Thursday, February 14, 2013

ObamaCare is More Expensive Than Stated!

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Every Horrid Thing You Need to Know About How Healthcare is Paid For Today
President Obama’s national health law
Alan Caruba
“Despite more than sixty years of government efforts—representing the work of both political parties—we are moving further and further away from what we want. Prices are higher, more people are excluded from needed care, more excess treatments are performed, and more people die from preventable errors. Why?”
Why, indeed! Having had the Affordable Care Act (ACA) forced on us by a Democrat-controlled Congress—some of whom had to be bribed for their vote—Americans are beginning to learn that the cost of healthcare is going to increase, people will be laid off, have their hours reduced, or simply not hired at all as the result of this horrid new law.
A February 25 Rasmussen poll revealed that “Most voters still believe that President Obama’s national health law will cost more than official estimates and expect it to drive up the cost of health care in America.” They’re right!
David Goldhill has performed a national service with his new book, “Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father and How to Fix It.” ($25.95, Alfred A. Knopf) Goldhill is the president and chief executive officer of GSN, which operates a U.S. cable television network seen in more than 75 million homes and is one of the world’s largest digital games companies. He came to the issues of healthcare in the wake of his father’s death.
“Although his death was a deeply personal and unique tragedy for me and my family, my dad was merely one of a hundred thousand Americans who died that year as the result of infections picked up in hospitals. A hundred thousand preventable deaths! That’s more than double the annual number of people killed in car crashes, five times the number murdered, twenty 9/11s. Each and every year!”
“All of the actors in health care want to serve patients well, but understandably most respond rationally to the backward economic incentives baked into the system,” writes Goldhill. “At the heart of these perverse incentives is insurance. Unlike with everything else in the economy we rely on insurance as the sole means of paying for everything in health care—from the most routine to the most urgent.”
Noting that “Our massive and failing Medicare and Medicaid programs are already unsustainable and unfixable”, a fact known to anyone paying any attention, Goldhill gets to the heart of Obamacare, whose “central thrust is for ever more insurance to pay for health care.” The result is that “the underlying insurance-based structure of our health care system drives excess treatment, cost inflation, and medical errors.”
There are many myths about healthcare that have become embedded in our society. Goldhill notes that “The factors that most predict your health are your wealth, education, and lifestyle—not your access to health care.” This might seem self-evident, but we live in a nation where we are constantly hectored regarding our lifestyle choices; what and how much we eat, whether we exercise sufficiently, and endless articles suggesting that diseases and illness is predicated, not on our genetic liabilities (if you come from a family with a history of heart disease or cancer), but on the literal invention of new ailments driven by pharmaceutical innovations to “cure” them.
“The ACA (Obamacare) is fundamentally a health insurance bill, not a real piece of health care reform legislation, focusing as it does on the wrapper of insurance rather than on the complex and dysfunctional system inside.”
To understand where we are today, we need to understand that so-called health insurance is “a payment mechanism for health care”, not the health care itself.
To understand where we are today, we need to understand that so-called health insurance is “a payment mechanism for health care”, not the health care itself. It influences that nature of the actual healthcare being provided. Moreover, “The U.S. health insurance companies employ over a half a million workers. That’s one worker for every two doctors. The administrative cost of managing our system of health care payments alone is almost $1,000 per American household. For most Americans, their annual share of this administrative cost exceeds the amount of actual health care they use in a typical year.”
“It is estimated that over the next decade the ACA will cost the government at least $1 trillion and the uninsured themselves the same amount,” says Goldhill. It’s worth keeping in mind at this point that the U.S. is $16 trillion in debt already and Medicare is widely understood to be underfunded; in part because $716 billion was taken from it to fund the imposition of ACA on the nation.
“In any given year, the most costly five percent of people account for more than fifty percent of health-care costs, and the top ten percent of people account for seventy percent of costs.” In effect this means that insurance is the mechanism “for moving funds from the many well to the few ill.” As a result, Medicare and the insurance companies become “surrogates” who “negotiate prices and preapprove procedures” and “they increasingly determine your choice of doctors.”
