Monthly Archives: April 2013

Making too much money can lead to high health care costs

A preview from Massachusetts of things to come: Making too much money can lead to high health care costs – Berkshire Eagle Online.

Well not to be a smart ass or anything, but “don’t do that”! Uugh.
As the lady says:

Considering that she also could lose her affordable coverage by getting a pay raise, she added, “This really is a system designed to keep people impoverished.”

Insanity.

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John Stossel: Insurance Makes Healthcare Far More Expensive – YouTube

John Stossel: Insurance Makes Healthcare Far More Expensive – YouTube.


Computer Programmer:

Why on earth, for health care, do we as a society think somebody else should pay for it? We don’t think that about groceries, we don’t think that about cars, we don’t think that anything anything except health care.

With the growth of the food stamp program, I’m not sure people don’t expect society to buy them groceries. Keep in mind this video is from 2009.

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Obamacare: Subsidizing smokers in California

Why Calif. Doesn’t Want Smokers To Pay More For Health Insurance : Shots – Health News : NPR.

Smoking has its risks, but in California higher prices for health insurance probably won’t be among them.

The article doesn’t hint  that at the margin non-smoking rates will go up to subsidize the increased cost of covering smokers. Aren’t non-smokers hurt “at the margin” too?

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10 Myths About the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion

10 Myths About the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion.

8. Myth: States can trust the federal government to keep its funding promises.

Reality: “Although Obamacare stipulates the federal government will pay at least 90 percent of the benefit costs of the Medicaid expansion,” Heritage explains, “state lawmakers have no guarantee future Congresses will keep that promise.” In fact, the Obama Administration has already proposed changing the deal in its fiscal year 2013 budget proposal.

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Obamacare Progress – Joe Klein

Obamacare Progress | TIME.com.

In an error ridden article, Joe Klein is happy to report progress in the implementation of Obamacare.

Good news is that the Obamacare application has been reduced from 21 pages to just 3 for a single person. Apparently Joe gets this part right, although we won’t know for a fact until tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow morning the Administration will announce a spiffy, new 3-page application for individuals (which we’ll attach here when it becomes public).* There will be an 7-page application for families (11 including the appendix), but even that one will be far better designed than the initial effort. “We did a lot of work testing words, to come up with simpler language,” an Administration official told me, “and we did time tests. Our average was 7 minutes to fill out the paper version and even less if you do it online.”

But Joe can’t leave good enough alone and me makes the snarky comment:

This compares favorably with applications for private insurance plans, which average about 17 pages (and can go as high as 35).

C’mon Joe, say it ain’t so. Continue reading Obamacare Progress – Joe Klein

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Obamacare off the rails

EDITORIAL: Obamacare off the rails – Washington Times.

Obamacare’s shortcomings run far deeper than anything that can be fixed by a slick marketing campaign and fraudulent television commercials. Mrs. Sebelius‘ department expects to spend $4.4 billion by the end of the year on grants to help states set up insurance exchanges. That’s double last year’s estimate; we can expect the final tally to climb yet higher. The state of California alone has spent more than $900 million to establish an Obamacare health care exchange. By contrast, privately funded Esurance set up a nationwide exchange similar to what the government has ordered with an initial outlay of $5.5 million in venture-fund investment in 1999 and a second round of $34 million a few months later.

Government just isn’t very good at health care. Obamacare devotees treated the law like a health care version of “the Field of Dreams,” believing that if they built it, people would come. They haven’t. In addition to spending billions to build it, states are forced to spend tax dollars to cajole prospective customers to sign up. California is paying 20,000 part-time “enrollers” a bounty for every person they push into the system.

Colorado is a state that has “bought in” to the Obamacare “Field of Dreams”. They have even gotten a head start by implementing gender neutral pricing and mandatory maternity coverage. The initial effect of these mandates has been higher insurance premiums leading, most likely, to more uninsured. Undoubtedly, the state has told themselves that when Obamacare kicks in and subsidies become available everyone will sign up. One thing is for sure, the sick will sign up (adverse selection) and those that qualify will enroll into Medicaid, or be enrolled when they show up at the hospital. The rest of us that are affected, primarily individual policyholder or potential individual policy holders, we’ll have to wait and see.

