End Times and Current Events

General Category => The Economic Collapse => Topic started by: Mark on November 15, 2012, 08:23:30 am

Title: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 15, 2012, 08:23:30 am
Denny's to charge 5% 'Obamacare surcharge' and cut employee hours to deal with cost of legislation

President Obama's election victory ensured his Affordable Care Act would remain the centerpiece of his first term in power - but that has left some business owners baulking at the extra cost Obamcare will bring.

Florida based restaurant boss John Metz, who runs approximately 40 Denny's and owns the Hurricane Grill & Wings franchise has decided to offset that by adding a five percent surcharge to customers' bills and will reduce his employees' hours.

With Obamacare due to be fully implemented in January 2014, Metz has justified his move by claiming it is 'the only alternative. I've got to pass on the cost to the customer.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2233221/Dennys-charge-5-Obamacare-surcharge-cut-employee-hours-deal-cost-legislation.html#ixzz2CIkC9OWv

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 15, 2012, 08:26:32 am
Darden tests limiting worker hours as health-care changes loom

In an experiment apparently aimed at keeping down the cost of health-care reform, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers in at least a few Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and LongHorn Steakhouses.

Darden said the test is taking place in "a select number" of restaurants in four markets, including Central Florida, but would not give details. The company said there has been no decision made about expanding it.

rest: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-10-07/business/os-darden-part-time-workers-20121007_1_darden-restaurants-health-insurance-olive-gardens

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 15, 2012, 08:31:01 am
Olive Garden, Red Lobster to Cut Hours Instead of Giving Health Insurance

Darden Restaurants, Inc., which owns omnipresent suburban chains Red Lobster and Olive Garden, is gearing up to deal with new federal health care requirements. According to the AP, the restaurant group — which employs 180,000 people at over 2,000 restaurants — is running an experiment in four markets that increases the number of part time employees. (Darden isn't giving out specific numbers at this time.) This is an effort to curb full time employees, as the federal government — because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) — will begin fining employers for not providing basic health coverage to full time employees starting January 1, 2014. It also means servers at Red Lobster now manage four tables at a time instead of three, in case you're wondering why your endless popcorn shrimp refills were taking so long.


Title: Man kills himself b/c of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 15, 2012, 10:02:30 am

A tanning salon owner in Key West who blamed the president for his personal problems has killed himself after writing “**** Obama” on his will.

Michael Cossey told police that his partner, 64-year-old Henry Hamilton, had promised that “if Barack gets re-elected, I’m not going to be around,” according to the Key West Citizen.

Friends of Hamilton had requested that police conduct welfare checks on Hamilton because they were concerned about his state of mind. When Officer Pablo Rodriguez stopped by the condo on Nov. 8, he woke Cossey and the two found Hamilton dead with two empty prescription bottles, one for the anxiety medication Xanax and one for the schizophrenia medication Seroquel.

Cossey said that Hamilton had been “very upset about the election results” and “very stressed about his business.”

Hamilton was the owner of Tropical Tan off Duval Street, which may have been hit with a 10 percent excise tax by President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Police spokesperson Alyson Crean said that autopsy results would determine the official cause of death but there was “absolutely no evidence of foul play.”

Title: GOP-led states start warming up to health care law
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 15, 2012, 06:32:43 pm


WASHINGTON (AP) — From the South to the heartland, cracks are appearing in the once-solid wall of Republican resistance to President Barack Obama's health care law.

Ahead of a federal deadline Friday for states to declare their intentions, Associated Press reporters interviewed governors and state officials around the country, finding surprising openness to the changes in some cases. Opposition persists in others, and there is a widespread, urgent desire for answers on key unresolved details.

Thursday evening, the Obama administration granted states a month's extension, until Dec. 14. A check by the AP found that 16 states remain in the undecided column.

The law that Republicans have derided as "Obamacare" was devised in Washington, but it's in the states that Americans will find out if it works, delivering promised coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people.

States have a major role to play in two of the overhaul's main components: new online insurance markets for individuals and small businesses to shop for subsidized private coverage, and an expanded Medicaid program for low-income people.

States must declare if they'll build the new insurance markets, called exchanges, or let Washington do it for them. States can also opt for a partnership with the feds to run their exchanges, and they have until February to decide on that option.

Some glimpses of grudging acceptance across a shifting scene:

— One of the most visible opponents of Obama's overhaul, Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott, now says "if I can get to 'yes,' I want to get to 'yes.'"

Florida was a leader in the failed effort to overturn the law in the Supreme Court, and a group formed by Scott ran TV ads opposing it before it passed Congress. But the governor told the AP this week he wants to negotiate with the federal government to try to help the nearly 4 million uninsured people in his state.

— In Iowa, GOP Gov. Terry Branstad says he is postponing a decision because Washington has not provided enough information about key details. But his spokesman, Tim Albrecht, said Iowa is exploring a partnership exchange that could include several states. Albrecht said they're confident they can get to a state option if needed.

Ohio, like Florida and Iowa a state Obama carried in the election, is leaning toward a partnership with the federal government despite GOP officials' continued misgivings about the law.

— In Mississippi, Republican insurance commissioner Mike Chaney formally notified Washington on Wednesday that his agency will proceed with a state-run exchange, disappointing GOP Gov. Phil Bryant, who remains staunchly opposed to Obama's law.

Chaney, too, says he wishes the law could be repealed, but he worries that "if you default to the federal government, you forever give the keys to the state's health insurance market to the federal government."

As for trying to fight the feds, Chaney observed: "We tried that 150 years ago in the South, and it doesn't work."

— In New Mexico, the administration of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez had been quietly working to put the law into place as the political storm swirled. With a fifth of its population uninsured, the state is planning to run its own exchange.

"The party is over. The opposition is over," New Mexico Human Services Secretary Sidonie Squier told the AP. "Whatever states didn't think they were going to do it, I think they're going to have to do it whether they like it or not. It's a done deal now."

Policy experts in Washington are noticing the shift.

"I think it's a very practical decision for states now," said Alan Weil, executive director of the nonpartisan National Academy for State Health Policy. "We are going to have a significant number of states running their own exchanges, a significant number where the federal government is running the exchange, and a significant number of partnerships. The bottom line is we are going to have to figure out how to make all three models work."

Although the public remains divided about the health care law, the idea of states running the new insurance markets is popular, especially with Republicans and political independents. A recent AP poll found that 63 percent of Americans would prefer states to run the exchanges, with 32 percent favoring federal control.

The breakdown among Republicans was 81-17 in favor of state control, while independents lined up 65-28 for states taking the lead. Democrats were almost evenly divided, with a slim majority favoring state control.

There are several potential benefits to a state operating its own exchange, experts say.

The biggest advantage may be that states would be more closely involved in coordinating between the exchanges and Medicaid programs. Because many people are going to be going back and forth between Medicaid and private coverage in the exchanges, states would probably be better served by a hands-on role.

States can also decide whether to allow open access to all insurers, or work only with a panel of pre-screened companies that meet certain requirements.

Also, the exchanges will offer coverage to people buying in the individual and small business markets, areas that states have traditionally regulated. Without a state-run exchange, states could be dealing their own regulators out of the equation, as Mississippi's insurance commissioner Chaney noted.

When the legislation was being considered in Congress, Democrats in the House wanted to have a national exchange administered by the federal government. But they lost the argument with their centrist Democratic counterparts in the Senate, who wanted state exchanges in order to preserve a state role.

Despite signs of movement toward going along with implementation of the overhaul, some major Republican-led states are holding fast. In Texas, the election results did not change any of the opposition to expanding Medicaid or to setting up insurance exchanges. The same holds for Louisiana, South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas and others.

"Adding more people to an already sinking ship with money that is either being borrowed from China or coming out of taxpayers' pockets is bad policy and bad for Texans," said Catherine Frazier, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry. Twenty-seven percent of that state's residents are uninsured, the largest percentage for any state.

Many Republican state officials complain that the Obama administration simply hasn't given them enough information. Indeed, several major regulations affecting the exchanges have yet to be released. But that doesn't seem to have stopped states that made an early decision to proceed. Republican governors requested the extension granted Thursday.

Virginia, a Republican-led state that voted for Obama on Nov. 6 and also elected a Democratic U.S. senator, is among those defaulting to Washington. But a spokesman for Gov. Bob McDonnell said things may change.

"This is not a final decision," said Jeff Caldwell. "The fact is, states still need far more information before any final decisions can be made on behalf of Virginia's taxpayers."


Associated Press writers Gary Fineout and Kelli Kennedy in Florida, Grant Schulte in Nebraska, Ann Sanner in Ohio, Jeff Amy and Emily Wagster Pettus in Mississippi, Barry Massey in New Mexico and Chris Tomlinson in Texas contributed to this report.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 15, 2012, 07:13:09 pm
off topic

From the South to the heartland, cracks are appearing in the once-solid wall of Republican resistance to President Barack Obama's health care law.

They had cracks in it way back when this was being debated on the floor when the republicans had there "own" plan. What do you mean own plan? You shouldn't have had any plan!! Why is it when the socialists introduce a piece of legislation the republicans have to have their own version? NO if its un-constitutional its just a plain and simple NO. Not an alternative. Just NO. This is why we are in the mess we are in. Lets pick plan or plan b, when it should have been NO PLAN AT ALL!! [/endrant]

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 15, 2012, 07:22:20 pm
They had cracks in it way back when this was being debated on the floor when the republicans had there "own" plan. What do you mean own plan? You shouldn't have had any plan!! Why is it when the socialists introduce a piece of legislation the republicans have to have their own version? NO if its un-constitutional its just a plain and simple NO. Not an alternative. Just NO. This is why we are in the mess we are in. Lets pick plan or plan b, when it should have been NO PLAN AT ALL!! [/endrant]

Yep, even Mitt Romney's VP mate Paul Ryan showed his own plan, which was to give anyone tax credits if they sign up for health insurance. It's pretty much the same thing, really - you don't have to pay the fine if you don't enroll, but nonetheless if you don't enroll you won't get that nice tax credit on your 1040.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 16, 2012, 02:52:00 pm
Looks like the GOP-runned states are slowly but surely caving in...Yep, there's 30 GOP governors. A majority, eh?



Ohio, Wisconsin say they will not run their own health exchanges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican governors of Ohio and Wisconsin on Friday rejected a major provision of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law that calls on U.S. states to set up online health insurance markets.

The news, which came a day after the Obama administration gave states an extra month to decide their participation, demonstrates the differing political whirlwinds that reform has spawned in Republican-led states since Obama's re-election ensured implementation of the healthcare law.

The federal government will now be required to create exchanges in both states. While Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker issued an all-out rejection of the exchange provision, Ohio Governor John Kasich indicated that his state would partner with the federal government on exchange operations.

As a result, experts say Wisconsin could wind up ceding control of its individual health coverage market to the federal government, while Ohio would retain command of its market.

Ohio's decision, a step most states are expected to pursue, could also better ensure smooth exchange operations and enable the state's government to increase its participation down the road.

"What this reflects is the difficult position of some of these governors," said Jennifer Tolbert of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, which tracks healthcare issues. "While they may oppose the new reform law and its requirements, some also don't want the federal government to come in and run the exchange and take over that responsibility."

The two governors, who both represent swing states where voters backed Obama in the November 6 election, claimed the administration has been slow to divulge details about how exchanges should work while the law has provided insufficient flexibility to meet state needs.

"At this point, based on the information we have, states do not have any flexibility to build and manage exchanges in ways that respond to unique needs of their citizens or markets," Kasich said in a November 16 letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. "Regardless of who runs the exchange, the end product is the same."

He said Ohio's position could change as details about federal exchange requirements including essential benefits for consumers become available.


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which Republicans deride as "Obamacare," is scheduled to extend health coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans beginning January 1, 2014. About half of those would be covered by exchanges, designed to allow working families to purchase coverage at subsidized rates.

More than a dozen mainly Democratic states including California, New York and Maryland have told the administration that they intend to set up their own exchanges.

As many as 15 states from Georgia and Texas to Wyoming and Maine had opposed Obamacare outright before the election, while many more hoped Republican nominee Mitt Romney would defeat Obama and repeal the health reform act along with it state requirements.

Friday's announcements from Wisconsin and Ohio followed similar decisions by Republican governors in Kansas and Nebraska. Like Wisconsin, Kansas opted for all-out rejection. Nebraska took the same road as Ohio, saying it would participate in a federally run exchange.

But since Obama's reelection, there have been growing signs that some states once thought to oppose healthcare reform may now be mulling the possibility of running their own exchanges or working in partnership with the federal government

That list includes Florida, where Republican Governor Rick Scott has shown a willingness to work with the administration. "He has said that just saying ‘no' is not an acceptable answer, and he looks forward to having a conversation that is solution-oriented," said Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz.

Friday was the original deadline for states to declare whether they would set up their own healthcare exchanges and submit blueprints showing how they would do so. But the administration has extended the deadline twice over the past week in response to requests from states.

States now have until December 14 to say whether they will run their own exchanges and demonstrate how they intend to do so. State-operated exchanges are scheduled to be certified by the administration by January 1, 2013.

States also have until February 15, 2013, to say whether they would prefer a federal partnership exchange.

Whatever the choice, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pledges that Americans in all 50 states will have access to coverage through exchanges by January 1, 2014, when the Affordable Care Act comes into full force.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on November 16, 2012, 04:52:49 pm
Arizona's Brewer hasn't decided yet, and will wait till December 14 to decided.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 19, 2012, 08:52:24 am
Kaiser to Let Go of Hundreds of Workers
The company was laying off more than 500 people. Areas from the San Gabriel Valley and beyond would likely feel the affect.



Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 19, 2012, 09:42:00 am
Kaiser to Let Go of Hundreds of Workers
The company was laying off more than 500 people. Areas from the San Gabriel Valley and beyond would likely feel the affect.



If we see more of this, could this lead to a government takeover of pretty much everything?

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 25, 2012, 03:46:45 pm
At church this morning, one of the deacons told the pews that churches in America are challenged to give more money to international missionary ministries b/c 1) The dollar is inflating/devalueing, and worst of all 2) Obamacare, b/c supposedly it's putting a big affect on funding missionaries overseas.

Seriously - I agree that Obamacare IS a very big concern all across the board, but nonetheless some of these denominations and groups are transferring the burden onto the PEWS to help make up for this? >:(

Whatever happened to the local church body preaching the gospel LOCALLY? There is ALOT of work to be done at every local area you can imagine. There are at least enough believers in other countries to let them preach the gospel to the lost where they live!

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on January 17, 2013, 08:01:04 am
Southwestern Pa. hospital to stop baby deliveries

A southwestern Pennsylvania hospital will stop delivering babies after March 31 because its obstetricians are either leaving or refocusing their practices, and because hospital officials believe they can't afford it based on projected reimbursements under looming federal health care reforms.

The Windber Medical Center, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, is losing two obstetricians and two others are shifting their focus more to gynecology.

Hospital officials say the population of women of child-bearing age is dropping and that the number of births the hospital would be called upon to perform isn't enough for it to provide the service in the face of lower reimbursements under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The hospital delivered about 200 babies each year since restarting its obstetrics program in 2005.

Officials aren't sure how many jobs will be lost.

Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/20603065/southwestern-pa-hospital-to-stop-baby-deliveries#ixzz2IF1VMwaR

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on January 17, 2013, 02:25:14 pm
Seems I remember a hospital here in the Phoenix area stopped doing deliveries. They basically shut down their pediatrics department altogether, which wasn't big anyway.

Big changes are coming in health care. I think if any major part of The Mark will be mandated as I think it will, they will do it through the health care system. At some point they had to mandate certain things, and they've done that now, under risk of penalty. How far away is that to changing that mandate be a penalty of death? Just a stroke of a pen.

"...that no man may buy or sell..." appears to me to say that people who refuse to "take the Mark" will literally be put to death. Likely charges in some way, then convicted of some crime based on not participating in their wicked system, some charge like, "public health risk", or "intentionally putting the public health at risk from not maintaining proper vaccine protocols". Basically, they theoretically kill you through casting you out of society, physically and digitally. Death by isolation.

It is "the image of the beast..." that does the "cause". Sounds to me like it's talking about the "system" of the carnal world society. It's not the beast, but the image of the beast that ultimately points the finger. This to me matches how Jesus tells us not to do as the Pharisee, but hear the words because "they say and do not". It's a misdirection for the unlearned. The beast will be as it will be, all the while it is the "image of the beast" that will "cause" people to be killed. How might that be? Is it only a metaphor, or is there a literal "mark"? I believe both. The physical action of choice has spiritual consequences. And we know we are to walk in the Spirit. While we are in the Spirit, the world is in the flesh, living by the "law", and fulfilling prophecy that things described will literally take place. The world will do these things literally in the flesh, but with that there is the spiritual aspect. Consider, it is the world that claims prophecy isn't true, it's just a "metaphor" is their claim.

34  All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
35  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Matthew 13:34,35 (KJB)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on February 02, 2013, 06:16:22 am
IRS: Cheapest Obamacare Plan Will Be $20,000 Per Family

In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.

Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.

The IRS's assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.

The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.

“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says.

Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare--after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.

In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare's mandate to buy insurance.

To help illustrate these rules, the IRS presented examples of different situations families might find themselves in.

In the examples, the IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016.

Using the conditions laid out in the regulations, the IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year that did not buy insurance would need to pay a "penalty" (a word the IRS still uses despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is in fact a "tax") of $2,400 in 2016.

For those wondering how clear the IRS's clarifications of this new "penalty" rule are, here is one of the actual examples the IRS gives:

“Example 3. Family without minimum essential coverage.

"(i) In 2016, Taxpayers H and J are married and file a joint return. H and J have three children: K, age 21, L, age 15, and M, age 10. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. H and J’s household income is $120,000. H and J’s applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000.

"(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 x 3 adults) + (($695/2) x 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 and $2,085 ($695 x 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000 - $24,000) x 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)).

"(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 x 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $20,000 ($20,000/12 x 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $20,000).”


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on February 02, 2013, 02:12:03 pm
Medical Company Blames ‘Obamacare’ For Layoffs Of Nearly 100 People

A medical company is blaming President Obama’s health care law for the layoffs of nearly 100 people.

Smith & Nephew says a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices in the “Obamacare” law caused the layoffs in the Memphis and Andover, Mass., offices.

“The nearly $30 billion tax on medical devices that took effect Jan. 1, 2013, has impacted a number of companies across the U.S.,” the company said in a statement to WHBQ-TV.

Joe Metzger, senior vice president of corporate communications for the company, tells the Memphis Business Journal that they were “not immune” to the tax burden.

“Unfortunately, and in order to absorb this cost burden into our business, this has meant less than 100 positions have been made redundant across various departmental functions in our Tennessee and Massachusetts sites,” Metzger told the Business Journal. “The company is providing the affected employees with a comprehensive severance package and outplacement support.”

The Business Journal reports that the company announced last February it would lay off 7 percent of its workforce worldwide.

The tax took effect on Jan. 1.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 23, 2013, 04:07:33 pm
February 21, 2013
Is the U.S. Clinically Insane?

Insanity is often defined as doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.  The British National Health Service (NHS) has a history of such "insanity."  They maintain their healthcare system without change despite repeated episodes of preventable patient deaths.  So what does the U.S. do?  President Obama wants to emulate their system here.  Insanity!
We start our story with the Bristol (England) Royal Infirmary, which enjoyed a reputation as a world-class surgery center for children with heart problems.  When someone began to question that reputation and asked for outcomes data, a cover-up started, just like Watergate.
Patient results were fabricated.  Potential whistleblowers were intimidated.  There were public distortions and denials.  Eventually, the British government empaneled a "Commission" (their term for blue-ribbon panel), which released its Bristol Report in June 2001. 
After confirming the terrible patient outcomes, the Commission did the unexpected.  Instead of blaming specific individuals, the Commission identified the root cause: the system and its culture, one of intolerance and corruption.  The system that was supposed to protect the patients protected itself instead, at the patients' expense, literally to their deaths.
A few years later, similar events were made public at the Stafford (England) Trust Hospitals.  "Trust" is the word the NHS uses for a division, like the old Cook County Hospital System.  Despite outcries over Stafford and reminders of Bristol, there was no change in the system -- just in the names of some players.
In 2010, the chief of the United Lincolnshire (England again) Hospitals Trust was concerned about needless deaths in his hospitals.  When he tried to move these concerns up the NHS corporate chain, he was gagged (legally) and then fired.  A new cover-up started, which took over two years to see the light of day.
A 14 Feb 2013 headline read, "Deaths, lies and the NHS: Shocking new healthcare scandals emerge in UK."  As previously documented in other NHS hospitals, there is evidence of "filthy wards ... understaffing ... excess deaths ... [and] avoidable deaths."  The NHS chief, Sir David Nicholson, clearly wanted to protect the system's reputation more than protect sick Britons.
Obvious "insanity" in England, but maybe it is just a British problem?  Let's look at a different government-controlled healthcare system to our north: Canada.
In 2010, Dr. Ciaran McNamee, formerly a surgeon in Alberta, now at Harvard, sued the Alberta Provincial Government for similar reasons as at Bristol, Stafford, and Lincolnshire: inadequate allocation of resources, too few doctors and other providers, not enough beds and equipment.  Canadians died needlessly and avoidably.  Treatments that would have worked were either Not Approved or Approved for some time in the distant future, rather than when the patients needed care.  In my new book, Not Right! - Conversations with We The Patients, I call the former death-by-bureaucracy and the latter death-by-queueing.
The recurring pattern is clear.  When the government is in control, the budget and rule-following are more important than patient outcomes.  When a bureaucrat decides your health care, you lose.  The root cause of needless patient deaths is the system, not the individuals.
ObamaCare is replicating the British NHS here. The president certainly can't want Americans to die.  Thus, he must be insane: he is doing the same thing (as elsewhere) and thinking that the result will be different.
His insanity has a medical diagnosis: megalomania, "a psychopathological condition where delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence predominate."  The everyday term is "God complex."
Someone who has the God complex knows what is best for you better than you do.  This person therefore must decide for you because you might make a mistake, and he (God) won't.  He takes away your freedom to choose in your best interest. 
No doubt you demand proof of such an outrageous (!) charge.
Proof #1: Examine the substance of ObamaCare.  We The Patients are not in control -- the government is, just like Great Britain and Canada.  Guess what will happen here. 
Proof #2: Review how ObamaCare was imposed on We The Patients against our will, for our own good!
Proof #3: Watch President Obama's face as Dr. Ben Carson tells him that God knows better than he does.
If patients suffer and die needlessly and avoidably under government-controlled healthcare systems, what kind of a system would actually put patients first?  Answer: a system where patients are in control of their medical care, and no one else is.
What we need as We The People and particularly as We The Patients is the return of our freedom.  We need personal control over our own persons.  We want to decide for ourselves.  We will accept the consequences of our choices.
We want to place the responsibility for our welfare, and thus both financial as well as medical controls, in the right hands: ours.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/02/is_the_us_clinically_insane.html#ixzz2LlJmWVEb
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Joh 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Mat 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 27, 2013, 08:44:29 pm
Subway CEO says don't worry about Obamacare  

He argues that while it will make his industry less competitive, at least all operators are facing the same problem.

Subway CEO Fred DeLuca, who founded the sandwich chain 47 years ago at the age of 17, has urged his franchisees not to "worry about" Obamacare, according to Nation's Restaurant News, a trade publication.

"It’s going to affect the food business and it’s going to make it less competitive, compared to eating at home, for instance," he said. "But probably every operator will have to deal with this. It will be an extra cost on the average hour that you have to pay for. And probably people will raise their prices and pass it on to the consumer."

Dunkin' Brands (DNKN +0.60%) and other companies that depend on part-time workers are lobbying the Obama administration to relax requirements that they provide health insurance for people who work as little as 30 hours per week. Employers with 50 or more workers are required to offer what's known as "minimum essential" health insurance. Critics say the mandate would create onerous financial burdens on many businesses.

For Subway, Obamacare would apply to franchisees with multiple locations becaues the typical store has about 12 employees. The closely held Milton, Conn., company is taking a more measured tone toward Obamacare than others in the restaurant industry with good reason. As NBC News recently noted, Papa John's (PZZA -9.14%), Denny's (DENN +1.43%) and Applebee all saw their reputations suffer among consumers because of critical comments their executives made about the Affordable Care Act.

Speaking later on CNBC, Deluca said Obamacare was the "biggest concern of our franchiees because they don't have enough information" on its potential impact. Their unease understandable. A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for further comment.

As my colleague Aimee Picchi recently noted, employers pay about $4,664 to insure a single worker and $11,329 for a family on a yearly basis, which is far more expensive than the $2,000 per worker penalty companies face for not following Obamacare starting next year. Many critics say business will find it financially sensible to pay the penalties rather than provide health insurance.

According to data from the Congressional Budget Office cited by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, Obamacare will result in 6 million fewer Americans enrolling in employer coverage by 2016. However, the nonpartisan FactCheck.org disputes the idea that Obamacare is a "job killer."

"As we’ve said before (a few times), experts project that the law will cause a small loss of low-wage jobs -- and also some gains in better-paid jobs in the health care and insurance industries," FactCheck says. "Furthermore, some small businesses with fewer than 25 employees are already getting tax credits under the new law to help defray the cost of providing worker coverage."

The debate over Obamcare's impact on the economy won't be over for a long time.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on February 28, 2013, 02:37:20 am
And probably people will raise their prices and pass it on to the consumer."

Probably? No question businesses pass cost increases on to the customers.

We have no idea how bad Obamacare will affect things. But we'll find out!

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 05, 2013, 09:46:04 pm

Repubs in Texas House oppose Medicaid expansion

Republicans in the Texas House vote against Medicaid expansion, in its current form

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Republicans in the Texas House voted Monday against expanding Medicaid in its current form, but left open the door to negotiations with the federal government.

The House Republican Caucus met behind closed doors and voted against expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act's current regulations, said Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, Republican chairwoman of the Public Health Committee. In return for spending $15 billion over the next 10 years on Medicaid, Texas would get $100 billion to provide health care to an additional 1.5 million poor people.

But Texas Gov. Rick Perry is adamantly opposed to enrolling more people in the joint federal-state health care program for the poor and disabled. As expected, Republican House members voted to back him.

Perry and House Republicans, though, remain open to expanding Medicaid if given a waiver from federal regulations in order to tailor the program to fit Texas' needs. Democratic lawmakers have said they are talking to Obama administration officials about what kind of deal is possible.

"That was kind of a vote to say, 'we're going to continue conversations,'" Kolkhorst said of the caucus meeting. "We have so many doctors who won't even see the current Medicaid population, so you're actually promoting a system that hasn't worked extremely well in the state of Texas. Instead, we're working toward a Texas solution."

Last week, federal officials granted a waiver to Arkansas that allows Medicaid expansion by subsidizing private health insurance, rather than using the state Medicaid program.

Sen. Tommy Williams, the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, wrote an op-ed distributed to paper's across the state last week saying that Republicans would like to see people on Medicaid contribute, if even a small amount, toward their health care through deductibles, co-pays or premiums. He also wants a program that encourages people to see their regular doctor rather than rely on expensive emergency room visits.

Kolkhorst said a bill spelling out what kind of federal waiver Texas wants could be introduced this week, setting in motion the possibility of a compromise. Friday is the deadline for introducing new bills for this legislative session.


Like they always do...they will find the right moment to sneak it past everyone!

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 12, 2013, 10:25:49 pm
AP Exclusive: Applying for Obama plan not easy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes.
The government's draft application runs 15 pages for a three-person family. An outline of the online version has 21 steps, some with additional questions.
Seven months before the Oct. 1 start of enrollment season for millions of uninsured Americans, the idea that getting health insurance could be as easy as shopping online at Amazon or Travelocity is starting to look like wishful thinking.
At least three major federal agencies, including the IRS, will scrutinize your application. Checking your identity, income and citizenship is supposed to happen in real time, if you apply online.
That's just the first part of the process, which lets you know if you qualify for financial help. The government asks to see what you're making because Obama's Affordable Care Act is means-tested, with lower-income people getting the most generous help to pay premiums.
Once you're finished with the money part, actually picking a health plan will require additional steps, plus a basic understanding of insurance jargon.
And it's a mandate, not a suggestion. The law says virtually all Americans must carry health insurance starting next year, although most will just keep the coverage they now have through their jobs, Medicare or Medicaid.
Some are concerned that a lot of uninsured people will be overwhelmed and simply give up.
"This lengthy draft application will take a considerable amount of time to fill out and will be difficult for many people to be able to complete," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, an advocacy group supporting the health care law. "It does not get you to the selection of a plan."
"When you combine those two processes, it is enormously time consuming and complex," added Pollack. He's calling for the government to simplify the form and, more important, for an army of counselors to help uninsured people navigate the new system. It's unclear who would pay for these navigators.
Drafts of the paper application and a 60-page description of the online version were quietly posted online by the Health and Human Services Department, seeking feedback from industry and consumer groups. Those materials, along with a recent HHS presentation to insurers, run counter to the vision of simplicity promoted by administration officials.
"We are not just signing up for a dating service here," said Sam Karp, a vice president of the California HealthCare Foundation, who nonetheless gives the administration high marks for distilling it all into a workable form. Karp was part of an independent group that separately designed a model application.
The government estimates its online application will take a half hour to complete, on average. If you need a break, or have to gather supporting documents, you can save your work and come back later. The paper application is estimated to take an average of 45 minutes.
The new coverage starts next Jan. 1. Uninsured people will apply through new state-based markets, also called exchanges.
Middle-class people will be eligible for tax credits to help pay for private insurance plans, while low-income people will be steered to safety-net programs like Medicaid.
Because of opposition to the health care law in some states, the federal government will run the new insurance markets in about half the states. And states that reject the law's Medicaid expansion will be left with large numbers of poor people uninsured.
HHS estimates it will receive more than 4.3 million applications for financial assistance in 2014, with online applications accounting for about 80 percent of them. Because families can apply together, the government estimates 16 million people will be served.
Here are some pros and cons on how the system is shaping up:
— Pro: If you apply online, you're supposed to be able to get near-instantaneous verification of your identity, income, and citizenship or immigration status. An online government clearinghouse called the Data Services Hub will ping Social Security for birth records, IRS for income data and Homeland Security for immigration status. "That is a brand new thing in the world," said Karp.
— Con: If your household income has changed in the past year or so and you want help paying your premiums, be prepared to do some extra work. You're applying for help based on your expected income in 2014. But the latest tax return the IRS would have is for 2012. If you landed a better-paying job, got laid off, or your spouse went back to work, you'll have to provide added documentation.
— Pro: Even with all the complexity, the new system could still end up being simpler than what some people go through now to buy their own insurance. You won't have to fill out a medical questionnaire, although you do have to answer whether or not you have a disability. Even if you are disabled, you can still get coverage for the same premium a healthy person of your age would pay.
—Con: If anyone in your household is offered health insurance on the job but does not take it, be prepared for some particularly head-scratching questions. For example: "What's the name of the lowest cost self-only health plan the employee listed above could enroll in at this job?"
HHS spokeswoman Erin Shields Britt said in a statement the application is a work in progress, "being refined thanks to public input."
It will "help people make apples-to-apples comparisons of costs and coverage between health insurance plans and learn whether they can get a break in costs," she added.
But what if you just want to buy health insurance in your state's exchange, and you're not interested in getting any help from the government?
You'll still have to fill out an application, but it will be shorter.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on March 13, 2013, 04:34:05 am
This is shaping up to be a complete nightmare!

— Pro: Even with all the complexity, the new system could still end up being simpler than what some people go through now to buy their own insurance.

Yeah right! And the earth is flat too I guess. There is hardly anything to getting insurance now. Fill out like one page, maybe two pages, and submit. That's it.

45 minutes to fill out offline? 16 pages? Are they serious? Wow.

Something tells me this is much more than paying medical bills. They want WAY too much info. This is looking like a precursor to mandating that people participate in general, just the beginning to requiring citizens do things instead of it being an option. No "opt out" here.

In our situation, I'm not sure how we are going to deal with this. We cannot afford the massively useless coverage ($10,000 deductable) my wife's employer offers, and due to my past cardiac issues, coverage for me is through the roof expensive, so no coverage there either. And then there is my religious beliefs that are the most important. I refuse to be required to participate in their joke of a scam that props up insurance companies and does absolutely NOTHING to address the insanely high costs of medical.

I think this is going to push a lot of people over the edge when they realize just how far the government is pushing people into a corner.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on March 13, 2013, 06:17:24 am
I dont think they really want anyone on obamacare, thats why its so hard to qualify for it. What they want is people to not have insurance and just pay the $2000.00 fine every year. Its nothing but a hidden super tax.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on March 13, 2013, 09:14:03 am
Obamacare May Bite You At The Vet’s Office

Pet owners listen up: You may want to start saving more money for veterinarian care this year. The reason goes all the way back to Washington and an unintended consequence from medical reform.

Dog owner Lori Heiselman was surprised where her veterinarian posted a warning on Facebook.

The notice read: “Because medical equipment and supplies will be going up in cost, that extra expense will have to passed on to the customers.”

Why the increase? Its part of a new 2.3-percent federal excise tax on certain medical devices that just went into effect. The tax will help fund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, intended for people, not pets. Manufacturers pay the tax, but a recent survey found more than half plan to pass it along.

Some vets say they can’t afford it. Dr. Mike Hatcher is one of them. He explained, “I’m extremely concerned how this is going to be a hidden tax to our consumers that is going to be passed on.”

How does this work? Medical devices used only on animals are exempt. However, items including IV pumps, sterile scalpels and anesthesia equipment, which are medical devices that have a dual use, meaning they can be used on people and animals, will be taxed. Hatcher said, “Putting off an equipment purchase is something that can terribly affect our clients’ ability to have quality care.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association represents 82,000 vets. At this point, they don’t know how much this new tax will indirectly cost them. The organizations members are waiting to hear from more device makers.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 13, 2013, 10:29:31 am
I think this is going to push a lot of people over the edge when they realize just how far the government is pushing people into a corner.

I dont think they really want anyone on obamacare, thats why its so hard to qualify for it. What they want is people to not have insurance and just pay the $2000.00 fine every year. Its nothing but a hidden super tax.

Or maybe playing a part in driving this country into Civil War(with the whole gun control agenda being another reason) - this country(and other world countries for that matter too) is so far in debt, that not even the biggest tax increases can save it. Obviously, the role the Federal Reserve is playing is playing into the end times scenerio.

And yes, now is the time to start making preparations to bug out - if it means everything connected to us gets disconnected from the world, then so be it. Jesus says we're not of this world.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on March 13, 2013, 04:04:49 pm
Well, time and again, Jesus brought our brethren out of harms way, and those brothers hadn't prepared for calamity, but rather were faithful that God would deliver them from evil. My "bug out bag" is the Holy Ghost.

1  But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3  And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
2Pe 2:4 KJV - For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
5  And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
7  And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
8  (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;)
9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
10  But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
11  Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
12  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
2 Peter 2:1-12 (KJB)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 14, 2013, 09:25:27 pm
Obamacare gives the government access to your bank account

H.R. 3590 gives the federal government specific access to individual bank accounts and medical records as provided by that individuals health plan.  The government may monitor an individuals finances and medical records electronically, for the purposes of determining an individuals eligibility for certain programs under the bill.  They may also monitor an individuals finances and medical records to ascertain whether that individual has health insurance and is making regular premium payments to an approved health insurance plan; this will allow the federal government to determine each individuals financial responsibilities with respect to penalties and fees prior to or at the point of care as outlined in the bill.  This clause also gives the government the ability to transfer funds electronically to or from an individuals bank account for the purposes of debiting his/her account for fees and penalties.
The stated purpose of this clause is “to reduce the clerical burden on patients, health care providers, and health plans.”

Quick note for those of you who say “the government already had access to our bank accounts.”  That’s true, but it was previously required that they obtain a court order to access any individuals personal finances.  This bill provides them free reign to do so whenever they please.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Christian40 on March 29, 2013, 04:42:07 am

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 30, 2013, 12:40:41 pm
Hooking kids on sex: PP starts “saturation process” in kindergarten

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2013 ― While the White House says sequestration has eliminated funds for children touring the White House, President Obama has no problem spending $350 million federal tax dollars for sexual indoctrination programs starting in kindergarten for those same children.

This is not your grandmother’s sex education about how things work and what can go “wrong.” In fact, the exact opposite is the essence of the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP):  Obamacare funnels $75 million annually into PREP, which must be used exclusively for Planned Parenthood-style “comprehensive” sex ed programs where no type of sex is wrong and the only sexual behavior PP considers “unsafe” is becoming pregnant.

More than one-fourth of the funds ‒ $20 million ‒ has been awarded to a coalition of six Planned Parenthood affiliates, operating under the name Northwest Coalition for Adolescent Health, to implement HHS’s TOP program across Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and Alaska at over 50 sites. In Oregon schools, Planned Parenthood is paying children cash incentives to participate.

PP is funded with our tax dollars to market sex to our children in our schools under the guise of sex education, anti-bullying, diversity, and tolerance. Once sexualized, those children then become PP sex customers for contraceptives, STD testing, and abortion.

“A glance at the teacher outline for Lesson 1A, the introductory lesson (page 12 of the linked PowerPoint presentation), shows exactly how abstinence plays out in the sex-encouraging scheme at Planned Parenthood. ‘Abstinence,’ it says, ‘means choosing not to do any sexual activity that carries a risk for pregnancy or STD/HIV,’” says Rita Diller, national director for STOPP.org.  In other words, abstinence has nothing do with abstaining from sex acts. So long as the student avoids STDs and pregnancy, and is comfortable with what he or she is doing, it’s an anything goes.”

Last year Diller’s parent organization, American Life League, released a video titled “Hooking Kids on Sex,” graphically detailing just what Planned Parenthood sex education is. It went viral and was viewed almost one-quarter million times in the first week before a PP activist got YouTube to suspend it. ALL came back with Hooking Kids on Sex (II). Even those who thought they knew Planned Parenthood were shocked. 

The video’s moderator, Michael Hichborn, argues that PP follows the same business model as a drug dealer:  Young children are encouraged to masturbate and explore their bodies with mirrors to introduce them to sexuality. Hichborn says of the graphic pictures used to “educate” pre-pubescent children, “If a dirty old man showed these things to a ten year old in a park, he would be arrested. But when Planned Parenthood shows them to kids in a classroom, it gets government money.”

Back in 2000 at Tufts University, a state-funed sex education workshop targeting 14-21 year olds caused a scandal dubbed Fistgate. A Massachusetts state official who spoke to teens at the conference said:

“Fisting (forcing one’s entire hand into another person’s rectum or ****) often gets a bad rap … [It’s] an experience of letting somebody into your body that you want to be that close and intimate with … [and] to put you into an exploratory mode.”

This bizarre and dangerous sexual act was presented to children as young as 12-14 as run-of-the-mill normal sex. When PP participated the next year, in 2001, recording devices of any kind were banned and the media was not allowed in to any of the workshops.

Kevin Jennings, cofounder and executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a sponsor of the conference, wrote it off as a glitch but also criticized those who filmed the precedings as proof. Jennings was later appointed by President Obama as America’s “safe” schools czar: assistant deputy secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools inside the Department of Education.

Jennings told attendees at a GLSEN conference over a decade ago that he looked forward to the day when promoting homosexuality in schools will be seen in a positive light. GLSEN activist and kindergarten teacher Jaki Williams has said that during kindergarten children are “developing their superego,” and “that’s when the saturation process needs to begin.

So if you ever wonder why more and more young people accept homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage as ho-hum, look no further.

Thanks to Obamacare, both Jennings and Williams are getting their wish.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on March 30, 2013, 03:18:46 pm
In the carnal, wicked world, anything does go. They don't go by our "laws" and standards of morality.

How can we expect the unbelieving to go by what we as Christians believe? We hope and pray they will repent and believe the gospel, but till then, "they are of the world...". and is the very reason that if parents don't like the way the world is, they either must force change in public education, or abandon secular public education and leave the world to itself.

Unfortunately, those who pull their children are still paying for the world's ways of doing things, being citizens that are taxed by Caesar, who then doles out the cash as needed.

If you live and go about your daily life in and around the world, your paying taxes into Caesar, via property ownership, sales taxes when you buy their goods and services, through a worldly job, etc. Just consider how tied to the world you are by owning or renting a home, or owning and driving a car. Look how much people must give up to refuse the "mark of the beast".

14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,
18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (KJB)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on April 08, 2013, 11:08:04 am
ObamaCare takes friendly fire

Delays in implementing popular pieces of ObamaCare are hurting it with Democrats.

Ahead of an election year in which Republicans promise to make healthcare an issue again, Democrats are criticizing the White House for delaying policies that could help build support for the unpopular law.

Democrats complained this week about a one-year delay in a key program designed to help small businesses — a central selling point for the healthcare law that now won’t be in place when voters head to the polls next year.

“Senate Republicans will have the opportunity to campaign against Obamacare's rising health care costs, burdensome paperwork and broken promises and could use it to motivate voters against Democrat candidates, especially vulnerable ones in red states,” Republican strategist Ron Bonjean said.

HHS has delayed by one year a provision that would have allowed small businesses in most states to choose from multiple policies for their workers. Although a handful of states will see increased competition next year, most will have just one plan to choose from until 2015.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) told The New York Times the delay will “prolong and exacerbate health care costs that are crippling 29 million small businesses.”

That is one of the main reasons for this...You voted for it, now you own it

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/292157-obamacares-new-enemy-friendly-fire#ixzz2Pt9lI0k1

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 08, 2013, 11:28:00 am
“Senate Republicans will have the opportunity to campaign against Obamacare's rising health care costs, burdensome paperwork and broken promises and could use it to motivate voters against Democrat candidates, especially vulnerable ones in red states,” Republican strategist Ron Bonjean said.

Hate to say it, but too little, too late - they should have thought about doing so in LAST YEAR'S election(yeah, I know elections are rigged, but just saying). Thank you Bush/Cheney and the Jesuitical "moral majority" for giving us 8 years of Obama!

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) told The New York Times the delay will “prolong and exacerbate health care costs that are crippling 29 million small businesses.”

Having lived in Louisiana for a good while, I'm familiar with Landrieu - comes from a prominent New Orleans political family(her brother Mitch served as Lt. Governor, and now Mayor, and her father Moon was Mayor I think). Without going into all of the details, she pretty much won b/c of voter fraud in the greater New Orleans area. NOLA is the last district to count the votes in every political race, and it looked like her opponent Woody Jenkins had it locked up in the 1996 race. When all was said and done, Landrieu squeaked out the win, and Jenkins pulled an Al "sour grapes" Gore. And then in the 2002 Senate race - the current Family Research Council President Tony Perkins ran in the GOP Primaries, but Suzzie Terrell was considered the favorite to challenge Landrieu. Nonetheless then-governor Mike Foster endorsed Perkins, throwing everything into confusion among the GOP(ultimately tipping the election to Landrieu when all was said and done).

Both Jenkins and Perkins are Council for National Policy members - which pretty much sums it up right there, as you can see how this dog and pony show was rigged from the beginning. So no surprise Landrieu is doing what her puppetmasters are telling her to.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 12, 2013, 09:02:54 am
Obama budget adds domestic same-sex partners to Obamacare

CNN White House Producer Adam Aigner-Treworgy   

Washington (CNN) – Buried deep inside President Obama's 2014 budget released on Wednesday is a new proposal to expand federal health insurance benefits to same-sex domestic partners.

Framed as a measure to reduce the deficit, the proposal would amend the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program beginning in 2015 to add a "self plus one" enrollment option in addition to the "self" and "family" options. Like the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act that the administration has endorsed in prior budgets, this new FEHB formulation would work within the current legal constraints of the Defense of Marriage Act by adding a new classification for additional enrollees beyond family.

Currently, the Office of Personnel Management is legally prevented from providing coverage to same-sex domestic partners due to both the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act and the Defense of Marriage Act.

The OPM website informs curious federal employees that the FEHBA "limits health insurance coverage to spouses and children of federal employees," and "DOMA further limits spousal benefits eligibility to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."

According to language in the budget, the proposed changes would allow the OPM to contract with "modern types of health plans rather than being limited to the current four statutorily-defined plans reflective of the 1950s insurance market."

"The health insurance marketplace has changed significantly since the FEHBP was enacted in 1959, and the current governing statute leaves little flexibility for the program to evolve with the changing market," the budget reads.

In a fact sheet released along with the budget, the White House claimed that these changes would "align the FEHB program with best practices in the private sector as larger employers competing for talent are increasingly offering domestic partner benefits."

The budget also proposes other changes to the federal benefits program that would allow OPM to negotiate separate contracts for pharmacy benefits and adjust health insurance premiums based on whether the enrollee smokes or enrolls in a "wellness program."

If the president's budget is enacted into law, the administration estimates that these proposed changes would save $8.4 billion over 10 years, but enactment remains unlikely as it would require support from House Republicans, who've already passed a budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 30, 2013, 03:29:46 pm
‘Obamacare’ Poll Finds 42% of Americans Unaware It’s Law

A new poll finds that many Americans are confused about the health care overhaul legislation commonly called “Obamacare.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation released results of a non-partisan study today finding more than 40 percent did not even know the law was in place.

“Four in ten Americans (42%) are unaware that the ACA [Affordable Care Act] is still the law of the land,” the report says, “including 12 percent who believe the law has been repealed by Congress, 7 percent who believe it has been overturned by the Supreme Court and 23 percent who say they don’t know enough to say what the status of the law is.

The survey showed public opinion on Obamacare is at its second-lowest rating in the past two years.

Less than half – 40 percent – of adults viewed the ACA favorably, whereas 35 percent said they viewed it unfavorably. Another 24 percent said they did not know or refused to answer.

Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, one of the original crafters of the bill, earlier this month predicted a chaotic implementation process for the Affordable Care Act. “I just see a huge train wreck coming down,” Baucus, D-Mont., said.

The president today defended his health care plan against that claim.

“I think that any time you’re implementing something big, there is going to be people who are nervous and anxious about is it going to get done until it’s actually done,” he told reporters.

He went on to say those who would have trouble with implementation were the roughly 48 million Americans who are uninsured to begin with, a minority of the population.

“For the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, this thing’s already happened, and their only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better, more secure than it was before,” President Obama said. “Full stop. That’s it. Now they don’t have to worry about anything else.”

Recognizing one confusing aspect of the law, the Department of Health and Human Services today made applying to enter the insurance market through the Affordable Care Act a little easier.

HHS  today released new applications for individuals and adults looking to get health insurance. Officials cut the forms down from 21 pages to seven pages for a family and three pages for an individual.

The applications ask nothing about medical history, beyond whether the applicant or a family member is pregnant and whether they have a condition that “causes limitations in activities … like bathing, dressing [and] daily chores.”

Instead, they resemble tax forms, inquiring about income, Social Security numbers and employment history. They also ask for contact information and race-ethnicity.

The application for families says members of the family who do not require health coverage do not have to list immigration status or Social Security numbers.

President Obama touted the new forms as one of the “refinements” his administration has made with respect to the Affordable Care Act in recent months.

“The challenge is that, you know, setting up a market-based system, basically an online marketplace where you can go on and sign up and figure out what kind of insurance you can afford and figuring out how to get the subsidies, that’s still a big complicated piece of business,” Obama told reporters at a news briefing the morning the new application was released.

“But having said all that, we’ve got a great team in place. We are pushing very hard to make sure that we’re hitting all the deadlines and the benchmarks.”

Three years after the president signed the bill into law, some Republicans continue to oppose it, holding steadfast in their promises to repeal it, while others have given up the fight.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.,  introduced a bill last week that would have preserved some parts of Obamacare, but it died as other members of his party refused to support it.

“I want to repeal Obamacare completely,” Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., tweeted Monday night, “and I think efforts to exempt Congress are hypocrisy at its worst,” she added, referring to a Politico story suggesting that members of Congress might find a way to exclude themselves from the president’s health care overhaul, which they later rebutted.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on April 30, 2013, 04:07:13 pm
Congress and Senate already has it's own health care. Had it for decades and far cheaper and with many more benefits that the American people don't get. So what's their point?

Let the people have the exact same coverage for the same price as Congress. Yeah right!  ::)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on May 03, 2013, 11:38:07 am
SC House Approves Bill Criminalizing Enforcement Of ‘Obamacare’

 The South Carolina House approved a bill Wednesday criminalizing the implementation of President Obama’s health care law in the state.

The Republican-controlled House voted 65-39 on the Freedom of Health Care ProtectionAct.

The act renders “null and void certain unconstitutional laws enacted by the Congress of the United States taking control over the health insurance industry and mandating that individuals purchase health insurance under threat of penalty.”

“This kind of victory occurs when the grassroots across the State come together and coalesce,” Chris Lawton, spokesman for the Greenville Tea Party, told The Greenville Post. “I could not be prouder.”

The bill declares “Obamacare” unconstitutional – despite the Supreme Court ruling last year that the Affordable Health Care Act was constitutional — and that there will be criminal penalties for enforcing the law.

Gov. Nikki Haley earlier this year said that the state will not implement the nation’s health care law.

“Connecticut expanded early under ‘Obamacare’ and just reported a $190 million Medicaid deficit – in spite of subjecting their citizens to a massive tax increase,” Haley said during the State of the State address. “California just raised taxes in part to cover their Medicaid deficit and yet needs $350 million more to pay for ‘Obamacare’ next year. That’s not us. That’s not South Carolina

rest: http://charlotte.cbslocal.com/2013/05/03/sc-house-approves-bill-criminalizing-enforcement-of-obamacare/

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 03, 2013, 11:45:28 am
We will see where this goes - I mean it's not like every state with a Republican governor is doing this, right?(ie-there's no law in Texas like this) Pt being that there could be some kind of Hegelian Dialectic/war of words going on here.

And besides, and SC were really serious, they need to get rid of evolution out of their public schools, remove Mark Sanford from running for national political office, expose Strom Thurmond being a 33rd Degree Freemason(instead of holding him up on a pedestial), etc.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on May 03, 2013, 05:15:26 pm
Well, the world, not worshiping God, are compelled to hoist somebody up on a pedestal, be it a gold calf, or a racist politician.

Forget evolution, public schools funded by the government needs to go. Government, as the Constitution is written, has zero part in education. None. Government also has no rights to meddle in medicine either, and so it goes with countless "government agencies".

They found they didn't really need to change the Constitution, or even change the projected form of US government, all they needed to do was change the public's day to day way of life, their way of thinking and acceptance, which in turn changes their habits and dependencies. They needed to "soften up" their target through fear and intimidation for the eventual big blow that government knows full well the public will not take lightly. I think the level of intensity depends on just how soft the public has become.

It's been an illusion all along simply because of unbelief their eyes remain uncircumcised.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 07, 2013, 05:17:05 pm
Brooklyn Federal Court Building On Lockdown After Anthrax Threat

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, located in Brooklyn, was on lockdown shortly after 4:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon after an anthrax threat, a court official and a security personnel for the court confirmed to TPM.

A source in the courthouse passed along an email from the court clerk informing court personnel of the threat.

“An envelope was received with an anthrax threat and a white power and was released in the main clerk’s office on the first floor. Only one staff member came into direct contact with the powder,” the email read.

“At this time and until we get an all clear from the USMS, no one can leave that area once they have entered. It is very important that no one enter that space (mail room, file room, docketing, intake, personnel, etc) and that the judges’ elevator on the Adams Street side of the building not be used to exit on the first floor.”

The USMS is the U.S. Marshal’s Service, which, among other things, provides security for the federal courts. (Update: A USMS official confirmed the anthrax threat and said it was under investigation. The official said there have been “no injuries or illnesses.”)

The source said she saw a New York City Fire Department ambulance, three police cars and a firetruck outside the window of her courthouse office.

Earlier Tuesday, the same courthouse was the scene of oral arguments in a high-profile case in which the Obama administration is facing off against reproductive rights advocates over access to Plan B, known as the morning-after pill.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 08, 2013, 12:04:03 pm
First off, I don't endorse Obamacare(for obvious reasons). With that being said, was reading this news article over Obama losing a court battle with Tyndale House Publishers over the HHS mandate.

Yes, it's good news that the courts sided against Obama with this particular case - but with that being said, look at all of the (spiritual)junk Tyndale promotes...

The NLT "study bible"?(This bible is WORSE than the NIV!) Beth Moore? CS Lewis? And Churchianity is calling this a "big victory"?

Bible publisher wins court battle over contraceptive mandate

James 2:1  My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
Jas 2:2  For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
Jas 2:3  And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
Jas 2:4  Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Jas 2:5  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
Jas 2:6  But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Jas 2:7  Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on May 08, 2013, 03:55:09 pm
"The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower [is] servant to the lender." Proverbs 22:7 (KJB)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on May 15, 2013, 11:47:17 am
Obamacare to Increase Premiums Nearly 100 Percent

A new report released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee reveals Obamacare will increase health insurance premiums by an average of nearly 100 percent. Some premiums could rise by 400 percent.
The committee cited internal documents from some of the nation’s largest health insurance companies.
“The average yearly cost for a new customer in the individual market grows from $1,896 to $3,708—a $1,812 cost increase,” according to the report.

Affordability. It was a central premise – and promise – of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) when the law was debated in Congress throughout 2009 and signed into law on March 23, 2010. In his remarks that day, President Barack Obama stated: ‘This legislation will also lower costs for families and businesses…’ Over three years later, the White House continues to state that the PPACA will lower costs. [...]
The … report chronicles the massive premium increases awaiting Americans when full implementation of the PPACA occurs in eight months, definitively contradicting the promise that the law will lower costs. As this report demonstrates, consumers purchasing health insurance on the individual market may face premium increases of nearly 100 percent on average, with potential highs eclipsing 400 percent. Meanwhile, small businesses can expect average premium increases in the small group market of up to 50 percent, with potential highs over 100 percent.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on May 15, 2013, 03:32:28 pm
A rise of 100% on something people can't pay in the first place is a moot point!  ::)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 21, 2013, 10:16:02 pm
YOU ARE CRAZY: New Psychiatric Guidelines Target Hoarding, Child Temper Tantrums, and a Host of Other “Illnesses”

It’s not a stretch to suggest that Americans are over medicated. In 2011 doctors across the nation wrote an astounding four billion medical prescriptions, amounting to an average of 13 prescriptions for every  man, woman and child in the United States.

In the next few weeks the American Psychiatric Associations is releasing their updated fifth version their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5); the so-called ‘bible’ of psychiatric diagnoses. The new manual promises to take mental illness and the use of prescription drugs to a whole new level.

You may not be considered “crazy” or “mentally ill” today, but under the new guidelines experts say half of us will be diagnosed with a psychiatric condition in the future.

The odds will probably be greater than 50 percent, according to the new manual, that you’ll have a mental disorder in your lifetime.

The increasing number of disorders comes about because some “problems” that were not previously considered to be mental illness were reclassified as such by their inclusion in the DSM—and it is the DSM that functionally defines mental illness in the United States.

You see, in the DSM-5 the definitions for mental illness have been expanded to include a whole host of new symptoms and conditions.

For example, under the new guidelines if your 6 to 18 year-old child throws a temper tantrum from time to time or has a mood swing, a psychiatrist could diagnose the condition as a “Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder” requiring professional treatment. Keep in mind that in psychiatry “professional treatment” almost always means prescription drugs.

Are you over the age of 55 and have “senior moments” like forgetting where you put your keys? If so, then in all likelihood you have a neurocognitive disorder.

Do you stockpile food, supplies or other items in anticipation of a disaster? If so, you may have what’s called an obsessive compulsive hoarding disorder.

“The reality shows have raised awareness, but they tend to sensationalize the patients, and they rarely talk about treatment.”

“The big change,” Dr. Saxena said, “will be an official recognition of hoarding as an important neuropsychic disorder that will increase screening, increase detection and diagnosis, and refer patients in for treatment.”

While the new hoarding guidelines don’t specifically target “preparedness,” the fact is that some ‘professionals’ have already suggested that if you have any level of anxiety about the possibility of a major catastrophe, or your motivation for preparing for unforeseen events includes a distrust of the government, then you’ve got psychological problems.

Now, with the DSM-5, they can officially diagnose you as crazy

Dr. Allen Frances, the author of Saving Normal, says that the new requirements will, ”turn everyday anxiety, eccentricity, forgetting and bad eating habits into mental disorders.”

The changes being introduced by the DSM-5 are nothing short of a sweeping overhaul of our mental health care system, and they will have effects that many experts can’t even fathom. But those behind the DSM, who work very closely with government experts, know exactly what they’re doing.

Let’s connect the dots a little bit to get an idea of how this is going to have a direct impact on your life in the very near future.

Under the new regulations set forth by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, certain groups of Americans like school children, seniors, those on government health plans, active-duty military personnel, and veterans will be required to submit to mental health screenings.

Page 1137 of the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides grants for the operation of school-based health centers required to include “mental health and substance abuse disorder assessments” for children and adolescents.

On page 1191 is found a section on Mental Health Screening that refers to a program called “Healthy Aging, Living Well”. Persons ages 55-64 are being targeted for screening activities that can include “mental health/behavioral health and substance use disorders.”

Obamacare requires mental health services for many other groups.

These include Medicaid recipients, addicts, mothers with postpartum depression, the elderly, and soldiers. There’s even has a section called “Mental Health in Small Businesses” which awards grants to small businesses willing to provide workplace wellness programs that encourage “healthy lifestyles, healthy eating, increased physical activity and improved mental health.”

Are you starting to see where this is going?

You’ll be forced by your child’s school, by the government, and even your private employer to be  involuntarily screened. And the psychiatrists who’ll be performing the diagnoses will be utilizing the criteria outlined in the DSM-5.

According to the afforementioned statistics, there’s a 50% chance that those being screened will be found to have some type of mental health condition.

But that’s just the beginning

As we know, once diagnosed, failure to take the treatment (e.g. medication) prescribed could then be deemed unlawful behavior, especially in the case of children.

Not possible in America? Think again:

Earlier this year, administrators from the Berne-Knox-Westerlo school district called Albany County Child Protective Services, alleging child abuse when the Carrolls said they wanted to take Kyle off the drug.

As a result, the Carrolls are now on a statewide list of alleged child abusers, and they have been thrust into an Orwellian family court battle to clear their name and to ensure their child isn’t removed from their home.  “It’s beyond the point of whether he should be on it. Now it’s the point of them telling us what we’re going to do,” said Michael Carroll. “They’re telling me how to raise my child.”

“The schools are now using child protective services to enforce their own desires and their own policies,” said David Lansner, a New York City lawyer who has seen cases similar to the Carrolls’. “The parents’ authority is being undermined when people have to do what some public official wants,” Lansner added. “This thing is so scary,”

It’s already happening, and with nearly 4 million children every year being (mis)diagnosed with ADHD, we can expect the numbers to rise significantly under the new DSM guidelines.

It’s important to understand, however, that they’re not just targeting our children. They’re coming after all of us.

The DSM-5, coupled with Obama Care legislation, will allow the government unprecedented control over lives.

One such example is the targeting of America’s gun owners. Legislation is in the works in many states, as well as the U.S. Congress, that would require mental health screenings for firearms ownership. Should these bills pass, then about half of America’s gun owners would immediately lose their right to bear arms for any manner of “disorders” that could include stress, anxiety, depressed mood or even poor eating habits!

And while gun control proponents would applaud the victory, what they fail to understand is that by green-lighting such a government intrusion, they are setting themselves up for future legislation that may restrict their own rights for activities that may include maintaining employment or caring for their children.

Once a diagnoses is made the government will then have the ability to enforce it at the barrel of a gun.

If your child is diagnosed with ADHD or separation anxiety disorder, and you refuse to feed them their prescription cocktail, then the government will step in and take your children under the guise of protecting them… from you!

Likewise, you may one day be forced to be screened by your employer and found to be mentally ill (remember, 50/50 shot!). If you refuse the professional treatment that’s recommended, you could lose your job as a result. And because the Department of Homeland Security has been busy creating a Domestic No-Work List all prospective employers will know of your condition and your refusal to seek professional treatment.

The possibilities, now that the door has been opened, are endless.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on May 31, 2013, 05:26:46 pm
Rate Shock: In California, Obamacare To Increase Individual Health Insurance Premiums By 64-146%

Last week, the state of California claimed that its version of Obamacare’s health insurance exchange would actually reduce premiums. “These rates are way below the worst-case gloom-and-doom scenarios we have heard,” boasted Peter Lee, executive director of the California exchange. But the data that Lee released tells a different story: Obamacare, in fact, will increase individual-market premiums in California by as much as 146 percent.

One of the most serious flaws with Obamacare is that its blizzard of regulations and mandates drives up the cost of insurance for people who buy it on their own.

rest: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/05/30/rate-shock-in-california-obamacare-to-increase-individual-insurance-premiums-by-64-146/

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 31, 2013, 05:39:32 pm
California's the biggest state in the union, right? Not sure how big the California economy is compared to other world countries, but given its size it could rank right up there somewhere among the world's economies.

Pt being that this union will likely go where CA goes - if CA goes down like this, then it will take the rest of the country's economy right down with it.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 12, 2013, 11:21:43 pm
Ariz. health care fight aligns Obama with ex-rival

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Legislature was poised to pass a state budget and proposed Medicaid expansion that has divided the state's Republican leadership.

Lawmakers expect to hold a final vote on the budget and health care plan Thursday morning amid opposition from conservatives who have traditionally controlled state government.

The Senate advanced the proposals with little debate Wednesday evening, and the House was prepared to do the same.

The action means Republican Gov. Jan Brewer is close to securing a huge victory that will provide health insurance to an additional 300,000 poor Arizonans by embracing a signature part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law.

Brewer was one of the most vocal governors opposing the Affordable Care Act but acknowledged in January that it was the law of the land and would help Arizonans.

During the floor debate, Brewer's allies largely refused to answer questions or discuss provisions in the proposed budget, drawing rebukes from conservatives who warned of unchecked government. They proposed more than 50 amendments but didn't have the votes to stop the Medicaid expansion or the budget deal.

"How are you not embarrassed for yourself?" said Republican Rep. J.D. Mesnard of Chandler, an opponent of the expansion. "Is anyone going to stand up and give a defense?"

Lawmakers aligned with Brewer said they saw no reason to hear out the opposition.

"It's really just to speed up the process," said Rep. Bob Robson, R-Chandler, who was part of the coalition pushing the budget deal. "Otherwise you'd have 25 members asking questions and it would take forever."

With little notice, Brewer called lawmakers into a special session late Tuesday, allowing moderates to take over both chambers by voting to suspend normal rules and to limit debate on the budget.

The Medicaid plan would cover people making between 100 percent and 138 percent of the federal poverty level and restore coverage to more than 100,000 childless adults who lost Medicaid coverage because of a state budget crunch. About 1.3 million Arizonans already are covered by the state's plan.

Brewer's supporters introduced Tuesday an $8.8 billion budget similar to the plan approved by the Senate last month. It will not include a big "economic development" tax-cut plan backed by House Speaker Andy Tobin.

"We have a huge economic incentive in this budget — it's called Medicaid," Democratic Minority Leader Chad Campbell said. "That's a $2 billion economic incentive program right there."

Senate President Andy Biggs, who has fought the Medicaid expansion for months, implored Democrats and moderate Republicans to allow for debate after he was sidelined by Brewer's supporters late Wednesday.

"Some don't want to have discussion and think I am trying to embarrass them. I am not trying to embarrass them. This is a massive bill," he said on the floor.

As Republicans grew increasingly irate, Brewer's office released a statement that sought to distance her from the federal health care law that allows for the Medicaid expansion.

"Arizona's Medicaid program, known as AHCCCS, has existed for three decades ... going back to President Obama's college days," wrote spokesman Matthew Benson in an email. "AHCCCS is not the Affordable Care Act. It is not ObamaCare. It is the nation's gold standard in terms of cost-effective Medicaid programs."

Biggs and Tobin both argue that the federal government is likely to go back on its promise to fund the Medicaid expansion and point to Washington's huge debt.

After adjournment Tuesday, Biggs and Tobin released an angry statement rife with insults toward Brewer: "We are frustrated and bewildered by her overt hostility and disregard for the budgetary process which was already well under way."

A calmer Tobin on Wednesday took some of the blame, saying he let his efforts to change Brewer's Medicaid proposal linger too long before dumping them.

"I probably should have reached a conclusion that my option for Medicaid was not really being taken seriously a lot earlier," Tobin said. "My mistake was I probably overestimated that there was a chance to really come to an agreement on the Medicaid that was more acceptable."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 24, 2013, 05:03:35 pm
Sebelius in talks with NFL on promoting ObamaCare insurance plans

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday she is in talks with the NFL to help promote new insurance options under ObamaCare.

Sebelius said the football league has been "very actively and enthusiastically engaged" in discussions about a partnership to encourage people to enroll in newly available insurance plans.

"We're having active discussions right now with a variety of sports affiliates" about both paid advertising and partnerships to encourage enrollment, Sebelius told reporters.

HHS is reportedly also in talks with the NBA to promote the law.

Partnerships with sports organizations are especially promising to HHS because the department hopes large numbers of young, healthy men will enroll in the law's new coverage options.

Attracting young, healthy people will help keep premiums from rising dramatically once the law begins offering new protections for more expensive patients — namely, banning insurance companies from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions.

The Boston Red Sox filmed a commercial promoting Massachusetts's healthcare law when it took effect in 2006.

"We know the Red Sox were incredibly effective in Massachusetts … so it's a logical place to go," Sebelius said.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 27, 2013, 01:19:56 pm
Some gay couples now due to receive benefits under 'Obamacare'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court's ruling on Wednesday that same-sex couples are eligible for federal benefits will mean more gays and lesbians can reap the benefits of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul that take effect January 1, advocates say.

In a landmark decision, the court effectively legalized same-sex marriage in California and struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied same-sex couples federal benefits such as healthcare.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act already bans discrimination in health coverage based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The law, known as "Obamacare," was passed in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court nearly a year ago.

With the Supreme Court decision, same-sex couples who live in states that recognize them can apply for the law's tax subsidies, meant to offset healthcare costs, as a couple rather than as two individuals, said Tim Jost, a health law expert and law professor at Washington and Lee University. This will help the law reach more people, he added.

Some couples will be newly eligible for spousal protections under Medicaid, a federally funded program that provides care to low-income parents, children, seniors and people with disabilities. It covers more than 62 million Americans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

If couples decide to file taxes jointly, though, they may no longer qualify for Medicaid or tax credits because their combined income will put them above the level for eligibility.

In the District of Columbia or one of 12 states that have legalized gay marriage - where about 40 percent of same-sex couples live - applying for health coverage through federal employers and the exchanges will be as simple for them as it is for heterosexual couples, said Kellan Baker, associate director for LGBT progress at the liberal Center for American Progress.

But outside of those borders, it is more complicated.

"We know from the IRS there's a lack of clarity about how exactly marriages are recognized across state lines," Baker said. "There's the legal question of, does the IRS consider you married if you're living outside of the state that recognized your marriage?"

Section 2 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which the court did not take up, does not require states to recognize gay marriages that took place in other states.

Despite the uncertainty, many advocacy groups lauded the court's decision because it will improve access to healthcare for many gay couples.

Obamacare establishes state and federal exchanges so people can explore all of their health coverage options in one place.

States that run their own exchange programs decide who qualifies as family members, but the court ruling means that now the 26 federally run exchanges "have no bar to recognizing and including same-sex spouses as protected family members," said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The Supreme Court ruling will also enable older same-sex couples to receive marital benefits under Social Security and Medicare, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders said in a statement.

"Many of these federal benefits, from Social Security to Medicare, are founded on the presumption of marriage," the group said, "yet (the Defense of Marriage Act) denied access to these benefits even to legally married same-sex couples."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 27, 2013, 05:44:38 pm
Federal court says Obamacare birth control mandate likely to be struck down

A federal appeals court sided Thursday with a company challenging President Barack Obama's health care reform law, saying its requirement that for-profit companies pay for birth control is likely to be overturned as a violation of religious protections.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver waived millions of dollars of fines against Hobby Lobby Inc. and a subsidiary company, Mardel Christian Stores, which have refused to comply with the mandate while they seek an exemption under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA.

The companies, which close all their stores on Sundays, say they are founded on "honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with Biblical principles."

"We hold that Hobby Lobby and Mardel are entitled to bring claims under RFRA, have established a likelihood of success that their rights under this statute are substantially burdened by the contraceptive-coverage requirement, and have established an irreparable harm," the court said in a 165-page ruling, which sent the companies' case back to the U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, which had previously turned down the companies' request.

Many religious organizations are challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which the Supreme Court upheld exactly one year ago Friday. They argue that the law's mandate that employers pay for birth control as part of required health care benefits violates their religious beliefs.

In the case the 10th Circuit addressed Thursday, Hobby Lobby — which has more than 13,000 full-time employees at more than 500 stores in 41 states — seeks to extend the same argument to public, for-profit companies, as well.

In arguments this week, the Obama administration contended that such an exemption would render the provision meaningless.

"The context of RFRA makes it abundantly clear that Congress did not give for-profit corporations the right to evade federal regulation in the name of their shareholders' religious freedom," the Justice Department argued this week.

"As Congress understood, extending religious exemptions to for-profit corporations would impermissibly advance religion to the detriment of the employees, who are autonomous human beings with rights and beliefs of their own," it said.

If Hobby Lobby eventually prevails, it could open the door for several other prominent U.S. corporations that call themselves biblically based to seek similar exemptions.

Other major companies led by deeply conservative families or boards include Tyson Foods, one of the world's largest poultry processors with 107,000 U.S.-based employees; ServiceMaster, parent of such cleaning brands as TruGreen ChemLawn and Terminix, which has 58,000 full-time corporate and franchise employees; and Chick-fil-A, which operates more than 1,600 U.S. restaurants.

Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented Hobby Lobby in the case, called Thursday's ruling "a tremendous victory not only for (Hobby Lobby), but also for many other religious business owners who should not have to forfeit their faith to make a living."

But Barry Lynn, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Americans United for Separation of Church and State, called it "the worst kind of religious oppression."

"This court has taken a huge step toward handing bosses and company owners a blank check to meddle in the private medical decisions of their workers," he said.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 27, 2013, 05:54:51 pm
For the record, I do NOT endorse Obamacare for obvious reasons, but...

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver waived millions of dollars of fines against Hobby Lobby Inc. and a subsidiary company, Mardel Christian Stores, which have refused to comply with the mandate while they seek an exemption under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA.

Has anyone been in Mardel? I have many times - aside from one small section with books exposing false religions, occults(ie-freemasonry), etc, 90% of their products go AGAINST what the word of God says. They sell a lot of New Age books, corrupted bible versions(and the only KJV bibles they have pretty much are ones from Zondervan and Thomas Nelson), Christian Rock/CCM, t-shirts where they make occult symbols look "Christian", toys and other "fun" stuff for kids, their end times books are written by the likes of John Hagee/Joel Rosenberg/David Jeremiah etc, "financial guru" Dave Ramsey stuff, the list goes on.

Again, I don't endorse Obamacare, but this is one of those "be ye angry, and sin not..." moments for me b/c they're no different from other secular businesses that have to comply with Obamacare, but en yet are getting a free lunch despite all the spiritual junk they are putting out.

If anyone thinks this is a big victory for Christianity, then think again.

2Cor 5:1  For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2Co 5:2  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on June 28, 2013, 03:25:47 am
If Hobby Lobby eventually prevails, it could open the door for several other prominent U.S. corporations that call themselves biblically based to seek similar exemptions.

As they should be able to.

They talk about not discriminating against gays, race, religion, but the government is all but forcing religious institutions to violate their own religion because some don't believe in their religion. Considering the Constitution, that's a problem.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 28, 2013, 03:18:34 pm
Not saying I'm 100% sure about this, but look where this is going...the ole Hegelian Dialectic good cop/bad cop route, where the bad cop is Obama, and the good cop is the RCC. Ultimately, people who take sides will be siding with the enemy either way. And notice how they almost always lump Catholics with Christians.

Obama's Final Word: Catholics Must Buy/Provide Coverage for Abortion Drugs - See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obamas-final-word-catholics-must-buyprovide-coverage-abortion-drugs#sthash.NGJSmw5I.dpuf

CNSNews.com) - The Department of Health and Human Services today released the final text of the final adjustments to the Obamacare regulation that requires virtually all health-care plans to provide cost-free coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.

Catholics and Evangelical Christians have objected to the regulation, arguing that it violates their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. The Catholic Church teaches that sterilization, contraception and abortion are all intrinsically immoral. Evangelical Christians believe that abortion takes an innocent human life and is thus wrong.

The final regulation issued today provides no accommodations at all for individual Catholics and other Christians who morally object to the mandate. It also makes no accommodations for private for-profit employers who morally object to the mandate. Catholic and other Christian individuals in the United States will now be forced by the Obama administration to get coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion--whether they want it or not. The Obama administration's mandate says:

They have no choice.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 28, 2013, 03:49:38 pm
^^ more details

Final gov't birth control rule for faith groups

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration issued its final compromise Friday for religiously affiliated charities, hospitals and other nonprofits that object to covering birth control in their employee health plans.

The Health and Human Services Department said the final plan simplifies how insurers provide the coverage separately from faith-based groups and gives religious nonprofits more time to comply. However, the changes are unlikely to resolve objections from faith groups that the requirement violates their religious freedom.

More than 60 lawsuits have been filed challenging the rule. The cases are expected to reach the Supreme Court.

The birth-control rule was first introduced in February 2012, as part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, drawing praise from women's groups and condemnation from religious leaders. The original plan exempted churches and other houses of worship, but required faith-affiliated charities, universities and other nonprofits to provide the coverage for their employees.

The regulation became an election-year issue as Roman Catholic bishops, evangelicals and some religious leaders who have generally been supportive of Obama's policies lobbied fiercely for a broader exemption. The Obama administration offered a series of accommodations, leading to the final rules released Friday.

Under the compromise, administration officials said they simplified the definition of religious organizations that are fully exempt from the requirement. The change means a church that also ran a soup kitchen would not have to comply.

Other religious nonprofits must notify their insurance company that they object to birth control coverage. The insurer or administrator of the plan will then notify affected employees separately that coverage will be provided at no cost. The insurers would be reimbursed by a credit against fees owed the government.

Michael Hash, director of the health reform office of the Health and Human Services Department, said the final regulation spells out in more detail the buffer between religious charities and contraceptive coverage. Faith-based groups were given another reprieve — until Jan. 1 — to comply.

"There's a much brighter line here — a simpler line — and we think that responds to a good many of the comments that we got," said Michael Hash, director of the Health and Human Services office of health reform. More than 400,000 comments were submitted over the last several months, the agency said.

Judy Waxman of the National Women's Law Center, an advocacy group based in Washington, said she would prefer women hear directly about the coverage from their insurer, but her organization could accept the plan. "It's fair," she said.

However, Eric Rassbach, an attorney with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a public interest law firm challenging the contraception coverage rule, said "it doesn't really change the overall way they're trying to do this." The Becket Fund represents many of organizations challenging the regulation in federal court.

The Catholic Church prohibits the use of artificial contraception. Evangelicals generally accept the use of birth control, but some object to specific methods such as the morning-after contraceptive pill, which they argue is tantamount to abortion, and is covered under the policy.

The lawsuits are split almost evenly between nonprofit plaintiffs — including several Roman Catholic dioceses — and for-profit businesses who say the rules go against their religious beliefs. For-profit businesses are not included in the accommodation released Friday and were not eligible for the time extension.

The Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. is the largest and best-known of the businesses that have sued. On Thursday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver allowed the lawsuit to move forward on religious grounds. The judges said the portion of the law that requires them to offer certain kinds of birth control to their employees is particularly onerous and sent the case back to a lower court, which had rejected the companies' request for an injunction to prevent full enforcement of the new law. Businesses that fail to comply potentially face fines, which for Hobby Lobby could reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Many of the nonprofit lawsuits had been put on hold until the final rules were announced.

Neither the Catholic Health Association, a trade group for hospitals, nor the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had an immediate reaction Friday, saying the regulations were still being studied. New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the bishops' conference, said he appreciated the time extension.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on July 15, 2013, 01:35:04 pm
Behold The Part-Time Worker Society: "We Won't Start Hiring Full-Time People"

Once again, as always happens with a very substantial delay, two themes that have been covered extensively on these pages in the past much to the ridicule of the mainstream media, namely that while the US may have "No Manufacturing Jobs But More Waiters And Bartenders Than Ever" and that Obamacare has finally struck as "Part-Time Jobs Surge To All Time High; Full-Time Jobs Plunge By 240,000" are now begrudgingly covered and in fact, endorsed, by the very same MSM.

Enter the Wall Street Journal which blends the two themes well known to our readers, and writes that "More Restaurants Replace Full-Timers, Concerned About Insurance."

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...

rest: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-15/behold-part-time-worker-society-we-wont-start-hiring-full-time-people

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on July 16, 2013, 04:14:51 am
Goodbye Full-Time Jobs, Hello Part-Time Jobs, R.I.P. Middle Class

A fundamental shift is taking place in the U.S. economy.  In fact, this transition is rapidly picking up momentum and is in danger of becoming an avalanche.  The percentage of full-time jobs in our economy is steadily declining and the percentage of part-time jobs is steadily increasing.  This is not a recent phenomenon, but now there are several factors which are accelerating this trend.  One of them is Obamacare.  The truth is that Obamacare actually gives business owners incentive to cut hours and turn full-time workers into part-time workers, and according to the Wall Street Journal and other prominent publications this is already happening all over the United States.  Perhaps this is part of the reasons why the U.S. economy actually lost 240,000 full-time jobs last month.

In a recent article entitled "Restaurant Shift: Sorry, Just Part-Time", the Wall Street Journal explained the choices that employers are faced with thanks to Obamacare...

    The Affordable Care Act requires employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent workers to offer affordable insurance to employees working 30 or more hours a week or face fines. Some companies have said the requirement could increase their costs significantly, although others have played down the potential hit.

    The cost for small firms to comply with the health law will depend largely on the number of additional full-time employees that sign up for employer-sponsored coverage. Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance in 2012 were $5,615 for single coverage and $15,745 for family coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That is up from $3,083 and $8,003, respectively, in 2002.

