Jump to content

Canary in the Obamacare Coal Mine


Recommended Posts

The Obamacare meltdown
Paul Mirengoff
October 15, 2016


As for Obamacare, Podesta’s pal Bill Clinton’s assesses it as “the craziest thing in the world.” But we need not rely on Slick Willy’s view because Obamacare seems to be melting down before our eyes. Indeed, Rick Moran at PJ Media argues that the meltdown is worse than commonly understood.


Citing a Bloomberg report, Moran notes that 1.4 million Americans are expected to lose their plans this coming year because so many big insurance companies have dropped out of the exchanges. Aetna Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc., and some state or regional insurers are exiting the Obamacare market for individual coverage.


With insurers leaving the market, we can expect fewer plans, which will mean a decrease in the number of doctors and hospitals available to consumers. It will also mean rising premiums.


It may also mean that the number of people covered may actually shrink next year. Moran cites a report by S&P Global Ratings predicting that enrollment next year will range between a 4 percent increase and an 8 percent decline.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most uninsured don't qualify for Obamacare assistance


More than half of the remaining uninsured people in the U.S. don't qualify for government assistance, according to a new analysis of the people who still lack health coverage after Obamacare.


The Affordable Care Act has cut the uninsured rate in half, but 27 million people are still without coverage, said the report released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.


Of that total, 15.5 million don't qualify for help from the federal government in getting coverage, either through enrolling in the Medicaid program or getting subsidies to buy marketplace plans. That's because they earn too much to qualify, lack legal status, have coverage offered through their employer or fall into a "coverage gap" because they live in states that didn't expand Medicaid.


But 11.7 million uninsured Americans are eligible for financial assistance, Kaiser found. About 6 million could enroll in their state's Medicaid program and another 5 million could buy private marketplace plans with the help of federal subsidies.Scissors-32x32.png


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fact-Checking 7 Claims in the President’s Speech on Obamacare


In a speech before Miami Dade College students in Miami, Florida, on Thursday, President Barack Obama spoke about some of the successes of the Affordable Care Act, as well as what he would like to see for the future of his signature health care law.


The president’s address came just weeks before the 2017 open enrollment period, which starts Nov. 1, and at a time when much of the news surrounding the health care law has focused on increasing premiums and decreasing options for consumers buying coverage on Obamacare’s exchanges.


During his speech, the president touted the uninsured rate, which is at its lowest in history, but also conceded that improvements can be made to the law.


The president called for the creation of a public option, or government-run plan that competes with private insurers, which he mentioned in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June.


“The Affordable Care Act has done what it was designed to do,” Obama said. “It gave us affordable health care.”




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Risk of ‘Mass Exodus’ of Doctors from Medicare


In what may be the most significant modification to Medicare since the program began in 1966, on Oct. 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule for implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). It dramatically changes how Medicare pays doctors for their services.


Does it really matter how doctors get paid? Yes — the success or failure of the new payment system will profoundly influence the future of the U.S. health care system. And while the goals of MACRA are laudable, its implementation carries a number of unknowns and the potential for unintended consequences — for patients and doctors alike.


One recent survey of physicians found nearly 40 percent expect a “mass exodus” from Medicare over MACRA.


Before MACRA, Medicare used a fee-for-service payment system, reimbursing separately for each individual service provided, without regard to the quality of the care. The new system will reward doctors for providing high-quality, efficient care that leads to better patient outcomes, and penalize those who fail to do so. At least — that’s the idea.


MACRA creates two pathways for physician payment. There’s the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which will pay doctors based on how they score on a number of performance metrics relative to their peers. The second pathway will reward doctors who participate in Alternative Payment Models (APMs) meant to promote high-quality, cost-efficient care by incentivizing doctors to work together toward a common purpose: improving patient outcomes while eliminating unnecessary spending.Scissors-32x32.png



Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Valin - and so is everybody else - that is why I think Ron Johnson is gaining in the polls here - he's running ads on this with people who got screwed. They say more people are insured than ever before, but I think more people are uninsured than ever before. Since most people have to spend 5 -8 -10 thousand dollars before there insurance actually kicks in ( in other words all they really have is major medical) they don't go to the doctor any more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Oh if only someone had warned us about ACA....Oh






Someone did




I would the Democrats own this lock..Stock...and Leaky Barrel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Valin I remember that "Bi-partisan" summit. Obama did his best to humiliate the Republicans there and had no intentions of listening to any of them or their ideas or warnings. I remember him trying to embarrass Paul Ryan. Listening to it again - every word he said was true. It is a shame that the ton of ideas that this man has to fix the problems of this nation will probably just go down the tubes. Not just because of Democrats, but in a lot of cases his own party. He is being demonized on a daily basis now. I wouldn't blame him if he just gave up.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

'Public option' not an option for GOP


The renewed call by Democrats for a public option health plan has steeled Republican resistance to expanding the healthcare law, suggesting 2017 may bring nothing but more gridlock when it comes to fixing the problems that even Democrats now admit are plaguing Obamacare.


Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have called for repealing the law and replacing after President Obama made a new push this week to expand his signature law by adding a government-funded healthcare option long sought by Democrats.


While Obama was delivering a speech promoting expansion of the law in Miami on Thursday, McConnell was simultaneously dismissing the idea.Scissors-32x32.png


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chicago Hopenchange: Major hospitals bail on ObamaCare for 2017
Ed Morrissey
October 24, 2016

Old and busted: ObamaCare gives Americans health care! New hotness: ObamaCare gives Americans health care …. where they can’t get to it. Last week, in President Obama’s home town of Chicago, his supporters got a rude surprise. If they buy their health insurance on the ObamaCare exchange, they’d better look in some other city for hospitalization, because they won’t get covered in the Windy City:

Some of Chicago’s largest hospitals said they will not be part of any Cook County Affordable Care Act marketplace plans in 2017.

University of Chicago Medical Center and Rush University Medical Center both said they don’t plan to be in network for any Obamacare marketplace plans next year.

The change means patients with doctors at those hospitals will either need to find a plan off the marketplace, and lose Obamacare subsides, or find a new doctor.

Interestingly, Rush Oak Park Hopsital in the Chicago suburban area just made the news a day later after this announcement. It needs over $30 million to re-engineer its emergency-room facilities. Why? A flood of ObamaCare-covered patients has stretched it past its ability to respond. Wait, you might say — ObamaCare was supposed to alleviate ER use by covering clinic visits. True … but first you have to find a clinic that can take you:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obamacare premiums to soar 22%
Tami Luhby
October 24, 2016

Obamacare premiums are set to skyrocket an average of 22% for the benchmark silver plan in 2017, according to a government report released Monday.

The price hike is the latest blow to Obamacare. Insurers are raising prices and downsizing their presence on the exchanges as they try to stem losses from sicker-than-anticipated customers. Enrollment for 2017 will be closely watched since insurers want to see younger and healthier consumers enroll.

The benchmark silver plan -- upon which federal subsidies are based -- will cost an average of $296 a month next year. That figure is based on prices for a 27-year-old enrollee in the 39 states that use the federal healthcare.gov exchange, plus the four states and Washington D.C. that have their own exchanges.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cleaning Up Obama’s Health-Care Mess


As President Barack Obama leaves office, he is bequeathing his successor a colossal mess in the form of his signature legislative achievement—both from the active effort to change the American health-care system through the Affordable Care Act and from the failure to address the budgetary crisis that will overwhelm the system over the next two decades unless radical changes are made. Indeed, the extent of the health-care problems facing the next president will be far greater than we have seen previously—and vastly more difficult to fix than was the case when Obama became president in 2009.


Obama failed to address the long-term crisis in funding Medicare even as he layered an expensive and severely flawed new benefit for all Americans on top of it. And as he fiddled, the overall national debt significantly incurred by increases in health-care spending grew without letup by about $11 trillion. That is more than the accumulated total debt that had accrued in the administration of every previous U.S. president in our history combined.Scissors-32x32.png



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obamacare Architect Says He Needs a Graph to Explain Obama's Premium Explanation


Ezekiel Emanuel is one the architects of the Affordable Care Act, the health care legislation which, contrary to what President Obama claims, has failed to live up to its name. On Monday, we learned that Americans under an Obamacare plan will see their premiums rise by an average of 25 percent. CNN's Jake Tapper pressed Emanuel for answers on Tuesday. First, he read him a quote from the president back when he was trying to sell ACA to the American people, claiming their premiums would go down.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (CLIP): “If you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep your plan. Period. You’re going to be able to buy insurance through a pool so that you can get the same good rates as a group that, if you're an employee at a big company you can get right now which means your premiums will go down.”


TAPPER: “Your premiums will go down. There are a lot of Americans that are going to say that didn't come true, that was false.”

Emanuel responded by telling Tapper Obama's remarks could easily be explained, but they needed to be accompanied by a graph.Scissors-32x32.png



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unaffordable Care Act

by Richard A. Epstein

Monday, October 31, 2016


The defenders of the Affordable Care Act are running out of excuses for the dismal performance of its health care exchanges. It is now old news that many uninsured individuals are unable, even with sizeable subsidies, to purchase health care coverage from private health care providers. As Yale Professor Jacob Hacker notes in his recent op-ed for the New York Times, the ACA has indeed faced “a rocky six months.” Average anticipated premium increases are running at 25 percent; major insurers like Aetna, UnitedHealth, and Humana have either pulled out of the program entirely or cut back their operations; and one recent tally reports that 16 of the 23 health care co-ops, with over 800,000 enrollees, have shut down, with at least six others on economic life support.


