Tag Archives: Obamacare

71% of Obamacare Signups Actually Government Medicaid Enrollment

The Daily Signal:

The vast majority of Americans  gaining health coverage under Obamacare actually qualified for Medicaid because of loosened eligibility —and that’s what boosted enrollment among those previously uninsured, according to a new report from The Heritage Foundation.

The Obama administration has boasted that the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, would allow those previously uninsured to purchase quality, affordable health care.

“The inescapable conclusion is that, when it comes to covering the uninsured, Obamacare so far is an expansion of Medicaid,” Heritage Foundation health policy experts Edmund F. Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski write in a research paper scheduled for release today.

Officials announced in May that more than 8 million Americans had picked a health plan on the Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov.

Haislmaier and Gonshorowski conclude that 8.5 million Americans gained coverage through Obamacare from January to July.

However, their paper says, more than 70 percent of those signups can be traced to the expansion of Medicaid eligibility in 24 states:

Of the 8.5 million total individuals who gained health insurance coverage, 71 percent of that net coverage gain was attributable to Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid to able-bodied, working-age adults.

Continue reading HERE.

Forbes: Obamacare Has Increased Non-Group Premiums In Nearly All States

Via Forbes Magazine:

Now There Can Be No Doubt: Obamacare Has Increased Non-Group Premiums In Nearly All States

Remember this categorical assurance from President Obama?

“We’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year. .  .  . We’ll do it by the end of my first term as president of the United States”

OK, it’s probably a little unfair to take some June 2008 campaign “puffery” literally–even though it was reiterated by candidate Obama’s economic policy advisor, Jason Furman in a sit-down with a New York Times reporter: “‘We think we could get to $2,500 in savings by the end of the first term, or be very close to it.” Moreover, President Obama subsequently doubled-down on his promise in July 2012, assuring small business owners “your premiums will go down.”  Fortunately, the Washington Post fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, honestly awarded the 2012 claim Three Pinocchios (“Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions”).

Unfortunately, this has never settled the debate. When the Society of Actuaries estimated spring 2013 that the ACA would result in increasing claims costs by an average of 32 percent nationally by 2017, such estimates could be dismissed as “projections” since at the time of this study, actual premiums in the Exchanges had not yet been announced.  A subsequent plethora of studies showed there had been double-digit increases in premiums (when comparing actual Exchange premiums to previously-prevailing premiums in the non-group market). However, virtually all of these studies focused only on Exchange premiums rather than premiums in the entire non-group market (only half of which consists of Exchange coverage). As a consequence, Obamacare proponents tended to dismiss these studies either as partisan attacks or methodologically limited, making what amounts to apples-to-oranges comparisons.

However, a new study from the well-respected and non-partisan National Bureau of Economic Research (and published by Brookings Institution), overcomes the limitations of these prior studies by examining what happened to premiums in the entire non-group market. The bottom line? In 2014, premiums in the non-group market grew by 24.4% compared to what they would have been without Obamacare.  Of equal importance, this careful state-by-state assessment showed that premiums rose in all but 6 states (including Washington DC).  It’s worth unpacking this study a bit to understand the ramification of these findings.

Non-Group Premiums Rose in 45 States Due to Obamacare

The non-group market can only be accurately assessed on a state-by-state basis. Obamacare. The law creates a single risk pool in each state for non-group coverage. That is, health insurers can sell policies inside or outside the Exchanges but they all are part of the same risk pool.  Unlike virtually all other studies that have been conducted to date, this new study examined premium data from both Exchange and non-Exchange plans, i.e., providing a picture of the complete non-group market rather than one segment.  This is crucially important since in nearly one third of states (16), Exchange coverage constitutes 40% or less of the entire non-group market (Table 1).

Of equal importance, unlike prior studies which simply compared pre-Obamacare premiums in 2013 to actual premiums offered on Exchanges in 2014, this new study isolates the causal impact of Obamacare statistically by using trend data in each state to figure out what non-group premiums in 2014 would have been in the absence of Obamacare. Thus, critics could dismiss many other so-called “pre-/post” studies by effectively saying “Well, premiums in the non-group have always gone up by a large amount, so what’s happening under Obamacare is no different.”  Such criticisms cannot be levied at this study. All of the percentage changes shown in the chart below represent the net change attributable to Obamacare after accounting for all the other factors that would have made premiums go up.[1]

PremiumIncreasesKowalski

Clearly, the adverse impact of Obamacare on non-group premiums varies sizably across states. The law is estimated to result in lower premiums in only 6 states. However, it should be noted that while the author presented premium estimates for California and New Jersey, the data for these two states is incomplete due to anomalous data reporting requirements. Thus, the large estimated premium decline of 37.5% in New Jersey likely would be different were full data available, but there is no way of telling by how much.

What is disturbing is to see premium increases in excess of 35% in 9 states, including some of the nation’s largest states (Florida and Texas). Remember, these are increases above and beyond normal premium trends.  No one can credibly claim that these massive premium increases would have happened anyway since the study was specifically designed to isolate the law’s impacts from all the other factors that have driven up premiums in recent years.

Taxpayers Will Pay About 24% More for Exchange Subsidies Due to Obamacare-induced Premium Increases.

Continue Reading HERE.

USA Today: More Obamacare Policy Cancelations Coming Again

USA Today:

Last fall, millions of Americans breathed a sigh of relief when Obamacare didn’t cancel their health care plans. Now they’re holding their breath once again.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans will soon receive cancellation letters affecting their 2015 health care plans — and that number may quickly rise into the millions. This wave of cancellations will fall into two categories. The first group hit will be in the individual market, the same group that suffered through at least 6.3 million cancellation letters last year. They will almost certainly be joined by millions of people in the small-employer market, which has 40 million plans and will be under Obamacare’s control starting next year.