Thankfully the implementation of this aspect of Obamacare was recently delayed, but a lot of employers are saying that it won't make a difference.  They know that it is coming at some point, and so they are already making the changes that they feel they will need to make in order to comply with the law...

    Restaurant owners who have already begun shifting to part-time workers say they will continue that pattern.

    "Does the delay change anything for us? Absolutely not," Mr. Adams of Subway said, explaining that whether his health-care costs go up next year or in 2015, he will have to comply with the law. "We won't start hiring full-time people."

This is very sad, because we have already been witnessing a steady erosion of "breadwinner jobs" in this country.

It is very, very difficult to support a family if you just have a part-time job or a temp job.  But those are the jobs that our economy is producing these days.

In fact, if you can believe it, the second largest employer in the United States is now a temp agency.  Kelly Services is actually the second largest employer in the country after Wal-Mart.

Isn't that crazy?

And full-time employment continues to lag far, far behind part-time employment.  The number of part-time workers in the United States recently hit a brand new all-time record high, but the number of full-time workers remains nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.

For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled "15 Signs That The Quality Of Jobs In America Is Going Downhill Really Fast".

At this point, employees are increasingly considered to be expendable "liabilities" that can be dumped the moment that their usefulness is over.

For example, employees at one restaurant down in Florida were recently fired by text message...

    It's bad enough losing your job, but more than a dozen angry employees say they were fired from a central Florida restaurant via text message.

    Employees at Barducci's Italian Bistro said they lost their jobs without notice after the restaurant suddenly closed and are still waiting for their paychecks.

This shift that we are witnessing is fundamentally changing the relationship between employers and employees in the United States.  The balance of power has moved very much toward the employers.

Most employers realize that there is intense competition for most jobs these days.  If you get tired of your job, your employer can easily go out and find a whole bunch of other people who would be thrilled to fill it.

So why has the balance of power shifted so dramatically?

Well, for one thing we have allowed millions upon millions of good paying jobs to be shipped out of the country.  Now American workers literally have to compete for jobs with workers on the other side of the planet that live in nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.

This should have never happened, but voters in both major political parties kept voting for politicians that were doing this to us.

Now we all pay the price.

Another factor is the rapid advancement of technology.

These days, businesses are trying use machines, computers and robots to automate just about everything that they can.  The following example comes from a recent Business Insider article...

    On a windy morning in California's Salinas Valley, a tractor pulled a wheeled, metal contraption over rows of budding iceberg lettuce plants. Engineers from Silicon Valley tinkered with the software on a laptop to ensure the machine was eliminating the right leafy buds.

    The engineers were testing the Lettuce Bot, a machine that can "thin" a field of lettuce in the time it takes about 20 workers to do the job by hand.

    The thinner is part of a new generation of machines that target the last frontier of agricultural mechanization — fruits and vegetables destined for the fresh market, not processing, which have thus far resisted mechanization because they're sensitive to bruising.

So what happens when the big corporations that dominate our economy are able to automate everything?

What will the rest of us do?

How will the middle class survive if they don't need us to work for them?

Over the past couple of centuries, we have witnessed several fundamental shifts in our economy.

Once upon a time, a very high percentage of Americans worked for themselves.  There were millions of farmers, ranchers, small store owners, etc.

But then the industrial revolution kicked in to high gear and big corporations started to gain more power.  Millions of Americans went to work for these big corporations, but it was okay because they paid us good wages to work in their factories and the middle class thrived.

Unfortunately, the big corporations have realized that things have changed and that they don't really need us anymore.  They can replace us with technology or with super cheap labor overseas.

So that leaves the rest of us in quite a quandry.  Very few of us own our own businesses.  In fact, the percentage of self-employed workers in the United States is at an all-time record low.  And the number of us that are needed by the monolithic corporations that dominate our system is dropping by the day.

All of this is very bad news for the middle class.  The only thing that most of us have to offer is our labor, and the value of our labor is continually declining.

Unless something dramatic happens, the future of the middle class looks very bleak.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 22, 2013, 11:09:06 am
Well, it seems like the most outspoken critics of Obamacare - restaurants in America - are also the same ones that are LOBBYING FOR this immigration reform bill...

Senate Immigration Reform Supporters Push Lobbyists to Target House GOP
The groups attending included FWD.us, the Partnership for a New Economy, ITI, TechNet, CompTIA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, Bible, Badges, and Business, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Facebook, Oracle, Cisco, Compete USA, Americans for Tax Reform, PhRMA, Texas Instruments, IBM, and the National Restaurant Association, according to people who were there.

National Restaurant Association Statement on House Vote to Repeal Health Care Law
(Washington, D.C.) The National Restaurant Association (NRA) released the following statement from President and CEO Dawn Sweeney upon passage of H.R. 6079, the “Repeal of Obamacare Act”:

“On behalf of our members, we are pleased the House of Representatives has taken this step, which is in line with our view that given the unique issues that face the industry from a workforce standpoint, the economic impact of the employer mandate and the fines associated with it will impose insurmountable costs and administrative burdens for many in the industry,” Sweeney said. “Our industry wants health care reform and we will continue to actively participate in the health care reform debate, but we believe Congress must seek comprehensive health care reform that focuses first on lowering health care coverage costs and not on reform that hampers the ability of employers to create jobs.”

Front page of web site shows NRA pushing for immigration reform bill

Hypocrites, thieves and robbers indeed!

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on July 24, 2013, 09:53:38 am
Brevard County to cut back hours for some part-time employees

Hundreds of part-time Brevard County workers have had their hours cut as the county prepares for the implementation of Obamacare.

 By 2015, Obamacare will require the county to provide health care for anyone working more than 30 hours per week, which means lots of companies are cutting back the hours of part-time employees.

Brevard County has over 300 part-time workers, many of whom are in the library and parks systems.

 While officials don't necessarily want to reduce hours for those employees, they'll be forced to unless the county wants to pay for full-time health benefits.

 Health benefits for each of Brevard's part-time employees would cost about $10,000 per employee.

Supervisors are now being asked to determine if they should make some of those employees full-time or simply reduce their hours.

 "I think for the most part we're going to maintain people in the status they were hired as part-time," said Brevard County Insurance Director Jerry Visco. "They're going to stay as part time and the rules just dictate to us how many hours are available to somebody in that status. So the hours will be capped at something less than 30 to keep them at part-time status."

 Channel 9's Melonie Holt found about a third of Brevard's part-timers wouldn't qualify for the benefit because they average under 30 hours per week.

 Visco said the county is no different from any other and that employers with 50 or more employees will have to comply with the new criteria.

 The new part-time definition goes into effect in January 2015.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 25, 2013, 04:05:36 pm
CVS Plans to Help Customers Sign Up for Obamacare

CVS Caremark Corp. will roll out an outreach campaign this fall to help uninsured Americans find out about their insurance options under the Affordable Care Act.

Federal and state governments are planning to launch online insurance exchanges or marketplaces starting Oct. 1 that will allow people to shop for private health insurance or Medicaid if they qualify. Coverage would start Jan. 1.

“We’re planning pretty close to Oct. 1 to use stores as a place where people can get information,” Helena Foulkes, CVS Caremark executive vice president and chief health care strategy and marketing officer, said in an interview. She said the company learned during the 2006 expansion of Medicare, which added a drug benefit, that consumers didn’t start asking for information or help until they could actually enrollin a drug plan rather than worrying about it ahead of time.

Ms. Foulkes said pharmacists and pharmacy staff in the firm’s 7,400-plus retail stores will be trained to help direct customers to reliable sources of information about how they can obtain insurance coverage under the health law. Local stores will allow organizations who have trained navigators or people qualified to help consumers pick and enroll in an insurance plan to set up  inside CVS locations.

CVS, which also run retail health clinics in more than 600 stores, and other drugstore chains stand to benefit from having additional customers with insurance. Drugstores also have a pretty good idea of which customers lack insurance when they have prescriptions filled.

Earlier this month, Walgreens said it would offer informational brochures in its 8,000-plus stores to tell consumers about the health law and would launch a website in partnership with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

CVS is also planning in-store events that would coincide with the company’s existing “project health” program that offers free health screenings like cholesterol and glucose tests and blood pressure checks to tell consumers about the health law. The events will be focused in states that have greater portions of uninsured people, including Florida, Texas, Georgia, California and  New York.

Ms. Foukles said many people don’t realize that a family of four earning as much as $94,000 annually would qualify for tax credits. Tax credits are available for people who earn up to 400% of the federal poverty level and can be calculated using Kaiser’s subsidy calculator.

Separately, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will continue efforts to promote the health law on Thursday in Chicago. She is expected to discuss the law with women bloggers at BlogHer’s annual conference and will  tour a Chicago community health center.

The Obama administration has been focusing some of its messaging on moms with the hopes they will prod adult children to enroll in health plans after market research data shows moms are viewed by their young adult sons as their most trusted person. The administration is concerned many young healthy people who currently lack insurance will opt against it and pay the potentially cheaper fine for not having insurance in 2014.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 27, 2013, 09:23:42 am
Obama Contraceptive Mandate Upheld by U.S. Appeals Court

The Obama administration won an appeals court victory in a challenge to its 2010 health-care law by a for-profit company seeking a religious exemption to a mandate that employers provide insurance coverage for contraceptives.

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia yesterday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act requirement brought by Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a cabinet maker owned by Mennonite Christians who argued the mandate violates their religious beliefs.

“We simply conclude that the law has long recognized the distinction between the owners of a corporation and the corporation itself,” U.S. Circuit Judge Robert Cowen wrote in the majority decision. “A holding to the contrary -- that a for-profit corporation can engage in religious exercise -- would eviscerate the fundamental principle that a corporation is a legally distinct entity from its owners.”

The ruling sets up a split between federal appeals courts that makes it more likely the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually consider the dispute. On June 27, a federal appeals court in Denver ruled that Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. was likely to win on the merits of its argument that the mandate violates the rights of the company and its owners under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Hobby Lobby
A federal judge on July 19 issued a ruling blocking enforcement of the mandate against Hobby Lobby and put the case on hold until October.

Conestoga and other companies challenged the government over the provision of the 2010 U.S. health law requiring employers and insurers to provide preventive health services without charge to their workers, a category of service the administration said includes birth control.

Thirty-six lawsuits have been filed by for-profit companies challenging the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage mandate, according to the National Women’s Law Center. In at least 24 cases the plaintiffs have won rulings allowing them not to provide the coverage while the litigation is pending. In seven cases, the court has ruled against the companies’ request, according to the group.

“Most courts agree that all Americans have religious freedom even when trying to earn a living and we think this decision will eventually be reviewed and that religious freedom will be vindicated,” Matt Bowman, a lawyer for Conestoga at the Washington-based Alliance for Defending Freedom, said in an interview.

‘Grievous Harm’
In a 66-page dissent, Circuit Judge Kent Jordan said the majority’s ruling “guarantees grievous harm” as Conestoga’s owners are forced to pay for the “offending contraceptives, including abortifacients,” in violation of their religious convictions or face “ruinous fines.”

“It should not be hard for us to join the many courts across the country that have looked at the mandate and its implementation and concluded that the government should be enjoined from telling sincere believers in the sanctity of life to put their consciences aside and support other people’s reproductive choices,” Jordan said.

The case is Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, 13-1144, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Philadelphia).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on August 02, 2013, 01:14:20 pm
Aetna pulls out of Maryland health exchange

Aetna Inc has pulled its applications to sell insurance plans on Maryland's individual health exchange after it was asked to lower its rates by up to 29 percent from what it had requested, according to the state's department of insurance.
In a letter sent to the Department of Insurance, Aetna said that the required rate modifications cut premiums too low on both its Aetna and Coventry products. Aetna closed on the acquisition of Coventry this spring.

"Unfortunately, we believe the modifications to the rates filed by Aetna and Coventry would not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans, including the medical network and service expectations of our customers," Aetna said in a letter to insurance commissioner Therese Goldsmith.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on August 02, 2013, 04:17:23 pm
 ::) Thieves and robbers!

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 08, 2013, 10:11:49 am
Who saw this coming? ::)

Congress wins relief on Obamacare health plan subsidies


* Congress, staff, to keep federal health premium payments

* Ruling aimed at avoiding "brain drain" on Capitol Hill (Adds comments from Republicans, Pelosi, edits)

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Congress has won some partial relief for lawmakers and their staffs from the "Obamacare" health reforms that it passed and subjected itself to three years ago.

In a ruling issued on Wednesday, U.S. lawmakers and their staffs will continue to receive a federal contribution toward the health insurance that they must purchase through soon-to-open exchanges created by President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.

The decision by the Office of Personnel Management, with Obama's blessing, will prevent the largely unintended loss of healthcare benefits for 535 members of the Senate and House of Representatives and thousands of Capitol Hill staff.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on August 08, 2013, 01:05:30 pm
see my last post!  >:(

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 15, 2013, 10:52:06 am
Obamacare is coming, and so are the scammers

As the debate rages over who benefits from the Affordable Care Act, one thing is becoming clear: The controversial program is a dream come true for con artists.

Consumer experts warn that the program has created a huge opportunity to swindle people – steal their money and snag their sensitive personal information.

“Any time you roll out a big government program like this, confusion is inevitable,” said Lois Greisman, an associate director in the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission. “This confusion creates a tremendous opportunity for the fraudster.”

Scammers have been at it for more than a year now, but consumer advocates and security experts warn that the problem will worsen as we get closer to Oct. 1. That’s when the millions of uninsured Americans can use a health insurance exchange – set-up by their state or the federal government – to shop for coverage.

“I believe the incidents are going to skyrocket as that date approaches,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center. “And even people who are smart and savvy could get taken, so we are very concerned about the potential for some serious financial harm.”

The Affordable Care Act created a Health Insurance Marketplace – also referred to as the Health Insurance Exchange. Policies in the exchange have been preapproved by each state’s insurance commissioner.

There are fake exchanges already up and running on the Internet,” said Monica Lindeen, Montana’s Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. “If you do a search and type in ‘exchange,’ you’ll find all sorts of websites that claim to be in the exchange when they are not.”

These health insurance exchanges don’t open for business until October 1, so no one can sell you insurance through an exchange until then.

Scam artists got an early jump on national health care reform. Since last year, they’ve been calling, faxing and emailing people across the country claiming to be with the Medicare or ‘Obamacare’ or some part of the federal government.

They often say they need to “verify” some personal information – typically a bank account or Social Security number – to ensure you get the proper benefits. In some cases, they tell the victim they need to purchase a new insurance card to be eligible for insurance under the new program

According to John Breyault, who runs Fraud.org , a project of National Consumers League, these scammers can be very intimidating, especially to seniors.

“We’ve heard about cases where the scam artists have threated people with jail time if they don’t purchase the fake insurance cards,” Breyault said.

Americans don’t need a new Medicare card and no one from the government is calling and asking for personal information or money. Under the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act, people who don’t buy health insurance could get hit with a financial penalty, but that does not take effect until 2014. There is no jail penalty in the law.

A con artist can claim to be anyone, for instance a “navigator” who can help you apply for health care coverage through an exchange. They gain your trust and then ask for personal information to buy non-existent policies. Fraud.org reports that some victims have been convinced to wire money or send funds via prepaid debit card to get their full benefits.

Thousands of “navigators” are being trained and certified to guide you through the process of applying for coverage through the new exchange program. These navigators are prohibited by law from recommending a particular plan. They will never ask for personal information and they will never ask for money in any form. The navigator program hasn’t started yet, so no one is making calls.

Title: To Help Navigate Obamacare, United Way, Catholic Church, Others Get $67 Million
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 15, 2013, 12:18:34 pm
To Help Navigate Obamacare, United Way, Catholic Church, Others Get $67 Million

The Obama administration today awarded $67 million in grants to more than 100 organizations who have “who have volunteered to help Americans learn about the health care coverage available in the marketplace.”

The announcement is part of a major public-private sector effort to educate Americans, particularly the uninsured, on their options should they seek coverage on the online exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment for individuals eligible for subsidies to buy coverage begins October 1 and runs for six months for broader coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2014.

“Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their coverage options in the Marketplace,” U.S.  Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen  Sebelius said. “A network of volunteers on the ground in every state – health care providers, business leaders, faith leaders, community groups, advocates, and local elected officials – can help spread the word and encourage their neighbors to get enrolled.”

The awards include:  $300,000 to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium;  the University of Arkansas, which will get more than $770,000; the Archdiocese of Mobile Alabama, which will get $20,000; and various United Way  organizations across the country.

Here’s a full list of the grantees here.

The Obama administration said navigators are “trained to provide unbiased information in a culturally competent manner to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.”

The federal funding was open to both public and private groups and “people who are self-employed who met certain standards to promote effectiveness, diversity, and program integrity,” the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in a statement.

The administration’s effort is in addition to private sector efforts also be launching by a parade of health insurance companies like Wellpoint (WLP), Aetna AET -1.5% (AET), Humana (HUM), Cigna (CI) in addition to other health care companies like Walgreens (WAG).

Title: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz: Only ‘phony Christians’ oppose Obamacare
Post by: McChristian on August 20, 2013, 06:36:41 pm
MSNBC host Ed Schultz blasted “phony” Christian conservatives who oppose Obamacare, saying the new health care law “is the most moral thing this country has ever done.”

“This is good for America and I won’t let them lie,” Mr. Schultz said, according to the Blaze. “They’re phony Christians. Phony Christians when they say that they are Christian but then they want to take away from their next-door neighbor. They don’t want to be their brother’s keeper.

“A growing number of right-wing Christians are coming out day after day as a Christian,” he said. “I think I have the right to expose their hypocrisy and call them out for all the things they are saying wrong and how misguided they are.”

Mr. Schultz said it’s a known fact that people will die if the mandate is repealed.

“It is very simple. If Obamacare is repealed, Americans will die. Children of God will die,” he said.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/18/ed-schultz-msnbc-phony-christians-oppose-obamacare/#ixzz2cYV2RnvT  (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/18/ed-schultz-msnbc-phony-christians-oppose-obamacare/#ixzz2cYV2RnvT)

Title: Re: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz: Only ‘phony Christians’ oppose Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 20, 2013, 06:47:31 pm
“A growing number of right-wing Christians are coming out day after day as a Christian,”

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/18/ed-schultz-msnbc-phony-christians-oppose-obamacare/#ixzz2cYV2RnvT  (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/18/ed-schultz-msnbc-phony-christians-oppose-obamacare/#ixzz2cYV2RnvT)

Nope, you're wrong, Ed - in the last days there won't exactly be a "revival" in the world, scripture says so.

2The 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

1Tim 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 21, 2013, 11:17:54 am
Gingrich: Republicans to Blame for Lack of Obamacare Alternatives

Former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is disappointed in his fellow Republicans: while the GOP has put up a tough resistance against the healthcare reform championed by President Barack Obama — leading nearly 40 attempts to repeal or defund all or parts of the legislation known as Obamacare — the party has yet to develop a better alternative. Last Tuesday, speaking at the opening session of a four-day gathering of the Republican National Committee in Boston, he alleged that Republicans had failed to uphold the “replace” portion of the “repeal-and-replace” pledge the party made soon after the Affordable Care Act was first passed in March 2010.

Republicans have “zero answer” regarding a replacement for Obamacare, he said. “If we’re going to take on the fight with Obamacare, we have to be able to explain to people what we would do to make your life better,” he continued. And that’s the problem: the Republican party cannot answer that question.

The president levied a similar accusation at Republicans earlier this month
: at a White House news briefing on August 9, he said that the one unifying principle in the Republican Party “is making sure that 30 million people don’t have health care.” The problem is not just that the Republican Party wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but that they have no counter proposal. “At least they used to say, well, we’re going to replace it with something better,” he continued. “There’s not even a pretense now that they’re going to replace it with something better.”

Recent surveys of public opinion show a similar concern. While the Democrats’ signature healthcare initiative remains persistently unpopular among the American people, Republicans have not been able to take advantage of the opportunity the widespread opposition to the law has given the party. A poll conducted by the Morning Consult found that voters trust Democrats more than Republicans on healthcare issues by a margin of 10 percent.

There is irony in Gingrich’s critique, and that irony explains why their is a hole in the Republican’s policy agenda. The healthcare plan laid out by Gingrich in his 2008 book, entitled “Real Change,” was very similar to Obamacare. He wrote that the government should “insist that everyone above a certain level buy coverage,” while providing “tax credits or [subsidizing] private insurance for the poor.” That suggestion is essentially an individual mandate, the core provision of the Affordable Care Act. After the much-publicized Republican criticism of the healthcare reform, it may seem surprising that Gingrich suggested a similar proposal, but many Republicans once supported that type of healthcare reform. In fact, the governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, signed a similar plan into law.

Given that past, Republicans could have seen Obamacare as a victory — because Democrats adopted their proposal rather than pushing forward with a single-payer program — and then worked with the opposition to achieve a final reform that would be closer to what the party originally envisioned. But instead Republicans chose to fight the individual mandate, which as Gingrich argued is just the problem. “We are caught up right now in a culture — and you see it every single day — where as long as we are negative and as long as we are vicious and as long as we can tear down our opponent, we don’t have to learn anything,” he said.


So BOTH political "parties" were working hand-in-hand all along...no surprise, but just saying!

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 22, 2013, 11:35:02 am
Obamacare: More Republicans Utilize Parents’ Benefits


More interestingly, while Republicans show intense dislike of the Affordable Care Act in polls, the Commonwealth Fund found that young adults who identified as Republicans enrolled in their parents’ policies in greater numbers than young adults who identified themselves as Democrats, by a ratio of 63 percent to 45 percent.

Of course, the number of young adults taking advantage of this Obamacare provision are higher among more affluent young adults and those with college degrees, who are more likely to have access to a parent’s insurance plan in the first place. A different, and more pressing question for the Obama administration, is whether those young adults who cannot be covered under their parents insurance policy will purchase plans on the exchanges beginning in October.

Title: Re: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz: Only ‘phony Christians’ oppose Obamacare
Post by: McChristian on August 22, 2013, 11:37:50 am
Nope, you're wrong, Ed - in the last days there won't exactly be a "revival" in the world, scripture says so.

2The 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

1Tim 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

I think this is apart of a deception if no world wide revival happened, unsaved skeptics could use it as "evidence" against the gospel.

Title: Re: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz: Only ‘phony Christians’ oppose Obamacare
Post by: McChristian on August 22, 2013, 11:42:07 am
I think this is apart of a deception if no world wide revival happened, unsaved skeptics could use it as "evidence" against the gospel.

Then again...

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:3-9 KJV)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 04, 2013, 03:02:58 pm
AFL-CIO President Trumka: Employers Cutting Workers to 29 1/2 Hours to Avoid ObamaCare

In the past several months, the left and their media minions have pushed back against claims businesses are trimming worker hours to avoid ObamaCare.
During a recent interview, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said employers are "restructuring their workforce to give workers 29 and a half hours so they don't have to provide them healthcare."

VIDEO: Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/09/04/afl-cio-president-trumka-employers-restructuring-workforce-29-12-hour#ixzz2dxLYwy3b

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 05, 2013, 06:06:07 am
Part-Time Positions Dominate Jobs Picture

puppet  :D

Friday, forecasters expect the Labor Department to report the economy added 175,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate remained steady at 7.4 percent. Although in line with the pace of recent months, jobs gains have been heavily weighted toward part-time positions.

Since January, 936,000 additional Americans report working part-time, while only 27,000 more say they have obtained full-time positions. The shift to part-time workers, partially a reaction to Obamacare health insurance mandates, puts downward pressure on wages and benefits in low-paying industries, like retail and restaurants, and widens income inequality.

Expectations of permanently slower growth are hardening disturbing changes in the structure of the labor market and social conditions. These days, new college graduates often work at unpaid internships while taking part-time jobs at places like Starbucks to meet minimal living expenses. And they are putting off marriage and childbearing, which also drags on consumer spending and growth.

rest: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/04/Part-Time-Positions-Dominate-Jobs-Picture

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 19, 2013, 09:22:31 am
Creepy Obamacare ad hits college campuses

There will be girls. There will be beer. There will be Cornhole. And someone will be dressed in the creepiest Uncle Sam costume you’ve ever seen.

Welcome to the strange new front in the war over Obamacare.

As the Republican dream of repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law in Congress crumbles, the fight over the law’s future shifts from Washington to college campuses, where the new challenge for Obamacare proponents lies in convincing young people to sign up for coverage mandated by the law.

The period to enroll in health insurance exchanges established under the 2010 law begins Oct. 1, which will mark the start of a race to urge Americans to participate. The health exchanges rely heavily on young, healthy Americans who will subsidize the sick and elderly within the pools. Without the healthy, the exchanges could be unsustainable. The Obama administration is devoting millions of public dollars to promote the exchanges, but many conservative groups are actively working to convince people not to join.

That’s where Creepy Uncle Sam comes in.

Generation Opportunity, a Virginia-based group that is part of a coalition of right-leaning organizations with financial ties to billionaire businessmen and political activists Charles and David Koch, will launch a six-figure campaign aimed at convincing young people to “opt-out” of the Obamacare exchanges. Later this month, the group will begin a tour of 20 college campuses, where they plan to set up shop alongside pro-Obamacare activists such as Enroll America who are working to sign people up for the insurance exchanges.

Generation Opportunity intends to host events at college football tailgate parties festivals, where “brand ambassadors” (read: hot young people) will pass out beer koozies that read, “opt out,” pizza and literature about the health care law. Some events may have impromptu dance parties with DJ’s, complete with games of Cornhole and competitions for prizes, organizers said.

Their message: You don’t have to sign up for Obamacare. And they want students to sign a pledge not get insurance plans set up by the law.

“What we’re trying to communicate is, 'No, you’re actually not required to buy health insurance,'” Generation Opportunity President Evan Feinberg told Yahoo News in an interview about the campaign. “You might have to pay a fine, but that’s going to be cheaper for you and better for you.”

Under the law, those who do not sign up for health insurance in 2014 will be required to pay $95 or one percent of household income through the Internal Revenue Service. The fine will increase after that. Generation Opportunity activists will try to convince young people that it’s better for them to pay the fine, even if it means lacking coverage.

The group’s college tour will coincide with the release of an online video series featuring an Uncle Sam character that looks more like a terrifying circus clown than the guy who wants you to join the Army.

In the first Generation Opportunity video, a young woman who has just signed up for an insurance exchange under Obamacare is shown visiting an OB/GYN. A nurse guides her into a hospital room, where she changes into a flimsy gown and inserts her legs into a set of stirrups. The nurse leaves right before Creepy Uncle Sam emerges to examine her. "Don't let government play doctor,” flashes the text on the screen as the woman screams over the sound of haunting circus-like music. The ad closes with a shot of Creepy Uncle Sam staring straight into the camera clinching a speculum.

Men don’t fare any better in Generation Opportunities horrific health care dystopia. In another video that uses the same premise, a young man visits a hospital and is told to curl up on the bed in the examination room. Just like the other ad, Creepy Uncle Sam appears out of nowhere and snaps on a pair of latex gloves for what is assumed to be a prostate exam.

Generation Opportunity plans to spend up to $750,000 on the messaging push and tour, which extends through the fall. The group hasn’t announced the list of the college towns where they plan to visit, but organizers said the schedule will in part be based on areas where Enroll America workers and volunteers have a strong presence.

The campaign is one part of a larger network of conservative groups that are shifting attention away from the battle in Washington to the ground game in the states. In one recently announced campaign, the tea party-organizing group FreedomWorks called on its activists to “burn your Obamacare card.” (The act is symbolic more than it is literal, of course, since there isn’t any such card.) Another group,  Americans for Prosperity, plans to host events  at sporting events, festivals and town fairs around the country to urge people away from the exchanges.

Organizers behind these efforts know that the law relies on young people. After several failed attempts by conservatives to repeal it in Congress, they have determined that this is their best shot at killing it, or at least give it a knee-capping.

“If young people do opt out en mass, it will put the law in a bind, for sure,” said Feinberg, who insists their main goal is not to get rid of the law. “If it means they have to repeal it because it doesn’t work and that ends up crippling the law, well fine. Then they have to make some changes or repeal the law to make it work.”

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on September 19, 2013, 12:55:49 pm
Here's the hitch and they know it; if people reject the system's insurance, then what? So they pay the fine out of their tax refund, but what about all those bills for medical care that WILL happen to all those people that have no coverage? The VAST majority cannot afford to be a cash pay patient. It's WAY too expensive. So the reality is, people simply don't have the money to pay for medical care, so who pays?

Title: House passes spending bill to defund Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 20, 2013, 12:40:42 pm
House passes spending bill to defund Obamacare

House Republicans passed their stopgap funding bill Friday to keep government open while terminating the new health care law, setting up a final showdown next week with Senate Democrats and President Obama who have firmly rejected the GOP approach.
The 230-189 vote, which split almost exactly along party lines, is the precursor to the big action next week, when the Democratic majority in the Senate is expected to strip out the health care provisions and send the bill back to the House — where Republicans will have to decide whether they can accept it at that point.


All sides are racing to beat a Sept. 30 deadline, which is when current funding for the federal government runs out. The new measure would fund the government through Dec. 15, essentially at last year’s levels, and would leave the budget sequester cuts in place.
But Republicans on Friday also attached two amendments to the final bill — one to direct how government spending is prioritized in the event the Treasury Department bumps up against its borrowing limit in the coming weeks, and another that strips out funding for President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act, which would effectively stop its implementation.
“The American people don’t want the government shut down, and they don’t want Obamacare,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner, who rallied with fellow Republicans after the vote in a show of unity that seemed designed to quell speculation about a rebellion within the House Republican Conference.
Republicans said the move was designed to put some Democratic senators on the spot. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor named several who are up for re-election next year, including Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu and Alaska Sen. Mark Begich.
Democrats said the bill was an outrage that exposed Republicans’ true intention of trying to force a government shutdown.
“It is a wolf in wolf’s clothing,” said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. “Either you don’t know what you’re doing or this is one of the most intentional acts of brutality you’ve cooked up.”

Rep. Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the House spending committee, said limiting government funding now would immediate consequences, such as preventing federal authorities from being able to help out as Colorado recovers from devastating floods.
Democrats urged the GOP to negotiate with them to raise taxes in order to spend more.
Republicans countered that if they’d wanted to shut down government, they wouldn’t have brought any bill to the floor.
“We are pragmatists. We know we have to pass bills to fund government. Thus this bill,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, Kentucky Republican.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/20/house-passes-spending-bill-defund-obamacare/#ixzz2fSKAQDzG
 Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 20, 2013, 12:43:18 pm
Exactly - where Ted Cruz is pretty much nothing more than an actor playing the role of "superman" in this dog and pony show.

As for Ted Cruz - as a junior Senator from TX elected just last year, he needs to serve his own state of TX, and think about them only, instead of running around the country thinking about 2016. ::)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 20, 2013, 01:20:50 pm
why does it appear to be that all the bad crazy people in the world are Liberals?

Democratic Official Allan Brauer Wishes Death on Ted Cruz Aide’s Children

Brauer serves as communications chair for Sacramento Democratic Party

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
September 20, 2013 1:09 pm

Allan Brauer, the communications chair for the Democratic Party of Sacramento, Calif., told an aide to Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Tex.) on Friday that he hoped her children “die from debilitating, painful and incurable diseases.”

all pics, tweets and links: http://freebeacon.com/democratic-official-allan-brauer-wishes-death-on-ted-cruz-aides-children/

allanbrauer @allanbrauer

@amandacarpenter May your children all die from debilitating, painful and incurable diseases.
12:20 PM - 20 Sep 2013

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 20, 2013, 04:23:53 pm
Filibuster the House CR? Cruz, Other Conservatives Say ‘Yes’ (Updated)

Updated 1:20 p.m. | Sen. Ted Cruz said Friday that Republican senators should, in effect, filibuster the House-passed continuing resolution in the Senate.
The Texas Republican is calling on his colleagues to oppose limiting debate on it, warning against what he calls procedural trickery.
“Step two is the Senate, where all accounts suggest Harry Reid plans to use procedural gimmicks to try to add funding back in for Obamacare,” Cruz said. “If Reid pursues this plan — if he insists on using a 50-vote threshold to fund Obamacare with a partisan vote of only Democrats — then I hope that every Senate Republican will stand together and oppose cloture on the bill in order to keep the House bill intact and not let Harry Reid add Obamacare funding back in.”
“Now is a time for party unity; Senate Republicans should stand side-by-side with courageous House Republicans,” Cruz said.

dont get your hopes up
The statement underscores the unwinnable procedural hand faced by conservative senators, however. They know that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will move to strike out the Obamacare defunding language after getting the 60 votes needed to limit debate, but they can’t stop him without effectively endorsing a government shutdown.
The Nevada Democrat’s move is completely in keeping with long-standing Senate rules. Pending germane amendments and motions, such as a motion to strike, are allowed simple-majority votes after debate’s been limited.
“Republicans are simply postponing for a few days the inevitable choice they must face: pass a clean bill to fund the government, or force a shutdown. I have said it before but it seems to bear repeating: The Senate will not pass any bill that defunds or delays Obamacare,” Reid said in a Friday statement.
Cruz’s statement came shortly after the head of the Senate Conservatives Fund said likewise.
“Harry Reid needs 60 votes to approve his plan to fund Obamacare. If 41 Republicans stand strong and oppose cloture, they can defeat Reid’s plan to fund Obamacare. However, if Republicans waffle and vote for cloture, it will grease the skids for Reid’s plan to fund Obamacare. It’s pretty simple — any Republican who votes for cloture is voting to fund Obamacare,” SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins said.
By asking Republicans to oppose any motion to invoke cloture, and thus limit debate, on the stopgap spending bill passed Friday by the Republican-led House — the one that does defund the health care overhaul — Cruz and Hoskins are literally calling for Republicans to filibuster the bill and, possibly, shut down the government in the process.
Hoskins goes directly at Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“It’s time for Mitch McConnell to show some leadership and deliver the 41 votes needed to defeat cloture on Harry Reid’s plan to fund Obamacare,” Hoskins said. “Republicans like to say they are against Obamacare, but now is the time to prove it. Now is when it matters.”
Of course, if GOP senators actually follow Cruz and Hoskins’ advice, they will, in effect, be voting against a bill that includes Obamacare defunding. The vote to strike that language is not expected until after cloture is invoked, and it will take only 51 votes to succeed. That’s why Cruz may ultimately be proved correct when he says Democrats have the votes to send the measure back to the House, without Obamacare funding.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 22, 2013, 10:12:16 pm
Beware of the source(Christian Science Monitor - as I've said on this forum, I was involved in this CS cult briefly 5 years ago, until something didn't feel right while reading through their "Health and Science: Key to the Scriptures" 'bible' they use...which pretty much lead to end times bible prophecies/Christian apologetics, and eventually the KJV and this forum) - nonetheless, I can see something similar playing out with this whole "government shutdown" brewing...while the entire country is focused on the government shutdown potential, they're also potentially going to take their eyes off of Obamacare(and not learning about it). So whatever happens(whether or not the government shuts down), Obamacare is still going to go on, which will take everyone by surprise and leave everyone with no choice.

Pretty much, all Ted Cruz is doing is telling everyone what their itching ears want to hear.

Health-care reform could launch despite a federal shutdown

Health-care reform exchanges expect to have access to funds on Oct. 1, when the federal government might shut down if Congress can't find a compromise on spending. The main reason: Health-care reform money to fund the exchanges isn't part of Congress's annual appropriations.

U.S. State officials behind the launch of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform on Oct. 1 say they could weather a federal government shutdown, though the scenario would add new pressure to the political attacks and technical issues that have weighed on the program's introduction.

Several officials running new state-based insurance exchanges that are due to open for enrollment next month said they expected to have access to funds in the case of a shutdown, which if it happens, would also start on Oct. 1, the beginning of the the fiscal year.

But they were unsure of the consequences for the federal agencies they work with, in part because they have not been briefed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency taking the lead in implementing the reform law.

The exchanges are key to the success of "Obamacare," as they aim to help millions of uninsured Americans receive benefits by providing government subsidies to buy insurance.

Officials involved in building the online marketplaces have already warned of technical bumps and glitches in the first few weeks after they go live, contributing to a slow start to enrollment.

Independent experts believe that "the effects of a government shutdown on the implementation of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) are likely to be pretty small," said Paul Van de Water, a policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based non-profit think tank.

The main reason, he said, is that the money flowing to the 16 states and the nation's capital that are running their own ACA exchange is what's called a "permanent appropriation," enshrined in the 2010 healthcare reform law. Because the funds are not subject to annual appropriations, they will continue to be available to states that need to pay employees and contractors and buy equipment and supplies.

What is even less clear is the ability of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to operate a federal data "hub" that underpins both the state-run exchanges and the 34 state exchanges that fall under the purview of the administration.

The possibility of a federal government shutdown became more likely late last week, when congressional Republicans voted to fund the government but not the implementation of Obama's healthcare law.

The Democrat-controlled Senate is unlikely to go along. If the two chambers cannot agree on a spending bill by Sept. 30, it will trigger a government shutdown the next day.

Previous shutdowns, as well as a memo issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last week, shed some light on how another one would affect the rollout of the ACA.

OMB told federal agencies that they could continue to run "entitlement programs, such as social security benefits, for which an indefinite appropriation provides the funding."

During the longest government shutdown, from Dec. 16, 1995, to Jan.6, 1996, similar procedure allowed almost all employees of the Social Security Administration to continue working (and get paid), because Social Security "is a permanent program" that does not require annual appropriations from Congress to operate, said Van de Water.

The benefits established under the healthcare reform law, including federal subsidies to help people pay insurance premiums, "are also entitlements provided in permanent law," he said. "Under the OMB memo it seems highly likely that CMS would conclude that the people necessary to carry out the ACA could continue to work."

Federal employees working on Obamacare could therefore keep reporting to their desks even if they are not deemed "essential." OMB defines essential employees as those "providing for the national security," which means the military continues to operate during a government shutdown, or "the safety of life and property," which means people such as meat inspectors, FBI agents and federal prison guards remain on the job.

CMS referred questions about who would work and what ACA-related functions would be affected by a shutdown to OMB. In a statement, OMB spokesman Steven Posner said "agencies are still in the process of reviewing relevant legal requirements and updating their plans. Determinations about specific programs are being actively reviewed as agencies undertake this process."


Another key question concerns how a shutdown would affect Obamacare's core information technology (IT) component, called the federal data services hub.

The hub funnels personal information, such as income, from databases at the Internal Revenue Service, other federal agencies and private data companies back to the state exchanges, indicating whether someone is eligible for federal subsidies to purchase health insurance.

"I have not been provided any information from CMS on whether the hub would operate" in the event of a government shutdown, said Rocky King, executive director of Cover Oregon, that state's Obamacaremarketplace.

That will depend on how CMS interprets OMB's directive in two areas: contractors and information technology.

Contractors led by CGI Group Inc and Quality Software Services Inc have built and will operate much of the information technology (IT) underpinning the exchanges. Even if the data hub is allowed to operate during a government shutdown, "it needs continuous maintenance," said Michael Marchand, spokesman for Washington Health Plan Finder, that state's ACA marketplace.

OMB says that a contractor "may continue to proceed with its work" during a shutdown if the agency it's working for "already obligated funds representing the entire price under a contract" before the shutdown.

"This seems to say that if there is an issued contract, the contractors can keep working," said Van de Water.

CMS declined to say whether the IT contracts for Obamacare meet that criterion.

IT operations are allowed to continue only under limited circumstances, according to the OMB memo. One circumstance is if "their continuation is necessarily implied from a congressional authorization or appropriation of other continued functions."

States running their own Obamacare exchanges are also uncertain about whether their own employees will get paid in the event of a shutdown, and whether they will have access to the federal grants that support their operations. The ambiguity stems from the fact that the grants, totaling tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars, did not come in the form of a lump payment deposited in a state's bank account.

"These are draw-down grants so the money is not in our bank," said Oregon's King, referring to a system in which the federal government deposits funds in accounts that states draw from as expenses are incurred. "No information has been shared with me that we would be prevented from continuing that draw-down, but I just don't know."

Kevin Counihan, chief of Connecticut's Access Health CT exchange, said he should have enough money to operate for about four months in the event of a shutdown. Should the federal data hub not be operational, the state could still accept applications, he said. Officials in Colorado also said their exchange would function, but the state would have to make adjustments if the shutdown was prolonged.

Federal payments to subsidize insurance for eligible buyers - those with incomes less than four times the federal poverty level, or $62,040 for a couple - would not be in jeopardy because they are due just before coverage begins, not when someone enrolls. Anyone buying health insurance by Dec. 15, 2013, is covered as of Jan. 1, 2014.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 23, 2013, 12:51:46 pm
Filibuster the House CR? Cruz, Other Conservatives Say ‘Yes’ (Updated)

Updated 1:20 p.m. | Sen. Ted Cruz said Friday that Republican senators should, in effect, filibuster the House-passed continuing resolution in the Senate.
The Texas Republican is calling on his colleagues to oppose limiting debate on it, warning against what he calls procedural trickery.
“Step two is the Senate, where all accounts suggest Harry Reid plans to use procedural gimmicks to try to add funding back in for Obamacare,” Cruz said. “If Reid pursues this plan — if he insists on using a 50-vote threshold to fund Obamacare with a partisan vote of only Democrats — then I hope that every Senate Republican will stand together and oppose cloture on the bill in order to keep the House bill intact and not let Harry Reid add Obamacare funding back in.”
“Now is a time for party unity; Senate Republicans should stand side-by-side with courageous House Republicans,” Cruz said.

dont get your hopes up

Yeah, I think I see where this is going...

Most oppose Obamacare defund if it means government shuts down: Poll

A trio of articles indicating Republicans’ attempt to defund President Obama’s health-care overhaul may be futile are headlining health-care news as the week begins, including a survey that says most Americans oppose the defunding effort if it means a government shutdown.

CNBC said Monday that a poll it sponsored of 800 people finds that 59% of those surveyed are opposed to the Republican plan to defund if it means shutting down the government or defaulting on the nation’s debt. Another 19% are in favor of a government shutdown and 18% say they are unsure.

The survey, conducted by Hart-McInturff, also finds that a plurality of Americans are opposed to defunding Obamacare in general: with 44% compared to 38% in favor. CNBC’s poll also found that men are split on defunding in general, with 43% in favor and 42% opposed. But if defunding means a government shutdown, 56% are opposed to defunding while 14% are in favor. Women oppose defunding under any circumstance, 47% to 33%.

Republicans support defunding in general 51% to 36%, but also are opposed if it means a shutdown, by a 48%-36% margin. Independents oppose defunding in general 44% to 40%, but the percent of those opposed to defunding jumps to 65% if a shutdown is to occur, compared with 14% in favor.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News is pointing out that even if there were to be a government shutdown, Obamacare would continue to be funded. An article from the business news service says that the law relies mostly on mandatory spending that can’t be stopped, putting it in the same category as Medicare and Social Security.

And the Washington Post says that, in a sign of concession, some Obamacare opponents are instead trying to reshape the law rather than repeal it.

“Why shoot for the moon?” the Post quotes Randel Johnson, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as saying. The chamber has been a vocal critic of the law and Washington’s biggest spender on lobbying.

“There may be five or six things we can get done — those are the ones we’re going to focus on,” Johnson went on to say.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 23, 2013, 09:46:34 pm
Apparently, this has been in the works for AWHILE now!

Do Republicans Really Want Universal Health Care?

In 2007, Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina sent a letter to President George W. Bush.

DeMint said he would like to work with Bush to pass legislation that would “ensure that all Americans would have affordable, quality, private health coverage, while protecting current government programs. We believe the health care system cannot be fixed without providing solutions for everyone. Otherwise, the costs of those without insurance will continue to be shifted to those who do have coverage.”

Read that closely. DeMint does not say he wants legislation that would ensure all Americans have “access” to coverage -- the standard rhetorical dodge of politicians who don’t want to oppose universal coverage, but also don’t want to do what’s necessary to achieve it. He says that he wants legislation that ensures all American actually have coverage. He says that without making sure every American has coverage, “the health care system cannot be fixed.” For good measure, DeMint wants to achieve this “while protecting current government programs.”

DeMint was not alone. Signatories to the letter included Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell, Kent Conrad, Herb Kohl, Ken Salazar and Ron Wyden, and Republican Senators Robert Bennett, Mike Crapo, Trent Lott and John Thune. But it’s DeMint’s involvement that seems, in retrospect, most remarkable.

Conservative Champion

DeMint is arguably the Senate’s most conservative member, and he’s inarguably the chamber’s most aggressive champion of the Tea Party. He’s the guy, in fact, who has been helping the Tea Party knock off Republican incumbents for being insufficiently conservative. Yet in the letter to Bush, DeMint sounds like Barack Obama. That letter wasn’t an isolated incident. DeMint also endorsed Mitt Romney for president in 2007, telling National Review that Romney “has demonstrated, when he stepped into government in a very difficult state, that he could work in a difficult partisan environment, take some good conservative ideas, like private health insurance, and apply them to the need to have everyone insured.”

Whatever the fallout from the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, the two parties have clearly laid out their health-care platforms for 2012. The Democrats’ commitment is to provide every American with health insurance. The Republican Party’s commitment is to prevent any American from being forced to have health insurance.

It wasn’t always this way. Democrats and Republicans used to argue over how best to achieve universal coverage, but both agreed on the goal. The first president to propose a serious universal health-care plan was Harry Truman, a Democrat. The second was Richard Nixon, a Republican. In the 1990s, when President Bill Clinton was arguing for a national health-care system based on an employer mandate, Republicans were arguing for one based on an individual mandate.

In the 2000s, Romney used the individual mandate to make Massachusetts the first state to actually achieve near-universal coverage. On the national level, Republicans as diverse as Newt Gingrich, Lamar Alexander and Lott joined him. Republicans sometimes like to present their support for the individual mandate as a youthful indiscretion, but as late as June 2009, Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, was telling Fox News that “there is a bipartisan consensus to have an individual mandate.”


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 24, 2013, 01:08:55 pm
Filibuster the House CR? Cruz, Other Conservatives Say ‘Yes’ (Updated)

Updated 1:20 p.m. | Sen. Ted Cruz said Friday that Republican senators should, in effect, filibuster the House-passed continuing resolution in the Senate.
The Texas Republican is calling on his colleagues to oppose limiting debate on it, warning against what he calls procedural trickery.
“Step two is the Senate, where all accounts suggest Harry Reid plans to use procedural gimmicks to try to add funding back in for Obamacare,” Cruz said. “If Reid pursues this plan — if he insists on using a 50-vote threshold to fund Obamacare with a partisan vote of only Democrats — then I hope that every Senate Republican will stand together and oppose cloture on the bill in order to keep the House bill intact and not let Harry Reid add Obamacare funding back in.”
“Now is a time for party unity; Senate Republicans should stand side-by-side with courageous House Republicans,” Cruz said.

dont get your hopes up

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, dismisses Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, strategy on defunding Obamacare - @CNN

3 House Republicans propose legislation that requires federal healthcare officials to sign up for Obamacare - @thehill

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to vote for House-passed bill that defunds Obamacare, breaks with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, strategy - @KellyO

Cruz Loses Support for Anti-Obamacare Tactic

U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz speaks to a cheerful crowd after he defeated Republican rival, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a runoff election for ...

Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn won’t back Ted Cruz Obamacare tactic

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will not join an effort in the Senate to block a House-passed spending bill that defunds Obamacare, a spokesman for McConnell said Monday.
“Sen. McConnell supports the House Republicans’ bill and will not vote to block it, since it defunds Obamacare and funds the government without increasing spending by a penny. He will also vote against any amendment that attempts to add Obamacare funding back into the House Republicans’ bill,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for the Republican senator.

The statement represents a divergence from the approach favored by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), who want Republicans to oppose a procedural vote on the House bill before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to strip out the Obamacare defunding provision by a majority vote.
“If and when the majority leader goes down that path, Washington Democrats will have to decide — without hiding behind a procedural vote — whether or not to split with their leadership and join Republicans and their constituents in opposing the re-insertion of Obamacare funding into the House-passed bill,” Stewart added.
A spokeswoman for McConnell’s top lieutenant, Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, said that Cornyn too will break with Cruz and Lee.
“Sen. Cornyn will not block a bill that defunds Obamacare,” the spokeswoman said.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/mitch-mcconnell-john-cornyn-ted-cruz-obamacare-97228.html#ixzz2fppNri6v

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 24, 2013, 01:13:04 pm
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, dismisses Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, strategy on defunding Obamacare - @CNN

3 House Republicans propose legislation that requires federal healthcare officials to sign up for Obamacare - @thehill

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to vote for House-passed bill that defunds Obamacare, breaks with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, strategy - @KellyO

Cruz Loses Support for Anti-Obamacare Tactic

I hate to say this, but when the USSC made their ruling in late June of last year, Obamacare became set in stone - Pt being that who do these people think they are trying to fool?

For years and years and years, even the GOP establishment was pushing for some kind of government-runned health care system, and they had no problems with Mitt Romney's universal health care plan in MA.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on September 24, 2013, 02:02:08 pm
It's just vain men exhalting themselves when they have opportunity so they can crow, "Look at me and what I did for you". They expect something in return for their "charity".

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 25, 2013, 11:01:53 am
Health-Law Implementation to Vary by State

As 'Obamacare' Kicks In, Americans' Experiences Are Set to Diverge Depending on Where They Live


There is just one federal health law, but the way Americans experience the debut of its main provisions on Oct. 1 will vary widely depending on where they live.

Every state, whether it supports the law or not, will have a health-insurance exchange where people will shop for coverage—the health overhaul's centerpiece.

But some states are running their own exchanges, while others are letting the federal government handle that task. Some are pushing ahead with the biggest expansion of Medicaid—the federal-state program for the poor—since its creation in the 1960s. Others aren't extending local eligibility rules for Medicaid. Some are giving generous funds to "navigators" who are supposed to help people sign up. Elsewhere, navigators face restrictions.

"Your prices, your consumer experience will differ dramatically across states or even regions in states," said Joel Ario, managing director at Manatt Health Solutions, a New York-based health-care consulting practice. Rural areas will likely have fewer insurer choices than urban areas, where insurers are competing more vigorously for new customers.

The divergences could make it harder to judge the law's success, at least initially. With the health law, President Barack Obama envisioned expanding medical coverage for most of the 48 million people who currently don't have it and placed confidence in governments to run the system smoothly. Critics called his plan a government takeover of health care that would result in bureaucracy run amok and higher costs. After coverage begins Jan. 1, gauging which of those scenarios will be closer to the truth could vary depending on the conditions in each area.

In general, the states that declined to run their own exchanges are the ones where conservative legislators and voters have been most hostile to "Obamacare." Many of those states also have had historically tight eligibility for Medicaid and are generally declining to expand it now. And they are also the states most likely to have added restrictions on navigators.

Not all the differences fall along a red state-blue state divide. Both Kentucky and Missouri voted against Mr. Obama, but Kentucky is running its own exchange and using state employees to encourage enrollment, while Missouri is relying on the federal government's exchange and barring state employees from helping.

The price of insurance policies available on the exchanges varies by area—and just as importantly, the perception of the prices is likely to be different. Some states have long had tight restrictions on the kind of policies that can be sold to individuals and small businesses, resulting in relatively higher prices. People in those states aren't likely to see big premium jumps. In states that left insurers with a freer hand, some people face greater price increases.

In Atlanta, before Georgia's new federally run health exchange kicks off, the cheapest plan available now has a monthly base rate of $43 for a healthy 30-year-old male nonsmoker, reflecting the state's light regulation. The median plan starts at $108 a month, according to a federal database of plans. Next year, that same customer will likely have to pay at least $188 a month, although some lower-income people could get subsidies toward premium costs.

Under the new system, insurers must accept all comers and can't charge sick people more. Currently, insurers in some states are allowed to offer healthy people skimpy plans with low rates, but those will go away when new federal requirements kick in this fall.

"I was always skeptical of Obamacare," Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, a Republican, said in a statement. "But I never imagined that it would lead to rates being doubled or tripled. Increases of this magnitude will make coverage less affordable and increase the number of uninsured in Georgia." Nationwide, people who forgo coverage next year face a fine of at least $95.

By contrast, health insurance has long cost more in New York, in part because the state has barred insurers from rejecting customers over pre-existing conditions. In the new health exchanges, the lowest-cost plan for a person living in Albany, regardless of age or tobacco usage, will be $237 a month, according to the state insurance regulator.

"These plans and rates deliver on the promise that the exchange will offer quality health insurance coverage at a price that works for New Yorkers," said the executive director of the New York Health Benefit Exchange, Donna Frescatore, who was appointed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 25, 2013, 11:12:59 am
Doctors Brace for Health Law’s Surge of Ailing Patients

Holy Cross Hospital’s health center in Aspen Hill, Maryland, is bracing for more business.

The center treats the uninsured, and has been busy since it opened in 2012 with a waiting list of more than 400 people at its clinic. Now, as a result of the U.S. Affordable Care Act, it’s mulling adding staff and hours in anticipation of next year’s rush of newly-insured patients, many with chronic medical conditions that have gone untreated for years.

Poorly controlled diabetes can cause stroke, kidney failure and blindness. Undiagnosed cancer can translate into complex end-of-life care, and untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks. In effect, the 2010 health law’s biggest promise becomes its most formidable challenge: unprecedented access to care for a needy population when the nation is already grappling with overtaxed emergency rooms and a shortage of physicians.

“When you’re getting people that haven’t had insurance, they have significant health issues,” said Kevin Sexton, president and chief executive officer of Holy Cross Health, in a telephone interview. “A lot of people need these services.”

About 25 million Americans are expected to gain coverage under the health law, commonly known as Obamacare. Starting Oct. 1, as many as 7 million uninsured Americans will begin shopping for private plans through government-run exchanges, with many people eligible to have their premiums subsidized by taxpayers. On Jan. 1, Medicaid programs for low-income people will be expanded in about half the U.S. states.

Strained System

The increase in newly insured patients arrives at a time when the nation has 15,230 fewer primary-care doctors than it needs, according to an Aug. 28 assessment by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And emergency rooms report being strained with visits that have risen at twice the rate of population growth.

“It’s like we’re handing out bus tickets and the bus is already full,” said Perry Pugno, vice president for medical education at the American Academy of Family Physicians, by telephone. “The shortfall of primary-care access is not an insignificant problem, and it’s going to get worse.”

Almost half of all uninsured, non-elderly adults had a chronic condition, based on a 2005 report by the Urban Institute and the University of Maryland. One in six with hypertension reported no visits to health professionals in a year.

Most who come to Holy Cross’s health center now lack insurance, and have lived for years with serious ailments, according to Elise Riley, the center’s medical director. “It’s frustrating to see diseases that could have been prevented,” she said in an interview in her office.

More demand may lead to months-long waits to see doctors, delays in finding specialists, and strains on hospitals and outpatient clinics, others said.

Patient Access

Ensuring patient access is critical to the Affordable Care Act’s success: if the newly insured swamp the medical system, it could hand critics pushing to derail the law another argument to fray public support. Sara Rosenbaum, a health-law professor at George Washington University in Washington, said she doesn’t believe it’s going to happen.

“It’s going to be a slow ramp up,” Rosenbaum said in a telephone interview. “It’s not like seven million people will get insurance at once. They’re not going to all come racing in the door.”

While that number of new patients can be debated, the status of those who do come in the door is not.

Patients who have had gaps in health insurance were more likely to have not gone to a doctor when sick or to have skipped getting prescriptions, according to an April 2013 report by the Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based foundation that works for health-care access. The uninsured were less likely to be up-to-date on recommended cholesterol, blood pressure, colon cancer screenings and mammograms.

Massachusetts Overhaul

Massachusetts pioneered health reform in 2006 when it enacted near universal coverage under then governor Mitt Romney. Community health centers and hospitals that care for a larger share of lower-income residents saw a 12 percent jump in patient volume from 2009 to 2010, with almost 100,000 more visits to safety net hospitals during that time, according to a 2012 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

David Longworth, chairman of the Medicine Institute at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic, was working in Massachusetts when the state passed near universal health coverage.

“Practices closed and patients would wait for eight to nine months to get in,” Longworth said by telephone. “We overwhelmed the primary care health system.”

In cities such as Lawrence, Massachusetts, a former textile city that has long been home to a large immigrant community, doctors have coped with rising volume.

Patient Surplus

The Lawrence Family Medicine Residency, which provides primary care and other medical services to a largely low-income patient population, saw an uptick in patients, said Joseph Gravel, chief medical officer and residency program director.

“When you look at the experience in Massachusetts, it’s going to be bumpy” when Obamacare rolls out, Gravel said in a telephone interview.

The percentage of family doctors in the state accepting new patients has dropped 19 percent in the past seven years and the percentage of internists accepting new patients has fallen 21 percent over nine years, according to a July report by the Massachusetts Medical Society, an advocacy group for patients and physicians. Only about half of family doctors were accepting new patients this year.

The Cleveland Clinic predicts as many as 90,000 new patients in northeast Ohio if everyone signs up for coverage. The health system is working to ramp up its primary care practices in anticipation.

Exciting Challenge

At Grady Health System in Atlanta, more patients are expected, especially at its six outpatient centers. San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center in California has some expanded hours its 19 primary care centers. The centers are located in the hospital and out in the community.

“We anticipate an increase in primary care and specialty,” Chief Executive Officer Sue Currin said.

On a recent Friday morning at the Holy Cross clinic in Aspen Hill, Riley donned a white coat and prepared to see patients. While there may be more patients under reform, Riley said an increase in business will be welcome.

“I’ve very excited,” Riley said. “I’ve been dealing with uninsured patients for a long time. If they get coverage, we can prevent a lot of problems.”

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 25, 2013, 11:18:07 am
Ala. Residents Won’t Get Any Details About ‘Obamacare’ Plans Before Insurance Options Go Online Oct. 1

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabamians hoping to find health insurance through a new federally developed insurance marketplace won’t get any details before October, when the insurance options are scheduled to go online.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports it is working on completing the list of health insurance plans that will be made public Oct. 1, when people can begin signing up for coverage that will start Jan. 1. That gives the uninsured a three-month window to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s mandate for individuals to have health insurance by Jan. 1 or face penalties at tax time in April.

“It’s frustrating that we are not going to be able to get a preview,” said Jim Carnes, spokesman for Alabama Arise, a Montgomery-based organization that addresses issues affecting Alabama’s poor. Because of that, Carnes predicts a slow start to people signing up.

The Affordable Care Act calls for each state to have an insurance marketplace, either run by the state government or federal government, to help the uninsured find coverage. The federal government is creating the marketplace in Alabama because Gov. Robert Bentley is an opponent of the federal law and opted for Alabama not to participate. The marketplace is also referred to as an exchange.

The state Department of Insurance announced in May that the federal government had asked it to review plans submitted by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and United Healthcare to cover people statewide and by Humana to cover 50 of Alabama’s 67 counties.

Blue Cross spokeswoman Koko Mackin said the company’s products have received federal approval.

United Healthcare spokesman Tyler Mason and Humana’s Mitch Lubitz said the companies are awaiting final word.

The companies aren’t giving any previews of their plans before the federal government discloses details Oct. 1.

The Census Bureau says one in eight Alabamians younger than 65, or 13.3 percent, lacked health insurance in 2012. The Department of Health and Human Services recently estimated 642,738 Alabamians were uninsured and would be eligible to buy coverage in the insurance marketplace.

To help people navigate the new offerings, the Department of Health and Human Services is providing more than $3 million to pay for assistance from Alabama organizations and health centers that serve the poor.

Alabama’s attorney general, who has fought the Affordable Care Act, is warning consumers to be on guard about the privacy of information they supply. “The various groups and agencies involved in Obamacare will have significant access to consumers’ personal information. Yet HHS rules do not make clear provisions to protect the privacy of such information,” Attorney General Luther Strange said in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Helen Sebelius.

Sebelius and others in the Obama administration began a high-level effort Wednesday to reassure Americans about the privacy and security of the information submitted under the Affordable Care Act.

John Pickens, executive director of the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice in Montgomery, said it’s critical for uninsured Alabamians to go to the new website (http://www.healthcare.gov) to look at the options in the Alabama marketplace. He said they can also plug in financial information that will tell them if they qualify for subsidies available for people with incomes less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four that is $94,200.

He said small businesses with fewer than 25 employees should also check out the website because they can get tax credits by purchasing employee coverage through the marketplace.

“This is a historic time as it is the first time that no American will be turned down for health insurance because of a pre-existing health condition,” he said.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on September 25, 2013, 01:14:39 pm
when the nation is already grappling with overtaxed emergency rooms and a shortage of physicians.

Uh, the medical schools, hospitals, and the government are to blame for that!

The very high-minded medical school system is and always has been the reason doctors are in short supply, if that is in fact true. I also think the government system is to blame for putting too much on doctors to learn, thus it severely restricts who can manage to learn how to be a doctor. Many procedures don't need a doctor, but a trained technician. Not even a Physicians Assistant (PA). With the supervision of a doctor, there is no reason a nurse cannot sew up minor wounds, etc. with just a little bit of hands-on training. My wife has managed to learn wound care to the point she surprises doctors with what she knows how to do, and she's just a Medical Assistant (in most states, that's equivalent to one step below a LPN). So effectively, regulations has caused excessive restrictions, which in turn puts more burden on doctors. Ultimately, it's another reason that causes prices to skyrocket for patients in the end.

Hospitals are to blame because they won't hire outside their "budget". Corporate boards won't allow it because they are in it for profit, not charity. They are driven mad with the determination to "keep costs down" and "increase profit margin".

True, a hospital has only so many beds they designed into the hospital emergency room. So at times, it's going to get crowded, but that doesn't excuse the excessive waits overall, yet hospital staff use that as an excuse all the time. When the reality is that there is an indifference settled into these people, I believe because of no faith in Jesus, and so they treat patients like cattle. "We'll see if we can't get you something for the pain" is basically code for "Your in for a LONG wait pal, so deal with it".

It's as if they have the attitude that if the patient isn't coding and is stable, they are fine and get in no hurry to treat them, regardless of the pain and discomfort the patient is feeling. It's easy for them to say to lay there on your back for the next 2 days, you cannot get up, blah, blah, blah. They lose touch with what patients have to endure. It's an emotional disconnect that they are taught, so their relationship with a patient "doesn't get personal". They don't want personnel to "get too close" to the patient.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on September 25, 2013, 01:57:20 pm
The companies aren’t giving any previews of their plans before the federal government discloses details Oct. 1

Looks like the federal government just made that disclosure...

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/prices-set-health-care-exchanges-040600393.html (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/prices-set-health-care-exchanges-040600393.html)

Prices Set for New Health-Care Exchanges

The Wall Street JournalBy Louise Radnofsky
| The Wall Street Journal – 14 hours ago

hemselves. Fourteen states are operating exchanges on their own.

The Obama administration called the rates a good deal for consumers.


Good deal? Not for patients. It's great for business. All those new patients that are being forced into the system, each paying an office visit fee just for showing up. And of course a new patient will likely need some tests, you know, a chest x-ray or something. That may well be right down the hall at their "sister company" imaging center.

Deductibles. Who is talking about the cash out of pocket that each plan requires before coverage kicks in? I've seen deductible numbers in the $6,000 range, which means you pay that amount out of your pocket before the insurance will pay say 80 percent. Where is the mentions of that financial reality?

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 26, 2013, 11:50:45 am
Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees...

Surprise! Obamacare foe Cruz votes with Democrats on spending plan

Washington (CNN) -- He spent more than 21 straight hours railing against any government funding for Obamacare. Then Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas joined the other 99 senators from both parties in voting Wednesday to move ahead on a spending plan expected to do just that.

The rare 100-0 vote on a procedural step means the spending measure that would avoid a partial government shutdown next week now can be amended by Senate Democrats to restore funding for President Barack Obama's signature health care reforms, which had been eliminated last week by House Republicans.

Cruz led a group of tea party conservatives in trying to block Senate consideration of the spending legislation because Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid made clear his caucus would remove the provision that defunded Obamacare.

However, Cruz came under strong criticism from fellow Republicans for that strategy, which called for GOP senators to filibuster the House measure that -- in its original form -- would defund programs under the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court last year.

The confusion of Cruz's strategy was apparent Wednesday when he voted with Democrats for the Senate to take up the measure less than two hours after his marathon speech against it that began Tuesday afternoon and continued overnight and through the morning.

An aide to Cruz told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash that the senator always intended to allow formal consideration of the House measure, adding that Cruz would vote against it once Senate Democrats restored the Obamacare funding.

However, nothing in Cruz's words or actions preceding the vote indicated that was his intention. Instead, he had urged his colleagues to unite against the spending plan, saying voting for it was tantamount to supporting Obamacare.

"Any senator who votes (to move forward with debate on the House measure) is voting to give Harry Reid the authority to fund Obamacare," Cruz told Bash on Monday.

After Wednesday's vote, Cruz told reporters that his long night sought to unite Republicans to block any funding for Obamacare.

"Coming into this debate we clearly were not united," he said. "There were significant divisions in the conference. I hope those divisions dissolve; that we come together in party unity" with all 46 Republicans preventing a final vote on the spending plan once Democrats amend it to fund Obamacare.

Cruz and other tea party conservatives wanted to prevent the Senate from taking up the spending measure passed last week by the GOP-controlled House that makes continued government funding contingent on denying any money for Obamacare.

How this affects you

While his drawn-out floor speech did not constitute a filibuster, it was intended to rally opposition to the state goal of Senate Democrats to restore the Obamacare funding.

However, Cruz lacked support for his tactics from Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other influential veterans including Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee.

In the end, Cruz voted with them to open the spending plan to revisions by the Democratic-led chamber.

Reid called Cruz's all-night speech a "waste of time" as the nation faced a possible partial shutdown of the government if Congress fails to authorize government spending beyond Monday, when the current fiscal year ends.

To Reid, the tactic reflected a perspective that a "bad day for government" amounted to a "good day" for tea party conservatives.

Earlier Wednesday, Corker told CNN that a better idea would be to get the bill back to the House as soon as possible so the Republican majority there can offer a compromise.

"House members are already talking about how they might respond if the defunding component ends up being stripped out," Corker said, adding he hoped that the Senate would "give the House some time to respond in a thoughtful way."

With Obamacare markets for the uninsured set to open on October 1, which also begins the new fiscal year, GOP opponents consider this their last best chance to undermine or amend the health care reforms.

A possible GOP counter-proposal floated by Corker would delay its full implementation for a year. He noted that Obama already postponed another component affecting business implementation of health care reforms for a year.

Under the process planned by Reid, a final Senate vote on the revised spending plan would occur over the weekend to leave the House a day at most to reconsider it. However, Reid said Wednesday he wanted the Senate to complete its work on the measure as soon as possible.

Cruz, as he approached the conclusion of his overnight speech, thanked the Senate staff and others "who have endured this Bataan death march."

When he began at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday, Cruz said he intended to "speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand."

He filled the ensuing hours with a blend of political rhetoric and emotional pleas for Republicans like Corker to unite in opposition to Obamacare.\

Darth Vader, Sean Connery, Chinese gooseberries and other highlights

Conservative colleagues including Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, David Vitter of Louisiana and James Inhofe of Oklahoma joined him at times to assume the main talking duties and allow Cruz to rest his vocal chords.

'Green Eggs and Ham' gets a reading

On Tuesday night, he read the Dr. Seuss children's classic "Green Eggs and Ham" to his daughters.

As he reached 18 hours of holding the Senate floor on Wednesday morning, Cruz compared his anti-Obamacare effort to the "Star Wars" films.

Referring to having heard someone use the phrase "rebellion against oppression," Cruz said those words "conjured up to me the rebel alliance fighting against the empire. The empire being the Washington, D.C., establishment."

"And indeed immediately on hearing that phrase I wondered if at some point we would see a tall gentleman in a mechanical breathing apparatus come forward and say in a deep voice, `Mike Lee, I am your father.' "

Cruz said his effort "is a fight to restore freedom to the people. This is a fight to get the Washington establishment, the empire, to listen to the people. And just like in the 'Star Wars' movies the empire will strike back. But at the end of the day I think the rebel alliance, I think the people will prevail."

Later, he called for Senate Republicans to show the same courage as their party colleagues in the House in making a stand to defund Obamacare.

He alluded to the risks faced by the signers of the Declaration of Independence, noting they were mostly wealthy landowners who faced hanging for treason for their actions.

What's Ted Cruz's deal?

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, Cruz was alone on the floor, except for the presiding officer, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin.

Durbin and Cruz engaged in some hostile exchanges, with the Illinois Democrat accusing Cruz of trying to deny health care coverage for tens of millions of currently uninsured Americans while enjoying the benefits of a federal health care program.

Cruz responded that Obamacare was flawed and hurting the country, and the focus should be on a better solution instead of continuing on with a failed system.

What you need to know about the possible shutdown

Two sides battle it out on social media

Earlier, Cruz sought to define his battle as purely about principle, saying: "This fight is not about any member of this body. This fight is not about personalities."

"Look, most Americans could not give a flying flip about a bunch of politicians in Washington," he said. "Who cares? Almost all of us are in cheap suits with bad haircuts! Who cares?"

Supporters cheered him on through social media, and #StandWithCruz became one of the most popular hashtags on Twitter.

But supporters of the health care law made themselves heard as well. On Wednesday morning, the two sides were battling it out in the top trending topic in the United States: "Obamacare."

5 strange things about debt ceiling politics

Key Republicans critical of Cruz strategy

Cruz also has been the target of criticism by some top Republicans.

GOP infighting over how best to prevent a government shutdown while defunding Obamacare escalated Tuesday as McConnell publicly dismissed Cruz's more confrontational strategy.

Cruz's GOP critics believe his strategy is politically suicidal, arguing there is no way to stop Obamacare as long as Democrats maintain control of the Senate and Obama is in the White House.

They believe that trying to do so by forcing a shutdown -- or preventing an increase in the debt ceiling next month -- will backfire by harming the economy and damaging the Republican brand.

What happens in a government shutdown

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the debt ceiling -- which is the amount the federal government can borrow to pay its bills -- must be raised by October 17 to prevent a possible default.

House Republicans say they will propose a package of measures that includes a one-year delay in full implementation of Obamacare to a proposal to extend the debt limit for a year. House Republican leaders met Wednesday evening to discuss the policy priorities they plan to attach.

But there are signs leadership is running into resistance from conservatives, some of whom do not want additional borrowing. Others want to add new items while others still question the strategy of taking up the debt bill in the middle of fight over spending and a possible government shutdown.

The White House rejects negotiations on the debt issue, saying something as fundamental as ensuring the good credit of the United States must be above politics.

The last debt ceiling fight in Congress in 2011 caused the first-ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and Obama and top Democrats warn playing politics with the issue now will cause economic harm amid the still fragile recovery.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on September 26, 2013, 05:06:21 pm
In other words, he just made a mockery of the whole process.  ::)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 27, 2013, 01:07:03 pm
Senate voting on amendment to remove House provision defunding Obamacare from spending bill - @thehill live video

US Senate strips defunding of Obamacare from bill averting government shutdown - @AP

Sen. Cruz, R-Texas, on Senate passage of spending bill: 'I think it's unfortunate Senate Republicans were not united this time around' - @mpoindc

No Senate member of either party broke ranks on vote to approve a short-term spending plan and send it back to the House - @washingtonpost

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 27, 2013, 01:17:49 pm
Senate votes to avert federal shutdown; duel with House will extend at least into weekend

A potential federal shutdown hurtling ever closer, the Senate dealt an emphatic defeat to a core of rebellious young conservatives Friday and approved legislation preventing government agencies from closing on Tuesday.

The 54-44 vote, however, hardly spelled an end to Washington's latest down-to-the-wire budget drama. It remains unclear whether the Democratic-led Senate and the Republican-run House will be able to craft a compromise and rush it to President Barack Obama for his signature before the government has to tell hundreds of thousands of federal workers to stay home.

The fight was certain to spill into the weekend at least. House GOP leaders were still struggling Friday to win over restive conservatives and concoct a new version of the bill that would be able to win approval in their chamber — and clear the Senate too.

The high-stakes showdown was playing out in a climate of chaos, unpredictability and GOP infighting that was extraordinary even by congressional standards. Reflecting the building drama, Senate Chaplain Barry Black opened Friday's session with a prayer that included, "Lord, deliver us from governing by crisis."

Before final approval, the Senate voted 79-19 to reject an effort by some Senate conservatives to block final passage of the legislation.

Led by first-term GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, the band of conservatives has wanted to derail the shutdown bill. They argued such a move would have prevented Democrats from removing a provision blocking money for Obama's health care law and forced Democrats to negotiate on reining in that 2010 overhaul, which conservatives and many Republicans despise.

Yet Republican lawmakers opposed the conservatives' tactics, worried that it was doomed to failure and would only enhance the chances of a government shutdown for which the GOP would be blamed by voters.

The lopsided margin of the vote against the conservatives underscored the opposition they stirred in their own party. Twenty-five GOP senators voted against them, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and the Senate's other two top Republicans, John Cornyn of Texas and John Thune of South Dakota.

"It is not easy to disagree with your political party," said Cruz. "But at the end of the day, what we're doing here is bigger than partisan politics. What we're doing here is fighting for 300 million Americans," who, he asserted, widely oppose Obamacare.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., barely concealed his scorn for the conservatives' effort.

"Today, the Republican Party has been infected by a small and destructive faction," he said. Noting the increased risk of a shutdown that he said they had caused, Reid continued, "A bad day for government is a good day for the anarchists among us."

Even in the House, some Republicans were unhappy with Cruz's and Lee's efforts.

"I think that a government shutdown is counterproductive to our message in 2014, because we transfer the public's attention perhaps away from Obamacare and instead put it on the pain that will be inflicted, that is still to be determined, on the effects of a government shutdown," said Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark.

The House had previously approved a version of the shutdown bill that included the language — demanded by conservatives there — stripping Obamacare money.

That House bill would keep agencies working Tuesday, when the government's new fiscal year begins, through Dec. 15. The Senate bill shortened that date to Nov. 15 in hopes of prodding congressional committees to quickly complete spending bills bearing details of agency budgets.

GOP disunity over what to include in a separate debt limit measure forced leaders to indefinitely delay that legislation, which is aimed at preventing a damaging, first-ever federal default that the Obama administration has warned could otherwise occur by Oct. 17.

At one point Thursday, GOP divisions burst into full view on the Senate floor as Cruz and Lee forced the Senate to wait until Friday to approve its bill preventing a shutdown.

"The American people are watching this" but expected the vote Friday or Saturday, said Lee, who asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to not hold the roll call on Thursday.

rest: http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/225463132.html

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 28, 2013, 05:34:22 am
Thanks To Obamacare, Employer-Based Health Insurance Is Becoming An Endangered Species

Barack Obama promised to fundamentally transform America, and when it comes to health care he has definitely kept his promise.  Thanks to Obamacare, health care spending is up, health insurance premiums are up, the number of hours Americans are working is down and employer-based health insurance is becoming an endangered species.  Of course employer-based health insurance will not disappear completely any time soon, but it has been steadily shrinking for over a decade, and Obamacare will greatly accelerate that decline.  If you go back to 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  That was pretty good.  Today, only 54.9 percent of all Americans are covered by employment-based health insurance, and now thousands upon thousands of U.S. employers are considering reducing the scope of the health plans they offer to employees or eliminating them altogether due to Obamacare.  If you are thinking that this sounds like a potential nightmare for millions of Americans families, you would be exactly right.
There have already been widespread reports of companies dropping health insurance, but nobody knows for sure how widespread the carnage will be.  According to Businessweek, the surveys that have been done up to this point have come up with widely varying results...

A Deloitte study last year suggested 10 percent of employers would stop offering group health plans. A widely criticized McKinsey report from 2011 put the number as high as one-third. The Congressional Budget Office’s latest projections suggest 8 million fewer people will be covered by employer plans five years from now under the ACA than without it. Many of them will get policies through health insurance exchanges instead.
But what everyone does agree on is that employer-based health coverage will continue to diminish.
And we are already watching this happen right in front of our eyes.  Just this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the largest security guard firm in the United States is dropping health coverage for 55,000 employees...

The nation's largest provider of security guards plans to discontinue its lowest-cost health plans and steer roughly 55,000 workers to new government-sponsored insurance exchanges for coverage next year, in the latest sign of the fraying ties between employment and health care.
The U.S. arm of Sweden's Securitas AB is among more than 1,200 employers that offer the kind of bare-bones health plans that must be phased out beginning Jan. 1 under the health-care law. Nearly four million people are enrolled in these so-called mini-med plans, which cap benefits to participants, sometimes at as little as $3,000 a year.
"The mini-meds go away and we're not replacing them," said Jim McNulty, a spokesman for Securitas's U.S. operation. "Their option is to go to the exchanges."
Other big employers, including Darden Restaurants Inc., Home Depot Inc. and Trader Joe's Co., say they will stop offering health insurance to part-time workers, and will direct those employees to the state exchanges. Darden, Home Depot and Trader Joe's previously offered mini-meds to their part timers.
Speaking of Trader Joe's, I wrote about how they are eliminating health coverage for part-time workers the other day.  Instead of providing health insurance for their part-time workers, Trader Joe's will be writing them a check and pushing them on to the Obamacare exchanges...

Trader Joe's, the grocer once lauded for providing health care coverage to its part-time workers, is about to push those employees off its plan.
According to a memo obtained by the Huffington Post, the company will stop covering employees who work less than 30 hours per week.
The change is set for the start of 2014. Instead of insurance, workers instead will get a check for $500 in January.
"Depending on income you may earn outside of Trader Joe's, we believe that with the $500 from Trader Joe's and the tax credits available under the [Affordable Care Act (ACA)], many of you should be able to obtain health care coverage at very little if any net cost to you," said Trader Joe CEO Dan Bane in the memo.
And this is a huge reason why the shift from full-time work to part-time work in America has accelerated this year.  Obamacare creates an incentive for companies to have more part-time workers and less full-time workers.  In fact, almost all of the jobs that have been "created" by the U.S. economy in 2013 have been part-time jobs.
But it is incredibly difficult to try to support a family on a part-time job.  Sadly, the quality of our jobs continues to decline rapidly and only 47 percent of all adults have a full-time job in America today.  This is only going to continue to get even worse under Obamacare.
As a result of these trends, more Americans are going to be forced to go out and buy health insurance "on the individual market".  When they do, they are likely to be in for a really nasty surprise...

