Monthly Archives: July 2014

Cheap solutions to Obamacare challenge could work

Cheap solutions to Obamacare challenge could work: Experts.

In advance of Tuesday’s dueling appellate opinions, Obamacare blogger Charles Gaba, who has been tracking enrollment in exchange-sold plans, wrote an article with the headline, “I can save the Affordable Care Act for just $360.00!!”

Gaba wrote there is “an incredibly stupid-sounding solution” to the problem of a potential Supreme Court ruling invalidating the HealthCare.gov subsidies. That solution, Gaba said, is having each of the 36 states spend about $9.95 apiece—or less—on website domain names that would say things like “HealthcareAlabama.gov,” or “HealthcareAlaska.gov.”

“Then, just set up those domains names to repoint to the appropriate subsection of HealthCare.gov,” Gaba wrote.

Gaba suggested that would be enough to have a state “establish” an exchange, without actually having to do the heavy lifting of enrolling them in coverage.

Moncrieff said that idea is not as harebrained as it might appear.

“It’s possible that, yes, you could set up a fake portal website that redirects to HealthCare.gov,” she said. “It’s possible that this could be a very cheap, easy fix.”

And even if that solution wasn’t legal under the ACA, it could take years of new litigation to resolve that question—which would keep the subsidies flowing, she said.

Hey, that’s a great idea! From my July 25th post

However, here is what will most likely work.  I suspect Obamacare supporters will figure out a way to split healthcare.gov to a site that is healthcare.state.gov and that will “solve” the problem. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that but such a strategy will most likely stay one step ahead of the lawsuits. Also, are Republican’s really going to leave people without subsidies? I’m sure there will be a lot of discussion on this issue as time passes, especially if the Supreme Court rules the same as Halbig vs. Burrell.

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Halbig vs. Burwell: The Surprise Obamacare Ruling That Wasn’t

The Surprise Obamacare Ruling That Wasn’t – Bloomberg View.

So let’s examine Jonathan Gruber, who according to the above article is widely known as one of the architects of both Romneycare and Obamacare.   …He claims to have helped write the part of the bill that deals with small-business tax credits.

Here is what he said in January 2012…

What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits — but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this.

I guess they had to pass the bill to find out what’s in it. It’s obvious the intent was for the subsides to be “the stick” to encourage States to set up their own exchanges. When the states balked, Obamacare supporters tried to change the meaning of the words in the bill.

Don’t think it’s going to work.

However, here is what will most likely work.  I suspect Obamacare supporters will figure out a way to split healthcare.gov to a site that is healthcare.state.gov and that will “solve” the problem. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that but such a strategy will most likely stay one step ahead of the lawsuits. Also, are Republican’s really going to leave people without subsidies? I’m sure there will be a lot of discussion on this issue as time passes, especially if the Supreme Court rules the same as Halbig vs. Burrell.

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Billing issues crop up on health plans sold through Colorado exchange

Billing issues crop up on health plans sold through Colorado exchange – The Denver Post.

Pueblo resident Lisa Bridwell said she has spent hours trying to get billed for the health insurance she purchased through the state exchange, and she’s afraid her coverage will be dropped because the exchange and Kaiser Permanente can’t get the billing issue straight.

Bridwell and her husband signed up for insurance effective May 1, and since then she received only one bill — and that bill was sent after she already paid that month by phone.

“I’m afraid of going to the doctor and being told (the policy) is void,” she said. “They’re having a lot of problems, and I’m not sure what they’re doing.”

How big is this issue?

Exchange chief executive Patty Fontneau said billing delays were a big issue at the beginning of the year but not at this point.

“I believe there are exceptions and problems, and we will absolutely get them resolved and investigate,” she said.

Fontneau said the billing category includes people calling with questions and not just problems, but she conceded the exchange does not know what percentage of the roughly 1,800 customers who called last month had problems with or didn’t receive their bills.

“Is it a huge problem?” she asked. “I don’t believe so. We haven’t been hearing that.”

I believe Patty Fontneau is playing politics. Keep in mind that it’s now July and there are still billing issues…. that’s intolerable. Also, it’s a damn big problem if it’s your problem.

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