Goldhill notes that “there are plenty of government aid programs—food stamps, welfare, Social Security—in which the government doesn’t determine how we will spend its money, must less the prices of goods and services and from whom we can buy them.”
The kicker is that “health insurers can achieve long term profit growth only if the amount of money spent on health care increases.”
Goldhill concludes that “Overall, the surrogates have done a miserable job of regulating the system’s quality, safety, and price.”
That is where we are today and it will get worse in the future. And our lives depend on the present system.
© Alan Caruba, 2013
Alan has a daily blog called Warning Signs.
Alan can be reached at acaruba@aol.com
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Dr. Ben Carson on Fox talking about Obamacare 
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The Affordable Care Act Nobody Can Afford
Welcome to the destruction of our stellar healthcare and patient/doctor confidentiality, compliments of Obamacare
Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh
I was just handed the Phreesia computer tablet by the receptionist under the guise of updating my medical and insurance information. I had seen this orange notebook in another doctor’s office and I became suspicious. Is this really meant to verify, as the website claims, my insurance eligibility automatically and help doctors collect on their insurance while easing the load of paperwork? Or is it forced electronic data compliance to Obamacare?

As soon as I started reading each screen, I realized that it was asking me to consent to third parties to obtain my medication prescription history from my pharmacy and to my entire medical history.
I had the right to request and restrict as to how my protected health information was used or disclosed. However, when I declined to sign, the computer stopped, and prompted me to talk to the receptionist. She informed me that diagnosis and/or treatment “may be conditioned upon my consent.”
The electronic screen and the paper copy the receptionist gave me said, “The [name withheld] is not required to agree to the restrictions that I may request and may refuse treatment based on my restriction as permitted by Section 164.506 of the Code of Federal Regulations.”
Suddenly, because I refused the IRS and HHS meddling in my personal health affairs, I had become persona-non-grata (unwanted person) to my doctor who had sworn a Hippocratic Oath to care for me and any patient who comes across his/her path.
In other words, I would not be treated if I did not sign yes. I had the right to say no, don’t give my medical information and history to anyone else but the doctor is not required to honor my request and
may refuse treatment to me as permitted by Section 164.506 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
What if I said no, do not release my medical history to a third unapproved party and I paid cash? The doctor would not see me. Welcome to the destruction of our stellar healthcare and patient/doctor confidentiality, compliments of Obamacare.
How affordable is this Obamacare, the unfortunately named, the Affordable Care Act? The Democrats and the President said that costs would be so much lower; it would save the typical family $2,500 per year.
The cheapest category of Obamacare is the Bronze Plan which costs $20,000 per year for a family of two adults and three children and it pays only 60% of medical costs after the deductibles for the year have been met. And the deductibles are high per person and per family. The following tiers are Silver (70%), Gold (80%), and Platinum (90%).
During my 30-year teaching career, I seldom had to pay more than $3,600 a year premium for private insurance for my family. Even a retirement private plan did not cost more than $8,000 per year with 80% reimbursement as opposed to only 60% reimbursement under the Obamacare Bronze Plan. Is Obamacare really affordable? The answer is a resounding no.
According to the IRS, the penalty for not buying insurance is capped for now at either the annual Bronze premium, 2.5% of taxable income, or $2,085 per family in 2016.
President Obama said, “If you are one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your insurance.” Heritage’s Amy Payne estimated that “more than 11 million people will no longer have their employer-sponsored health coverage once Obamacare is fully implemented.” (Businesses Cutting Hours, Bracing for Costs of Obamacare, December 6, 2012)
The Obamacare employer mandate is killing jobs
The Obamacare employer mandate is killing jobs. An employer with 50 employees must provide coverage or pay a $2,000 penalty for each employee after the first 30 workers. It is easy to see how an employer would have to cut back employees to 30, replacing full-time employees with part-time ones, in order to avoid the penalty or the skyrocketing premiums for private coverage. These private insurance premiums rose significantly because Obamacare mandates insurance for all children up to 26 years old and for those insured with pre-existing conditions whose treatment can be costly.