Andy and Amy Mangione of Louisville, Ky. and their two boys are just the kind of people who should be helped by ObamaCare. But they recently got a nasty surprise in the mail.
"When I saw the letter when I came home from work," Andy said, describing the large red wording on the envelope from his insurance carrier, "(it said) 'your action required, benefit changes, act now.' Of course I opened it immediately."
It had stunning news. Insurance for the Mangiones and their two boys,which they bought on the individual market, was going to almost triple in 2014 --- from $333 a month to $965.
The insurance carrier made it clear the increase was in order to be compliant with the new health care law.
Are you ready to have your health insurance premiums potentially double or triple?
In other cases, families are discovering that health insurance companies are simply cancelling their health insurance plans...

Across the country, insurers are sending out ObamaCare-induced health plan death notices to untold tens of thousands of other customers in the individual market. Twitter users are posting their ObamaCare cancellation notices and accompanying rate increases:
Linda Deright posted her letter from Regency of Washington state: "63 percent jump, old policy of 15 yrs. cancelled." Karen J. Dugan wrote: "Received same notice from Blue Shield CA for our small business. Driving into exchange and no info since online site is down." Chris Birk wrote: "Got notice from BCBS that my current health plan is not ACA compliant. New plan 2x as costly for worse coverage." Small-business owner Villi Wilson posted his letter from HMSA Blue Cross Blue Shield canceling his individual plan and added: "I thought Obama said if I like my health care plan I can keep my health care plan."
In fact, this even happened to one member of Congress.  U.S. Representative Cory Gardner had purchased health insurance on his own because he wanted to experience what his constituents were going through, and he recently got a letter informing him that his old plan had been "discontinued"...

"After my current plan is discontinued," he wrote last week, "the closest comparable plan through our current provider will cost over 100 percent more, going from roughly $650 a month to $1,480 per month." He now carries his ObamaCare cancellation notice with him as **** proof of the Democrats' ultimate deception.
Is this what Obama was talking about when he promised that we could keep our old health insurance plans if we were happy with them?
In the end, millions upon millions of us are going to get pushed on to the Obamacare health insurance exchanges.
We were promised that there would be lots of competition and that prices would be reasonable.
Unfortunately, in some areas of the country it turns out that the "exchanges" are turning out to be "monopolies" where consumers will only have one company to choose from...

“Although seven insurance companies currently operate in North Carolina, under the new Obamacare exchanges, those options will dwindle down to one in the majority of counties,” Ellmers said Thursday following the disclosure of figures by federal health officials showing that more than 60 percent of North Carolina counties will have only one insurance provider option under Obamacare: Blue Cross Blue Shield.
“The whole point of an online marketplace was to provide options, so North Carolinians could go online, compare prices, and choose plans from different companies. That is how competition is supposed to work!,” Ellmers said.
Beginning October 1 under Obamacare, Blue Cross Blue Shield will be the only health insurance provider serving the entire state of North Carolina in the new Obamacare exchanges, serving all 100 of the state’s counties. Its competitor Coventry Health Care, which is owned by Aetna, will only reach 39 counties.
That leaves 61 counties, or 61 percent of all the state’s counties, in a Blue Cross Blue Shield-only zone.
Not only that, but a lot of these exchanges are not even going to be ready to function properly on October 1st.  For example, according to the Washington Post, the D.C. "health marketplace" is a complete and total mess at this point...

Just days away from launch, the District of Columbia's health marketplace is announcing a pretty significant delay.
While the D.C. Health Link will launch a Web site on October 1, shoppers will not have access to the their premium prices until mid-November. The delay comes after the District marketplace discovered "a high error rate" in calculating the tax credits that low- and middle-income people will use to purchase insurance on the marketplace.
The insurance marketplaces, if working as plan, are supposed to spit out an estimate for a tax credit after a shopper enters in some basic information about where she lives and how much she earns. In the District, that won't happen next month. Instead, the eligibility determination will be made "off-line by experts" by early November.
So who is going to benefit from this new system?
Well, it turns out that the health insurance companies will greatly benefit.  Health insurance companies helped write Obamacare, and their stock prices have absolutely soared since Obamacare was signed into law.  If you doubt this, just check out the amazing charts in this article.
Not that they were hurting under the old system either.  They have been raking in gigantic mountains of cash for years while trying to provide as little health care as possible.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled "50 Signs That The U.S. Health Care System Is A Gigantic Money Making Scam".
For the rest of us, Obamacare is going to be even worse than the old system.  A 2013 Health Care Survey that polled 200 top health care professionals discovered the following about what they believe Obamacare will bring...

-- 53 percent, “Quality of health insurance policies will suffer.”
-- 51 percent, “Quality of care will go down.”
-- 49 percent, “The law is overly complicated.”
-- 42 percent, “Insurance exchanges will be poorly managed.”
-- 37 percent, “The law still allows insurance companies to be the middleman.”
-- 32 percent, “Too complex for businesses.”
-- 19 percent, “Americans will die earlier.”
So Americans are going to pay more, get worse care, have more paperwork and a more complicated system, and they are likely to die younger too?
Wow, that sounds like a great deal.
Where do we sign up?


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 28, 2013, 11:52:50 am
House considering delaying Obamacare for 1 year in exchange for funding the government - @politico


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 28, 2013, 12:00:01 pm
H-1B workers in line for Obamacare work

IT requirements of the Affordable Care Act are being met under state contracts that allow, in their silence, the use of temporary visa workers

Some state governments are willing to hire offshore IT service providers to work on healthcare IT projects under controversial contracts that don't bar use of temporary foreign labor, or workers on H-1B visas.

Two multimillion-dollar government healthcare IT projects, one in Illinois and the other in the District of Columbia, illustrate what's going on.

In Illinois, Cognizant was awarded a $74.1 million contract in June to upgrade the state's Medicaid systems to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

In January, the District of Columbia awarded Infosys a $49.5 million contract to develop a health benefit exchange and replace its Medicaid and eligibility systems.

H-1B visa holders may already be working on municipal computer systems in Washington. In Illinois, state officials say that no H-1B workers are working on its project -- for now.

Illinois said that Cognizant has assigned 13 workers, all U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents with Medicaid experience and expertise, to work on the project. Seven of the staff members are former state of Illinois employees with extensive knowledge of the state's Medicaid system, according to spokeswoman Kelly Jakubek, communication manager for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Cognizant has submitted paperwork to hire 60 or more visa holders to work on the project -- a proposal that the state wasn't aware of, Jakubek said.

Computerworld sent Illinois officials emails with copies of the paperwork that Cognizant filed with the U.S. Department of Labor to hire 60 senior system analysts at a pay rate of $76,814. The documents, known as Labor Condition Applications (LCA), are part of the H-1B approval process and are used in salary determinations. As a general rule, though, the filing of an LCA doesn't mean that a visa worker in on the way.

The state controls the hiring process for the project, said Jakubek, though she could not say whether it will require the contractor to exclude temporary visa workers from the effort.

Asked about the paperwork filed with the Labor Department, Cognizant said it would take on visa workers if needed.

"Due to the shortage of qualified talent in many parts of the U.S., we routinely file LCAs when we anticipate a large contract to ramp up," Cognizant said in a statement. "Our first course of action is always to seek out qualified U.S. workers to fill these positions. We file LCAs as a fallback measure in the event that we are not able to find qualified U.S. workers."

Ron Hira, a public policy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a researcher who studies tech immigration issues, said that Cognizant "is able to piggyback off of the false claims of a dire shortage of U.S. IT workers," adding that "Microsoft and others are providing cover to firms like Cognizant by making broad-based claims of IT shortages."

Cognizant, which is based in Teaneck, N.J., but has operations worldwide and conducts a major share of its work overseas, has been one of the largest users of H-1B visas, getting more than 9,000 approvals last year, according to government records.

Bangalore, India-based Infosys received 5,600 approvals last year.

The hiring of temporary visa workers "isn't due to a shortage of U.S. IT workers, but instead for the simple fact that those H-1B workers can be paid less than the market wage," said Hira.

Hira argued that governments should use their IT budgets to hire U.S. workers, and said government contracts "have also long been the sources of seed money to support workforce development and human capital development in technology areas."

"Innovation and education are the primary sources of economic growth in a knowledge economy, so policymakers should steer precious tax dollars to fostering innovation and education here, not overseas," said Hira.

The paperwork that Computerworld emailed to Illinois state officials wasn't a secret.

rest: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9242648/H_1B_workers_in_line_for_Obamacare_work

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 28, 2013, 01:21:44 pm
So if I understand this correctly, part of Obamacare is bringing in IT contract workers from other countries like India?

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 28, 2013, 01:26:17 pm
So if I understand this correctly, part of Obamacare is bringing in IT contract workers from other countries like India?

YES!!!  :D Obama outsourced Obamacare...

President Obama's To-Do List for Congress: Reward American Jobs, Not Outsourcing

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 28, 2013, 01:38:54 pm
House Republicans' new spending bill calls for 1-year delay on ObamaCare

House Republicans emerged from behind closed doors Saturday with a new temporary spending bill that calls for a one-year delay in ObamaCare and a repeal of the law's medical-device tax.

The plan appears almost assured of being rejected by the Democrat-controlled Senate and forcing a temporary government shutdown Monday night. But leaders of the Republican-led House struck a defiant tone upon emerging from the one-hour meeting.

“ObamaCare is not ready, and the delay is essential,” California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs, said before lashing out at a reporter. “How dare you assume this will be a failure. How dare you.”

House leaders said the proposal will fund the federal government – except for ObamaCare – through December 15. It  now goes before the chamber’s rules committee, and a full floor vote is expected by Saturday evening.

The House plan will also have a separate bill that funds the military in the event of a shutdown.

The medical device tax is one of the Obama administration’s primary revenue sources for ObamaCare.

The House earlier this month sent a spending bill to the Senate that called for defunding President Obama’s health-care law.

On Friday, the Senate passed a temporary spending bill that re-inserted the ObamaCare funding and funds the government through Nov. 15.

The Senate returned the funding despite efforts by Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz -- a conservative, Tea Party-backed lawmaker – to block that effort.

Failure to pass a short-term funding bill by Monday night would mean the first partial government shutdown in almost 20 years.

The Senate's 54-44 vote was strictly along party lines in favor of the bill, which would prevent a shutdown of nonessential government services.

That tally followed a 79-19 vote to cut off a filibuster by Cruz, which exposed a rift among Republicans eager to prevent a shutdown and those, like Cruz, who seem willing to risk one over derailing the health care law.

All 52 Democrats, two independents and 25 of 44 Republicans voted in favor. That included Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and most of the GOP leadership.

Cruz was whipping up House conservatives to continue the battle over heath care, urging them to reject efforts by Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders to offer scaled-back assaults on the law like repealing a tax on medical devices as the House response.

Some conservatives were taking their cues from Cruz rather than GOP leaders like Boehner hoping to avoid a shutdown, especially one that could weaken Republicans heading into an even more important battle later in October over allowing the government to borrow more money.

Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, attempted Saturday to move the debate to next budget-battle deadline -- Oct. 17 when Congress must increase the government’s borrowing limit or risk defaulting on its debt.

Republican want spending cuts as part of the deal, but the White House has said it engage in extortion negotiations.

 “The president is now demanding that we increase the debt limit without engaging in any kind of bipartisan discussions about addressing our spending problem,” Rodgers said. “By an overwhelming margin, Americans believe the debt-ceiling increase should be coupled with solutions that help solve our debt and grown our economy. … Coupling an increase in the debt limit with efforts to rein in spending makes common sense, so much so that it’s been used from presidents from both parties.

GOP leaders had yet to announce a plan heading into the emergency meeting Saturday. A vote on the as-yet-unwritten measure seemed most likely on Sunday, leaving little time for the Senate to respond on Monday.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., warned that the Senate will not accept any House measure that contains provisions opposed by Democrats. And he knows better than anyone that any single senator could slow down the Senate's ability to return yet another version to the House.

"This is it. Time is gone," Reid said. Republicans "should think very carefully about their next steps. Any bill that continues to play political games will force a government shutdown."

Obama criticized conservative Republicans on Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address, arguing that even many GOP senators and governors were urging their House colleagues to "knock it off."

"Republicans in the House have been more concerned with appeasing an extreme faction of their party than working to pass a budget that creates new jobs or strengthens the middle class," the president said.

Late Friday, more than five dozen conservatives rallied behind an amendment by Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., to delay ObamaCare through the end of next year. That's a nonstarter with the Senate.

If lawmakers miss the deadline, hundreds of thousands of nonessential federal workers would have to stay home on Tuesday, though critical services like patrolling the borders, inspecting meat and controlling air traffic would continue. Social Security benefits would be sent and the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs for the elderly and poor would continue to pay doctors and hospitals.

Also on Tuesday, ObamaCare insurance exchanges would open, a development that's lent urgency to the drive to use a normally routine stopgap spending bill to gut implementation of the health care law.

"I'm more concerned about the impact of this law on the American people than I am about my re-election," said freshman Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C.

But veterans like Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., a former head of the House GOP's campaign arm, warned that the political risk of a shutdown is simply too great.

"I think anybody who doesn't think it's high risk is not playing with a full deck," Cole told reporters. "Our numbers ... are getting better. There's every reason to believe the midterms will be favorable. They're playing defense in the Senate. You don't want to disrupt that pattern of events."


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 28, 2013, 01:50:17 pm
YES!!!  :D Obama outsourced Obamacare...

President Obama's To-Do List for Congress: Reward American Jobs, Not Outsourcing

Well, not that I endorse Lou Dobbs(at least to me, he came off as a gatekeeper), but remember he warned about outsourcing a lot during the Bush Jr years.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 28, 2013, 02:07:23 pm
House bill delays 'Obamacare' 1 year, pays troops

The Associated Press has learned that House Republicans will unveil a new bill for preventing a government shutdown on Tuesday that would also delay implementing the rest of President Barack Obama’s health care law for one year.

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California told the AP that the new bill also would repeal a new tax on medical devices in the Affordable Care Act. Republicans also will try to pass a bill that would get paychecks to members of the military on time if a shutdown occurs.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said the Senate will not pass any bill keeping the government open past Monday that would alter the health care law.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 28, 2013, 02:13:54 pm
The days ahead are going to be something to watch for...looks like they're doing this all by design.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 28, 2013, 02:51:55 pm
Senate Majority Leader Reid, D-Nev.: To be absolutely clear, the Senate will reject both 1-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of the medical device tax - @seungminkim

Senate Majority Leader Reid, D-Nev., says Senate will quickly reject House Republican changes to funding bill - @thehill


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on September 28, 2013, 03:54:36 pm
ObamaCare Employer Mandate: A List Of Cuts To Work Hours, Jobs

ObamaCare's impact on jobs is hotly debated by politicians and economists. Critics say the Affordable Care Act, with its employer mandate to provide health insurance, gives businesses an incentive to cut workers' hours. This year, report after report has rolled in about employers restricting work hours to fewer than 30 per week — the point where the mandate kicks in. Data also point to a record low workweek in low-wage industries.
In the interest of an informed debate, we've compiled a list of job actions with strong proof that ObamaCare's employer mandate is behind cuts to work hours or staffing levels. As of Sept. 25, our ObamaCare scorecard included 313 employers. Here's our latest analysis, focusing on cuts to adjunct hours at nearly 200 college campuses. The ObamaCare list methodology is explained further in our initial coverage; click on the employer names in the list below for links to supporting records, mostly news accounts or official documents.
We'll continue to update the list, which we encourage you to share and download into a spreadsheet to sort and analyze. If you know of an employer that should be on the list and can provide supporting evidence, please contact IBD at jed.graham@investors.com.

list: http://news.investors.com/politics-obamacare/092513-669013-obamacare-employer-mandate-a-list-of-cuts-to-work-hours-jobs.htm?fromcampaign=1

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on September 29, 2013, 04:43:03 am
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said the Senate will not pass any bill keeping the government open past Monday that would alter the health care law.

One person of 100 senators, and he has last say? I didn't realize that it's the "Harry Reid Senate". I thought it was the US Senate, operated by representatives of the people that are by law required to do what the public wants, not what politicians demand.

Harry Reid is one of the first individuals that should be in handcuffs.

Title: Psalms 2:1-3
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 30, 2013, 12:56:09 am
Psalms 2:1  Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
Psa 2:2  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
Psa 2:3  Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

Will Obamacare hurt job creation and marriage?

Commentary: Families and employers pay the price


At one time, getting a job was not that much of a problem. Neither was getting married. But the Affordable Care Act appears to create substantial disincentives both to hiring and marriage, potentially changing the fabric of American society in serious ways.

Let’s first look at hiring.

The Affordable Care Act is partly responsible for the slow jobs recovery. If employers with 50 or more employees do not offer the right kind of health insurance, and at least one employee gets subsidized coverage on the exchange, they are faced with penalties of $2,000 per employee per year. Since the first 30 workers are exempt from the penalty, moving from 49 to 50 workers can cost an employer $40,000 a year.

No wonder that many small businesses are opting to stay at 49 workers. If they decide to expand, they can use temporary workers or contract employees.

Bob Funk, president and founder of Express Employment Services, the fifth-largest employment agency in America, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published last week, “Obamacare has been an absolute boon for my business…We’re up 8% this year. But it’s just terrible for the country.”

Funk continued, “Firms are just very reluctant to hire full-time workers. So they are taking on more temporary help, which is what we do.”

Companies can get around the penalty by hiring part-time workers, because they do not owe the $2,000 penalty on those who work fewer than 30 hours a week. Many companies such as SeaWorld /quotes/zigman/14150718/quotes/nls/seas SEAS -1.05%  , Wal-Mart /quotes/zigman/245476/quotes/nls/wmt WMT -0.35%  , and Lands’ End /quotes/zigman/95136/quotes/nls/shld SHLD -2.20%  , are substituting part-time for full-time workers.

As well as effects on hiring, the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, could increase the incentive to divorce and discourage marriage.

Under the Act, if workers have affordable single-family coverage from an employer — coverage that by law workers are obligated to accept — their family members will not be eligible for premium subsidies on the exchanges. This can make the cost of insurance for some low- or middle-income families unaffordable. But if they divorce, they get the subsidy

Without subsidies, low-income families will not be able to afford to buy insurance on the state exchanges. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that family plans will cost $20,000 (in after-tax dollars) a year by 2016. Anyone under 400% of the poverty line, currently $94,000 for a family of four, qualifies for a subsidy — unless a family member has employer-provided insurance.

In a 2011 National Bureau of Economic Research working paper , Cornell University professor Richard Burkhauser, Indiana University professor Kosali Simon, and Cornell PhD candidate Sean Lyons showed that in 2014, when the law will take full effect, 13 million low-income Americans may be unable to get subsidized health insurance through new state health care exchanges because one family member has employer-provided coverage for that person only.

Perversely, the only way for other family members to get subsidized coverage would be for the spouses to get divorced. Then the spouse without coverage and the children could get coverage on the exchange.

This provision of the Act also discourages marriage. Say that Jeff, who receives health insurance from his employer, wants to marry Jenny, who is buying her subsidized health insurance from the state exchange. If they married, Jenny would no longer qualify for subsidized coverage.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on September 30, 2013, 02:02:54 am
As well as effects on hiring, the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, could increase the incentive to divorce and discourage marriage.

I agree. If I weren't married, I would qualify for state medical.

Under the Act, if workers have affordable single-family coverage from an employer — coverage that by law workers are obligated to accept — their family members will not be eligible for premium subsidies on the exchanges.

Since when is that the case? My wife has insurance offered at her job, but it's far from affordable, and carries a $10,000 deductible. It's a joke of a plan. Needless to say, there was no way we were going to pay for that. Can't afford it anyway. I'd like them to clarify just when an employee is required to get their employers medical coverage.

This thing is SO messed up! One of the biggest government disasters ever.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 30, 2013, 12:14:34 pm
Problem. Reaction. Solution.

‘Government Shut Down’ Won’t Actually Shut Down Government

Vast majority of federal activity will continue as normal

Paul Joseph Watson
 September 30, 2013

It turns out that the ominous “government shut down” isn’t so apocalyptic after all since it won’t actually shut down government because the vast majority of federal services and activity will continue as normal.

In addition, the same thing has happened – without dire consequences – no less than 17 times over the past three decades.

The dispute over Obamacare means it is “99.9%” certain that the US government will “shut down” on October 1st because lawmakers have failed to pass legislation that will authorize the government to spend money to fund its operations from the beginning of the new fiscal year.

However, as the Washington Post highlights, the same “shut down” has occurred 17 times since 1977. Most of the previous shut downs lasted from a few hours to a few days. The longest ran for 21 days from December ’96 to January ’97 during the presidency of Bill Clinton.

Obama supporters and Democrats have attempted to portray a potential government shut down as something approaching a doomsday scenario, most notably Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, who hyped the prospect of it “as dangerous as the breakup of the Union before the Civil War.”

In reality, key functions of the government will continue to operate as before even in the event of a “shut down”.

- Federal air traffic controllers will continue to monitor take offs and landings;

- The TSA will still be screening passengers in US airports;

- The US military will stay on duty and many credit unions and banks will cover their Oct. 15 paychecks if they are delayed;

- Embassies and consulates overseas will continue to provide services to American citizens;

- The mail will continue to be delivered;

- Federal courts will continue to operate;

- The US Supreme Court will continue to operate as normal when it resumes on October 7;

- Taxes will continue to be collected;

- Sales taxes will continue to be collected

- Garbage will continue to be collected;

- Visa services for people traveling to the United States will continue to operate;

- US passport applications will continue to be processed normally;

- Green card applications will continue to be processed normally;

- Social Security and Medicare benefits will continue to operate normally;

- The vast majority of Homeland Security employees will stay on the job;

- The vast majority of Coast Guard employees will stay on the job;

- The vast majority of Border Patrol agents will stay on the job;

- The vast majority of Secret Service personnel and other law enforcement agents and officers will stay on the job;

- Schools will stay open;

- The National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center will continue to issue natural disaster warnings and track storms;

- The Mars Rover will continue to explore the red planet and the International Space Station will continue to operate;

- The District of Columbia passed a $144m contingency fund on Friday to ensure all its services would continue to operate normally;

- Most services managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue.

The most damaging consequence of a government shut down will be that non-essential federal employees will be furloughed (given temporary unpaid leave) and see their paychecks delayed. That’s a bummer if you work for the government, but it’s hardly a doomsday scenario.

In addition, previous “government shut downs” have not caused any kind of sustained panic in the financial markets.

As Ron Paul writes today, “Despite all the hand-wringing heard in DC, a short-term government shut down (which doesn’t actually shut down the government) will not cause the country to collapse.”

Indeed, all the hype about civil wars and doomsday scenarios if the Obama administration doesn’t get its way on Obamacare and force Republicans to cave on legislation to fund the government sounds an awful lot like the brazenly alarmist rhetoric about martial law and a new great depression that was used to ram through the 2008 bailout.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 30, 2013, 02:28:23 pm
Senate defeats House move to delay Obamacare

 Sep. 30, 2013 11:28AM PDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Democrats on Monday killed a proposal by the Republican-led House of Representatives to delay Obamacare for a year in return for temporary funding of the federal government beyond Monday.

By a partisan vote of 54 to 46, the Democratic-controlled Senate defeated the Obamacare delay and a House amendment repealing a medical device tax that were attached to an emergency spending bill.

The straight-forward funding bill that would run through November 15 is aimed at averting a government shutdown. It now goes back to the House, where its fate is unknown.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 30, 2013, 11:14:00 pm
Congress misses deadline for averting shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has missed the deadline for averting the first partial government shutdown in 17 years.

As the clock struck midnight Monday, House Republicans were demanding that the Senate negotiate their demand for a one-year delay in making millions of people buy health insurance under President Barack Obama's 2010 health care law. Minutes before midnight, the White House ordered a shutdown.

The Democratic Senate on Monday twice rejected GOP demands to delay key portions of what has become to known as Obamacare as a condition for keeping the government open.

An estimated 800,000 federal workers faced furloughs though many were told work a half day Tuesday. Critical functions like air traffic control and military operations will continue. Social Security benefits will be paid. National parks and most federal offices will close.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on October 01, 2013, 06:42:24 am
im surprised they actually did it. I was really expecting Boehner to show his liberal side again.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on October 01, 2013, 08:28:28 am
I think it's at least in part because of the serious financial mess we are in. Don't know how much, but each day it's "shut down", they are saving some serious cash outflow. As it's been done in the past, they can delay this thing for a few days and save some major cash.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 01, 2013, 04:10:19 pm
im surprised they actually did it. I was really expecting Boehner to show his liberal side again.

Not really - it's just more political puppet show on their part - besides, they've been pushing socialized medicine for a long, long, long time. Teddy Roosevelt wanted it, as did Franklin(and I think Harry Truman). Richard Nixon tried to push for it, as did Bill Clinton. Ronald Reagan(despite him warning about it years before he became President), passed some kind of public health care bill that involved emergency rooms and lower income people. "Conservatives" in Congress like Jim DeMint wrote Bush Jr a letter in 2007 saying we needed some kind of public health care. And then Romneycare in MA ultimately become the testing ground for Obamacare.

And let's not forget "conservatives" like Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove endorsed Obamacare too.

Ultimately(and this is just my honest opinion) - this whole government shutdown deal is probably another puppet show on their part to push more globalist agendas(ie-remember they're still discussing the debt ceiling and immigration bill).

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 01, 2013, 05:29:20 pm
Yep - more political puppet show...

Republicans want to fund parts of the government, but that wouldn't end the shutdown

House Republicans are planning no new proposals on the first day of a shutdown to fully fund the government, but they will introduce three small bills that would continue funding for veteran benefits, national parks and museums, plus another measure that would allow the District of Columbia to continue operating using its own revenue.

Although the move wouldn't end the budget impasse, the measures would ease some of the pain while lawmakers continue to try to find a path out of the standoff, and House leaders were preparing for votes Tuesday evening.

Senate Democrats, however, rejected the new offer outright. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday afternoon insisted, as he has throughout the entire process, that the Senate would accept nothing short of a bill that funds all government operations.

"The government is shut down," Reid said on the Senate floor. "And if they think they're going to nit-pick us on this, it won't work."

Earlier Tuesday, the morning of the first federal government shutdown in 17 years, the political brinkmanship reached a stalemate when the Senate rejected a House request for a conference committee to take up a proposal to fund the government through Dec. 15 and delay a key part of the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.

The Democrat-controlled Senate voted to table the House bill passed overnight that proposed the committee. The House bill also included language that would prohibit congressional staff members from receiving subsidies for their health care plans and delay Obamacare’s individual mandate to buy health insurance for one year.

By transitioning to a conference committee, the House and Senate would each appoint members to work out a deal to fund the government and end the shutdown. But appointing a committee would take the talks from public view to closed-door negotiating rooms where lawmakers and staffers could hash out their differences in private.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor joined members of the chamber's appointed conference committee in a meeting room where they called on Senate lawmakers to join them for negotiations.

"We invite Senate Democrats to come and join us and resolve our differences," Cantor said.

Democrats continued to decline alternative offers until the House passes a full funding bill.

Meanwhile, Obama blasted Republicans on Tuesday in a Rose Garden statement for using a mandatory spending bill to dismantle the health care law, the president's landmark legislation.

“They’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans,” Obama said. "This, more than anything else, seems to be what the Republican Party stands for these days."

This week's shutdown came after House Republicans refused to pass a bill to set federal spending levels unless the federal health care law was defunded or delayed. Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama repeatedly said they would not accept any spending bill that tampers with the law.

Last week, the House passed a bill to completely defund the health law. When the Senate rejected it, the House passed another version that would have abolished a tax on medical devices and delayed the law for a year. When the Senate rejected that, House Republicans passed another bill that would have delayed the individual mandate and revoked health insurance subsidies for congressional staffers. After the Senate said no to that, the clock ran out and the government shut down. That’s when the House asked for private negotiations — surprise, the Senate turned that down — and that’s where the parties stand now.

**Well, it's October 1, and Obamacare exhanges opened today. Again, all of this is nothing put a Hegelian Dialectic puppet show.

The back-and-forth between the parties will continue throughout the day, as House Republicans recalibrate their strategy and Senate lawmakers huddle for partisan meetings this afternoon.

Unless they can find a compromise, the government will remain shut down until further notice.

The Republican strategy of coupling anti-Obamacare legislation with the threat of a government shutdown is unpopular, according to a national Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. American voters oppose the GOP's tactic by a ratio of 72 to 22 percent, according to the poll.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 01, 2013, 09:23:10 pm
And the Hegelian Dialectic continues to play out...

The 12 House Republicans Who Are Ready to Give Up Obamacare Fight in Order to End Government Shutdown

While some Republican members of the U.S. House are standing firm in the spending negotiations (or lack thereof) with Democrats, there are reportedly at least 12 GOP House members who are ready to fully fund Obamacare to end the partial government shutdown.

In order for Senate Democrats to get their way and get a “clean” continuing resolution passed by the House, only five other Republicans would have to defect, or a total of 17. A clean CR would leave Obamacare in tact and fund the rest of the government in full.

The Huffington Post is keeping count and provides a current list of GOP congressmen ready to fully fund Obamacare and give up the spending fight that resulted in the first partial government shutdown in 17 years [emphasis added]:

Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.): “At this point, I believe it’s time for the House to vote for a clean, short-term funding bill to bring the Senate to the table and negotiate a responsible compromise.” [Press Release, 10/1/13]

Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.): “Time for a clean [continuing resolution].” [Official Twitter, 10/1/13]

Rep. Jon Runyan (R-N.J.): “Enough is enough. Put a clean [continuing resolution] on the floor and let’s get on with the business we were sent to do.” [Burlington County Times, 10/1/13]

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.): A Fitzpatrick aide tells the Philadelphia Inquirer the congressman would support a clean funding bill if it came up for a vote. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/1/13]

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.): Barletta said he would “absolutely” vote for a clean bill in order to avert a shut down of the government. [Bethlehem Morning Call, 10/1/13]

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.): King thinks House Republicans would prefer to avoid a shutdown and said he will only vote for a clean continuing resolution to fund the government, according to the National Review Online. [NRO, 9/30/13]

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.): The California Republican told The Huffington Post he would ultimately support a clean continuing resolution. [Tweet by The Huffington Post's Sabrina Siddiqui, 9/30/13]

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.): “I’m prepared to vote for a clean [continuing resolution].” [The Huffington Post, 9/29/13]

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.): A Wolf aide told The Hill that he agrees with fellow Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell (R) that it’s time for a clean continuing resolution. [The Hill, 10/1/13]

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.): A Grimm aide told The Huffington Post that the congressman supports a clean continuing resolution. [10/1/13].

Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.): A local news anchor in Minnesota tweeted that Paulsen told him he would vote for a clean resolution if given the chance. [Blake McCoy Tweet, 10/1/13]

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.): A constituent of Wittman’s sent The Huffington Post an email she got from the congressman indicating he would vote for a clean funding bill but hasn’t had “an opportunity to do so at this point.” [10/1/13]

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on October 02, 2013, 12:32:56 pm
Harry Reid’s Office Leaks Boehner Office Emails—And It Could Ruin Any Faith You Have in Washington

Lost faith in that years ago, BUT I am not surprised by this at all. I have not trusted Boehner at all, and fully believe that his is a Liberal in disguise

A series of leaked emails from House Speaker John Boehner’s chief of staff Mike Sommers shows Boehner may have coordinated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to exempt Congress from Obamacare.
The emails were leaked Tuesday by Reid chief of staff David Krone, who actually has a history of this sort of thing.

The leaks, which are a major taboo in Washington, show Boehner (R-Ohio) worked behind the scenes earlier this year to address confusion over a provision in the Affordable Care Act that would force members of Congress and their aides into the exchanges. In fact, if one were to go by the leaks, which were first published by Politico, it appears that the offices of Boehner and Reid regularly coordinated to exempt Congress from the health care law.
But given that Boehner is now apparently against congressional Obamacare exemptions, the emails make him look inconsistent and hypocritical – which may have been the point of their leaking.
From Politico:

[B ]ehind-the-scenes, Boehner and his aides worked for months with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and others, to save these very same, long-standing [congressional Obamacare] subsidies, according to documents and e-mails provided to POLITICO. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was also aware of these discussions, the documents show.
One email even appears to show that Boehner’s office discussed how it would disguise a planned meeting on the subject with President Barack Obama as a meeting on immigration reform, National Review Online reported.

“We can’t let it get out there that this is for [Boehner] and [Reid] to ask the President to carve us out of the requirement of Obamacare,” Boehner chief of staff Mike Sommers wrote on July 17.
“This is a little bit more difficult because it isn’t a routing meeting because [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell won’t be there,” he wrote. “I am even ok if it is the President hauling us down to talk about the next steps on immigration.”
Republicans said the leaked emails completely mischaracterize the speaker’s actions.
A “senior lawmaker” told National Review Online that Boehner was the one who came up with the idea of using the Obamacare Hill exemption as an issue in the House’s budget battle with the Senate and the White House.
“The only memory I have of him talking about this is about how we could screw them with it,” the lawmaker said.
The email leak has obviously complicated the “high-stakes” negotiations between senior Democrat and Republican lawmakers.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before. I don’t know how David thinks anyone on either side of the aisle will ever be able to work with him again. I guess this is part of Harry Reid’s plan: He refuses to talk with Republicans so I guess his chief of staff figures he doesn’t need to be able to do so either,” a GOP aide told National Review Online.
“He’s a low-rent, self-dealing bagman,” another aide said.

In a statement to National Review Online, Krone defended himself: “Every time one of these anonymous Republican aides takes a look at their paycheck, I hope they remember it was Harry Reid who protected their employer contribution.”
“They and their bosses are welcome to return it if they’re so outraged. I took the action I did because I refuse to stand by and watch those who pressed for this ruling turn around and attack the very thing they asked for, simply because they don’t have the courage to stand up to a few whiners in their caucus. Integrity means owning in public what you advocate for in private,” Krone said.
TheBlaze reported in April that Congress was trying to figure out how to approach the provision of the Affordable Care Act, which was proposed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) during the 2010 debate over Obamacare, that would force members of Congress and their aides into the law’s health exchanges.
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein noted: “It’s not clear that the federal government has the authority to pay for congressional staffers on the exchanges, the way it pays for them now in the federal benefits program.”
Oh, that meeting with the president Sommers discussed in an email? It never happened.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 02, 2013, 01:25:09 pm
I know both political "parties" are compromised, but nonetheless there's been a big war b/w the GOP establishment and the Tea Party establishment. If anything, this is playing a big part in the Hegelian Dialectic process, in that it's to some extent taking the spotlight off of Obama and other globalist agendas like the immigration bill(that's to SOME extent, but nonetheless just enough to distract away). And not to mention too the more it drags out, the more it will get everyone to give into Obamacare.

With that being said - don't be surprised to see the 2014 midterm elections fixed for the Dems next year(b/c of all that is going on now b/w the "warring" of the GOP establishment and Tea Party) - if this happens, the Hegelian Dialectic game will be over, and this country will officially merge into 1 party.

But nonetheless, this puppet show is playing out the way the globalists are wanting it to.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 03, 2013, 12:08:08 pm
Again, I know both parties are opposition-controlled, but nonetheless Arkansas IS a *conservative* state...pt being that yet again, the Hegelian Dialectic, wear-them-out model is causing people to give in.

55,000 people in Ark. want to sign up for coverage

Ark. officials say 55,000 people want to sign up for private insurance through Medicaid


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- More than 55,000 low-income Arkansans have told the state they want to sign up for coverage under a recently approved plan to use Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance under the federal health care law, the Department of Human Services said Wednesday.

The department said it planned to begin mailing out letters to the 55,440 people instructing them on how to enroll in the state's "private option," approved by the federal government last week as an alternative to expanding Medicaid's enrollment under the federal health care law.

"This clearly shows there was a need for the unique approach that Arkansas took to help ensure the lowest-income Arkansans have access to quality health insurance," DHS Director John Selig said in a written statement.

Under the private option law, Arkansas will use federal money to buy private insurance for about 250,000 eligible low-income residents. The program allows people who earn up to 138 percent of the poverty line — or $15,415 per year — to buy subsidized private insurance through the state's insurance exchange.

The Republican-led Legislature and Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe approved the private option in April as an alternative to expanding Medicaid. Several other states have expressed interest in a similar program.

Open enrollment in the exchange began Tuesday and runs through March 31.

DHS spokeswoman Amy Webb said the department mailed letters to 154,420 people it had identified through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as eligible for the private option. Through the letters, the state was also able to enroll 2,539 previously uninsured children in its ARKids First health coverage program.

The potential participants had to sign a form signaling their interest and acknowledging that the private option coverage could end at any moment. That acknowledgement was required under the state law setting up the expanded insurance program.

DHS announced the numbers the day after the state launched the insurance exchange, an online marketplace where consumers can compare policies and purchase insurance. About half of the 500,000 people expected to participate in the exchange are doing so under the private option.

The state Insurance Department said it didn't have figures yet on the number of Arkansans who have so far enrolled in the exchange. High demand on the federal website has prevented some Arkansans from applying online. Applying by mail and phone are also options.

A spokeswoman for the Insurance Department said more than 22,000 people visited the state's exchange website Tuesday, and 13,700 of those visitors went on to the federal site.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 03, 2013, 12:11:40 pm
FYI, Darrell Isa is the same guy that was leading the "investigation" over the Obama admin's spying of these IRS tax-exempt Tea Party organizations et al.

Top Republican Calls For Replacing Obamacare With Obamacare

Republicans often face criticism opposing Obamacare but having no plan to replace it.

So Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has been tweeting about his replacement proposal: Let every American participate in the Federal Employee Health Benefits program.

"Federal employees have long enjoyed high-quality, affordable health care benefits through this free market, consumer based system," says Issa.

I'm not exactly sure what Issa means when he calls FEHBP a "free market" system. The system does set up a marketplace where private health insurers offer plans that have to meet certain specifications, and then individuals choose the plans they like best.

That's also true of the Obamacare exchanges, which Republicans do not tend to think are very "free market."

In fact, FEHBP is similar to the Obamacare exchanges in a lot of ways.
• If insurers want to participate in the FEHBP, they can't exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions, just like Obamacare .
• They have to accept applicants " without regard  to age, race, sex, health status, or hazardous nature of employment." This is called guaranteed issue, and it's just like Obamacare.
• They have to charge all applicants the same premium for a given plan. This is called community rating, and it's more restrictive of insurers than Obamacare , which allows for substantial premium variation based on age.

The key way that FEHBP differs from Obamacare now is that only federal employees can participate in it. Those federal workers have 75% of their plan premiums paid by the federal government, and their own 25% contribution is deductible on their federal tax return.

I asked Issa's office what financial support he would propose to help non-government workers buy FEHBP plans and haven't heard back yet. If he's going to heavily subsidize those purchases, then his plan will really look a lot like Obamacare.

If he's not, then there's a significant problem: A lot of people won't be able to afford to buy FEHBP plans. The cheapest plan available where I live, a high-deductible plan, is $5,000 a year for single coverage or $10,900 for family coverage. That's accessible for people with high incomes and some with middle incomes, but many people who are too rich to qualify for Medicaid will find that out of reach.

And besides affordability, there is the issue of adverse selection. If you require pre-existing condition coverage and you impose guaranteed issue and community rating, insurance plans are going to be a lot more attractive to sick people than healthy ones. If healthy people choose not to buy insurance, average costs per plan participant will rise, driving up premiums, and causing even more people to choose not to buy.

That could lead to an "insurance death spiral," where premiums are very high and the FEHBP's participant pool ends up being just very sick people. That's what's happened in New York State, where community rating and guaranteed issue have made insurance premiums so high that less than 0.1% of residents get insurance through the individual coverage market.

There are two ways to prevent a death spiral. One is to reward people for buying insurance, as Obamacare does with subsidies, and as the federal government does now by paying 75% of employee FEHBP premiums. The other is to punish people for not buying insurance, as Obamacare does with the individual mandate.

Whatever approach Issa takes to preventing a death spiral in his FEHBP-for-all plan is likely to make it look even more like Obamacare.

This illustrates why Republicans have had so much trouble coming up with a "replacement" for Obamacare. When you take a private health insurance market and try to fix the problems with it, like sick people not being able to get covered, you end up layering on rules that are similar to the ones in Obamacare, for the same reasons that Obamacare's drafters imposed them.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on October 03, 2013, 01:18:42 pm
There are two ways to prevent a death spiral. One is to reward people for buying insurance, as Obamacare does with subsidies, and as the federal government does now by paying 75% of employee FEHBP premiums. The other is to punish people for not buying insurance, as Obamacare does with the individual mandate.

There's a third way they don't want to talk about...

...mandate that insurance companies drop their premiums, so that the rest of the medical industry can drop their prices. If insurance remains untouched, there is no affordable way for the rest of medicine to drop their prices.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 04, 2013, 05:45:43 pm
Creepy Obamacare ad hits college campuses

There will be girls. There will be beer. There will be Cornhole. And someone will be dressed in the creepiest Uncle Sam costume you’ve ever seen.

Welcome to the strange new front in the war over Obamacare.

As the Republican dream of repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law in Congress crumbles, the fight over the law’s future shifts from Washington to college campuses, where the new challenge for Obamacare proponents lies in convincing young people to sign up for coverage mandated by the law.

The period to enroll in health insurance exchanges established under the 2010 law begins Oct. 1, which will mark the start of a race to urge Americans to participate. The health exchanges rely heavily on young, healthy Americans who will subsidize the sick and elderly within the pools. Without the healthy, the exchanges could be unsustainable. The Obama administration is devoting millions of public dollars to promote the exchanges, but many conservative groups are actively working to convince people not to join.

That’s where Creepy Uncle Sam comes in.

Generation Opportunity, a Virginia-based group that is part of a coalition of right-leaning organizations with financial ties to billionaire businessmen and political activists Charles and David Koch, will launch a six-figure campaign aimed at convincing young people to “opt-out” of the Obamacare exchanges. Later this month, the group will begin a tour of 20 college campuses, where they plan to set up shop alongside pro-Obamacare activists such as Enroll America who are working to sign people up for the insurance exchanges.

Surprise! Surprise! Had a feeling this group is opposition-controlled...

Surprise! The Koch Brothers Are Boosting Obama

hile President Obama continues to tilt for windmills, rising oil and gas production has showered his administration with unexpected benefits. Those producers inadvertently include his arch enemies—the Koch Brothers. How deliciously ironic it is that the oil industry – consistently scorned by this president – has been one of the most potent economic drivers of this recovery, the biggest contributor to an improving balance of payments picture and has provided Obama significant leverage in digging out of his difficulties in the Middle East.

President Obama and fellow members of the flat earth society, who many years ago wrote off the future of conventional energy resources, must be stunned. The president has noted more than once that “we are running out of places to drill” and that “we have only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves.” What a surprise, then, that the U.S. is on track to become the world’s largest oil and gas producer, likely overtaking Russia this year.

As noted recently in the Wall Street Journal, because advancements in horizontal drilling and fracking made huge new reserves economic, domestic production of natural gas last year was an all-time high--up 13 percent over the 2010 level, and 27 percent higher than output in 2002. In July, gas production was 56 percent higher than the recent monthly low recorded in September 2005. Similarly, oil output, which had declined steadily since 1970, turned up in 2010, and has increased 27 percent over the past five years, laying to rest the once-popular notion that we are running out of the stuff. That, my friends, is progress.

What does this unexpected windfall mean for the U.S.? First of all, it means jobs. From the beginning of 2007 through the end of 2012, the number of private sector jobs in the U.S. increased by about 1 percent. Over the same period, the number of people working in the oil and natural gas industry increased by 40 percent, accounting for more than 15 percent of the country’s overall gains.

A study by analytics and research firm IHS says unconventional oil and natural gas production and energy-related chemicals activity together supported more than 2.1 million jobs in 2012;  the authors project the sectors will employ 3.9 million workers by 2025.

In addition, U.S. job growth will be spurred by the cost advantage U.S. firms have over competitors burdened by higher cost energy. Boston Consulting Group is projecting that   by 2015, natural gas will be 60 to 70 percent cheaper, and electricity 40 to 70 percent less costly in the U.S. than in Europe and Japan.

Second, the shale revolution means lower imports. Our net imports of crude oil and refined products in 2005 totaled a record 12.5 million barrels per day; last year that had collapsed to 7.4 mb/d. The impact on our trade deficit has been profound. For example, the trade gap in December 2012 was the smallest in nearly three years, as exports of oil and other petroleum products rose to a record high and oil imports fell to 223 billion barrels, the lowest level since February 1997.

Third, it means a seismic shift in geopolitical alignments. Middle East oil and gas production going forward is not as consequential as in the past, and Russia’s power is diminished. Iran’s ability to threaten the world with production disruptions is reduced, which is one reason they are circling the negotiating table. Similarly, Russia’s clout and economy are threatened by the rising tide of U.S. production. Some seventy percent of Russia’s export revenue and 17 percent of GDP stems from oil.

To satisfy those who put him in office, Russian President Putin is spending heavily, running a budget deficit that will be closed only through higher oil prices – less likely due to our increasing output. Soon, as LNG exports gear up from the U.S. and elsewhere, Russia will no longer be able to punish Europe by withholding natural gas in exchange for political slights.

These are extraordinary changes – brought about by energy investment still opposed by the environmental fringe in the U.S. These people fear hydraulic fracking in spite of study upon study that shows the process to be safe and productive, and regardless of the long successful history of the approach. Happily, those with clearer vision are propelling our country forward; we all reap the benefits.
- See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2013/10/04/Surprise-Koch-Brothers-Are-Boosting-Obama#sthash.D17EBX8W.hmPFRjCb.dpuf

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 05, 2013, 09:12:15 pm



Republicans see shutdown fight shift away from 'Obamacare'

Washington (AFP) - With their leadership clinging to its strategy of demanding changes to the health care law, some rank-and-file Republicans acknowledged Saturday that ending the US government shutdown requires a new game plan.

Without question, a repeal or delay of the law known as "Obamacare" remains a top priority for Republican lawmakers, who for weeks have insisted on making any bill that funds government contingent on rolling back President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

But a handful of Tea Party-supported conservatives have publicly backed off that fight, one which caused deep rifts within the Republican Party and led to some very public sniping among Republicans on the Senate floor.

With the shutdown battle being subsumed by debate over the need to raise the debt ceiling in the next two weeks, they said the focus needs to shift to strictly fiscal issues.

"I won't be happy with that but I recognize the writing on the wall," congressman Doug Lamborn told reporters during a rare weekend session for the House of Representatives.

"We've tried a lot of things, and maybe used every arrow in our quiver against Obamacare. It has not been successful, so I think we do have to move on to the larger issues of the debt ceiling and the overall budget."

That is no small admission from the man National Journal named in 2010 as the most conservative member of the House.

He was joined by congressman Dennis Ross, another favorite of the anti-tax, pro-small-government Tea Party movement.

"Pride, I think, has got to be swallowed here, probably on both sides," Ross said.

"We're so close to the debt ceiling that I think the two will continue to be combined as we go forward."

The US Treasury says it will run out of money to pay creditors on October 17, triggering a potentially calamitous default unless Congress votes to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling.

Despite the approaching crisis, Republican leadership suggested Saturday that "Obamacare" remained the lynchpin in the party's strategy.

"The Republican position has continued to be, no special treatment under the law, no special treatment under Obamacare," number two House Republican Eric Cantor said.

The White House has held firm that it will accept no changes to the Affordable Care Act, and Ross appeared frustrated with his party's failure to adapt to the political reality that linking Obamacare with the funding of government would be a non-starter.

"I think expectations were built up to a level that could not be delivered," he said.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on October 07, 2013, 08:24:56 am
Obamacare's winners and losers in Bay Area

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.

Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.

Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.

"Welcome to the club," said Robert Laszewksi, a prominent health care consultant and president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates in Virginia.

For years, the nation has been embroiled in the political rhetoric of "Obamacare," but this past week the reality of the new law sank in as millions of Americans had their first good look at how the 3 1/2-year-old legislation will affect their pocketbooks.

This much quickly became clear:

As state- and federal-run health insurance exchanges debuted across the country offering a range of prices for different tiers of insurance coverage, the new online marketplaces -- which represent the centerpiece of Obamacare -- could greatly benefit more than 40 million Americans who now lack coverage. But an additional 16 million -- who buy individual health insurance policies on the open market -- are finding out that their plans may not comply with the new law, which requires 10 essential benefits such as maternity care, mental health care and prescription drug coverage.

In California, 1.9 million people buy plans on the open market, according to officials with Covered California, the state's new health insurance exchange. And many of them are steaming mad.

"There's going to be a number of people surprised" by their bills, said Jonathan Wu, a co-founder of ValuePenguin, a consumer finance website. "The upper-middle class are the people who are essentially being asked to foot the bill, and that's true across the country."

Covered California spokesman Dana Howard maintained that in public presentations the exchange has always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare.

"Some people will see an increase who are already on the individual market purchasing insurance," he said, "but most people will not."

Covered California officials note that at least 570,000 of the 1.9 million people who buy their own insurance should be eligible for subsidies that will reduce their premiums.

Even those who don't qualify for the tax subsidies could see their rates drop because Obamacare doesn't allow insurers to charge people more if they have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and cancer, he said.

People like Marilynn Gray-Raine.

The 64-year-old Danville artist, who survived breast cancer, has purchased health insurance for herself for decades. She watched her Anthem Blue Cross monthly premiums rise from $317 in 2005 to $1,298 in 2013. But she found out last week from the Covered California site that her payments will drop to about $795 a month.

But people with no pre-existing conditions like Vinson, a 60-year-old retired teacher, and Waschura, a 52-year-old self-employed engineer, are making up the difference.

"I was laughing at Boehner -- until the mail came today," Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.

"I really don't like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family's pocket each year, that's otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy."

Both Vinson and Waschura have adjusted gross incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level -- the cutoff for a tax credit. And while both said they anticipated their rates would go up, they didn't realize they would rise so much.

"Of course, I want people to have health care," Vinson said. "I just didn't realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally."

A frustrated Vinson went on the Covered California site to see what she would pay for the same policy if she lived in Los Angeles or Sacramento. She discovered she would save at least $100 monthly.

According to data compiled by ValuePenguin, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco as well as Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties have some of the highest health insurance rates in the state. Covered California officials say that in addition to the higher cost of living here, more hospitals in the Bay Area are owned by hospital groups that can demand higher rates because of the lack of competition.

Not all of the sticker shock can be blamed on Obamacare.

Health care inflation costs routinely increase at least 4 percent annually, said Ken Wood, a senior adviser for Covered California. Those increases, he noted, are due to an aging population and the rising costs of new medical technology and drugs, among other factors.

But Wood, Wu and others also said premiums will rise as a result of people getting better insurance under the new law, which requires most Americans, with few exceptions, to buy health insurance no later than March 31, or pay a minimum $95 annual penalty.

The law's intent is to cover people who are now uninsured by making insurance accessible to everybody. But that means rates will rise for many because sick and healthy people will now be charged the same premium.

Adding a required list of 10 essential benefits to all plans is also significant. A study published last year in the journal Health Affairs said more than half of Americans who had individual insurance in 2010 were enrolled in plans that would not qualify because they didn't meet all the new requirements.

Wood likened these mandates to the higher cost of buying cars today that must have safety features like air bags and anti-lock brakes.

The law also will often make some policies more expensive because it limits out-of-pocket expenses to $6,350 annually for an individual and $12,700 for a family. In addition, the law restricts the minimum and maximum premiums that people can be charged based on their age.

Now, a 64-year-old can be charged almost five times more than a 21-year-old. Beginning Jan. 1, it will be a 3-1 ratio.

Those explanations, however, don't completely satisfy Waschura and Vinson.

"I'm not against Obamacare," Waschura said. "It's just the initial shock. I'm holding out hope that there will be a correction over a handful of years."

But to Gray-Raine, the breast cancer survivor from the East Bay, that correction has already come.

"Obamacare is a huge step in the right direction for those of us without employer coverage," she said, adding that she hopes everyone will "join in and make this new legislation a success for all."


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on October 07, 2013, 08:27:30 am
My own insurance plan is going away through my work. And we have to get on a new plan. The most affordable one lowers my monthly payment some but now i am stuck with a $4,000.00 deductible that has to be paid first every year before the actual plan kicks in. I dont have 4 thousand dollars to pay every year.

I have insurance but i cant use it. Thanx Obama, as i know im not the only one in this kind of mess.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 07, 2013, 10:38:33 am
Hopefully, 1 The 4:13-18 happens soon! :)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 07, 2013, 11:02:16 am
If you don't mind me mentioning this...

Jesse Ventura was on CNN on Friday, and guess what, this so-called "truther" and anti-political establishment, SUPPORTS Obamacare! He said how America should have socialized medicine b/c other Western countries have it and seem to be doing OK.

Pt I'm trying to make here is that I read a thread on PPF the other day how posters there got excited over Ventura announcing a potential 2016 run, and he seems to be loved by the "truth" movement as well. Ultimately, don't you see how all of these socialist ideas have infiltrated ALL sectors?(Democrats, Republicans, "truth" movement, etc, etc) Newt Gingrich came out recently endorsing Obamacare. Mike Rivero(another "truther" media analyst) endorses socialized medicine. And now Ventura. And not to mention too Ron Paul was a Reagan-establishment supporter.

Anyhow - I know this is pretty sensitive now(believe me, if I had a family, I would be very concerned too) - while all the other Hegelian Dialectic establishments were pointing fingers at Obama, they themselves have been quietly supporting it too.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on October 07, 2013, 11:05:29 am
Jesse is a "truther" on some things, nut like mos people i know in the "ruther" movement, especially the AJ sect, are socialists. Jesse is a socialist.

Jesse Ventura Considers Himself A Libertarian Marxist | The Daily


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on October 07, 2013, 03:10:58 pm
My own insurance plan is going away through my work. And we have to get on a new plan. The most affordable one lowers my monthly payment some but now i am stuck with a $4,000.00 deductible that has to be paid first every year before the actual plan kicks in. I dont have 4 thousand dollars to pay every year.

I have insurance but i cant use it. Thanx Obama, as i know im not the only one in this kind of mess.

I feel ya brother! But that deductible will go up to just over 6k, or over 12k for you and your wife. But regardless, you know the feeling of the reality that people like us just don't have even $4,000 cash per person up front each year. The high deductible is in effect the second half of your monthly premium. Spread it out over 12 months and add it to the premium and THAT is your monthly premium.

The law also will often make some policies more expensive because it limits out-of-pocket expenses to $6,350 annually for an individual and $12,700 for a family.


That's $529.17 a month over a year. That is ON TOP of your monthly premium!

What's affordable about that? Nothing. We are seeing a massive theft taking place by insurers, with assistance by government.

Now imagine getting let's say, a half a million illegal immigrants, to get their shiny new driver's license, with all fees of course, then get those same people to sign up for health insurance and register to vote, and bingo, you got 500,000+ new customers and tax payers, each now committed to paying effectively over $1000 per month.

500k x $1,000/month =  That's $500 MILLION, per month.

Now can you see the motivation? The love of money.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 08, 2013, 12:07:53 am
Christian40, I don't mean to call you out here, but if you don't mind me asking - does Australia/New Zealand have socialized medicine?

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 08, 2013, 12:24:34 am
Infowars article - but the reason why I'm posting this is b/c there is going to come a time where all of us is going to really have to examine whether we're in the faith. Believe me - my parents want me to sign up, and anxiety is really creeping up on me with this as well. May the Lord's will be done, but I pray my parents just forget about it. Ultimately, and I really hate to say this, but if we have to be put on the streets for refusing this, at the very least we have our KJBs, are separated from the world almost completely, and our redemption is drawing even nigher.

And as much as I hate to say this in this thread - once the prosperity gospel/social justice NIV bible hit the market in 1978, it pretty much put the final nail in America's coffin.

Obamacare Fines to be Seized From Bank Accounts?

Man who attempted to sign up claims he was threatened with drivers license being revoked, federal tax lien on home

Paul Joseph Watson
 October 2, 2013

A man who attempted to sign up for Obamacare online was told that a fine of over $4,000 dollars a year for refusing to take out mandatory health insurance could be taken directly from his bank account, and that his drivers license would be suspended and a federal tax lien placed against his home, according to an entry on the HealthCare.gov Facebook page.

If true, the implementation of Obamacare is going to be a whole lot more draconian than Americans have been led to believe.

Will Sheehan claims that when he tried to sign up for Obamacare and then register to opt out, he received an ominous warning. Sheehan’s full Facebook post reads;

“I actually made it through this morning at 8:00 A.M. I have a preexisting condition (Type 1 Diabetes) and my income base was 45K-55K annually I chose tier 2 “Silver Plan” and my monthly premiums came out to $597.00 with $13,988 yearly deductible!!! There is NO POSSIBLE way that I can afford this so I “opt-out” and chose to continue along with no insurance.

I received an email tonight at 5:00 P.M. informing me that my fine would be $4,037 and could be attached to my yearly income tax return. Then you make it to the “REPERCUSSIONS PORTION” for “non-payment” of yearly fine. First, your drivers license will be suspended until paid, and if you go 24 consecutive months with “Non-Payment” and you happen to be a home owner, you will have a federal tax lien placed on your home. You can agree to give your bank information so that they can easy “Automatically withdraw” your “penalties” weekly, bi-weekly or monthly! This by no means is “Free” or even “Affordable.”

Sheehan went on to point out that the site makes you input all your personal information before giving you an indication of the costs, meaning a database of the “uninsured” is being built. He added that he could not afford to pay the premium so would have to break the law and pay the fine, leaving him with no health care coverage.

The federal government has consistently denied that any fines pertaining to Obamacare non-compliance could be seized from bank accounts, despite reports last year that the IRS had hired 16,500 new agents to harass citizens who attempt to evade the new law.

“There’s no criminal sanctions for not paying this, and there’s no ability to levy a bank account or do seizures,” then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman said in April 2010.

In addition, Americans who refuse to pay for mandatory health insurance “shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution,” according to the law itself.

Section 1501(g)(2) of the Affordable Care Act also states that the IRS cannot “file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section.”

Either Sheehan’s claim that he received this notice is a lie, or the feds have been dishonest with the American people all along, and the revolt against Obamacare is about to take “don’t tread on me” to a whole new level.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 08, 2013, 12:45:25 am
2Peter 3:13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
2Pe 3:14  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
2Pe 3:15  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
2Pe 3:16  As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on October 08, 2013, 03:19:24 am
Either Sheehan’s claim that he received this notice is a lie, or the feds have been dishonest with the American people all along, and the revolt against Obamacare is about to take “don’t tread on me” to a whole new level.

 ::) It's neither one!

This article is suspect at best. Not sure what is going on, but this person's claims are based on an email he received AFTER he left the government website. What he claims is what was apparently stated in that email. THAT is a red flag, the email.

He received a bogus email. It's phishing. There have been warnings about scams over the health care. If you receive any emails on this stuff, DO NOT open any attachments and just delete the email. Typical red flag is the threats of taking your money and a lien on your house. Sounds like the Nigerian scam.

PPF/Infowars strikes again with sensational and embellished articles. Standard junk from Paul Watson where he has turned that rag into nothing more than the National Enquirer.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on October 09, 2013, 06:51:45 am
Has ANYONE Actually Been Able To Successfully Sign Up For Obamacare Yet?

Do you know anyone that has been able to get past all of the glitches and sign up for health insurance using one of the Obamacare websites?  Thousands of applications have been “started”, but the mainstream media has been desperately searching for someone that has actually been able to successfully get enrolled and so far they haven’t been able to find a single example.  The Obama administration had been promoting the story of one 21-year-old student from Georgia, but it turns out that his “success story” was a fraud and he was not actually successful in signing up for health insurance yet.  So exactly what in the world is going on here?  Certainly a few of the millions of visitors to these websites must have successfully signed up for health insurance, right?  In the end, whether a handful of Americans have been able to sign up for health insurance or not is not the real issue.  The real issue is that the launch of the most highly touted health law in U.S. history has been an epic fail.

The Obama administration has been so desperate to show that the Obamacare health insurance exchanges are working that even Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, tweeted the news story about the 21-year-old student down in Georgia getting enrolled in Obamacare.  Unfortunately for the Obama administration, the story was not actually true…

more: http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/epic-fail-has-anyone-actually-been-able-to-successfully-sign-up-for-obamacare-yet

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 09, 2013, 03:19:08 pm
Has ANYONE Actually Been Able To Successfully Sign Up For Obamacare Yet?

Do you know anyone that has been able to get past all of the glitches and sign up for health insurance using one of the Obamacare websites?  Thousands of applications have been “started”, but the mainstream media has been desperately searching for someone that has actually been able to successfully get enrolled and so far they haven’t been able to find a single example.  The Obama administration had been promoting the story of one 21-year-old student from Georgia, but it turns out that his “success story” was a fraud and he was not actually successful in signing up for health insurance yet.  So exactly what in the world is going on here?  Certainly a few of the millions of visitors to these websites must have successfully signed up for health insurance, right?  In the end, whether a handful of Americans have been able to sign up for health insurance or not is not the real issue.  The real issue is that the launch of the most highly touted health law in U.S. history has been an epic fail.

The Obama administration has been so desperate to show that the Obamacare health insurance exchanges are working that even Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, tweeted the news story about the 21-year-old student down in Georgia getting enrolled in Obamacare.  Unfortunately for the Obama administration, the story was not actually true…

more: http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/epic-fail-has-anyone-actually-been-able-to-successfully-sign-up-for-obamacare-yet

Yeah, I was wondering this too - the government so badly wants everyone to yoke up with it, but so far it's been almost impossible for anyone to sign up?

I dunno, but this definitely has been a train wreck from the start - maybe they should have called it "Trainwreckcare"...

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 09, 2013, 04:35:53 pm
Millions Of Workers May Choose To Go Part-Time Once Obamacare Kicks In

At the beginning of 2014, there may be millions of full-time workers who transition to part-time status.

The surge in part-timers is expected for two reasons. First, many believe the Affordable Care Act, commonly called the ACA or Obamacare,  has resulted in companies cutting employee hours to get around providing health care to employees working more than 30 hours a week.

Under the health-care reform, companies with at least 50 employees are required to provide medical coverage to full-time workers (those working more than 30 hours per week) or face fines that start at $2,000 per worker not covered.

Second, the ACA will enable part-timers to have access to medical benefits that rival those of full-timers, giving them greater freedom to choose part-time work.

The perk that is usually offered only to full-time employees — affordable health care — will now be offered to part-time employees. As a result, millions of workers who are working full-time may choose to work part-time instead, University of Chicago economics professor Casey Mulligan said in a recent paper published with the  National Bureau of Economic Research.

Workers who choose to reduce their own hours may end up faring better financially by paying lower  premiums offered to part-time rs through government exchanges ra ther than working a few more hours and  purchasing health care through an employer, s aid Mulligan.

"Moving from full-time employment to part-time employment will trigger generous assistance with health premiums and out-of-pocket expenses that can offset much of the income lost due to reduced work hours," said Mulligan.  Under the health-care reform, the cost of insurance will be subsidized depending on your income.

In a leaked internal email  that was published in  The Washington Post , a Trader Joe exec wrote that one employee — a single mom with one child — who makes $18 per hour and works around 25 hours per week, currently pays $166.50 per month for her health-care plan purchased through the company. When the ACA plans kick in next year, this employee will be able to purchase an  "almost identical" plan for $69.59 per month, meaning she will save about $1,175 annually on health care.

Mulligan said the reduced hours will allow workers to have more leisure time and lower work-related costs such as child-care, since working less enables part-timers to  spend more time with their children instead of paying for a nanny or day-care service.

Annie Lowrey and John Harwood at The New York Times write that the ACA may also reduce  "job lock," which describes when workers are afraid to quit their jobs or reduce their hours for fear of losing  medical coverage

With more health-care options, workers might have greater freedom in choosing between part-time or full-time work. However, it's still too soon to tell how an increase in part-time workers might affect companies and the U.S. economy.


The reason why I highlighted everything in red with this article is b/c it reminded me over how lately I've been reading about the Millennial Generation and their insistence to have "flexible" work hours and other "incentives" so they can be pleased. No, I am NOT trying to belittle young people(we have a couple of Millennials that are in the faith and in the KJB), and no this article doesn't discuss Millennials(but like I said, things in this article reminded me of other agendas being pushed), but nonetheless just look at this pattern that's going on lately...

The Illuminati minions are just finding all sorts of ways to push their wealth-redistribution agenda - pretty much, the people getting offered these "incentives" are the ones that are putting the LEAST amount of effort(not all, but most of them). I don't know if everything in this article is true or more propaganda, but nonetheless you can see this very agenda being pushed.

Millennials are not who you think they are

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on October 11, 2013, 03:45:19 pm
Thousands of doctors fired by United HealthCare

In the midst of major changes in health care, UnitedHealthCare has sent thousands of pink slips to Connecticut doctors.     
Termination letters went to physicians caring for Medicare patients. Those letters were sent out to doctors caring for 'Medicare Advantage' patients. It's a plan, marketed to Seniors to provide additional services through UnitedHealthCare.
A mix of primary care and specialty doctors are affected by it. And it comes at a questionable time.
 Open enrollment for Medicare starts next Tuesday, and it's still not clear at this time as to which doctors are still in the United network.   
 The Connecticut State Medical Society is fighting back. The biggest concern is patient access to healthcare.
"What the government is looking for is to manage better care by adding a patient centered medical home so that you have a doctor who is totally invested with taking care of every aspect of the patient and coordinating it. This is clearly not a patient centered decision," said Dr. Michael Saffir, President of CT State Medical Society.   
 Dr. Saffir says the State Medical Society is in contact with UnitedHealthcare. They are also asking doctors to call United to find out why they were terminated without cause as notified in the letter.
 He recommends that Seniors affected by this should call the office of the HealthCare Advocate of Connecticut.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 11, 2013, 04:45:40 pm
Looks like we're seeing the one world health system coming close now...

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 11, 2013, 07:59:40 pm
Sources: Ryan Compromise Will Keep Obamacare 'Forever'

Breitbart News reported that House Republicans have offered a new deal to the White House to end the fiscal stalemate. The GOP plan, authored primarily by House Budget Chair Rep. Paul Ryan according to Hill sources, would meet Obama's demands in exchange for negotiations on a longer-term budget agreement.

At least two high-ranking Capitol Hill sources have told Breitbart News that Ryan’s plan would also help protect Obamacare as it is currently implemented.

Ryan's office deny the claims. “What your sources are attempting to attribute to Congressman Ryan is not accurate,” Kevin Seifert, Ryan’s spokesman, said in an email.

But the Capitol Hill conservative sources are adamant Ryan offered at least two things that they say would mitigate some of Obamacare's hardest-hitting effects on certain communities that are needed for the GOP to take the law down in the end.

The high-ranking conservative source said that this deal will ensure America has "Obamacare forever" and that Ryan's "pro union votes are really coming to light now."

At a meeting on Friday morning, the sources said Ryan’s plan was presented to a group of members. Ryan's plan would grant President Barack Obama a no-strings-attached “clean” debt ceiling increase for six weeks and acquiesce to Obama’s latest demand that Republicans also pass a Continuing Resolution to end the partial government shutdown.

The plan was pitched to a room full of members of the House GOP caucus. Not only would Ryan’s plan amount to a GOP capitulation on the debt ceiling and budget, it would mitigate certain effects of Obamacare to help labor unions and members of the business community.

The grand bargain Ryan is attempting to negotiate would include a repeal of the medical device sales tax, a part of Obamacare even liberal Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) supports removing.

The high-ranking sources also claimed Ryan was trying to negotiate a proposal that would increase from 30 to 39 the number of weekly hours worked to qualify as a full-time worker that would trigger the mandate that employers provide health insurance or pay a $2,000 per employee fine. The sources described this proposal as a hand-out to labor unions. The 30 hour threshold in ObamaCare annoyed people like Teamsters Union President Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. and prompted him recently to speak out against Obamacare. 

The source also said Ryan’s "grand bargain" would increase the number of employees a company may have without providing health insurance from 50 up to 100. This would mitigate effects on the larger members of the small business community, who are currently some of the most ardent opponents of Obamacare.

Ultimately, one of the sources says, such proposals end up keeping Obamacare the law of the land "forever" as it would take away from momentum against it.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 14, 2013, 07:38:16 am
The New Age Movement, in particular, has been begging for more and more technology. And throw in these Steven Greer types for good measure.

Health Care Reform Paving the Way for New Technologies

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- "Obamacare" may not please everybody, but Americans of all political stripes already benefit from at least one by-product of the new law: innovative health care technologies that make it easier and cheaper to access quality health care.
A key driver for technology creation within Obamacare is the idea of "accountable care," where providers receive financial incentives for delivering high quality care at a lower cost. If the old economic model was to build a hospital and fill it with paying patients, the new model rewards medical professionals for keeping people healthy and out of the building as much as possible.

Accountable care requires that "hospitals defend the perimeter against avoidable admission," said George Pace, a health care industry executive based in North Carolina. "If I'm there because of a heart attack, okay, but it's not okay if it's because I forgot to take my medications. You have to expand the continuum of care into the community and identify and address symptoms, illnesses, and behaviors before they escalate."

That's where technology comes in. Just as doctors and hospitals leverage "physician extenders" such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants to provide a broad range of services, said Pace, "technology extenders" such as mobile telemedicine, real-time collaborative tools and electronic monitoring systems will increasingly be used to maximize the reach of medical professionals, all while lowering costs.

In some rural communities, for example, local doctors have started to utilize remote presence devices -- call them "robo-docs" -- to teleconference with distant specialists as they examine patients. In the past, patients might have been forced to travel hundreds of miles at great expense to meet with specialists, or perhaps would have skipped the trip, only to land in the emergency room shortly thereafter.

Mark Twain Medical Center, a small, 25-bed hospital in San Andreas, California, recently acquired the RP-VITA, an advanced telemedicine robot from InTouch Health and iRobot (IRBT_). Outside medical specialists can direct RP-VITA, which looks a bit like R2D2 from Star Wars, only taller and with better posture, to a patient's bedside to initiate a consultation or exam.

"We're just beginning to realize telemedicine's true potential in disease prevention," writes InTouch Health on its corporate blog. "It doesn't take a genius to understand that a 340-pound patient who doesn't exercise or make regular primary care visits is a prime candidate for a stroke or heart attack. Telehealth e-visits and follow-ups can go a long way toward eliminating the need for remote stroke consultations down the road."

Accountable care also encourages health professionals across multiple disciplines and locations to collaborate on clinical care to avoid superfluous medical expenditures. Cooperation becomes even more vital as millions of newly insured patients -- many with chronic conditions and little or no medical history -- enter the health care system under the Affordable Care Act. That, said Pace, gives rise to a need for technologies that deliver personalized, real-time patient data into the hands of medical staff.

One such technology comes from AirStrip, whose AirStrip ONE health care mobility solution creates a "virtual bedside" by transmitting live, secure data from medical devices, patient monitors, and electronic medical records (EMR) to smartphones and tablets. AirStrip products initially covered obstetrics and in the last several years have expanded to include cardiology, patient monitoring and EMR.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 15, 2013, 08:20:21 pm
Why Does the GOP Really Hate Obamacare?

The grounds for the Republican Party’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act are far from a single coherent argument. It is all the more confusing because one of the health care reform’s key provisions, the individual insurance mandate, has conservative origins. The requirement that individuals be required to purchase health insurance first emerged in Republican health care reform bills introduced in 1993 as alternatives to the Clinton administration’s plan.

That mandate was also a prominent feature of the Massachusetts plan passed under Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006. According to Romney, “we got the idea of an individual mandate from [Newt Gingrich], and [Newt] got it from the Heritage Foundation,” Forbes reports. Furthermore, as Bill Keller argued in an op-ed for The New York Times, the GOP should be “the people who ought to be most vigorously applauding this success story” because the reform of the United States’s “overpriced, underperforming health care system” was done almost entirely with market incentives instead of government decree.

The fact that the idea of the individual mandate developed out of GOP rhetoric proves that the party is not opposed to the thought of making insurance affordable to millions of Americans. “Many states now require passengers in automobiles to wear seat-belts for their own protection,” Stuart Butler, a health care expert for the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation, wrote in a 1989 brief titled Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans. “Many others require anybody driving a car to have liability insurance. But neither the federal government nor any state requires all households to protect themselves from the potentially catastrophic costs of a serious accident or illness.”

So the argument goes that just as legally mandated insurance makes economic sense for automobiles, it makes sense for health care, as well.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 22, 2013, 12:27:37 pm
Next Obamacare challenge one step closer to Supreme Court

A national hobby and crafts chain store has asked the Supreme Court to hear a case that will present the next big challenge to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Hobby Lobby petitioned the Supreme Court on Monday to take up its case challenging the ObamaCare birth control mandate that applies to for-profit companies.

The move is slightly unusual, since Hobby Lobby won its most-recent appeals decision in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and in effect the Court could overrule a decision that Hobby Lobby has already won.

But circuit courts have had conflicting rulings in related cases, creating the kind of controversy that almost guarantees the Supreme Court’s attention.

On Monday evening, the Obama administration repeated its request for the Court to take up the Hobby Lobby case, and to wait on hearing a second case, the Conestoga Wood case, until the Court rules on Hobby Lobby.

Representing Hobby Lobby in its brief is Paul Clement, who argued before the bench in the 2012 Affordable Care Act decision. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli will oppose Clement, as he did during the 2012 arguments over Obamacare in front of the Justices.

The Obama administration had asked the Supreme Court on September 19 to grant the case for review during the Court’s current term. In all likelihood, the Court will accept the case, based on the precedents set by similar executive branch requests.

In July, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton granted Hobby Lobby and its sister company, Mardel Christian bookstore, a temporary exemption from a ACA requirement that it provide insurance coverage for morning-after pills and similar emergency birth control methods and devices.

The Obama administration’s lawyers want the Justices to decide if corporations can claim a religious exemption to this one part of the ACA.

What’s uncertain is if the Court will accept just the Hobby Lobby case, or combine it with the Conestoga Wood case.

Conestoga is a Mennonite family-owned, profit-making business, and it claims that the ACA’s birth control mandate violates the company’s rights under the First Amendment and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Third Circuit rejected that argument.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 22, 2013, 12:30:50 pm
Representing Hobby Lobby in its brief is Paul Clement, who argued before the bench in the 2012 Affordable Care Act decision. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli will oppose Clement, as he did during the 2012 arguments over Obamacare in front of the Justices.

It's baffling over why these people don't hire independent law firms to represent them.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 22, 2013, 05:15:20 pm
Baltimore Ravens receive $130,000 in taxpayer cash to promote Obamacare

The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens are receiving $130,000 in public funds to promote Obamacare for a year, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch.

In September, officials with Maryland Health Connection — Maryland’s Obamacare exchange — announced that the team had signed on to be a partner in the promotion efforts for President Obama’s signature health-care law.

“Research shows that 71 percent of the uninsured population in Maryland have watched, attended or listened to a Ravens game in the past 12 months,” the Connection’s press announcement explained.

“The partnership will provide Maryland Health Connection with the opportunity to reach and engage fans while making them aware of the new opportunity they have for health coverage beginning this fall through the health insurance marketplace,” it added.

The deal between the Ravens and Maryland Health Connection was finalized on Sept. 9 and according to Judicial Watch the $130,000 deal requires that the Super Bowl champions promote the exchange on television, radio, the team website, its news letter, and social media.

The National Football League declined appeals from the Obama administration to help sell Obamacare over the summer.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Christian40 on October 22, 2013, 09:14:07 pm

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on October 26, 2013, 07:55:06 am
After Supporting Obamacare, Liberal Daily Beast Columnist Gets an Unwelcome Health Care Surprise in the Mail

Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers, who has been an Obamacare supporter, admitted on “The Kelly File” Thursday that her insurance premiums will nearly double from $160 per month to about $300 per month if she wants to keep the same deductible.
The reality of higher premiums and the broken promise that Americans can keep their current health care plans isn’t “quite the way they sold it,” she said.
“I’m in the individual market and I got the letter, the same letter everyone’s talking about. I live in D.C., so it’s a state exchange, and I went on and I guess I can roughly get the same insurance…but it will go up from about $160 a month and a $2,500 deductible — if I want to keep a $2,500 deductible, it will go up to about $300 a month,” Powers explained.
The administration may argue that its the “young” and “healthy” who will see their premiums go up, but that’s really not “quite the way they sold it,” she added.

video: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/10/25/after-supporting-obamacare-liberal-daily-beast-columnist-discovers-reality-not-quite-the-way-they-sold-it/

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 26, 2013, 12:05:13 pm
Kirsten Powers was a former Clinton admin advisor, who somehow is an "analyst" for FOX News now. Yeah, she's part of the globalist team.

Yes, she's telling the truth here, but nonetheless she's part of the opposition-controlled globalist team.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on October 27, 2013, 04:08:31 am
Yeah, Powers is a FOX News shill, regularly appearing on there. When I was watching Fox, she would come on there and debate O'Reilly. She's a strange one.

But I agree, she does have a point about the insurance. I you oppose Obamacare, this is a slam dunk because all the bad things being claimed about it are basically true.

$2,500 deductible? Who can afford that plan's premium? That must be the highest level plan you can get because the "bronze" plan is a $6300 deductible, and goes down with with "silver" and "platinum" plans, but I haven't seen a plan for THAT low of a deductible.

The news is trying to claim, or rather the White House is tossing out claims of over a half a million people have signed up for Obamacare. BULL. Prove it!

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on October 27, 2013, 05:42:16 am

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on October 28, 2013, 07:12:44 pm
White House Admits: Some Will Lose Health Plans...

Website Still Promising You Can Keep Your Insurance If You Like It...

Nearly 1.5 million cancellations so far...

Alaska Suspends Enrollments After Signing Up 3 People...


Administration grants six-week extension...

Churches to Help Parishioners Enroll...


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 28, 2013, 07:35:19 pm

Churches to Help Parishioners Enroll...