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20-Somethings: Obamacare wants YOU

And so do the boomers: To cut health bills, boomers need 20-somethings – Marketwatch.

Baby boomers with individual health plans stand to benefit big-time when public insurance exchanges launch on January 1. The centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act, these state-level marketplaces will improve boomers’ access to health coverage and may even bring down underlying premiums for those who don’t qualify for a government subsidy, experts say.

But boomers may not see those cost benefits unless they get some help from a different demographic: Their kids and their friends’ kids. If enough young people stay out of the market, then the risk pool in each group will be older and, presumably, sicker. And that will eventually drive up costs for everyone who remains. “The big factor is: How many young, healthy adults can we get to buy insurance?” said Carrie McLean, senior manager of customer service at the national call center of eHealthInsurance.com, an online insurance marketplace. (emphasis added)

Thank you, thank you younger generation…

What’s more, new limits on the extra amount insurers can charge older people over younger ones will shift costs from boomers to millennials, experts predict. Today, premium differences for the same coverage between a 21-year-old male and a 64-year-old male can easily reach 5-to-1, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit that studies health issues. (The difference is a little less pronounced for women.) The new law will limit these age bands, as they’re called, to 3-to-1. The result? Individual policy premiums are expected to stay stable, or even fall, for older consumers buying comparable coverage on the state-level marketplaces, even for those who make too much to qualify for government subsidies.

Fortunately, it’s not a total screw job for the young…

Nearly 10 million of the 11.2 million uninsured 20-somethings will qualify for either Medicaid or some level of premium subsidy, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Young Invincibles, a youth advocacy group. The subsidies apply to anyone with gross incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level—in 2013, $45,960 for an individual, $62,040 for a family or two, $78,120 for a family of three, or $94,200 for a family of four (higher levels apply in Alaska and Hawaii).

You can view a Federal Poverty Level table here. Although not detailed, the lower you place on the table, the higher subsidy you will be eligible for.

Once again, I want to encourage ALL young people to sign up so that the baby boomer generation can use your money. THANK YOU!

Edited: Changed link from Yahoo to source article at Marketwatch.

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Obamacare exemption

“Just because they backed off, doesn’t mean that we should”:  Obamacare Exemption for Congress. We’re Missing The Point | Michael BrownMichael Brown.

Michael’s rant on the Obamacare exemption our arrogant politicians are looking to carve out to protect their own self interests concludes…

Just because these clowns were caught scheming about such a ridiculous idea doesn’t mean they still shouldn’t be held accountable.

The very idea that Democrats and Republicans would even consider such an idea should not be forgotten. This is the audacity of arrogance of a political ruling class that is out of control, disengaged from the very people they govern.

The very nature of this idea is so repugnant, considering the stealth manner in which Obamacare was adopted, the lack of public support for the program now, and the admission by some original supporters that the legislation is unworkable, that the leadership of both parties should be replaced in its entirety.

There comes a time when the leadership of any organization becomes so self-centered, with no perspective except self-interest, that the organization can survive only by the complete and total replacement of the leadership.

We have reached that point with Congress.

The entire leadership of the Republican Party and the entire leadership of the Democrat party needs to be replaced.

Indeed. I’m willing, are you?

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Revisiting the Obamacare exemption for Congress

Obamacare exemption for Congress comes under fire – Health Exchange – MarketWatch.

I understand the issue now, this is the problem in a nutshell:

The story notes that members of Congress and their staffs have to participate in health exchanges, thanks to a little-noticed provision enacted when the bill, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, was passed in 2010. The provision was meant to embarrass Democrats who advocated the initiative commonly called Obamacare, but Democrats embraced the idea of having to take part in the exchanges.

Trouble is, big employers — like the U.S. government — aren’t allowed to participate in the exchanges until 2017 and so the concern is that it will leave Congressional staffers on their own for three years during which they’ll have to buy insurance themselves.

Wow, they have to buy insurance for themselves, just like I do, without a subsidy, just like I do. Boo hoo. Of course, it is like ice cold water being slapped on your face.

This issue has been referred to as a drafting error. Megan Mcardle over at the Daily Beast isn’t buying it: Continue reading Revisiting the Obamacare exemption for Congress

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