Breitbart News reported that Pennsylvania Community College of Allegheny County had already cut the hours of 400 adjunct professors, staff, and part-time teachers, saving $6 million in potential Obamacare fees. (Wynton Hall, Obamacare Layoffs, Hiring Freezes Begin, January 5, 2013)
Because of the Obamacare medical device 2.3 percent excise tax, Stryker medical supply cut 1,170 employees (5%). Boston Scientific, Welch Allyn, Medtronic, Kinetic Concepts, and Smith & Nephew are also contemplating cuts in their work force. Zimmer Holdings, makers of hip replacement implants, laid off 450 workers in expectation of a $60 million tax bill in 2013. (Bob Unruh, Democrats in Congress ‘want out’ of Obamacare)
Everybody’s private insurance has been disrupted and private premiums have escalated, in addition to adding the “Cadillac tax” to plans that are judged too generous. According to Jonathan Gruber of MIT and the actuarial firm Milliman, non-group premiums rose 19-30% in some states and 55-85% in others.
The federal government has built a data hub to be used only for Obamacare without saying how it will be run. The HHS has released 13,000 pages of regulations with only 30 days for public comment while attempting to re-engineer 17% of the economy. (WSJ, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad Obamacare, December 13, 2012)
On the deadline of December 14, 2012 states had to declare health insurance exchanges. At that time, only six states (Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington) received conditional approval from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to operate their own exchanges. Twenty-six states stated that they will not set up exchanges.
If a state operates its own exchange, it must come up in 2015 with its own source of revenue to run the exchange, making a state a vendor to HHS. The state running an exchange must also expand Medicaid to “able-bodied, low-income, childless adults” in spite of the fact that the Supreme Court ruled the Medicaid expansion voluntary. The federal government was not planning on covering the full cost of such Medicaid expansion. “Half of the reduction in the number of uninsured promised under Obamacare was based on mandating that states expand Medicaid.” (Heritage’s Morning Bell, December 13, 2012)
Several states asked Kathleen Sibelius, the HHS Secretary, if they could expand Medicaid less. The answer was that only full compliance with the law will garner 90% reimbursement from the federal government. Nine states have refused to expand Medicaid to cover new populations. The feds will set up their own exchanges in those states but final regulations and specifics for the federal exchanges are not made public yet. Oklahoma and Maine have sued over Medicaid expansion and over statutory language and Medicaid expansion, respectively.
Three deadline extensions of implementing health exchanges have passed. Most states will share responsibilities with the federal government or default to a federal-run exchange. Only a minority of states have agreed to run their own exchanges.
A 3.5 percent administrative fee on coverage sold through federally-run exchanges will be levied. An additional $63 fee per employee must be paid in federal fees to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
Government funds will be set aside to promote/advertise [on primetime] Obamacare. Critics of the unaffordable health care law call such advertising “political advocacy.”
Practicing medicine will become more and less a government-run monopoly instead of the current monopolistic competition where patients are free to choose what doctors they go to, based on preference, doctor qualifications, specialty, reputation, insurance types, and premiums they choose to pay.
Doctors will either merge with hospitals, insurance companies, and specialty management firms or become “concierge” doctors, serving a reduced number of patients for a set fee. Consolidation will have a negative effect on patient access, price, and competition. Mergers in the 1980s and 1990s had negative effects in terms of patients being restricted or blocked from access to specialists and procedures.
More than $719 billion will be taken from Medicare over the next ten years to pay for Obamacare. According to Rep. Wally Herger, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, the Independent Payment Advisory Board established by Obamacare is authorized to unilaterally impose price controls and de facto rationing of medical care.