Now Caesar is calling in his chips. These 501c3 churches were helping out with illegal immigration recently.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on October 29, 2013, 06:47:18 am
Truth be told, "churches" have always help illegals, throughout world history. Churchianity has played both sides of the fence the whole time, trying to serve God and mammon.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 31, 2013, 03:49:03 pm
Google, Oracle Workers Enlisted for Obamacare 'Tech Surge'

Google Inc. (GOOG), Red Hat Inc. (RHT), Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and other companies are contributing dozens of computer engineers and programmers to help the Obama administration fix the U.S. health-insurance exchange website.

The help is arriving as the government's main site to offer health insurance remains plagued by repeated outages a month after its Oct. 1 debut. Among those assisting are Michael ****erson, a site reliability engineer on leave from Mountain View, California-based Google, and Greg Gershman, the innovation director for smartphone application maker Mobomo, according to a government official who asked not to be identified because the moves haven't been made public.

The administration began touting a "tech surge" on Oct. 20, as a robust response to the software and technology errors on healthcare.gov that have prevented people from enrolling in health plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Insurers have said they too are experiencing problems with incomplete or garbled data from the site.

"There are dozens of software engineers, developers, designers and analysts, who are methodically working around the clock on performance and functionality of healthcare.gov," wrote Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in a blog post obtained by Bloomberg News.

The administration hasn't previously quantified the tech surge or identified any participants, other than Jeffrey Zients, President Barack Obama's incoming chief economic adviser, who was asked to first advise Bataille's agency on fixes.

****erson is working with QSSI, the UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) unit that last week was named as lead contractor for repairs to healthcare.gov, Bataille said. Gershman is working with CGI Group Inc., the Montreal-based contractor that built much of the website.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on October 31, 2013, 04:29:28 pm
****erson is working with QSSI, the UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) unit that last week was named as lead contractor for repairs to healthcare.gov, Bataille said. Gershman is working with CGI Group Inc., the Montreal-based contractor that built much of the website.

I see 2 MAJOR issues with that.

The first is why is a health insurance company heading up anything related to this? Seems like a big conflict of interest to me. And secondly, why is there ANY foreign company involved in any US government project involving US citizens?

Out of 300 MILLION citizens, and especially in what they call "Silicon Valley", not to mention MIT and Harvard, Standford, Georgia Tech, etc, they couldn't find US citizens to get the job done? Really? I don't buy it. They better follow the money and ask some serious questions because US citizens have obviously been scammed on a major level.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 02, 2013, 01:12:22 pm
Health Care Shoppers Aren’t as Dumb as Obama Thinks

President Obama calls them “substandard” insurance plans. But to many of the people who bought individual insurance policies that are now being canceled under the Affordable Care Act, their choice of insurance was a prudent decision that met their needs at a price that will be hard to beat under the ACA.

Jim Stadler is one of the “5 percenters”—the 5% of Americans with health insurance policies they purchased on their own—who got notified recently that their carrier was canceling coverage because it didn’t meet the tougher new minimum requirements of the ACA. Stadler, a freelance writer who lives outside of Charlotte, N.C., was laid off from a full-time job at an ad agency in 2009, at which point he became a freelancer and bought individual health coverage for him and his two kids.

Under Stadler’s expiring policy, his premiums are $411 a month, for coverage that always seemed adequate to him. “It’s not a substandard policy,” he says. “I thought it was a great deal.” The premium for the new policy offered by his insurer will be $843 a month, with coverage that’s more or less the same as far as he’s concerned. But new policies are required to include free preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies, and they can’t be canceled or priced higher for sicker people, which is why the cost of some policies is going up.

Since Stadler’s family’s income is too high to qualify for federal subsidies, he’s considering putting his kids on the policy his wife, a teacher, gets through her job. But that would be expensive, too. “The thing that gets me,” says Stadler, who voted for Obama in the 2012 presidential election, “is I thought Barack Obama was the only guy I could trust in Washington. He ended up lying to me because he said, if I like my insurance, I could keep it.”

The 5-percenter problem could end up being a much more serious albatross for Obamacare and its mostly Democratic supporters than the notorious web site snafus and other temporary snags, which can mostly be fixed. Obama did, in fact, say repeatedly, “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” But policies held by as many as 10 million Americans don’t meet the minimum requirements of the law and are now being canceled. Obama this week added a “vast majority” clause to his earlier claim: “For the vast majority of people who have health insurance that works, you can keep it,” he said in a recent speech on health-care reform.

Obama also continues to point out that many people whose insurance is being cancelled will get a better deal through one of the new exchanges, because of federal subsides offered to lower-income people to help them pay for coverage. The real losers, by contrast, are people like Stadler who won’t qualify for subsidies, and will no longer be able to buy “substandard” policies, either. Many such people will face higher costs for better coverage they wouldn’t choose to pay for on their own, which is exactly the type of Washington-knows-better policymaking that outrages Tea Partiers and many independents who think the government has become too invasive.

Distrust of Obamacare and the people running it has been compounded by the malfunctioning web site and the sheer complexity of the law and its many requirements. Jeanne Patterson of Drexel Hill, Pa., will be losing coverage at the end of the year, and her insurance carrier told her she must choose another plan by Nov. 20 or she won’t be able to get coverage for 2014. The White House, meanwhile, has said it may take until Nov. 30 to fix the crash-prone federal web site. The ACA gives people who choose a plan through an exchange until Dec. 15 to purchase coverage that would take effect Jan. 1, but like many others, Patterson hasn’t been able to navigate the buggy site to find out what her options are.

Patterson, a 58-year-old unemployed insurance broker, pays $500 a month for insurance now, plus about $100 in co-pays for three brand-name medications used to treat chronic migraines. She might qualify for subsidies under the exchange that would help lower her premiums, but she worries that her out-of-pocket costs for drugs will skyrocket. “I had a really good plan,” she says. “My main problem now is uncertainty. It has me sick. I don’t know whether or not I’ll have health care and I don’t know what it will cost me.”

Obama and his supporters have characterized many people who buy individual insurance policies as dupes who don’t realize they’re paying exorbitant prices for an inferior product. In his recent speech, for instance, Obama described such coverage as “cut-rate plans” offered by “bad-apple insurers” that “don't offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident.”

But many of the 5-percenters Obama is referring to see a cruel irony the president may not be aware of. “They canceled my insurance, then said, ‘Hey go get yourself some insurance, and if you don’t, we’re going to fine you,’”says Nate Quarry, a 41-year-old former mixed martial arts fighter who lives outside of Portland, Ore., and whose insurance will expire at year-end. Quarry was happy with the $650-a-month plan that covered him and his daughter. He doesn’t qualify for subsidies, so he’s been looking for a new individual policy similar to the one he’s losing.

So far, the insurance companies he’s called and emailed don’t seem interested in covering him. “I feel like I’m standing on a used car lot saying I want to buy a car, and nobody’s looking at me,” Quarry says. “Is this really happening?” Once the dust settles from the turbulent Obamacare launch, maybe an insurance company will step forward to take his money.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on November 03, 2013, 03:04:20 am
“The thing that gets me,” says Stadler, who voted for Obama in the 2012 presidential election, “is I thought Barack Obama was the only guy I could trust in Washington. He ended up lying to me because he said, if I like my insurance, I could keep it.”


Sorry Mr. Stadler, you cannot trust Washington DC, nor anything in it!

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 03, 2013, 06:15:21 am
Has a Man Ever Delivered a Baby? Sebelius: ‘I Don’t Think So’

During a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on the Obamacare website, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, “I don’t think so” when asked “has a man ever delivered a baby?”

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) asked Sebelius, “Now as far as the essential health benefits, correct me if I’m wrong, do men not have to buy maternity coverage?”

Sebelius: “Policies will cover maternity coverage for the young and the healthy—”

Ellmers: “Including men?”

Sebelius: “30-year-olds will also have a choice of a catastrophic plan which has no maternity coverage?”

Ellmers “The catastrophic, but the men are required to purchase maternity coverage?”

Sebelius: “The insurance policy has benefits whether you use them or not, and one of the benefits will be maternity coverage, mental health coverage, domestic violence coverage.”
Ellmers: “And that is why health care premiums are increasing, because we’re forcing them to buy things they will never need. Thank you, madam chairman.”

Sebelius: “The individual policies cover families. Men often do need maternity coverage for their spouses and for their families, yes.”

Ellmers: “A single male age 32 does not need maternity coverage. To the best of your knowledge has a man ever delivered a baby?”

Sebelius: “I don’t think so.”

- See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/craig-millward/has-man-ever-delivered-baby-sebelius-i-don-t-think-so#sthash.lK5VoHuW.dpuf

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 04, 2013, 09:21:25 pm
73,000 in Maryland losing coverage as insurers drop plans

280,000 Kentuckians to Give Up Their Current Health Insurance Policies

80,000 Louisianians' health insurance policies will be canceled under Affordable Care Act

TV Shows Will Soon Be Weaving Obamacare Into Plotlines

Young people are key for the Affordable Care Act to work, and as a result of a half-million-dollar grant by the California Endowment, TV shows regularly consumed by these young people will soon be weaving Obamacare into plotlines in order to get more of them enrolled in the health care program.

If you’ve ever watched Modern Family or New Girl and thought, “Gee, if only I was learning about the benefits of a complex federal program during this, it would be so much better,” you’re in luck!

The 18-month grant, to the Lear Center’s Hollywood Health & Society program, will be used for briefings with staff from television shows and to track health overhaul-related depictions on prime-time and Spanish-language television.

Since the grant money was provided so recently, no plot lines involving health care have been written…

For those who could benefit from coverage, “we want them to get the facts. We don’t believe the government alone can break through with those facts,” said David Zingale, a California Endowment senior vice president.

Though based on how two TV shows have already addressed the health care law, they may not get so lucky.

But regardless, you can look forward to seeing the characters of some of your favorite TV shows touting the virtues of Obamacare sometime soon. However, the White House should really hope it doesn’t get the House of Cards treatment.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 05, 2013, 03:22:27 pm
Government awards more contracts to company that created glitchy ObamaCare website

CGI Federal Inc, the company that created large parts of the error-plagued ObamaCare exchange website, which it says it is scrambling to fix, has recently been awarded several other government contracts.

Since the ObamaCare exchange website launched on Oct. 1, government officials have signed at least five different agreements with CGI totaling $7 million, according to USASpending.gov, a government website that lists government contracts. The contracts were for computer and software development at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Commerce, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

One contract, for instance, was signed Oct. 19 by Department of Commerce officials that gives CGI Federal $266,164 to provide "IT and Telecom Systems Development" for the Patent Office.

“From our perspective . . . the system is working."

- Cheryl Campbell, CGI Federal's senior vice president

The Commerce Department did not respond to inquiries from FoxNews.com about why they made the deal.

But CGI Federal defended that contract, saying the contract signing this month was essentially a technicality and an extension of an existing contract.

“CGI continues to deliver technology services and support under an existing contract agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office,” Linda Odorisio, Vice President of Communications for CGI, told FoxNews.com.

“It is the type work that has contributed to CGI's solid history of delivery and service to its government clients for more than 35 years,” she added.

But critics say it is absurd to give the company more government money and work at a time when other work they have done for the government is going poorly.

“This is a typical example of government creating perverse incentives,” George Mason University economics professor Donald Boudreaux told FoxNews.com. “Unlike, say, a private homeowner who fires a contractor who does a poor job, the government rewards such poorly performing contractors with new work at lucrative rates.”

CGI Federal was paid $290 million for its work in creating the ObamaCare exchange, and it was the one contractor that administration officials said failed to meet some expectations.

“We’ve had some issues with timely delivery,” Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in testimony to Congress last week.

Criticism of the contracts spans the political aisle.

“I think it’s a problem,” said Alice Chen, who supports ObamaCare and is executive director of Doctors for America. “I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t.”

Health policy experts also criticized the contracts.

“CGI Federal has no real skillset and a lot of the projects they've worked on have failed,” Avik Roy, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute who attended congressional hearings on the ObamaCare exchange failures, told FoxNews.com.

But he added that the failure is no surprise, considering the bureaucratic way that contracts are awarded.

“In order to get through the procurement process of the federal government, you have to go through all these hoops -- it's a highly organized thing just to meet all the regulatory standards. And so the typical coders and programmers who would normally love to join a Google or a Facebook or whatever, they're never going to join a CGI Federal,” he said.

Roy added that government may be as much to blame as CGI Federal.

“I'm sure CGI Federal didn't do a great job, but they were heavily constrained in terms of what they could do, and a lot of the guidelines that they needed to move forward on the project they didn't get until the last minute,” he said.

A Senate Republican staffer reached by FoxNews.com agreed with that.

“I think one reason they're behind is that the administration didn't issue regulations from between Labor Day and Election Day last fall… it made things much more complicated for the contractor,” he said.

In congressional testimony, CGI Federal’s Senior Vice President Cheryl Campbell said that CGI is working hard to make the system better and defended the company’s performance.

“From our perspective, as painful as it sounds -- I know that the experience has been a difficult experience -- the system is working.  People are enrolling,” Campbell told Congress in testimony on October 24, and also promised that things would get better.

“There is no question that there are problems. And we are working together to solve those problems,” she said.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 05, 2013, 03:46:48 pm
ObamaCare price hikes hit 'red states' hardest

Experiencing sticker-shock at the price of insurance on ObamaCare exchanges?

That's more likely if you live in a "red state" that didn't vote for Obama, according to price data compiled by the Heritage Foundation. In red states, premiums for 27-year-olds rose an average of 78% on ObamaCare exchanges, whereas in "blue states" that voted for Obama, premiums rose a smaller 50%.

Senate critics of ObamaCare say the difference is one way in which the bill is unfair.

"It’s unfair, outrageous and unacceptable," Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who is also an orthopedic surgeon, said in a statement to FoxNews.com.

“After discovering that the President broke his promise that Americans can definitely keep their coverage, many red state Americans are now finding out that their rates will soar under ObamaCare. This... proves once again that the President’s health care law picks winners and losers across the country," he added.

Health policy experts say the reason red states got hit hardest is that they had fewer regulations to begin with.

"Think about it this way, what does ObamaCare do? ObamaCare imposes a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme upon the insurance market. So if you're in a lightly regulated state today, all of a sudden it's going from a lightly regulated system to a heavily regulated system, and that drives up a lot of the costs,"
Avik Roy, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute who specializes in health policy, told FoxNews.com.

The increased regulations in question include requirements that insurers provide things like preventative care and contraceptives, which ObamaCare will now require in all states.

Asked about the numbers, the head of the pro-ObamaCare group Doctors for America pointed out that they don't take into account government subsidies that low-income people get under ObamaCare for purchasing insurance.

"The figures don’t take into account the subsidies... So it might be in a chart, but it’s not what people are actually seeing out there when they’re getting coverage," Alice Chen, Doctors for America Executive Director and a practicing internal medicine physician, told FoxNews.com.

Roy says that's a bad argument.

"The idea that somehow  insurance cost increases don't matter because there are subsidies for people -- no, because subsidies are paid for by taxpayers. Subsidies aren't free. They don't fall from the sky. So if you're going to take subsidies into account, you also have to take the taxes into account that paid for these subsidies," he said.

Slightly more red state Americans qualify for subsidies than blue-staters: 8.3% of people, compared to 7.9% of blue staters, according to data provided by Roy which is also on the Manhattan Institute's "Know Your Rates" calculator.

Chen added that, thanks to ObamaCare's subsidies, the rate increases would not be a problem for most young people.

"A Department of Health and Human Services analysis came out last week which showed that 50% of young Americans would actually be able to buy a plan for $50 or less a month. Makes me wish I was in that age bracket!" she said.

Others disagree.

"It's because the vast majority of young people can now enroll in Medicaid, which is effectively free. That's $50 or less. But Medicaid is awful insurance, and it has very poor health outcomes that are barely better than being uninsured. So yeah, you're going to get this "free insurance" that doesn't actually let you see any doctors."

A Republican Senate staffer who does health policy told FoxNews.com that the rate changes discussed so far aren't the only way in which ObamaCare transfers money from red to blue states.

"Red states are subsidizing the blue states' Medicaid expansion... What you have is a lot of the wealthier states, a lot of the bluer states, are expanding Medicaid. And the federal government has promised to pay 90 cents of every dollar to expand Medicaid to include childless adults," the staffer told FoxNews.com

"I don't think it's intentional on the part of the administration," he added.

Due to ObamaCare, a few "blue states" such as New York will actually see health insurance costs fall. Experts say that's because of a law in those states known as "community rating", which in New York means that everyone must pay the same price for insurance regardless of age or health. Since healthy young people were being charged the same rate as a 64-year-old with health problems, many young people gave up on buying insurance. But now, ObamaCare will force them to get insurance, and insurers may then charge everyone a bit less because young and healthy people cost them relatively little.

"A lot of these young people who opted out of insurance in New York will be forced to opt back into the system due to ObamaCare, and that will bring down rates," Roy said.

While the advertised prices of insurance in red states will rise 78%, and in blue states a smaller 50%, Roy pointed out that people were not always charged the advertised prices -- sick people have generally been charged more, but that will be illegal under ObamaCare, and so their premiums will go down. Roy redid the numbers to account for that, and using his numbers, the price increases change to 66% in red states and 48% in blue states for 27-year-olds. For 40-year-olds, it's a 37% increase in red states and a 28% increase in blue states.

"Our numbers are more flattering to the Obama administration, because if you're a healthy person you're going to pay a lot more than our numbers show," Roy said.

Chen said that, even if rates rise in some places, it's because ObamaCare has forbidden dishonest plans.

"In those states where it has traditionally been easier for insurance companies to sell a plan where they can yank it back as soon as you get sick, it is possible that you’re going to have to pay a little extra to be sure that plan is going to be there when you need it," Chen said.

Roy said insurance companies yanking coverage is already illegal.

"It almost never happens. It's already illegal unless you've lied on your forms," he said.

Senators opposed to ObamaCare say the whole thing is another reason to scrap the bill.

"We need to suspend the entire law and replace it with what all Americans wanted all along – affordable, accessible care,” Senator Barrasso told FoxNews.com.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Christian40 on November 06, 2013, 03:38:36 am

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 06, 2013, 05:53:48 pm
OK - the writer of this article is Juan Williams - a FOX News contributor(and former NPR reporter), and he helps provide FOX's "liberal" balance with their "conservative" balance. As we all know, FOX News markets itself as "fair and balanced".

No - I don't agree with what he says here - but nonetheless am posting this here to show FOX's propaganda side by allowing liberalism slants to infiltrate their network. Ultimately, they're openly playing the Hegelian Dialectic card to the max(even much more so than CNN, CBS, and MSNBC), as we're seeing here. You saw FOX do the exact same thing to help push Bush and Cheney's Iraq war prior to the invasion.

Insurance cancelled? Don't blame Obama or the ACA, blame America's insurance companies

Liar! Pinocchio! Deceiver!

With all the charges flying against President Obama in the on-going effort to stop ObamaCare it’s time for a reality check.

Having failed to kill the Affordable Care Act in Congress by shutting down the government the opposition is currently taking delight in charging the president with lying to the public when he said anyone who likes their current healthcare plan will be able to keep it under the new law.

It turns out that some people in the individual care market – about 5 percent of the overall insurance market -- are having their insurance policies cancelled.

It is estimated that half of those folks will get better coverage for a lower price. Some people will even get subsidies to help them pay the lower price.

But some people losing their current policies [and being offered better coverage] are going to have to pay a higher price. Taking crocodile tears to a new level, ObamaCare opponents are now rushing to their defense and calling the president a liar.

These critics include Republican politicians who did not vote for ObamaCare; these are Republican governors who refuse to set up exchanges to reach their own citizens; these are people oppose expanding Medicaid to help poor people getting better health care; these are people who have never put any proposal on the table as an alternative fix for the nation’s costly health care system that leaves tens of millions with inadequate medical coverage and tens of millions more totally uninsured.

The fact is if you are one of the estimated 2 million Americans whose health insurance plans may have been cancelled this month, you should not be blaming President Obama or the Affordable Care Act.

You should be blaming your insurance company because they have not been providing you with coverage that meets the minimum basic standards for health care.

Let me put it more bluntly: your insurance companies have been taking advantage of you and the Affordable Care Act puts in place consumer protection and tells them to stop abusing people.

The government did not “force” insurance companies to cancel their own substandard policies.The insurance companies chose to do that rather than do what is right and bring the policies up to code.

This would be like saying the government “forces” chemical companies to dispose of toxic waste safely rather than dumping it in the river.

Or the government “forces” people to drive with intact windshields and working brake lights.

How dare they “force” drivers to pay money to get those things fixed if they are broken?

One of the most popular and important provisions of the Affordable Care Act is setting basic minimum standards of medical insurance coverage. Here are some of those standards:

- Your insurance company is no longer allowed to cancel your policy if you get sick

- Your insurance company cannot deny you coverage or charge you more if you have a pre-existing health condition

- Your insurance company must allow you to keep your children on your plan until they turn 26 years old or get a job that provides health insurance.

- Your insurance company cannot impose lifetime caps on you health coverage.

- And perhaps most relevant to current discussion about insurance companies canceling substandard policies, your insurance company must cover what are called “essential health benefits.”

What are “essential health benefits?”

They are clearly defined on HealthCare.gov:

“Essential health benefits must include items and services within at least the following 10 categories: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.”

That’s right.

If you are rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, the ACA says your insurance company has to pay for the ambulance ride.

If your son or daughter has a bout with depression or suffers from panic attacks, the ACA says your insurance company needs to pay for their medicine and treatment from a mental health professional.

People should be angry that their insurance companies were not paying for these humane, common sense benefits all along.

It baffles me that people are directing their anger at the ACA which rights these terrible wrongs.

The Hartford Courant newspaper reports that the CEO of Aetna insurance made $36 million last year plus several millions more in stock options.

They also report that the CEO of Cigna cleared a cool $12.5 Million plus stock options.

The American health insurance industry is one of the most profitable in the history of the world. Before the ACA, they made money by finding any excuse, any loophole to deny coverage to the sickest and most vulnerable people in our society.

Rather than being vindictive and canceling policies under the pretext of ObamaCare, the insurance companies should be thanking their lucky stars that they do not have to contend with a public option or a single payer system. That is what the law allows in every other modern industrialized democracy.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 06, 2013, 08:40:43 pm
Nearly 250,000 Colorado healthcare plans cancelled under Obamacare

DENVER –  There are nearly 250,000 Coloradans whose health care policies have been or will be cancelled as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the state’s Dept. of Insurance announced on Wednesday.

Many of the policies are being cancelled because of stipulations under the new law that force insurers to cover certain things that weren’t covered under the old policies; other plans are being cancelled by insurers because they’re no longer cost-effective.

The cancellation letters sent out by the insurers must notify a consumer that the 2013 policy is cancelled, and must also highlight options for new coverage.

“Consumers who have questions about these letters or any questions about their health insurance policy should contact the Division,” said Commissioner of Insurance Marguerite Salazar.  “While some plans are being cancelled, Coloradoans have many new options for 2014, due to the strength and competitiveness of our health insurance market.”

Supporters of “Obamacare” note that, although many policies available on state insurance exchanges or the federal government’s glitch-laden website appear to be more expensive, federal tax credits for many individual and families are likely to lower health care costs for many middle-class Americans.

“I think it’s been a big shock for people getting these letters, but many of them have been able to log on to the exchange and get better plans at a lower cost,” Congresswoman Diana DeGette, D-Denver, told FOX31 Denver Wednesday.

But conservatives used the new numbers to argue that the law is a disaster, comparing the number of cancellation numbers to the number of people who have signed up.

So far, just 3,408 Coloradans have purchased new insurance plans on the exchange; many more, 34,168 Coloradans, have enrolled in Medicaid since the program expanded under the law.

“To have almost a hundred health plan cancellations for every exchange sign up in Colorado under Obamacare is exponentially worse than even the most extreme skeptic could have predicted,” said Kelly Maher, executive director of the group Compass Colorado.

DeGette acknowledged that President Obama’s now infamous campaign promise, that “if you like your existing plan, you can keep it”, was misleading.

“He should have said, ‘If you like your plan you can keep it — subject to the contractual agreement between you and the insurance company’,” DeGette said, acknowledging that such verbiage is a bit complex for a stump speech.

“In truth, most people’s policies, even before the Affordable Care Act, changed from year to year,” she continued. “This is a system that’s based on people getting private insurance; in many ways, it was a Republican idea.

“If people are having contracts with their insurance plans, those insurance companies are going to adjust those plans based on market conditions.”

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 07, 2013, 12:04:24 pm
Yes - I know this article is primarily about the (dog and pony show)Virginia governor's race the other day - but nonetheless look at how the implantation of socialized medicine has been a TOTAL TEAM EFFORT from the get-go...

Cuccinelli advisor blames Bobby Jindal, RGA for defeat: ‘They just blew it’

“Bobby Jindal and his political team totally blew it,” harrumphed one advisor for Ken Cuccinelli the morning after a closer-than-expected loss.

Cuccinelli, who narrowly lost last night’s gubernatorial election to Terry McAuliffe, was badly outspent in the days and weeks leading up to the election. The New York Times‘ Jonathan Martin described Cuccinelli’s plight as having been “close to abandoned at the end.” He was. As Politico’s James Hohmann reported, ”The Republican National Committee spent about $3 million on Virginia this year, compared to $9 million in the 2009.” And as the Roanoke Times noted, in 2009, the Chamber of Commerce spent $973,000 on Bob McDonnell, but “[t]his year, the chamber gave Cuccinelli nothing.”

But it was the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) and chairman Bobby Jindal who drew the most ire from a Cuccinelli advisor I spoke to on Wednesday morning — this, despite the fact that the RGA spent millions on the race.

“Bobby Jindal’s presidential campaign is over,” said the Cuccinelli advisor. “He screwed this up so bad. And I don’t know why. The campaign knew it was moving numbers over ObamaCare. And the RGA was not very far from that information, they could have obtained it themselves, the advisor continued. They should have given the money to the campaign to spend as opposed to running these stupid China ads. They just blew it.

The Democratic Governor’s Association (which actually spent less on McAuliffe) forwarded most of the money they contributed directly to the campaign. This meant they could focus like a laser beam on their message — for example, attacking Cuccinelli for advocating a “war on women.” (Conversely, the advisor says because Cuccinelli’s team didn’t control all of the RGA’s money, they weren’t able to focus on hitting the ObamaCare issue as part of a closing argument.)

According to a DGA memo (authored by communications director Danny Kanner) released last night: “The DGA contributed a total of $6.5 million to the McAuliffe campaign over the last year, an unprecedented investment for the organization in Virginia. Roughly $6 million of that sum was transferred directly to the campaign, a strategic decision that POLITICO reported was the “most important” of all those made by the extraordinarily coordinated Democratic effort to win the race.”

And the DGA even went out of their way to mock the RGA’s strategy, saying: “The DGA’s wise investments stood in stark contrast to those of the Republican Governors Association. Despite laws in Virginia that allow for unlimited financial contributions and complete coordination between the campaigns and outside groups, the RGA tried to run a different campaign than their own candidate – a puzzling strategy that made both the Cuccinelli campaign and the RGA less effective.”

This complaint was echoed by the Cuccinelli advisor: ”[The RGA's] ads were stupid. Instead of giving the money to the campaign who could spend it on ads, they were running all these ads on China — which did not move the needle. The problem is, it’s too convoluted for TV.”

“We were grossly outspent from DGA to RGA from memorial day to labor day,” the advisor continued, which “is when a tie race became a McAuliffe lead.

“They just took their money and spent it in New Jersey where we took a 17 point win to a 20 point win. They had a system — they had a process — that they thought was better than what Haley did. For some reason, they don’t do that in Jindal land. They run the ads themselves. I don’t know what their strategic thinking is. It just doesn’t make sense to me,” the advisor continued.

Republicans who worry about winning elections might want to take a closer look at the RGA. As the DGA’s memo boasts: “Since 2010, the DGA has won eight of the nine elections in which both organizations have competed. In nearly all of those races, the RGA has either matched or spent more than the DGA. But we spend our dollars more effectively.”


Yes, I understand that Obama just deliberately lied to the public over how they could keep their current health care plans, only to double-cross them when all was said and done - but nonetheless look how the enemies infiltrate - they do so from WITHIN, NOT from without!

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 07, 2013, 12:06:31 pm
^^ Another note - both Ron and Rand Paul endorsed the GOP candidate in this race(and NOT the 3rd party guy) - shouldn't that tell you something how this team effort has been really wide? Yeah, even the "truth" movement is really being played here.

Matthew 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 07, 2013, 10:38:45 pm
DHS awards $5.3 million to Ga. health care centers

Department of Health and Human Services awards $5.3 million to support 10 Ga. health centers


ATLANTA (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding more than $5.3 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support new health care centers in Georgia.

In a release Thursday, department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the funding will help expand the delivery of health care services in the state, which is expected to impact more than 41,800 Georgians. Officials say the funding is expected to support 10 new health center sites in Georgia.

Sebelius says the funding is part of a national pool of about $150 million being used to expand services at 236 health care centers nationwide.

Sebelius says the state's health care centers are "key partners in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act," and that new health centers will increase access for those in need.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 08, 2013, 08:49:47 am
CBS News: ObamaCare About to Hit Employer-Provided Insurance

With his credibility shot, CBS News has apparently decided to not take President Obama's latest ObamaCare promise at face value. Now that millions whom the president reassured could keep their insurance are losing it, CBS dug into Obama's latest reassurance about the 80% not in the individual market, and also found that that's not exactly true. The truth is that a so-called "Cadillac Tax" is about to turn millions of employer-based plans into something a little closer to a "junk plan."
"If you're one of the 80 percent of Americans who is insured or covered through an employer plan or through Medicare or Medicaid, or the Veterans' Administration, there is no change for you except for an increase in benefits that everyone receives as a result of the Affordable Care Act," White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday.
Yet in the years to come, some workers with employer-provided benefits will see their benefits scaled back because of an Obamacare tax. That portion of the law -- known as the "Cadillac tax" -- isn't set to take effect until 2018, but it's already influencing the benefits packages that employers offer.
"Every employer plan since the passage of the health care law has been working to make sure their health care cost trends keep their plans under the 'Cadillac tax,'" Steve Wojcik of the National Business Group on Health, a nonprofit that represents large employers, told CBSNews.com.
It is hard to tell if CBS News is just getting on the record with this report, or if the media is actually going to start doing its job with ObamaCare and give America a heads up on the fallout yet to come.

From the moment ObamaCare looked like a reality, conservative think tanks and Republican lawmakers sounded the warning that millions would lose their health insurance as a result. All the media did in response, though,  was to either ignore those warnings or push back on behalf of the White House and Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.

The effect ObamaCare will have on the employer-based market -- over a hundred million people -- is not limited to this Cadillac Tax. The White House itself estimated that tens of millions could be dropped by their employers and shoved into these ObamaCare exchanges. This could mean losing your doctor and having your health care options limited in a traumatic way, especially if you are already ill.

Though this unsettling White House report is out there, the media have yet to give it the attention deserved or to push the Administration to explain it, especially now that the president is claiming those 80% have nothing to worry about. 
The carnage that has already blindsided millions of middle class families in the individual market is only the beginning of the financial chaos ObamaCare is almost certain to rain down on tens of millions who made the mistake of taking a president at his word.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 08, 2013, 08:55:19 am
Obama Rewrites Rule To Let Unions Avoid ObamaCare Tax

I love you man

While millions of Americans deal with the fallout of ObamaCare in the form of increased premiums prices and cancellations, the New York Post reports that President Obama has already moved to protect his Big Labor allies from paying their "fair share." After publicly refusing to do so, the Administration has quietly "sneaked in a rule that would let some labor unions off the hook for an ObamaCare tax."
 The tax, known as the reinsurance fee, requires self-insured organizations, such as unions and some large companies, to pay $63 for each covered member and an additional $63 for each additional family member on a health plan.
The fee was expected to raise $25 billion over three years, with the funds going to insurance companies to offset the cost of covering pre-existing conditions and other mandatory benefits.
Meanwhile, on top of the carnage already hitting millions middle class families in the individual market, there is a coming ObamaCare tax in the employer-based market that's about to affect millions who are apparently not among the president's top donors.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 08, 2013, 11:33:19 am
Akron, Summit County change health care sign-up assistance
AKRON — After only three people showed up at the city and county Affordable Health Care Act stations seeking assistance last week, according to city officials, Akron and Summit County officials have decided to provide help on an appointment-only basis.
Individuals seeking to enroll in The Marketplace now can set up an appointment with a certified specialist from the county by calling Summit County’s care coordination line at 330-926-5660.
There will no longer be a Tuesday and Thursday “running appointment” service at the Lawton Street Community Center or at the Firestone Park Community Center.



notice it says, showed up, not signed up

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 08, 2013, 11:49:49 am
From the moment ObamaCare looked like a reality, conservative think tanks and Republican lawmakers sounded the warning that millions would lose their health insurance as a result. All the media did in response, though,  was to either ignore those warnings or push back on behalf of the White House and Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.

They warned about it? Uhm...it was the "conservative" Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich that came up with the individual mandate idea 24 years ago. Obama's opponent Mitt Romney had Romneycare in MA, which none of these "conservatives" and "conservative" think tanks warned about.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 08, 2013, 11:51:37 am
notice it says, showed up, not signed up

Yeah, this has been a big train wreck from the get-go - dunno, but it seems to be all by design.

Title: US to require insurers to cover mental health, addiction same as physical illnes
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 08, 2013, 12:18:42 pm
I mentioned this recently, but will say it again - it was back in the 80's, when I was a young boy, when insurance companies for the most part didn't offer much mental health coverage. Yes, for the most part all of them did, but on a somewhat LIMITED basis(ie-most would give only 30 days in-patient hospitalization LIFETIME). Yeah, I know there were some that provided much more, but nonetheless for the MOST PART, that is.

However, as mental illnesses started growing at an exponential rate since then, it was especially after the turn of the 21st century when insurance companies really started making this coverage a priority.

Pt I'm trying to make here is that TPTB is only trying to cover up their real draconian agendas - forced vaccinations, poisons like Aspartame/MSG/processed foods, etc have been the real culprits.

So ultimately, this doesn't come as a surprise...

US to require insurers to cover mental health, addiction same as physical illness

The Obama administration will require insurers to cover mental health and addiction just as they cover physical illnesses.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius made the announcement at a mental health conference Friday morning at the Carter Center in Atlanta with former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

"This is the largest expansion of behavioral health coverage in a generation," Sebelius said. "The rule is a reality in part because of the leadership of President Obama, who was committed to getting this done this year."

The administration will post the parity rule for mental health later Friday morning, Sebelius said.

"There's no question we have to expand access to treatment, services, and support," she said.

The rule will guarantee that health plans' co-payments, limits on visits to providers, and deductibles for mental health benefits match those for medical and surgical benefits. It will also ensure that there is parity in residential treatment and outpatient services, a win for the mental health care community because so much of treatment of those suffering from mental illness or addiction is in those settings.

It will apply to almost all types of insurance, and is likely to gain an administration battered by its rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act some popularity points.

Sebelius briefly addressed the issues with the introduction of healthcare.gov on Friday, saying there have been "inexcusable technology problems," but said, "the new law is more than a website."

She also said how happy she was to be at the Carter Center in Atlanta, joking, "Anywhere out of Washington these days is a good place to be."

For the 85 percent of Americans who have health coverage, Sebelius said, the Affordable Care Act will expand access to mental health — giving children more behavioral assessments and adults more screenings — and for those don't have insurance, "The new health insurance marketplaces are places to obtain coverage," she said.

Sebelius pointed out on Friday that more access to screenings for behavioral health for adults 18 to 30 — the age when serious pyschosis often appears — could be critical to saving lives. She also said that annually, twice as many Americans die from suicide as they do from homicide.

"Just think for a moment how different things would be if everyone felt like they could access treatment without the fear of being judged," Sebelius said.

The regulations put into effect the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. According to the Carter Center, the landmark 2008 legislation combined with the new Affordable Care Act regulations for mental health as an essential service benefit extend federal parity protections to 62 million Americans.

"By ensuring people have access to care early in the onset of a mental illness, more expensive hospital and emergency services can be avoided. More people will be able to stay at work or in school or be able to contribute at a greater level to their families and communities," Paige Rohe, a spokeswoman for the Carter Center, said in a news release.

Rosalynn Carter praised Sebelius and the Obama administration on Friday.

"We finally achieved parity, which was a major milestone," Carter said.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 08, 2013, 03:14:34 pm

Yeah, this has been a big train wreck from the get-go - dunno, but it seems to be all by design.

It is designed to fail. This is all one big scam to usher in single payer across the board.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on November 08, 2013, 03:51:39 pm
notice it says, showed up, not signed up

People aren't interested in the bs, and most won't sign up. The government will have to force people into this one.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 08, 2013, 04:47:00 pm
It is designed to fail. This is all one big scam to usher in single payer across the board.

You took the words right out of my mouth - I was just about to post this. This universal health care system has been in the works for many, many years(as far back as Roosevelt). When Clinton wanted to push it, his single payer bill wasn't liked, but the GOP opposition wanted the individual mandate as an alternative(which is what Obamacare is currently, and what the Heritage Foundation/Newt Gingrich came up with in 1989). Then Kerry campaigned for universal health care in 2004.

Anyhow - fast-forward to our present day - pretty much everyone got caught flat-footed over Obama's lies at the last minute b/c of his other scandals this year(IRS spying, NSA/Snowden, and Benghazi) distracting away from it.

Ultimately, pt being that there's just so much last minute shock over this, that it's only going to usher in the single payer system when all is said and done, b/c everyone will be begging for it. Yes, I understand that Obama just deliberately lied over this - but nonetheless the timing of this has been all by design.

Problem. Reaction. Solution. This Hegelian Dialectic has been playing out for a long, long time over this.

Also - PPF/Alex Jones played a big role in this as well(albeit indirectly) - remember when posters over there started exposing Jesse Ventura's endorsing of Obamacare a couple of years ago(Ventura even did so in his book "Conspiracy Theory"). It was almost immediately when Geolibertarian and other mods there jumped in and started saying, "But Ventura was exposing the singer payer system"(while distracting him away from his Obamacare supporting comments).

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 08, 2013, 08:18:00 pm
It is designed to fail. This is all one big scam to usher in single payer across the board.

And look at how both "oppositions" are "sparring" with each other - it's so fake, it's obvious. Also - Jindal worked in the LA state government healthcare sector - so it's pretty much the pot calling the kettle black!

Obama spars with Louisiana governor over healthcare law

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A trip by President Barack Obama to the Port of New Orleans on Friday was an opportunity for him to focus on the economy and divert attention from the troubled launch of his signature healthcare insurance program.

Instead, the visit turned into a spat over Obamacare with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a possible Republican presidential contender.

Jindal met Air Force One when it landed and attended Obama's speech to a crowd of about 650 people on a wharf on the Mississippi River.

Obama first delivered a pitch for the creation of jobs by fixing roads, dredging ports and modernizing the U.S. air traffic control system.

Then he took a veiled jab at Jindal for failing to support a key plank of the healthcare law.

Louisiana is one of 24 states that has refused federal funds to expand Medicaid to more low-income people, money that Obama said would help 265,000 people in the state gain access to health insurance.

"Even if you don't support the overall plan, let's at least go ahead and make sure that the folks who don't have health insurance right now and can get it through an expanded Medicaid, let's make sure we do that," Obama said.

That opened the door for Jindal to accuse Obama of trying to "bully" the state. ::)

"We will not allow President Obama to bully Louisiana into accepting an expansion of Obamacare," Jindal said in a statement, saying the expansion would cost the state too much.

"The dysfunction of the website and the president's broken promises on being able to keep your health plan are just the tip of the iceberg in regards to the problems with this law," Jindal said.

Obama had repeatedly promised that Americans could keep their plans if they wanted, oversimplifying a clause in the law allowing some policies to be exempted.

In his speech, he repeated pledges to fix the malfunctioning Healthcare.gov website that is the main portal for enrolling in health insurance.

Obama's visit to New Orleans followed a television interview aired on Thursday, in which he apologized to Americans who were dropped by their health plans because of changes mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 09, 2013, 12:59:42 pm
It is designed to fail. This is all one big scam to usher in single payer across the board.

Senate Dems, house GOP team up on health plan fix
Posted: November 8, 2013 - 8:51pm

A rare bi-partisan move that would allow individual health insurance plans to remain in effect throughout 2014 was drafted by Mary Landrieu, D-La. and a similar measure was put forward by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.

Recognizing the failure of Obamacare’s initial roll out, the unlikely move by Landrieu and Upton would allow individuals to forego the “forced” signup of the Affordable Care Act insurance until the kinks are worked out, hopefully by 2014.

“Despite the president’s repeated promise of ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it,’ many Americans are now learning the sad reality that their current plan will no longer exist beginning on Jan. 1,” Upton, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement when he announced his legislation last week.

“This legislation is about providing folks the peace of mind that they will be allowed to keep their current coverage if they so choose.”

Sen. Landrieu’s legislation would require insurers to provide coverage for individuals. The senator’s plan also requires insurers to explain areas in which the coverage falls short of the law’s requriements and gives customers a heads up so they have time to find alternative coverage.

In the recent past, Republicans have voted to repeal Obamacare.

Unlike other GOP proposals, Upton’s bill could conceivably add to the overall number of individuals gaining coverage. In political terms, it allows lawmakers to recite Obama’s pledge delivered before the American Medical Association in 2009. “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period,” he said. “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what,” according to the Associated Press.

Who knows, there may be hope for compromise in Washington. One can only hope, before this poorly written law leaves millions without health insurance coverage.

Title: Re: US to require insurers to cover mental health, addiction same as physical illnes
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 11, 2013, 03:05:16 pm
New Mental Health Mandate Will Make Obamacare More Expensive, Increase Fraud And Canceled Policies

Even as stories pour in of Americans facing steeply higher health insurance premiums and canceled coverage, Team TISI +0.37% Obama just imposed new regulations that will make those problems worse.  It’s almost like they can’t help themselves.

On Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced new regulations mandating health insurers cover mental and behavioral health to the same extent they cover physical health care.

A “mental health parity” mandate was passed by Congress in 2008, but Obama officials claim health insurers aren’t fully complying.  (You’ll just have to overlook the irony of the Obama administration, which has postponed several provisions of Obamacare without any legal authority to do so, complaining that others aren’t complying with some law.)

The more likely explanation is the administration is desperately trying to redirect peoples’ attention from the Obamacare rollout that has become a non-stop string of stories about failed websites, higher premiums and canceled policies.

President Obama’s latest effort to divert public attention ignores a fundamental problem: it’s much easier to know when a broken bone has healed than a broken mind.  That ambiguity opens the door to overtreatment and fraud.

Health insurers and actuaries have a lot of experience in this area because most states have passed some form of mental health parity legislation.

The Council for Affordable Health Insurance used to publish an annual chart tracking the number of state mandates, and health actuaries provided a general estimate of how much various mandates added to the cost of a basic health insurance policy.  Depending on what it required, mental health parity was one of the most expensive mandates, adding between 5 percent and 10 percent.  [Full disclosure: I ran CAHI for eight years.]

So while Obamacare is driving up the cost of a policy for many Americans by 50 percent to 100 percent, the new mental health rules will make coverage even more expensive—though it’s difficult to know by how much.

The state-based mental health mandate usually operated in an environment where health insurers could deny coverage for a preexisting condition.  Obamacare is eliminating that practice.  Now people with mental health, substance abuse and behavioral issues can sign up—well, if the bureaucrats ever get the website fixed—for subsidized coverage with very few limits.

Evidence is already emerging that those who have signed up are older than average, and they will surely be sicker—because they are the uninsureds most motivated to get coverage.

Furthermore, the mental health mandate could mean that millions of additional health policies will be canceled because Obama just expanded what’s considered qualified coverage.

If the past few weeks haven’t convinced you the Obama administration never understood how the law would affect health insurance, this new effort should do it.

Of course, mental health and substance abuse patients should get the quality care they need.  The challenge for health insurers has long been to provide good mental health coverage while minimizing the potential for fraud and abuse.

Hunger is also a social problem, and the government provides food stamps to help.  But what would happen if the government removed limits, both in the amount of funds and duration of benefits, and allowed recipients to have all the food stamps they wanted for as long as they wanted them?  Would such a program be ripe for abuse?  That’s what the president is doing with mental health.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 12, 2013, 02:31:56 pm
It is designed to fail. This is all one big scam to usher in single payer across the board.

Obamacare a single-payer ploy, says ex-GOP Senator

If opponents of Obamacare were to succeed and the president's health-care law collapsed, what would take its place?

Former Gov. Ed Rendell predicted Monday that a system like Medicare for everyone would emerge. "If Republicans and some Democrats who are attacking Obamacare have their way and Obamacare falls off, I think we're looking at single-payer down the road," the Pennsylvania Democrat told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

In a single-payer system, a single entity—usually a government—collects all fees for health care services and pays out all costs.

Also on the show, Republican Judd Gregg claimed a single-payer approach was the plan from the start. "You will have folks moving employees into exchanges, because why should they pay the full cost of insuring employees when they can put the cost on the exchange? And the exchange puts it on the taxpayer," the former New Hampshire senator and governor said.

"Then the exchanges can't function, because they won't be able to be subsidized at that level they have to be subsidized at," he continued. "Then you have the human cry that the only way we can solve this is with a single-payer."

**So why are you waiting until NOW to expose this? Why didn't you expose this in 2009? ???

Rendell said he did not support the single-payer approach, but added that if he had designed a system like that, it would be like Medicare. "We can have single-payer plus. A baseline that covers everyone and gives everyone prescription." People also would have the option to "buy up" for more robust coverage, he added.

A single-payer structure would lead to rationing," said Gregg. "You go to Canada, you're chances of getting elective surgery that's significant like hip replacement … you're going to have to wait two or three years. So you come to the United States and have it done." Sticking with the Canada example, Rendell pointed out that Americans turn to pharmacies north of the border to buy cheaper prescription drugs.

**Yeah, they've been conditioning this universal health care system for years and years - during the 2000 election campaign, the MSM made a big deal over Bush Jr's and Gore's prescription drug "plans" - and these "voting focus" groups were making a big deal out of it. At the time, it all came to nought when all was said and done.

On Monday, the state of Kentucky, which runs its own Obamacare exchange, said 40,572 residents have enrolled, including Medicaid and private insurance. The breakdown was 33,561 sign-ups in Medicaid and 7,011 in a qualified health plan since the program began on Oct. 1.

"The state exchanges are so much better," said Rendell, but admitted, "we didn't do enough on cost containment in Obamacare."

Gregg said Obamacare is too broad: "It should have been [just] a catastrophic coverage program."

**So you support government-runned health care too? ::)

This week, the Obama administration is scheduled to release October enrollment numbers from the troubled federal health insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov—the portal for 36 states that don't operate their own.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the Senate Finance Committee last week the early tally would be "very low," and the data would break out the numbers from the 14 other states and the District of Columbia that run their own marketplaces.

Government officials and outside contractors are working around the clock to fix the tech problems with HealthCare.gov before Dec. 15—the last day for people to sign up for coverage that begins on Jan. 1. The Obama administration has set Nov. 30 as its own deadline for getting everything running smoothly.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 12, 2013, 04:21:47 pm
HHS Resurrects 'ACORN' Through ObamaCare

ObamaCare provides millions of dollars in grants to hire community activists and others as "navigators" to assist individuals enroll in health insurance provided by state or federal exchanges and, according to recent reports, register people to vote. In a new rule proposed Wednesday, HHS lays out numerous guidelines for these "navigators", including paying them up to $48/hour for their work. The rule, guidelines and voter registration effort are a potential vehicle to resurrect ACORN or an ACORN-like entity.

One organization expected to take a lead role in distributing the funds and overseeing hiring is Enroll America, a new non-profit headed by Anne Filipic, a former Obama White House official under Valerie Jarrett.  Filipic was also a senior staff member at OFA director and a former Obama campaign director. The organization was founded, in part, by Families USA, a far-left advocacy organization that lobbied aggressively for ObamaCare, a source at HHS told Breitbart News. Filipic has said she expects Enroll America to spend $100 million on the enrollment effort. A large percentage of this is likely to come from federal funds. 

Ron Pollack, head of Families USA, has said their effort will be run like a "political campaign." Which has made many observers uneasy about the inclusion of voter registrations in the health care applications. LA Rep. Charles Boustany recently sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, asking why voter registration information was included. Boustany worried:

The position of the question could lead some to think voter registration is somehow tied to subsidy eligibility. 

Requirements for "navigators" is that they have no existing insurance licenses or certifications, conflicting with several recently enacted state laws. They also must be attuned to racial, ethnic and cultural sensitivities, understand "underserved communities" and provide translation services for virtually every language. AARP, NAACP and SEIU are prominent members of Enroll America's advisory board.

One health expert with close ties to HHS told Breitbart News, "The navigator program, as evidenced by the leadership of Enroll America and yesterday's rule from CMS, will be a jobs program for unemployable Obama For America campaign volunteers and ACORN remnants."

If a state has its own exchange, the feds will give them grants to hire "navigators," if a state doesn't, the feds will provide direct employment. The effort is expected to hire 10s of thousands of activists in the coming months.

October 1st is the first day individuals can enroll for a program through the exchanges. The government, as a result, will have to hire and train tens of thousands of workers on the complex subject of health insurance over the next few months. Think of it as an enormous census program with less training for a more complex subject.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 12, 2013, 09:45:24 pm
It is designed to fail. This is all one big scam to usher in single payer across the board.

Bill Clinton: Obama should fulfill ‘keep your plan’ vow

Bill “Secretary of Explainin’ Stuff” Clinton said in an interview broadcast Tuesday that President Barack Obama should fulfill his promise to Americans that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” even if it means modifying the law popularly known as “Obamacare.”

Obama made that pledge again and again, both in the run-up to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and in the 2012 campaign — but it was false. Republicans determined to roll back Obamacare have pounded away at this broken promise, even as thousands of Americans have been receiving word that insurers are scrapping their current policies.

“I personally believe — even if it takes a change in the law — the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got,” Clinton told the online magazine OZY.

Watch parts 1 and 2 of the exclusive Bill Clinton interview at Ozy.com http://www.ozy.com/c-notes/assessing-the-healthcare-rollout-with-bill-clinton/3639.article

The former president — who riled Obama’s re-election team in June 2012 by praising Mitt Romney’s “sterling business record” — came out on balance as strongly in favor of the health care overhaul.

“The big lesson is that we’re better off with this law than without it,” Clinton said.

The botched rollout of insurance marketplaces known as exchanges, exemplified by the failure of the national website HealthCare.gov, resembles the glitches that hurt Medicare Part D when it came off the line under then-President George W. Bush.

“This happened once before: It happened when President Bush put in the Medicare drug program for seniors, which was not as complicated but had exactly the same problem with the rollout,” Clinton said. “It was a disaster.”

“And they fixed it,” he added.

Asked about his comments, the White House said Clinton was still “explainer in chief” and underlined that Obama was looking at ways to help Americans whose health coverage is being canceled.

“We haven't announced any potential fixes or moves that we might be able to make to address this problem,” press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. But Obama is “very interested in trying to address this problem and looks forward to being presented the options that he might be able to pursue.”

Carney did not rule out a legislative fix — but dismissed a proposal from Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., that would allow insurers to keep selling plans that don’t meet Obamacare’s standards.

“We see that as throwing the baby out with the bath water,” the spokesman said.

 Currently, the law allows people to stay on those plans as long as they have not changed or been issued since the president signed the measure into law. Obama aides say that allowing insurers to enroll new customers into older, substandard plans would amount to rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s new standards for coverage.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 13, 2013, 12:27:27 pm
Dianne Feinstein joins effort to change Affordable Care Act push for Single Payer System

Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday joined the ranks of worried Democrats demanding that President Obama allow people to keep their current insurance policies. Feinstein’s move is bad news for an administration desperate for good news following the roll-out debacle of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchange on Oct. 1, which has been plagued by technical problems.

In addition to the website snarl, thousands of individual policies have been cancelled by insurance companies to meet minimum coverage standards under Obama’s signature health care law.

Feinstein said a “simple fix” would make good on Obama’s promise during the debate over the legislation that people could keep their current health insurance if they like it.

The California Democrat is a political heavyweight, given her Senate seniority and reputation for working across the aisle. She won re-election in 2012 to a new six-year term, and so does not share the political fears of Democrats up for re-election in 2014 such as Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, whose bill Feinstein will co-sponsor. Feinstein is the first blue-state Democrat to join the effort.

Here is her statement in full:

“I have decided to cosponsor Senator Mary Landrieu’s legislation: Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act. This bill provides a simple fix to a complex problem. This bill will extend the grandfather date for individual insurance plans so that individuals who have insurance policies they like can keep them indefinitely, unless the individual chooses another plan or the insurer stops providing health insurance in the individual market.

“Specifically, the bill requires the following:

· Insurance companies must continue to offer—indefinitely—all currently existing insurance plans as of Dec. 31, 2013, on the individual market;

· Future renewal notices must clearly inform customers they have the choice to keep their current plan or shop for insurance in a health exchange, such as Covered California; and

· Insurance companies must clearly state why the plan does not meet new minimum benefit standards.

“Since the beginning of September, I have received 30,842 calls, emails and letters from Californians, many of whom are very distressed by cancellations of their insurance policies and who are facing increased out-of-pocket costs.

“For example, a father from Rancho Mirage called and said: ‘I work three jobs to pay the bills for my wife and daughter. I got a letter that my plan is going from $420 to $943. I went to HealthCare.Gov, then Covered California. I researched my premiums. A policy almost identical to my old one is being offered for $863. I’m now being forced to come up with over $400 a month with 30 days’ notice. Let me spell it out: I do not have the income to afford this.’

“Too many Americans are struggling to make ends meet. We must ensure that in our effort to reform the health care system, we do not allow unintended consequences to go unaddressed.

“I believe consumers should be allowed to choose their plans, and they should be adequately informed about those choices. Consumers must be told what their coverage does and does not include so families don’t find themselves paying for an insurance policy they believe is comprehensive when in fact it is not.

“The Affordable Care Act is a good law, but it is not perfect. I believe the Landrieu bill is a commonsense fix that will protect individuals in the private insurance market from being forced to change their insurance plan. I hope Congress moves quickly to enact it.”

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 13, 2013, 12:41:04 pm
November 13, 2013
WebMD received almost 5 million bucks from feds to promote Obamacare

A performer who pays for good reviews from critics usually isn't any good, and that would seem to be the case for Obamacare, too. Except that it is the taxpayers, not the performer laying out the bribe money, and the magnitude of the bribe dwarfs even the most lavish junkets offered by Hollywood. The Washington Times has a blockbuster exclusive story:

Two months before enrollment began in the Obamacare exchanges, the administration's top health care official heaped praise on WebMD for launching an online resource to help Americans navigate the complex law.

The consumer health care site had the occasional nice thing to say about Obamacare, too. In one article, it predicted doctors might pick up more patients and crowed in an article titled "7 Surprising Things About the Affordable Care Act" that many consumers already had received insurance refunds under the law.

But what neither Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius nor WebMD mentioned at the time was that the company, which millions of Americans regularly read for health news, also stood to earn millions of dollars from a federal contract to teach doctors about Obamacare.

The contract documents, reviewed by The Washington Times, reward WebMD handsomely. For instance, the fee schedule offers dozens of products, including:
• As much as $126,826 for a single 5,000-word review article on scientific advances in a clinical topic.
• Up to $68,916 for a four-minute video from an opinion specialist.
• More than $140,000 for an eight-question online quiz.

WebMD says it doesn't believe it had an obligation to disclose to its broad consumer base its $4.8 million contract with the government. The company says the contract, while awarded to WebMD, went through its Medscape platform, which provides continuing education to doctors in a password-protected portal and is run independently from WebMD's news operation.

Charles Lipson, who brought this to my attention, comments: "This is truly pernicious on multiple levels. This story deserves wide publicity--and WebMD should be shamed again and again.  (Makes me wonder if other news outlets are receiving ACA $$.  Inquiring minds want to know.)"

Anyone who relies on WebMD for impartial information needs to understand this story. I think the website made a colossal mistake, sacrificing its credibility. It has now harnessed itself to the most unpopular healthcare measure in American history.

As for Obamacare and its eponymous sponsor, all the bribes and corruption are for naught. You can teach Hollywood screenwriters to promote Obamacare all you want. You can bribe websites all you want. Americans are aware of the infamy of the lies you have perpetrated.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 13, 2013, 02:42:18 pm
It is designed to fail. This is all one big scam to usher in single payer across the board.

Abandon ship: Blue-state Dem Jeff Merkley to co-sponsor Landrieu’s version of the “Keep Your Plan Act”
posted at 1:11 pm on November 13, 2013

Dems give Obama ultimatum: Fix health plan cancellations by Friday
Published November 13, 2013

Just 1 percent of Bay Staters facing canceled health plans have successfully signed up
Mass. health care sign-ups lag among those forced to switch

- See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_politics/2013/11/just_1_percent_of_bay_staters_facing_canceled_health_plans_have#sthash.McOoPh6f.dpuf

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 13, 2013, 09:38:49 pm
In Italics = Emphasis Mine

It’s a Trap!

Republicans are walking into a trap and they don’t even realize it.

They are about to consider, in the House of Representatives, legislation by Congressman Upton that would allow people to keep their insurance plans.

There’s a problem though. It is widely acknowledged that Congressman Upton’s(GOP-MI) legislation is more messaging than substance. His legislation does not have anything in it that can force insurance companies, in the topsy-turvy world of Obamacare, to keep insurance plans going.

But there is a plan than does. Senator Mary Landrieu has written legislation in the United States Senate that the Democrats love. It mandates insurance companies have to keep people on their present insurance. The GOP is supposedly against mandates and against government forcing private businesses and individuals into contracts they don’t want.

Here’s what is going to happen.

The House, with the help of a good number of Democrats, will pass the Upton plan and send it to the Senate. Harry Reid will substitute the Landrieu plan and send it back to the House. The House will be forced to either vote for the Landrieu plan or be characterized as siding with insurance companies against people.

In one fell swoop, the Democrats will have the GOP on record saving Mary Landrieu’s re-election in Louisiana by casting her as the one who saved Americans’ health care plans, and also getting on record as really being in favor of fixing Obamacare with the use of mandates.

In truth, Obamacare is not fixable. The only solution is to fully repeal it. The Republicans should not be helping Democrats with their re-election plans, which is all the are doing with Upton/Landrieu.

The GOP is walking right into the trap.


FYI - Landrieu is a Roman Catholic, whose opponent in the 1996 election(her first go-around) is a Council for National Policy member(Woody Jenkins).

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 13, 2013, 09:56:08 pm
It is designed to fail. This is all one big scam to usher in single payer across the board.

Sen. John McCain’s Stunning Flip-Flop on Obamacare – Watch the Before and After

After repeatedly bashing senators like Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) over their crusade to defund Obamacare, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called for the “total repeal” of the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday. It’s a stunning turnaround after the longtime senator in September proclaimed that it was “not rational” to think Obamacare could be defunded or repealed.

McCain then laid out his “solution,” which culminated in an admission that he is now calling for “total repeal.”

“The solution is, first of all, to let people keep their insurance if they want to,” he said. “Or at least reinstate them.”

He continued: “Second of all, let the insurance companies give a menu of whatever they want to provide. Third of all, medical savings account. Fourth of all, medical malpractice reform. Let people go across state lines to, in order to, if they can get a better insurance policy in another state. And remove this whole tax incentive for employers to provide employees health insurance.”

“That is repeal,” Greta Van Susteren said, pointing out the obvious.

“That’s exactly right,” McCain replied. “That is total repeal in every other way. Because what Obamacare is, is an experiment in social engineering — in other words making health people pay more…in order to subsidize the health care for people that are older and unhealthy. That is the ultimate in social engineering.”

It doesn’t appear that McCain misspoke or accidentally supported the full repeal of the Affordable Care act as the TV producers seemingly placed the caption “Sen. John McCain Calls for Total Repeal of Obamacare” on the screen before he actually did, hinting that it may have been planned.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on November 14, 2013, 03:37:50 am
Because what Obamacare is, is an experiment in social engineering

Ain't no experiment. They are in full social engineering mode.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 14, 2013, 10:48:49 am
No - Obama hasn't exactly been "caught" with anything - all of this has been by design, and be ye not deceived by anything!

Obama to announce 'keep your plan' Obamacare fix

Under heavy pressure by congressional Democrats to fix Obamacare, President Barack Obama will announce Thursday that the administration will allow insurance companies to keep individual customers on their existing plans for an additional year.

Obama has been caught between two problems of his administration’s own making: millions of cancellations of individual health care coverage despite his pledge that “if you like your plan, you can keep it” and a botched federal website that was supposed to allow Americans to buy new insurance.

The cancellations, estimated to affect up to 7 million Americans, are due to new standards in Obamacare that insurance companies are required to meet. Those who received cancellations were expected to go onto the new federal insurance marketplace--which has been plagued by tech problems since its Oct. 1 rollout--and purchase coverage there.

But it remains unclear whether insurance companies will rescind the cancellations they’re already handed out, since the Obama administration is not requiring them to do so. And the extension is only for one year, so the fix only delays the fact that many Americans will not be able to keep their current insurance under Obamacare. The administration argues that many of the cancelled plans were sub par and that many people can buy better insurance for cheaper on the federal marketplace.

Democrats crafted a bill that would require insurance companies to keep on these millions of customers, pressuring Obama to fix it. It’s unclear if they will continue to push for this bill or if the administration’s fix will satisfy them.

Republicans, meanwhile, have pounded away at Obama’s false promise and failed website to hammer home their message that the president is neither honest nor a competent manager.

Obama's statement is part of an all-out push to rescue the law. The White House was to host Senate Democrats later in the day, while chief of staff Denis McDonough was expected on Capitol Hill to reassure House Democrats.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 14, 2013, 05:14:45 pm
Insurers are furious about the White House’s new Obamacare plan
By Sarah Kliff, Published: November 14 at 1:29 pm

Health insurance plans are not pulling any punches when it comes to their frustration with today's White House announcement. This is a statement that Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, just put out:

“Making sure consumers have secure, affordable coverage is health plans' top priority.  The only reason consumers are getting notices about their current coverage changing is because the ACA requires all policies to cover a broad range of benefits that go beyond what many people choose to purchase today.

“Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers.  Premiums have already been set for next year based on an assumption of when consumers will be transitioning to the new marketplace.  If now fewer younger and healthier people choose to purchase coverage in the exchange, premiums will increase and there will be fewer choices for consumers.  Additional steps must be taken to stabilize the marketplace and mitigate the adverse impact on consumers.”

That statement went out during the president's news conference, where Obama's comments likely didn't do much to endear insurers to these changes. He essentially described this policy decision as one allowing the White House to shift the blame for cancellations from the White House to the health plans.

"What we want to do is to be able to say to these folks, you know what, the Affordable Care Act is not going to be the reason why insurers have to cancel your plan," he said. "Now, what folks may find is the insurance companies may still come back and say, we want to charge you 20 percent more than we did last year, or we're not going to cover prescription drugs now."

Health insurance plans are angry because this could screw up all their plans for the new health insurance markets. They have already set the prices they plan to charge in the 2014 insurance exchanges, and those relied on people transitioning out of their current plans (which would be phased out) and into these new, more robust plans.

Now, that might not happen. And insurers are in a bit of a tricky spot. It will look pretty bad if they don't allow people to keep enrolling in their 2013 plans; as the president said, its a whole lot harder to blame the cancellations on Obamacare.

But if they do allow that to go forward, it could screw up the risk pool in the new insurance marketplaces by letting the younger and healthy people (who would likely stick with their skimpier plans) stay out of the exchange. They'd essentially be siphoning off the exact same customers they were hoping to woo into the exchanges. In the very worse case scenario — and probably not the most likely, since the health law has mechanisms to prevent this — the exchange could end up as something akin to a really big high-risk pool.

For insurers, at this point, they're not really left with any great option.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 14, 2013, 06:43:24 pm
What This Morning’s Obamacare Announcement Means

Lawlessness: what this morning’s Obamacare announcement means

President Obama this morning announced that he would be issuing an administrative order—which requires no Congressional review—delaying the implementation of provisions of Obamacare that had led to the cancellation of a million or so insurance policies. This follows on the Administration’s similar delays of the Employer Mandate and the Individual Mandate. According to CNN, this morning’s delay is supposed to “cover millions of people who have had their insurance policies cancelled,” but the fact is that in many states, it won’t even do that—because insurance companies, anticipating the implementation of the new law, long ago decided to cancel these policies. Surprise!—except for the attentive observers who have been warning about this for years. Moreover, many states—including California—which are already going along with Obamacare are already beyond the Administration’s reach, because those insurance policies were cancelled by state agencies. This morning’s delay can’t do anything about that.

But there’s a much deeper problem at work here: the lawlessness of Obamacare, root and branch. The problems began with its initial enactment—first the Individual Mandate was supposed to be a “regulation of commerce.” That was unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court finally said no…only to rewrite the law by declaring it to be a “tax” instead. That doesn’t work either, though, because the Constitution requires that tax laws originate in the House of Representatives, and Obamacare began in the Senate. Meanwhile, the contents of the law—which members of Congress didn’t bother to read before they passed—gave away tremendous new powers to administrative agencies to write new rules to fill in crucial blank spots in the statute itself. For example, the Individual Mandate forces Americans to buy “minimum essential coverage”—but that term was left up to unelected bureaucrats in the Department of Health & Human Services to define later. And the law created a powerful new independent agency, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and gave it power to write law about Medicare reimbursement rates without any checks and balances…and tried to make the law itself unrepealable.

Now come unilateral administrative delays on the order of the President. Keep in mind what these delays really are—they are not new laws, or amendments to the law…they are orders from the President to his subordinates to simply not enforce laws that are on the books. The Employer Mandate, for example, was “delayed” by an order that simply instructs Executive agencies not to enforce the reporting requirement. A company that fails to comply with that Mandate is still violating the law—it’s just that the President has chosen to look the other way for now.

The Constitution of the United States says that the President “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” That provision was written because the Founding Fathers had experienced the arbitrariness of a government in which the British monarchy picked and chose which laws to enforce and which laws to ignore. The result of such political control over the law was, they knew, a breakdown in the rule of law—and a breakdown that allowed the powerful and politically well-connected to manipulate the system at will. As James Madison warned in the Federalist, “mutable” laws

poison[] the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

Unfortunately, today’s administrative state gives so much power to unelected bureaucrats—who are protected against any meaningful control by voters—that they can alter, manipulate, and change the law almost at will. The result is a breakdown in the rule of law and an arbitrary system in which the government operates, not according to predictable standards and meaningful rules, but according to political whim and in arbitrary, day-to-day, ad hoc manner.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 14, 2013, 06:59:46 pm
It is designed to fail. This is all one big scam to usher in single payer across the board.

Sen. Landrieu Continues Push for Obamacare Fix

New healthcare rules a 'logistical nightmare' for insurers

Obama to Allow Sale of Canceled Health Plans

MoveOn.org fundraises off Obamacare failures: ‘Obamacare is in serious political trouble’

Howard Dean Questions Legality of Obama’s ‘Keep Your Plan’ Fix

Revealed: Obamacare plans will cost MORE 'in many cases' even with government subsidies, officials admit for the first time

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 14, 2013, 07:08:58 pm
Be ye not deceived - they are ALL in it together!

Mitch McConnell(GOP Senate Minority Leader) criticized for taking money from firm tied to health website

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is a vocal critic of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act and its glitch-stricken website, HealthCare.gov, repeatedly calling for repeal of the law "root and branch."

"At this point, senators from both parties can agree: HealthCare.gov is a rolling disaster. Every day seems to bring more, newer comic calamity," McConnell, R-Ky., said Oct. 29 in a Senate floor speech. "The only thing the website seems to be good for right now is creating punch lines for late-night comedians."

However, since 2011, McConnell has accepted more than $75,000 in political donations from health care giant UnitedHealth Group, which owns the technology company that helped build and launch HealthCare.gov for a reported $155 million and now is responsible for fixing it.

The donations came from UnitedHealth's political action committee and five of its top executives; they went to McConnell's 2014 re-election campaign and two fundraising committees that he oversees, the Bluegrass Committee and the McConnell-Cornyn Leadership Victory Committee.

**Cornyn is a Senator from my state(Texas) - he backed off defunding it last summer.

UnitedHealth also co-hosted a $1,000-per-person fundraising dinner for McConnell's campaign last December in Washington, D.C. And the company, based in Minnetonka, Minn., retains former McConnell chief of staff Billy Piper as a Washington lobbyist to work on its behalf in Congress on implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Senate records show.

UnitedHealth, which tends to favor incumbent Democrats and Republicans as it gives more than $1 million in political donations during a typical two-year election cycle, has expressed optimism about the health care law.

"UnitedHealth Group strongly supports making high-quality health care accessible and affordable for everyone," it stated in a news release last year.

Josh Holmes, a McConnell aide on loan to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Thursday there is no indication that UnitedHealth's donations have weakened McConnell's opposition to the health law.

Two conservative groups, however, said UnitedHealth's support of McConnell is further evidence that his only true ideology is power. They already have criticized McConnell for not fully supporting Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and others who fight to defund the health care law, which they call "Obamacare."

"Mitch McConnell gets money from lots of corporations for many different reasons, but his close ties to this one makes it unique," said Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, which has endorsed Louisville businessman Matt Bevin over McConnell in the Republican primary next May.

"This could explain why Mitch McConnell has been so reluctant to oppose funding for the implementation of Obamacare. He and his closest allies apparently have a financial interest in seeing it go forward," Hoskins said.

Another conservative critic, Daniel Horowitz, policy director at the Madison Project, said "the entire McConnell web," including his corporate donors and aides-turned-lobbyists, see a chance to make money off Obamacare, so he won't stand in the law's way.

"McConnell isn't a liberal, a conservative or a moderate," said Horowitz, whose group also has endorsed Bevin. "His ideology is power. That's all he cares about."

Holmes noted that UnitedHealth donates to many politicians, including $5,000 last year to Ted Cruz and $2,000 to the leadership committee of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., both of whom are prominent foes of the Affordable Care Act.

"Matt Bevin is going to need more than a fake MIT diploma to dupe people into believing that the most prominent opponents of Obamacare, like Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, are not committed to the cause because they receive political support from UnitedHealth," Holmes said. "Clearly, everyone knows where they stand on getting this awful law off the books."

McConnell has repeatedly criticized likely Democratic Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes in recent days for refusing to call for repeal of the health care law.

Grimes, who has not reported receiving any donations from UnitedHealth's political action committee since entering the race in July, has praised portions of the law while calling for changes and delays to some of its requirements.

UnitedHealth's Washington-based vice president for government affairs, Daniel Keniry, who oversees the company's political donations and has personally given $7,500 to McConnell's committees since 2011, did not return repeated calls seeking comment Thursday. Nor did a corporate spokesman at the company's Minnesota headquarters.

UnitedHealth, best known for its health insurance division, owns Quality Software Services Inc., which helped build and launch HealthCare.gov along with another private contractor, CGI Federal of Fairfax, Va. Both companies faced sharp criticism in congressional hearings after the website failed to successfully launch in October. CGI has blamed QSSI for providing the data services hub that caused the first "log jam" on the site.

"We absolutely take accountability for those first days when our tool was part of the issue in terms of being able to handle all of the unexpected volume. And we absolutely will take accountability for helping in any way we can to help this project go forward," Andrew Slavitt, a senior QSSI executive, testified Oct. 24 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Piper, who left McConnell's office in early 2011 for the Washington lobbying firm of Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock, also did not return repeated calls seeking comment Thursday. Piper has given $7,000 to McConnell's campaign and a related committee, McConnell Victory Kentucky, since 2011.

Senate records show that Piper has several other clients who pay him for his assistance in implementing the Affordable Care Act, including the Federation of American Hospitals. The FAH has praised the health care law for making life easier for patients. The group's political action committee has given a total of $15,000 since 2011 to McConnell's campaign and to his Bluegrass Committee.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Christian40 on November 14, 2013, 07:32:12 pm

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on November 15, 2013, 03:18:14 am
UnitedHealth Group, which owns the technology company that helped build and launch HealthCare.gov for a reported $155 million

$155 million for a website, that doesn't work. I'm in the wrong business!

The real issue though is with one of the insurers being involved in the development of the site. But then, the insurers basically wrote the ACA.

The politics of this is so obvious, it's amazing.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 15, 2013, 02:06:07 pm
Look at the bolded, in particular...

House Passes Upton’s ‘If You Like It’ Obamacare Fix

The House easily passed Republican legislation on Friday allowing insurers to keep offering old insurance plans for another year in response to President Barack Obama’s broken “if you like it, you can keep it” promise.

The bill passed 261-157 with all but four Republicans joined by 39 Democrats backing the bill sponsored by Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich. Those Democrats defected despite strong opposition from their party leadership and President Barack Obama, who, hours after the White House announced an administrative fix Thursday, vowed he would veto the Upton bill.

Democratic leaders feared throughout the week that the Upton bill would create a rift in party unity and give ammunition to Republicans to tout that both parties have lost confidence in the Obama administration.

Republicans touted the bill as a way to keep the president’s promise, while Democrats said it was designed to undermine the Affordable Care Act.

Democratic leaders crafted an alternative proposal aimed at giving cover to exasperated Democrats to vote no — including moderate 2014 “frontliners” — but that effort failed.

Unlike the Upton bill, the Democratic proposal, like Obama’s administrative fix, would not allow new customers to sign up for old plans.

And both proposals fell well short of a proposal by Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., that would force insurers to permanently keep around old plans for existing customers.

The Democratic proposal, sold as “Landrieu-lite,” also was aimed at ensuring Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and state insurance commissioners can go after “bad actor” insurance companies.

During debate on the House floor Friday, the only Democrats who spoke about the Upton bill were those who opposed it, calling it tantamount to the 46th Republican vote to defund, delay or replace Obamacare since the GOP took over the House in the last Congress.

“I haven’t seen so much panic on the floor since 9/11,” said Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash. He said it would create massive confusion in the market.

Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., called the Upton bill a “trojan horse.”

“Republicans are on a mission of destruction,” said Ways and Means ranking member Sander M. Levin, D-Mich.

“This will accomplish nothing for the American people,” said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J.

Even Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., who at a closed-door meeting with White House officials blasted the White House for the many glitches in the health care law’s rollout, took to the floor to blast the Upton bill.

“I led the charge in my caucus, I told my caucus, if the president doesn’t come up with a fix, if leadership didn’t come up with an alternative, many of us would vote for the Upton bill,” Doyle said. “The good news is, the president has responded.”

Republicans rejected the accusations.

“This [bill] protects the people, not a political party,” said Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., “not a president who doesn’t keep promises.”

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 15, 2013, 03:13:25 pm
Senate won't bring Upton fix to floor

Senate Democrats do not expect to vote on the ObamaCare fix the House approved on Friday with 39 Democratic votes, according to a senior Democratic aide.

The aide said there is not any pressure on the Senate Democratic leadership to bring the legislation sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to the floor.

“There is a difference between constructive fixes designed to improve the law and bills that would gut it,” said the senior Democratic aide. “The Upton bill is the latter.”

Upton’s bill would allow insurance companies to offer the less expensive, limited plans that do not meet all of the more stringent requirements under ObamaCare.

**but only for 1 year. ::)

Millions of people have been told their existing plans have been or will be canceled, and the GOP bill is meant to address that.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has sponsored rival legislation that would require insurance companies to offer the old plans. She has panned Upton’s proposal.

**Both the Landrieu and Upton plans are pretty much one and the same. This dog and pony show is getting pretty predictable now. ::)

“The House bill guts and undercuts and drives a Mack truck through the Affordable Care Act by not only allowing people that had policies to keep them but allowing new people to sign on,” she said. “Their whole purpose is to undermine and throw the markets out of wack and make the Affordable Care Act not work.”

Landrieu’s bill would mandate that insurance companies allow people to keep their plans if they prefer them to the options available through government exchanges. It would also require insurance companies to send notices to people who keep their plans informing them of the ways it does not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has yet to commit to putting Landrieu’s bill on the floor.

Some Democrats argue a legislative fix is not necessary.

“There is no need for a legislative fix for this issue,” Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) said in a statement earlier this week.

He said Congress should work with the administration to improve the implementation of the law and publicize its benefits to people without insurance.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 16, 2013, 01:23:48 pm
UnitedHealth drops thousands of doctors from insurance plans: WSJ

Reuters) - UnitedHealth Group (UNH) dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks, leaving many elderly patients unsure whether they need to switch plans to continue seeing their doctors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The insurer said in October that underfunding of Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly could not be fully offset by the company's other healthcare business. The company also reported spending more healthcare premiums on medical claims in the third quarter, due mainly to government cuts to payments for Medicare Advantage services.

The Journal report said that doctors in at least 10 states were notified of being laid off the plans, some citing "significant changes and pressures in the healthcare environment." According to the notices, the terminations can be appealed within 30 days.

Tyler Mason, a UnitedHealth spokesperson, was not immediately available for comment when reached by Reuters.

The insurer told the WSJ that its provider networks were always changing and that it expected its Medicare Advantage network to be 85 percent to 90 percent of its current size by the end of 2014.

UnitedHealth is participating in about a dozen new state insurance markets that launched on October 1 to offer subsidized health coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul.

The insurer said previously it planned to withdraw from some markets in 2014 because of the government funding cuts.

Another top health insurer, Aetna Inc (AET.N), also warned in October that it expected slowing growth in 2014 in its Medicare Advantage plans.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 16, 2013, 01:34:42 pm
Will states accept Obama’s insurance exchange fix?

Will states play along with President Barack Obama and his new plan to allow people who like their health insurance plans to stay on them an additional year?

The proposed fix, which Obama announced Thursday under intense pressure from his own party, was meant to address criticisms that he had lied to the American people when he said “if you like your plan, you can keep it” while campaigning for the health care overhaul. Between 7 million and 12 million people were set to receive cancellation notices because their plans don't meet the minimum standard of coverage required under the new law.

The uproar forced Obama to backpedal. He’ll now allow health insurance companies to continue to offer plans that do not meet his law’s standards for an additional year, to give people more time to transition to the new federal marketplace.

