Monthly Archives: July 2013

Indiana checks in with Obamacare rate increases

State says Obamacare will force 72 percent increase in individual insurance plan rates | Indianapolis Star.

Insurance rates in Indiana will increase 72 percent for those with individual plans and 8 percent for small group plans under President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, according to the state’s insurance department.

For example…

Costs for individual plans is expected to increase from an average of $255 per member per month in 2012 to $570 in 2014, when the most aspects of the law go into effect.

This cost does not include reductions for applicants who are eligible for a subsidy.


A Union that read the law!

This union apparently read the law: Union Fears ‘Destructive Consequences’ From Obamacare – Washington Wire – WSJ.

The laborers union, with about 570,000 members, is one of a few major unions that didn’t support enactment of Affordable Care Act, Mr. O’Sullivan reminded Mr. Obama. “Now, we have watched as the implementation of the law has progressed, our fears have become reality,” he wrote.



Doctor shortages coming to a region near you

Human Events: Thanks to Obamacare, doctor shortages set to quintuple.

Obamacare is set to provide some 16 million people with health insurance through Medicaid or the new exchanges next year. Unfortunately, their policies may not be worth much, because they may not be able to actually get care.

America is suffering from a doctor shortage. An influx of millions of new patients into the healthcare system will only exacerbate that shortage, driving up the demand for care without doing anything about its supply. Those who get their coverage through Medicaid or the exchanges may feel the effects of the shortage even more acutely, as many providers are opting not to accept their insurance.

Right now, the United States is short some 20,000 doctors, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The shortage could quintuple over the next decade, thanks to the aging of the American population and the aging and consequent retirement of many physicians. Nearly half of the 800,000-plus doctors in the United States are over the age of 50.

Obamacare is further thinning the doctor corps. A Physicians Foundation survey of 13,000 doctors found 60 percent of doctors would retire today if they could, up from 45 percent before the law passed.

Practices being swallowed up by larger practices and hospitals is NOT a good thing. It may make it easier for the government to compile statistics and issue reports but I seriously doubt it does a damn thing for your healthcare.


The bottom line is that Obamacare guarantees neither

We’re talking…

  1. Keep your doctor
  2. Keep your plan


HHS Admits: You Might Not Be Able to Keep Your Doctor Under Obamacare


“Depending on the plan you choose in the Marketplace, you may be able to keep your current doctor.” The bottom line is that Obamacare guarantees neither. Doctors may be only available through certain networks, just as in the current system. And only plans that existed in their current form on March 23, 2010, are even eligible to be “kept.” The vast majority of plans will be new, subject to a raft of new regulations, requirements, and restrictions.

Now that Health and Human Services has confirmed that the suspicions of Obamacare opponents were justified, the Obama administration will have some explaining to do to friends and foes of the law alike. Because now everyone is finding out “what’s in it.”

I don’t expect the Obama administration will do any explaining. Take your medicine and shut up.


Lack of testing may hamper Obamacare

Alan Duncan from Treasury: Lack of testing may hamper Obamacare |

“We are concerned that final integration testing for all the agencies’ systems, communications, and the federal and state exchanges may not be completed before the start of the enrollment period in 2013. The lack of adequate testing could result in significant delays and errors in accepting and processing (Affordable Care Act) applications for health insurance coverage.”

Well that about sums it up. Amateur hour. How long has the government known the Obamacare deadline?

Prediction: Chaos

On the bright side, maybe you CAN keep your plan.


Small business squirming from Obamacare

I really don’t believe people outside the castle walls would call this “unexpected”: 74% of small businesses will fire workers, cut hours under Obamacare |

Despite the administration’s controversial decision to delay forcing companies to join Obamacare for a year, three-quarters of small businesses are still making plans to duck the costly law by firing workers, reducing hours of full-time staff, or shift many to part-time, according to a sobering survey released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Small businesses expect the requirement to negatively impact their employees. Twenty-seven percent say they will cut hours to reduce full time employees, 24 percent will reduce hiring, and 23 percent plan to replace full time employees with part-time workers to avoid triggering the mandate,” said the Chamber business survey provided to Secrets.

I believe there’s a 6 month lookback period on the determination of part time so if the small business portion of the Obamacare mandate hadn’t been delayed a year it would have been too late for these companies to change workers designation. I suppose they could have always fired them.


The cost of Obamacare – Purdue University

University Faces $2.8 Million Obamacare Bill | The Weekly Standard.

“We are making some pretty radical changes because of ‘health care reform,'” says Purdue’s Eva Nodine. “So we wanted to make sure we had enough time to educate our employees because education is key.”

The reporter adds, “$2.8 million dollars in added fees and claims are included in the recommendations for next year. Now that’s due to the ‘Affordable Care Act.’ The medical plans and premiums will go before the full board for approval on Friday.”

Video at the link.


Obamacare’s key goal threatened by delayed Web marketplaces

Obamacare’s key goal threatened by delayed Web marketplaces.

Web marketplaces is where individuals go when they search for health insurance on the google, bing, etc.