Medicare is already in trouble. Taking $719 billion over ten years from Medicare to fund Obamacare will exacerbate financial problems. Medicare benefits are not a return on taxes paid into the system over time because Medicare is run as “pay as you go” - today’s wage earners pay taxes to fund benefits for today’s retirees. Since people live longer, “Medicare payroll taxes cover only 38 percent of current benefits.” (Rep. Wally Herger)
Obamacare depends on bringing young, healthy people into insurance markets to help offset the costs of insuring the old and the sick. If young people do not participate in the program and elect to pay the fine instead, Obamacare will not be able to make coverage affordable for the uninsured.
Most young Americans do not have insurance. Young people who do have insurance purchase less coverage. Under Obamcare, young Americans must get more coverage and pay more whether they want the added coverage or not. Private insurers have increased their premiums because the law prohibits them from rejecting the sick, and are no longer allowed to charge higher premiums to older customers. Premiums for a young, healthy male could go up as much as three times. Young adults could then opt out of private coverage, causing the market to implode. (Washington Post, Insurers Warn of Health Law ‘Rate Shock,’ N.C. Aizenman, February 16, 2013)
To make matters worse, government officials announced on February 15, 2013 that state-based “high-risk pools” under Obamacare will be closed to new applicants on February 16 through March 2, depending on the state, because funding is running low. The existing 100,000 enrollees will not be affected. If the funding is running low now, what will happen by the time Obamacare is fully in force?
There is a glitch in Obamacare that could leave more than 500,000 children uninsured. Congress defined “affordable” in the Affordable Care Act as coverage not exceeding 9.5 % of family income. If people have coverage that fall under this 9.5% affordable, they cannot get subsidies to go into new insurance markets. This restriction was put into place to prevent people from switching from employer coverage to exchanges in droves. “Affordable” was calculated based on self-only, individual worker, with an average market cost of $5,600. But the current market family coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, is $15,700 per year. IRS announced on January 30, 2013, that employers are not required to pay for dependents, leaving the employee to pay the family premium since he/she will be locked out of subsidies in the federal exchanges.
Betsey McCaughey wrote that Congressional Budget Office (CBO) prediction that Obamacare would leave only 30 million people uninsured in 2016 was predicated on the assumption that kids would be covered by employees. If a parent is covered at work, no subsidies will be provided for the child in the health exchange.
Millions of people will remain uninsured because their states are choosing [wisely] not to expand Medicaid. The states do not have the money to expand Medicaid.
By the time the uninsured will be counted, almost as many Americans (40 million plus) will be left without insurance as the number of uninsured before the Democrats passed their signature monstrosity, the Affordable Care Act. Having sat in a drawer for decades, the bill was dusted off, repackaged, and polished. Nobody took the time to publicly debate or read the bill that passed after some arm-twisting. The Democrats, who had promised free health care for all, feverishly proceeded to spend trillions of dollars we did not have to re-engineer our health care system in the name of social justice.
The states that refuse to set up health exchanges are expected to sell the government-mandated plans and to give out taxpayer-funded subsidies to those who enroll. Betsey McCaughey identifies the glitch:
“The law says that in states that refuse, the federal government can set up an exchange. But the law empowers only state exchanges, not federal ones, to hand out subsidies. The Obama administration says it will disregard the law and offer subsidies in all 50 states anyway, but the case will likely go to the Supreme Court.”
 
To safeguard from disaster, take care of your body, eat right, exercise if you can, and pray very hard that you will not get sick. There is a good chance that there will not be enough highly qualified doctors to deliver care when needed even if you do have insurance. Should you need specialists, expensive drugs or surgery, you are out of luck. Rationing will tell you, “no, you can’t have it.” The emergency rooms will be filled to capacity with confused, desperate, sick people, and new illegal alien arrivals.
Listen to Dr. Paugh on Butler on Business (WAFS 1190), every Wednesday at 10:49 AM EST
Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh, (Romanian Conservative) is a freelance writer (Canada Free Press, Romanian Conservative, usactionnews.com), author, radio commentator (Silvio Canto Jr. Blogtalk Radio, Butler on Business WAFS 1190, and Republic Broadcasting Network), and speaker. Her book, “Echoes of Communism, is available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Short essays describe health care, education, poverty, religion, social engineering, and confiscation of property. A second book, “Liberty on Life Support,” is also available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. A third book, “U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy,” is a best seller at Amazon.com under Globalism, Politics, and Environmental Policy.
