care deductibles go up substantially in 2016.
  • 17 of those states will experience a double digit percentage increase.
  • Mississippi will see the highest increase in deductibles, estimated at 39%.
  • Washington will likely see a 31% increase, South Carolina will see a 26% increase, Louisiana will see a 24% increase.
  • Florida, Minnesota, Vermont, Arizona, and North Carolina will all see at least a 20% increase in deductibles.
So much for the Obama oft promised decrease in health insurance costs. The author of the article used his own family experience to discuss the reality of increase insurance costs under Obama Care:
  • The author says that his family had a good health insurance policy with Anthem prior to Obama Care’s rollout.
  • Their policy had a $2,500 deductible and a $258 monthly premium that covered all their needs and allowed them to choose the doctors they preferred.
  • The family then had to switch over to an Obama Care policy that had a $1,200 monthly premium costs, almost five times higher than their previous policy, the deductible level went up to $12,500, five times higher, and they lost access to their preferred doctors.
What a mess. Higher costs, less choice, the disasters continue to unfold.

2) The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the Obama administration took a “passive” approach to identifying potential criminal fraud and identity theft in the Obama Care rollout, according to an article by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldiver writing for the Associated Press. The details of the GAO findings include:
  • Years after the rollout, the administration is still struggling to resolve eligibility questions on millions of Obama Care applications.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people who were approved for Federal benefits under Obama Care may or may not have been entitled to them under the law.
  • The GAO concluded: "[The administration] has assumed a passive approach to identifying and preventing fraud."
  • In a formal reply to the GAO report and findings the administration actually agreed that the GAO recommendations "were valid concerns." 
  • The GAO report was released in synch with Congressional hearings on the matter where Congressman Fred Upton alleged: "Perhaps the most unsettling is that while HHS agrees there are many vulnerabilities, the agency has no urgency or plan to fix these critical errors."
  • By having a bad data tracking system relative to fraud, the GAO says the administration "foregoes information that could suggest potential program issues or potential vulnerabilities to fraud."
  • As an example, the article says that in 2014, the Obama Care process could not even verify the citizenship of about 8.2 million inquiries that Obama Care applicants claimed, 8.2 million unsubstantiated citizenship claims.
  • The IRS could not verify the family income and size for over 30 million Obama Care inquiries in 2014. In 2015, the problem was still huge with the IRS unable to verify the family size and income for 29.2 million inquiries.
  • In addition, the GAO found that the process for resolving documentation issues when they arise is not even close to being reliable.
Given this information, and other major data screwups we have previously reviewed relative to Obama Care, I find it hard to see how much worse the whole process could be even if you wanted to intentionally make it fail. When you cannot verify citizenship, family size, and family income, the three main factors in determining if someone deserves, under the law, to get free taxpayer supported subsidies, then you are a failure no matter how you cut it.

3) As we often do in this series, we conclude each disaster review with some real stories from real American families on how Obama Care has screwed up their lives. Our source for such stories is the website:

DEJA - FLORIDA: In the month of October, I recieved a letter from my insurance company, stating due to The Affordable Care Act, my policy is no longer being provided. Instead there will be a new plan offered for $227 a month. I wanted to find out what that really includeed was preventative maintenance.

I then called the insurance company to discuss my options to discuss my new options, to only find out that if I want a similar plan to what I have now, my insurance rates would go up to $306! I can't afford that now, it doesn't make sense to me! Im currently living day by day.

SUSAN - WASHINGTON: I was happily going along with my jcpenney insurance when I retired from jcpenney, which was only $40 a month. I got a letter from my insurance stating it didn't follow the Obamacare guidelines (Health Care Authority) and they cancelled my policy. Now, I have to pay 4x that amount to get the catastrophic insurance (deductible of $5,000) before anything is covered, through the Health Care Authority.

MICHAEL - GEORGIA: From Dawson News: [Michael] Boyette, 28, is married, has one child and another on the way. The Boyettes have insurance through the state through his wife's job. Under the new law, his family's insurance premium has gone up $190 a month, from $350 to $540.

"We have less coverage than before at a higher out-of-pocket expense," Boyette said. "One company, three choices, that was it. This was not what [President Barack Obama] assured me and many others."

Less coverage for more money, how screwed up is this law! The disasters just keep on coming. More Obama Care screw ups and insanity tomorrow.

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