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How High Will Your Health Insurance Premiums Go In 2015?

112 posts in this topic

 

 

We have to remember there are real people being hurt by this.

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CBS poll showing health-care cost pressures increasing on Americans
Ed Morrissey

December 18, 2014

 

It’s been almost five years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act and its promise to “bend the cost curve downward” for Americans and their health care. More than five years have passed since the technical start of the recovery and the Obama administration’s bragging about jobs and economic expansion. The two combined should produce noticeable improvement in the lives of Americans, yes? According to the latest CBS News poll, no (via Jeff Dunetz):

 

(Snip)

 

The cost increase is not coming from increased access to care, either. Only 14% of those responding say they are accessing more treatment than before. For 74% of respondents, health care is just more expensive. More now are less willing to see a doctor, and 78% of those choose to avoid it because of cost alone.

 

Satisfaction with health care has dropped over the last five years, too. Those somewhat or very satisfied has gone from 78% in September 2009 to 69% in this poll. Dissatisfaction over the quality of care has risen from 18% to 28%.

 

(Snip)

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Thoughts from the ammo line

Scott Johnson

December 19, 2014

 

Ammo Grrrll returns to comment on GRUBER: THE POLITICAL EQUIVALENT OF EX-LAX. She writes:

 

I grew up in the Fiber-Free Fifties. With a steady diet of Jello, Twix, Wonder Bread, and Velveeta, small wonder laxative ads were prominent on television. Housewives discussed the issue openly in commercials, usually with their pharmacists and often volunteering that their husbands who were standing right there, humiliated, also had issues with regularity. One popular remedy was Ex-Lax, a product that masqueraded as a chocolate bar, and one that many many children sampled. But only once.

 

In truth, even disguised as a chocolate treat, the taste was a dreadful disappointment, even to a toddler. We weren’t really very fooled. But, by then it was too late. I imagine that some marketing executive was paid a handsome sum of money to come up with the idea of making it look like candy. And if a few hundred thousand children spent a day chained to their potty chairs, well, a small price to pay to sell more product.

 

Fast forward to the early 21rst century. With Hillarycare a dim memory, the Left became urgently concerned once again about the “uninsured.” It was a crisis, we were told. The system was broken! Why, there were upwards of 40 million people without health insurance! Dying in the streets, they were. Yes, not even in their own beds, but staggering into the streets! Russell Brand said so, and inasmuch as he’s never had an original thought in his life, he was not alone.

 

(Snip)

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Repeal, replace, or revise? The choices ahead for Obamacare critics
Thomas P. Miller
December 23, 2014

 

The new Republican Congress may not be able to repeal and replace Obamacare entirely, but it could make substantial progress by targeting the health law’s key structural components.

 

This November’s electoral wave reopened and widened the strategic playing field for critics of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Republican control of both houses of Congress, plus larger majorities of state governors and state legislatures present both opportunities and challenges to move beyond rhetorical opposition and advance changes in national health policy. Initial speculation tends to focus more on tactical considerations on Capitol Hill: which items are easiest to pass in the Senate, how to use budget reconciliation, and which votes will “look good” politically even if vetoed by President Obama.

 

Those are not inconsequential matters in the near term, but they can obscure more important ones. What are the most important policy and political priorities for the new Republican majorities? How much of Obamacare actually can be overturned within the next two years? Which procedural approach in Congress offers the most promise? Does a more incremental and less ambitious strategy that aims primarily at remaining just “not as bad” as the other side in public opinion surveys ensure more success in holding on to power (and gaining the presidency) in the November 2016 elections?

 

Many tradeoffs and judgment calls are involved in these decisions. Achieving substantial structural change in current health policy remains urgent, but it is unlikely to be accomplished in any single vote in the coming year. Making progress that is more than cosmetic and transitory requires deeper thinking about strategies to replace the core of Obamacare, and not just revise the outer edges of the ACA.