What should be done to respond to this unfortunate situation? The defenders of the ACA want to double-down on the current system by introducing a “public option” that was excluded from the original legislation. President Obama endorsed that position in a communication published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Scissors-32x32.pnghttp://www.hoover.org/research/unaffordable-care-act

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obamacare Unravels, Cont’d

by Ramesh Ponnuru November 21, 2016, Issue @rameshponnuru


Premium hikes reveal the law’s design flaws When Congress was debating whether to enact Obama­care, conservatives said that one of the reasons it had to be fought was that it would make the middle class more dependent on govern­ment and bind it to the Democrats. So far Obama­care has not confirmed this particular fear. The law remains unpopular, and it is a frequent source of political trouble for the Democrats. The latest trouble comes in the form of major premium increases. The Obama administration confirmed that the average price of insurance policies on Obama­care’s exchanges will be 22 percent higher next year. Supporters of the law point out that most people on the exchanges receive subsidies and that these subsidies will increase to offset the premium in­crease: a point that may reassure the people on the exchanges but not taxpayers.

The underlying reason for the premium hikes is as troubling for the future of Obamacare as the premium hikes themselves are. The young and the healthy have been staying away from the ex­changes. Enrollment is far below the original projections. Insurers can neither charge low fees nor make much money catering to a relatively old and sick population — and some of them have exited the exchanges as a result.Scissors-32x32.pnghttps://www.nationalreview.com/node/441725

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Poll: Half of America Can’t Afford More Than $100 a Month on Health Insurance


More than half of Americans—52.5 percent—say they cannot afford to spend more than $100 a month on health insurance premiums, according to a poll from HealthPocket, a technology company that compares health plans.


The group asked survey respondents at the beginning of open enrollment what was the highest monthly premium they could afford to pay for health insurance in 2017.


More than half of respondents said $100 a month or less, while 15.9 percent said they could afford to spend $200 a month.


Just over 11 percent said they could afford $300 a month, 5.5 percent said they could afford $400 a month, and 4.8 percent said they could spend $500 a month, while and 9.8 percent said they could afford $500 or more.


“Double-digit rate increases for people purchasing insurance in the Affordable Care Act market has renewed questions regarding what people can afford to pay for coverage,” the survey states.Scissors-32x32.png



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Unenviable Next President
Monday, November 7, 2016
After a strange and divisive election season, November 8 is almost here—and it couldn’t have come soon enough.


Whoever wins will be in an unenviable position. The nation is in free-fall: current foreign policy, the economy, health care, and federal borrowing are not sustainable. Yet the needed chemotherapy, in the short-term, will have more excruciating side-effects than the pain of the growing cancer itself—ensuring that the next president will be hated as a cruel oncologist by his suffering patients, the public.


Take health care. Nothing President Obama promised about the Affordable Care Act ever came true—if indeed such assurances were ever intended to come true.


Premiums did not fall by $2,500. In fact, they rose on average by $4,800. We did not necessarily keep our plans or our doctors. The ACA certainly did not lower the deficit—another one of Obama’s pledges.


The administration announced that Obamacare costs will climb even higher in 2017, perhaps by 25%. Health insurers once rushed into the market on crony-capitalist promises that the government would green-light their price hikes in a closed and monopolized market. But even they are now disabused and leaving in droves.


In a nutshell, millions of Americans, who had custom-tailored plans, were forced into following regulations and paying for services they rarely, if at all, used—to ensure that others, who could not pay for them, had such choices. Whereas the former insured were used to paying their premiums on time, and understood the principles of deductibles and copayments, the newly insured often did not. Scissors-32x32.png


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Five ways Trump could change Obamacare right away


There's a laundry list of things President-elect Donald Trump could do on his own to modify the Affordable Care Act, even if Congress gets hung up on exactly how to repeal and replace it.


While the Affordable Care Act is a lengthy piece of legislation, the Obama administration issued many more pages of regulations and guidance explaining exactly how it should be implemented. The new administration, under the direction of Trump, could amend or get rid of those directives as soon as it's in place next year, and thus significantly alter the law without having to wait for Congress.


Additionally, the Department of Justice is involved in several ongoing disputes involving the healthcare law and some of the payments it lays out for insurers. A Trump administration could direct it to act in ways more favorable to Republican interests.Scissors-32x32.png



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • 1713245426
  • Create New...