Sunday, February 12, 2017

February, 2017, Part 3, The Unfoiding Disaster That Is Obama Care: More Distressing Numbers and More Distressing First Hand Accounts

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.

This week we will be reviewing the latest unfolding disasters from the worst piece of legislation ever written by Washington:

1) We have reviewed a lot of Obama Care numbers over the past week when it comes to enrollment. Obama Care supporters like to claim that roughly 20 million people now have health insurance as a result of Obama Care with the mix being roughly half that got insurance coverage via an Obama Care insurance policy and half or so got coverage via Medicaid. But as we have shown, those are gross numbers since they do not take into account the following underlying dynamics:
  • While there may be 10 million people or so with Obama Care insurance policies, the Associated Press did an analysis that showed 4.9 people lost insurance coverage directly as a result of the tenets of the Obama Care legislation. And those 4.9 million losers of insurance coverage were from just the 30 states the Associated Press looked at, certainly many millions of others lost their current insurance coverage as a result of those same Obama Care tenets in the other 20 states. So, absolute best case is that Obama Care, on a net basis, only covered about 5.1 million people and that number is likely greatly inflated by not taking into account the other 20 states.
  • And while there may be a another 11 million or so Americans that got Medicaid insurance coverage during the Obama Care years, those all 11 million were not just because of Obama Care. As we have reported a few days ago, the Congressional Budget Office and the infamous Obama Care “architect, Jonathan Gruber, estimate that between 2 and 7 million people could have gotten Medicaid insurance even if Obama Care had not been enacted since their income levels would have allowed them to qualify for Medicaid before the requirements were loosened under Obama Care. So even on the Medicaid side of the equation, you have to look at the net number which now is not about 11 million but somewhere between 4 and 9 million.
But let’s look at the much bigger, national health insurance picture today and not focus just on the Obama Care numbers. This look is based on some more detailed analysis done by Jared Hatch and Alyene Senger of the Heritage Foundation:
  • The Obama administration claimed via surveys that were taken that 20 million gained health insurance coverage since Obama Care was enacted back in 2010 through early 2016.
  • Interesting, they also claim that 2.3 of those 29 million were young adults under the age of 26 that were allowed to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until they were 26. If true, this says that 2.3 million Americans could have gotten insurance coverage without a 2,000 page law, that easy gain could have been attained with a one paragraph law and saved the taxpayer hundreds of billions of dollars and lord knows how many headaches.
  • Thus, the Obama administration claimed that 17.7 million non-young adults got health insurance coverage as a result of Obama Care.
  • However, as we mentioned above, these estimates are from survey data which by definition have sampling error.
  • But a better approach to the numbers is to actually go through enrollment data from Medicaid records and insurance companies to get the actual, non-sampled results.
  • Using this actual measurement census approach, it turns out that overall national health insurance coverage since Obama Care happened is just over 14 million, not 20 million, with 11.8 million gaining Medicaid coverage (with 2 to 7 million that could have gotten Medicaid coverage without Obama Care happening) and a measly 2.2 million in overall private insurance coverage.
  • Why only 2.2 million when Obama claimed about 10 million? Since Obama Care went into effect, nationally, an additional 5.9 million got insurance via the individual (non-employer) market and another 3.9 million got insurance via the self-insured employer market, meaning that up to 9.8 million people may have gotten traditional insurance via Obama Care.
  • But at that same time, 7.6 million people lost health insurance coverage from their employer provided plans, many of which were likely caused by the additional burdens and costs Obama Care imposed on businesses, particularly small businesses.
  • Thus, much of that 9.8 million increase may have been overstated and consist of people who lost their employer based insurance coverage at the same time, leaving a net gain of insured Americans with traditional, non-Medicaid insurance coverage, at a measly 2.2 million.
  • Of the 11.8 million people now covered by Medicaid, 1.4 million came from states that did not expand their Medicaid programs under Obama Care, which reduces the overall increase to 10.4 million which has to be further reduced by 2 to 7 million as we discussed above; so the true net gain in Medicaid people is not 11.8 million but 3.4 million to 8.4 million.
  • And these numbers are not likely to improve considerably in the coming years since after a large surge a few years agoin insured people as a result of Obama Care, that annual growth has slowed considerably since then.
So as we see, the bad numbers and missed targets as promised from Obama Care are even worse than the official missed targets turned out to be. 

2) Let’s wrap today’s and this month's update on the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care like we often do, with real life Americans discussing how Obama Care screwed up their lives and their family budgets. The source, as always, for this look at reality, is the following website:

We have looked at a lot of bad Obama Care numbers this week but it helps to drive those bad numbers home when you see the suffering that the law has imposed on real Americans:

ED - OHIO: Even after the administration made hundreds of improvements to the troubled Obama Care website, many people are still encountering difficulty.

Ed Anderson, a graphic designer from Columbus, Ohio, who was recently bumped from his wife’s insurance policy for reasons relating to the new law, discovered that his family’s monthly premiums will double even if he chooses the most inexpensive plan available to him through the new federal insurance exchange in his state.

Anderson said he and his wife currently pay a monthly premium of $460 through Blue Cross Blue Shield. But now that he can no longer stay on his wife’s plan, he will have to get his own coverage. The most inexpensive option would cost him a $428 monthly premium. And he and his wife can’t qualify for a federal subsidy because their joint income exceeds the cutoff. The new insurance policy will cost the Andersons an extra $5,000 a year in premiums alone.

“When you’re trying to keep your house, pay car insurance and put your kid through college, it’s tough,” Anderson said. Everything we do is going to be affected by this. Getting groceries, eating out. Going anywhere. It’s just crazy.”

STEPHEN - NEW JERSEY: Business premiums went from $1600 to $2900 for two families while our deductible nearly doubled to $5000. The pressure on our business to produce is ridiculous. I work constantly. We are dropping it if it goes up again.

STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA: Reporter: New information tonight, on the number of North Dakotans signing up for health insurance, under the state's federally-run marketplace. The insurance commission says just 30-people have signed up so far.

Three insurance companies are doing business in the marketplace: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica, and Sanford. Those 3 companies say more than 35,000 people are, or will be, losing their existing health insurance, because of Obamacare.

MARK - IDAHO: Mark A. York, a 60-year-old freelance writer in Hailey, Idaho, said he began shopping after he received a letter saying that his current insurance policy would be canceled because it did not meet the requirements of the health care law. In the exchange, he said, he found policies with premiums similar to what he is now paying, $440 a month, but “the deductibles were so high — $4,000 to $6,000 a year — that it defeats the purpose of having insurance."

JOHN - MICHIGAN: Retired, after 42 years, on a fixed income and my health insurance is provided in part by my previous employer.

Also raising my granddaughter who graduated college last week.

In January, 2014, my health insurance premium INCREASED 20%, a $1650 annual increase. Who's getting all this additional money? That's $1650 I'm NOT spending on my family's other needs. Thank you Democrats!!

As stated in the letter from my previous employer, the reason for the increased premium was solely attributable to Obama Care. Additionally, my plan's deductibles and co-pays also increased. We are now reluctant to visit the doctor at all due to the outrageous costs! That's comforting.

At a time in our lives that I can afford it the least, my government, in their infinite liberal wisdom, forces me to pay more so the minority; the 15% of people that don't have and choose not to have medical insurance are somehow covered.

The lies spewing from this crazy administration about the benefits of Obama Care are outrageous and cannot stand!

More unfolding disasters next month.

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