 

Public opinion and procedural limitations: A vote for full repeal remains more symbolic than real

 

(Snip)

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2015: The ObamaCare Crucible

01.01.15 - 12:00 AM | by Tevi Troy

The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, has had a tough run of it since being signed into law nearly five years ago. It has faced constitutional challenges, voters ousting congressional Democrats who supported it, and the disastrous rollout of its federal website in October 2013. This past fall, supporters launched a public-relations campaign dedicated to the proposition that things were finally going well for ObamaCare’s 7 million sign-ups, but their campaign was derailed when the Obama administration admitted that it had added 400,000 dental patients to the roster of health-insurance enrollees to falsely claim it had reached the 7 million number.

 

It is likely that ObamaCare’s low point hasn’t been reached. The year 2015 is shaping up to be the ACA’s worst yet Scissors-32x32.pnghttps://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/2015-the-obamacare-crucible/

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Harvard bitten by the Obamacare monster that it helped spawn.

By: Moe Lane (Diary) | January 5th, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Hope that you don’t have an allergy to schadenfreude, because this is the pure stuff: ” For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar.” Turns out that adding mandatory procedures and extra coverage costs money; so does the ‘Cadillac tax’ on high-end plans like Harvard’s. So Harvard went and passed those extra costs to policy holders – like everybody else did – and said policy holders are, well, freaking out. Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.redstate.com/2015/01/05/harvard-obamacare-schadenfreude/

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60 Minutes does Obamacare
Scott Johnson
January 13, 2015

60 Minutes turned its attention to Obamacare in a story reported by Lesley Stahl and produced by Rich Bonin this past Sunday. The segment promoted Steven Brill’s new book on Obamacare. According to Stahl and Brill, Obamacare’s great failure is its lack of price controls. Assuming price controls to be a great good — one of those great goods without a downside — the segment allocated no blame to Obama. It wasn’t his fault; no one could overcome the entrenched interests that were protected under the law.

At least they didn’t present Cuba’s “free” health care as the optimal system, but that’s the idea.

Stahl prefaced her report with a bit of what seemed to me Castro-worthy propaganda:



This month marks one year since health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act began, and from the president’s point of view: so far, so good. More than 10 million Americans who didn’t have health insurance before have signed up.



I’m not sure where Stahl plucked that number from; she didn’t say. She just asserted it as the gospel truth. And she omitted to mention that five or six million lost health insurance with which they were perfectly happy.

(Snip)

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60 Minutes does Obamacare

Scott Johnson

January 13, 2015

 

 

'60 Minutes' Just Called Obamacare A Disaster. Here's What They Didn't Tell You.

Dan Diamond

1/11/15

 

60 Minutes on Sunday ran an eye-raising exposé of the health law’s many shortcomings — or as correspondent Lesley Stahl called the segment, “What Obamacare Doesn’t Do.”

 

Unfortunately, when it came to telling a complete story about the Affordable Care Act, there was a lot that 60 Minutes itself didn’t do.

 

That’s too bad, because the incredibly popular and venerable newsmagazine is a force for steering national conversation. And 60 Minutes acknowledged that the ACA has accomplished some good, like help 10 million uninsured Americans get access to care.

 

Here were six of my biggest sticking points with 60 Minutes — and an argument for how they could’ve presented them instead.

 

(Snip)

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Obamacare's lead agency chief announces her resignation

 

The Obama administration official who oversaw the botched rollout of the Obamacare website, Healthcare.gov, announced on Friday she will resign as head of the agency that also manages the Medicare and Medicaid healthcare programs.

 

"It is with sadness and mixed emotions that I write to tell you that February will be my last month," Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said in an email to staff.

 

She gave no reason in the email for her departure.

 

Wonder what bad news is coming soon...

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Great News!!!

Liberals look past Obamacare
Paige Winfield Cunningham
January 20, 2015



As Republicans keep debating how best to undermine Obamacare, the law’s liberal advocates are focusing on what they think should happen next for healthcare reform.

On Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell will address a gathering of healthcare advocates hosted by Families USA, which this week released a set of proposals for how to correct parts of the healthcare system the Affordable Care Act never fixed.

As they see it, the law’s biggest accomplishment was extending health coverage to about 10 million Americans through new online insurance marketplaces and Medicaid expansion. But it didn’t do a lot to heal some other big problems afflicting the U.S. healthcare system — namely, wasteful spending and poor quality of care.