But Obama’s fix does not actually guarantee that millions of people will be able to keep their plans. Insurance is regulated at the state level, and state officials can reject Obama’s request. Secondly, insurers themselves are not required to reoffer the out-of-date plans to consumers.

As of Friday afternoon, regulators in at least three states had already announced they plan to reject the president’s request.

Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford  said the change would be “too confusing” and would create “chaos.”  Meanwhile, regulators in Vermont and Washington said they too were rejecting the renewals.

Erin Yang, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, said the organization is concerned the president’s extension “could potentially be pretty damaging.” The organization worries that changing the rules so late in the game — when rates and plans for next year are already set — could create uncertainty and disruption in the market, Yang said.

Insurers and regulators were already three years into the process of phasing out plans that did not meet the law’s requirements and transitioning to the new federal and state marketplaces that rolled out on Oct 1.

Some states, however, jumped at the opportunity to re-enroll people in their old plans. Florida’s insurance commissioner said the state would allow the change, and Florida Blue, the state's largest insurance carrier,  announced it would send new letters to the 300,000 people  who received cancellation notices and offer to extend their old coverage.

Ohio and Kentucky’s commissioners also said they would allow the change, but mentioned it would be up to the insurers themselves whether to reach out to people with canceled plans and offer them renewal.

The vast majority of states are still deciding what to do, Yang said, as they try to work out with insurance companies whether the extension is even feasible.

“What we’ve heard from the rest of our members is, we’re talking to our carriers,” Yang said.

The insurance industry has not reacted favorably to Obama’s plan. America’s Health Insurance Plans’ President and CEO Karen Ignagni said in a statement Thursday that Obama’s fix could “destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers.”

Ignagni said the change means more people could end up staying on their old plans, which will hike up costs for people participating in the new exchange. Many people on the individual market are younger and healthier, which means they are especially needed to participate in the new marketplace and offset the costs of older and sicker consumers.

But the federal subsidies available for many people through the federal exchange may lure consumers over on their own. People who stay with their old plan will not be eligible for subsidies.

And if many state regulators end up rejecting the change, it doesn’t appear that there would be a big affect on the exchange. Timothy Jost, a health care expert at Washington and Lee University, told Yahoo News he believes the impact on premiums and the insurance market will be negative, but small.

It would be a different story, however, if Congress compelled regulators and insurers to play ball. Thirty-nine House Democrats joined with more than 200 Republicans to pass a bill Friday that would go a step further than Obama’s plan, by actually requiring the insurers to extend their plans to people who received cancellation notices. Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it passes the Senate.

About 106,000 Americans signed up for individual coverage on the exchange in its first month of operation, far below the Obama administration’s targets. Federal budget officials expected 7 million people to enroll by the end of March.


It was 1 YEAR BEFORE the 2012 USSC ruling(upholding Obamacare) that this law was already in full swing(even the "conservative" state of Texas was taking Obamacare money), from what I read in 2011. Ultimately, even if the USSC struck this law down, it wouldn't have mattered, b/c the damage was already done even then.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 16, 2013, 10:00:25 pm
This sideshow is only intensifying all by design...now Limbaugh and one of his own are at each other...

Upton to Limbaugh: Maybe you should have ‘checked in with us’ before criticizing House delay

One of the leading critics of Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton’s effort to delay the onset of certain provisions of Obamacare has been conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

“This would be a tone-deaf disaster if the Republican leadership lets Fred Upton ascend to the chairmanship of the House energy committee,” Limbaugh said on his radio show earlier this week. “This is exactly the kind of nannyism, statism, what have you, that was voted against and was defeated last week. No Republican complicit in nannyism, statism, can be rewarded this way.”

On Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Friday night, Upton suggested Limbaugh check with him before launching into his criticism, pointing to the reactions from conservative groups and the media to dispute Limbaugh’s notion.

HEWITT: OK, now you have tempted me into breaking my no first name rule, because I’m going to use two of them. So Fred, yesterday, Rush urged the House not to touch this, because it in essence, it’s throwing a lifeline to the President and saving a bill that’s collapsing, don’t get near it, don’t ruin the brand, go for full repeal. What’s your response to that?

UPTON: Well, a couple of things, and you know, it would have been nice if he had maybe checked in with us and gotten information. We had a lot of groups, Club for Growth and others endorse our bill. A couple of things — first of all, what do you say to those millions of people that are all of a sudden out of luck come January 1? That’s not what we ought to be doing. We ought to be thinking about those people. The other thing is I’m just looking at the headlines today, Hugh. And in The Wall Street Journal, I mean, these are headlines that are like war is over. ‘Obama Retreats On Health Rules,’ left to right, right underneath the banner. New York Times: ‘In A Reversal, Obama Moves To Avert The Cancellation Of Health Policies,’ and it’s got a pretty sour face in his picture right underneath it, right underneath the banner. USA Today: ‘Health Law Shakes Presidency,’ left to right. Washington Times: Same picture of the president, ‘The Obamacare Retreat.’ Washington Post: Picture of a — not very flattering pictures of the president, ‘Obama Offers a Insurance Fix,’ ‘And you know, that’s on me. I mean, we fumbled the rollout on this health care law.’

UPTON: We’ve done in a week’s time what a shutdown and everything else, where we didn’t have the numbers, let’s face it, to try and reverse the fix that we’re in.

As for why Upton put the delay at just a year, Upton said that was the best way to ensure it got passed.

“We wanted to pass it,” he said. “That was our objective. We wanted to provide some immediate relief to the people that were bitterly concerned about the prospects of their own plan. We thought a one year was good enough that we would not only keep most of the Republicans, and we did, but have a good chance of getting a number of Democrats as well, which we did. Remember, we won by more than 100 votes. Had we done a longer period, it might have been more of a showpiece than an actual piece that you could actually get done, and we wanted to, again, two days ago, before the president undercut us with what is in essence his executive order. We had more than 300 votes for this.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 18, 2013, 02:42:04 pm
White House confirms 1 in 5 Americans won’t be able to enroll via HealthCare.gov

White House press secretary Jay Carney confirmed Monday that one in five Americans will not be able to sign up for insurance through  HealthCare.gov even if the administration meets its Nov. 30 deadline for fixing the online enrollment system.
The Washington Post first reported the administration's internal target Sunday.
"I think the way to look at that figure is that of, say, 10 who go on the system, roughly two won't get through the system," Carney said.

Ya thats the way to look a it Mouth of Sauron, hes probably lying to begin with. First millions LOOSE their insurance, and now probably way more than 1 in 5 wont be able to sign up for it. Probably 3.5-5
The 20 percent of users who wouldn't be able to enroll fall into three different categories, Carney said: "those who experience technical difficulties," those who aren't comfortable using a computer and those who have complex family situations.
When asked whether this 80 percent performance target represents what administration officials have been referring to as the "vast majority of users," Carney replied. "Others can decide whether or not 80 percent is a vast majority. I think in most contexts, it is."


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 19, 2013, 11:28:52 am
Even these anti-Obamacare people just add more fuel to the fire...

Frist: Here's the answer to health-care costs

Former Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn, a heart and lung transplant surgeon, has a unconventional answer to calm the rising tide of health-care costs threatening businesses and consumers alike, and it has little to do with Obamacare   .

A huge fan of wearable devices like Jawbone and Fitbit, Frist told CNBC on Monday that the trend toward data-tracking of diet and exercise among the tech-savvy could lead to a "revolution" in health care led by more empowered consumers.

"The overall cost of health care is not better doctors, it's not Obamacare, not Vanderbilt, not Harvard, not Romneycare," Frist said on  "Squawk Box."  "The overall driver of health-care costs and health-care spending is 40 percent behavior- how we take care of ourselves."

Frist told CNBC that President Barack Obama, who's been under siege for the botched opening of his landmark health-care law and its glitch-prone website, focused on the wrong issue when he introduced the bill. Obama should have focused on driving down costs before expanding access, Frist said.

"This is what people tend to lose in Washington and television shows," Frist said. "There is a revolution going on health care today and a transformation that is totally different from when I was doing transplants or my dad was doing internal medicine. It's being made possible by a consumer that is increasingly smart and empowered with information."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 19, 2013, 11:31:05 am
"The overall cost of health care is not better doctors, it's not Obamacare, not Vanderbilt, not Harvard, not Romneycare," Frist said on  "Squawk Box."  "The overall driver of health-care costs and health-care spending is 40 percent behavior- how we take care of ourselves."

Notice it's not what he's saying, but what he's NOT saying - hey Dr. Frist, why don't you expose the fact how Ronald Reagan/Donald Rumsfeld legalized poisons like Aspertame(among other things) in the 1980's, which has lead to a sick population over the long haul!

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 19, 2013, 12:08:46 pm
And this is coming out NOW?

Obama to Cantor in 2010: 8 to 9 million Americans will lose coverage

Patrick Howley
Daily Caller
 November 10, 2013

President Barack Obama admitted in 2010 that 8 or 9 million Americans would lose their existing health insurance plans under Obamacare.

“The 8 to 9 million people that you refer to that might have to change their coverage — keep in mind out of the 300 million Americans that we’re talking about — would be folks who the CBO, Congressional Budget Office, estimates would find the deal in the exchange better,” Obama said to Rep. Eric Cantor at a February 25, 2010 White House summit on health insurance regulation.


The millions of Americans recently thrown off their existing health plans are finding the deals in the Obamacare exchanges to be not better, but actually much, much worse.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 19, 2013, 03:10:02 pm
It is designed to fail. This is all one big scam to usher in single payer across the board.

Obamacare Individual Mandate May Be Next to Fall

The White House earlier this year granted large employers a one-year reprieve from having to offer health insurance coverage to their employees. Then last week, President Obama asked insurance companies to reverse their cancellation of millions of individual and small business insurance policies that don’t meet the new Obamacare standards, to belatedly make good on his promise that Americans who liked their old policies could keep them.

This raises the question: Can postponement of the individual mandate – arguably the most controversial facet of the Affordable Care Act – be far behind?

The requirement that uninsured Americans either buy coverage through the new government markets or pay a tax penalty  has been a sore point with GOP critics since enactment of the legislation in 2010. Now many prominent Senate Democrats are agitating for a delay because of the large numbers of people who have been thwarted from enrolling for new policies on HealthCare.gov. 

The individual mandate was an important  concession to the insurance industry to put added pressure on people to sign up for new policies. Ample analysis shows that far fewer Americans – particularly young and healthy people – would sign up for insurance without the penalty, resulting in much higher premiums for the older and sicker people who do purchase coverage.

Obama and other administration officials have promised that  the “vast majority” of Americans will be able to sign up for coverage with relative ease  starting next month after a government-applied “tech surge” does away with most of the bugs. But that promise rings hollow – especially in light of a Washington Post report last weekend that the administration will consider the online marketplace a success if 80 percent of users can buy health care plans online. 

So if one  in five people has trouble purchasing policies on HealthCare.gov beginning next month, the White House will still  consider that a success. It will be hard for Obama to argue for keeping the individual mandate and penalties in light of that standard – especially given the public outrage over the troubled rollout and insurance policy cancellations. 

Approval at New Low
The health care debacle has driven the president’s approval rating to a rock bottom 42 percent, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Fifty-seven percent say they oppose the president’s health care plan, according to the polls; 63 percent disapprove of Obama’s handling of its rollout.

By almost 2 to 1, Americans oppose the individual mandate, with more than half the respondents strongly opposing it. By contrast, almost 6 in 10 support the employer mandate. Finally, 7 in 10 Americans say the administration should delay the individual mandate, according to the poll.

The Treasury Dept. said last July it would not penalize businesses with more than 50 workers that do not provide health insurance in 2014.  The administration said it would postpone the provision after hearing significant concerns from employers about the challenges of implementation.

The administration presumably would use the same administrative authority to postpone implementation of the individual mandate, without congressional approval, if the president decides to go that route. While the White House believes it has the administrative authority to unilaterally delay a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, some conservatives disagree.

The conservative group Judicial Watch filed a suit on behalf of a Florida orthodontist on Oct. 1 – the day the rollout began – seeking to block the one-year delay of the employer mandate. The suit claims that the action violated the Administrative Procedure Act and exceed President Obama’s authority.

“He has no more power to do that than you or I,” said Larry Kawa, the Boca Raton-based orthodontist named as plaintiff in the suit, according to The Hill.

Since the rocky rollout began, Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-WVA) has called for a delay in the individual mandate for one year. Meanwhile, 10 other Senate Democrats – Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Mark Begich (AL), Mark Pryor (AR), Mary Landrieu (LA), Kay Hagan (NC), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Mark Udall (CO), Tom Udall (NM), Michael Bennet (CO) and Martin Heinrich (NM) – wrote to the Obama administration declaring individuals “should not be penalized for lack of coverage” if they are unable to purchase health insurance due to technical problems.

The penalty in the program’s first year is more of a nuisance than an inducement to sign up: The penalty in 2014 is only $95 per adult and $47.50 per child up to $285 per family. But in 20015, the penalty imposed by the IRS will jump to $325 per adult and $162.50 per child up to $975 per family, then more than doubles in 2016 and beyond.

The Obama administration has signaled an openness to at least consider a delay. Asked on Oct. 21 if they were looking for flexibility in applying the individual mandate, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney replied, “Whatever conclusions you draw about the way the law is written, I think you can draw. The law is clear that if you do not have access to affordable health insurance, then you will not be asked to pay a penalty because you haven’t purchased affordable health insurance.”

He also said the administration is looking to provide that access.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that such a delay in the mandate would cause 11 million more Americans to remain uninsured in 2014 – resulting in higher premiums for many others. The delay would also disrupt the new health insurance exchanges in the midst ofopen enrollment season, according to the agency. A one-year delay of the individual mandate would reduce the expected coverage gains under the Affordable Care Act by nearly 85 percent, relative to current law, CBO estimated. Delaying the individual mandate also would raise premiums for health insurance purchased in the individual market in 2014, according to CBO.

Earlier CBO estimates indicated that permanently repealing the mandate would raise average health insurance premiums in the individual market — inside and outside the new health insurance exchanges — by 15 percent to 20 percent, amounting to hundreds or thousands of dollars a year in higher premium charges for many individuals and families.  

“Without the individual mandate, the exchanges may well not be viable over the long run; the higher premiums would discourage many healthier people from enrolling, sending premiums up still more,” the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted in an analysis.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 21, 2013, 05:42:28 am
10 Obamacare Horror Stories That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

The more Americans learn about Obamacare, the less they like it.  They were promised that under Obamacare they would be able to keep their current health insurance plans, that health insurance premiums would be lower, and that millions more Americans would be able to get coverage.  But none of those promises are turning out to be true.  Right now, millions of Americans are receiving cancellation notices from their health insurance companies – including many Americans that are in a life or death battle with cancer.  By the end of next year, it is being projected that up to 100 million more Americans could have their health insurance policies canceled.  Meanwhile, large numbers of Americans are discovering that their “new plans” are going to cost them two, three, four or even five times as much as their old plans cost them.  You are about to see some shocking examples of this.  And now that the reality of Obamacare is really starting to sink in for the American people, the popularity of the law is starting to drop like a rock.  According to a brand new CBS News poll that was just released, only 31 percent of all Americans still approve of Obamacare while an astounding 61 percent of all Americans now disapprove of it.  Perhaps if we get that number to 70 or 80 percent, the politicians in Washington D.C. will cave in and we can get this law repealed.  So please share this article with as many people as you possibly can.  The following are 10 Obamacare horror stories that are almost too crazy to believe…
Edie Littlefield Sundby: “My grievance is not political; all my energies are directed to enjoying life and staying alive, and I have no time for politics. For almost seven years I have fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 2% after diagnosis. I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out: My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.
My choice is to get coverage through the government health exchange and lose access to my cancer doctors, or pay much more for insurance outside the exchange (the quotes average 40% to 50% more) for the privilege of starting over with an unfamiliar insurance company and impaired benefits.”
Patricia in North Carolina:”I am a 62 year old woman who has an individual policy with BCBS of North Carolina.  My premiums are $249.50 per month.  I bought the policy when I retired and moved to NC to be closer to my aging parents.  The policy is a high deductible one with a $2700 deductible, $5000 out of pocket maximum.  BCBS has told me my plan is no longer offered due to Obamacare and that my new plan will cost $600.55 per month and has a required an out of pocket maximum of $6350.”
Jacqueline Proctor: Take, for example, Jacqueline Proctor of San Francisco. She and her husband are in their early 60s. They have been paying $7,200 a year for a bare-bones Kaiser Permanente health plan with a $5,000 per person annual deductible. “Kaiser told us the plan does not comply with Obamacare and the substitute will cost more than twice as much,” about $15,000 per year, she says.
This new plan, Kaiser’s cheapest offering for 2014, would consume about 25 percent of their after-tax income. The new plan still has a $5,000 deductible but provides coverage for things her current policy does not, such as maternity care, healthy child visits and coverage for dependents up to age 26. Proctor has no use for such coverage, since her son is 30.
Gloria Cantor: Gloria Cantor of Florida has cancer — five brain tumors and tumors in her bones — but she won’t have the health insurance she has relied on for her treatment for much longer.
Mrs. Cantor and her husband, Jay, told WFTV in Orlando that their insurance is being dropped in order to comply with Obamacare regulations.
“The Cantors received [a] letter in the mail [that] explains Gloria’s health insurance will end next summer due to the Affordable Care Act,” reporter Lori Brown says. “But after promises by President Obama … the Cantors now feel betrayed. After the insurance company drops them, it will offer them a different plan that it admits will be more expensive. The Cantors are especially worried because their doctors cannot assure them that [the MD Anderson Cancer Center] will still accept the new plan.”
A Zero Hedge Reader: My company, based in California, employs 600. We used to insure about 250 of our employees. The rest opted out. The company paid 50% of their premiums for about $750,000/yr.
Under obamacare, none can opt out without penalty, and the rates are double or triple, depending upon the plan. Our 750k for 250 employees is going to $2 million per year for 600 employees.
By mandate, we have to pay 91.5% of the premium or more up from the 50% we used to pay.
Our employees share of the premium goes from $7/week for the cheapest plan to $30/week. 95% of my employees were on that plan.  Remember, we used to pay 50% now we pay 91.5% and the premiums still go up that much!!
The  cheapest plan now has a deductible of $6350! Before it was $150. Employees making $9 to $10/hr, have to pay $30/wk and have a $6350 deductible!!! What!!!!
They can’t afford that to be sure. Obamacare will kill their propensity to seek medical care. More money for less care? How does that help them?
Ashley Dionne: I graduated from The University of Michigan in 2009. In my state, this used to mean something, but even with a bachelor’s I was told I was too educated and wouldn’t stay. I watched as kids with GEDs and high school diploma’s took the low-paying jobs for which I applied.
I went back to school and got a second degree and finally found work at a gym. I work nights and only get 32 hours a week for eight dollars an hour. I’m unable to find a second job at this time.
I have asthma, ulcers, and mild cerebral palsy. Obamacare takes my monthly rate from $75 a month for full coverage on my “Young Adult Plan,” to $319 a month. After $6,000 in deductibles, of course.
Liberals claimed this law would help the poor. I am the poor, the working poor, and I can’t afford to support myself, let alone older generations and people not willing to work at all.

This law has raped my future.
It will keep me and kids my age from having a future at all.
This is the real face of Obamacare and it isn’t pretty.
George Schwab: George Schwab, 62, of North Carolina, said he was “perfectly happy” with his plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield, which also insured his wife for a $228 monthly premium. But this past September, he was surprised to receive a letter saying his policy was no longer available. The “comparable” plan the insurance company offered him carried a $1,208 monthly premium and a $5,500 deductible.
A Middle Class Texas Family: Obamacare is named the “Affordable Care Act,” after all, and the President promised the rates would be “as low as a phone bill.” But I just received a confirmed letter from a friend in Texas showing a 539% rate increase on an existing policy that’s been in good standing for years.
As the letter reveals (see below), the cost for this couple’s policy under Humana is increasing from $212.10 per month to $1,356.60 per month. This is for a couple in good health whose combined income is less than $70K — a middle-class family, in other words.
Michael Cerpok: “I’ve worked hard because I’ve had to, and I’ve had to, because cancer runs in my family,” says Cerpok, who picked his current health insurance based on that family history. His monthly premium is just about half of his monthly take-home pay.
Back in 2006, he found out he had an incurable form of leukemia that requires ongoing treatment until he dies.
In 2012, his treatment bill was more than $350,000. But because of his insurance, his out-of-pocket was only $4,500.
That’s about to change because Michael just got a letter from his insurance carrier saying as of January 1, he would be dropped from coverage because of new regulations under Obamacare.
Bill Elliot: Fox News host Megyn Kelly shared a heart rendering story Thursday night of a South Carolina man with cancer who is being forced to make what he sees as a life or death decision after his health insurance plan was cancelled because of Obamacare.
Bill Elliot, who voted for President Obama, contacted “The Kelly File” via Facebook and said he can no longer afford to pay his medical bills and does not want to take on the new costs because he does not want to put a “burden” on his family, according to Fox News.
Saying he feels “misled,” Elliott told Kelly his new insurance will cost him $1,500 per month with a $13,000 deductible, adding that he will opt to pay the minimal fine for not having health insurance and “will just let nature take its course.”
So what do you think about Obamacare?  Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 21, 2013, 02:43:35 pm

Illegal ObamaCare fix just another step on the road to single payer

By Coach Collins, on November 21st, 2013

by Doug Book,  editor

Jonathan Adler has spent the past three years explaining the many illegalities involved in Barack Obama’s spontaneous “fixes” to the Affordable Care Act. According to Barack’s latest effort to evade the legal requirements of his Administration’s greatest achievement, Obama has announced that “…insurance companies will be allowed to renew policies that were in force as of October 1, 2013 for one additional year, even if they fail to meet relevant PPACA requirements.” (1)

“What is the legal basis for this change,” asks Adler? There is none. The only offering from the Regime is that it will “suspend enforcement of market provisions” for plans currently in effect. (2) That is, Obama has unilaterally decided that the Executive Branch will NOT enforce relevant provisions of the ACA as passed by Congress and signed into law by Barry himself!  So even though the renewed plans may be “substandard,” according to the Affordable Care Act, the federal government will not enforce penalties as required by the law.

Unfortunately, two little problems persist: 1.) these “plan extensions” will remain illegal under federal law regardless of Barack’s sudden benevolence; and 2.) insurance companies would still have to “…obtain approval from state insurance commissioners” in order to keep the plans in force. Naturally, Barack doesn’t get involved in such trivia. If he believes something will look good to voters, he jumps right in (always making certain there will be an ample supply of fall guys should things not work out.)

But here, Adler raises the following question: What would happen if an insurance company “…denies payment for something that is not covered under the [existing] policy but that would have been covered under the PPACA and the insured sues?” (1) The insurance company would be forced to “…seek judicial enforcement of an illegal insurance policy.” Worse yet would be the resulting public perception that a company was trying to withhold the legally mandated treatment of an insured! The fact that Barack said it was OK would not carry much weight and would ultimately be forgotten.

What it all means is that Barack is cleverly and conveniently throwing insurance providers–from which he has demanded support, trust and massive financial concessions–directly under the infamous Obama bus. Whatever providers wind up doing they will eventually find themselves between a rock and a hard place while Obama–by once again ignoring the terms of his own law–makes himself appear the friend of the people.

To those who lost their insurance coverage, Obama said “I completely get how upsetting this can be” to lose insurance plans that I promised Americans would be able to keep. “To those Americans, I hear you loud and clear.” (3) Funny how tone deaf Barack was when ObamaCare was being shoved through Congress.

And since when has Obama been concerned about keeping promises to the American people?

Jonathan Adler has raised a good point. But the more important question must be, what is the Obama Regime’s REAL purpose for this latest, illegal ObamaCare fix? Will the DOJ be “forced” to take action at some point against insurers foolhardy enough to fall for Obama’s political gamesmanship by extending the existence of illegal policies? When his wholly owned DOJ files suit against these insurers, will Obama simply shrug his petite shoulders and claim he was only trying to help, but was unsuccessful?

Remember that the entire purpose of ObamaCare is the construction of a road to single payer. In order to accomplish this, insurance companies must first be destroyed. How many millions–or billions–could the nation’s insurance providers be fined by a DOJ or HHS in Barack’s back pocket? And how much trust in these providers would be lost by the American public?

Is this latest example of presidential largesse just another planned step down the road to a federal takeover?


(1) http://www.volokh.com/2013/11/15/legality-latest-obamacare-fix/

(2) http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/here-s-how-the-white-house-wants-to-fix-obamacare

(3) http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/fairy-tale-continues-obama-proposes-extralegal-obamacare-fix_767089.html

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 22, 2013, 06:55:32 am
Obamacare was set up to fail, its all to usher in single payer socialist medical with 4th world doctors

Obamacare Is Going To Be The Biggest Expansion Of The Welfare State In U.S. History

Can the U.S. government afford to pay for the health care of 38 million more people?  As you will see below, Obamacare is going to be the biggest expansion of the welfare state in U.S. history.  It is being projected that a decade from now 17 million Americans will be receiving Obamacare subsidies and an additional 21 million Americans will have been added to the Medicaid rolls.  At a time when we are already running trillion dollar deficits, is this really something that the government should be taking on?  In addition, it is being projected that bringing millions upon millions of new people into the Medicaid program will also cause enrollment in many other federal welfare programs such as food stamps to surge.  Right now, the percentage of Americans that are financially dependent on the U.S. government is already at an all-time high, and Obamacare is going to cause the level of government dependence to go much, much higher.  But how much weight can the “safety net” actually carry before it breaks entirely? (Read More.....)


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 22, 2013, 08:23:45 am
Obamacare was set up to fail, its all to usher in single payer socialist medical with 4th world doctors

Yep, and even the "truth" movement leaders are in on it too - over on PPF a couple of years ago, when someone exposed Jesse Ventura endorsing Obamacare, Geolibertarian(one of the mods) stepped in almost immediately spinning it how Ventura was just merely exposing the singer payer medical system.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 22, 2013, 10:07:30 am
John Boehner Has Officially Signed Up For Insurance Through Obamacare


House Speaker John Boehner has officially enrolled in a D.C. insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, he said in a blog post on his website Thursday evening, after having some difficulty signing up earlier in the afternoon.

"Like many Americans, my experience was pretty frustrating," he wrote of his experience at first, a reference to the dysfunction that has plagued the exchange websites since their launch.

"After putting in my personal information, I received an error message.  I was able to work past that, but when I went to actually sign up for coverage, I got this 'internal server error' screen."

In his original blog post, he wrote that he had put a call into the help desk. A short while later, he added an update:

"Kept at it, and called the DC Health Link help line. They called back a few hours later, and after re-starting the process on the website two more times, I just heard from DC Health Link that I have been successfully enrolled."

Brendan Buck, Boehner's press secretary, joked that "sure didn't take long after the blog post."

The federal health care law requires members to enroll in D.C. exchanges.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on November 22, 2013, 12:31:57 pm
They have their own health plan the public doesn't get, so what's the point other than to mock the White House? Petty, childish politics.

The government says not to discriminate, yet Democrats and Republicans discriminate against each other at the highest levels of government and they proudly "stick to party lines".

We are all citizens, but the system is designed to be a "us vs. them". No wonder it doesn't work.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 22, 2013, 08:22:25 pm
To begin with, elections are rigged(and throw in this staged in-fighting b/w the GOP establishment and the Tea Party - I think we pretty much know who's going to "win" next year's midterms).

I think we know where this is going...

ObamaCare enrollment deadline delayed to 2014 elections

WASHINGTON – A new administration tweak in ObamaCare deadlines conveniently delays the next enrollment period until just after the 2014 elections.

Open enrollment – which is already causing political headaches for the administration this year – had been set to start Oct. 15, 2014.

That date is now being pushed back a month, a Health and Human Services official told Bloomberg News.

The administration cited technical reasons, saying the date gives insurers “more time to prepare new plans and rates.”

But the new date happens to fall 11 days after the Nov. 4 elections – where Democratic control for the Senate is at stake. Democrats are also hoping to beat back the odds and retake the House.

Any spike in insurance rates would most likely be revealed during the enrollment period — and could infuriate voters.

ObamaCare and the timing of its creation has had significant political consequences ever since Obama signed it into law, before Republicans regained the House in 2010.

The law signed by President Obama instituted a number of popular reforms before his own 2012 reelection – including a ban on discrimination against people with preexisting conditions, and a provision that lets parents cover their children on their own plans until the kids through age 26.

The new health care exchanges that began under the disastrous rollout of the new government website began this fall – when Congress wasn’t up for reelection.

“Consumers will not see their 2015 premiums until after the midterm elections, instead of immediately before,” former industry lobbyist Mike Tuffin told Bloomberg News. “One doesn’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to divine the motive here.”

Republicans were quick to pounce on the delay. “Clearly, President Obama does not want voters to see increased prices, more cancelations and decreased options under ObamaCare before they go to the ballot box,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. “If ObamaCare is so great, why are Democrats so scared of voters knowing its consequences?”

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 25, 2013, 06:51:20 am

CNN: If You’re Christian, It’s Your Fault That People Don’t Have Health Insurance

As tens of millions stand to lose their health insurance benefits over the coming months, mainstream establishment mouthpiece CNN has been investigating why there are so many poor and under-insured Americans.

In an investigative report titled The Obamacare ‘scandal’ you haven’t heard about CNN journalist John Blake thinks he’s figured it out.

It’s not that the government has created an air of learned helplessness, or shipped jobs to foreign countries through restrictive legislation and taxes, or that Americans have seen their purchasing power decrease exponentially making it impossible for them to meet their basic needs.

And the Patient Affordable Care Act certainly can’t be to blame, even though the health exchanges don’t work, and people are being rapidly removed from their current insurance policies because of regulations set forth by the new law, or that those who do manage to sign up will see a tripling of their rates which will further impoverish them.

No, the problem, according to CNN, is the Christians; specifically, the Christian pastors and their churches in southern states who have apparently done nothing to address poverty or failed to push their governments to expand social health care services through forced wealth redistribution.

    In an article on CNN.com’s Belief Blog, CNN writer John Blake says that, while famous pastors “preach in states where crosses and church steeples dot the skyline,” they do nothing about “the poor who can’t get the health insurance they would receive if they lived elsewhere.”

    That refers, in turn, to the decision of twenty-five states not to participate in Obamacare’s expanded Medicaid funding. The states were allowed to opt out following last year’s controversial Supreme Court decision on Obamacare, which upheld the law as a whole but struck down the mandatory state participation in Medicaid expansion, citing the protection provided to state powers under the Tenth Amendment.


    Blake covers different perspectives on the question of speaking out. But the premise of CNN’s article is that churches are to blame for Obamacare’s failures–not the federal government, not the Democrats who passed it, and not President Barack Obama himself. The thinly-veiled implication–a repeated theme in leftist critiques–is that Christians are hypocrites who care about personal salvation, but not about good works.

    Source Breitbart via Steve Quayle

If CNN and John Blake would have done their research, what they would have found is that if there’s anyone in this country providing community outreach to the poor, handicapped and uninsured, it’s faith-based networks, most of which are Christian.

In 2001 there were approximately 26,000 food pantries in America. Of those, fully 75% were operated by faith-based organizations. They were staffed not by government employees bilking the system for millions of dollars in reckless spending and outrageous benefit and pension plans, but by Christian volunteers. In fact, 9 out of 10 people working in faith-based food pantries in America are volunteers doing so out of their own free will, good nature, and need to give back to those who are less fortunate.

Moreover, with respect to health care itself, faith-based hospitals in America have been found to provide higher quality health care than their counterparts. These hospitals and the Christian organizations that support them raise hundreds of millions of dollars a year in an effort to assist the poorest of our society with their medical needs – again primarily through individual donations, not wealth confiscation.

Thus, while Mr. Blake et. al. make the argument that Christians don’t care about the poor, the facts prove otherwise. It’s the very people he criticizes in his ‘investigative report’ on this ‘scandal’ that are spending their personal time and money to help those in need.

And the kicker? No one had to write a law and force these people to do it by the barrel of a gun. They do it because they care, not because they were mandated to do so. Moreover, they don’t forcibly take the funds needed to operate these outreach programs from others. They get them in the form of private donations, from hundreds of thousands of other Christians across America who want to make a difference any way they can.

So, Mr. Blake, before you bloviate about how followers of the teachings of Jesus are to blame for the world’s problems, go take a look in the mirror.

If you’re going to cast stones, you may want to start there.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 25, 2013, 11:25:13 pm
Sometimes we really have to check our brains at the door when we hear and read these MSM articles - for one, Obamacare was modeled after Romneycare(the latter of which was the initial testing ground). Two, Romney admitted during the campaign that he would keep the Individual Mandate if elected.

I know these elections are rigged - but nonetheless, FWIW, if Romney was "elected", Syria and Iran would have been bombed by now(with no chirps from the MSM and masses, that is), and these "liberal media" watchdog groups like FOX, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Brent Bozell, and Churchianity would have yelled "LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS!" when millions of insurance plans were getting cancelled had started to get exposed(hence pretty much shouting down and drowning out this fact to the American public - a lot like how Ronald Reagan got away with pushing abortion and gun control).

Poll: If voters had known they’d lose insurance, Romney would have won

If voters had been aware last year that they might lose their health-care plans when Obamacare went into effect, Republican President Mitt Romney would be sitting in the White House today, according to a poll released Friday.

A Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research survey conducted from Nov. 18-20 asked voters who supported President Barack Obama in 2012: “As you may know, millions of Americans have lost their insurance plans despite President Obama’s promise that, quote, ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it.’ If you knew in 2012 that this promise was not true, would you still have voted for Barack Obama?”

In response, 23 percent said they would not have voted to re-elect Obama, while 72 percent said they would still have voted for him. The largest number of defections were among female voters ages 18-54, 31 percent of whom said they would not have supported the president.

An ABC/Washington Post poll released earlier this week found that if they had a do-over, Romney would win 49 percent to 45 percent. The difference is within the margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, but Obama polls a lower percentage of the vote today than he did in November 2012.

A generic ballot question on the poll found likely voters favoring Republicans for 2014: 39 percent of independents said they would vote for the unspecified Republican candidate over the unspecified Democratic candidate, compared to 30 percent who said they would vote for the Democrat.

Eight percent of Democrats said they would vote Republican, compared to just four percent of Republicans who said they would vote Democrat.

The poll surveyed 801 likely voters with live phone interviews and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The sample of 2012 Obama voters was 384 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 27, 2013, 05:58:08 am
There Already Is A Government Health Care System In America And It Is The Medical Version Of Hell

What would happen if the entire health care system in the United States was run by the federal government?  Would such a system be better or worse than what we have today?  To get an answer to these questions, all we have to do is take a look at what is already happening.  The truth is that there already is a government health care system in America and it is the medical version of hell.  You are about to read about the horrifying state of health care being provided by the federal government at VA hospitals and on Indian reservations around the country.  Injured military veterans and those that live on Indian reservations are some of the most vulnerable members of our society, and the government is doing an absolutely nightmarish job of taking care of them.
Theoretically, the government should be able to provide at least a basic level of care for these people, but as you will see this is simply not happening.
The bottom line is that the federal government is completely and utterly incompetent.  This has been demonstrated once again in recent months by the launch of Obamacare.  What a train wreck that has been.
But we shouldn’t be surprised.  When it comes to health care, the U.S. government can’t seem to get anything right.
Most Americans don’t realize this, but government-run health care for our military veterans is a complete and total joke.  In some instances, it can take critically injured military veterans more than a year to see a doctor…

CJ Jackson, a Purple Heart recipient and 101st Airborne medic, was severely wounded during a battle in Afghanistan when an enemy rocket-propelled grenade hit a wall a couple of feet from him, sending debris into his arm and leg. He said he waited over a year to see a doctor at the Jackson VA despite being considered critically injured.
And once a vet is finally able to see a doctor and have surgery scheduled, those surgeries are often conducted in facilities that are beyond disgusting.  The following is what one orthopedic surgeon recently told CNBC…

“Occasionally we’d find pieces of bone” on equipment, he told CNBC. “What it really shows is that no one is really taking the time or care to clean the instruments.”
His story was backed up by Dr. Phyllis Hollenbeck, who still works at the hospital. She testified on Sept. 9 about problems at the Jackson center. “Essentially everything that happens in primary care at the Jackson VA can be included under the umbrella of being unethical, illegal, heartbreaking, and life threatening for the veterans, and everything in the care of the veterans starts in primary care.”
Of course this is not the first investigation that discovered these kinds of conditions at VA hospitals.  A few years ago, ABC News also conducted an investigation of conditions at VA facilities across the United States.  What ABC News discovered was absolutely staggering.  The following are just a few of the things that they found during the course of their investigation…
*Bathrooms filthy with what appeared to be human excrement
*Dirty linens from some patients mixed in with clean supplies
*Examining tables that had dried blood and medications still on them
*Equipment used to sterilize surgical instruments that had broken down
*Some patients that were begging for food and water
*Vets neglected so badly that they had developed horrific bedsores and dangerous infections
Is this how the federal government should be treating the men and women that have shed blood fighting for our country?
Unfortunately, it appears that the mistreatment of our military veterans has gotten even worse since Barack Obama took power.  For much more on all of this, please see my previous article entitled “25 Signs That Military Veterans Are Being Treated Like Absolute Trash Under The Obama Administration“.
The funny thing is that many of the people that run these VA facilities are greatly rewarded for their “hard work”.  For example, CNBC discovered that those running the VA facility in Jackson, Mississippi described above are receiving huge bonuses…

The director of the Jackson VA, Joe Battle, received a $6,500 bonus last year on top of his $165,000 salary, and Rica Lewis-Payton, the network director of the South Central Health Care Network, which includes Jackson, got almost $36,000 in bonuses last year, on top of her $180,000 salary.
Are you disgusted yet?
You should be.
And we see the exact same thing happening in government-run health care facilities on Indian reservations.
By treaty, the U.S. government is required to provide health care on Indian reservations.  But the level of health care being provided is of extremely low quality and the programs are very underfunded.
In fact, things are so bad that the following expression is very commonly heard on Indian reservations across America…
“Don’t get sick after June”.
Why would they say that?
Well, because in the fall and winter the waits to see a doctor and the rationing of care get particularly bad.  If you get seriously ill, you might end up dying before you ever get the care that you need.
Posted below is a video news report featuring Judge Andrew Napolitano about the horrific state of government-run health care on Indian reservations…
In light of all of this, should we have more government interference in the health care system or less?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 27, 2013, 10:23:21 am

Yeah, this has been going on for years and years and years in these VAs - pretty much they've been pushing government-runned health care little by little over the years(and not all at once). I remember during the Bush Jr years, they were reporting these horror stories at these VA hospitals, but it pretty much fell on deaf ears(including myself) for some reason. Now all of a sudden everyone is shocked since Obama got into office?

Now I see why the government has wanted to take over health care for a long, long time(since the Roosevelt years).

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 27, 2013, 09:23:02 pm
US health law insurance site delayed 1 year

CHICAGO (AP) — The Obama administration is delaying yet another aspect of its troubled health care law, putting off until next November the launch of an online portal to the health insurance marketplace for small businesses until the hobbled HealthCare.gov website is fixed.

The move, announced Wednesday, was needed because repairs are still underway to the federal website, which is the primary way for individuals to apply for insurance, and that has priority, federal officials said.

Wednesday's setback was the latest in a stream of missed deadlines, which has proven politically costly for Obama as his signature domestic achievement comes under withering criticism for its bungled rollout.

The administration also postponed a Spanish-language sign-up tool this week. It recently pushed back the enrollment deadline for individuals: People who sign up by Dec. 23 can get coverage that starts on Jan. 1. In an earlier delay, businesses with more than 50 workers were given until 2015 to meet the requirement to provide health insurance without paying a penalty. And the deadline date for individuals to avoid penalties for failing to get coverage was pushed back six weeks.

All Americans must now purchase health insurance. Those who can't afford it can receive subsidies in states that accepted federal money, though several governed by Republicans did not.

When it launched Oct. 1, the HealthCare.gov site was crippled by technical glitches and froze computer screens across America. The site, where individuals without employer-sponsored health care can shop for insurance, is now smoothly handling 25,000 users at the same time and is on track to meet its goal of handling 50,000 simultaneous users by Saturday, said administration spokeswoman Julie Bataille. "We have a lot of work left to do in the next few days," she said.

The administration, responding to yet another controversy, had earlier announced it will allow insurance companies to extend for another year coverage under individual policies that don't meet new coverage requirements. That move was a response to anger over a wave of more than 4 million policy cancellations. Obama officials pledge that consumers will get better coverage for their through new plans.

Republicans, who were pummeled in public opinion polls after failing to derail Obamacare with last month's partial government shutdown, have been rejuvenated by the program's problems and have accused the administration of shifting deadlines for political reasons.

Last week, the Obama administration also announced a schedule change in next year's open enrollment season. It will start on Nov. 15, 2014, a month later than originally scheduled, and finish on Jan. 15, 2015, about five weeks later than originally scheduled. The midterm congressional elections are Nov. 4, and congressional Republicans claim the move was meant to hide any spike in 2015 premiums.

Under the law, most small businesses do not have to provide coverage. But firms with 50 or more employees face a mandate to offer insurance or risk fines from the government in 2015.

In a conference call with reporters, Obama officials said employers who want to buy marketplace plans for their workers now will need to go through an agent, broker or insurance company this year, instead of using the government website. The administration said the plan will still allow small businesses to buy coverage but avoid slowing technical repairs to the hobbled federal online site.

The small business marketplace, also called SHOP, was supposed to provide employers a new way to shop for coverage. The website was to make comparison shopping easier while promoting competition and keeping premiums down. The delay, which doesn't affect states running their own marketplaces, was met with frustration.

"It's disappointing that the online portion of the federal small business marketplace through Healthcare.gov will be delayed, and it's important it get up and running as soon as possible," said John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, an advocacy group that supports the health care law. "However, it doesn't change the fact that the marketplace can offer the most competitive combination of price and quality for small businesses purchasing health insurance."

The National Retail Federation, which has been working to ease the law's requirements for its members, was less generous.

"If the law is so burdensome for the administration to implement, just think how hard it is for small businesses, which are focused on growing a company, hiring new employees and assisting customers," said Neil Trautwein, the group's top health policy official, in a statement.

Ohio's insurance director, Mary Taylor, a Republican who is also lieutenant governor, said in a written statement that the delay adds to the struggles of small businesses and "only further complicates an already chaotic insurance market."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 29, 2013, 05:46:58 pm
Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Catholics 'outmarketed' on gay marriage

NEW YORK (AP) — New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan says the Roman Catholic Church has been "outmarketed" on the issue of gay marriage and has been "caricatured as being anti-gay."

Dolan discussed the church's positions opposing same-sex marriage and abortion in an interview with "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory that will air Sunday on NBC.

Gregory noted that Illinois just became the latest U.S. state to legalize gay marriage and asked, "Regardless of the church teachings, do you think this is evolving in such a way that it's ultimately going to be legal everywhere?"

Or, he asked, will there be "a backlash" against gay marriage?

"I think I'd be a Pollyanna to say that there doesn't seem to be kind of a stampede to do this," Dolan said. "I regret that."

Asked why the church is losing the argument on gay marriage, Dolan responded, "Well, I think maybe we've been outmarketed sometimes. We've been caricatured as being anti-gay."

He said the church supports "traditional marriage and is not "anti-anybody," adding, "When you have forces like Hollywood, when you have forces like politicians, when you have forces like some opinion-molders that are behind it, it's a tough battle."

But, he said the church will not give up on the gay marriage issue.

On another divisive issue, Dolan said the Catholic Church has long championed comprehensive health care, but he said U.S. Catholic bishops cannot support the Affordable Care Act as long as it includes coverage for abortion.

**So the RCC all along has supported Obamacare(regardless of its views on abortion, that is)?

He said the bishops started "bristling" at the legislation pushed by President Barack Obama because "it's excluding the undocumented immigrant and it's excluding the unborn baby."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 30, 2013, 01:14:48 pm

#TOLDYA #TOLDYA Confirmed today: Unemployment numbers all faked AND Obamacare website code NEVER EVEN WRITTEN.

I don’t relish in this.  I put these posts up to make the point that there will be absolutely no room for any arguments about how “we had no idea that the Obama putsch regime was malevolent” or “we were taken totally by surprise”.  As I have been saying for years and years, PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR GOVERNMENT, and an iniquitous gutter republic, such as yours (I renounce any association or connection to the abortion of an overthrown nation-state formerly called the United States of America  - I am stateless) that has the temerity to STILL crow about being “the land of the free and the home of the brave” and further continues to wave a now-meaningless founding legal document that begins with the words, “WE THE PEOPLE…”, oh you have NO possible argument to make.  You own this, and there is nothing “surprising” about any of it.  This was all EASILY called YEARS ago.

Let’s start with the confirmation today of the Obamacare website being a non-functional false facade; a Potempkin Village.  Yep.  I called that here on October 19th.  Item 3.  Let’s see.  These people all lie, and Chao admitted today that 40% of the code has yet to be written, so that probably means that 80% of the code has yet to be written.  Hmmm.  That would mean that there was just enough code written to get people’s personal information…   And they launched a website knowing full well that it wouldn’t function BECAUSE THE UNDERLYING CODE DID. NOT. EXIST.  Chaos and crisis is the objective, people.  If you cannot comprehend this, then there is basically nothing that can be done.  Mark my words, the “fix” will be “Medicare For All”, aka Single Payer government controlled health care from top to bottom.  And they’ve set it up so that you people will be literally BEGGING them to do it.  So. Totally. Predictable.

Next, let’s go WAY back and revisit some of my comments on the fake-fake-fakety-fake unemployment numbers, which were confirmed as such today.  Let’s also take this opportunity, while we are looking at obvious, repeating-like-clockwork tactics of Marxist tyrannies, to revisit the terrifying zenith that history tells us is very, very much a possibility here:



Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on December 02, 2013, 06:31:45 am
‘All Hell Is Going to Break Loose’: George Will’s Dire Obamacare Concern for 2014

“100 million people get their insurance from Medicare and Medicaid, 171 million get it from their employers,” Will said. “Watch the employers. Because if they start dumping people into Medicare and into Medicaid, and the doctors then say, ‘The burdens are too high, and the reimbursement is too low, we’re not seeing Medicaid patients,’ then all hell is going to break loose.”   


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 02, 2013, 06:28:26 pm
Jay Carney Isn't Sure If People Who Have Signed Up For Obamacare Will Actually Be Covered on January 1

Speaking to reporters Monday at the White House, Press Secretary Jay Carney couldn't directly say whether people who have "signed up" for Obamacare will actually have health insurance starting on January 1.

"We're telling consumers if they're not sure if they're enrolled they should call the insurer directly," Carney said.

Millions of Americans have lost their health insurance thanks to Obamacare and have been unable to successfully sign up for another plan. Five-million Americans have lost their health insurance plans while only 100,000 people have either signed up for Obamacare or have put a plan in their shopping cart on Healthcare.gov or through state-based exchanges.

The White House is touting an improved website, but insurers are reporting that data and personal information from Obamacare enrollees is being jumbled before it gets to them and therefore, people who have signed up, don't necessarily have health insurance coverage.

When pressed on the White House not meeting the November 30 deadline for the website to be completely fixed, Carney referred to the deadline as a simple stepping stone for the overall Obamacare rollout process.

"This was a marker along the road about the progress we needed to make," Carney said. "We said it wouldn't happen all at once...We're not done with the work that needs to be done on that website but I think we've passed an important milestone in getting in to work for the vast majority of users."

As of today, Healthcare.gov can handle 50,000 users at a time on the site. In the age of Amazon and Facebook, that's hardly a success. Today is Cyber Monday, which means Amazon will process orders for more than 13 million items.

"The end game is not the most effective website we can build," Carney said. "We are confident that we've achieved significant improvement and functionality in the website...We never said there wouldn't be any problems moving forward or an error website."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 03, 2013, 06:27:45 pm
Physician says Obamacare is causing 'chaos' for doctors

The administration is furiously trying to rectify another Obamacare issue: faulty enrollment data that could soon become a significant headache for consumers and insurers.

The latter say much of the information they have received is practically useless, which means some consumers might not be able to get access to benefits on Jan. 1, the date their coverage is scheduled to take effect.

Dr. Bill Grace, founder of Grace Oncology in NYC and an assistant professor of clinical medicine at New York Medical College, told CNBC Monday night that the enrollment problems also are causing significant problems for doctors.

"Right now that back end is in chaos. … We don't even know if we should sign up for these plans, because we have a suspicion that many of [them] offer very little reimbursement or offer a loss to the physicians who are going to see these patients," Grace told Larry Kudlow on CNBC's "Kudlow Report".

"No physician wants to take money out of his pocket and put it in the government's."

The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services, which is responsible for running the federal Obamacare website, has refused to reveal how many sign-ups have software-related errors that could delay enrollees' coverage.

The administration released a 50-state report Tuesday morning saying that nearly 1.5 million people had been found eligible for Medicaid during October, far outpacing enrollment eligibility in subsidized private coverage. But as Obamacare puts more people in the Medicaid system, Grace said fewer doctors are treating Medicaid patients.

"The problem is, who's going to care for you when you have Medicaid?" he said. "For an hour-and-15-minute evaluation of a cancer patient, I get $6.50. That won't even pay for the electricity. What kind of physician will you get ... what kind of specialist will you get?"

Doctors are "already leaving in droves from accepting Medicare," he said. "They're going to concierge practices. They're limiting the number of Medicare patients they take. They're taking only commercial insurance plans, and the premier physicians are taking no insurance at all."

Obamacare's website troubles have resulted in enrollment numbers significantly lower than administration officials had hoped. It's questionable whether the program will reach the 7 million sign-ups the Congressional Budget Office predicted. The sign-up period runs through March.

Grace told CNBC that the biggest problem with Obamacare is that patients don't have skin in the game. He offered this health-care fix as an alternative.

"I'd give everybody at birth a health savings account, because it makes everybody a capitalist. People make poor health care choices and want somebody else to bail them out. When they own the plan, they begin to make healthy ... choices. "

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on December 04, 2013, 05:01:37 am
Megyn Kelly Loses It Over Huge New Obamacare Problem: ‘That’s Your Money!’

The Obama administration is reportedly preparing to implement a “workaround” that instructs insurers to “estimate” the cost of health care plans and the government will determine the actual costs later, Reuters reports. This “workaround” is needed because the Obamacare payment system isn’t working properly.
“You’re touting this improved Healthcare.gov,” a befuddled Kelly began. “How does the system work without a payment mechanism? There is no cash register!”
Reuters has the “bombshell” report on the new “workaround”:

The administration is planning a “workaround” for payments, said Daniel Durham, vice president for policy and regulatory affairs at America’s Health Insurance Plans.
Health plans will estimate how much they are owed, and submit that estimate to the government. Once the system is built, the government and insurers can reconcile the payments made with the plan data to “true up” payments, he said.
“The intent is to make sure plans get paid on time, which is a good thing,” Durham told Reuters.
The fix puts an additional “burden” on insurance companies, already taxed by having to double-check faulty enrollment data from the HealthCare.gov system.
Kelly was shocked that the administration would “let the insurance companies estimate what they should get.”
“Then the feds are going to cut them a big check and figure out later what the real amounts are supposed to be! That’s your money!” she added. “Think about that for a moment. Think about that. We’re talking about one-sixth of the U.S. economy and this is the system that they have now settled on.”
Kelly went on to remind viewers that President Barack Obama on Tuesday assured the American people that Obamacare is “working and will continue working in the future.”


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on December 04, 2013, 05:09:48 am
UPS Spouses Lose Insurance Coverage Thanks To Obamacare

One of the busiest seasons of the year has begun for employees of United Parcel Service (UPS). And as the company’s employees scramble to deliver gifts to doorsteps throughout the Nation , 15,000 of them will do so with the new knowledge that Obamacare has taken away health insurance for their spouses. An internal UPS memo recently obtained by Kaiser Health International informs 15,000 non-union employees that their working spouses will no longer be covered by UPS insurance plans due to changes under Obamacare if their spouse is eligible for insurance offered by an employer.   


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 05, 2013, 12:40:39 pm
ObamaCare Raises Health Insurance Costs, Especially For The Young

The Affordable Care Act has dramatically increased the cost of buying a health insurance plan on the individual market in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Georgia, and North Carolina, states that account for more than half of America’s uninsured adults, according to a study by Sector & Sovereign, a sell-side firm that focuses on advising investors what sectors to put their money in.

Worse, the firm argued in a note earlier this week, the increases in cost are most substantial for the young.

According to S&S, the average deductible – the amount of money you spend out of pocket before your health insurance kicks in– for plans purchased by a 21-year old man in 2013 was $3,649, bought at an average monthly premium of $144. To purchase a plan with the same deductible now, a 21-year-old would have to pay $261, an 81% increase.

For a 40 year old, the 2013 average deductible was $4,045, and the cost increased 29% to $309. For a 64-year-old man, the cost of a plan with a $3,494 deductible increased 64% to $806.

“If you ignore the subsidies, then apples to apples, as best we can tell, it’s more expensive,” says Richard Evans, the lead analyst on the report. “You’ve got to find some basis for comparison and the best we have is deductible and out-of-pocket maxima. The difference is substantial enough that we’re pretty convinced that health insurance is more expensive is 2014 than in 2013.”

The biggest reason for the increase is that many of the cheap plans that existed previously are no longer legal. The number of plans analyzed in those states decreased from 2,000 in 2013 to 1,200 for 2014. Essentially, Evans says, Obamacare “took the bottom of the market away.”

In fact, according to Evans’ numbers, for 21-year-olds in the most expensive 25% of plans, things actually get better. For a 14% increase in premiums (to $275) they get a 19% decrease in deductible (to $1,537) and a 35% decrease in out-of-pocket maximum, the maximum amount of covered health care costs they could spend (to $4,587).

The problem, he argues, is that this isn’t what makes people buy health insurance. For a 21-year-old male buying a plan, the chances of getting anything from it are low. So he’s more likely to risk going without insurance when you both increase the premium and increase the amount he has to spend out of pocket. And that means fewer young, healthy people buying plans through ObamaCare, which in turn could make the business of selling those plans less appealing for insurers.

This is the fundamental problem of having people buy health insurance. In plans paid for by employers, this is solved simply by making younger employees pay higher costs while older ones pay less. For Medicare, the cost of insuring people who are old is borne by taxpayers. But here, some young people might opt to pay Obamacare’s penalty instead, or to hope they can get away with not having insurance and not paying that penalty.

Evans has some suggestions as to how this could be fixed. One idea would be to allow for higher out-of-pocket maximums in ACA-compliant plans, thereby allowing insurers to lower deductibles, meaning that young people might be enticed into more coverage. Another idea would be to change the way ObamaCare subsidies work, essentially paying more young people to sign up.

Meanwhile, another analyst sees the fixes made so far to Healthcare.gov as limiting the worst-case scenario for insurers. Earlier this week Leerink analyst Ana Gupte wrote that thanks to the fixes so far, he sees a ‘bear case,’ of 3 million people being enrolled, being met, with the possibility that his base case – 5 million people enrolled– might actually happen. But the chances of the Congressional Budge Office’s original projection being hit are “unlikely at this point,” Gupte writes.

This limits the downside to big players that are participating in the ObamaCare exchanges, including Humana HUM -0.92%, Aetna AET -1.04%, and Wellpoint, to a 1% to 2% hit to earnings per share in 2014. Smaller insurers like HealthNet, Molina Healthcare, and Centene could suffer an earnings hit of 6% to 7%, Gupte writes, if enrollment in the exchanges doesn’t improve. Gupte advises investors to purchase Humana, Wellpoint, and Centene shares.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 05, 2013, 01:00:05 pm
Won't post the whole article here(just the link), but this is yet more fearmongering to get everyone to accept the single payer system...

Why Obamacare will never enroll all Americans

Nearly half of Republicans will opt to pay a fine rather than enroll in Year 1 of Obamacare, according to a new poll. That is likely to change in years ahead, but the ranks of the uninsured are not going away, forecasts say.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 07, 2013, 12:52:56 pm
Hill staffers hit errors galore as they try to sign up for ObamaCare

Capitol Hill staffers are hitting multiple obstacles in trying to enroll in the Obamacare exchange just days before the federal government’s deadline for getting coverage.

They and lawmakers have until Monday to sign up on DC Health Link, the District’s insurance exchange, if they want to maintain the government’s generous employer contribution to their health insurance.

But as crunch time approaches, Democratic and Republican staffers are getting error messages, denials, notices that they’re enrolled in multiple plans and incomplete confirmation — as well as a website that went down briefly Thursday.

Officials at DC Health Link say that they are working quickly to fix each problem. But the snags are causing a lot of frustration and grief.

I feel for anyone who has to go through this process who didn’t have a direct hand in passing this thing. As for the true believers, it is quite useful to have them experience exactly what the rest of America is going through. And, this is what that looks like:


We are in the best of hands.

Rep. John Boehner’s journey through the system has been well documented. It took him 3-4 hours to find out his premiums will double and his co-pays and deductible tripled.

“I’m thrilled to death, as you can tell.”

An amendment to the Affordable Care Act required federal lawmakers and their personal staff to forfeit their government-sponsored health care plans and enroll in state-based insurance exchanges. The goal was to make lawmakers experience what many Americans face in the individual marketplace.

But with the enrollment deadline looming, the complaints are growing louder — and are aimed particularly at the D.C. small-business exchange that members of Congress are supposed to enroll in.

The D.C. exchange’s log-in tool experienced technical difficulties Thursday morning.

“Sigh. I was just in the middle of signing up,” the chief of staff for Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, tweeted in response to an internal Senate email about the hiccup.

Sen. Ted Cruz’s speechwriter and communications adviser Amanda Carpenter has also been tweeting her experiences. She went to a physical DC Health Link help line offered for staffers after her first online attempt failed.

The metaphor is apt but that doesn’t make it fun for Amanda, who would like to stay insured. How long before Obama decides he can waive this part of the law?

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 07, 2013, 08:26:31 pm
Calif. health exchange shares data without permission

LOS ANGELES –  The California health exchange says it's been giving the names of tens of thousands of consumers to insurance agents without their permission or knowledge in an effort to hit deadlines for coverage.

The consumers in question had gone online to research insurance options but didn't ask to be contacted, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Officials with Covered California, the exchange set up in response to the federal health law, said they began providing names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses if available this week in a pilot program. They said they thought it would help people meet a Dec. 23 deadline to have health insurance in place by Jan. 1.

The state doesn't know exactly how many people are affected by the information sharing. Social Security numbers, income and other information were not provided to the agents, exchange officials said.

The pilot program meets privacy laws and was cleared by the exchange's legal counsel, Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, told the Times.

But some insurance brokers and consumers weren't pleased with the state's initiative.

"I'm shocked and dumbfounded," said Sam Smith, an Encino insurance broker and president of the California Association of Health Underwriters, an industry group.

"These people would have a legitimate complaint," said Smith, who added he had been given two consumer names.

The names provided include people who started an insurance application on the Covered California website but didn't complete the process.

A local agent emailed Robert Blatt on Thursday asking him about the application he'd started.

"You can't do this," Blatt, a technology consultant in Ventura County, told the newspaper. "For a government agency to release this information to an outside person is a major issue."

Covered California has signed up nearly 80,000 people in private health plans and an additional 140,000 people qualified for Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program.

But the exchange has been struggling recently with a surge of applicants, and consumers are getting frustrated with long wait times. The state wanted to provide additional help by connecting consumers with a network of 7,700 insurance agents who are trained and certified in the enrollment process, said Lee, the exchange chief.

"I can imagine some people may be upset," he said. "But I can see a lot of people will be comforted and relieved at getting the help they need to navigate a confusing process."

A call to Covered California's media line by The Associated Press was not immediately returned Saturday.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on December 08, 2013, 02:53:09 am

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 08, 2013, 11:54:10 pm
Insurance agents feeling left out of Obamacare

MIAMI — When insurance agent Kelly Fristoe recently spent 30 minutes helping a client pick a mid-level health plan and the federal marketplace website froze, he called the government's hotline and tried to finish the application. But the operator refused to credit Fristoe as an agent on the application, meaning he wouldn't get the commission or be listed as the follow-up contact if his client needed help again later.

The Wichita Falls, Texas, insurance agent is one of many brokers around the country finding frustration as they try to help customers navigate the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces while earning the commissions they've long built their businesses around. Some insurers and insurance agents are calling on President Barack Obama's administration to allow them to bypass healthcare.gov and enroll consumers directly amid growing complaints about problems with enrollment information generated from the website.

The so-called 'back-end' problems could mean that consumers who think they've successfully signed up for a health plan, may find themselves unable to access their coverage come January. The problems include enrollment information that's rendered practically useless by errors, duplication or garbles. Efforts to fix the issues are underway.

Nearly 70,000 agents and brokers have been certified nationwide to sell health insurance on the federal exchange. Many say they could be the troubled health law's best ambassadors with the potential to boost lackluster enrollment figures — only about 27,000 had enrolled via the federal website nationwide in the first month. But instead, many agents said they're continually met by obstacles.

"You look at this dismal number they have of how many people have enrolled on healthcare.gov," said Fristoe. "If they would just relax and loosen up, because me and all of my associates across this nation want to help these consumers get enrolled into the market."

Federal health officials announced on Nov. 22 that they'd fixed some portions of the website to allow more insurers and insurance agents to enroll consumers directly. The feds are asking roughly 16 insurers, agents and brokers in Florida, Texas and Ohio to test it out and give detailed feedback about the fixes, hoping to expand it to other states in the coming weeks. Health officials have been vague about the scope of the botched applications insurers are receiving and what steps they're taking to fix the problems. One bug related to Social Security numbers, which federal health officials said accounted for more than 80 percent of insurers' problems, was fixed last weekend.

But the problems have persisted, prompting the head of the National Association of Health Underwriters to write the president Tuesday, urging him to make additional fixes a priority, saying agents have a significant backlog of clients with incomplete applications.

"We want to make it clear that a number of back-end technical obstacles still exist for health insurance agents and brokers trying to actively support the federal marketplace," said CEO Janet Trautwein.

Insurance industry executives also met with Obama last month and encouraged him to let them take a more active role in enrolling consumers in the 36 states relying on the federal website. Brokers' frustrations with the website are amplified by the pressure they face to add customers to offset reductions in their commissions under the law.

Among the complaints, agents say the website isn't always crediting brokers when they help enroll consumers — meaning they're losing out on commissions. Once an application is started, consumers can't go back in and add a broker's name if they help midway through the process. Federal health officials said there are 975,000 customers who have started an application but not selected a plan.

Agents say they're also still waiting on the federal government to add a promised feature on the website that would easily connect consumers with local insurance brokers.

Insurers and insurance agents are allowed to sign consumers up for health plans through a "direct enrollment" process. Even though the process may start on the insurer's website, at some point it's redirected to the technology-plagued healthcare.gov website to determine if customers are eligible for subsidies, and then ideally transferred back to the insurer's site. But various points in the process have been mired in glitches. Federal health officials said they've fixed some of the problems, but skeptics fear the improvements still won't allow for a smooth shopping experience and are pushing for a way to bypass the website.

Brokers face similar problems in some of the states that are running their own exchanges, such as Oregon. It's easy for insurers to enroll customers who want a health plan and don't qualify for a subsidy. The trouble comes when insurers and agents need to sync to federal data hubs to verify income, citizenship and other personal information. Democratic Florida state Rep. Richard Stark, who is also an insurance agent, said many of his clients have received inaccurate subsidy estimates from the federal government for clients. For example, a client with twin children was told one is eligible for a subsidy, but not the other.

Like others stymied by website malfunctions, Ken Statz and other agents at his firm in Brecksville, Ohio, filled out paper applications and mailed them, but it was taking time to hear back from the federal government about whether clients are eligible for a subsidy. Then they tried to get creative, planning to fill out the applications with clients during the day and hire someone to input the information into healthcare.gov during off-hours after 11 p.m. But that didn't work either because the site asks personal identification questions that only the user would know.

"We don't have a clear pathway to get them enrolled into the plan. (The federal government) hasn't given us the ability to do that. They're kind of missing the mark on this. They need to realize that we are the best pathway," he said.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, recently sent a letter to federal health officials urging them to fix the barriers hampering brokers and possibly create a way to bypass the healthcare.gov site. She suggested a dedicated call-center line or mailing locations for paper applications.

Stark has noticed a chilly reception toward his industry when he's attended local outreach organizations on the health overhaul.

"They basically didn't want to work with insurance agents because they felt agents were going to steer a customer toward (a plan) where they think they will make the most money," said Stark. "If I steer someone incorrectly to a plan that doesn't meet their needs, there's a lot of hell to pay as an agent."

Navigators will likely be gone when enrollment ends in March. That's why Statz said it's important for federal health officials to empower agents to "help people now, but help them make decisions on their accounts moving forward."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 09, 2013, 07:36:12 pm
Colin Powell Pitches Single-Payer Health Care in US

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has waded into the health care debate with a broad endorsement of the kind of universal health plan found in Europe, Canada and South Korea.

"I am not an expert in health care, or Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, or however you choose to describe it, but I do know this: I have benefited from that kind of universal health care in my 55 years of public life," Powell said, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, last week at an annual "survivors celebration breakfast" in Seattle for those who, like Powell, have battled prostate cancer. "And I don't see why we can't do what Europe is doing, what Canada is doing, what Korea is doing, what all these other places are doing."

Europe, Canada and Korea all have a "single-payer" system, in which the government pays for the costs of health care.

Some Democrats who strongly advocated for, and failed to get, a single-payer system in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, still believe the current law doesn't go far enough to reform the US health system.

A retired four-star general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Powell told the audience about a woman named Anne, who as his firewood supplier, faced a healthcare scare of her own. Anne asked Powell to help pay for her healthcare bills, as her insurance didn't cover an MRI she needed as a prerequisite to being treated for a growth in her brain. In addition, Powell's wife Alma recently suffered from three aneurysms and an artery blockage. "After these two events, of Alma and Anne, I've been thinking, why is it like this?" said Powell.

"We are a wealthy enough country with the capacity to make sure that every one of our fellow citizens has access to quality health care," Powell. "(Let's show) the rest of the world what our democratic system is all about and how we take care of all of our citizens."

Powell, who has taken heat from Republicans for twice endorsing President Obama's election and reelection bids, said he hopes universal healthcare can one day become a reality in the U.S. "I think universal health care is one of the things we should really be focused on, and I hope that will happen," said Powell. "Whether it's Obamacare, or son of Obamacare, I don't care. As long as we get it done."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 11, 2013, 12:05:19 pm
Millennials: Obamacare for Thee, But Not for Me

Remember all those stories last week about how Millennials were abandoning Obamacare? Well a new survey out this morning comes to a slightly different conclusion: Millennials love Obamacare, just not if they’re the ones signing up for it.

A poll of 1,013 adults conducted in mid-November took an interesting angle on the question of public perception of President Obama’s signature domestic initiative. Rather than asking people if they were planning to sign up themselves, they asked respondents to put themselves in the shoes of a theoretical, average American.

If you were a 45-year-old making $50,000 per year, the survey asked, would you rather pay $3,000 a year for one of the policies offered on the healthcare exchanges, or pay a $400 fine?

Among all age groups, it was the so-called “young invincibles” who were most likely to opt for the insurance policy, with 65 percent saying they would buy in. Among respondents aged 30 and over, by contrast, only 57 percent said they would buy insurance. (While the overall survey sample size was 1,013, the number of 18-to-29 year-olds was only a fraction of the total, meaning that the statistical strength of that particular finding is not as strong as the overall survey’s 3.6 percent margin of error.)

“We hear a lot about the young invincibles,” said Laura Adams, senior analyst for insuranceQuotes.com, which sponsored the study. “But is what they say they would do at 45 indicative of what they will do at age 18?”

It’s hard to say, she said, “It may not apply.”

That’s a significant concern, because even if they think Obamacare is a great idea for older Americans, the success of the health care exchanges is dependent on the Millennials themselves signing up while they are still young. The influx of young and healthy consumers into the market will, in effect, subsidize the older, less healthy segment of the population.

The survey, produced other findings as well.

Unsurprisingly, there was a stark political divide between those who thought the hypothetical 45-year old should buy coverage, and those who thought paying the fine was a better option.

Among Democrats, 74 percent said that in the hypothetical consumer’s position they would buy health insurance. Among Independents 56 percent said they would purchase insurance, but only 40 percent of Republicans thought it was a good idea.

The survey also found that Americans are broadly ignorant about specific elements of the law.

Adams said nearly 80 percent of respondents were unaware that parents are liable for penalties for each child under the age of 18 who remains uninsured. Six in 10, she said, incorrectly believe that senior citizens over the age of 65 are exempt from penalties

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 14, 2013, 04:16:10 pm
Government Takeover: White House Forces Obamacare Insurers To Cover Unpaid Patients At A Loss

Of all of the last-minute delays, website bungles, and Presidential whims that have marred the roll-out of Obamacare’s subsidized insurance exchanges, what happened on Thursday, December 12 will stand as one of the most lawless acts yet committed by this administration. The White House—having canceled Americans’ old health plans, and having botched the system for enrolling people in new ones—knows that millions of Americans will enter the new year without health coverage. So instead of actually fixing the problem, the administration is retroactively attempting to force insurers to hand out free health care—at a loss—to those whom the White House has rendered uninsured. If Obamacare wasn’t a government takeover of the health insurance industry, then what is it now?

On Wednesday afternoon, health policy reporters found in their inboxes a friendly e-mail from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announcing “steps to ensure Americans signing up through the Marketplace have coverage and access to the care they need on January 1.” Basically, the “steps” involve muscling insurers to provide free or discounted care to those who have become uninsured because of the problems with healthcare.gov.

HHS threatens to throw non-complying plans off the exchanges

HHS assured reporters that it would be “urging issuers to give consumers additional time to pay their first month’s premium and still have coverage beginning January 1, 2014.” In other words, urging them to offer free care to those who haven’t paid. This is a problem because the government has yet to build the system that allows people who’ve signed up for plans to actually pay for them. “One client reports only 15 percent [of applicants] have paid so far,” Bob Laszewski told Charles Ornstein. “So far I’m hearing from health plans that around 5 percent and 10 percent of consumers who have made it through the data transfer gauntlet have paid first month’s premium and therefore truly enrolled,” said Kip Piper.

“What’s wrong with ‘urging’ insurers to offer free care?” you might ask. “That’s not the same as forcing them to offer free care.” Except that the government is using the full force of its regulatory powers, under Obamacare, to threaten insurers if they don’t comply. All you have to do is read the menacing language in the new regulations that HHS published this week, in which HHS says it may throw otherwise qualified health plans off of the exchanges next year if they don’t comply with the government’s “requests.”

“We are considering factoring into the [qualified health plan] renewal process, as part of the determination regarding whether making a health plan available…how [insurers] ensure continuity of care during transitions,” they write. Which is kind of like the Mafia saying that it will “consider” the amount of protection money you’ve paid in its decision as to whether or not it vandalizes your storefront.

There are other services HHS is asking insurers to offer for free. The administration is “strongly encouraging insurers to treat out-of-network providers”—i.e., costly ones—“as in-network to ensure continuity of care” and to “refill prescriptions covered under previous plans during January.” But the issue of unpaid premiums looms largest.

It’s unconstitutional to force insurers to cover people for free

The administration could pay insurers to cover up for its mistakes. But that would lead to criticism—as it has in other instances—that the White House is lawlessly throwing taxpayer money at insurers to, well, cover up for its mistakes. So, instead, they’re asking insurers to pay for the mistakes.

But, of course, the cost of paying for those mistakes won’t end up being paid by insurers, but by consumers, in the form of higher premiums.

In theory, the Obama administration’s actions aren’t merely illegal—they’re unconstitutional. The Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights says that no one can “be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

But it will be up to insurers to sue to protect their rights. Like battered wives, they are unlikely to do so. Companies like Aetna and Humana are so terrified that the administration will run them out of business that they are more likely to do what they’re told, and quietly pass the costs on to consumers. The chaos and recriminations have made insurers like UnitedHealth, who have largely stayed out of the exchanges, look smart.

In 2010, PolitiFact said that the claim that Obamacare was a “government takeover of health care” was its “lie of the year.” The Federal Register disagrees.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 18, 2013, 01:39:14 pm
Serco beats US rivals to Obamacare contract

A British company has beaten off American competition to become a major partner in the delivery of President Obama’s healthcare insurance programme.

Serco’s shares are the biggest risers on the FTSE 100 index this week and are approaching all-time highs after news of the contract emerged and now the company is preparing to deliver on a $1.2 billion (£800 million) project to work out who legally qualifies for the President’s new and controversial healthcare provision.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 18, 2013, 01:47:43 pm
October 30, 2013 4:00 AM

Serco’s Checkered History   
Red flags have gone up concerning operations of the giant company around the world.


The CEO of Serco, a British-based company whose North American division received one of the largest contracts to work on the Obamacare insurance exchanges,[1] resigned Friday amid allegations that the company had defrauded the British government of millions of pounds.

Even as myriad other allegations emerged about its work around the globe, Serco spent heavily on lobbying in Washington, D.C., and secured a multi-year contract potentially worth $1.249 billion to handle paper applications for the Obamacare exchanges. Serco did not respond to e-mail and voice-mail requests for comment.

Public records demonstrate Serco’s concentrated effort to woo the U.S. government. In recent years, it has spent more than a million dollars[2] on lobbying and political activities, including $6,450 donated to President Obama’s election campaign, according to the Sunlight Foundation.[3] This year, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was considering proposals for insurance-exchange work, Serco spent $100,000[4] to hire Greenberg Traurig, former home of Jack Abramoff, to lobby regarding the “implementation of [the] Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” according to January registration papers.[5]

Among the Greenberg Traurig lobbyists working on the Serco account was Mark Hayes,[6] a former Senate health-policy aide.[7] During his time on Capitol Hill, Hayes “was instrumental in the key coverage, financing and delivery system reform provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” according to his Greenberg Traurig bio, and “acted as lead Republican staff negotiator for the ‘Group of Six’ health-care reform negotiations.”[8] Less than a year after the ACA was signed, Hayes left Capitol Hill to become a lobbyist, representing several health-sector clients.[9]

Earlier this year, Hayes became a central subject of a federal insider-trading investigation.[10] The Washington Post reported that Hayes had sent information on April 1 about a significant Medicare policy change to an analyst at Height Securities. The analyst then “sent out an alert to Height’s hundreds of investor clients — ahead of the administration’s public announcement — and trading in Humana, Aetna, and other health-care stocks immediately soared.”[11] Hayes could not be reached for comment, and it’s unclear whether the investigation is continuing. Papers filed in May, after the incident, stated that Hayes was expected to cease lobbying for Serco.[12]

Regardless of the recent federal scrutiny of Hayes, Serco’s big spending seems to have paid off. In early July, the Obama administration awarded Serco a contract worth up to $1.249 billion[13] to manage paper applications for the new insurance exchanges. The company will determine eligibility for tax credits, Medicaid,[14] and exemptions from tax penalties.[15] Privacy concerns have already arisen, because in 2011, a data breach at the U.S. Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees – managed by Serco — jeopardized the Social Security numbers and confidential information of more than 120,000 participants.[16]

Just weeks after the Obama administration announced Serco’s contract award, news broke that Britain’s Serious Fraud Office had opened an investigation into the corporation, which had government contracts to electronically monitor criminals released from prison. An audit discovered that Serco and another company may have been overbilling the government by as much as $80.8 million. As many as one in six criminals whose monitoring was being paid for by the British government were reportedly either dead, back behind bars, no longer under supervision, or no longer living in the U.K.[17]

Furthermore, although U.S. companies that are part of a foreign company are obligated to report any billing wrongdoings abroad, Serco did not give CMS such notice, Reuters reported in July.[18] Nevertheless, the Obama administration defended its decision to award the $1.249 billion contract to Serco, claiming it was a “highly skilled company” with “a proven track record in providing cost-effective services to numerous other federal agencies.”[19]

Shortly after that, more red flags went up. In August, the London police opened an investigation into Serco after allegations that it had falsified documents for another government contract for transporting defendants from confinement to court. Serco had repeatedly delivered prisoners late, and after it received a warning last summer, evidence emerged of “potentially fraudulent behavior,” according to the U.K. secretary of state for justice.[20] Shortly thereafter, Serco said it had “identified misreporting” among its employees.[21]

Even so, in late September, the U.S. amended Serco’s CMS contract, adding $87 million in value,[22], though it’s unclear what work that will entail or whether it will add to the $1.249 billion potential worth of the original contract. As of this writing, contract officers and media spokespeople from CMS had not responded to National Review Online’s requests for more details.

Serco’s big role in the Obamacare exchanges is even more disturbing in the light of its record with the British National Health Service.

In 2006, Serco won a contract to provide out-of-hours physician service in Cornwall, England. Guardian reporter Felicity Lawrence reported that the quality of service promptly declined, as Serco cut costs by cutting staff. Reportedly, there were sometimes more than 90 patients at a time waiting on the telephone help line. And according to whistleblowers, Serco on at least one occasion, had only one general practitioner available overnight for the entire county.[23] Furthermore, “in 2010,” Lawrence wrote, “a Cornish boy, Ethan Kerrigan, six, died as a result of a burst appendix when the Serco out-of-hours service advised putting him to bed rather than sending a [general practitioner] to examine him.”[24]

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on December 18, 2013, 02:00:08 pm
project to work out who legally qualifies for the President’s new and controversial healthcare provision.

Wait, the US government is giving this work to a foreign company, from Britain which has horrible socialist medicine policies, that allows a foreign company to determine which American citizens qualify for health insurance?

And there is no US company capable of this type work? I don't believe it.

What I do believe is that this is another aspect of socialists taking over the US, and turning it into a UN-friendly globalist party member.