Her commentaries reflect American Exceptionalism, the economy, immigration, and education.Visit
her website, ileanajohnson.com.
Dr. Johnson can be reached at: ileana@canadafreepress.com
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More Than 30 States Rebuke Obamacare Exchanges
By Lisa Barron
Thursday, 14 Feb 2013
There are less than two days to go before states have to decide whether they will go it alone or partner with the White House to set up Obamacare health insurance exchanges.
Half of the states have already decided to let the federal government build the new online insurance marketplace for them, while a handful will work with the Department of Health and Human Services and handle limited parts of the exchanges, according to Politico.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, announced on Wednesday that he would be pushing more people into a federally run exchange.
Fewer than 20 state governments, most of them led by Democrats, have decided to establish their own exchanges.
Many of the Affordable Health Care Act’s most vocal critics are still vacillating, says the organization. Among them are Republican Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who vetoed Democratic legislation to create an exchange, Florida’s Rick Scott, who led the legal battle in front of the Supreme Court, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, and Utah’s Gary Herbert.
“Some people don’t like the idea of a partnership because the concern they have is one partner is superior to the other,” Herbert told Politico.
McDonnell said this week that he would take part in a federally facilitated exchange but retain state authority over its management.
“At the end of the day,” said Joel Ario of Manatt Health Solutions, Obama’s first exchange chief, “ I think the states want the markets to work. There has to be cooperation between the state and federal government, and that could be accomplished in a federal exchange.”
Either way, Friday’s deadline is fast approaching. Enrollment is set to begin on Oct 1, and coverage will kick in on Jan. 1, 2014.
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Obama's greatest achievement
Betsy McCaughey
Brasscheck TV
I assume you've gotten the news.
Like the Iraq War and the multi-trillion dollar Wall Street bailout, Obamacare was sold with an ocean of bullshit.
When will the looting of America be stopped?
The gruesome details:
The central parts of ObamaCare don’t roll out until 2014, but the wheels are already falling off this clunker. The latest news from four federal agencies is that 1) insurance will be a lot less affordable than Americans were led to expect, 2) fewer people than promised will get insurance and 3) millions of people who have coverage through a job now will lose it, thanks to the president’s “reforms.” Oh, and children are the biggest victims.
The Affordable Care Act is looking less and less affordable.
Start with the IRS’s new estimate for what the cheapest family plan will cost by 2016: $20,000 a year to cover two adults and three kids. And that will only cover 60 percent of medical bills, so add hefty out-of-pocket costs, too.
The next surprise is for parents who thought their kids would be covered by an employer. Sloppy wording in the law left that unclear until last week, when the IRS ruled that kids won’t be covered.
Starting in 2014, the law will require employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer coverage or pay a penalty. “Affordable” coverage, that is — meaning the employee can’t be told to contribute more than 9.5 percent of his salary. For example, a worker earning $40,000 a year cannot be required to pay more than $3.800.
But the law doesn’t specifically mandate family coverage — and now the administration says that won’t be required.
You can see why: If the lowest-cost family plan (again, two adults and three kids) is to run a whopping $20,000, and if the employee’s contribution is limited to $3,800, the employer’s tab would be $16,200 — adding about $7.40 an hour to the cost of that employee. Wisely, the IRS announced on Jan. 30 that employers won’t have to pay for dependents.
But the Congressional Budget Office’s much-cited prediction that ObamaCare would leave only 30 million people uninsured by 2016 was based on the assumption that kids would be covered by employers. At the very least, employers insuring their workers for the first time to avoid the penalty are unlikely to do that.
So how will the kids be covered? They won’t. The IRS shocked the law’s advocates by announcing that the insurance exchanges won’t provide subsidies for a child whose parent is covered at work.
Nor will these parents be penalized for not insuring their children — the IRS will kindly consider the kids exempt from the mandate.
Also exempt are millions of people who’ll stay uninsured because their state is wisely choosing not to loosen Medicaid eligibility.