“The quest to achieve high-quality, affordable health coverage and care did not start with, nor should it end with, the ACA, and there’s a great deal of work that lies ahead,” said Families USA Director Ron Pollack, whose group worked closely with policymakers while the law was being crafted.

(Snip)



455px-The_Gong_Show_Chuck_Barris_1976.jp
I'm really excited about this!!! Its gonna be wonderful!

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So Long SoMa

JANUARY 21, 2015 Mark Thornton

According to Source there have been several restaurants in San Francisco that have succumbed to the burden of increasing government intervention including higher minimum wages and mandatory employer spending on health care for employees. In San Francisco, if you have 20 employees working at least 8 hours per week, an employer has to spend at least $1.65 per hour on employee health insurance and related benefits.Scissors-32x32.png

http://mises.org/blog/so-long-soma

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Vox’s Own Goal on the Single Payer Pivot

Feb 9 2015

 

In light of the cost problems that still plague U.S. health care post-ACA, liberal wonks are pushing the idea that we need to go further left in health care policy. Single-payer is the most obvious and natural idea for the wonk to turn to, but there’s an immediate snag: the recent attempt to construct a single-payer system in liberal Vermont failed. So Vox—a bellwether for liberal health care wonkery—is pushing something different: all-payer rate-setting. In the second Vox article recently to appear on the subject (here’s the first), Sara Kliff makes the case that all-payer rate-setting could be both good policy and more politically feasible than a single-payer system.

 

Kliff argues that rate-setting of that kind gives insurers more leverage over hospitals and reduces administrative costs. She then links it to slower rates of health care spending growth in other countries. But what about in America? Kliff notes that 10 states tried all-payer rate setting in the 1970s and 1980s. All but one abandoned it, in part because there was no conclusive evidence that this approach actually brought down the state’s overall health care costs. The one state that remains—Maryland—shows why:

 

(Snip)

 

It’s almost like top-down regulations can have unintended consequences that undermine their original purpose. In health care this often happens whenever regulators try to bring down prices from the top—providers find creative ways of evading the regulations. It’s not clear what Vox hoped to accomplish with a piece like this that advocates for an idea it refutes. But rather than trying to revive a failed idea of all-payer rate-setting as a intermediate step toward the other failed idea of single-payer, the Vox set would do better trying to figure out how to restore power to the health care consumer, starting with price transparency.

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When Health Insurance Doesnt Mean Coverage

Feb 9 2015

 

The NYT has a piece entitled Insured, but Not Coveredand the title says it all. The piece does a deep dive on some of the ways Americans who count as officially insured nevertheless do not have coverage that works well for them, either because it sticks them with large out-of-pocket costs or because it makes it hard for them to see a provider. Though the law, the article argues, has removed some of the more egregious financial burdens the U.S. health care system put on consumers, many remain:

 

 

 

By endorsing and expanding the complex new policies promoted by the health care industry, the law may in some ways be undermining its signature promise: health care that is accessible and affordable for all.

 

Im always curious when I read this good news that health costs are moderating, because my health care costs go up significantly each year, and I think thats a common experience, said Mark Rukavina, president of Community Health Advisors in Massachusetts.

 

While much of the focus in the past has been on keeping premiums manageable, premiums now tell only a part of the story, Mr. Rukavina said, adding: A big part of the way theyve kept premiums down is to shift costs to patients in the form of co-pays and deductibles and other types of out-of-pocket expenses. And that can leave patients very vulnerable.

(Snip)

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I have to pay back my Obamacare subsidy

Janice Riddle got a nasty surprise when she filled out her tax return this year.

Tami Luhby

Feb. 13 2015

 

The Los Angeles resident had applied for Obamacare in late 2013, when she was unemployed. She qualified for a hefty subsidy of $470 a month, leaving her with a monthly premium of $1 for the cheapest plan available.

 

Riddle landed a job in early 2014 at a life insurance agency, but since her new employer didn't offer health benefits, she kept her Obamacare plan. However, she didn't update her income with the California exchange, which she acknowledges was her mistake.