That’s right: President Obama’s now-infamous promise, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” — Politifact’s 2013 “Lie of the Year” — is still being broken, potentially worse than before.

Most of the individual market cancellations will be for plans that were supposed to be canceled last year, when Obamacare first went into effect. After the fallout from last year’s fiasco became too politically toxic, President Obama unilaterally changed the law so that some non-compliant policies could continue for at least another year. That 12-month period is now up.

Virginia will be hit the hardest — up to 250,000 Virginians will receive a cancellation notice by the end of November. Another 30,000 New Mexicans will have their plans discontinued in 2015. In Kentucky, another 14,000 individuals will receive notices in the coming weeks. Elsewhere, Colorado, Alaska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Maine are expecting thousands of cancellations — after almost half a million notices went out last year. Other states, some of which either don’t count or don’t publicly release details on discontinued plans, will likely add to the tally.

But that’s still only the tip of the cancellation iceberg. A far greater threat looms for the 40 million Americans who receive health insurance through small business employers, also known as small-group plans.

Anticipating the crippling costs of Obamacare, many small businesses opted for early renewals at the end of 2013. This enabled them to continue their existing policies into 2014, avoiding Obamacare’s onerous mandates for another 12 months. All small-group renewals this year, however, must comply with all of Obamacare’s regulations and mandates for next year.

In Colorado, small-group plans covering 143,000 people are being cancelled this year. In New Hampshire, as many as 70,000 small-group policyholders are being forced into new plans. It’s a double whammy for these unfortunate Granite State residents: Their new policies only cover 60% of the state’s acute-care hospitals, limiting access to care.

Northeastern small-group policies will be hit especially hard. In New Jersey, 650,000 people with small-group coverage had their policies disrupted this year, according to the state association of health plans. And Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield — covering Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware — estimate Obamacare is affecting nearly every one of the 5.3 million people covered under its individual and small-group policies.

Just like last year, the administration knew these cancellations were coming all along. As far back as June 2010, the Obama administration estimated, 66% of small employer plans will face cancellation.

Despite all this, the president and Obamacare’s supporters still can’t seem to understand why more Americans say the law is hurting rather than helping. . Here’s a hint: Obamacare is taking away people’s health care policies and replacing them with plans that often cost more and cover less.

The irony is that President Obama and the politicians who voted for Obamacare are now declaring that the law is working as intended. They’re right — and the millions of Americans anxiously checking their mailboxes for cancellation notices are learning it the hard way.

Tim Phillips is the president of Americans for Prosperity.

 

Lead US Ebola Medical Center Laid Off Staff Due To Obamacare, Suffers Staff Constraints

Via the Daily Caller:

The Nebraska hospital at the center of U.S. medical efforts to fight Ebola recently laid off staff due to budget cuts caused by Obamacare, and its Ebola-fighting resources are now limited due to staff constraints.

The Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha recently treated journalist Ashoka Mukpo after the NBC News freelancer contracted Ebola. The center is one of the only hospitals in the country that can adequately treat Ebola patients in its biocontainment units. The center is used as an example by officials who favor the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s plan of having a dedicated Ebola hospital in every state.

But the center’s Ebola-fighting capacity is limited due in part to staff constraints.

“That’s pretty much the level of staffing that we have as well,” said the center’s biocontainment unit nursing director Shelly Schwedhelm, referring to the center’s capability to hold only two or three Ebola patients at once.

The Nebraska Medical Center announced 38 layoffs, including those of top officials, in October 2012 with more possible layoffs to come. The center directly blamed the layoffs on decreased revenue from Obamacare’s reduction of Medicare reimbursement rates.

“The lay-offs at Nebraska Medical Center. Is this a sign of things to come under Obamacare?” asked Nebraska radio station 1110 KFAB in December 2012.

Barney Frank: President Obama Lied About Obamacare

Daily Signal:

It’s one thing for President Obama to win an award for “Lie of the Year” for promising Americans “if you like your [health insurance] plan, you can keep it.” It must sting a bit more when a political ally like Barney Frank, the former congressman, flat out says the president “just lied to people.”

In an interview with Huffington Post, the veteran Massachusetts Democrat said he was “appalled” at the “bad” rollout of Obamacare last October.

“I don’t understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis,” Frank said, then added:

But, frankly, he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it. That wasn’t true. And you shouldn’t lie to people. And they just lied to people.

Before passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, the president repeatedly promised Americans that they would be able to keep their current insurance plans and doctors if they so chose.

But the Obamacare rollout brought cancellation notices from insurance companies to more than 10 million Americans, who learned their plans didn’t meet minimal requirements outlined in the new law.

According to several reports, the Obama administration was aware millions would lose their plans. The president’s broken “if you like your plan, you can keep it” promise earned him the dubious honor of “Lie of the Year” from the fact-checking journalism project PolitiFact.

Although Frank supports the law and voted to pass Obamacare in 2010, he said Obama should have told Americans that the plans required under the health care law would be better than their old ones:

He should have said, ‘Look, in some cases the health care plans that you’ve got are really inadequate, and in your own interests, we’re going to change them.’ But that’s not what he said.

Must See Video: How Chicago TEA Party Leader Saved Outspoken Cancer Patient and Was Targeted by the IRS

In the video blow you will see Bill Elliot, who lost his insurance due to Obamacare, could not afford the new Obamacare premiums and deductibles, had resigned himself to die:

Along comes C. Steven Tucker, Chicago TEA Party Leader and also one of the top insurance brokers in the country. Tucker reached out to Bill Elliot and this is how he saved Mr. Elliot’s life, but the IRS was not amused about telling their story on Fox News:

“If you are not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” – Malcolm X