Some background: Despite President Obama’s promises to help solve the problem of the uninsured by making private health plans more affordable, the law expands coverage mainly by forcing states to loosen their Medicaid eligibility rules. But the Supreme Court ruled that the feds can’t command states in this way.
At first, the CBO said that ruling would only prevent 4 million people from gaining coverage — but more states than it expected are refusing to go along; it could well be 8 million more without coverage.
Oh, and the CBO last week also doubled its previous estimate on how many people will lose the health coverage they now get through work, upping the figure to 8 million by 2016 and 12 million by 2019. Several top consulting firms put the figures even higher.
Yet the biggest setback is that most states are refusing to set up insurance exchanges. The exchanges are supposed to sell the government-mandated plans and hand out taxpayer-funded subsidies to most enrollees.
Here’s the glitch. The law says that in states that refuse, the federal government can set up an exchange. But the law empowers only state exchanges, not federal ones, to hand out subsidies. The Obama administration says it will disregard the law and offer subsidies in all 50 states anyway, but the case will likely go to the Supreme Court.
If the courts uphold the clear language of the law, then some 8 million people in the affected states won’t be eligible for subsidies to cover that $20,000 (or more) insurance bill. That’s another 8 million without coverage.
All in all, at least 40 million people could be uninsured in 2016, only 9 million fewer than before the law was passed.
Expect the momentum for repealing this law to grow as its flaws, perverse incentives and faulty predictions come to light.
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Obamacare undermines marriage
Phil Kerpen
02/14/2013
http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/14/obamacare-undermines-marriage/
It was one of the biggest applause lines in President Obama’s State of the Union address, drawing cheers from both sides of the aisle. “We’ll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples,” Obama said. “What makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one. And we want to encourage that. We want to help that.”
Wonderful sentiment, but Obama’s signature legislative achievement creates such a powerful “financial deterrent” to marriage that even one former Obama administration official warns that
ObamaCare will increase the divorce rate among lower-income families.
Like most government benefit programs, Obamacare is rife with perverse “affordability” based on the cost of individual coverage, regardless of whether family coverage is affordable.
This was explained by former Obama Treasury Department official David Gamage in The Wall Street Journal last year. “Consider a couple with children in which one of the parents earns most of the family’s income. If the couple marries, the family would lose thousands of dollars of subsidies that could otherwise be used to pay for health insurance for the children and the lower-income spouse,” Gamage said. “If the couple is already married, divorce may be their only option for obtaining affordable insurance for their children and the lower-income parent.”
The phase-out schedule for subsidies creates an additional disincentive to marriage. As economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute explained in testimony to a congressional hearing: “Health insurance premium credits in the new law are linked not directly to income, but to the poverty line, resulting in a particularly steep marriage penalty for low-income Americans. With $10,890 as the poverty line for one person and an additional $3,820 for a spouse, marriage means less government help with health insurance.”
By accelerating family break-up, Obamacare will also worsen health outcomes. Research has consistently shown that married people have better health, longer lives, and better survival rates for some diseases. Children of intact marriages also have lower infant mortality and better physical and mental health outcomes. There is also a well-documented connection between marital status and child poverty.
It might sound good for Obama to extol the virtues of marriage and family, but what does it accomplish if his signature policy pushes strongly in the opposite direction? If we’re serious about encouraging marriage, repealing or delaying Obamacare should be an urgent priority.
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment.


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Also See:
ObamaCare - Health, Euthanasia, Life in Jeopardy!
(Part 1)
20 July 2009
and
(Part 2)
10 August 2009
and
(Part 3)
27 August 2009
and
The Last Word on ObamaCare - Maybe!
20 March 2010
and
Coming Soon - Death Panels!
23 August 2010
and
How is Obama's Healthcare Working Out?
14 October 2010
and
More about ObamaCare!
24 January 2011
and
ObamaCare is Still an Issue!
(Part 1)
03 April 2012
and
(Part 2)
28 June 2012
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