 

Now, she has to pay back the entire subsidy, which is forcing her to dip into her savings.

 

(Snip)

 

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Podcast: Breakout – Newt Interviews Jim Plante, Founder and CEO of Pathway Genomics

 

In this episode of the Breakout with Newt Gingrich podcast, Newt interviews the Founder and CEO of Pathway Genomics, Jim Plante. Pathway Genomics works with patients and physicians to identify potential genetic risks through DNA testing in their global clinical laboratories. Through their groundbreaking research and forward-thinking approach, Pathway Genomics has re-invented the world of preventative health by focusing on a client-based culture to bring affordable healthcare to more individuals. This revolutionary approach has allowed many people, not only in the United States but around the world, to identify possible health risks and address them in a more conscious-driven and economical way.

 

For more information about Pathway Genomics, visit https://www.pathway.com/

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800,000 Using HealthCare.gov Were Sent Incorrect Tax Data

 

About 800,000 taxpayers who enrolled in insurance policies through HealthCare.gov received erroneous tax information from the government, and were urged on Friday to hold off on filing tax returns until the error could be corrected.

 

The Obama administration, under heavy pressure from congressional Democrats, also announced that it would give several million people more time to buy health insurance so they could comply with federal law and avoid tax penalties.

 

The incorrect insurance information is used in computing taxes. Consumers can expect to receive corrected data in the first week of March. With the new data, officials warned, some taxpayers will owe more and some will owe less.Scissors-32x32.png

 

So if they already filed and used a service is the gov going to pick up the tab to refile? LMFAO.gif

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ObamaCare's Max Deductible To Hit $6,850 In 2016

he Department of Health and Human Services is prescribing an extra dose of two of ObamaCare's most bitter medicines for 2016.

The maximum deductible will rise to $6,850, up 3.8% from this year's $6,600 ceiling and about 8% above 2014's $6,350 limit.

Meanwhile, the penalty for employers that don't offer coverage to most full-timers will rise a like amount to $2,160 per employee, up from this year's $2,080 fine. The original $2,000 fine never applied, because it was bumped up a notch after a year's delay.

In the second year of what is supposed to be an annual ritual, the Obama administration last Friday announced these key parameters for 2016 and others, including the maximum that subsidized consumers will have to pay for a benchmark silver plan.

 

The size of employer penalties and the limit on cost-sharing — how much an individual may have to pay out of pocket for medical costs beyond premiums — are indexed annually based on the average rise in health insurance premiums over the prior year.Scissors-32x32.png

http://news.investors.com/politics-obamacare/022315-740529-obamacare-deductibles-employer-mandate-fines-rise.htm

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Verrilli asked to save ObamaCare — again

By Peter Sullivan - 02/24/15 06:00 AM EST

 

For the second time in three years, it’s up to Donald Verrilli Jr. to save ObamaCare.

 

President Obama’s solicitor general will be defending the healthcare law on March 4, when the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell. Healthcare subsidies for millions of people — and perhaps the survival of the law itself — will be on the line. Scissors-32x32.png

 

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/233583-verrilli-asked-to-save-obamacare-again

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ACA Fans Should Brace for a Tax Attack

Feb 26 2015

 

The ACA is poised to take a big PR hit in the upcoming tax season—similar to the anger over cancelled plans in 2013. For one thing, many people are likely to be hit with a bill to repay part of the subsidy they received under the law. Kaiser Health News reports:

 

(Snip)

 

$53o is not an earth-shattering amount, but 52 percent is pretty high—and even moderate annoyance for that many people is likely to cause some noise. Then there’s the fact that people will for the first time have to pay the fee for being uninsured. The Obama administration has given people more time to buy insurance in order to avoid the 2015 fee, but those uninsured will still have to pay the 2014 one. Unlike the reimbursement readjustments, this fee is a part of the ACA as such. And then there is the sheer complexity that the ACA will add to the tax process for many people.

 

Taken together, all this will make for a lot of Americans disgruntled about the ACA this tax season. That’s unlikely to give the GOP the support they’d want for full ACA repeal, but it will certainly keep the Democrats busy putting out political fires.

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