Daily Archives: May 2, 2013

Implementation isn’t what’s wrong with Obamacare

Say it ain’t so.

Among those flaws are the spike in insurance costs, the impact on the debt (not stripped of the unworkable CLASS Act that was designed to offset Obamacare costs), the shift to part-time work (and, the Los Angeles Times reports, reduction in part-time hours), the slow rate of new job creation and the uncertainty related to employers dumping their own insurance. That doesn’t include the impact Medicaid expansion is having on state budgets, the new tax for upper income taxpayers, the medical device tax (which Senate Democrats want to repeal), the cuts in Medicare advantage and the infringement on religious faith via the HHS mandate on birth control and abortion-inducing drugs.

Nothing to see here, move along.


Is Government involvement in health care a good thing?

Read, the answer: Annals of Government Medicine | Power Line.

In his press conference the other day, President Obama spoke disapprovingly of the government intruding between a woman and her doctor. This was trademark Obama hypocrisy, since under Obamacare, the government will be involved in virtually every health care decision, with the possible exception of abortion. If that counts as health care. Fortunately (for us, not them) the British system serves as a warning about the realities of government medicine.

Here is the latest: a National Health Service rationing panel refused to pay for surgery that was needed by Rebecca Beattie, 25, to repair her face after it was smashed by an abusive ex-husband. Her breathing is impaired, and her need for the surgery seemed indisputable. Yet the rationing panel turned her down four times. At the same time, the panel approved breast augmentation surgery for a would-be stripper named Josie Cunningham. The Sun expressed outrage in its inimitable style:

Read the whole thing, pictures included.


Unravel Obamacare and You Get a Train Wreck

Unravel Obamacare and You Get a Train Wreck.

Back to the Obama press conference yesterday…

“For the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance,” Obama helpfully informed his audience, “they’re already experiencing most of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act — even if they don’t know it.” Insisting that the implementation has already been accomplished for the already-insured, Obama claimed, “Now they don’t have to worry about anything else.”

Nonsense, scoffed Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler. “There are a variety of studies and reports that suggest that, beyond those groups, some 10 million people face the prospect of losing their current health care,” Kessler said in rebuttal to the President’s remarks.

It’s just not a pretty picture. Follow the link to read about:

  • Obamacare applicattion and extensive documentation on tangible assets, alimony and tips for your job
  • Employees being relagated to part time status
  • Reductions in Medicare reimbursements leading to fewer providers

Chaos is coming. Obamacare unleashes a trainwreck. What’s not to like?


Fewer Insurance carriers to offer plans on Illinois health exchange

Fewer health applicants than expected in Illinois – Health Care News – Crain’s Chicago Business.

Only six insurance carriers have told the state of Illinois they want to sell a combined 165 health policies on the state’s online insurance marketplace under the nation’s new health care law — numbers far lower than expected, raising concerns the trend will hold true across the country.


Fewer health plans could mean less competition and possibly higher premium prices. Officials in President Barack Obama’s home state had anticipated some 260 health plans would be offered by 16 different insurance carriers, based on a survey the Illinois Department of Insurance conducted last fall.

Here’s a good reason why…

Insurers are concerned, in part, that people who have expensive medical conditions will sign up immediately for coverage through the exchanges, while healthier customers will wait. That could leave an insurer, at least initially, without enough premium revenue to handle the medical bills it receives. They’re also concerned about how fees and coverage restrictions mandated by the law will affect the profitability of their plans.

Wow, adverse selection comes into play, who could have imagined? To prevent adverse selection a substantial penalty (err… tax?)  is required to “force” everyone to sign up. With a $95 first year penalty there will be a lot of people who will “pay the penalty”.

And this line of reasoning is truly getting stale…

Fewer health plans on the exchanges could affect the cost of premiums people pay for coverage. Proponents of the Affordable Care Act say the online marketplaces will help hold down premium hikes because insurers will be competing against each other as customers compare several policies side by side to find the best match.

There have already been on-line health insurance marketplaces. It IS true that no two plans were alike, and that will still be true today. All the carriers Bronze plans will not be exactly the same. That said, they will be quite similar to meet the demand they cover, on average, 60% of their health care expenses. But to think this somehow is going to force great competition? Give me a break. For the first few years the insurance companies main fear is the adverse selection and trying not to lose a boatload of money. I don’t think they are having sleepless nights worrying about the competition, they are having sleepless nights trying to price their plans to not lose money.

I’m also going to predict (again) a different type of adverse selection. Applicants with chronic diseases requiring expensive treatments or ongoing medications are going to purchase the Platinum plans. Hence, there are going to be two types of adverse selection coming into play:

  1. As mentioned above, “sick” applicants will be at the front of the line to sign up for Obamacare
  2. The there will be inter-plan adverse selection where the sicker an applicant is, especially long term chronic conditions, the more likely they will be to sign up for the Gold or Platinum plans with better benefits. Hence, the pricing for Gold and Platinum plans will be driven up due to the higher claims experience.

Prediction: This is not just an Illinois problem. Chaos…


Just How Ignorant Is President Obama About Realities Of ObamaCare?

Just How Ignorant Is President Obama About Realities Of ObamaCare? – Investors.com.

At his press conference this week, President Obama tried to reassure Americans about ObamaCare. Instead, he displayed either an incredible lack of understanding about his own law, or something far worse.

You can view the link for his examples of Obama’s presentation of how well it’s working. The problem is the train wreck coming down the pike as detailed by IBD:

  • Really? The Congressional Budget Office expects 7 million workers — and possibly as many as 20 million — will lose their employer coverage because of ObamaCare. That’s plenty to worry about.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said millions of seniors will get dumped from their private Medicare Advantage plans by 2017 thanks to sharp payment cuts required by the law.
  • That’s only true if you ignore the fact that ObamaCare’s high-risk pools have been a disaster, attracting a third as many people as predicted while costing far more than the administration budgeted.
  • The overly complicated small-business tax credit has also been a bust, with only about 5% of eligible firms taking advantage of it. And so on.

Read the whole thing as they say.