The socialists in Washington could care less about US sovereignty.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on December 18, 2013, 03:34:47 pm
Federal Judge Calls Obamacare "Totally Ineffective" While Striking Down Contraception Mandate

Yesterday, Judge Brian Cogan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, not only struck down Obamacare's contraception mandate as applied to religious non-profit organizations, but also sent a strong signal that federal courts were losing patience with President Obama's many stitches of executive power.
Previous courts had ruled against President Obama's contraception mandate as applied to for-profit entities (see Sebelius v Hobby Lobby), but this was the first court to hold that participating in Obama's scheme to provide free birth control is a substantial burden on the free practice of religion (specifically the Catholic Archdiocese of New York and its affiliate organizations).
The contraception mandate "directly compels plaintiffs, through the threat of onerous penalties, to undertake actions that their religion forbids," Cogan wrote. "There is no way that a court can, or should, determine that a coerced violation of conscience is of insufficient quantum to merit constitutional protection."
Cogan forcefully rejected three key Obama defenses of the mandate. First, on the government's claim that there was a compelling interest in uniform enforcement of the contraception mandate, Cogan wrote:
Tens of millions of people are exempt from the Mandate, under exemptions for grandfathered health plans, small businesses, and “religious employers” like the Diocesan plaintiffs here. Millions of women thus will not receive contraceptive coverage without cost-sharing through the Mandate. Having granted so many exemptions already, the Government cannot show a compelling interest in denying one to these plaintiffs.

Second, the court also rejected Obama's last minute claim that Obamacare's contraception mandate, as implemented for religious organizations, did not, in fact, mandate contraception:
Here, the Government implicitly acknowledges that applying the Mandate to plaintiffs may in fact do nothing at all to expand contraceptive coverage, because plaintiffs’ TPAs aren’t actually required to do anything after receiving the self-certification. In other words, the Mandate forces plaintiffs to fill out a form which, though it violates their religious beliefs, may ultimately serve no purpose whatsoever. A law that is totally ineffective cannot serve a compelling interest.

Finally, the court also rejected the government's argument that Obama's failure to convince Congress to "fix" Obamacare authorized him to enforce his contraception mandate in the manner he did:

Nor is the Mandate the least restrictive means by which the Government can improve public health and equalize women’s access to healthcare. ... The Government could provide the contraceptive services or insurance coverage directly to plaintiffs’ employees, or work with third parties – be it insurers, health care providers, drug manufacturers, or non-profits – to do so without requiring plaintiffs’ active participation.

The Government first argues that the alternatives above are infeasible because the defendants lack statutory authority to enact some of them. This argument makes no sense; in any challenge to the constitutionality of a federal law, the question is whether the federal government could adopt a less restrictive means, not any particular branch within it. It would set a dangerous precedent to hold that if the Executive Branch cannot act unilaterally, then there is no alternative solution. If defendants lack the required statutory authority, Congress may pass appropriate legislation.

(Emphasis added)

Considering how often Obama has justified his expansion of executive power on Congress' failure to do his bidding, yesterday's ruling was not only a huge victory for religious liberty, but a huge win for limited government in all spheres as well.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 19, 2013, 11:24:36 am
Multiple State Exchanges Vulnerable to Wi-Fi Attack


Multiple state-run health-care exchanges are vulnerable to a type of Wi-Fi attack that can allow hackers to intercept usernames and passwords, KSTP, a Minnesota ABC affiliate, reports.

According to Mark Lanterman, the CEO and chief technology officer of Computer Forensic Services who ran the simulated attack for KSTP, state-run exchanges in Minnesota, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Maryland, and the District of Columbia are vulnerable to it.

Lanterman tested at least a dozen of the state-run exchanges to determine if they had the vulnerability. Kentucky, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, and California did not. HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange, also is not vulnerable to the attack.

MNsure, Minnesota’s exchange, insists that its website does not have a problem.

KSTP also reports that during the period that HealthCare.gov was hosted by servers owned by Google, the tech giant appeared to be capturing MAC addresses—reporter Nick Winkler characterizes them as “computer fingerprints”—which can identify individual computers.

“It seems weird to me,” Lanterman told KSTP. “I’m a little bit troubled by it. It’s not something that would ordinarily be collected, so someone had to make a decision to collect it.”

Google has been unwilling to speak with KSTP about the collection of MAC addresses.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 20, 2013, 04:41:50 pm
Obamacare Enrollment Is Absolutely Exploding In California

California's state health insurance exchange announced Thursday a huge surge in enrollment over the past three days, as more than 50,000 people signed up for private insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Covered California, the state's official online marketplace, said in a press release that 53,510 people had selected an insurance plan from Monday through Wednesday. That's 60% more than the number of people who signed up in the entire month of October (30,830).

Here's a look at enrollments over the past three days:
•Monday: 13,653
•Tuesday: 19,351
•Wednesday: 20,506

“We’re pleased with the consumer response to getting affordable health insurance coverage, and our staff is working at top speed to answer questions and process all the applications, so Californians can enjoy benefits beginning Jan. 1, 2014,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said in a statement.

The surge in enrollments comes days before a Dec. 23 deadline for customers to sign up for insurance coverage that would begin on Jan. 1. It also reflects a steady increase nationwide in both interest and enrollments.

Overall in November, nearly 260,000 people selected insurance plans through both federal and state exchanges. That was a significant bump from the  106,185 that enrolled in October, but still far off the pace of the Obama administration's goal of 7 million sign-ups by March 31.

Because of its large population and relatively well-functioning exchange website, California provides a key test case overall for the Affordable Care Act. As of Nov. 30, California had the country's fourth-highest rate of enrollment in exchange insurance after Vermont, Connecticut and Kentucky, accounting for about 30% of Obamacare's nationwide exchange enrollments .

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 21, 2013, 04:50:07 pm
Is Obamacare individual mandate cracking ushering in the single payer system?

The White House loosened the rules for Obamacare on Thursday, telling people whose health insurance plans got canceled that they won't have to comply with the law's individual mandate in 2014. How is that fair? critics ask. Many foresee more changes ahead.

By Peter Grier, Staff writer / December 20, 2013

Good news for people who’ve lost their health insurance because it doesn’t meet "Obamacare" standards: The White House announced Thursday night that it’s going to cut these folks something of a break.

They won’t be subject to the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate for 2014, meaning they won’t have to pay a tax penalty if they don’t get coverage for next year. They’ll also be eligible to buy so-called catastrophic insurance plans, which are inexpensive but cover only big medical expenses.

“The President and I want to do everything we can to ensure that individuals with canceled plans have as many options as possible,” wrote Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in a letter to Sen. Mark Warner (D) of Virginia that outlined the changes.

The cancellation of policies purchased in the individual health insurance market, for not meeting ACA regulations, caused a political uproar that forced the Obama administration’s hand on this issue. The White House said about 500,000 people who lost plans but have not yet found new insurance will be helped by these changes. Other estimates put the number of individuals who lost insurance due to the onset of Obamacare in the millions.

President Obama previously said that insurers could restore these policies if they wished. Some insurers and states said it was too late to go back, however, making Thursday’s move almost inevitable.

The question now is whether the individual mandate to buy insurance, the heart of Mr. Obama’s signature domestic achievement, will be further softened in the months ahead. The administration has been adamant that it won’t delay the requirement, saying it’s needed to get people to sign up in large enough numbers to make Obamacare work. But now they’ll face renewed political pressure to allow others to opt out for 2014.

“This puts the first crack in the individual mandate. The question is whether it’s the last,” writes Ezra Klein at the Washington Post’s "Wonkblog."

In fact, even prior to Thursday’s move the individual mandate was not an absolute requirement. The Affordable Care Act as passed contained substantial mandate exemptions.

For instance, people whose employers don’t offer an adequate plan don’t have to have health insurance if the cheapest ACA “bronze” policy available on the state exchange marketplaces would cost more than 8 percent of their annual income. There’s also a generalized “hardship exemption” that exempts you from the mandate if you’re facing an unforeseen difficulty, such as homelessness or divorce.

For the purposes of the law, the administration has now defined losing your previous health insurance due to its noncompliance with ACA as a “hardship.” That’s how it managed Thursday’s move. But that raises a difficult question, the law’s critics note. If people who had insurance, but lost it, are now exempt from Obamacare due to hardship, what about people who didn’t have insurance in the first place? Isn’t their situation just as difficult?

Plus, what if you lost your insurance, but have managed to make it through the hoops of HealthCare.gov and purchase a new policy? Can you ditch that and buy a cheaper catastrophic plan?

“How can anyone make health care decisions today knowing that the law may be unilaterally changed tomorrow?” complained House majority leader Eric Cantor (R) of Virginia in a statement after the White House announcement.

On the other side of the issue, insurers aren’t happy. Given the realities of the ACA, they want as many people to sign up for new policies as possible, and particularly as many healthy young people as possible. Softening the individual mandate threatens their economic projections.

“This latest rule change could cause significant instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers,” says Karen Ignani, head of America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry Washington trade group.

In that context, it’s important that the administration announced this change in a letter to a purple state Democratic senator. As Ezra Klein points out, congressional Democrats will be a key to what happens next on the mandate. If they believe that Thursday’s move is enough to end their political problem from canceled plans, they won’t push for more exemptions. But if they don’t, look for a tumultuous January on Capitol Hill.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on December 22, 2013, 04:18:36 am
If people who had insurance, but lost it, are now exempt from Obamacare due to hardship, what about people who didn’t have insurance in the first place? Isn’t their situation just as difficult?

That group has the biggest hurdles of all. There is a reason why they have no coverage, and it's usually due to a lack of funds to pay for medical care and also don't have the funds for an insurance policy. To pay $50-$200 a month, PLUS the up front deductible before insurance kicks in, many cannot afford that, get sick, run up a bunch of over-charged medical bills, and then get sued for the debts, destroying their credit for years, just because the standard thing these days is to send out a couple "past due" letters, then "turn it over" to collections, which is double-speak for, "It's more cost effective to sell the debt account to debt collectors, and clear our books".

Title: USA Today: Obamacare Plans Unaffordable For Over Half Of Counties
Post by: Mark on December 28, 2013, 05:39:51 am
USA Today: Obamacare Plans Unaffordable For Over Half Of Counties

A startling USA Today analysis released on Thursday finds that over half of all counties in the 34 states on the federal Obamacare exchange "lack even a bronze plan that's affordable by the government's own definition."

"The analysis clearly shows how the sticker shock hitting many in the middle class, including the self-employed and early retirees, isn't just a perception problem," wrote USA Today's Jayne O'Donnell and Paul Overberg. "The lack of counties with affordable plans means many middle-class people will either opt out of insurance or pay too much to buy it." 

USA Today says it examined whether premiums for the cheapest Obamacare offerings--bronze plans--exceeded the federal government's 8% of household income affordability test for health insurance for a hypothetical 40-year-old couples who make "a little too much for financial assistance." The paper says that while several of the counties with unaffordable health care are rural, "many others are heavily populated."

USA Today's analysis further confirms the sticker shock numerous media outlets are now reporting and creates a painful irony for the program officially known as the "Affordable Care Act" (ACA). However, former government and insurance official Kip Piper says the fact that Obamacare is proving unaffordable should hardly come as a surprise.

"The ACA was not designed to reduce costs or, the law's name notwithstanding, to make health insurance coverage affordable for the vast majority of Americans," Piper told USA Today. "The law uses taxpayer dollars to lower costs for the low-income uninsured but it also increases costs overall and shifts costs within the marketplace."

Support for the already unpopular Obamacare scheme continues to crater. CNN's latest poll finds that 62% of Americans now oppose Obamacare and that a record low 35% support President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement.
Obamacare will costs American taxpayers $2.6 trillion over the next 10 years.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on December 29, 2013, 10:43:32 am
Calorie Counts Coming To Millions Of Vending Machines Nationwide

Office workers in search of snacks will be counting calories along with their change under new labeling regulations for vending machines included in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law.

Requiring calorie information to be displayed on roughly 5 million vending machines nationwide will help consumers make healthier choices, says the Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to release final rules early next year. It estimates the cost to the vending machine industry at $25.8 million initially and $24 million per year after that, but says if just .02 percent of obese adults ate 100 fewer calories a week, the savings to the health care system would be at least that great.
The rules will apply to about 10,800 companies that operate 20 or more machines. Nearly three quarters of those companies have three or fewer employees, and their profit margin is extremely low, according to the National Automatic Merchandising Association. An initial investment of $2,400 plus $2,200 in annual costs is a lot of money for a small company that only clears a few thousand dollars a year, said Eric Dell, the group’s vice president for government affairs.
“The money that would be spent to comply with this _ there’s no return on the investment,” he said.
While the proposed rules would give companies a year to comply, the industry group has suggested a two-year deadline and is urging the government to allow as much flexibility as possible in implementing the rules. Some companies may use electronic displays to post calorie counts while others may opt for signs stuck to the machines.
Carol Brennan, who owns Brennan Food Vending Services in Londonderry, said she doesn’t yet know how she will handle the regulations, but she doesn’t like them. She has five employees servicing hundreds of machines and says she’ll be forced to limit the items offered so her employees don’t spend too much time updating the calorie counts.
“It is outrageous for us to have to do this on all our equipment,” she said.
Brennan also doubts that consumers will benefit from the calorie information.
“How many people have not read a label on a candy bar?” she said. “If you’re concerned about it, you’ve already read it for years.”
But Kim Gould, 58, of Seattle, said he doesn’t read the labels even after his choice pops out of a vending machine, so having access to that information wouldn’t change what he buys.
“People have their reasons they eat well or eat poorly,” Gould said.
Standing with his 12-year-old daughter near a vending machine in a medical clinic where he bought some drinks last week, he said he only makes purchases at the machines when he’s hungry and has no other options.
“How do we know people who are buying candy in the vending machines aren’t eating healthy 99 percent of the time?” he added.
As for the new labels, Gould said he wasn’t sure what the point would be, and that they would just be “nibbling around the edges of the problem.”
The FDA also is working on final rules for requiring restaurant chains with more than 20 locations to post calories information, something some cities already mandate and some large fast-food operations have begun doing voluntarily. A 2011 study in New York found that only one in six customers looked at the information, but those who did generally ordered about 100 fewer calories. A more recent study in Philadelphia found no difference in calories purchased after the city’s labeling law took effect.
“There is probably a subset of people for whom this information works, who report using it to purchase fewer calories, but what we’re not seeing though is a change at an overall population level in the number of calories consumed,” said Brian Ebel, the study’s author and an assistant professor at New York University’s department of population health and medicine.
Ebel said he wouldn’t be surprised if the vending machine labels end up being equally ineffective, but he said it’s possible that consumers might pay more attention to them for a couple of reasons. In some locations, a vending machine might be the only food option, he said. And reading a list of calorie counts on a machine will be less overwhelming than scanning a large menu at a fast-food restaurant with other customers waiting in line behind you, he said.
“It could go either way, but I think there’s at least some reason to think it could be slightly more influential in vending machines.”
Even without the calorie counts, consumers already have ways to make healthier choices from vending machines. The vending machine industry group launched its “Fit Pick” system in 2005, which includes stickers placed in front of products that meet healthy guidelines for fat and sugar content. The program is used by nearly 14,000 businesses, schools and government agencies, as well as all branches of the military.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on January 02, 2014, 12:31:38 pm
Obamacare Contractor Blamed for Slow Medicare Payments to Hospitals

The contractor building the financial management system for Healthcare.gov is being blamed by a Houston hospital for delayed Medicare reimbursements that have caused the hospital to miss payrolls for weeks. Novitas Solutions is the federal government's new Medicare payment processor for the south-central region of the country hired by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS.)  ABC-KTRK in Houston reports:
According to the CEO Jason Leday, more than 150 employees haven't been paid in nearly a month.
"I understand that they have children and a house payment, bills. Not getting paid is wow," nearby resident Theresa Gutierrez said.
The hospital is strapped for cash not because its not making money, but because Leday says a new Medicare payment facilitator named Novitas Solutions is taking too way long to pay out Medicare claims to the hospital.
Leday says he's owed nearly $3 million in payments from Medicare and can't make payroll...
The Texas Medical Association says they are familiar with complaints like this one regarding the medicare payment facilitator- and a representative told us smaller community hospitals like this one are in similar situations.

Novitas also runs the south-central region's Medicare website which was launched just two days before the October 1 launch of Healthcare.gov.  As THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported on December 19, that site has experienced problems reminiscent of Healthcare.gov's troubles, and the site will not be fully operational until well into 2014.
Novitas's direct connection to Healthcare.gov stems from an emergency, no-bid contract for "financial management services" awarded in August and first reported by THE WEEKLY STANDARD in September.  The services required included accounting, tracking of accounts receivable and accounts payable, documenting funds collected by CMS, and data validation, among other things.  CMS justified the no-bid award because the "prospect of a delay in implementing the Marketplace by the operational date of January 1, 2014, even for a few days, would result in severe consequences, financial and other" and that the services required were "beyond what was initially anticipated and beyond CMS' currently available resources."
Novitas did not respond to KTRK for its story, and so far has not responded to a request for comment since the story ran.  In the past, Novitas has referred requests for comment to HHS.
Despite initially promising more information about the August contract, HHS/CMS has ignored repeated requests for clarification about the nature of the work and how it relates to the mission of Healthcare.gov.  HHS has not responded to a request for comment about the reports of slow payments to hospitals either.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 06, 2014, 01:25:50 pm
Obamacare Medicaid Split Creates Two Americas for Poor

Amber Sanchez, a San Francisco cancer survivor, skipped visiting the gynecologist last year to check a growth on her ovary because she was uninsured. This year, it’s at the top of her New Year’s plans.

The difference: As of Jan. 1, the 27-year-old is eligible for California’s Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

In Alabama, which rejected the expansion, Jefferica Poindexter isn’t so lucky. Dealing with high cholesterol, chronic sinus pain and a bad back, she depends on emergency rooms and nonprofit clinics -- when they can see her.

“I’ve tried to go the clinic,” said Poindexter, who is 63. “They’re already booked by the time they get to me.”

The women’s fates are the consequence of a political debate that’s divided the U.S. roughly along party lines: Democratic-led states have expanded Medicaid programs for the poor under the health law; most Republicans have refused. While the law’s online exchanges draw more scrutiny, it’s Medicaid that may determine the health of millions of Americans. The expansion is one of the twin pillars created by the law to supply medical care to the nation’s uninsured, complementing subsidies for private insurance.

Still, with only 25 states choosing to participate in the expansion, almost 5 million people will be left out, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which studies health policy.

Real People

“These are real people with real health-care needs who may work but don’t have a lot of income, and no way to be able to afford health insurance,” said Kathleen Stoll, health policy director at Washington-based consumer group Families USA.

About 2.1 million people enrolled in private medical plans through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last year, as its online insurance markets rebounded from software flaws that hobbled their debut in October. About 3.9 million more people were newly enrolled in Medicaid through November, according to a Dec. 20 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Medicaid sign-ups may have been higher if 25 states, mostly Republican-led ones in the south, hadn’t been able to opt out of the expansion. A 2012 Supreme Court decision upheld their right to refuse. The Obama administration is trying to persuade more Republicans to follow the lead of Arkansas and Iowa, which expanded Medicaid using private insurance plans, David Simas, a White House deputy senior adviser, said Jan. 2.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 12, 2014, 05:01:17 pm
Obamacare may get sick if young Americans don't sign up

By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Now that more than 2 million people have signed up for private insurance plans created by President Barack Obama's healthcare law, a crucial next check-up for the new marketplace will be to see how old customers are.

Early data from a handful of state exchanges shows the administration needs more young adults to sign up in the next three months to help offset costs from older enrollees and prevent insurers from raising their rates.

Critics of Obama's Affordable Care Act say the market won't attract enough young people to keep it financially viable, putting more pressure on government funds to compensate for any insurer losses.

Data from seven states and the District of Columbia, which are running their own marketplaces, show that of more than 200,000 enrollees, nearly 22 percent are 18 to 34 years old, according to a Reuters analysis.

The administration had hoped that over 38 percent, or 2.7 million, of all enrollees in 2014 would be 18 to 35 years old, based on a Congressional Budget Office estimate that 7 million people would sign up by the end of March.

"The whole insurance relationship is counting on them signing up," said Dale Yamamoto, an independent healthcare actuarial consultant. "Otherwise rates will have to increase."

The picture from the initial state data is likely to change, since it mostly includes people who enrolled only through November, before a year-end surge of sign-ups for people wanting coverage effective Jan 1. Many experts speculate the early enrollees were more likely to be in urgent need of coverage, and therefore more likely to be older or sicker.

A recent survey by The Commonwealth Fund, a healthcare research foundation, found that 41 percent of those who had shopped at the various state marketplaces by the end of December were ages 19 to 34, up from 32 percent from an October survey.

One marketplace with current data, the District of Columbia, said on Friday that of the 3,646 enrollees in private plans through Thursday, about 44 percent are young adults.

Healthcare experts say many young healthy people may sign up only at the end of enrollment on March 31 to avoid paying the law's penalty for not having health insurance.


The Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, prevents insurers from charging people more if they have a health problem. Age is one of the few factors that can affect the price, with insurers allowed to charge up to three times more for a 64-year-old than someone in their early 20s.

But the healthcare costs for a 64-year-old on average are nearly five times as much as a 21-year-old, according to a study of claims from three large insurers Yamamoto conducted for the Society of Actuaries.

"The more that the marketplace is able to attract a broad mix of enrollees including the young and healthy ... the more that costs will be sustainable and premiums will be more affordable," said Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance plans, a trade group for insurers.

Other factors may be as crucial, if not more, in determining the stability of the new market, including the health status of enrollees, regardless of their age, and how that lines up with what individual insurers had projected. But those details will only become clearer later in the year based on the medical claims filed by the newly insured, making age the best early proxy about whether the market is sustainable.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the marketplace for 36 states, has yet to provide any demographic data about enrollees. CMS is expected to release an enrollment report later this month.

Data may come sooner from insurers as they discuss their recent financial performance with investors in the next few weeks. Humana Inc said on Thursday that the mix of enrollment in its marketplace plans were likely to be "more adverse than previously expected.

But healthcare experts say insurers need a better mix of enrollees than seen in the early data.

"If a quarter or more of the enrollees are young adults, I would think that's an encouraging sign, particularly for the first half of the open enrollment period," said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation healthcare think-tank.

By the end of March, "if it's lower than that, I think there would be some cause for concern," Levitt said.

Levitt and colleagues at Kaiser analyzed a scenario that they deemed "worst case" in which young adults represented 25 percent of enrollees. They found that costs then would be about 2.4 percent higher, but insurers would retain a very slim profit margin. As a result, the Kaiser authors projected the companies would raise premiums by a commensurate amount, but not enough to destabilize the market.

Using the same data as Kaiser but different assumptions, Seth Chandler, a law professor at the University of Houston who specializes in insurance, said costs would be 3.5 percent higher, should only 25 percent of enrollees be young adults.

"If we see fewer than 30 percent of the enrollees being in that 18-to-34 age bracket, that's a warning sign that there are problems," Chandler said. "If the demographics come in poorly, insurers are going to lose money."

Chandler is a skeptic of the healthcare law and writes a blog called "ACA Death Spiral." Such a spiral is thought to occur if insurers facing higher costs raise premiums, so only very sick people buy coverage, leading to even higher premiums with the pattern continuing until the insurance market either disappears or shrinks to the point that it is not sustainable.

The penalty for not buying insurance increases significantly by 2016, which should bring in more young and healthy holdouts over time.

Not everyone, however, is significantly concerned about the age of Obamacare enrollees this year.

Linda Blumberg, senior fellow at the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center, said that Obamacare's protections for insurers in the first few years means the program has time to get the demographics sorted out.

"That all combines to make me much less worried about the mix for this year," Blumberg said. "I don't think we have to get a certain percentage of enrollees to be below age 35 or this thing crumbles."

Title: Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping Obamacare
Post by: Mark on January 13, 2014, 11:11:27 am
Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping Obamacare

you knew it was coming...

a prominent consultant to health insurance companies—recently wrote in a remarkably candid blog post that, while Obamacare is almost certain to cause insurance costs to skyrocket even higher than it already has, “insurers won’t be losing a lot of sleep over it.”  How can this be?  Because insurance companies won’t bear the cost of their own losses—at least not more than about a quarter of them.  The other three-quarters will be borne by American taxpayers.

For some reason, President Obama hasn’t talked about this particular feature of his signature legislation.  Indeed, it’s bad enough that Obamacare is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to funnel $1,071,000,000,000.00 (that’s $1.071 trillion) over the next decade (2014 to 2023) from American taxpayers, through Washington, to health insurance companies.  It’s even worse that Obamacare is trying to coerce Americans into buying those same insurers’ product (although there are escape routes).  It’s almost unbelievable that it will also subsidize those same insurers’ losses.

But that’s exactly what it will do—unless Republicans take action.  As Laszewski explains, Obamacare contains a “Reinsurance Program that caps big claim costs for insurers (individual plans only).”  He writes that “in 2014, 80% of individual costs between $45,000 and $250,000 are paid by the government [read: by taxpayers], for example.”
In other words, insurance purchased through Obamacare’s government-run exchanges isn’t even full-fledged private insurance; rather, it’s a sort of private-public hybrid.  Private insurance companies pay for costs below $45,000, then taxpayers generously pick up the tab—a tab that their president hasn’t ever bothered to tell them he has opened up on their behalf—for four-fifths of the next $200,000-plus worth of costs.  In this way, and so many others, Obamacare takes a major step toward the government monopoly over American medicine (“single payer”) that liberals drool about in their sleep.
Laszewski adds, “The reinsurance program has done and will continue to do what it was intended to do; help attract and keep more carriers in Obamacare than might have otherwise come.”  Thus, Obamacare is being aided by having taxpayers subsidize big insurance companies’ business expenses.  (Who could ever have guessed that big government and big business might be natural allies?)
But, amazingly, it doesn’t stop there.  Laszewski writes that Obamacare also contains a “Risk Corridor Program that limits overall losses for insurers.”  So insurers not only don’t have to pay out all of their costs; they also don’t have to swallow all of their losses.
Laszewski explains that if an insurance company expects its costs in a given year to be X, and those costs end up being more than X plus 2 percent, taxpayers will come to that insurance company’s rescue—thanks to Obamacare.  In fact, once an insurance company covers that initial 2 percent in unexpected costs, taxpayers will cover at least 80 percent of any additional costs the insurer accrues.
Laszewski provides a couple of examples to help illustrate taxpayers’ unwitting generosity toward these “participating health plans” (plans sold through Obamacare’s government-run exchanges):
f the health plan has costs at 110% of the medical cost target [the costs that the insurer expects to accrue], it will be responsible for only 102.4% of the target (a 2.4% shortfall)—only about a quarter of its losses.
“If the health plan’s medical costs come in at 120% of the expected claim cost target level, the health plan will only be responsible for 104.4% of the target (a 4.4% shortfall)—again only about a quarter of its losses.”
It’s actually only about a fifth in this example, as taxpayers would cover 78 percent of the losses, with the insurer covering just 22 percent.

rest: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/bailing-out-health-insurers-and-helping-obamacare_774167.html#

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 15, 2014, 11:54:18 am
White House turns to ‘Magic’ to sell Obamacare


Eager for an assist in getting young Americans to sign up for Obamacare, the White House is turning to NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.

Johnson, in a two-minute video released Wednesday, notes that access to reliable health care “saved my life” with the early detection of his HIV infection 22 years ago.

"If it wasn’t for that quality health care that I had, and the plan that I had, I probably would have been dead," Johnson says in the video.

“You never know when you’re going to need it,” the former world-class athlete says. “Young people, they think they’re Superman, like nothing’s ever going to happen to them. But trust me, one day something’s going to happen, and you’re going to need a quality health plan, so make sure you get Obamacare.”

The retired Los Angeles Laker, 54, is the NBA’s all-time leader in average assists per game. He plans to promote the video—soon to be a 30-second ad on networks like ESPN, ABC and TNT—via Twitter and on a blog.

The Obama administration has acknowledged that people signing up for coverage on the new insurance marketplaces known as “exchanges” have tended to be older. To keep premiums from rising sharply, Obamacare needs younger and (generally) healthier Americans to sign up to balance out older and (potentially) less healthy people. Obama aides have predicted that younger folks will wait  to enroll until late in the process and near the March 31 deadline to sign up.

But with the president's signature domestic achievement potentially in the balance, the White House can't leave that to chance.

“Magic’s video comes as we are continuing to ramp up our aggressive outreach effort to reach young people as we head into the second half of open enrollment, working with allies across the spectrum, including grass-roots organizers, elected officials, colleges and universities, celebrities, athletes, and arts leaders,” an administration official said. The official, who requested anonymity, noted that Obama met in a cafe last week with five young people. (One entertaining account of what happens when the president sits down near you at a cafe is here.)

The push to enroll young Americans will include making door-to-door pitches, pressing religious leaders to discuss enrollment with their congregations, encouraging employers to inform their employees, campaigning via social media, and a “National Youth Enrollment Day,” Feb. 15.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 15, 2014, 09:40:54 pm
U.S. judge upholds subsidies pivotal to Obamacare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A judge on Wednesday upheld subsidies at the heart of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul, rejecting one of the main legal challenges to the policy by conservatives opposed to an expansion of the federal government.

A ruling in favor of a lawsuit brought by individuals and businesses in Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia would have crippled the implementation of the law by making health insurance unaffordable for many people.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman in Washington D.C. wrote that Congress clearly intended to make the subsidies available nationwide under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"There is evidence throughout the statute of Congress's desire to ensure broad access to affordable health coverage," the judge wrote.

In 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a requirement of the law, commonly called Obamacare, that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty.

The subsidies, in the form of tax credits, are available to people with annual incomes of up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or $94,200 for a family of four.

The lawsuit by conservative legal groups asserted that the wording of the 2010 law allowed subsidies to help people obtain insurance only in exchanges established by states, not those set up by the federal government.

Michael Carvin, a lawyer for those who brought the suit, filed a notice that he would appeal the ruling.

"This decision guts the choice made by a majority of the states to stay out of the exchange program," Sam Kazman, another lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

The law aims to provide health coverage to millions of uninsured or under-insured Americans by offering private insurance at federally subsidized rates through new online health insurance marketplaces in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C.

Only 14 states opted to create and operate their own exchanges, leaving the Obama administration to operate a federal marketplace for the remaining 36 states that can be accessed through the HealthCare.gov website.

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department, which is defending the law, said officials were pleased with the decision.

Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a nonprofit group that supports Obamacare, said the ruling was vital to the health insurance overhaul.

"This (case) had been the most significant existential threat to the Affordable Care Act," he said.

The law is considered Obama's signature domestic policy achievement. His administration's flawed rollout of the HealthCare.gov website in October drew sharp criticism from both opponents and supporters of the law.

Republican lawmakers and conservatives strongly opposed the law, saying it represented an overreach by the federal government.

The case is Halbig v. Sebelius, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 1:13-cv-623.

(Editing by Grant McCool)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 16, 2014, 11:16:47 am
Hackers: HealthCare.gov still riddled with potential security issues

Cybersecurity researchers slammed HealthCare.gov's security during a House hearing on Thursday morning, saying the site is still riddled with problems that could put consumers' sensitive health details at risk.

“The reason we’re concluding that this is so shockingly bad is that the issues across the site are so varied,” David Kennedy, founder of the information security firm TrustedSec, told NBC News. “You don’t even have to hack into the system to see big issues – which means there are [major problems] underneath.”

Kennedy was the first of a group of so-called "white-hat hackers" who testified before the House of Representatives Science Committee on Thursday. He previously appeared before the committee on November 19, when he said he was able to identify 18 major issues with the site – without even hacking into it.

“Nothing’s really changed since our November 19 testimony,” Kennedy said during the hearing. “In fact, it’s worse.”

Only half of one of those 18 issues on HealthCare.gov has been fixed since that November meeting, Kennedy said, and he has since learned of more problems with the site. A separate House Oversight committee hearing began Thursday morning with testimony expected from the Department of Health and Human Service's chief information security officer.

TrustedSec isn’t disclosing the specifics of how those vulnerabilities work, as they are active issues that hackers could exploit. But Kennedy did cite issues including the disclosure of user profiles and the “ability to access anyone’s eligibility report on the website without the need for any authentication or authorization.”

Some issues still include critical or high-risk findings to personal information or risk of loss of confidentiality or integrity of the infrastructure itself,” Kennedy said in his written testimony. He also submitted statements from seven other security researchers who expressed serious concerns.

HealthCare.gov is run through the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS), which released a statement Thursday insisting the agency takes security concerns seriously and has a “robust system in place” to address potential issues.

“To date, there have been no successful security attacks on Healthcare.gov and no person or group has maliciously accessed personally identifiable information from the site,” CMS said in the statement, adding that it continually conducts security testing on the site.

The committee, which is chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), also heard testimony from Michael Gregg, the CEO of security consulting firm Superior Solutions.

Gregg discussed concerns about Healthcare.gov “going up fast,” comparing the process with those of private companies like Microsoft, which roll out products in waves and spend a lot of time testing them. Healthcare.gov didn’t follow that type of process, he said, and the data it contains is a goldmine.

“Hacking today is big business,” Gregg told the committee. “It’s no longer the lone hacker in the basement.”

When questioned by the panel, Gregg and Kennedy both said they would not put their personal information on HealthCare.gov.

The third of the three cybersecurity researchers on the panel disagreed. Waylon Krush, CEO of the security firm Lunarline, stressed that he would put his information on the site.

Krush explained that Lunarline has worked with federal clients, and he used his written testimony to lay out the six-step process that federal information systems use to mitigate risk.

He also criticized Kennedy and Gregg for engaging in what he called speculation, pointing out that “no one at this table” was involved in the setup and management of HealthCare.gov. What’s more, he added, because hacking into the system would be a crime, no one has – at least not legally -- looked deep into the site to fully understand its setup.

“Just as security critics lack the hands on knowledge necessary to make dramatic claims about the site's weaknesses, I cannot claim to understand all of Healthcare.gov's security intricacies,” Krush said in his written testimony.

Gregg argued that a third party should be assigned to do just that: plumb the depths of the site and figure out a way to fix the problems through “an independent assessment.”

Another security researcher, who was not a part of the committee hearing, was not as optimistic.

“If you build a house on a bad foundation and it’s sinking into a swamp, it’s really hard to pick up the house and rebuild the foundation,” said Alex McGeorge, a senior security researcher at Immunity Inc. Companies hire Immunity to hack into their own systems and show vulnerabilities.

“Security isn’t a bolt-on,” McGeorge said. “It’s not easy to retrofit once you have a system up and running.”

This week the Obama Administration booted the original IT contractor, CGI Federal, that managed Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal’s contract will not be renewed in February, and Accenture won the contract instead.

“From a security standpoint, one of the things that’s so interesting about this site is that it’s so dynamic -- and it’s changing quickly,” McGeorge said. “You’ve got so many hands in the pot.”

Unfortunately, “that is the exact opposite of how you create a secure site,” McGeorge said.

There’s also an upside to the ever-changing nature of Healthcare.gov and its stewards: When the site is constantly shifting, it’s tougher for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities they found previously.

“It’s harder to hit a moving target,” McGeorge said. “But a moving target also makes more mistakes.”

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on January 16, 2014, 02:37:10 pm
The third of the three cybersecurity researchers on the panel disagreed. Waylon Krush, CEO of the security firm Lunarline, stressed that he would put his information on the site.

Krush explained that Lunarline has worked with federal clients, and he used his written testimony to lay out the six-step process that federal information systems use to mitigate risk.

He also criticized Kennedy and Gregg for engaging in what he called speculation, pointing out that “no one at this table” was involved in the setup and management of HealthCare.gov. What’s more, he added, because hacking into the system would be a crime, no one has – at least not legally -- looked deep into the site to fully understand its setup.

“Just as security critics lack the hands on knowledge necessary to make dramatic claims about the site's weaknesses, I cannot claim to understand all of Healthcare.gov's security intricacies,” Krush said in his written testimony.

This guy Krush is a troll for the federal government. So he says it's "speculation"? His assessment is speculation as well. He's playing on the fact that most people have no idea about anything relating to the security and coding of a website.

And it is irrelevant that these 3 "experts" weren't involved with the development of the site. All they have to do is look at the source code, which is NOT complicated coding. Most sites code in "CSS", which is pretty simple stuff. I had a web design class where we made basic sites using XHTML and a little bit of CSS.

If you want to see how the code looks, just go to any web page and right click in an open area, select "View Source", and bingo, there's the actual code for the site page. Now the "back end" of the site code isn't available that way, it's all the networking and mechanics of the site functions. Javascript is used a lot for that kind of stuff, but is still not complicated.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on January 18, 2014, 05:52:16 am
Yes, California, Your Tax Dollars Were Used to Finance a Richard Simmons Pro-Obamacare Dance-a-Thon

A pro-Obamacare event hosted by Covered California, the state’s heath insurance marketplace, descended into the bizarre Thursday as fitness enthusiast Richard Simmons led a series of dance-offs.
Yes, it’s as weird as it sounds.
The online event, which lasted more than six hours, was advertised as a “live celebration of the 35 million Americans who now gain access to affordable health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.” But it quickly became a smorgasbord of bizarre and unusual behavior.
Simmons was joined during the event by contortionist Nathan Barnatt and YouTube celebrity Hannah Hart.
“What’s he doing?” Simmons asked as Barnatt began to shake his body.
“He’s extending his livelihood! That’s what he’s doing!” Hannah Hart replied.
“His moves are telling us something,” Barnatt said as Simmons started shaking.
“They are, and I think they’re saying, ‘Be flexible about your health insurance options,” Hart replied.
The event goes on like that for quite some time.
You can see the dance-off weirdness at the 20 minute mark:


The entire point of the online event was to encourage younger consumers to enroll in Obamacare. But based on how the event turned out, you have to wonder what the people behind Covered California think of the state’s young people.



Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 18, 2014, 09:50:46 am
I don't know if he's Catholic, but Simmons went to one of the RCC high schools in New Orleans(someone told me that when I used to live there - he was on that school's powerlifting team).

Yeah, this is incredibly bizarre, is all I can say.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 18, 2014, 08:30:18 pm
Coverage Expansion Fail: Less Than One-Third Of Obamacare Exchange Enrollees Were Previously Uninsured

At the end of the day, for all of the rhetoric and promises about what Obamacare would achieve, the health law’s most ardent supporters have stuck to their guns because of one thing: coverage expansion. But new data suggests that Obamacare may fail even to achieve this goal. Instead of expanding coverage to those without it, Obamacare is replacing the pre-existing market for private insurance. Surveys from insurers and other industry players indicate that as few as 11 percent of those on Obamacare’s exchanges were previously uninsured. If these trends continue, the probability increases that Obamacare will eventually get repealed lead to the single payer system.

65-89% of Obamacare exchanges enrollees were previously insured

The latest reporting on this topic comes from Christopher Weaver and Anna Wilde Mathews of the Wall Street Journal. They cite several industry surveys on the coverage history of those signing up for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. The first, from McKinsey & Co., indicates that “only 11 percent of consumers who bought new coverage under the law were previously uninsured.” McKinsey surveyed 4,563 individuals “thought to be eligible for the health-law marketplaces,” of which 389 had enrolled in exchange-based plans.

Of those that didn’t sign up for Obamacare-based coverage, 52 percent stated that “affordability” was their biggest complaint with the exchanges’ plan offerings. Only 30 percent cited “technical challenges in buying the plans.”

HealthMarkets, a insurance holding company based in Texas, conducted its own survey based on the 7,500-or-so people that the company enrolled in exchange-based plans. Based on their survey, obtained by Wilde and Mathews, only 35 percent of enrollees were previously uninsured. 10 percent previously had employer-sponsored coverage, but were dropping into the exchanges either because the exchanges offered a better (i.e., taxpayer-subsidized) deal, or because their employer had stopped offering coverage.

15 percent previously had individually-purchased coverage, but their old plans had been rendered illegal by Obamacare and were canceled. The remaining 40 percent were people previously covered under the old individual market, a market that was substantially less expensive than the Obamacare exchanges.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 21, 2014, 09:36:37 pm
 ??? ???


Wow! Obamacare Bombshell!!! No One Is REQUIRED To Participate In Obamacare!!! No Fines Or Imprisonment For Opting Out!!!

Friday, January 10, 2014 5:56

In this newly released video we learn that Americans CAN OPT OUT of Obamacare without being penalized or imprisoned. While Americans have once again been lied to by the Obama administration, this report should put Americans fears to rest about being fined or imprisoned for saying NO to Obamacare. Info taken directly from the Cornell University Legal Information Institute. Much more below video.


Ever heard of a federal law 42 USC § 18115: Freedom Not to Participate in Federal Health Insurance Programs?

I haven’t either.

But thanks to FOTM reader Joseph, now we all do!

This is how Cornell University Law School’s website describes 42 USC § 18115:

No individual, company, business, nonprofit entity, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall be required to participate in any Federal health insurance program created under this Act(or any amendments made by this Act), or in any Federal health insurance program expanded by this Act (or any such amendments), and there shall be no penalty or fine imposed upon any such issuer for choosing not to participate in such programs

The website further explains that the Act referred to in 42 USC § 18115 is Obamacare:

This Act, referred to in text, is Pub. L. 111–148, Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 119, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 18001 of this title and Tables.

42 USC § 18115 refers to:

Title 42 – The Public Health and Welfare
Chapter 157 – Quality, Affordable Health Care For All Americans
Subchapter 6 – Miscellaneous Provisions
Section 18115 - Freedom Not to Participate in Federal Health Insurance Programs

You can see it for yourself by going on the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Law Revision Counsel’s website for United States Code.

This is what the U.S. Code website says about 42 USC § 18115:


No individual, company, business, nonprofit entity, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall be required to participate in any Federal health insurance program created under this Act (or any amendments made by this Act), or in any Federal health insurance program expanded by this Act (or any such amendments), and there shall be no penalty or fine imposed upon any such issuer for choosing not to participate in such programs.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on January 22, 2014, 03:49:03 am
Well, well, Obama never mentioned that!

And what's amazing, is if they told people about it at the start, I think more people would have been receptive to the ACA. But instead, they get their president lying to them, on multiple counts.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on January 23, 2014, 06:29:12 am
Hundreds in Ohio Lose Their Doctor Due to Obamacare


"With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, some area medical facilities saying, they're no longer able to use some insurance companies," says the anchor.

The local reporter adds, "Hundreds of people in the Mahoning Valley can no longer go to their trusted doctors, and local officials say the Affordable Care Act is to blame. Doctors from the Mahoning county medical society sat down with U.S. representative Bill Johnson today, discussing their concerns with United Health Care's decision to drop local doctors, including the Eye Care Associates in Beaver Township, from their Medicare Advantage plans. That means patients either have to change doctors or pay out of their own pockets."

One doctor tells the reporters that people are "really scared" at the prospect of having to change doctors.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on January 23, 2014, 12:41:57 pm
United Health Care's decision...from their Medicare Advantage plans

The wife and I were talking about that just last night, how United, a private company, now runs Medicare. THAT is problem number one of countless issues with the mess we now have in medical coverage.

I realize these wicked people mess things up and make bad decisions because of their lack of love for God and their fellow man, but these people have REALLY messed this one up big time.

I'd say this is the biggest debacle by the federal government in US history. And the fact is, it's not going to get better!

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on January 27, 2014, 06:15:33 am
Hobby Lobby May Close All Stores In 41 States Due To Obamacare Abortion Mandate

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God’s word.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 27, 2014, 10:46:31 am
Hobby Lobby May Close All Stores In 41 States Due To Obamacare Abortion Mandate

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God’s word.


So looks like they're finally standing down too.

No, not saying as Christians we should go out and fight Caesar or anything, but nonetheless it was pretty recently when these people acted like this would be a fight we would win.

Ultimately, the word of God will hold true 100% of the time.

Matthew_24:25  Behold, I have told you before.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on January 27, 2014, 11:04:08 am
So looks like they're finally standing down too.

No, not saying as Christians we should go out and fight Caesar or anything, but nonetheless it was pretty recently when these people acted like this would be a fight we would win.

Ultimately, the word of God will hold true 100% of the time.

Matthew_24:25  Behold, I have told you before.

How are they standing down? What else should they do? What else can they do?

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 27, 2014, 11:11:36 am
How are they standing down? What else should they do? What else can they do?

For the most part, it looked like the (compromised)court system was siding with these religious groups on this contraception issue, which was why I was surprised they stood down and decided to close their doors.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on January 27, 2014, 03:56:40 pm
Considering how many "Christian" groups seem to be joining the rank and file of the world and "standing down" in their protestations, I can see surprise in a company choosing rather to close it's doors than to fight a wicked world on a topic they know they WILL lose in the world court system.

I applaud them for closing shop. It's what all believers should be doing if they are currently "friends with the world".

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on January 31, 2014, 11:07:09 am
Sick Kids Denied Specialty Care Due to Obamacare in Washington


"Administrators at Seattle Children's today said they predicted this would happen, and it's even worse than they expected," says the local news anchor. "Patients being denied specialty treatment at the hospital by insurance providers on the Washington health benefits exchange. Children's filed request on behalf of 125 of their patients. Of those, they say they got only 20 responses, eight of which were denials. Dr. Sandy Melzer says all this comes after reassurances of certain unique specialty cases would still be covered."

Dr. Sandy Melzer says, "Well, some of the patients who were denied are ones who clearly would fall into that unique category. A two-year-old with new significant neck mass that was being evaluated for infection or malignancy, an older child with a chronic severe medical condition requiring multidisciplinary care here, a baby that had a skull abnormality."

The anchor explains, "Children's went ahead and treated those cases anyway, but Dr. Melzer said they can't afford to keep doing that it way."


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 31, 2014, 01:04:02 pm
And they're targeting the youth(as well as the elderly) with this agenda...

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 04, 2014, 11:13:36 am

Web site woes will reduce health care enrollment

Budget office: Administration's web site woes to reduce 2014 enrollment in Obama's health law


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Budget experts for Congress say fewer uninsured people than expected will get covered this year through President Barack Obama's health care law.

The Congressional Budget Office dropped its estimate by 2 million people. That's partly the result of website problems that prevented people from signing up last fall when new markets for subsidized private insurance went live.

Website woes have largely cleared up, but the nonpartisan analysts said Tuesday they expect 1 million fewer people to sign up through the new insurance exchanges, for a new total of 6 million in 2014. They predict enrollment will pick up and top 20 million in 2016.

CBO also revised its Medicaid projection down by 1 million, for a new total of 8 million. About half the states have accepted the law's Medicaid expansion.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 06, 2014, 03:33:32 pm
How Obamacare Could Affect Your Taxes This Year

The dozens of tax policy changes associated with the implementation of Obamacare are complex, but what most people really want to know is: How will it affect my taxes?

On 2013 returns

For most people preparing their 2013 returns right now, Obamacare won’t have any impact at all. The taxpayers who may see higher bills this year include high earners and those with steep medical expenses.

The first tax hit on high earners is a 0.9 percent higher Medicare tax for married couples earning $250,000 or individuals at $200,000. The second is a new Net Investment Income Tax of 3.8 percent on “individuals, estates and trusts,” also triggered at the $250,000 or $200,000 level.

The other major change on 2013 tax returns is a higher threshold for medical expenses for most individuals. Unreimbursed medical expenses for those under age 65 must now total more than 10 percent of their adjusted gross income (up from 7.5 percent) in order to be deductible. “Most people don’t qualify for the medical expenses deduction,” says Carrie McLean of eHealth. “But for those that do that were seriously ill or hospitalized last year, this can be an enormous benefit.”

For those older than age 65, the 10 percent threshold will start in 2017.

On 2014 returns

This time next year, there will be far more taxpayers dealing with Obamacare-related issues on their returns. That’s when the penalties become due for those who have opted to go without insurance this year and when taxpayers who received subsidies to offset the cost of insurance need to reconcile those payments with their actual 2014 income.

**Scroll up on this page to the article posted on January 21, 2014 - it's already been exposed that you don't have to pay the fines if you don't enroll.

Taxpayers who choose to go uninsured will owe either $95 per person or one percent of their income, up to a family cap of $285. “On your 2014 tax returns, you’ll have to provide some proof of insurance,” says Minda Wilson, founder of Affordable Healthcare Review. “If you don’t pay the fee, the IRS can recoup it from your refund, but they can’t come after you to collect it.”

After 2014, the penalties will ratchet up, eventually hitting 2.5 percent of income in 2016.

To help offset the cost of buying insurance on the exchanges, tax credits are available to those with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or $11,500-$46,000 for individuals, or $23,500-$94,000 for a family. Nearly 80 percent of those who have purchased plans on the exchanges are eligible for some sort of subsidy, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Since open enrollment is taking place now, taxpayers need to estimate their 2014 income to determine how much of a subsidy they’ll receive.  Then you can choose whether you’d like to have the payment paid directly to the insurers, or whether you’ll pay the premium yourself and claim the credit on your taxes.  “At the end of the year, if you’ve overpaid, you’ll get a refund on your taxes,” says Jackie Perlman, principle tax research analyst at The Tax Institute at H&R Block. “But if you underpaid and received too high a subsidy, you’ll owe the difference.”

To avoid getting hit by a huge tax bill, revisit your subsidy settings mid-year to make sure your actual income is shaping up the way you had estimated. Unlike

Indirect taxes
For middle-income Americans who get their insurance at work (the vast majority of us), there will be few changes on your 1040s as a result of Obamacare. That doesn’t mean you’re not paying for the law’s implementation.

There are a host of changes to corporate tax law—particularly those that affect employers and insurers that mean additional expenses and taxes that are likely to be passed along to consumers.

The Health Insurance Providers Fee, for example, requires insurers to collectively fork over $8 billion in 2014 (an amount that escalates to $14.3 billion in 2018) to help fund the exchange subsidies. In a 2011 analysis, the consulting firm Oliver Wyman found that the fee could push up individual premiums by around 2 percent, although Obamacare proponents argue that insurers will be able to digest most of the costs as their revenue rises.

Meanwhile, employers are scaling back their plans in order to avoid the coming excise tax on so-called “Cadillac plans.” Under the law, companies will have to pay a 40 percent tax on the cost of each plan worth more than $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for a family, starting in 2018.

The average health plan is already over that threshold, costing $10,800 per employee, according to a recent report by Mercer. At those prices, employers would pay a 40 percent tax on the $600 difference, or about $240. For a company with $10,000 employees, that equates to a $2.4 million tax.

Making it more difficult for employers, some of the minimum requirements of health plans under Obamacare are driving up the cost of plans, just as companies are looking for ways to push costs down. For example, all plans must now fully cover all preventative care treatments, maternity care, and emergency care.

More than 60 percent of companies say their health benefit plan will trigger the excise tax if they don’t make any changes, according to a recent report by Towers Watson. For many companies, the only way to reduce the cost of their plans and avoid the tax is to push more costs onto workers.

More than 60 percent of companies expect to increase employee premium contributions next year, with one in five companies projecting a 5 percent or more increase. In addition to higher deductibles, employers are raising copays and reducing prescription drug coverage as much as possible while still meeting the ACA guidelines.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 10, 2014, 08:51:34 pm
U.S. Treasury relaxes 2015 Obamacare penalty rules for businesses

February 10, 2014 4:15 PM ET.

WASHINGTON, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Monday relaxed final rules for businesses that must comply with the Affordable Care Act in 2015, sparing businesses with 99 employers or fewer the tax penalty until 2016.

In final regulations to be published on Monday by the Treasury Department, businesses with between 50 and 99 employees will not face a penalty until 2016 for not providing healthcare.

For businesses with 100 or more employees, the final rules reduce to 70 percent the number of full-time workers to whom an employer must offer coverage in 2015. Businesses are required to offer coverage to 95 percent of their employees in 2016 and beyond.

The Obama administration last July delayed for employers the ACA penalties and reporting requirements until 2015. Most individuals face a tax penalty for not having healthcare coverage in 2014.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 14, 2014, 12:42:53 pm
Gym memberships add Obamacare tax

NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - Some people who are members of the health club Planet Fitness are finding their membership costs have gone up because of the Affordable Health Care Act.

A sign posted at a Falls Church, Va. location says "Holders of Black Card memberships will be required to pay a tax on these memberships Starting January 1, 2014 as required by the implementation of provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act.  This is not a change in your membership fee but rather a tax required by the government."

Ashley Pratte, who works for the Young America's Foundation, took the photo.  She wrote that when she asked a Planet Fitness employee about the sign, they confirmed that it was a five-cent-per-month tax related to the ability to tan under the membership.

The reason these accounts are forced to charge the new tax is because they include the option for members to tan at the clubs.  Obamacare has a tax on tanning salons.  It doesn't matter if the member uses or does not use the tanning facilities.

The reason that people might get the so-called Black Card membership without wanting to tan is that it gives the member reciprocal use of all Planet Fitness locations without having to pay extra.

The tax, called an excise tax, is 10 percent.  It's unclear why Planet Fitness is only charging $0.05 a month tax.  Pratt says that she has researched other locations and some charge $.60 in new taxes.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 18, 2014, 09:01:20 pm
Ohio gay couple sues after being denied Obamacare coverage

Reuters) - A gay couple in Ohio filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday, charging they were unable to obtain family coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law because the state of Ohio does not recognize their same-sex marriage.

The plaintiffs, Alfred Cowger and Anthony Wesley of Gates Mills, Ohio, have been together since 1986 and were married in New York state in 2012, six years after adopting a daughter, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Ohio.

The suit names the U.S. government and the state of Ohio as defendants, charging they violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights by refusing to recognize their married status, thereby preventing them from enrolling in family coverage under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

The plaintiffs said they had been covered under the same policy for the past 15 years, which included their recognition as "domestic partners." Their daughter also became covered under their policy at the time they were granted custody in 2006.

After the family moved to the Cleveland area from Pennsylvania in 2010, the three were covered under the same non-group family health insurance policy purchased from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ohio.

With Cowger starting to scale back his law practice in early 2013 and Wesley retired from his job as a chief financial officer, the couple faced reduced income and became interested in family coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

After initially being unable to enroll in Obamacare because of glitches involving the troubled rollout of the healthcare.gov website, they said in the suit that they were assured by Anthem they could remain under its policy after December 2013, although premiums would increase by about 20 percent.

But in November, according to the suit, Cowger said he received a letter from Anthem stating their policy "was to be terminated because it was not in compliance with the ACA."

A new family policy with Anthem would cost about twice their existing one, or about half the family's joint income, and not be eligible for tax credits under Obamacare.


Cowger said he returned to the ACA marketplace and logged some 100 hours trying to obtain family coverage. He said in the suit he was repeatedly told by marketplace representatives that he and his spouse should be able to obtain a family policy because they were legally married in New York and planned to file a joint 2013 tax return.

"However, each time, Cowger would ultimately be told that it was determined that plaintiffs could not purchase a family policy since their legal marriage in New York, recognized as valid for federal tax purposes, was not deemed valid to obtain a family policy under the ACA," the suit said.

Ultimately facing the loss of all health coverage at the end of 2013, Cowger and Wesley were forced to obtain separate individual health insurance policies from the marketplace, their lawsuit said.

The inability of Cowger and Wesley to get family coverage under Obamacare created further complications that also ultimately required them to get a separate policy for their daughter, the suit said.

"As a result, the Cowger-Wesley family went from one family policy in 2013 to three different individual policies," it added.

Ohio state officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

U.S. Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in a statement: "We are aware that same-sex married couples in some states are experiencing issues in obtaining family plans and (are) looking into ways to address this issue for the 2015 plan year."

"While we work to address this situation, same-sex married couples can use their tax credit to buy individual policies for each spouse if they are unable to obtain a family plan in their current state," she said.

(Reporting by Peter Cooney, editing by G Crosse)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 18, 2014, 09:54:47 pm
ObamaCare patients with serious pre-existing diseases could face expensive drug costs

People with serious pre-existing diseases, precisely those the president aimed to help with ObamaCare, could find themselves paying for expensive drug treatments with no help from the health care exchanges.

Those with expensive diseases such as lupus or multiple sclerosis face something called a "closed drug formulary."

Dr. Scott Gottlieb of the American Enterprise Institute explains,"if the medicine that you need isn't on that list, it's not covered at all. You have to pay completely out of pocket to get that medicine, and the money you spend doesn't count against your deductible, and it doesn't count against your out of pocket limits, so you're basically on your own."

The plan had claimed it would rescue those with serious pre-existing conditions.

"So it could be that a MS patient could be expected to pay $62,000 just for one medication," says Dr. Daniel Kantor, who treats MS patients and others with neurological conditions near Jacksonville, Florida. "That’s a possiblity under the new ObamaCare going on right now."

In fact, one conservative group, Americans for Prosperity, is running an ad on exactly this subject, featuring a woman with lupus, an auto-immune disease.

She starts by saying, "I voted for Barack Obama for president. I thought ObamaCare was going to be a good thing."

But Emilie Lamb says she later got a letter saying her insurance was canceled because of ObamaCare, pushing her premiums from $52 to $373 a month.

"I'm having to work a second job, to pay for ObamaCare,” she adds. “For somebody with lupus, that's not an easy thing. If I can't afford to continue to pay for ObamaCare, I don't get my medicine. I don't get to see my doctors."

One of the problems is that drugs for some diseases such as MS do not have generic versions. So without cheaper alternatives and no help from ObamaCare, patients could face huge personal out-of-pocket bills, forcing some to skimp on their medications.

Kantor worries that "this may drive more patients" to not buy their medicines, "which we know is dangerous," he says. "We know MS can be a bad disease when you’re not treating it. When you’re treating it, for most people they handle it pretty well, but we know when you don’t treat (it), it’s the kind of disease where people end up in wheel chairs potentially."

In the commercial market, of course, drugs not on a preferred list would also be more expensive, but with a major difference, according to Gottlieb.

"You go outside that list, you have to pay out of pocket for it, but you do get some co-insurance, meaning the plans will pay some of the cost of that."

Some say ObamaCare hoped to do better on that problem but ran out of time. Matthew Eyles of Avalare Health, a consulting firm, says although officials wanted "to be able to make sure that all the systems were operational in 2014, they realized that they needed to give an extra year to get those systems changes in place."

Officials intend to try again next year.

Additional benefits cost more, though, meaning premiums would have to rise, or the networks of providers would shrink even further.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on February 19, 2014, 05:02:31 am
The greed-for-money games that are being played over prescription drugs turns my stomach. I hate how people can act this way towards fellow human beings.

Seriously, how can a person tell a sick person that they cannot get medical care due to money?

The medicine, facilities, everything is in place, but YOU cannot access it because YOU have no money. "Have a nice day!"

What kind of black-hearted monster does it take to go to a job every day that involves doing that to people, day in and day out?

And there are still people that don't believe evil exists?  ::)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on February 19, 2014, 07:59:38 am
Man's Scheduled Back Surgery Denied After Switching To Obamacare...

'It's Like We're Second-Class Citizens'...


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on February 19, 2014, 10:37:09 am
Fourth Georgia hospital closes due to Obamacare payment cuts

The fourth Georgia hospital in two years is closing its doors due to severe financial difficulties caused by Obamacare’s payment cuts for emergency services.

The Lower Oconee Community Hospital is, for now, a critical access hospital in southeastern Georgia that holds 25 beds. The hospital is suffering from serious cash-flow problems, largely due to the area’s 23 percent uninsured population, and hopes to reopen as “some kind of urgent care center,” CEO Karen O’Neal said.

Many hospitals in the 25 states that rejected the Medicaid expansion are facing similar financial problems. Liberal administration ally Think Progress has already faulted Georgia for not expanding Medicaid as Obamacare envisioned.

But the reality is more complicated. The federal government has historically made payments to hospitals to cover the cost of uninsured patients seeking free medical care in emergency rooms, as federal law mandates that hospitals must care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay.

Because the Affordable Care Act’s authors believed they’d forced all states to implement the Medicaid expansion, Obamacare vastly cut hospital payments, the Associated Press reports.

The Supreme Court ruled that states could reject the Medicaid expansion in 2012, as part of the decision that upheld Obamacare generally. Since that decision, the Obama administration has so far instituted 28 unilateral delays and changes to the health care law’s implementation without congressional approval, Fox Business reports.

From verifying eligibility for subsidies to enforcing employer requirements, the Obama administration has already taken a hacksaw to the health care reform law, but it has made no changes to the provision raising problems for half the nation’s hospitals.

While the feds wait for financial pressure to force states to act, several state governments have been taking things into their own hands. Some have criticized these moves as “hospital bailouts.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/18/fourth-georgia-hospital-closes-due-to-obamacare-payment-cuts/#ixzz2tmpzfhZu

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on February 20, 2014, 01:49:00 am
Many hospitals in the 25 states that rejected the Medicaid expansion are facing similar financial problems. Liberal administration ally Think Progress has already faulted Georgia for not expanding Medicaid as Obamacare envisioned.

I get really tired of these major biased articles. It's so petty and childish.

So this person is claiming it's the fault of hospitals because some didn't bow to the feds? Who wrote this stupid article, a mad Republican?  ::)

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on February 20, 2014, 11:48:49 am
W. Va. Daycares Shut Down, Citing Obamacare

Three day care centers in Charleston, W. Va. are citing costs related to Obamacare as part of the reason they are closing down. Fox affiliate WVAH-TV reports that 40 workers are employed by the centers and will find themselves out of a job.

Kanawha County, which operates the centers, said they had lost $65,000 since the start of the school year as a result of expensive repairs and “concerns about added costs because of the Affordable Care Act.”

The county will work with parents to find replacement centers for their children. It will also help employees find new jobs within the district.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on February 21, 2014, 03:36:14 am
This story is a bit shady too! Appears to be a blatant political article that distorts the facts.

My very first question is why is a government agency of any type running a child day care? Anybody else see a problem with that?

Anyway, aside from the obvious problem with the state being in child care, I question the reasons named, which is...

said they had lost $65,000 since the start of the school year as a result of expensive repairs and “concerns about added costs because of the Affordable Care Act.”

The first reason has NOTHING to do with Obamacare. That's maintenance costs of the facilities, which government has never been good at maintaining any government buildings, because politicians argue back and forth on how much money for a given project, IF they can agree on providing funding for a project.

The second reason given, "concerns about costs..." is a weak argument too. Who doesn't have concerns about costs increasing? The real issue is whether or not their costs ACTUALLY increased for the day cares. All this article says is a concern over costs. They aren't providing any proof of those increased costs associated with Obamacare.

I wonder just what the prevailing party is in Kanawha county...

The county commissioner is Republican. He's the longest serving commissioner, and he's also an insurance broker in that area.  ::)

Again, this appears to be nothing more than bs political party whining.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on February 28, 2014, 06:36:58 am
Restaurants Now Charging Customers For Obamacare
A Florida restaurant chain is adding a surcharge onto its bills


Gators Dockside is a Florida restaurant chain known for its southern seafood fare. It's also now known for charging its customers for the costs it as incurred as a result of Obamacare.

Some Gators chains have added an Affordable Care Act surcharge onto its bills, per a report:

    Diners at eight Gator's Dockside casual eateries are finding a 1 percent ACA surcharge on their tabs, which comes to 15 cents on a typical $15 lunch tab. Signs on the door and at tables alert diners to the fee, which is also listed separately on the bill.

    The Gator Group's full-time hourly employees won't actually receive health insurance until December. But the company said it implemented the surcharge now because of the compliance costs it's facing ahead of the ACA's employer mandate kicking in in 2015.

The chains are all owned by independent groups. Thirteen other Gators Dockside restaurants are not charging customers for the Obamacare related expenditures.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on February 28, 2014, 12:25:37 pm
A .20 cent surcharge is one thing, but I think the real crime is charging $8.99 for a chicken sandwich and fries! And $2.49 for a tea? That better be a Long Island for that price. And $6.49 for a hotdog? Not me. No wonder less people can afford to go out to eat.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 28, 2014, 01:50:31 pm

GOP Obamacare Fix Kicks One Million Off Private Insurance


The Congressional Budget Office just poured cold water on a popular Republican proposal to “fix” Obamacare.

The GOP’s bill would change the Affordable Care Act’s definition of a “full time employee” from a worker logging 30 hours each week to someone logging 40 or more hours a week. 

The nonpartisan CBO found that under Obamacare, the GOP bill would increase the deficit by about $74 billion over the next decade and cause one million people to lose their work-based insurance.

Under Obamacare’s employer mandate, companies with 50 or more “full-time” employees must offer health insurance to their workers or pay a penalty if at least one employee purchases a plan through the health care marketplace with a federal subsidy.

Supporters of the GOP bill say the law’s current 30-hour-a-week threshold incentivizes companies to shift full-time workers to part-time status just below the 30-hour threshold to avoid paying for employee health insurance. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and other Republicans have dubbed these workers the “Obamacare 29ers,” a reference to the reduced weekly hours they say employees would work because of the law.

“Many of these people have either lost or risk losing their full-time status and are being held back through no fault of their own but instead by a misguided law,” Camp said in a statement last week.

Some health policy experts, however, argue that changing the full-time status to 40-hour work weeks makes it even easier for companies to circumvent the requirement that medium to large firms provide health coverage to their workers.

The CBO also found that the GOP’s plan would increase the number of uninsured by 500,000 – and push about another 500,000 onto Medicaid or Obamacare.

“By essentially eliminating any requirement for businesses to contribute to the cost of health coverage, Republicans have just embraced a proposal to put wages and benefits at risk for a million or more hard-working Americans, while substantially increasing the deficit,” House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Sandy Levin (D-MI) said in a statement.

The bill is one of the GOP’s first serious attempts to “fix” Obamacare ahead of the 2014 elections. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said last week that the House plans to take up the measure in March. Meanwhile, Republicans are finalizing another Obamacare alternative.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 03, 2014, 08:14:22 pm

Businesses Add 'Obamacare Fee' to Customer Bills

 By Aditi Mukherji, JD on February 28, 2014 12:28 PM 

Some businesses -- mainly restaurants -- "are asking customers to help foot the bill for Obamacare" by adding an Affordable Care Act surcharge on their tabs, CNNMoney reports.

Case in point: At least eight Gator's Dockside restaurants in central Florida are now charging a so-called "Obamacare fee" that amounts to 1 percent of a customer's check.

Should your business include an Obamacare fee or surcharge on customer bills?

Surcharge or Raise Prices?

A surcharge is an added liability imposed on something that is already due, such as a tax on tax. A valid surcharge requires full disclosure of the fee that will be charged.

Adding surcharges for employee health care costs isn't a terribly new phenomenon. For example, restaurants in San Francisco have been adding health care surcharges on patrons' bills for years now, following the 2008 passage of the city's Health Care Security Ordinance, a program commonly known as "Healthy San Francisco."

But not every restaurateur went that route. Instead of taking on a surcharge, "we just rejiggered prices across the board in a way that we didn't price ourselves out of the market," one San Francisco business owner explained to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Deciding between a surcharge or menu price hike seems to be a matter of preference.

In San Francisco, businesses in favor of the surcharge say it lets diners know that the extra money is to be used toward employee health care. But others say they "didn't want to bring politics into the dining experience."

Surcharge Fraud?

San Francisco's experience with the "Healthy SF" surcharge reveals a potential issue that "Obamacare fee" chargers should beware: potential surcharge fraud.

Audits of San Francisco restaurants revealed discrepancies in the amount collected in the surcharges versus how much was actually set aside for employee health care, amounting to a form of fraud, the Chronicle reports

Restaurateurs have said that the inconsistencies were not intentional, but that the rules didn't make it clear whether the surcharge money could be used to cover other costs.

The lesson: If you add a health care surcharge on your tabs, keep track of how much you're receiving in surcharges, how much of that money is being used for health care, and whether you can use surcharge money to shoulder other expenses.

Need More Help?

For more guidance on the legal ins and outs of adding "Obamacare fees" or other surcharges to your customers' bills, consider consulting an experienced business attorney. In addition, a tax attorney can answer questions about the taxability of surcharges.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 04, 2014, 05:32:52 pm
Why gay rights groups care about a Supreme Court birth control case

Access to hormonal birth control hasn’t typically been a goal of the gay rights movement. But after a near miss on an anti-gay bill in Arizona last week, LGBT advocacy groups are rallying around a Supreme Court birth control case, arguing that gay people’s rights will be collateral damage if the court rules that for-profit businesses do not have to provide contraceptives to female employees.

On March 25, the Supreme Court will hear arguments from the Oklahoma-based crafts store chain Hobby Lobby that the federal health care law is infringing on its religious liberty by forcing the company to provide contraceptive coverage in its health plan. The case is unusual because the family owned company is arguing that for-profit corporations — not just individuals and religiously affiliated nonprofits — have religious beliefs that should be protected under the Constitution and the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Most of the dozens of “friend of the court” briefs in the case, filed in January, are from religious and anti-abortion individuals and organizations on the Hobby Lobby side, and reproductive rights groups on the government’s side. Only two gay rights organizations filed amicus briefs laying out the potential implications the case could have on gay and lesbian people. (The briefs favored Hobby Lobby’s side by a 3 to 4 ratio.)

But on Monday, just a few days after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a law that would have allowed  businesses with religious objections to refuse service to gay people, more than 30 LGBT groups signed on to a statement that says the birth control case is “cut from the same cloth” as the recently vetoed Arizona law.

If the conservative-leaning court rules that companies may deny contraceptives based on the religious beliefs of their owners, corporations would have more latitude to argue that serving gays and lesbians violates their religious beliefs, the groups argue.

“People from all across the country would face very real harm if corporations get a license to discriminate under the guise of religious liberty,” the statement says. The groups say the case could allow businesses to deny health care to employees with AIDS or HIV, or for hotels or restaurants to refuse to serve LGBT people.

“The case is directly about women’s access to reproductive health care and we don’t mean to suggest that that’s not the core issue there, but it is important to expand the lens,” said Jenny Pizer, general counsel for Lambda Legal, the gay rights groups that filed an amicus brief in the case.

The Arizona law served as a wake-up call for the general public and the gay rights community that a case about religious objections to birth control could have a big impact on gays.

“We’ve come to see the Hobby Lobby case as the biggest Supreme Court case that nobody’s heard about,” said Eric Ferrero, spokesman for Planned Parenthood. “What really happened with Arizona is it brought to life in very real terms what this agenda looks like.”

Interestingly, many of the nightmare scenarios the groups lay out of businesses turning away gays en masse are actually legal under existing law. There are few existing federal protections for discrimination against employees or customers based on sexual orientation, but advocates hope that Congress and states will move to adopt them soon. (Some gay discrimination cases can be brought as gender discrimination, but courts are split on the claims.) If Hobby Lobby prevails, businesses will have an argument in their back pocket going forward that religious objections to serving gays supersede any future anti-discrimination laws.

“Likely in the future we will have anti-discrimination laws that protect gay people so [this case] is attempting to get pre-emptive religious exemption from that,” said Doug NeJaime, a law professor specializing in gay rights at the University of California, Irvine.

More immediately, a ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby could also serve as a shield for businesses based in the 21 states that prohibit businesses from turning away customers based on their sexual orientation.

Hobby Lobby supporters argue that it’s far from clear that a ruling in the company’s favor would help a business owner who believes homosexuality is a sin and does not want to provide certain services to gay people.

“I know of no American religious group that teaches discrimination against gays as such, and few judges would be persuaded of the sincerity of such a claim,” writes Doug Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 11, 2014, 09:05:15 pm
Repealing ObamaCare would now mean kicking 4.2 million people off their new insurance plans ushering in the single payer system

More than 4.2 million people have enrolled in new health insurance plans through ObamaCare's state and federal marketplaces since they went live in October, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday. Of that total — which runs through the end of February — about 943,000 enrollees signed up last month alone. The administration and health-care experts are expecting a major spike in enrollments this month as people race to get covered before the March 31 deadline to have insurance or face a fine.

Among the enrollees, 25 percent are in the crucial 18- to 34-year-old age bracket, a percentage that rose in February and is expected to rise once again this month as young procrastinators finally get around to picking insurance plans. Meaning, that dreaded death spiral — which was already something of a fantastical fear — is even less likely to happen.

And importantly for supporters of the health-care law, the ballooning enrollment figures will make it that much harder for GOP critics to keep championing an ObamaCare repeal. At this point, anyone calling for repeal is by extension trying to strip 4.2 million people, and counting, off their new health insurance.
 - - Jon Terbush   

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on March 12, 2014, 05:31:50 am
The administration and health-care experts are expecting a major spike in enrollments this month as people race to get covered before the March 31 deadline to have insurance or face a fine.

That article is outdated. If I'm not mistaken, that deadline was tossed out, and moved back a couple years, to October 2016, just before the presidential election.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 12, 2014, 12:25:38 pm

That article is outdated. If I'm not mistaken, that deadline was tossed out, and moved back a couple years, to October 2016, just before the presidential election.

So they pushed back the individual mandate to 2016?

Either way, from what I understand, most of the damage won't happen until after Obama leaves office in 2017. With that being said, hopefully the rapture will happen prior to that.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on March 12, 2014, 01:58:02 pm
Yeah, they usually toss the junk to the next admin, and off to the "private sector" they go.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 14, 2014, 04:37:54 pm
LeBron James becomes Obamacare pitchman
Dan Feldman
Mar 14, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

President Obama has ramped up his efforts to promote the Affordable Care Act, even appearing on “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis.

With only mild offense intended for Galifianakis (in the spirit of his episode with the president), Obama has enlisted a much bigger celebrity to help with the cause – LeBron James.

In the 30-second spot above, LeBron straightforwardly encourages viewers to sign up at HealthCare.gov.

It’s certainly a political statement in an era where most athletes follow Michael Jordan’s lead and avoid those in order to protect their endorsements. LeBron, via Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report:

“I mean, I can’t worry about that,” James said. “Especially who I am. I mean, I know that everything that I do is going to be bigger than what it should be or blown out of proportion. But what I believe in and the people that I support is what it’s all about. So I can sleep comfortably at night.”

“I know that everything that I do is going to be bigger than what it should be or blown out of proportion.” I think that’s what Obama is counting on.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on March 15, 2014, 05:03:44 am
My bad! I misunderstood about the mandate. The delay till 2016 is the small business employer mandate.

Apparently they are still holding to March 31 for signing up as an individual. So business owners catch a break, while individuals get shafted. Typical. The delay for business was I guess to appease Republicans.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 20, 2014, 01:38:25 pm
Kobe Bryant Promotes Obamacare, Says Obama Could Make Lakers Roster

On The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday, Kobe Bryant said he thought the Lakers were so bad this year that even President Barack Obama could play for them.


Bryant, who is recovering from multiple injuries, said he got a call from the White House's chief of staff to help the White House promote Obamacare and pitched the Healthcare.gov website while reminding Patrick's listeners that they had until March 31 to sign up.  When asked if Obama could play for the struggling Lakers, Bryant replied, "Yes, he could, actually."

"I'm not dissing the current roster that we have," he continued before saying that his comments were more of a "sign of respect" for Obama's basketball skills.  Patrick compared Obama to Derek Fisher while Bryant said Obama was a left-handed version of the diminutive Michael Adams before settling on Nate "Tiny" Archibald. Bryant said Archibald would ultimately be the best comparison and said Obama probably leads the White House games in scoring after Patrick mentioned that Archibald led the league in scoring and assists one year.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 22, 2014, 03:18:46 pm
U.S. to allow some people to enroll in Obamacare after deadline

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration will soon issue new Obamacare guidelines allowing people to enroll in health coverage after a March 31 deadline, but only under certain circumstances, according to sources close to the administration.

The sources said the new federal guidelines for consumers in the 36 states served by the federal health insurance marketplace and its website, HealthCare.gov, would allow people to enroll after March 31 if they had tried earlier and were prevented by system problems including technical glitches.

On Friday, the administration published in the Federal Register new regulations that would allow state-run marketplaces new flexibility in setting insurance coverage effective dates for people who sign up during special enrollment periods.

President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to be enrolled in health coverage by March 31 or pay a penalty. It was not clear how much of an effort a potential applicant would have to make in order to qualify for a special enrollment period.

Last December, the administration granted special enrollment periods to thousands of people who were unable to complete enrollment on HealthCare.gov for coverage beginning January 1. Similar steps have been expected for the March 31 enrollment deadline for several weeks.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could not confirm whether an announcement was expected soon but said the administration would not neglect people who have problems enrolling.

"Open enrollment ends March 31. We are preparing for a surge in enrollment, and if consumers are in line on the 31st and can't finish, we won't shut the door on them. To be clear, if you don't have health insurance and do not start to sign up by the deadline, you can't get coverage again until next year," HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in a statement.

The expected move follows similar decisions by state officials in Maryland and Nevada, where state-run healthcare exchanges have had difficulty handling enrollee applications and are likely to leave applicants stranded by the time the deadline passes in just over a week.

Some states with problem marketplaces had sought to delay the March 31 enrollment deadline outright. But officials say they were encouraged instead to follow the special enrollment model during discussions with HHS. Federal officials said recently that the government lacks the statutory authority to delay the enrollment deadline.

HealthCare.gov was overwhelmed by technical glitches for much of last October and November, the first two months of Obamacare's six-month enrollment period. Most of those bugs have been worked out and more than 5 million people have signed up for private coverage through the federal site and 14 state-run marketplaces.

With the enrollment deadline less than two weeks away, administration officials have predicted a surge of activity that could test the website's capacities in the final days of the enrollment period.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 26, 2014, 08:54:07 am
Here we go again...

Obamacare applicants to get more deadline flexibility

Washington (CNN) -- The Obama administration will give more time to people who try to apply for health insurance coverage through the federal marketplace by Monday but encounter difficulty, administration officials said Tuesday evening.

Monday is the deadline for people to enroll in order to have coverage for this year or face penalties under the Affordable Care Act.

"Open enrollment ends March 31. We are experiencing a surge in demand and are making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment -- either online or over the phone," said Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Administration officials said this move, similar to the one in December for the large number of people who were trying to sign up by January 1, will accommodate people who face special circumstances or complex cases and need extra time to complete their enrollment.
The officials said those who fall in this category will have to attest to their circumstances as part of the application process. They refused to say how much more time these people will get to finish enrollment and still qualify for coverage this year.

The Affordable Care Act wants you

The Washington Post, which first reported the enactment of the new flexibility, said applicants would have until mid-April. Specific details could be released as early as Wednesday.

CNN last week reported the administration was considering this action. In an answer to a question from CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta on Friday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney indicated the administration would allow some flexibility for those who encountered problems meeting Monday's deadline.

"As was the case for the December deadline, we're going to want to make sure that people who are already in line can finish their enrollment," Carney said.

Insurance industry sources did not want to comment in detail until they knew of the specifics but said anytime changes are made, it complicates their work and will require manual workarounds to help complete applications. They said so long as the time period is limited, they can accept it.