“We see Web-based entities as potential partners,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, chairman of Maryland’s exchange.

Sharfstein said the state is studying the idea, and expects a decision by September—within just weeks of the Oct. 1 enrollment opening.

“I don’t think this has anything to do with our core readiness” to open the exchange, he said.

But Lauer and others think the delay on allowing participation by Web marketplaces may be a canary-in-the-coalmine indication of overall problems with the exchanges being ready for business by October.

Jane Cooper, president and CEO of Milwaukee-based Patient Care, which advises employees on employer health plans, said she believes the hesitancy or delay in doing so on the part of those exchanges results from “a combination of incompetence and amateurs working on it, and the pressure of everything else going on.”

Cohen, the Liazon executive, said, “I think this is an indicator, a leading indicator, of the exchanges lack of readiness to do the things they actually need to do.”

“Their ambiguity on Web-based entities is probably an indication that the don’t have their act together, so to speak, and they’re probably thinking they’ve got bigger issues than this, and that’s kind of scary, no?” Cohen said. (emphasis added)

We’ll find out who is right in the very near future. My money is on Jane Cooper and  Alan Cohen.


Obamacare prepares to meet October 1

Obamacare Struggles To Meet Make-Or-Break Deadline.

Less then 80 days to go…

“The administration right now is in a triage mode. Seriously, they do not have the resources to implement all of the provisions on time,” Washington and Lee University professor Timothy Jost, a healthcare reform expert and advocate, told an oversight panel in the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

Apparently some time in the not too distant past the powers that be, i.e. amateur government management, determined they should prioritize:

“The closer you get to the actual launch, the more you focus on what is essential versus what could be second-order issues,” said a former administration official. “That concentrates the mind in a different kind of way, and that’s what’s happening here.”

To which I say, “Why did you wait so long?”

If this had been run by a professional managment team they would have entered triage mode a long time ago and perhaps the bare minimum implementation would work flawlessly. The problem is with intereaction required between so many government agencies at both the State and Federal level I’m sure they were busy pretending they were on budget and ahead of schedule, which of course is a detriment to us guinea pigs.

And now they want us to believe this…

HHS denies that its strategy has changed and insists that implementation continues to meet the milestones laid out by planners 18 months ago.

“All of the systems are exactly where we want them to be today. They will be ready to perform fully on Oct. 1,” said Mike Hash, director of the HHS Office of Health Reform.

Which is exactly why chaos is coming to Obamacare.

Memo to Mike Hash: Get your resume ready, you’re going to be looking for a new job real soon.


But nobody needs a federal bureaucrat to tell him what health insurance to buy…

Examiner Editorial: Obamacare is a 19th-century answer to a 21st-century question |

The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger captured it well with this observation last week: “Even if you are a liberal and support the goals of the Affordable Care Act, there has to be an emerging sense that maybe the law’s theorists missed a signal from life outside the castle walls. While they troweled brick after brick into a 2,000-page law, the rest of the world was reshaping itself into smaller, more nimble units whose defining metaphor is the 140-character Twitter message.”

Simply put, the digitization of social interaction, economic transaction, the political process and everything in between is decentralizing the world, moving it in the opposite direction of the massive centralization of Obamacare. But nobody needs a federal bureaucrat to tell him what health insurance to buy when anybody with an Internet connection can simultaneously solicit bids from thousands of competing providers, pay the winner via electronic fund transfers, manage the claims process with a laptop, consult with physicians and other medical specialists via email, and even be operated on remotely by surgeons on the other side of the globe. Rather than imposing a top-down, command-economy, welfare-state health care model with roots in Otto von Bismarck’s Germany of 1881, a 21st-century government would ask what is needed to apply to health care access the Internet’s boundless capacity to empower individual choice.

Well said. I read in the WSJ today about some exchange simulations that Blue Cross Blue Shield has been running in Rhode Island. For the number one issue in plan selection, by FAR price the most important factor at 48%. A distant 2nd at 11% was maximum out of pocket.

The problem with a top down design of Obamacare is it’s the elite behind the castle walls that know what’s best for us. Between the bumbling implementation, the increased cost, the family glitch subsidy (which I have many clients that fall into that category) they better hope they’re right.


“We won’t start hiring full time people.”

Behold The Part-Time Worker Society: “We Won’t Start Hiring Full-Time People” | Zero Hedge.

To wit: “Ken Adams has been turning to more part-time workers at his 10 Subway sandwich shops in Michigan to avoid possibly incurring higher health-care costs under the new federal insurance law. He added approximately 25 part-time workers in May and June as he reduced some employees’ hours and replaced other workers who left. The move showed how efforts by some restaurant owners and other businesses to remake their workforces because of the Affordable Care Act may be turning the country’s labor market into a more part-time workforce.” In other words, the already worst paying jobs in the US are getting even more of the shaft, downgraded from full time to part time status. Precisely the New “part-time worker society” that we predicted would happen back in 2010… (red emphasis added)

Read the whole thing.