Republicans Tuesday evening criticized the move by the administration.

"Another day, another Obamacare delay from the same Obama administration that won't work with Republicans to help Americans suffering from the unintended consequences of the Democrats' failed health care law," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.

The White House is trying to meet a goal of enrolling 6 million people. As of mid-March, 5 million had enrolled. The administration has been engaged in an exhaustive effort to not only enroll as many people as possible but also to increase the percentage of young adults who apply to help balance the makeup of those insured.

The administration said it has recently seen a major increase in traffic to HeatlhCare.gov. On Monday the site logged 1.1 million visitors, its second-busiest traffic day.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 05, 2014, 12:24:08 pm
FYI, when Jindal served as Health Secretary in Louisiana(under Mike Foster in the 90's), he all but destroyed New Orleans' free health care system. As bad and wicked as New Orleans has always been, this city had the BEST free health care system in the nation, until Jindal came in to ruin it.

Seriously - what is it with these people saying, "But I have an alternative..."? You can't repackage wickedness and make it look holy, that's for sure!

How Gov. Bobby Jindal thinks health-care reform should work

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has unveiled an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, which he sees as 'a flawed law.' His plan takes a state-focused approach.


Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also serves as vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association and is considering a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He spoke at the April 2 Monitor Breakfast.

His view of President Obama's Affordable Care Act:

"This is a flawed law. It is causing over 2.3 million fewer people to participate in the workforce. It is not decreasing health-care costs, not decreasing premiums."

The 26-page plan he unveiled at the breakfast to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a more state-focused approach:

"This conservative health-care plan puts the patient, not government and insurance bureaucrats, in control. And that is really the most fundamental question: Who do you want to be in control?"

His role in 2016 presidential politics:

"It is no secret it's something I am thinking about. But right now I am focused on winning the war of ideas and also focused on winning these [governors'] elections in 2014."

His prescription for immigration reform:

"Right now we have got low walls and a narrow gate and ... that is the exact opposite of what we need.... A conservative approach [to immigration] would take the opposite approach of high walls and a broad gate."

Why he prefers presidential candidates who have been governors:

"I am absolutely biased toward governors ... folks that have run things, I think, are in a better position to be president of the United States."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 08, 2014, 09:22:10 pm
Many 'Obamacare' critics accepted its subsidies

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Several big corporations have reaped millions of dollars from "Obamacare" even as they support GOP candidates who vow to repeal the law. This condemn-while-benefiting strategy angers Democrats, who see some of their top congressional candidates struggling against waves of anti-Obamacare ads partly funded by these companies.

Among the corporations is a familiar Democratic nemesis, Koch Industries, the giant conglomerate headed by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. They and some conservative allies are spending millions of dollars to hammer Democratic senators in North Carolina, Alaska, Colorado, Iowa and elsewhere, chiefly for backing President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., renewed his criticisms of the Kochs this week. In a Senate chamber speech, Reid noted that Koch Industries benefited from a temporary provision of the health care law.

The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, Reid said, "helped the company pay health insurance costs for its retirees who are not covered by Medicare." Reid asked sarcastically: "So it's OK for Koch Industries to save money through Obamacare" even as Koch-related groups seek the law's repeal.

When Congress enacted the health care law in 2010, it appropriated $5 billion for the temporary reinsurance program. The goal was to subsidize employers' costs for workers who retire before they become eligible for Medicare. Hundreds of employers applied — many were corporations, cities and public universities — and virtually all the money was soon distributed.

"If the Affordable Care Act is so awful," Reid asked, "why did Koch Industries use it to their advantage?"

Federal records show that Koch Industries received $1.4 million in early retiree subsidies. That's considerably less than the sums many other employers received. A Koch Industries spokesman said he had no comment on Reid's latest criticisms.

The Koch consortium may be the loudest "Obamacare" critic among the subsidized employers. But many others accepted the subsidies while heavily backing GOP House and Senate candidates, most of who call for repealing the 2010 health care law.

For instance, United Parcel Service received $37 million from the program's subsidies for early retirees. From 1989 through this year, political action committees affiliated with UPS donated $32 million to federal candidates and political parties. Of that, 64 percent went to Republicans, according to records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Union Pacific Railroad's employee health system received $9.7 million in subsidies. Republicans received more than two-thirds of the nearly $20 million in political donations from the railroad's PACs in the 25-year period tracked by the center.

Altria Client Services Inc. received nearly $11 million in the early retiree subsidies. And Republicans received 71 percent of the nearly $24 million in Altria-related political donations from 1989 to 2014.

One of the biggest subsidy recipients was AT&T, at $213 million. More than half of the $56 million in AT&T-related political donations went to Republicans during the 25-year period.

Spokesmen for AT&T and Altria declined to comment about accepting "Obamacare" subsidies while funding candidates who want to repeal the law.

Other companies that steer most of their political donations to Republicans, and the early-retiree subsidies they received, include: Pfizer Inc., $23 million; GlaxoSmithKline, $14 million; Southern Company Services, $7 million; Lockheed Martin Corp., $4 million; CSX Corp., $2.2 million; KPMG LLP, $1.4 million; and Deloitte LLP, $1.2 million.

The data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics omits much of this year's heavy political spending, because many major players are not required to report donations. The Koch-funded group Americans for Prosperity is among those "super PACs" that can keep their finance details private, even as it dominates the airwaves in some states, like North Carolina, with competitive Senate races.

The Kochs and their allies show little sheepishness about denouncing a federal health law that benefited them. In fact, the Koch-related group FreedomPartners is spending more than $1 million on ads criticizing Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado and Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa, Democrats running in tight Senate races.

Their alleged wrongdoing? Accepting campaign donations from health companies that benefit from "Obamacare."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 10, 2014, 06:00:51 pm
For instance, United Parcel Service received $37 million from the program's subsidies for early retirees. From 1989 through this year, political action committees affiliated with UPS donated $32 million to federal candidates and political parties. Of that, 64 percent went to Republicans, according to records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Remember that news story recently over how UPS, b/c they put themselves under the Obamacare rules, ended up dropping spouses of employees from their insurance coverages? Well - at my volunteer work place today - I overheard 2 other volunteers talk about this. They said how this is NOT QUITE true - one of the 2 said they have a friend working at UPS, and said the reason why this happened was b/c their respective spouses have jobs elsewhere(and therefore got insurance coverage from their other places of employment).

Pt being that BEWARE of a lot of DISINFO going out from SUPPOSEDLY anti-Obamacare "activists"(ie-the Koch brothers are a prime example) - apparently, they will put out this disinfo to the media b/c of just that...to FURTHER cover up the draconian agendas surrounding it(ie-when people see these very same news articles, and see there's lies and distortions within these same articles, then they're going to come away thinking, "There's nothing wrong with the Affordable Care Act").

Alex Jones and his cronies in the "truth" movement are really good at doing this(putting out disinfo here and there on certain NWO agendas).

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on April 11, 2014, 09:21:20 am
Burwell: Low-key manager takes on health care

President Obama picked Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be the new face of health care because she has dealt with the complexities of the federal budget and has managed large organizations.

One other thing: Burwell is a good bet for Senate confirmation.

Just a year ago, the Senate voted by a 96-0 margin to confirm Burwell to her current job, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Now Burwell, to be nominated by Obama to replace Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services, will undergo new Senate confirmation hearings focused on Obama's disputed health care law, and Republican attacks on it.

At this point, at least, Burwell has much better relations with Congress than the embattled Sebelius.

"Sylvia Burwell is an excellent choice to be the next #HHS Secretary," tweeted one prominent Republican, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

When Obama nominated Burwell to be OMB director last year, he cited a resume that included high-ranking jobs with the Clinton administration, Walmart and the Gates Foundation.

"Sylvia knows her way around a budget," Obama said.

In recent months, Obama has praised Burwell's performance in negotiations that ended the partial government shutdown in October and led to a two-year budget agreement with Congress.

As OMB director, Burwell was technically the official who ordered the shutdown after Congress could not agree on a new spending plan.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told The New York Times that Obama regards Burwell as "a proven manager and relentless implementer," qualities that will be important as she oversees continuing development of the complex new health care law.

A staff member throughout her government career, Burwell figures to be a lower-key Cabinet secretary than than the higher profile Sebelius, a politician who once served as governor of Kansas. Sebelius faced heavy criticism over the rollout of the new health care law, particularly the website problems that blocked early sign-ups for policies.

If confirmed by the Senate, Burwell faces a number of health care challenges. Provisions that have been delayed are scheduled to come on line, including the requirement that employers provide health insurance to their workers.

The administration hit its goal of more than 7 million sign-ups when this year's enrollment period ended March 31. A new enrollment period begins later this year, and Republicans are claiming that premiums will rise as financial pressures burden the new system.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he hopes Burwell's nomination -- "to lead one of the most important jobs in government" -- will be "the start of a candid conversation about Obamacare's short-comings and the need to protect Medicare for today's seniors, their children and their grandchildren."

While she has spent much of her career as a government staffer, Burwell does have something of a political background. Her mother served as the mayor of Hinton, W.Va.,where she was born in 1965.

A Harvard graduate and a Rhodes Scholar, Burwell did several jobs during the Bill Clinton presidency. She served as chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and deputy chief of staff to Clinton himself. She was deputy OMB director to then-budget director Jack Lew, now Obama's Treasury Secretary.

Burwell also has experience in the private sector. She worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which develops global health and anti-poverty programs. Burwell has also been president of the Walmart Foundation, the charity arm of the retail giant.


Sylvia Mathews Burwell's Biography


Full Name:    Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Office:    Director of the Office of Management & Budget, Democratic
First Appointed:    03/04/2013
Gender:    Female
Family:    Husband: Stephen; 2 Children
Birth Place:    West Virginia
Home City:    Washington, DC


    AB, Harvard
    BA, Oxford University

Political Experience

    Director of the Office of Management and Budget, United States of America, 2013-present
    Nominated by President Obama, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, March 4, 2013
    Confirmed by United States Senate, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, April 24, 2013

Caucuses/Non-Legislative Committee

    Board Member, Council on Foreign Relations

Professional Experience

    Former Chief Operating Officer, Global Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    Former President, Global Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    Former Staff Director, National Economic Council
    Former Deputy Budget Director, Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
    Former Chief of Staff, Secretary of the Treasury
    Former President, WalMart Foundation


    Board Member, MetLife

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 11, 2014, 09:28:45 am
At this point, at least, Burwell has much better relations with Congress than the embattled Sebelius.

"Sylvia Burwell is an excellent choice to be the next #HHS Secretary," tweeted one prominent Republican, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

When Obama nominated Burwell to be OMB director last year, he cited a resume that included high-ranking jobs with the Clinton administration, Walmart and the Gates Foundation.

"Sylvia knows her way around a budget," Obama said.

In recent months, Obama has praised Burwell's performance in negotiations that ended the partial government shutdown in October and led to a two-year budget agreement with Congress.

As OMB director, Burwell was technically the official who ordered the shutdown after Congress could not agree on a new spending plan.

Yep, apparently Burwell is a bigger reprobate than who she is replacing.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Kilika on April 13, 2014, 02:36:59 am
A Harvard graduate and a Rhodes Scholar, Burwell did several jobs during the Bill Clinton presidency. She served as chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and deputy chief of staff to Clinton himself. She was deputy OMB director to then-budget director Jack Lew, now Obama's Treasury Secretary.

Burwell also has experience in the private sector. She worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which develops global health and anti-poverty programs. Burwell has also been president of the Walmart Foundation, the charity arm of the retail giant.

Now we see why she's being nominated.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 18, 2014, 03:27:13 pm
Yeah, the current Obamacare has all but been in the works for many years - next up? Likely the single-payer system if this doesn't work out as planned...


Congrats to the Heritage Foundation on Making Obamacare Work

The Atlantic Wire
By Philip Bump
5 hours ago

Why did 8 million people enroll in Obamacare? It isn't because of suppressed demand, as Vox would argue; it's because they had to, as the conservative Heritage Foundation predicted decades ago.

There's a lot of trolling in that first paragraph, so allow me to unpack it. In the early 1990s, as then-President Bill Clinton and other members of his family tried to figure out how to improve and expand health care coverage, the Heritage Foundation developed the idea of the "individual mandate" — the idea, in essence, that making people get coverage would inject money into the system and diffuse risk, allowing a private-sector solution to the problem. That proposal was adopted by Mitt Romney as the governor of Massachusetts, and then made its way into the Affordable Care Act. (Hilariously, the Heritage Foundation tried to deny its role in the idea once Obamacare became a conservative hobbyhorse, but even conservatives wouldn't let them get away with it.)

From Vox.com
As you probably know by now, April 1 was the deadline for avoiding the 2015 tax penalty that results from not being covered in 2014. That's the mandate: you need to have coverage for at least nine months of the year, so if you weren't covered by April, you have to pay up. And so we got the big spike in enrollments in March. You can see it in the graph at right, which is from Vox.com.

At Vox, Sarah Kliff argues that it was demand that drove enrollment. Kliff is unquestionably one of the best reporters on Obamacare in the country, and spent a lot of time talking to the uninsured and pollsters about how and why people signed up when they did. "There's a very simple reason that Obamacare hit 8 million sign-ups," she writes. "Being uninsured is horrible."

People did give it a serious try. And when the site failed them, they waited a few months and gave it another serious try. In March and April, 3.7 million people signed up for coverage, three times as many as the White House had expected.

There's little question that being uninsured can be horrible; a lack of health insurance was the No. 1 cause of bankruptcy in 2013, according to one study. But there's also little question that the individual mandate is why enrollment surged and why Obamacare hit the 8 million mark.

Consider the other data point released on Thursday: that more than a third of those who had signed up for insurance were under the age of 35. This is the famous group dubbed the "young invincibles," the much sought-after group that is expected to pay insurance premiums but rarely require treatment, making the entire system work better for older, sicker, poorer Americans. This is largely not a group that signed up because it worries about the horrors of being uninsured. And it's a group that mostly signed up at the end of the required period simply because they had to.

When the exchanges first opened, older and sicker people, people who had high premiums or who had conditions that had blocked their ability to be covered in the past flocked to enroll. Those people knew the horrors of being uninsured. But at the end of the day, Obamacare hit its numbers because of the Heritage Foundation's idea. It wasn't the only way to insure coverage, but it was the way that passed Congress. And it appears to have worked.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 18, 2014, 03:37:21 pm
FWIW, was on the Heritage Foundation's web site - clicked on one of the links, and brought me to this...

Yes, this "conservative" organization supports SOCIAL JUSTICE!

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 27, 2014, 02:31:13 pm
The worst thing about all of this is not just this "healthcare" bill itself(which has deep NWO agendas, obviously) - but ultimately all of the MISDIRECTION AND DISINFO that came out, which ended up resulting in lots of confusion. For example, like I was saying in a previous post - the news story over how UPS employees' spouses being dropped from their coverage due to Obamacare had NOTHING to do with Obamacare. It was b/c their spouses found employment elsewhere(so therefore were able to get their own coverages). And then the whole bogus story about abortions being covered in this bill(which turned out to be a lie).

Ultimately, this has been all by design - look how FEW people have enrolled - pt being that when all is said and done, they will likely implement this single-payer system(ie-the Vatican has been pushing for universal healthcare themselves).

As for the RFID chip being in this bill - this is NOT the mark of the beast(last I checked, the rapture of the church hasn't happened as we're still here), NOR is this mandatory for the entire population(OUTSIDE of health and medical, that is). We discussed this here a couple of years ago - if memory serves, it ONLY has to do with those who have health problems(and that are insured under Obamacare), and this RFID chip is put in them to track their on-going health et al(this isn't a good thing either, but just pointing this out).

Confused uninsured people thought ObamaCare meant getting microchip implants

One of the Obama administration's biggest obstacles to getting people enrolled in new health insurance plans was the daunting educational outreach effort necessary to inform people of what in the heck ObamaCare even was. With such a massive overhaul of the nation's health care system, there was bound to be mass confusion, misinformation, and plain old ignorance. And indeed, even late last month, six in ten uninsured adults didn't even know the deadline to enroll in ObamaCare was only a few days away; only two-thirds knew the Affordable Care Act required people to get insurance or face a fine.

Spurred on by politically-motivated counter-narratives, the sheer extent of the confusion was incredible. (Remember those dreaded, though fictional, death panels?) Yet a weekend feature from The New York Times exploring how the swirling uncertainty suppressed ObamaCare participation among the poor offers one of the most astounding tidbits to date: Some poor people believed signing up for ObamaCare involved having microchips implanted in their bodies, like something out of a dystopian science fiction film.

Despite a terrible rollout, ObamaCare still managed to crack its 7 million enrollment goal by April 1. That said, it's worth wondering if enrollments would have climbed even higher had there not been so much confusion surrounding the health care law.
 - - Jon Terbush   


And this very same confusion was put out by TPTB(and not b/c of "ignorance" by the American public) - yes, even Alex Jones played a big role in this.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 02, 2014, 10:12:03 pm
Doctors lean more left, political donations show

CHICAGO (AP) — Once strongly aligned with the GOP, American physicians are leaning more left, an analysis of campaign contributions over two decades shows.

The first rigorous look at donor doctors also finds they've become increasingly generous, with political contributions surging to almost $200 million in recent years.

An increase in female doctors — who more often than men donated to Democrats — and a decline in physicians working on their own or in small practices occurred during study years. Those changes likely contributed but reasons for the political shift are unclear, said study co-author David Rothman, a social medicine professor at Columbia University's medical school.

"We've got to stop thinking of physicians as a group as 'solidly Republican.' They are polarized, almost equally divided between Republicans and Democrats," Rothman said.

The study focused on donations of $200 or more to presidential and congressional candidates or political organizations from 1991 through 2012. At the beginning, almost 3 percent of U.S. doctors made contributions, rising to almost 10 percent by the end of the study.

Doctor donations to Republican candidates peaked in the mid-1990s, when almost 75 percent of all MD contributions went to the GOP. Those donations mostly declined after that, to about 50 percent in 2011-12. The exception was in 2009-10 during emergence of the Affordable Care Act, when Republican donations briefly increased.

Donations from non-physicians also increased and tilted more Democratic during the study, but the authors say the MD findings are remarkable for two reasons: they defy the historical image of doctors as a conservative, right-leaning bunch, and political contributions from doctors increased at a greater rate than among the general public.

Political alliances also differed by medical specialty: Surgeons, dominated by men, were the strongest GOP supporters while pediatricians — more than half of whom are women — were most likely to contribute to Democrats.

By the end of the study, 24 percent of women who donated gave to GOP candidates versus 52 percent of the men.

Women comprise almost one-third of the nation's 1 million physicians and almost half of medical school graduates, according to 2012-13 data from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The study was published Monday in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The researchers analyzed data from the Federal Election Commission; a political contributions database created by Stanford political scientist Adam Bonica, the lead author; and health-care provider directories.

Doctors' right-leaning reputation dates back at least as far as 1965, when the American Medical Association strongly opposed the passage of Medicare, the study authors say.

The AMA has since lost sway — less than one-third of U.S. physicians are members — but it remains the nation's largest doctor group and a powerful lobbying presence in Washington. It also has moved more to the center, including voicing support for the Affordable Care Act.

For the 2012 elections, the AMA says reports to the FEC show it contributed $2 million to campaign committees, with recipients including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Republican National Committee.

A journal editorial says the study provides an unprecedented, though largely predictable description of doctors' campaign contributions. The author, Dr. Arnold Relman, a professor emeritus at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital, also questioned whether the study represents all physicians since contributions totaling less than $200 weren't included.

Rothman said it's unlikely the smaller contributions would have changed the results.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 02, 2014, 11:12:27 am
Please read the first 3/4 of this article before you read the latter part of it - I think we have a good idea where some of this is going, ultimately...

Hobby Lobby ruling much more than abortion

Washington (CNN) -- A Supreme Court ruling that involves abortion, followed by raucous reaction on both sides of the nation's most divisive social issue.

This week's Hobby Lobby decision had a familiar sense of partisan frenzy surrounding it, but the long-term impact extends far beyond abortion law.

Demonstrators on both sides sought to influence the continuing evolution of policy and legislation involving religious expression, corporate rights, health care and even same-sex marriage.

Monday's 5-4 high court ruling allowed some family-owned or other closely held businesses to opt out of a federal requirement to pay for contraceptives in health coverage for their workers.


Owners of Hobby Lobby and another company argued the mandate in President Barack Obama's health care reforms forced them to violate deeply held religious principles because they believe some of the contraceptives amount to abortion.

The high court's five conservative justices agreed, saying the government had alternatives for ensuring the workers got the full coverage protested by their employers.

Afterward, supporters of the ruling hailed it as a victory for religious freedom.

"The court reaffirmed that American families don't give up their constitutional right to religious freedom just because they open a family business," said Lori Windham, the attorney for Hobby Lobby.

For their part, women's rights groups called it a blow against equality under the law.

"I think immediately, tens of thousands of women who are employees of these companies will either be out of their birth control or will absolutely have to double pay, because we already pay and that adds up at the end of the month," said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choise America.

Partisan divide

Exacerbating the distress of opponents was the political affiliations of the voting justices, with five who made the ruling appointed by Republicans while the four opposing it -- including all three women on the high court -- were appointed by a Democratic president.

"This is an ideological divide," noted Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University. "I know people have been talking about the gender of the justices. But this is more ideological than chromosomal divide. These are people who are following well-established philosophies."

Reaction in social media also reflected that divide. Angry opponents of the decision fired off insulting tweets to SCOTUSblog.com, mistakenly thinking it was the high court's website rather than an independent website that covers it.

"You worship the God of money, and you dishonor the robe in the process," one Twitter post said.

Comments on news websites also devolved into bitter attacks.

On CNN's website, a message from the handle Matt McConnell said Hobby Lobby "hates people who make different choices" than the fundamental Christianity of its owners.

"Nice version of morality. Sharia Law Tea Party Style," the post said.

"If you want to run a huge company in a free country, accept the fact that you will hire people, not slaves," it went on. "And, as horrific as it may seem, some of those people may have different beliefs. Crazy huh? Wild. Insane. Wacky. Nuts, Bananas."

In response, a message from the handle qualityrkc agreed that workers weren't slaves, saying they could go elsewhere if they didn't like Hobby Lobby's stance.

"Give freedom a chance"

"You need to develop a greater respect for freedom of association, ownership rights, and freedom from the fed forcing you to violate your principles," the post said. "Give freedom a chance dude."

Meanwhile, advocates on both sides argued the broader stakes involved.

Republican Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma, the home state of the Hobby Lobby chain of more than 570 outlets, said the core issue was individual religious expression.

To a business owner, the high court ruling means "you have the opportunity to be able to live out your faith, not just have a faith, but to actually practice that faith as well," he told CNN.

Critics, however, said the decision increased already expanded rights for corporations provided by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010 that unshackled corporate political spending.

"What this ruling does is it moves in the direction this court has been moving already, which is talking about corporate personhood -- really treating corporations like people, saying that the corporation has a religion itself and that should be imposed on its employees," said Emily Tisch Sussman of the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Some also warned of a multitude of new legal challenges based on the same principle of deeply held religious beliefs by owners of closely held corporations, which comprise the majority of American businesses.

Gay marriage next?

"I'm guessing it's now inevitable that we'll see lawsuits from religiously owned companies saying, 'The owners of this company have a deep religious objection to paying health benefits for a same-sex spouse; that's against our religion,' " said Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, in an interview posted on the organization's website. "Based on this decision, that lawsuit will get traction. So I think gay marriage is going to come up very fast."

A longer-range impact could involve the further evolution of government-provided health care in America.

Ezekiel Emanuel, a former health care adviser to Obama, told CNN that the Hobby Lobby ruling raises awareness among Americans of the challenges and limitations in having most people get their health insurance through their employer.

Obama's health care reforms introduced the public to government health insurance exchanges, and now people might be more open to other options instead of depending on their employer for health coverage.

"There does become, I think, an increasing argument that, look, the best thing is for individuals to decide how they get their health insurance now, without employers telling them what's on the services being covered and the services not being covered," said Emanuel, the brother of Chicago mayor and former Obama top aide Rahm Emanuel.

"I think this adds one more pebble to the balance between is it better for employers to continue to cover or is it better for people to, say, get a voucher or a defined contribution from their employer and shop in an exchange on their own, so they're not restricted by their employer as to what they can buy and what they can't buy," he told CNN.

Despite the chorus of reaction, Rauch of Brookings said Monday's ruling launched a debate on limits of policies and legislation rather than reinterpreting the Constitution.

"The bottom line is nobody should hyperventilate about this ruling," he said. "It's the beginning of a conversation about where to draw these lines, not the end of a conversation."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 02, 2014, 12:25:27 pm
Hobby Lobby ruling fuels political and legal uncertainty

 WASHINGTON — Across the country, women, employers, insurers and health care advocates are trying to adjust to the new legal landscape created by the Supreme Court’s decision allowing some for-profit corporations to deny contraceptive coverage to employees, based on the owners’ religious faith.

As the real-life impact of the controversial ruling Monday slowly begins to play out, questions about its breadth, scope and meaning continue to be debated.

In the 5-4 decision, the high court ruled that two family-owned corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, did not have to cover birth control on their employee health insurance plans as required under the so-called “contraceptive mandate” provision of the Affordable Care Act.

In the majority ruling, Justice Samuel A. Alito wrote that it would violate a corporation’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to force a business owner to provide coverage for contraceptives if it went against his or her faith.

Monday’s decision was the first time the high court ruled that closely held corporations have religious rights, like individuals. As defined by the Internal Revenue Service, a closely held company is one with only a handful of shareholders that is not tailored to personal services.

While 90 percent of U.S. companies qualify as closely held, 85 percent of those businesses had already covered contraceptives before the Affordable Care Act became law. For the 52 percent of American workers employed by a closely held corporation, therefore, it is unlikely many will lose contraceptive coverage as a result of Monday’s decision.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case that attached free speech rights to companies when it comes campaign contribution, the Hobby Lobby case was another instance where the court viewed corporations in the same legal light as it does individual when it comes to certain rights.

“The problem that I think jumps out of the Hobby Lobby case is where do you draw the line and how do you decide what corporations believe,” said Steven Wells, a partner at the Minneapolis office of Dorsey & Whitney, an international law firm. “Many corporations have the wherewithal and power that far exceeds that of a human. And to afford them the same kinds of rights can create inequities.”

It didn’t take long for the ruling to be felt. Within hours, the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals exempted the Eternal Word Television Network, a nonprofit Catholic TV network in Alabama, from fines for not complying with the health law requirement that they cover various types of birth control.

And late Monday night, the Supreme Court temporarily barred enforcement of the health law’s contraceptive coverage mandate on behalf of Wheaton College, a nonprofit religious school in Illinois.

In Utah, the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of Catholic nuns, is one of about 50 nonprofit religious organizations that have filed similar suits seeking exemption from the contraceptive mandate.

But as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued in her dissenting opinion, the ruling has prompted outrage from women’s groups and health care advocates who say the decision could establish a precedent for companies to demand religion-based exemptions for all sorts of health services.

“The fact that the court doesn’t see that the same analysis could be applied to immunizations, anti-depressants and blood transfusions is actually one of the most troubling aspects of this because the court seems to be 20 years behind science and evidence,” in thinking “that contraception is not basic health care,” said Elizabeth Taylor, executive director of the National Health Law Program, which advocates for low income and under-served people.,

Taylor also worried that other types of corporations, like nonprofit organizations, could challenge certain coverage requirements in the health law, citing religious objections, as well.

“The potential ramifications of this decision are broad,” she said. “Although the court emphasizes that these are closely held corporations and this is only about certain contraceptives, the court’s analysis would apply to publicly traded corporations.”

The White House is hoping Congress will amend the religious freedom act or pass legislation that would allow employees affected by the ruling to access all types of birth control through their insurance. But if that doesn’t happen, President Barack Obama will consider a range of options to address the problem, said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

“We’re still reviewing the decision,” Earnest said Tuesday. “We’re still reviewing how large the group of people is that’s affected by the decision. Once we have determined how large that group is, we’ll be able to better assess where they live in the country, what sort of health plans they’re covered by. And that will allow us to sort of drill down on what kind of policy solution we can put in place to address this problem.”

But Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life America, a youth organization that opposes abortion, said in a statement that birth control should be a personal choice.

“As a woman, wife, mother and business owner,” she said, “I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions about birth control without having an employer buy it for me or being forced to provide it against my will to my employees. I control my life, not bossy bureaucrats.”

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 03, 2014, 01:38:37 pm
Yet another agenda potentially coming from this...the single payer system coming soon...

Hobby Lobby Doesn't Work for Insurers

The Supreme Court ruled against imposing the contraceptive mandate on for profit religious companies in part because there's a less religiously "burdensome" alternative in place for non-profits: the insurer foot the bill and the government reimburses them. The justices suggested that President Obama should just make that accommodation available to the Hobby Lobbys of the world. Unfortunately, that accommodation only works smoothly on paper.

According to Bloomberg's Alex Wayne, under the current system the administrator of a religious non-profit's health plan pays for objectionable forms of birth controls, and the government reimburses them. The third-party administrators say the government doesn't have a way to pay them back yet.

Here's how it should work: the third-party administrator would either find an insurer to cover the cost of the birth control, or pay for it themselves and find a partner insurer through the exchange. Then, the government reimburses the insurer and, if necessary, the insurer reimburses the administrator. But administrators who aren't tied to insurance companies haven't been able to get insurers to agree to that deal and the Department of Health and Human Services says they don't have the legal authority to pay the administrators directly.

The problem doesn't affect all administrators, but there are 300 of them across the country looking at paying millions of dollars. As we explained earlier this week, the Supreme Court heavily implied that Obama should make that same accommodation available to for profits. Mike Ferguson, the chief executive officer of a trade group that represents insurance administrators, told Bloomberg he's worried that would only make things worse for them. "If that is the accommodation the administration chooses, then it would create the same problems, in our view, that are currently in play for the nonprofit religious organizations," he said.

That is still an "if." Even though the Supreme Court pushed the president towards an executive action, he's said that "Congress should act to address the concerns of the women who are affected by this decision." Given how productive Congress has been, it's possible that this will get dragged out as long as possible for political purposes. That's great news for third-party administrators, but not for women.

This article was originally published at http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/07/the-best-option-for-sidestepping-hobby-lobby-doesnt-work-for-insurers/373835/


As it's well known - not that I endorse these "birth control" pills, slowly but surely they ARE becoming available OVER THE COUNTER at CHEAP prices(and it's inevitable when ALL of them will be available so).

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 08, 2014, 11:24:54 am
Does Hobby Lobby Signal The End Of Employer Sponsored Health Insurance?

The headline question above is simply one of many that cascade quickly from the Supreme Court’s majority decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby last Monday.

Even if the Supreme Court avoids the minefield that Justice Ginsburg referenced in her dissent, the controversial decision has definitely thrown open Pandora’s proverbial box. If not legally, certainly in the mind of public opinion.

Perhaps the biggest single fault line is the accident of American history ‒ Employer Sponsored Insurance (ESI). Even President Obama has openly acknowledged this artifact of legislation dating back to World War II.

“It’s a historical accident that in this country health care is attached to employers.” President Barack Obama  ‒ Clinton Global Initiative Conference ‒ September, 2013

Some of the other questions appear loaded with galvanizing political opinion and dissent ‒ especially as it relates to personal choice around reproductive health. By some accounts, this issue does appear to favor the Democrats ‒ especially in the upcoming elections cycles.

It was a revealing convergence Monday when the five-member conservative Supreme Court majority delivered the Hobby Lobby contraception decision even as President Obama announced that House Republicans had officially shelved immigration reform.  Both disputes reaffirmed the GOP’s identity as the champion of the forces most resistant to the profound demographic and cultural dynamics reshaping American life ‒ and Democrats as the voice of those who most welcome these changes. And both clashes captured a parallel shift: While Republicans took the offense on most cultural arguments through the late 20th century, now Democrats from Obama on down are mostly pressing these issues, confident that they represent an expanding majority of public opinion. Veteran pollster Stanley B. Greenberg captures this almost unprecedented Democratic assurance when he declares flatly: “Republicans are on the losing side of all of these trends.” Ronald Brownstein ‒ Why Democrats Are So Confident ‒ National Journal

Some of the other questions uncovered by Hobby Lobby are mechanical. Who pays for mandated health coverage that can now be excluded and what are the resulting HR obligations around disclosing religious beliefs?

In this category, Monday’s decision became even murkier by Thursday when the Supreme Court granted injunctive relief to Wheaton College. Wheaton’s objection was submitting the requisite 2-page (EBSA 700) form that simply acknowledges an employers intent to take a religious exemption from reproductive health coverage as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

Here, similarly, the filing of the self-certification form merely indicates to the third-party administrator that a religious nonprofit has chosen to invoke the religious accommodation. If a religious nonprofit chooses not to pay for contraceptive services, it is true that someone else may have a legal obligation to pay for them, just as someone may have to go to war in place of the conscientious objector. But the obligation to provide contraceptive services, like the obligation to serve in the Armed Forces, arises not from the filing of the form but from the underlying law and regulations. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ‒ Wheaton College v. Burwell ‒ On Application for Injuction (page 12)

Beyond the simple filing of the EBSA form are the unfolding HR implications ‒ some of which were posed by former corporate litigator Victoria Pynchon in her article ‒ 5 Questions Every Employer Must Answer After Hobby Lobby:

* Should you declare your religion in the hiring process?
* Should you declare your religion to your existing employees and customers?
* Might your group insurance rates increase if you decide to deprive your female employees of comprehensive reproductive health care?
* Are you prepared for pregnancy related attrition?
* Can you now refuse to hire or serve gays?

While these are all valid questions, the larger issue remains the role (and individual exposure) of that historical accident ‒ Employer Sponsored Insurance. While ESI wasn’t legislation itself, it was the direct consequence of the Economic Stabilization Act of 1942 which was enacted during World War II.

Today, the battle lines that appear to be forming around ESI aren’t just employers with strong religious convictions either. Many employees are equally frustrated by personal privacy issues and cost-shifting that are now attached to their employer’s health benefits.

Earlier this year, a cashier filed suit against CVS for requiring a “wellness review” which required (among other things) personal health information about weight and sexual activity. Failure to participate resulted in a $600 annual premium penalty.

Last year, Penn State withdrew their wellness program after a firestorm of protest by faculty. The program ‒ called “Take Care of Your Health” ‒ had similar questions around personal health and resulted in a $1,200 annual premium penalty for failure to participate (or $2,400 annually for employees with a covered spouse or domestic partner on the plan).

What’s more, they argued, the online questionnaire required them to give intimate information about their medical history, finances, marital status and job-related stress to an outside company, WebMD Health Services, a health management firm that operates separately from the popular consumer site, WebMD.com. On Campus, A Faculty Uprising Over Personal Data ‒ The New York Times ‒ September, 2013

If health benefits aren’t involved ‒ the high-cost of healthcare has been openly linked to reductions in other employee benefits like retirement plans.

“Two things that happened in 2012. We had two AOL AOL -3.42%-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan.”  AOL’s Tim Armstrong Responds to 401(k) Controversy in Internal Memo to Employees – CNBC (video here)

The issue of the employers role in health benefits was also highlighted by Aetna's AET -1.47% CEO Mark Bertolini who described the “iron triangle of health” earlier this year during his keynote at the major healthcare IT event of the year ‒ HIMSS.

So I want to talk about the infamous iron triangle in healthcare – access, quality and cost. The problem with this thing as you can see is that between consumers and employers it’s all about cost and access, between employers and providers it’s about quality and cost and between providers and consumers it’s about access and quality. It’s impossible to solve this equation.

Well the way to solve an equation with too many variables is to eliminate some of those variables. So here’s my new definition of keep what you have. It’s about the individual and its their doctor and their hospital. It’s not about the employer, it’s not about the health plan – it’s about this relationship. It’s about access and quality – and if we do access and quality right – we’ll take care of cost. This is the new model. This is really the only model that works. Mark Bertolini ‒ Aetna CEO ‒ HIMMS 2014 Keynote

As court cases and consequences unfold, the accidental artifact of World War II – Employer Sponsored Health Insurance – does seem poised for more of a national debate.

And what kind of health “insurance” have Americans gotten under this strange arrangement? Once again, uniquely in the industrialized world, it has been ephemeral coverage that is lost with the job or changed at the employer’s whim. Citizens in any other industrialized country have permanent, portable insurance not tied to a particular job in a particular country. The Illogic of Employer Sponsored Health Insurance ‒ Ewe Reinhardt ‒ The Upshot, July 2014

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 08, 2014, 11:38:25 am
Just ignore the feminist-rhetoric here, and you'll see the big picture...

How Hobby Lobby Undermines All Americans' Freedom

The Supreme Court's recent decision in the Hobby Lobby case demonstrates that the court, at least the five justices who voted in favor of Hobby Lobby, has little concern for, and probably little understanding of, women's health care. By ruling that corporations, on the grounds of the alleged religious views of their owners, can deny women access to some forms of contraception, the court set a horrible precedent that if followed will endanger the health and lives of many American women.

The Hobby Lobby ruling may at first seem like a victory for the minority of Americans who think that both abortion and contraception should be illegal, and for those who believe that the U.S. should operate more as a theocracy than a country where state and church are separate. However, the ruling not only is terrible news for women seeking a guarantee of good health care through their employer, but also for anybody who believes in personal freedom.

In the U.S., where health insurance is linked to employment, health insurance is part of the compensation package. When most Americans are about to start a new job, or choosing between two or more jobs, one of the first questions they ask is about the quality of the health insurance they will get. In most cases, health insurance varies because some companies offer plans with lower co-pays, better dental care or things like that. Firms that deny dental care are doing it because of concerns about costs, not because they have an ethical or religious problem with healthy teeth. Hobby Lobby is doing something different, denying women access to some forms of health care because of the personal beliefs of the people who run the company.

This decision raises the question of whether the Supreme Court will next rule that employers can tell workers how to spend the money they earn at their jobs. This sounds a bit extreme, but in a very real way that is precisely what the court just did. By limiting how workers can use some of their compensation, the court, despite its own assertions that it was not setting a precedent, opened the door for further limitations. If Hobby Lobby can tell people how they can or cannot use their health care benefits, why can't they also tell people they can't, for example, use their salaries to donate to pro-choice political candidates or pro-marriage equality causes? The answer, one would think, would be obvious, but the recent court decision makes it considerably less clear.

The Republican Party has long, if not always sincerely, repeated a mantra of individual freedom, but the Hobby Lobby decision, in which all five justices who formed the majority were appointed by Republican presidents, undermines that. A central belief of all Republican politicians is that Americans should have a right to do what they want with, and keep as much as possible of, their hard-earned money. The Supreme Court made a big move against that idea this week, but the outrage from the Republican side has been absent.

Conservative opposition to health care have consistently argued that decisions about health care should be made by patients and doctors, not by the government. The death panel hysteria that Sarah Palin unleashed on the American people a few years ago took that point to a nutty extreme. After last week, conservatives who support Hobby Lobby should probably change their position and argue that health care decisions should be made not by a patient's doctor, but by a patient's employer. Similarly, for supporters of the Hobby Lobby decision, the new mantra of individual freedom should now be that Americans should be allowed to do whatever they want with their hard-earned money, as long as their boss approves, but somehow that seems an unlikely campaign slogan for Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.

The Hobby Lobby decision is about women's health care and individual freedom, but it is also another sign of the consolidation of power by big corporations in the U.S. It is now legal for corporations to deny workers important medical services, and redefine their compensation packages, simply because, religious claims aside, they want to. During a very tenuous recovery in which real wages have not recovered, unemployment remains high and economic uncertainty on the part of working Americans is an enormous problem, the Supreme Court just gave more rights to corporations while taking wealth, as health care benefits are a form of wealth, out of the hands of working Americans.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 08, 2014, 12:41:51 pm
Oh, by the way, 90% of people without insurance won’t have to pay ObamaCare’s mandate penalty after all

Another reminder that when the economic realities of this boondoggle collide with Democrats’ political priorities, the economics ultimately must bow. The first hard lesson in that was the “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” fiasco. It was never true that people could keep their old plans if they liked them under O-Care, as even Barney Frank admits. The whole point of the law was to cancel low-cost existing plans and steer healthy people to new plans with “comprehensive” benefits that many don’t really need. That’s how you justify squeezing them for the added revenue needed to cover medical treatments for people with preexisting conditions in the same new plan. But Obama had lied too many times on camera to escape political damage from the “if you like your plan” nonsense being exposed. So, to contain the political fallout, he created an economic “fix”: Insurers would be allowed, if they so chose, to bring back plans that had already been canceled. That’s nutty from a revenue perspective — the last thing you want is healthy people bailing out of the new risk pool and buying an old, cheaper plan instead — but it made jittery Democrats feel better and that’s what’s important.

Second verse, same as the first. The feds were expecting a certain amount of revenue from uninsured people opting to pay the individual mandate penalty instead of buying insurance. But the mandate is unpopular, and since the people who are most likely to end up paying it are core Democratic voters, i.e. young adults, it might be especially dangerous electorally for the White House to be sticklers about collecting the money. Politics versus economics once again.

Which do you suppose won this round?

    Almost 90% of the nation’s 30 million uninsured won’t pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement…

    The Obama administration has provided 14 ways people can avoid the fine based on hardships, including suffering domestic violence, experiencing substantial property damage from a fire or flood, and having a canceled insurance plan. Those come on top of exemptions carved out under the 2010 law for groups including illegal immigrants, members of Native American tribes and certain religious sects

    Patrick Getzen, vice president and chief actuary at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, said he saw more “older and sicker people” enrolled in 2014 than projected. He attributed some of that to the weakened mandate. “With a stronger penalty and less broad exemptions, that would be better for the risk pool.”…

    Critics have assailed one exemption for people who “experienced another hardship obtaining health insurance” as too broad. That exemption asks for documentation if possible but doesn’t require it.

Two years ago, CBO estimated that six million uninsured people would fail to qualify for a hardship exemption and be forced to pay the penalty, producing $7 billion in revenue. Today we’re down to four million who fail to qualify and $4 billion in revenue. What happened in the interim? You already know: Late last year, HHS quietly added a “temporary” hardship exemption for anyone who’d had their old insurance plan canceled, even though canceling old plans was the whole point of ObamaCare. As Ezra Klein put it, the feds were now treating ObamaCare itself as a hardship worthy of an exemption. (That’d make a dynamite attack ad for the GOP if the law wasn’t too complicated to explain in 30 seconds.) Then, four months ago, HHS went a step further for good measure and added the catch-all hardship category described in the last paragraph of the excerpt above — with no requirement that the applicant provide proof that they were really suffering from a hardship. In other words, we’ve gone from Obama waging a legal war before the Supreme Court to protect the mandate to Obama handing out exemptions essentially as a matter of right, no questions asked, to anyone who wants one. It’s de facto repeal of the mandate, albeit on a case by case basis. (Not unlike his approach to immigration, in which he’s going to repeal parts of U.S. immigration law de facto in the guise of exercising “prosecutorial discretion” towards each individual illegal.) It’s also a $3 billion hit to the federal coffers, but so what? It makes jittery Democrats feel better before the midterms and that’s what’s important.

Incidentally, the rule extending these hyper-broad mandate exemptions is due to expire in … October 2016, one month before America chooses a new president. What do you suppose are the odds that it’ll be extended beyond that date before then?

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 14, 2014, 10:21:09 pm
Deadline to clear up health law eligibility near

August 13, 2014 3:13 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - The clock is ticking for hundreds of thousands of people who have unresolved issues affecting their coverage under the new health care law.

The Obama administration said Tuesday that letters are going out to about 310,000 people whose citizenship or immigration details don't match what the government has on file.

These consumers need to send in their documentation by Sept. 5. Otherwise their coverage will end Sept. 30.

Of the 8 million people who signed up for private coverage through President Barack Obama's law, more than 2 million at one point had discrepancies of some sort that affected their eligibility. That number has been greatly reduced — but the remaining cases are proving difficult to resolve.

People living in the country illegally are not allowed to get coverage. Officials at the Health and Human Services Department said the letters will notify consumers with unresolved citizenship and immigration issues that they can upload their documents to the HealthCare.gov website, or mail them in.

Most haven't responded to repeated outreach efforts, officials said. Hispanics, who historically have lagged in health insurance coverage, may account for a big share of the group.

Indeed, two states with large Latino populations top the list of unresolved cases. Florida has 93,800 cases, while Texas has 52,700. Georgia, Virginia and Pennsylvania round out the top five. The letters are being sent in English and Spanish.

The next five states are North Carolina, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Louisiana.

The new policy affects the 36 states where the federal government has taken the lead in running online insurance markets created by the law. It's unclear how it will apply in places like California and New York, which are running their own insurance exchanges.

Some supporters of the law worried that eligible consumers might lose coverage due to record-keeping problems on the government's part, or because of something as mundane as letters getting lost in the mail.

"Many of these people have issues because government files are incomplete," said Ron Pollack, executive director of the advocacy group Families USA. "Many may feel that they have fully complied with what is necessary to get health coverage."

The number of problem cases was a lot larger only a few months ago, prompting criticism from congressional Republicans that the administration was signing up people ineligible under the law.

In May, there were nearly 970,000 people with citizenship or immigration problems. About half those cases have now been closed, officials said, and another 20 percent are being worked on actively. Officials have previously said that the overwhelming majority of cases are resolved in favor of the enrollee.

Consumers who have unresolved discrepancies over their incomes will get notices at a later date.

The new health law provides subsidized coverage to people with no access to health insurance on the job. More than 80 percent of those signed up are getting subsidies to help with their premiums and, in some cases, their copays and deductibles as well.

But those taxpayer subsidies are contingent on meeting a host of requirements. The amount of a consumer's premium tax credit can vary by income, family size, hometown and other factors. That can make getting covered through the law feel somewhat like doing your taxes.

The letters that started going out Tuesday won't be the final attempt to reach those with unresolved issues. HHS will try to contact each consumer two more times by phone and once via email. The administration is also working with local organizations to try to reach people directly in their homes.

Consumers can also contact HealthCare.gov's call center at 800-318-2596 to see what documents they need to submit and see whether their information has been received.

The notices affect this year's coverage only.

The open enrollment period for this year is over. Open enrollment season for 2015 coverage doesn't start until Nov. 15. At that point, consumers will be able to renew or make changes in their coverage, and new customers can find out whether there's a plan that's right for them.

Under the law, most Americans are required to have health insurance or risk fines.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 16, 2014, 01:36:49 pm
More Than 100,000 Enrollees Are Likely to Lose Obamacare Coverage

More than 100,000 Obamacare enrollees are set to lose their new insurance coverage at the end of the month because they have not verified their legal status in the United States.

There are currently about 115,000 individuals who signed up on the federal marketplace who have not provided paperwork to resolve discrepancies between their citizenship or immigration status indicated on their insurance application and what the federal government has on record, the Obama administration said Monday.

Individuals must be legal residents of the U.S. in order to purchase insurance coverage through the health law's new exchanges.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services had approximately 966,000 people with these discrepancies as of May. About one-third remained in August, and those 310,000 received notices from CMS requesting the additional paperwork.

While the majority have been resolved or are in the process of being resolved, 115,000 have not. If those enrollees do not provide documentation by Sept. 30, their coverage will be terminated.

"[For the 115,000 individuals], we're asking them if they have not sent us their documentation, we're asking them to do so, and reminding them [they will be eligible for] a special enrollment period to be reinstated," CMS Principal Deputy Administrator Andy Slavitt said on a press call. "If they are willing to pay premiums and are eligible, they will continue to get coverage."

Slavitt said he could not provide a breakdown of how many of the resolved cases were found to be ineligible for coverage.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 16, 2014, 04:17:14 pm
Concerns Raised Over 'Obamacare' Abortion Coverage

 A nonpartisan congressional agency is raising new questions about compliance with a key compromise on abortion that allowed the federal health care law to pass in 2010.

The Government Accountability Office said in a report released late Monday that only 1 of 18 insurers it reviewed was separately itemizing a charge for coverage of elective abortions on enrollees' bills.

That detail is important because the original compromise that President Barack Obama sealed with anti-abortion Democrats stipulated that no federal funds would be used to pay for elective abortions. Instead, private health plans covering the procedure would collect a separate premium, which would be segregated from federal subsidies for other medical services.

Although abortion is a legal medical procedure, longstanding federal laws prohibit taxpayer funds from being used to pay for it, except in cases of ****, incest or to save the life of the mother.

The new GAO review did not address the fundamental question of whether federal subsidies under the health law are being used for elective abortions, but abortion opponents said the findings underscore their view that the compromise is an accounting gimmick.

In a written response, the Health and Human Services Department said it "acknowledges that additional clarification may be needed" when it comes to the health law's provisions on abortions.

The report also found that some insurers were unaware of a requirement in the law that they notify policyholders if they cover elective abortions. Abortion opponents have complained that it's very difficult for average consumers to determine whether or not their plan covers the procedure. Abortion supporters say they would also like clearer information.

Most health plans offered through employers routinely cover abortions. The health care law created new state insurance markets where people who don't have access to job-based coverage can buy a government-subsidized policy. The flow of taxpayer dollars to insurers in the new exchanges created another battleground for opponents and supporters of abortion.

The compromise on abortion allowed Obama to secure votes from a small group of Democratic lawmakers who traditionally voted in favor of restrictions on abortion funding. Their support was critical in the face of overwhelming Republican opposition to the legislation.

The GAO report focused on 27 states, plus Washington, D.C., that do not have laws restricting access to elective abortions in the new health insurance markets. Another 23 states restrict or bar coverage.

The GAO found that 1,036 plans in these 27 states covered elective abortions, while 1,062 did not.

The 18 insurers that the agency reviewed accounted for nearly one-fourth of the plans that covered abortion. Each insurer offered multiple plans. None of the companies or plans were identified in the report.

All but one of the insurers said the cost of providing abortion coverage averaged out to less than $1 a month across their entire group of policyholders. In some cases it was as low as 10 cents a month.

The one insurer that itemized the abortion coverage charge on its monthly bill said it describes it as being "for coverage of services for which member subsidies may not be used."

The report was released by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 18, 2014, 03:30:34 pm
46 percent of doctors give Obamacare a 'D' or 'F'
By Philip Klein | September 17, 2014 | 5:04 pm

Forty-six percent of doctors give President Obama's healthcare law a "D" or an "F," according to a new survey from the Physicians Foundation. In contrast, just 25 percent of those surveyed gave the law an "A" or a "B."

The findings come from a survey that was emailed to "virtually every physician in the United States with an email address on record with the American Medical Association" this March through June as the law's major provisions were taking effect, and received more than 20,000 responses from doctors.

In their comments that were included (but kept anonymous) in the report, a number of doctors complained about the vast amount of bureaucracy that has been added to the medical profession.

"Get government OUT of healthcare," one doctor wrote.

Another wrote, "Repeal Obamacare."

Another comment read, "I'm a Canadian physician practicing in the United States. The politicians and policy makers need to understand that government involvement in healthcare never works."

One argued that "health reform would be better served by removing many thousands of pages of laws and bureaucrats rather than adding many thousands of pages of laws and bureaucrats."

Several doctors said they were planning to leave the profession, though it wasn't clear that it was necessarily due to the law.

"The system is broken and I am out of here as soon as I can. I am tired of being used, abused and lied to. Has anyone here woken up to the fact that we are always the last ones to be considered in the equation of change?" one asked.

Not all doctors quoted were opposed to the government playing a larger role in health care, as several expressed a desire for a single-payer system.

"We need a single payer system that provides better coordination of care, reduces overhead and management costs, reduces complexity of reimbursements, provides a single formulary," the doctor wrote. "We also need federal tort reform to reduce the cost of medicine."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 24, 2014, 09:29:01 pm
This is all by design...ultimately to put these draconian birth control pills over the counter.

CVS Caught Illegally Charging Women For Birth Control

CVS has been illegally charging women for birth control, violating an Obamacare provision that forces insurers to cover generic contraceptives at no cost to women.

Since learning of a price-coding error that erroneously charged approximately 11,000 women unlawful copays, CVS has moved to fix the problem and refund affected customers.

The issue was brought to public light by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) after one of her staffers was charged a $20 copay when trying to buy generic birth control at a CVS in Washington, D.C. Such a copay is illegal under the Affordable Care Act. Speier wrote a letter to Larry Merlo, the CEO of CVS, earlier this month.

"Although my staff member's issue was eventually resolved a week and numerous phone calls and pharmacy visits later, I am concerned that most women who are likely not familiar with their rights under the ACA may go without this essential family planning service that is supposed to be guaranteed to them under law," Speier wrote in a letter dated September 9.

On September 19, Sol J. Ross, CVS's head of federal affairs, responded to Speier, saying that the company was handling the issue.

"Refund checks will be [sent] to affected plan members by September 26," Ross wrote. "In fact, refund checks have already started to go out and all should be received by October 1."

CVS told The Huffington Post Wednesday that it had identified the glitch before receiving Speier's letter.

"We are committed to assuring that our customers receive the pharmacy benefits that are available to them and apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused," a CVS spokesperson wrote in an email.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of women no longer have to pay for preventative health services and screenings, like an annual check-up, pap-smears and generic birth control. According to a recent study from the Guttmacher Institute, the percentage of privately insured women who no longer have to pay out-of-pocket costs for birth control is growing quickly.

In fall 2012, before Obamacare went into effect, only 15 percent of insured women got free birth control pills. Today, that number is nearly 70 percent. The reason not all women today have health insurance that includes no-cost birth control is that some people are still covered by plans that are temporarily allowed to disregard this provision and other Obamacare rules. Eventually, virtually all health insurance will include no-cost contraceptives.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 26, 2014, 01:27:53 am
Illegal Immigrants Enrolled In Obamacare By The Thousands, Senator Claims

Illegal immigrants by the thousands have reportedly been able to enroll in Obamacare. The individuals who entered the United States illegally have also been able to enjoy taxpayer-funded subsidies to help cover the cost of their health insurance premium, according to Louisiana Senator David Vitter and a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

A recent CMS report revealed that 115,000 individuals enrolled in Obamacare had not provided proof of citizenship by the September deadline, and will therefore be dropped from the program by September 30. But, those individuals with “immigration data-matching issues” will be allowed to keep their Obamacare coverage for six months.

The Obama administration is bending over backwards to give Obamacare to illegal immigrants but won’t protect hardworking American citizens who are losing their healthcare coverage,” Senator David Vitter told The Washington Times.

“The Obama administration has been granting deadline extensions, making excuses, and turning a blind eye to falsified documents by illegal immigrants. Enough is enough, and they need to provide answers to why they think illegal immigrants should be eligible for Obamacare,” the Louisiana Senator added.

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) stated that Obamacare eligibility rules “sacrifice document standards, authentication assurance, and identification integrity” for the sole purpose of maximizing enrollment in the federal healthcare program as quickly as possible.

“Rapidly expanding health coverage to some 40 million people, coupled with relaxed ID and verification standards, only increases the likelihood of fraud and improper enrollment of ineligible people, including aliens. Furthermore, the combination of relaxed verification and documentation standards could enable certain identity fraud schemes to be developed,” a statement from the Center for Immigration Studies reads.

CMS Deputy Administrator Andy Slavitt had this to say in regards to the latest controversy whirling around the Obamacare program, “If people are willing to pay their premiums, and they are eligible for coverage, they will continue to get coverage.”

The federal government extended the mandatory deadline for enrollment for those members who did not comply with the residency documentation policy, but not for natural-born citizens struggling to pay their monthly premium or medical bills not covered until an extremely high-deductable kicks in. Approximately five million Americans lost their insurance coverage due to the Obamacare mandate.

Prior to Obamacare, independent contractors and small business owners could shop around for the best coverage and the best deal online. Although such searching is still permitted, it is nearly impossible to find a policy with less than a $1,000-per-month price tag. Many Obamacare family policies are also $1,000-per-month or higher, but taxpayer-funded subsidies decrease the out-of-pocket expense for some policyholders to around $300 or less each month.

Before Obamacare, my family had portable and affordable Anthem insurance. The monthly premium was $358-per-month with a $2,500 deductable. The policy evaporated, and a vaguely similar replacement was extremely expensive. Forced to enroll in Obamacare or risk a fine, we chose a “Bronze” family plan with a $1,0115-per-month premium and a $12,500 annual deductable. Has your health insurance and related medical expenses improved or declined since Obamacare became law?

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 30, 2014, 09:57:10 pm
Don't be fooled by this - they're only intensifying the Hegelian Dialectic game(and ultimately usher in the one-payer system).


Federal judge rules Obamacare subsidies illegal. Will Supreme Court weigh in?

US District Judge Ronald White said the IRS lacked the authority to enact a regulation that allows the federal government to provide tax credits to qualified health care policyholders through health care exchanges.


A federal judge in Oklahoma on Tuesday struck down a key provision supporting the Affordable Care Act, in yet another judicial move that threatens to derail President Obama’s vision of national health care reform.

US District Judge Ronald White said in a 20-page opinion that the Internal Revenue Service lacked the authority to enact a regulation that allows the federal government to provide tax credits to qualified health care policyholders through health care exchanges in every instance.

At issue in the lawsuit was whether the IRS regulation conflicted with the clear language of ACA, also known as Obamacare, which appears to limit the provision of federal tax credits to only those policy holders enrolled in a health care exchange set up and run by a state.

Two federal appeals courts reached conflicting opinions on the same issue in July, and the plaintiff in one of those cases is asking the US Supreme Court to take up the issue.

Judge White’s decision may prompt the high court to take a closer look at the case and consider whether to take it up immediately or wait for pending appeals to conclude.

At issue is a dispute over whether the federal government is authorized to issue tax credits and enforce the ACA’s employer mandate when the applicable health care exchanges are setup and run by the federal government rather than the states.

Under the ACA, Congress said that the federal government must issue tax credits to policy holders working through health care exchanges set up by the states.

What the law apparently doesn’t do is explicitly authorize the federal government to issue tax credits to policy holders when the underlying health care exchange is set up by the federal government.

This would not have been an issue if the states had set up their own exchanges, as Congress anticipated. Ultimately, 17 states volunteered. Thirty-four others refused.

To fill the void, the federal government stepped in and set up its own exchanges in the 34 states. But that raised the question of whether tax credits could be issued through non-state exchanges.

The Obama administration was confronted with a choice. It could have returned to Congress and asked lawmakers for an amendment to clarify the statute. This option was not particularly attractive with a Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Instead, the administration had the IRS enact a rule that requires the US Treasury to provide subsidies for health plan coverage purchased on any and all exchanges – not just those established by a state.

Opponents of the health care reform effort have seized upon the IRS rule, the tax credit provision, and its limiting language and filed multiple legal challenges charging an abuse of executive power.

The Oklahoma decision is important because it establishes another split in the lower courts, making Supreme Court review more likely.

But unlike the other two cases, the Oklahoma decision belongs to a trial court and is expected to be appealed to the 10th Circuit in Denver before any petition to the Supreme Court would be filed.

Tuesday’s decision stems from a lawsuit filed by the State of Oklahoma and Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

The central issue in the case was whether the IRS acted properly in writing its new rule or whether the agency usurped law-making authority the Constitution reserves to Congress.

White concluded that the IRS overstepped its authority. “This court holds that the IRS Rule is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law,” he wrote.

The judge said the agency acted “in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations,” or otherwise carried out an “invalid implementation of the ACA.”

By vacating the IRS rule the decision makes it impossible for the federal government to provide tax credits to participants in the federal exchange in Oklahoma and it also undercuts a key part of the enforcement provisions related to the mandate that large employers provide their workers with government-approved health care or face a tax penalty.

White stayed his ruling pending the outcome of an expected appeal.

“Today’s ruling is a consequential victory for the rule of law,” Mr. Pruitt, the attorney general, said in a statement. “The administration and its bureaucrats in the IRS handed out billions in illegal tax credits and subsidies and vastly expanded the reach of the health care law because they didn’t like the way Congress wrote the Affordable Care Act,” he said.

“That’s not how our system of government works,” Pruitt said.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 23, 2014, 08:11:56 pm
US announces $840M to improve medical care

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is announcing an $840 million grant program to help doctors and hospitals improve the quality of care delivered to patients.

Patrick Conway, Medicare's chief medical officer, said Thursday the goal is to identify ways of delivering care that improves results for patients, and then rapidly foster the spread of those ideas throughout the system. The administration also hopes at least some approaches will save money.

Doctors practicing together as a group, hospital systems, and professional associations can apply for the grant money, which is being provided under President Barack Obama's health care law.

The four-year program focuses on coordinating care to keep patients healthier, eliminating unneeded tests, preventing hospitalizations, and using electronic medical records to share information among clinicians.

It's called the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 29, 2014, 04:37:09 pm
McConnell Concedes GOP Senate Will Not Mean Obamacare Repeal

Election Day isn't until next week, but Senate Majority Leader-in-Waiting Mitch McConnell is already warning Republicans who would like to repeal Obamacare and roll back environmental regulations about two key numbers: 60 and 2.

Sixty is how many senators are required to bring all but the most noncontroversial bills to the chamber floor. And two is how many more years Democratic President Obama still has in office.

"It would take 60 votes in the Senate. No one thinks we're going to have 60 Republicans. And it would take a presidential signature. No one thinks we're going to get that," McConnell said during a campaign-stop interview with Fox News.

The 12-minute exchange covered a range of topics, from the 2016 presidential field to Ebola to why McConnell put nearly $2 million of his own money into his re-election campaign.

But the comments that produced angst among his party's conservative wing were the ones that tried to temper GOP expectations as to what a Congress led by Republicans can realistically accomplish over the next two years.

"This is why nobody believes Mitch McConnell anymore," said Mary Vought, spokeswoman for the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group that has pushed Tea Party candidates in GOP primaries against establishment incumbents. "He says he wants to rip Obamacare out 'root and branch,' but then flips days before his election and says he plans to surrender."

Dan Holler, a spokesman for the political wing of the Heritage Foundation, Heritage Action, said Republicans have to explain to America what they're for. "That is not going to happen if they sit there and make excuses about [Senate Democratic Leader] Harry Reid or Barack Obama. They need to be proactive about putting out an agenda," he said.

McConnell said that with a full Obamacare repeal impossible, he would instead push to repeal the law's tax on medical devices — which a number of Democratic senators already support — and to narrow its mandate on which workers must be covered.

"I'd like to put the Senate Democrats in the position of voting on the most unpopular parts of this law, and see if we can put it on the president's desk and make him take real ownership of this highly destructive Obamacare," McConnell said.

Even on the issue of executive orders, McConnell said a Republican Congress would likely be limited to restricting funding to the agencies in question.

"He is the president of the United States, and he'll be there until January 2017, McConnell said. "I voted for Mitt Romney. I wish we'd taken a different direction. We're going to do what we can in Congress to try to restrain activities that we think are a mistake."

Should Republicans take control of the Senate with the 114th Congress, McConnell's margin of control is likely to be much smaller than the 55-45 edge Democrat Harry Reid currently holds. What's more, some of the new GOP senators will be replacing red-state Democrats who had already been voting with Republicans on many issues — meaning McConnell will get fewer votes on many bills than the numbers might suggest.

And perhaps most important: McConnell will immediately be facing a 2016 Senate map that's even worse for Republicans than the one Democrats are facing now, with seven Republican incumbents looking at re-election in states carried twice by Obama, and two more from states Obama won once.

Heritage Action's Holler said that tough map is all the more reason for McConnell to be aggressive. "If they're worried about how the Senate races come down in 2016, the best thing they can do is go on offense by putting out compelling policy solutions to the problems that are facing a lot of Americans," Holler said.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on November 07, 2014, 07:05:41 am
29 senators who voted for Obamacare and won't be part of new Senate

On Dec. 24, 2009, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed President Obama’s healthcare law with a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, triggering a massive backlash that propelled Republicans to control of the House the following year. On the Senate side, going into Tuesday’s elections, 25 senators who voted for Obamacare were already out or not going be part of the new Senate being sworn in on January.

To be sure, it isn’t fair to attribute all of the turnover in the chamber to Obamacare. Many senators voted for Obamacare and lost re-election battles in which they were hit hard for their support for the law, and other Democrats were forced to retire because they had no hope of getting re-elected given their support for the law. But in some cases — such as John Kerry leaving his seat to become secretary of state, or Robert Byrd passing away — Obamacare clearly had nothing to do with it.

Additionally, some outgoing pro-Obamacare votes were replaced by new Democratic senators.

That having been said, as of this writing, 15 Senators who voted for Obamacare either failed to win reelection or declined to run for reelection and had their seats turned over to Republicans. That number is likely to grow once the results are in from the Senate runoff in Louisiana, which Mary Landrieu is expected to lose.

The following is a breakdown of senators who have voted for Obamacare who will not be part of the next Senate.

Lost and replaced by a Republican:

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska -- lost to Dan Sullivan, R

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. -- lost to Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. -- lost to Rep. Cory Gardner, R- Colo.

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. -- lost to Thom Tillis, R

Russ Feingold, D-Wis.

Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.

Arlen Specter, D-Penn.

Left Senate and replaced by a Republican:

Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V.

Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Tim Johnson, D-S.D.

Tom Harkin, D-Iowa

Ben Nelson, D-Neb.

Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.

Evan Bayh, D-Ind.

Left Senate and replaced by a Democrat:

Jim Webb, D-Va.

Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.

Herb Kohl, D-Wis.

Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii

Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.

Chris Dodd, D-Conn.

Paul Kirk, D-Mass. (appointed to replace Ted Kennedy -- seat later held by Republican Scott Brown)

John Kerry, D-Mass.

Ted Kauffman, D-Del.

Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

Died in office:

Robert Byrd, D-W.V

Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii

Frank Lautenberg, D- N.J

Vulnerable pro-Obamacare Democrats still at risk in 2014:

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

CORRECTION: This list was corrected to reflect that Kent Conrad was replaced by a Democrat, not a Republican.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 07, 2014, 11:18:34 am
That having been said, as of this writing, 15 Senators who voted for Obamacare either failed to win reelection or declined to run for reelection and had their seats turned over to Republicans. That number is likely to grow once the results are in from the Senate runoff in Louisiana, which Mary Landrieu is expected to lose.

Well, not that I endorse Mary Landrieu, but her GOP replacement(Cassidy) won't be any better b/c he's a physician who pushed a vaccination program in schools. And he also has a 17 year old daughter who's going to have a baby out of wedlock. Hate to say it, but he obviously hasn't kept his own house in order(and poisoning young children to boot).

Also - Landrieu is a Roman Catholic who's visited Baptist churches in Louisiana.

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. -- lost to Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

Cotton is a Gen-X guy who went through the New Age, Harvard indoctrination. No thanks.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. -- lost to Rep. Cory Gardner, R- Colo.

Udall backed off taking a stance against birth control pills, abortion, and sodomy marriage. No thanks.

Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V.

I'm not anti-woman, but he was replaced by a 53 year old woman.

Titus 2:3  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
Tit 2:4  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Tit 2:5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Tom Harkin, D-Iowa

Replaced by a Gen-X woman. No thanks.

With that being said - how come this article didn't expose Republicans who voted AGAINST defunding Obamacare? For example - TX's John Cornyn did so(and he also supports illegal immigration) - how in the world did he get re-elected, and BY A LANDSLIDE?

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 02, 2014, 08:11:31 pm
Top Senate Republican sees possible major healthcare legislation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The senior Senate Republican on Tuesday raised the possibility of Congress writing comprehensive healthcare legislation if the Supreme Court next year strikes down a subsidy provision of Obamacare.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who will lead the chamber starting in January, told reporters: "If the court would rule the way they might, we could be in a very large comprehensive revisitation" of U.S. healthcare policy.

The nation's highest court is expected to rule by the end of June on a conservative challenge to an important part of President Barack Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

The Supreme Court last month agreed to hear arguments for and against tax-credit subsidies to help millions of Americans get health coverage under the law.

McConnell said it was difficult to outline what comprehensive legislation would look like, given that the Supreme Court ruling is likely months away.

But he ticked off a list of Obamacare provisions that Republicans have long railed against, including a medical device tax, the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance and a 30-hour work-week to define full-time employment under the law.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 27, 2014, 10:14:26 pm
The New Year will bring...another Obamacare surprise

Obamacare Surprise for New Year
For those who have yet to purchase health insurance, there is yet another nasty Obamacare surprise (link is external) waiting for you in the New Year:

Consumers face a Feb. 15, 2015, deadline to buy insurance, after which those without coverage could be hit with fines of $325 per adult or 2 percent of family income, whichever is higher.

Naturally, some folks see this as an opportunity to scrouge up new customers:

One recent mass mailer from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield obtained by The Hill warned potential customers in the Washington, D.C., region that going without health insurance coverage would come with a steep cost.

“When you don’t have health insurance ... you put your financial security at risk,” the mailer states. “That’s because under the new Affordable Care Act legislation, millions of Americans will have to pay an increased penalty tax of at least 2 percent of their income in 2015 if they go uninsured.”

The “good news,” the letter said, is that CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has “solutions” to help people avoid the penalty, including coverage that is “compatible with financial assistance or free money from the government that will help qualifying individuals pay for insurance.”

The company declined to comment on the mailer.

"Free money from the government." There is no such thing. But those who've read Bastiat's "The Law (link is external)" (which we reviewed here), will immediately understand the thinking behind this pitch. And Obamacare, too.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 29, 2014, 06:56:04 pm
During public hearing, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal blamed for increasing insurance costs; some call it a 'fiasco'

Gov. Bobby Jindal got the blame Monday for higher premiums and out-of-pocket expense coming for nearly 230,000 state employees, teachers, retirees and their dependents enrolled in state Group Benefits.

Speakers during a public hearing on the insurance program benefit changes claimed mismanagement emanating from Jindal’s office led to what several deemed the “fiasco.”

The hearing brought a sparse crowd, which some of the three dozen attendees blamed on the holiday timing and a feeling that they can do nothing to stop what was being thrust upon them.

Group Benefits members had to make a choice among a variety of new insurance plans by Dec. 7. The legally required public hearing to implement the new benefits plans came 22 days later.

“This thing is set in stone,” said retiree Ray Clement. “Carry a message to the man upstairs ... his capricious and unethical attitude toward the process is a slap in the face to every honest, hard-working individual in the state of Louisiana.”

Retiree Calvin Fair complained, “These decisions have been made a long time ago without any input.”

Group Benefits was working well with a $500 million surplus a little more than two years ago, said Fair — one of nine people who testified. Then, Jindal orchestrated changes “to destroy that,” Fair said. “I wish the Legislature had stood up to him.”

On Monday, the Legislative Auditor’s Office issued a report that said the Jindal administration’s decisions to reduce insurance premiums contributed to the $500 million reserve fund declining to $207 million within two years. The auditor said the premium cut came as medical and drug costs were increasing at a rate to 5 to 8 percent a year. State government and school systems generally pay 75 percent of the premium costs, so any reduction relieved budget pressure and dollars could be spent elsewhere.

“It’s bad management by the leadership of this state,” Fair said.

The administration pursued the overhaul of the insurance plan offerings to help shore up Group Benefits finances. In response to heavy opposition, the administration about a month ago revamped its original plan, relieving some of the financial stress on retirees and to a lesser extent on active employees. A new level of coverage was added to all plans that will allow individuals with one dependent, either a child or a spouse, to pay a lower deductible and out-of-pocket maximum than families. The revamped plan reduced out-of-pocket expenses in exchange for higher premiums. Premiums could go up nearly 11 percent beginning July 1.

Jindal spokesman Mike Reed issued a statement which said in part, that Group Benefits “has been negatively impacted by Obamacare and the rising cost of health care. That’s why we had to make some changes ... to maintain a fiscally responsible program and ensure members have access to the services they need.”

After the meeting, Group Benefits Chief eEecutive Officer Susan West issued a prepared statement in response to the complaints.

“While rising costs have made changes to health care unavoidable, we have taken the feedback of our members very seriously throughout this process. We worked with legislators and members to update the proposed 2015 plans in November to address the majority of the concerns of state employees and retirees,” West said.

Many of the changes came as a result of input received from Group Benefits enrollees and legislators during a series of meetings on the original proposal, she said.

The public hearing was scheduled to solicit comments on the specific plan changes. The legislative committees with Group Benefits oversight can also conduct a hearing. But none so far has been scheduled.

As criticism of Jindal rained down, West reminded speakers of the purpose of the hearing.

“Stay on point with the notice of intent,” said West.

But West’s caution did not stop speakers who, with one exception, continued to vent their frustration in general over what has happened.

“Everything has been thrown at us,” said Dianne Guillot, president of the Retired State Employees Association.

Guillot said retirees got some relief when the administration revised the original plan. “In the same process we left the active people hanging on a limb,” she said, referring to higher costs active employees will pay.

RSEA executive director Frank Jobert said retirees got a break because many live on fixed incomes. But he said active employees are in the same boat, going without pay raises for years and no pay raises likely in 2015 or 2016 because of the budget situation, including a projected $1.4 billion shortfall for the financial year that begins on July 1.

He said depletion of Group Benefits reserves was “clearly mismanagement - not on the part of the staff but the (Jindal) administration.”

“Once again Jindal has destroyed what was working well,” said retiree Vicki Picou. “Today’s hearing is indeed a charade.”

Retiree Stan Hurder complained that the changes set up a “two-tiered” system. “You need to go back to the drawing board and provide equal coverage for everybody.”

Hurder said the Legislature should reimburse Group Benefits for the dollars lost from the reserve fund because of administrative actions.

The only favorable comment came from Louisiana Retired Teachers’ Association executive director Graig Luscomb. He said concerns of retired teachers are “satisfactorily” addressed in the new plan changes.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 14, 2015, 12:15:05 pm
Babylon has fallen!

IRS cuts taxpayer services as filing returns gets harder

WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS is cutting taxpayer services to historically low levels just as President Barack Obama's health law will make filing a federal tax return more complicated for millions of families.

Callers who get through may have to wait on hold for 30 minutes or more to talk to a person who will answer only the simplest questions.

"As we enter 2015, we are deeply concerned that taxpayers are receiving markedly less assistance from the IRS now than at any time in recent history," said a report released Wednesday by agency watchdog Nina E. Olson.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says budget cuts are forcing the agency to reduce taxpayer services and other functions. The number of audits will decline, technology upgrades will be delayed and the agency might be forced to shut down and furlough workers for two days later this year, Koskinen said.

"People who file paper tax returns could wait an extra week — or possibly longer — to see their refund," Koskinen said in an email to IRS employees this week. "We now anticipate an even lower level of telephone service than before, which raises the real possibility that fewer than half of taxpayers trying to call us will actually reach us."

"Those who do reach us will face extended wait times that are unacceptable to all of us." Koskinen added.

Congress cut the IRS budget by $346 million for the budget year that ends in September 2015. The $10.9 billion budget is $1.2 billion less than the agency received in 2010.

But the spending cuts could actually cost the government money, Koskinen said. Fewer enforcement agents will cost the federal government at least $2 billion in lost tax revenue this year, he said.

Republicans in Congress adamantly oppose Obama's health law, so some have been working to starve the IRS of funds just as its role in implementing the law ramps up.

Olson is the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent office within the Internal Revenue Service. She released her annual report to Congress Wednesday, less than a week before the start of tax filing season on Tuesday.

She said taxpayers will suffer from service reductions.

"Without adequate support, many taxpayers will be frustrated, some will make potentially costly mistakes, others will incur higher compliance costs when forced to seek information and assistance from tax professionals," Olson wrote.

"Still others," Olson said, "will simply give up and not file."

For the first time, tax filers will have to report information about their health insurance during the previous year. For people who get health coverage through work or government programs like Medicaid, it will mean simply checking a box on their tax return.

Others who got insurance through state and federal marketplaces will have to file a new form, while people who received government subsidies to help pay premiums will have to provide more detailed information.

People who didn't have health insurance last year face fines unless they qualify for a waiver, which requires more paperwork.

The subsidies were based on projected family incomes, so families will need to check to see if their actual incomes were higher or lower. If their incomes were higher than expected, they might have to pay back some of the subsidy, either through a smaller tax refund or a payment.

If their incomes were lower, they might qualify for a larger subsidy, which would come in the form of a larger tax refund.

Taxpayers who get subsidies are supposed to notify the health exchanges during the year if their incomes change or if they have some other life event that changes their eligibility, said Kathy Pickering, executive director of the Tax Institute at H&R Block.

"If somebody got married or divorced, had a baby, got a job, lost a job, anything that changes their income, those consumers needed to go back to the marketplace and update their information," Pickering said. "Most people didn't know to do that or didn't think to do it."

Title: Infowars Promoting Church/Healthcare System!!!!
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 16, 2015, 04:14:05 pm

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on January 16, 2015, 04:50:09 pm
and the church AJ supports is the catholic church

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 21, 2015, 06:46:19 pm
Government health care website quietly sharing personal data

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government's health insurance website is quietly sending consumers' personal data to private companies that specialize in advertising and analyzing Internet data for performance and marketing, The Associated Press has learned.

The scope of what is disclosed or how it might be used was not immediately clear, but it can include age, income, ZIP code, whether a person smokes, and if a person is pregnant. It can include a computer's Internet address, which can identify a person's name or address when combined with other information collected by sophisticated online marketing or advertising firms.

The Obama administration says HealthCare.gov's connections to data firms were intended to help improve the consumer experience. Officials said outside firms are barred from using the data to further their own business interests.

There is no evidence that personal information has been misused. But connections to dozens of third-party tech firms were documented by technology experts who analyzed HealthCare.gov and then confirmed by AP. A handful of the companies were also collecting highly specific information. That combination is raising concerns.

Leading lawmakers on Tuesday asked the administration to explain how it oversees the data firms to make sure no personally identifiable information is improperly used or shared.

"This new information is extremely concerning, not only because it violates the privacy of millions of Americans, but because it may potentially compromise their security," Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote to the administration.

Created under the president's health care law, HealthCare.gov is the online gateway to government-subsidized private insurance for people who lack coverage on the job. It serves consumers in 37 states, while the remaining states operate their own insurance markets.

A former White House chief information officer, Theresa Payton, said third-party vendors are a weak link on any website. She questioned both the number of vendors on HealthCare.gov and the specific details some of them are collecting.

"You don't need all of that data to do customer service," said Payton, who served under President George W. Bush. "We know hackers are just waiting at the door, salivating to get at this data."

The privacy concerns come against the backdrop of President Barack Obama's new initiative to protect personal data online. Separately, the administration is getting the health care website ready for the final enrollment drive of 2015, aiming to have more than 9 million people signed up by Feb. 15 for subsidized private coverage.

Administration spokesman Aaron Albright said outside vendors "are prohibited from using information from these tools on HealthCare.gov for their companies' purposes." The government uses them to measure the performance of HealthCare.gov so consumers get "a simpler, more streamlined and intuitive experience," he said.

The administration did not explain how it ensures that companies were following the government's privacy and security policies.

Albright said HealthCare.gov comports with standards set by the federal National Institute for Standards and Technology. But recent NIST guidance cautions that collecting bits of seemingly random data can be used to piece together someone's identity.

In a recent visit to the site, AP found that certain personal details - including age, income and smoking habits - were being passed along, likely without consumers' knowledge, to advertising and Web analytics sites.

Third-party outfits that track website performance are a standard part of e-commerce. HealthCare.gov's privacy policy says in boldface that "no personally identifiable information is collected" by these Web measurement tools.

Google said it doesn't allow its systems to target ads based on health or medical history information. "When we learn of possible violations of this policy, we investigate and take swift action," the company said in a statement.

Still, the outside connections surprised a tech expert who evaluated HealthCare.gov's performance for the AP.

"Personally, I look at this ... and I don't know what is going on between the government and Facebook, and Google, and Twitter," said Mehdi Daoudi, CEO of Catchpoint Systems. "Why is that there?"

Tracking consumers' Internet searches is a lucrative business, helping Google, Facebook and others tailor ads to customers' interests. Because your computer and mobile devices can be assigned an individual signature, profiles of Internet users can be pieced together, generating lists that have commercial value.

Third-party sites embedded on HealthCare.gov can't see your name, birth date or Social Security number. But they may be able to correlate the fact that your computer accessed the government website with your other Internet activities.

Have you been researching a chronic illness like coronary artery blockage? Do you shop online for smoking-cessation aids? Are you investigating genetic markers for a certain type of breast cancer? Are you seeking help for financial problems, or for an addiction?

Daoudi's company, Catchpoint Systems, came across some 50 third-party connections embedded on HealthCare.gov. They work in the background, unseen to most consumers.

The AP replicated the results. In one 10-minute visit to HealthCare.gov recently, dozens of websites were accessed behind the scenes. They included Google's data-analytics service, Twitter, Facebook and a host of online advertising providers.

"I think that this could erode ... confidentiality when dealing with medical data and medical information," said Cooper Quintin, a staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 23, 2015, 12:32:18 pm
Luke 12:15  And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

Study: Small businesses dumping employee health insurance

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new survey released Thursday by Grand Valley State University is showing that since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, more small businesses are deciding not to offer health insurance to their employees.

The survey, conducted by Assistant Professor of Economics Leslie Muller, focused on companies that have fewer than 50 employees. Companies of that size are not mandated by the ACA to offer insurance to employees.

“Small firms have faced, traditionally faced, higher costs so they’ve been strapped for a while. That doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the ACA it just has to do with the fact that health care costs have been raising it’s been particularly hard on the small firms,” Muller said.

The Survey found that of small businesses that offered health insurance over the past two years, only 40 percent plan to offer insurance in 2015 and only 28 percent in 2016.

“I’m not saying these escalating health care costs are due to the ACA. We just don’t know that. We don’t know what’s going to happen because it’s going to take a couple of years for the markets to play out, even out,” Muller said.

In fact, Muller says the survey suggests small business may be dropping their health insurance coverage because of the availability of the public health exchange.

68 percent of the small businesses that do not plan on offering insurance in 2015 are encouraging their employees to purchase health insurance on the public exchange.

“It just now gives them another option I think as to what they can do if they become particularly strapped in money for offering health insurance,” Muller said.

Muller said some workers may end up better off on the exchange, since individuals who earn up to 400% of the poverty level are eligible for federal subsidies, which they wouldn’t get if their employers offered them health insurance.

“Especially those people that pre-existing conditions, can now go out into this public exchange that the ACA put together and buy insurance and they are not discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions. That was not available before,” Muller said.

Other findings of the survey:

Of  those offering plans in 2014, 75 percent plan on offering insurance in 2015. Half of these firms plan on offering plans in 2016.
Sixteen percent of firms are uncertain as to whether they will offer insurance in 2015;  28 percent are unsure about 2016.
Of  those  companies  not  offering  plans  in  2015, 68 percent plan on sending employees out to the public exchange to buy individual health insurance.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 23, 2015, 07:26:34 pm
Bernie Sanders Got Republicans To Make His Argument For Universal Health Care

WASHINGTON -- In their ongoing efforts to roll back or hamstring Obamacare, Republicans probably weren't hoping that the first Senate hearing on the matter this year would feature a self-described "democratic socialist" getting GOP witnesses to back a key argument for universal health care.

Thursday's hearing of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions was devoted to the question of moving the full-time work standard under the Affordable Care Act from 30 hours a week to 40 hours, and whether more workers would be hurt by the higher or lower limit.

But to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has long supported the creation of a universal health care system, battling over that particular point began to seem absurd, and he opened his remarks by noting that in every other developed country, such a debate would make no sense at all.

"The argument of whether you provide health insurance to people who work 30 hours a week or whether they work 40 hours a week -- whoa," Sanders said. "In every major country on Earth, health care is a right of all people."

With that as his premise, he then asked three of the hearing's witnesses -- two business owners and a school superintendent -- whether their lives and daily endeavors would be improved if government lifted from them the burden of providing health care to their workers.

The panel's only Democratic witness, Joe Fugere, founder of the Seattle-area Tutta Bella Pizzeria chain, readily answered that it would.

And despite all the GOP's cries and criticisms of "socialized medicine" when the Affordable Care Act was making its way through Congress years ago, the two Republican panelists agreed nearly as readily.

"A question like that -- sure," said Betsy Webb, who runs the Bangor School Department in Maine. "But what is the reality?"

"The reality is that maybe it should not have to be the responsibility of the Bangor school district to provide health care, that maybe it should be a right of all of our people, whether they work at McDonald's in Bangor, whether they work for the school district, to have health care," said Sanders, before taking up the question with the next witness, Andrew Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which runs the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's chains.

"If what you're saying, Senator, is that if we had a bill that was debated, that was vetted through congressional committees, and we looked at the health care system and really tried to come up with a more rational solution, I would say you're absolutely right," Puzder said.

He allowed that he and Sanders "might not agree on the ultimate solution," but when Sanders pressed Puzder on whether he would rather not have to worry about providing health care and instead focus on his products, the CEO was emphatic.

"From your lips to God's ear," he said.

Watch Sanders' remarks above.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 27, 2015, 04:48:30 pm
I attended an all-day AARP workshop for tax volunteer today. Yes, Obamacare is going to be one BIG mess b/c there's over 5000 pages in this bill!(what I learned today made my head spin, and even the Client Facilitators/leaders still don't have a full understanding of it, despite attending a workshop of their own recently).

Anyhow - it's estimated that 50% of the population don't have health insurance. HOWEVER - 90% of this 50% DO qualify for an exemption(ie-financial hardships, death in the family, work for a religious org, etc). What does this mean? It means that insurance companies will end up increasing their premiums b/c of the great majority of those that qualify for exemptions(and don't have to apply for Obamacare)!

I don't know what this will lead to - but nonetheless this has been a train-wreck in the making, all by design - and will likely lead to the one payer/one world economic system.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 01, 2015, 03:52:25 pm
Don't be fooled by what the "Christian" sect is doing here - they're only playing "good cop" to Obama's "bad cop".

IOW - Obama and the "Democrat Party" aren't the only ones in need of repentance here.

Onward, Christian Health Care?

WHEN Theresa Bixby, 63, learned that she had breast cancer four years ago, she reacted as many Americans do. “One of my first thoughts was, ‘will they pay?’ ” she said. But she wasn’t talking about a conventional insurance plan. She lost hers when she left her full-time position for part-time work at her church in Greenville, S.C. She was worried about the program that she had joined six months earlier: Christian Healthcare Ministries.

Christian Healthcare Ministries is not an insurance company. It is a nonprofit “health care sharing ministry” based in Barberton, Ohio. The cost of membership is far lower than the rates of traditional insurance policies — $45 a month for the cheapest plan — but the ministry makes no guarantees of payment. Members send their monthly “gift” to an escrow account, which disburses payments for eligible medical bills, excluding costs like routine physicals, continuing treatment for pre-existing conditions or procedures that members have voted to exclude, like care for pregnancies outside wedlock.

Each time Ms. Bixby visited her hospital for tests or chemotherapy, she explained that she was a self-pay patient and a member of a cost-sharing ministry. Sometimes the receptionist nodded; sometimes she got a blank stare. The hospital never denied her treatment, but “I was getting a two-inch stack of bills every month, and threats that they would take me to collections,” she told me.

Christian Healthcare Ministries assigned her case to a “member advocate,” who negotiated discounts on her fees. These counted toward Ms. Bixby’s $5,000 deductible, so she paid out of pocket only for office visits. In the end, the ministry persuaded the hospital to lop $220,900 off a bill of $301,540 and reimbursed or paid directly the remaining $80,640.

Despite stories like this, organizations such as Christian Healthcare Ministries claim a modest membership. The four main cost-sharing ministries in the United States have about 340,000 members. Regulators in several states have raised concerns that these ministries offer the illusion of insurance while sidestepping the Affordable Care Act’s baseline standards of coverage and skirting requirements that apply to conventional insurance companies, like minimum cash reserves. Nonetheless, membership in the ministries has been growing, particularly since the act granted them an exemption as one of the only ways to avoid the law’s mandate to buy insurance without paying a fine.

But the debate over consumer protections may disguise a more interesting question: Could this model scale up? These ministries seem to achieve a remarkable level of member satisfaction, even if they sometimes must portion out reimbursements when the bills outstrip monthly contributions.

The ministries’ appeal lies partly in their low fees, but also in their ideological boundaries. “This isn’t something that’s for everyone,” said Tony Meggs, the C.E.O. of the Florida-based Christian Care Ministry, which runs a health care sharing program called Medi-Share.

Christian cost-sharing ministries have been around for about 30 years. They claim that their true origins lie in the Book of Acts, the biblical account of how the first Christians “had everything in common” and “gave to anyone as he had need.” The ministries “show the world something that works, and works well, and is a reflection of the commandments of Christ,” Mr. Meggs said.

The resemblance to apostolic Christianity is debatable: After all, Jesus’ healing ministry didn’t take pre-existing conditions into account, and the early church offered aid to nonbelievers. The real precursors are the mutual aid societies of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In their heyday, organizations like the Odd Fellows and the Loyal Order of Moose pooled fees to provide insurance for huge numbers of working-class Americans. It is no accident that in our new Gilded Age, the model that prevailed during the first Gilded Age is enjoying a second life.

These aid societies did more than provide relief from doctors’ bills, lost wages or funeral expenses. They also divided the “deserving” poor from miscreants who suffered through their own fault. Their bylaws stressed “thrift, leadership skills, self-government, self-control and good moral character,” the historian David Beito has written. Lodges required members to hold an “honorable” job, banned women of “immoral or questionable behavior,” and limited the use of alcohol and drugs.

Today, Medi-Share requires members to “live by biblical standards:” no tobacco or illegal drugs and no sex “outside of traditional Christian marriage.” Samaritan Ministries, with headquarters in Peoria, Ill., requires a pastor’s approval of medical expenses (and refuses to cover treatment for S.T.D.s unless “contracted innocently”). Liberty HealthShare, based in Independence, Ohio, is the only Affordable Care Act-exempt ministry open to people of many faiths. It asks them to affirm that “it is my spiritual duty to God and my ethical duty to others to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

Members say these rules are marks of the kind of community that government programs undermine. “This is a solution for those of us who see the A.C.A. as a problem,” said Daniel Alders, 28, a Samaritan member who lives in Nacogdoches, Tex., and has turned to the ministry to pay for the births of his two children. Samaritan members send their monthly share directly to another member with medical expenses. “When we receive money, nine times out of 10 there’s a note attached saying they’re praying for us and the health of the baby,” he told me.

“A community is an organically grown organism, so it can’t succeed if it’s pushed and enforced from the top level down,” he said. “You have to have a moral foundation, a reason to trust those whose needs you’re sharing.”

In a recent interview with NPR, President Obama acknowledged that many white working-class voters felt no such trust in the government. “They think: ‘I’m being left out. Nobody seems to be thinking about how tough it is for me right now,’ ” he said.

He’s not the first liberal to hope that publicly funded health insurance could win that trust. More than a century ago, the Progressive reformer Jane Addams admired the parades of mutual aid societies in Chicago’s Italian quarter, where members marched “with a brave showing of banners, celebrating their achievement in having surrounded themselves by at least a thin wall of protection against disaster.” She longed “to pour into the government of their adopted country all this affection and zeal, this real patriotism. A system of State insurance would be a very simple device and secure a large return.”

In fact, mutual aid societies fought compulsory insurance legislation that Progressive activists proposed in the World War I era, fearing that such laws would endanger Americans’ “spirit of self-reliance.” The legislation failed, but the societies’ days were numbered, too. The financial burdens of their aging membership sometimes became crushing. And they were no match for the growing political power of commercial insurance companies and organized medicine, or the I.R.S.’s ruling in 1943 to grant tax breaks to employers who paid for workers’ insurance.

In a way, Addams still got her wish. Persuaded by a new vision of solidarity, many of those Italian immigrants joined the New Deal coalition. In 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt advocated for the right to “security for those who need it,” including “adequate medical care.” Roosevelt wanted to surpass the model of the voluntary aid society by turning the social contract into a covenant that bound people who otherwise had little in common, that granted a basic level of economic security to people excluded by the market or mutual aid.

For a small, self-selected group of Americans, cost-sharing ministries make our broken health care system bearable. There is much to admire in their nonprofit structure and their tireless advocacy for members. The problem is that too often their proponents take them as proof that it’s “in the DNA of Americans to assist and help one another” and success comes “when the marketplace is given the opportunity to produce solutions on its own,” as Dale Bellis, Liberty HealthShare’s executive director, put it.

The truth is that Americans never enjoyed a golden age when local communities came together to solve social problems. In colonial times, villages “warned out” the aged, disabled and unmarried pregnant women, deporting their neediest residents to other towns.

The great insight of the New Deal reformers was that fetishizing a romantic idea of community is as perilous as making a false idol of the free market. Cost-sharing ministries nurture one kind of community, but only by opting out of the broader obligations of society. To make the Affordable Care Act stick, and to make it work, means convincing more Americans that they are not just their brother’s keeper.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 01, 2015, 03:54:59 pm
Christian cost-sharing ministries have been around for about 30 years. They claim that their true origins lie in the Book of Acts, the biblical account of how the first Christians “had everything in common” and “gave to anyone as he had need.” The ministries “show the world something that works, and works well, and is a reflection of the commandments of Christ,” Mr. Meggs said.

Did they even bother to read this passage in Acts, much less Acts 2:37-47?

Acts 2:37  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Act 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Act 2:40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Act 2:41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Act 2:43  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Act 2:44  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
Act 2:45  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Act 2:46  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

This was (somewhat of)a transition period going on.

So if they firmly the NT Church Age we're living in now believes in this - then does this mean we have to be water baptized to be saved too?(as this passage said at this specific time) Where are all the signs and wonders being done?

Or how about these pastors? Do they still get their comfy salaries, or are they sharing equally their riches with others? I doubt the latter.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 01, 2015, 04:00:58 pm

The resemblance to apostolic Christianity is debatable: After all, Jesus’ healing ministry didn’t take pre-existing conditions into account, and the early church offered aid to nonbelievers.

More proof the modern-day Apostate church has idea how to divide the word of truth.

Jesus Christ and his Apostles were SHOWING SIGNS during their ministry IN ISRAEL during the 4 Gospel Matthew - John books.

Matthew 10:5  These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
Mat 10:6  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Mat 10:7  And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mat 10:8  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 07, 2015, 01:21:30 pm
Be ye not deceived - there's NO "good" side to this - all of this has been by design...in order to usher in the one-payer system, and ultimately the one world global economy. IOW - darned if you do, but darned if you don't.

When a state blocks Obamacare, ERs close: The lesson of Louisiana

Baton Rouge, La., is about to lose one of its crucial hospital emegency rooms, and the reason is clear: The administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal has refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and won't put up any other money to keep the facility open.

Because of the scheduled closure of the ER of Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Mid City, patients needing emergency treatment will have to travel as much as 30 minutes longer to reach the nearest ERs.

The great flaw in Jindal's plan is that it would cause millions of people to lose their coverage.
- Conservative pundit Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg View

Jindal has tried to position himself as the last stalwart Republican opponent of the ACA, but his state's experience shows that his position is folly.

The ACA was designed to encourage states to expand Medicaid--almost entirely at federal expense--as a means of cutting the uncompensated medical care hospitals had been forced to provide for low-income individuals and families. Much of that care has been customarily delivered through the ER.

In the expectation that Medicaid would pick up the slack, the ACA reduced so-called disproportionate share hospital payments, which went to hospitals serving a large number of the uninsured. So institutions in states that have refused to expand Medicaid, like Louisiana, have faced a double-whammy--they still have to serve a large number of uninsured patients, but they have less money to do so. 

The ACA has reduced uncompensated care costs across the board--by $5.7 billion in fiscal 2014 compared with what they would have been otherwise, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. (See accompanying chart.)

Uninsured visits to ERs dropped sharply last year in states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA. (HHS)
But most of that effect is seen in Medicaid expansion states. The crisis has continued for hospitals in non-Medicaid expanding states. The problem is so acute that the Tennessee Hospital Assn. offered to pick up the state's cost of expansion. That wasn't enough: Conservative Republicans who dominate the state legislature on Wednesday voted in committee to kill a compromise plan by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam to expand Medicaid to cover more than 250,000 low-income uninsured adults.

In Baton Rouge, the Mid City ER, which recorded 45,000 patient visits last year, started facing a crisis in 2013, when it inherited the case load from a nearby ER that closed. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, Mid City's losses were projected to hit $25 million to $30 million this year. The Jindal administration stepped in with a promised infusion of $18 million, but that turned out to be a stopgap aimed at staving off an ER closure threatened last summer. Now the ER is set to close within 60 days.

Jindal, who still evidently harbors fantasies of running for president, deserves blame for the situation. As other GOP governors have seen the light on Medicaid expansion--10 have reached agreements with the federal government recently--Jindal has become ever more obstinate.

He's been pushing his own Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan, which mostly involves eliminating the tax deduction for employer-sponsored health plans and replacing it with a deduction allowing people to buy coverage in the individual market.

Jindal has promoted his plan with a string of distortions about the ACA and the health insurance marketplace that suggest, at best, that he has no idea what he's talking about.

He's left even conservative opponents of Obamacare scratching their heads: Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review said it "shows how not to replace Obamacare." Jindal's plan, Ponnuru observed, would favor higher-income taxpayers while leaving lower-income Americans, those covered by existing exchange plans, and many of those now enrolled in employer plans, in the dust.

"The great flaw in Jindal's plan is that it would cause millions of people to lose their coverage," he wrote.

That would be an interesting experiment in social insurance. Unfortunately for Louisiana residents, Jindal is experimenting on them first.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 08, 2015, 09:06:08 pm
Despite 60 Repeals, the GOP Is Considering Repairing Obamacare

A key group of Republican leaders this week unveiled the latest attempt at an Obamacare replacement in a 9-page summary detailing what looks like a more compressed version of the current health care law. It’s an updated version of a proposal a small group of Republicans created a year ago.

The proposal, called the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment Act, or Patient CARE, comes from three top Republicans: Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (UT); Sen. Richard Burr (NC); and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (MI).

The plan keeps some of Obamacare’s more popular provisions in place – including allowing young people to stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26 and prohibiting insurers from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions. It also preserves subsidies for people to put toward health coverage, though it scales back the eligibility requirements so that fewer people would qualify.

Meanwhile, it would repeal the law’s individual and employer mandates, and scrap rules requiring all insurance plans to include certain benefits like maternity care and contraceptives. The three lawmakers suggest this would significantly reduce the cost of the health plans—especially for people purchasing bare-bones plans.

Repeal or Replace?
Republicans have been pledging for years to repeal and replace Obamacare. They’ve voted 60 times to dismantle the law and have promised to come up with a better alternative. The upcoming Supreme Court case scheduled this March that threatens to unravel the entire law has given the GOP a new sense of urgency.

But the majority of Americans say they want Congress to fix the law, rather than kill it. An earlier survey by Hart Research Associates and Public Opinion Strategies that found 54 percent of respondents say they want lawmakers to repair Obamacare, while 28 percent say they want to eliminate it. Another 17 percent say they want the law to remain as is.

Importantly, that fix-it sentiment is also now shared with one of the law’s original adversaries. The powerful Chamber of Commerce for the first time ever did not endorse the GOP’s latest repeal vote.

The Patient CARE plan is one way to fix the ACA according to its creators. It keeps federal subsidies, but lowers the eligibility threshold from 400 percent of the federal poverty level under Obamacare to 300 percent. That’s about $35,310 for a family of four and $24,250 for a childless adult.

“We agree we can’t return to the status quo of the pre-Obamacare world, so we equip patients with tools that will drive down costs while also ensuring that those with pre-existing conditions and the young are protected,” Sen. Hatch said in a statement.

The Republican plan also repeals the law’s Medicaid expansion and instead gives income-eligible people tax credits to put toward private insurance. It also proposes to convert Medicaid into a “per-capita cap,” similar to block grants.

It also increases price transparency. It would require hospitals accepting Medicare to, among other things, disclose the “average amount paid by uninsured and insured patients for the most common impatient and outpatient procedures.”

While this is probably the closest thing to an actual Obamacare replacement plan, it is unclear in terms of what would happen to the millions of people getting coverage through the current health law. Since it’s an outline and not an official piece of legislation yet, it can’t be scored by the Congressional Budget Office – so the group will need to come up with more details and formalize the plan.

Separately, another group of GOP lawmakers—led by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan -- is working on a plan of their own.

The outline comes one month before the Supreme Court hears King v. Burwell, the much-anticipated case that has the potential to dismantle the entire health care law. If the High Court strikes down the federal subsidies to the millions of people getting coverage through the federal exchange, the entire law could crumble.

GOP lawmakers are eying the case as their only realistic shot at repealing Obamacare. The Court will make its decision in June. Until then, Republicans are working on getting a replacement strategy in place.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 20, 2015, 04:41:52 pm
New woes for HealthCare.gov: Wrong tax info sent out

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a new setback for the health care law and the people it's supposed to help, the government said Friday it made a tax-reporting error that's fouling up the filings of nearly a million Americans.

After a successful sign-up season, the latest goof could signal new problems with the complex links between President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and the nation's income tax system.

Officials said the government sent the wrong tax information to about 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers, and they're asking those affected to delay filing their 2014 returns. The issue involves a new government form called a 1095-A, which is like a W-2 form for health care for people who got subsidized private coverage under Obama's law.

People can find out whether they're affected by logging in to their accounts at HealthCare.gov, where they should find a message indicating whether they were affected or not. They also can check by phoning the federal customer service center at 800-318-2596.

Separately, California announced earlier that it had sent out inaccurate tax forms affecting about 100,000 households. The state is not part of the federal market but runs its own insurance exchange.

HealthCare.gov said in a blog post that the federal mistake happened when information on this year's premiums was substituted for what should been 2014 numbers. The website had a technology meltdown when it was launched back in 2013, but seemed to have overcome its problems this enrollment season.

"It's just another black mark on the administration's handling of the health care act," said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington. "They were hoping for a clean season."

"For many of these impacted taxpayers, the tax refund could be the single largest financial payout of the year," said Mark Ciaramitaro, H&R Block's vice president for health care. Many people due a refund file well before the April 15 deadline. "They are being told to wait," he added, "further delaying access to their tax refund."

On another matter, the administration also announced a special sign-up extension for uninsured people who would face the health care law's tax penalties for the first time this year.

Several million households could benefit from that grace period, which had been sought by Democratic lawmakers.

Uninsured people who go to file their taxes and learn they're facing a penalty will have between March 15 and April 30 to sign up through HealthCare.gov. Otherwise, they would not have had an opportunity until the fall. Fines for being uninsured are going up significantly in 2015.

The tax-document mistake was a self-inflicted wound after what Obama had personally touted as a successful open-enrollment season, with about 11.4 million people signed up.

On Capitol Hill, Democrats were frustrated, but they gave the administration some credit for disclosing the error early instead of letting the problem compound as tax season advances.

The White House downplayed the consequences. "It's a small percentage of overall tax filers," said spokesman Josh Earnest. "You're talking about less than 1 percent of people who file taxes."

At the Health and Human Services department, Andy Slavitt, who oversees health insurance programs, said consumers affected by the problem will be notified starting immediately via phone calls and emails. They represent about 1 of every 5 HealthCare.gov customers who got subsidies in 2014.

An estimated 50,000 people who have already filed their taxes will receive special instructions from the Treasury Department, he said. All corrected forms should be available by early March.

Slavitt said the error involved a "benchmark" premium that is used to help determine the subsidies that individuals receive. It's unclear whether the impact would favor the government or individual policyholders. Slavitt said it's a mix.

The tax error highlights the complicated links between Obama's health care law and taxes, connections that consumers are experiencing for the first time this year. The law subsidizes private health insurance for people who don't have access to job-based coverage. Those subsidies are mainly based on income.

By packaging the benefit as a tax credit, the law's supporters were able to promote it as a tax cut. But that also introduced new wrinkles to an already-complicated tax system at a time when Republicans have put the squeeze on the IRS budget.

Other issues could emerge later this spring. Consumers filing their taxes have to verify to the IRS that they got the amount of subsidy they were legally entitled to. If they received too much, their refunds will get dinged. Too little, and the government repays them. Some experts suspect that many consumers may have underestimated their 2014 incomes and gotten too big a subsidy.

"This is very complicated, and we've got all these different pieces coming together that will be prone to error," said Williams, the tax policy expert.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 20, 2015, 05:23:04 pm
I hate to say it, but the damage has already been done.

A Supreme Court decision against Obamacare could cost states billions and billions of dollars

If you want a sense of just how far-reaching the impact of a Supreme Court decision gutting Obamacare subsidies could prove, new data on health care signups released this week provide a fresh way to game out such a ruling’s consequences.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the other day that some 11.4 million people have signed up for health plans through federal marketplaces. The new HHS data also provides a breakdown of the number of sign-ups in each of the three dozen states on the federal exchange — precisely the states that would no longer get subsidies if the Court invalidates tax credits to people in all federal exchange states.

This provides a way of approximating just how much money in tax credits each state could lose if the Court rules that way. We’re talking about enormous amounts of money: Florida could lose nearly half a billion dollars per month in subsidies to its constituents. Texas could lose a quarter of a billion dollars per month. North Carolina and Georgia could each lose over one hundred million per month.

Here it is in chart form (a note on methodology is below), detailing the impact of such a ruling on the 14 states that stand to lose the most:


The column on the left details the approximate total number of people in each state who qualify for subsidies. The middle column details the average amount in subsidies per person. And the column on the right details the approximate total number of dollars per month that are set to flow into each state — money that would presumably stop flowing if SCOTUS guts the subsidies.

This methodology was suggested to me by Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation who may know more about the Affordable Care Act than anyone else alive. He says one reasonable way of trying to calculate total subsidies per state is to take the total number of new signups in each state, and multiply that by the percentage in each state who qualify for tax credits, data that is also supplied by HHS. That produces the approximate total in each state who qualify for subsidies (the left column).  You then multiply that by HHS data detailing the average monthly subsidy payment in each state (the middle column), and it gives you the approximate total in monthly subsidies to each state (the right hand column).

A few caveats: First, these calculations are very rough and approximate. The data on the percentages who qualify for subsidies and on average monthly subsidies are a little bit older than the newest data on total signups (but they probably won’t change much). Also, not all of the people who signed up will end up paying, so these totals will likely drop somewhat, though it’s hard to know how much. Still, Levitt says this is a good way of trying to gain a rough sense of how much money in each state we’re talking about here.

“This a very reasonable approach to estimating the amount of federal subsidies people living in these states will receive,” Levitt says. “Billions of dollars are flowing to low and middle income people under the law, and most of those are going to people in states using HealthCare.gov. This makes it very tangible: If the Supreme Court sides with the plaintiffs, states would be losing in some cases hundreds of millions in federal money per month.”

If defenders of the law get their way, numbers like these could end up having legal significance. A number of states have argued, in a brief filed for the government’s side, that the plain text of the ACA contains no explicit threat to withdraw subsidies from states that fail to set up exchanges. Thus, they argue, if the Supreme Court guts subsidies, it would impose a “dramatic” hidden punishment on them and their residents for their decision not to set up an exchange, despite the fact that they had no clear warning of the consequences of that decision. This raises serious Constitutional concerns, and as a result, the states argue, the Supreme Court should opt for the interpretation of the statute that doesn’t raise those concerns — the government’s interpretation that subsidies are universal.

This federalism argument, which has been expanded upon by law professors Nicholas Bagley and Abbe Gluck, could potentially appeal to Anthony Kennedy or possibly to John Roberts. The fact that the states stand to lose such enormous amounts in subsidies to their residents could help underscore that case.

Indeed, all of this suggests that a SCOTUS ruling against the ACA could create real problems for GOP lawmakers in many states. Reuters reports that officials in some states are currently scrambling to figure out what to do in the event of such a ruling. Even state officials who want to respond by setting up their own exchanges — keeping subsidies flowing — tell Reuters they may not be able to do so for political and other logistical reasons, meaning they’d lose subsidies even if they don’t want to. In Ohio, for instance, GOP governor John Kasich has suggested he wants to come up with a fix but doesn’t seem clear on what. It’s perhaps not surprising, then, that relatively few red states have signed a brief in support of this lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are working hard to convey the impression that they might have a contingency plan in place — or even their own alternative health reform — for those who might lose subsidies and coverage. Such feints are probably just designed to persuade the Justices that the consequences of an anti-ACA ruling might somehow not prove so dire. But, taking those Republicans at their word, numbers such as the above provide a useful way to judge any such contingency plans or alternatives: Do they come anywhere close to covering the same numbers of people?

Conservatives might seize on these sums of money for their own purposes. Some on the right are arguing that, if SCOTUS does gut subsidies to millions, Republicans must not offer a fix that spends anything close to the same amount in subsidizing those people’s health care, and instead must advocate for a return to a pre-Obamacare baseline level of spending and propose “free market” solutions instead. These conservatives will likely argue that such huge expenditures as those detailed above underscore their point.

As I’ve repeatedly written, I think there’s a decent chance the Justices could side with the challengers. The massive amounts of money at stake underscore that if this does happen, a whole new political and policy story will unfold from there, with consequences that no one should pretend to be able to predict.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 20, 2015, 05:26:19 pm
I hate to say it, but the damage has already been done.

A Supreme Court decision against Obamacare could cost states billions and billions of dollars

If you want a sense of just how far-reaching the impact of a Supreme Court decision gutting Obamacare subsidies could prove, new data on health care signups released this week provide a fresh way to game out such a ruling’s consequences.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the other day that some 11.4 million people have signed up for health plans through federal marketplaces. The new HHS data also provides a breakdown of the number of sign-ups in each of the three dozen states on the federal exchange — precisely the states that would no longer get subsidies if the Court invalidates tax credits to people in all federal exchange states.

This provides a way of approximating just how much money in tax credits each state could lose if the Court rules that way. We’re talking about enormous amounts of money: Florida could lose nearly half a billion dollars per month in subsidies to its constituents. Texas could lose a quarter of a billion dollars per month. North Carolina and Georgia could each lose over one hundred million per month.

Here it is in chart form (a note on methodology is below), detailing the impact of such a ruling on the 14 states that stand to lose the most:


The column on the left details the approximate total number of people in each state who qualify for subsidies. The middle column details the average amount in subsidies per person. And the column on the right details the approximate total number of dollars per month that are set to flow into each state — money that would presumably stop flowing if SCOTUS guts the subsidies.

This methodology was suggested to me by Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation who may know more about the Affordable Care Act than anyone else alive. He says one reasonable way of trying to calculate total subsidies per state is to take the total number of new signups in each state, and multiply that by the percentage in each state who qualify for tax credits, data that is also supplied by HHS. That produces the approximate total in each state who qualify for subsidies (the left column).  You then multiply that by HHS data detailing the average monthly subsidy payment in each state (the middle column), and it gives you the approximate total in monthly subsidies to each state (the right hand column).

A few caveats: First, these calculations are very rough and approximate. The data on the percentages who qualify for subsidies and on average monthly subsidies are a little bit older than the newest data on total signups (but they probably won’t change much). Also, not all of the people who signed up will end up paying, so these totals will likely drop somewhat, though it’s hard to know how much. Still, Levitt says this is a good way of trying to gain a rough sense of how much money in each state we’re talking about here.

“This a very reasonable approach to estimating the amount of federal subsidies people living in these states will receive,” Levitt says. “Billions of dollars are flowing to low and middle income people under the law, and most of those are going to people in states using HealthCare.gov. This makes it very tangible: If the Supreme Court sides with the plaintiffs, states would be losing in some cases hundreds of millions in federal money per month.”

If defenders of the law get their way, numbers like these could end up having legal significance. A number of states have argued, in a brief filed for the government’s side, that the plain text of the ACA contains no explicit threat to withdraw subsidies from states that fail to set up exchanges. Thus, they argue, if the Supreme Court guts subsidies, it would impose a “dramatic” hidden punishment on them and their residents for their decision not to set up an exchange, despite the fact that they had no clear warning of the consequences of that decision. This raises serious Constitutional concerns, and as a result, the states argue, the Supreme Court should opt for the interpretation of the statute that doesn’t raise those concerns — the government’s interpretation that subsidies are universal.

This federalism argument, which has been expanded upon by law professors Nicholas Bagley and Abbe Gluck, could potentially appeal to Anthony Kennedy or possibly to John Roberts. The fact that the states stand to lose such enormous amounts in subsidies to their residents could help underscore that case.

Indeed, all of this suggests that a SCOTUS ruling against the ACA could create real problems for GOP lawmakers in many states. Reuters reports that officials in some states are currently scrambling to figure out what to do in the event of such a ruling. Even state officials who want to respond by setting up their own exchanges — keeping subsidies flowing — tell Reuters they may not be able to do so for political and other logistical reasons, meaning they’d lose subsidies even if they don’t want to. In Ohio, for instance, GOP governor John Kasich has suggested he wants to come up with a fix but doesn’t seem clear on what. It’s perhaps not surprising, then, that relatively few red states have signed a brief in support of this lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are working hard to convey the impression that they might have a contingency plan in place — or even their own alternative health reform — for those who might lose subsidies and coverage. Such feints are probably just designed to persuade the Justices that the consequences of an anti-ACA ruling might somehow not prove so dire. But, taking those Republicans at their word, numbers such as the above provide a useful way to judge any such contingency plans or alternatives: Do they come anywhere close to covering the same numbers of people?

Conservatives might seize on these sums of money for their own purposes. Some on the right are arguing that, if SCOTUS does gut subsidies to millions, Republicans must not offer a fix that spends anything close to the same amount in subsidizing those people’s health care, and instead must advocate for a return to a pre-Obamacare baseline level of spending and propose “free market” solutions instead. These conservatives will likely argue that such huge expenditures as those detailed above underscore their point.

As I’ve repeatedly written, I think there’s a decent chance the Justices could side with the challengers. The massive amounts of money at stake underscore that if this does happen, a whole new political and policy story will unfold from there, with consequences that no one should pretend to be able to predict.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 03, 2015, 07:28:15 pm
Like said, the damage has long been already done - this will eventually lead to the one-payer/One World Economic system.

Los Angeles Times' February analysis: Bobby Jindal's opposition to Obamacare causing Baton Rouge General Mid City ER closure

The closure of the Baton Rouge General Mid City emergency room is a direct result of Gov. Bobby Jindal refusing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a February analysis in the Los Angeles Times.

The article states, "Jindal has tried to position himself as the last stalwart Republican opponent of the (affordable care act), but his state's experience shows that his position is folly."

The General’s board of directors had voted last August to close the emergency room in November, a casualty of growing red ink associated with uninsured patients entering its doors.

The Jindal administration had promised an infusion of cash to allow continued operation of the ER at the only facility between Zachary and south Baton Rouge treating life-threatening medical crisis.

Baton Rouge General - Mid City held a series of meetings with employees Tuesday March 3, 2015, to reassure staffers that the campus would remain open, although the Emergency Room will close at the end of the month.

Baton Rouge General officials have said Mid City, which features one of the state's two burn units, will remain open. The General has not disclosed how many beds will remain at the Mid City campus or how many Mid City staffers will lose jobs because of the ER's closure.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 04, 2015, 05:36:15 pm
This comment from Justice Kennedy could signal a win for Obamacare

The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday morning in a case that could gut Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, and legal experts are focusing on one comment from Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Kennedy, a key swing voter, said during the first half of oral arguments on Wednesday morning that he saw a "serious Constitutional" question with the interpretation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) set forth by the plaintiffs who are trying to strike it down.

"If that's Kennedy's view of the case, there's almost no chance that the challengers can win," UCLA constitutional law professor Adam Winkler told Business Insider.

The fight over the ACA centers on whether the federal government can keep subsidizing insurance in the roughly three dozen states that have not set up their own insurance marketplaces. The health law laid out a plan in which states set up their own exchanges but said the federal government could step in and set up the exchanges for the states if they could not do it on their own.

In reality, 34 states have not set up their own exchanges. Opponents of Obamacare now say the law allows subsidies only in states in which a healthcare exchange has been "established by a state."

If the opponents win, people in those states would lose their health insurance unless the states set up their own exchanges. Kennedy appears to have a problem with that scenario because it would effectively coerce states into setting up their own exchanges if they wanted their citizens to have insurance. Kennedy doesn't like that because he is a big fan of federalism.

“There is a serious constitutional problem here if we adopt your position," Kennedy told the lawyer for the plaintiffs, according to The New York Times.

From SCOTUSBlog:

Simply put, Kennedy expressed deep concern with the federalism consequences of a reading that would coerce the states into setting up their own exchanges to avoid destroying a workable system of insurance in the state.

The high court will issue its opinion in the next few months, and all eyes will be on Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative who surprised everybody in 2012 when he voted to save Obamacare.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 04, 2015, 05:44:24 pm
Chief Justice John Roberts, who saved Obamacare in 2012, stays quiet this time
As conservative and liberal wings duke it out over health care, Roberts sits back

Chief Justice John Roberts, who saved President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul three years ago by unexpectedly joining the liberal wing of the court, stayed largely silent in oral arguments on a new challenge that could deal a mortal blow to the law.

The argument centers on whether four words in the more than 1,000-page act should be interpreted literally, which would render millions of people who live in the dozens of states that did not set up their own insurance exchanges ineligible for federal subsidies to help them purchase insurance.

Wednesday’s oral arguments were filled with dry technical analysis of specific passages in various indices of the law — but they also contained some fireworks. The liberal justices battered the lawyer challenging the subsidies, Michael Carvin, while conservative justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia took on Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.

The chief justice, however, stayed away from the fray. He spoke only a few times. Once, Roberts told Carvin that he was giving him 10 additional minutes to speak. At another time, he jokingly defended Carvin from the liberal justices’ attacks.

Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg took turns carving up Carvin for the statements he made in 2012 when he argued in front of them that they should strike down the law’s individual mandate. Back then, Carvin said subsidies were crucial to the law’s existence and were altogether illegal (an argument he lost after Roberts upheld the individual mandate as a tax). Now he says that lawmakers only intended subsidies to go to people living in states that set up their own exchanges and that an exchange without federal subsidies still provides “valuable benefits” to a state.

“That’s not what you said previously when you were here last time in this never-ending saga,” Kagan said to laughs.

Roberts stepped in. “Mr. Carvin, we’ve heard talk about this other case. Did you win that other case?” he asked to laughter. Carvin said he did not, and the issue did not come up again.

In the oral arguments challenging the health care law in 2012, Roberts asked many questions of both the government and the petitioners, and he was one of the most vocal justices. It’s unclear why he was quieter this time around. His surprising decision to uphold the law then sparked a blistering conservative blowback against the chief justice.

Roberts didn’t tip his hand at all on Wednesday, but Anthony Kennedy, a conservative justice who occasionally sides with the liberal wing on controversial cases, was more voluble. Early in the argument, he told Carvin he feared that if the court agreed to strike down the subsidies, states would then be unconstitutionally “coerced” into establishing their own exchanges, to avoid having millions of their residents kicked off their coverage. This appeared to violate his federalist principles.

“There’s a serious constitutional problem if we adopt your argument,” Kennedy said. When Carvin tried to dodge his complaint, saying the government had not raised the same objection, Kennedy deadpanned: “Sometimes we think of things the government doesn’t.”

But at other times, Kennedy seemed very skeptical of the government’s position that “established by the state” means, in the context of the law, established by the state or by the federal government. He was even more wary of the argument that the Supreme Court should defer to the IRS in its interpretation of the statute. “It seems to me a drastic step to say the Department of Internal Revenue and its director can make this call when there’s, what, billions of dollars of subsidies involved here,” Kennedy said.

Roberts piped up, asking Verrilli if he believed the IRS had the power to decide not to give subsidies under a subsequent administration that was hostile to the health care law. The solicitor general said he did not.

The swing-vote justice added that he found it “very odd” that the IRS didn’t flag years ago that it wasn’t clear who was eligible for federal subsidies.

A decision is expected in June.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 09, 2015, 11:09:31 am
Here's What Scalia Said About Obamacare Last Week. It's Not What He Said 3 Years Ago.

It's going to be at least a few weeks, and probably a few months, before we know what the Supreme Court is going to do with Obamacare. But Wednesday's oral arguments in King v. Burwell have already made something very clear: Justice Antonin Scalia isn't too worried about intellectual consistency.

Among the many issues that came up Wednesday were the likely consequences if the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, thereby prohibiting the federal government from distributing Obamacare's tax credits in two-thirds of the states. Millions of people depend on those tax credits to purchase health insurance; without the financial assistance, they'd have to give it up. And that's not all. Experts have warned that the loss of so many paying customers would disrupt whole state insurance markets, in ways that would affect even people buying insurance without federal assistance.

Congress, in theory, could avoid these problems by passing a simple, one-sentence amendment to the Affordable Care Act. The entire basis for the lawsuit is the meaning of a four-word phrase, "established by the state." And during oral arguments, Scalia suggested Congress would do just that, or at least something like it:

What about -- what about Congress? You really think Congress is just going to sit there while -- while all of the disastrous consequences ensue? I mean, how often have we come out with a decision such as the -- you know, the bankruptcy court decision? Congress adjusts, enacts a statute that -- that takes care of the problem. It happens all the time. Why is that not going to happen here?

Of course, Congress can't pass anything more than emergency stop-gap measures these days, as the recent showdown over Department of Homeland Security funding demonstrated. And while Republicans in the House have voted to repeal Obamacare more than 50 times, they've yet to get a replacement bill onto the floor, let alone vote for one -- even though they've promised to produce such legislation repeatedly.

Everybody knows this. The courtroom burst into laughter when Solicitor General Donald Verrilli responded to Scalia by asking, incredulously, "This Congress, your honor?"

Is it too -- or, at least, he did three years ago, when the court heard arguments in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.

That was the case challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate. One issue the justices considered in that dispute was whether, in principle, they could invalidate the mandate but leave the rest of the law in place. Scalia suggested that such a move wouldn't make sense, because it would undermine the law's function and Congress, beset by paralysis, would be unable to act in response.

Here's what he said back then, addressing an attorney who was proposing that only the mandate be struck down:

Let's consider how -- how your approach, severing as little as possible, thereby increases the deference that we're showing to Congress. It seems to me it puts Congress in this position: This Act is still in full effect. There is going to be this deficit that used to be made up by the mandatory coverage provision. All that money has to come from somewhere. You can't repeal the rest of the Act because you're not going to get 60 votes in the Senate to repeal the rest. It's not a matter of enacting a new Act. You got to get 60 votes to repeal it. So, the rest of the Act is going to be the law.
The circumstances are not identical and oral arguments can be famously misleading indicators of how justices will actually vote. But you have to engage in some fine hair-splitting to show how Scalia might logically expect Congress to act now but doubt its ability to act three years ago. And while many principals in this saga have engaged in "motivated reasoning" -- that is, starting with a preferred political outcome, then crafting logic to fit it -- Scalia is becoming famous for it.

Back in the individual mandate case, one of the strongest legal defenses for the law was based on an opinion Scalia himself had written, in a case called Gonzales v. Raich. Scalia barely noticed and joined an opinion declaring the mandate unconstitutional. In this latest case against Obamacare, the government can once again point to a Scalia opinion to justify its position: A majority decision, which he wrote just five months ago, arguing that judges must interpret specific words in a statute "in their context and with a view to their place in the overall statutory scheme." Yet there was Scalia on Wednesday, attacking the government and showing little to no interest in the context around "established by the State."

To be clear, the Supreme Court doesn't have to consider consequences of a decision when making its decision. But it's likely that Chief Justice John Roberts and maybe even Justice Anthony Kennedy would hesitate to issue a ruling that would have a devastating effect on millions of people.

That may be why Justice Samuel Alito, during oral arguments, floated the idea of a "stay" that would delay a ruling's impact and give Congress time to act. Alito may be trying to ease any anxiety Roberts and Kennedy might have. Scalia's professions of newfound faith in Congress could be an attempt to accomplish the same thing, even though he knows, as well as anybody, the most likely outcome of a decision is more congressional inaction.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 13, 2015, 03:16:54 pm
Should Pregnancy Be A ‘Qualifying Life Event’ For Insurance Coverage?

The average cost of maternity care and delivery without complications is $23,000. With complications, that number jumps steeply. Imagine facing that cost if you’re uninsured? For approximately 13 percent of the over 6 million women who become pregnant yearly, these costs are a harsh reality.

But there’s a strong movement that’s trying to change that.

Today, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) led 54 members of Congress in a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish pregnancy as a “qualifying life event,” triggering a 60-day special open enrollment period in the federal health insurance exchange for women who have become pregnant.

This action comes just weeks after a coalition of over 20 organizations including the March of Dimes, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Planned Parenthood, and Young Invincibles began lobbying the Obama administration and HHS to amend its current policy regarding open enrollment for insurance through the Healthcare.gov marketplace, asking that a special enrollment period (SEP) be granted that allows women to enroll in an insurance plan upon learning of a pregnancy.

Currently, no such exceptions are made, though a SEP is offered at the time of birth, and a woman can enroll her newborn child then.

The advocacy coalition, having grown to include 32 organizations, also sent a separate letter today to Secretary Burwell, as well as petition that had gained over 50,000 signatures from American citizens voicing their support for the measure.

In their letter the Congressional coalition writes:

 “The Affordable Care Act has made historic progress towards ending discrimination against women in the health insurance market by requiring plans to cover maternity care as an Essential Health Benefit. This is a critical protection — good maternity care is essential for the well-being of women and children. Studies show that women who do not receive prenatal care are more likely to have an infant die in the first month after birth, and maternal mortality rates are up to four times higher for women who do not receive prenatal care than for women who do. … However, many women are still vulnerable. If a woman becomes pregnant while uninsured at a time outside of the annual Open Enrollment period, or is enrolled in a grandfathered plan that does not cover maternity services, she will not be able to access coverage for maternity care.”

HHS had previously issued a statement stating that, at this time, their final ruling on the matter would deny the creation of a SEP for pregnant women. In a statement regarding HHS’s current decision, Christina Postolowski, the Health Policy Manager for Young Invincibles, a national organization working to engage young adults on issues such as higher education, health care, and jobs, said, “We believe the Department of Health and Human Services can and should fix this problem. The average cost of maternity care and delivery without complications is $23,000. HHS has stood on the side of expanding access to coverage for millions of people — that shouldn’t change now. We urge the Department to issue immediate guidance to classify pregnancy as a trigger for Special Enrollment.”

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood explained to Yahoo Health that currently, the open enrollment period to purchase insurance through the marketplace is once every year, for about 3 months a year. If an individual does not sign up during that time, there’s no chance to sign up outside of that time without meeting certain conditions such as giving birth or adopting a child. And yet, a woman who finds out she’s pregnant — but doesn’t have coverage and wants pre-natal care — can’t sign-up for insurance outside of open enrollment. What the coalition is advocating for is to establish a special enrollment period (SEP) for when a woman finds out she’s pregnant so women can enroll when they become pregnant and get the care they need.

“50% of pregnancies are unplanned,” Postolowski told Yahoo Health, adding that while “more and more plans are covering maternity care” since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), “there are still many plans that don’t cover pregnant women.” The coalition of which Young Invincibles is a part wants simply to ensure that every woman is afforded access to pre-natal and maternity care, ensuring better health and economic impacts for not just mother and child, but the American public in general.

“After ACA, there are a lot more incentives for people to get signed up” for insurance, notes Postolowski, pointing to the individual mandates and provisions for financial assistance in the purchase of insurance for those who fall below certain income brackets in particular. “We know for young people in particular, tax credits and Medicaid are helping increase enrollment among young adults who may not have afforded [insurance] before.” And young adults are the bulk of the demographic currently experiencing pregnancy and parenthood. Young Invincibles focuses their advocacy work on those ages 18 to 34 and “83 percent of births happen to women in that age range,” Postolowski says. “Any issue having to do with young parents and expectant mothers is inherently a young adult issue.”

And yet, she adds, “We certainly know that pregnant women who can’t afford to pay for maternity care face health and financial risks…and it’s often more expensive to treat complications from pregnancy and pre-term birth than cover maternity care. So, if you’re looking at overall system costs, if [an uninsured] woman ends up in the ER because of a pregnancy complication, the cost to the system is much higher than women getting the routine blood or urine tests that come with basic maternity care.” Furthermore, “without maternal care, mortality rates are three to four times higher than those who have maternity coverage.”

Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus, a bi-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families the priority in federal policy and budget decisions, supports the coalition’s stance, telling Yahoo Health, “[First Focus] definitely agree that pregnancy should be a qualifying event — we have a ridiculously high infant mortality rate in this country and we should care about that. Any time we can provide pre-natal care, we should do that. …The better services you have in prenatal care, the better you are in preventing low birth-weight babies.”

“If you look at the highest cost drivers in pediatrics, 7 out of 10 have to deal with birth,” Lesley notes. “If you have a low birth weight child or an early birth, these kids are in the NICU — with enormous costs and then often lifetime problems resulting from these issues at birth.” Furthermore, if a mother and her future child can be insured before that child’s birth, a newborn does not run the risk of missing out on critical pediatric care during the first two months of life — the amount of time it can take for insurance enrollment to kick in through a SEP.

Many of the women who would benefit by the creation of a pregnancy SEP are currently uninsured because of a grey area in Obamacare coverage that mainly impacts the working poor. They earn too much to qualify for a government subsidy that would allow them to buy insurance, and earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Lesley believes that HHS has the ability to address the “enormous racial disparities in terms of infant mortality [that often correspond with these aforementioned socioeconomic groupings]. As a society, we should value all of our children equally. It’s very important to tackle this issue and address some of those inequalities.”

Lesley notes that ensuring that pregnant women have maternity coverage is a critical step in breaking the “cycle of poverty” that exists for so many in the United States. “A woman who carries a baby to term uninsured is most likely poor. If she is then saddled with tens of thousands of medical debt, she’s guaranteed instant poverty, which has lifelong implications and is crippling for kids.” Lesley says he sees a need for the government to “ensure that a woman gets the care she needs without driving herself into destitution and breaking this cycle,” adding “If you’re interested in reducing costs and infant mortality, this is an important initiative.”

But not all experts agree with the coalition’s stance. Hadley Heath Manning, the Director of Health Policy at the politically conservative Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), tells Yahoo Health that she believes that “Young women of child-bearing age are the biggest losers under Obamacare” and feels like the creation of a SEP for pregnant women would only worsen the current situation. She notes that these women would be “better off letting insurance companies compete” for their business during normal open enrollment periods, and that a market free of standardization and consolidation could give rise to some insurance companies specializing in plans that would reach that demographic, creating plans that specifically address the needs of women who might or are planning to become pregnant.

Furthermore, she notes, the creation of a SEP for pregnancy “illustrates how far we’ve gotten away from the definition of insurance. It’s about risk. If you’re already pregnant and trying to buy insurance, there’s no question of risk. The question is already answered — you’re going to have risk and you’re going to have costs associated with that.” Heath Manning adds that the question of a SEP for pregnancy “illustrates a broader problem in health insurance policy,” forcing the costs of premiums to rise across the board as a result of the addition of so many clearly expected — and often routine — costs. “Maternity coverage is not cheap and raises premiums across the board. It only serves to raise the costs of insurance [for everyone].”

A spokesperson from Planned Parenthood notes, however, that many of the women the creation of a SEP for pregnancy would apply to might have already enrolled in an insurance plan. Those who have a catastrophic coverage plan will find that the essential health benefits (EHB) including maternity care are covered by their plans, but only after the person has paid upfront the annual out-of-pocket limit for the year, which is $6,600 for an individual plan and $13,200 for a family plan. Maternity coverage doesn’t kick in until the woman pays those costs up front. Furthermore, some women have insurance through grandfathered plans, self-funded student health plans, or certain employer​ plans that do not cover prenatal and maternity care.

Heath Manning agrees that “of course you want every expectant mother to have every best opportunity to give care to her child whether through healthcare or through other help available, such as community programs or charity — especially for those mothers struggling financially” while adding “but that doesn’t necessarily mean that insurance companies should be forced to sell their policies to people who have already become pregnant.”

We’ll let the last word be from the doctors themselves. Most will disagree. The American Congress of Obstetricians (AGOC) sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, voicing their support for the creation of a SEP for pregnancy.

“Comprehensive and timely prenatal care helps ensure women have access to essential screening and diagnostic tests; services to manage developing and existing problems; and education, counseling, and referrals to reduce risky behaviors. Such care may thus improve the health of both mothers and infants.”

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 16, 2015, 02:14:55 pm
Republican Governor Says He Wants The Supreme Court Case Against Obamacare To Lose

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R) is no fan of the Affordable Care Act. He supported the first Supreme Court case seeking to repeal the law, and he claimed that the law is “unconstitutional.” And yet, at a news conference last week, Mead echoed many of the Justice Department’s warnings regarding what will happen if the justices side with a new case seeking to gut the law. Indeed, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Mead “hopes the court will reject the case and uphold the law.”

The attorneys behind King v. Burwell asked the Supreme Court to cut off TAXcredits, which allow millions of Americans to afford their HEALTH INSURANCE, in close to three dozen states. If the justices agree to do so, millions of people’s premiums will triple or worse, and an estimated 8 million people insured through the law’s exchanges will lose their coverage. Nearly 10,000 people will die every year who otherwise would have lived, according to one estimate. Meanwhile, the sudden, enormous spikes in the cost of insurance will destabilize many states’ individual insurance markets, potentially triggering a “death spiral” that will cause those markets to collapse.

In his press conference, Mead worried about the chaos that would result from a decision that allowed all of this to happen. “If on June 30, if that’s when the case comes down, and they say no more subsidies for federal exchanges … it is going to cause a lot of turmoil,” he warned, adding that his home state of Wyoming “will be scrambling” if the King plaintiffs win their case.

During oral arguments on King, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli expressed similar concerns that the states will not be able to adapt to a decision cutting off tax credits.

Justice Samuel Alito, who spent much of those arguments advocating for the plaintiffs’ position in King, asked Verrilli whether the Court could mitigate some of the problems that would result from a decision cutting off TAX credits by staying its decision “until the end of this tax year.” Even under the plaintiffs’ theory in King, states could restore tax credits by setting up a state-run health exchange under the AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, so Alito appeared to be suggesting that a stay could give these states enough time to set up such an exchange.

Verrilli, however, laid out why this was not a practical solution. “n order to have an exchange approved and INSURANCE POLICIES on the exchange ready for the 2016 year,” the solicitor general explained, “those approvals have to occur by May of 2015.” So, “the idea that a number of States . . . are going to be able to in the 6 months between when a decision in the this case would come out” and “when the new year for insurance purposes will begin” is “completely unrealistic.”

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 19, 2015, 02:21:32 pm
Turkish president: I advised Obama on health care reform

The president of Turkey appears to be taking partial credit for Obamacare, saying he counseled U.S. President Barack Obama on health care reform at the request of American tourists.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed his professed role in shaping Obamacare at the opening ceremony of a health complex in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Wednesday, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

“Once I attended the Friday prayer at the Sultanahmet Mosque. There were tourists. Some of them knew that I would be visiting the United States the following week. They asked me how we could be so successful in health care and wanted me to tell about it to Obama,” he said.

Erdogan shared the anecdote in an attempt to illustrate how other countries, he said, wish to emulate Turkey’s health care model.

“Indeed, I then talked about the issue with Mr. Obama,” he said.

He commiserated with the roadblocks Obama has faced in pushing through health care reform, saying the American leader “could only solve the problem partly.”

“Of course, the negative reflex there [in the U.S.] made it really hard for Mr. Obama,” Erdogan said, according to the Turkish broadsheet.

Erdogan added that European officials also come to his nation to study its health care system.

“They try to take us as a model and build similar systems in their country,” he said. “Don’t we have any deficiencies? We do, but now we are on the right path to success.”

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 24, 2015, 05:53:49 pm
Ted Cruz is Going on Obamacare as Wife Takes Goldman Sachs Leave

The Goldman Sachs HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN has lost a high profile customer. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is going on Obamacare. With his wife Heidi taking leave to help her husband campaign for president, the Cruzes are leaving the $20,000 per year coverage she enjoyed at Goldman.

"We will presumably go on the exchange and sign up for health care and we're in the process of transitioning over to do that," Cruz told the Des Moines REGISTER's Jennifer Jacobs. "It is written in the law that members will be on the exchanges without subsidies just like millions of Americans... I think the same rules should apply to all of us."

Heidi Cruz's coverage became the subject of a small media tempest in 2013, after Cruz and House conservatives insisted on de-funding the ACA through the appropriations process. After the resultant government shutdown ended, Heidi Cruz confirmed that she was covered, and her husband benefited from Goldman's generous plan. It was a rare and tooth-pulling mention of Heidi Cruz's career. Even in his announcement speech, at Liberty University, Cruz talked at length about his wife's success but did not mention where she worked.

Now, Cruz is finding a political advantage in his unhappy journey into Obamacare. In an interview with CNN, Cruz contrasted his sacrifice with the law-dodging ruthlessness of the Obama administration. "I believe we should follow the text of every law, even law I disagree with," Cruz told CNN's Dana Bash. "If you look at President Obama and the lawlessness, if he disagrees with a law he simply refuses to follow it or claims the authority to unilaterally change."

Cruz is deftly using the oddly-enough angle of this news—Obamacare-hating senator forced into Obamacare—for a populist cause. He's not the first Republican to do so. In his successful 2014 campaign for Senate, Colorado Representative Cory Gardner repeatedly talked about the family plan he'd held onto until it was scrapped for not meeting the ACA's standards.

"I got a letter saying that my family's plan was canceled," said Gardner in a TV spot. "Three hundred and thirty-five thousand Coloradans had their plans canceled, too."

Why was Gardner on the endangered plan? Because he declined the coverage available to him as a member of Congress. At personal cost, he took a decision that made him more relatable and vulnerable to the insurance MARKET. And now Cruz has done the same.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 31, 2015, 07:39:38 pm
Indiana’s Pence looks for ‘fix,’ blames Obamacare

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) seems acutely aware of the fact that he created a firestorm when he ignored warnings and signed a right-to-discriminate bill into law last week. He’s less sure what to do about it now.
The Republican governor, and possible presidential candidate, published a Wall Street Journal op-ed overnight in which Pence outlined his plan to address businesses that exploit his new law to discriminate against gay consumers: “If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore.”
As Rachel joked on the show last night, “So, if you were worried that gay people might be refused service by a business in Indiana now, don’t worry. That could never happen because the state has decided to wield the grave threat of depriving businesses of Mike Pence’s personal patronage.”
In the same piece, the Hoosier State governor suggested this whole mess can be traced back to Obamacare.

Many states have enacted [Religious Freedom Restoration Acts] of their own …  but Indiana never passed such a law. Then in 2010 came the Affordable Care Act, which renewed concerns about government infringement on deeply held religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby and the University of Notre Dame both filed lawsuits challenging provisions that required the institutions to offer certain types of insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.
Last year the Supreme Court upheld religious liberty in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, based on the federal RFRA. With the Supreme Court’s ruling, the need for a RFRA at the state level became more important, as the federal law does not apply to states. To ensure that religious liberty is fully protected under Indiana law, this year the General Assembly enshrined these principles in Indiana law. I fully supported that action.
Hmm. Indiana businesses can now discriminate against gay people because of the ACA’s contraception policy?
This apparently wasn’t persuasive, either, leading Pence to announce this morning his support for a legislative “fix.”

Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana said on Tuesday that he hopes to sign legislation by the end of this week making it clear that his state’s controversial religious freedom law does not give businesses the right to deny service to anyone. […]
Republicans who control the state Legislature said on Monday that they would work quickly to clarify the law, and they insisted that it was not meant to sanction discrimination.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear that this law doesn’t give businesses the right to deny services to anyone,” Pence said. The GOP governor went on to blame others this morning for the entire fiasco, blasting the “harsh glare” of national criticism.
What this legislative fix might look like, and whether it will be sufficient, remains to be seen, though work will reportedly begin immediately. Note, with Republicans in control of all Indiana’s state government, Pence and his allies should be able to quickly approve any proposal they want.
Let’s also not forget that with several Republican presidential candidates endorsing the new law as-is, Pence isn’t doing the GOP’s 2016 field any favors by quickly looking to add “clarity” to the controversial anti-gay measure.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on May 26, 2015, 08:10:46 am
Obamacare Insurance Premiums to Jump, up to 51%

Major insurers in some states are proposing up to 51 percent premium increases for health plans sold under the Affordable Healthcare and Patient Protection Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. Despite single digit increases for 2015, insurance companies are seeing their costs jump and are demanding to be compensated with dramatically higher rates.

When Insurance plans proposed 2015 rates last summer, they had only a little information about the health of the new customers they expected to sign up during the fall Obamacare expansion. Big insurers tended to ask for increases of less than 10%, while some smaller insurers tried to under-cut pricing by the major’s to take market share, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Under Obamacare, insurers must file proposed premium rates with their local state regulator and the federal government by June. But some states have already started publicly disclosing the premium requests. Due to the high utilization costs from people newly enrolled under Obamacare, the 2016 insurance premiums are about to skyrocket.

According to states that have released rate requests, New Mexico’s market leader Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average premium spike of 51.6 percent; Tennessee’s top insurer BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee wants an average spike of 36.3%; Maryland’s market leader CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is requesting an average spike of 30.4%; and Oregon’s top insurer, Moda Health, is seeking a 25% spike.

The Obama Administration’s only legal power regarding healthcare premiums is the right to ask insurers seeking increases of 10% or more to explain themselves. There is no federal power to force rate cuts. State insurance regulators can force carriers to scale back requests they believe are not justified, but the carriers can drop coverage and cause a crisis.

Obamacare supposedly sought to fix two problems: coverage and cost. To extend coverage, the law made it compulsory for Americans to have health insurance, or pay a fine. It also offered subsidies for those who could not afford it and barred insurance firms from charging people more if they have “pre-existing conditions.” Before the exchanges arrived in 2013, some 41.3 million Americans lacked health insurance. That number fell to 30 million, but only because 48% of Obamacare subscribers received “premium assistance.”

President Obama claimed he compromised the design of Obamacare in 2010 to achieve fiscal neutrality over a 10 year projection to avoid increasing the deficit spending.  But to achieve that mirage, the implementation was delayed for three years and the premium cost increases were ramped up over the next three years.

(My own insurer, Aetna, left the “individual market” rather than participate in the Covered California exchange. I was forced to purchase a 2014 Blue Shield policy on the state exchange. The premium for my wife and I, who have no major health issues, almost doubled from $740 per month with Aetna to $1,340 under Covered California.)

Although the inflation rate was only +.8 percent last year, national health spending grew by +5.0 percent. The 2014 health spending share of national GDP came in at 17.8%, up from 16.0% when President Obama took office. Prescription drugs were the fastest growing healthcare expenditure last year, rising by at a +13.0 percent rate.

The Affordable Care Act was rushed into law and implemented with what now appears to have been grossly defective actuarial assumptions regarding costs. The same consumer groups that fought for Obamacare are already demanding federal and state officials put premiums under the microscope to curb some increases.

But with healthcare inflation running far ahead of inflation and insurers saying their huge proposed rates only reflect the revenue they need to pay claims, Obamacare seems destined to loom as a financial and political crisis this summer.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 26, 2015, 11:39:11 am
Matthew 13:24  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Mat 13:25  But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Mat 13:26  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

In scripture, sleep also means the OPPOSITE of sober-minded.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 25, 2015, 09:34:41 am
Supreme Court upholds Obamacare subsidies

The Supreme Court spared a key part of President Barack Obama’s signature law in a 6-3 decision Thursday, ruling that the federal government may continue to subsidize health insurance in the dozens of states that did not set up their own exchanges.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who expressed deep reservations when the case was argued about whether striking down the subsidies would coerce states into establishing their own exchanges, joined the court’s four liberals and Chief Justice John Roberts to uphold the subsidies. Roberts, who was the object of immense conservative blowback after he joined the court’s liberals three years ago to uphold the law’s individual mandate, again wrote the majority opinion in support of the Obama administration position.

The law’s challengers argued that four words in the statute — “established by the state” — meant that only people who bought insurance from exchanges in the handful of states that set up their own marketplaces would be eligible for tax credits and other government assistance. The government countered that the clear intent of the law was to provide the subsidies for all lower-income Americans who sought coverage.

More than 6 million people would have lost those subsidies if the court had ruled against the government, which experts said would lead to skyrocketing premiums and even a potential “death spiral” that could have dealt a mortal blow to Obamacare. The White House insisted in the days leading up to the decision that Obama felt he had nothing to fear because the government’s case was strong. But they are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief.

Around 17 million people have gained coverage from the law, according to a Rand Corp. study, and a recent poll shows that for the first time since it passed, more Americans approve of the law than disapprove.

The case had put Republicans in an awkward spot. Publicly, over the last few weeks, Republican lawmakers expressed their hope in news conferences and speeches that the Supreme Court would rule against the government. But privately, aides conceded that the politics of victory would be more complicated than defeat.

The Republican-led Congress would have been under pressure to come up with at least a temporary fix for the more than 6 million people who would most likely lose their insurance, contorting itself into the odd position of extending subsidies while still opposing the law. (At least one Senate Republican wrote a bill that would temporarily extend the subsidies while phasing out the individual mandate, which would eventually kill the law.) If the Republican majority had just let the subsidies lapse, they’d be faced with angry constituents who just lost coverage and a Democratic PR assault highlighting the most heart-wrenching cases of people who lost their insurance.

Now, things will most likely return to the status quo — in which Republicans threaten to dismantle the president’s signature legislative achievement but do not actually take concrete steps to take health care coverage away from people.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 25, 2015, 07:15:37 pm
The Supreme Court rewrites the Obamacare law instead of letting Congress do its job.

With his opinion in King v. Burwell, Chief Justice John Roberts has sent a clear message to Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi: “You can count on me.” Or, to use the language of younger readers, “I got your back.” In the face of clear statutory language indicating that federal subsidies are available only for insurance plans purchased through “an Exchange established by the State,”  Justice Roberts — and five other justices — rewrote the law to enable tax credits for insurance purchased through federal exchanges as well. In so doing, the justices not only saved the individual mandate, they essentially saved Obamacare. Had they ruled the other way, Americans living in the 34 states without a state exchange could no longer have purchased subsidized insurance on the individual market. As a result, the cost of the insurance would have grown to the point where consumers would no longer be required to purchase it. Under Obamacare, the individual mandate does not apply if the cost of insurance exceeds 8 percent of the taxpayer’s income. This result would have been catastrophic for Obamacare — gutting a key provision — but whether it would have been catastrophic, meaningless, or even potentially beneficial for individual Americans would have been entirely up to the elected branches of government. After all, a Supreme Court decision applying the clear language of the statute wouldn’t have mandated any particular congressional or presidential reaction. Congress would have been free to reform Obamacare, rewrite it to include federal exchanges in the subsidy scheme, or enact entirely new policies. The Supreme Court, however, decided not to take any chances on democracy, so — in an opinion long on insurance-economics analysis and short on statutory or constitutional reasoning — it effectively changed the statute. Why? Because of the entirely speculative real-world effects. Here’s Justice Roberts: Here, the statutory scheme compels us to reject petitioners’ interpretation because it would destabilize the individual insurance market in any State with a Federal Exchange, and likely create the very “death spirals” that Congress designed the Act to avoid. Yet this is pure conjecture on Justice Roberts’s part. He does not, in fact, know whether insurance markets would be destabilized because he does not know the congressional response to a contrary ruling. He distrusts Congress, so he’s going to “fix” their mess. MORE OBAMACARE THE ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF KING V. BURWELL ROBERTS GETS IT WRONG AGAIN WHAT DOES THE KING DECISION SUGGEST FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE? He made this distrust manifest earlier in the opinion when he took a swipe at the drafters, noting that Obamacare “contains more than a few examples of inartful drafting” and that “Congress wrote key parts of the Act behind closed doors, rather than through ‘the traditional legislative process.’” But despite (or because of?) this mess, the Court felt the need to preserve the Obamacare they wanted to see, not the Obamacare Congress drafted and the president signed. The end result is rule by bureaucracy, with the backing of the courts. Recall that the genesis of this case was the IRS’s unilateral act of writing regulations that contradicted the statutory language by extending tax credits to insurance purchased on federal exchanges. The bureaucrats defied the democratic process, only to see their defiance validated by the highest court in the land. While this may be progressivism, it is not democracy, and it is certainly not the government as outlined in the Constitution. Justice Scalia, writing in dissent, understood this well: The Court forgets that ours is a government of laws and not of men. That means we are governed by the terms of our laws, not by the unenacted will of our lawmakers. “If Congress enacted into law something different from what it intended, then it should amend the statute to conform to its intent.” Lamie, supra, at 542. In the meantime, this Court “has no roving license . . . to disregard clear language simply on the view that . . . Congress ‘must have intended’ something broader.” Given the Supreme Court’s role in preserving, protecting, and — where necessary — rewriting Obamacare, Justice Scalia proposes renaming it “SCOTUScare.” But the Supreme Court is but one part of an increasingly unified federal technocracy. The Court’s decision is distressing but predictable. After all, when it comes to progressive reform, they’re all in it together.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on July 02, 2015, 08:19:15 am
Supreme Court: Obama Admin Can't Make Religious Groups Obey Birth Control Mandate

 Some Roman Catholic religious charities in Pennsylvania will not be forced to follow the federal government’s birth control coverage mandate— at least, temporarily.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the religious organization, including Catholic Charities, could be exempt from the mandate while the case is being litigated. The case is Zubik v. Burwell.
"Nothing in this interim order affects the ability of the applicants' or their organizations' employees to obtain, without cost, the full range of FDA approved contraceptives,” the order said. “Nor does this order preclude the Government from relying on the information provided by the applicants, to the extent it considers it necessary, to facilitate the provision of full contraceptive coverage under the Act."
The HHS mandate requires that businesses, including religious ministries, provide birth control coverage or pay IRS penalties, The Christian Post reports.
In response to the interim decision, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty called the order a success.
"Every time a religious ministry has taken this issue to the Supreme Court, the government has lost and the religious plaintiffs have been granted relief,” said Becket Fund Deputy General Counsel Eric Rassbach.
The case is one of many being argued in the country. Previously, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiffs, saying that the mandate was not an “undue burden on their religious practices.”
A December 2013 poll found that about fifty percent of Americans disagree with forcing companies to obey the mandate, according to Life News.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 21, 2015, 12:43:33 pm
Ninety-seven percent of Obamacare’s “newly insured” are from Medicaid expansion

The Obama administration has been bragging that nine million more Americans now have health insurance, thanks to Obamacare. But just like with most numbers cited to support the government takeover of health care in America, that “9 million” figure is deceptive.

We were told that 48 million Americans lacked affordable health insurance and something had to be done, but even five years after the passage of Obamacare, 33 million Americans are still uninsured.

If you dig deeper into the actual numbers and realize what really happened with those 9 million “newly insured”, there’s little reason to cheer.

The number of Americans with health insurance increased by 9.25 million in 2014, the first year that two key provisions of Obamacare took place: the subsidies for coverage purchased through the exchanges and Medicaid expansion. And according to recent research by The Heritage Foundation, out of that 9.25 million, “the vast majority of the increase was the result of 8.99 million individuals being added to the Medicaid rolls.”

In other words, over 97 percent of last year’s newly insured Americans were from Medicaid expansion.

I’ve written extensively about the numerous ways Medicaid fails the poor, and actually traps them in poverty – and Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid makes the difficulties much, much worse.

While Medicaid was originally designed to help needy mothers, children, and the disabled, Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion opened up the program to able-bodied, working age adults, the majority of whom have no dependent children and also don’t work. Adding several million people into Medicaid while failing to address the program’s systemic problems with financial solvency and access to doctors is bad enough. But every dollar spent incentivizing a healthy young adult not to work is a dollar taken away from someone who is truly needy and has no other options.

Even looking at the roughly 3 percent of the newly insured who aren’t part of Medicaid reveals Obamacare’s inherent shortcomings.

There were almost 4.79 million new enrollees in private individual market plans in 2014. However, as Heritage’s researchers noted, 4.53 million people lost their employment-based group coverage during that same time. This leaves a paltry 260,000 people with new private health insurance.

Obamacare has wasted billions of dollars, increased premiums and deductibles on millions of families, and has likely frustrated countless doctors into early retirement. This administration tore apart our country’s entire health care system, all to provide insurance for roughly the number of people who will attend a game at two major college football stadiums this Saturday.

Ronald Reagan once said, “We should measure welfare’s success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added.”

By this standard, President Obama is an utter failure. We’ve added nearly 9 million work-able adults without children onto the welfare rolls – a new entitlement class that has never been eligible for benefits before and in 2013 a record 48 million Americans were also dependent on food stamps – a record high.

This Administration can claim that their domestic policies are a success, but the only thing they’re really successful in doing is trapping millions more Americans in government dependence.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 02, 2015, 06:51:45 pm
Texas' Changing Relationship To Obamacare

The online federal insurance marketplace opened for business Sunday. It's the third year of open enrollment for these subsidized plans, established by the Affordable Care Act. Many Texans still oppose the law, even though the state is home to the most uninsured people in the country.

For the moment, Texas Republicans still consider the Affordable Care Act to be political kryptonite. Sen. Ted Cruz continues to criticize it. Attorney General Ken Paxton just filed another lawsuit attacking part of it. Gov. Greg Abbott has said he won't consider the Medicaid expansion, because he considers Medicaid a dysfunctional entitlement program that should not be allowed to expand.

But the story on the local level is different. Harris County is home to Houston, where Judge Ed Emmett, a moderate Republican who is chief executive for the county, has supported it for years. The CEO of the taxpayer-supported Harris Health System, George Masi, says he needs the revenue that Medicaid expansion would bring. He's had to lay off more than 100 employees and cut back on charity care.

"What is even more profound is that money is going to other states that expanded Medicaid, like New York, California, Connecticut," Masi says. "And so the taxpayer of Texas is being penalized, if you will, for not taking advantage of that option."

By emphasizing the impact on taxpayers, Masi and others are framing the issue in terms of economics rather than humanitarian concerns.

"We call it a paradigm shift," Masi added. "It's a different way of thinking."

Government leaders and health advocates from across Houston point out that the costs of caring for the uninsured fall heavily on local institutions. Those patients strain the budgets of hospitals, first responders and even jails.

Last week, Masi welcomed Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell to Houston, where she toured a Harris Health clinic.

Burwell said she's willing to work with state leaders to craft a unique Medicaid plan for Texas. She's done that with other Republican governors.

She, too, dangled the economic benefits of accepting more federal money under the law. She pointed to Kentucky, which expanded Medicaid.

"In Kentucky alone, which is obviously a much smaller state than the state I'm now visiting, the expectation is we will see an increase of 40,000 jobs by 2021 and $30 billion into the state's coffers," Burwell said. "So that's something."

In 2013, the Texas Legislature took no action on Medicaid expansion. The same thing happened this year.

But more voices are starting to push for change, according to Ken Janda, who runs Community Health Choice, a not-for-profit insurance company in Houston.

Janda says the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Hospital Association are both being more vocal on the issue, as is the Texas Association of Business. The federal Medicaid funds would help the state budget and inject revenue into the medical sector of the economy.

"Doctors' offices are able to hire more people," Janda says. "Pharmacies are able to hire more people. That becomes an economic multiplier."

County budgets would benefit as well, because they support safety-net clinics and public hospitals such as Ben Taub, part of the Harris Health system.

"If Texas expanded Medicaid, we would be able to look at reducing local property taxes across the board in all counties, or use those dollars for something besides health care," says Janda.

Janda says the new emphasis on economics could eventually bring the parties together. "There is some interest now by some Republican state senators because of the potential to reduce local property taxes," he adds.

Janda isn't naming names yet. He also says don't expect to see any movement on this issue until after the 2016 presidential election. But he says he is "guardedly optimistic" that Republicans will be willing to discuss a possible Medicaid expansion after that.

"The burden is particularly acute in states that have not expanded Medicaid," says Beth Feldpush, the senior vice president of policy and advocacy for America's Essential Hospitals.

Feldpush says the organization has not surveyed its members to find out how many other public hospitals have tightened eligibility as a way to induce patients to enroll in ACA plans.

But Feldpush says she is sympathetic to the budgetary pressures facing Harris Health.

"When you look at the states that haven't expanded Medicaid, hospitals there are really facing a double whammy," she says. "They've got cuts coming at them that are cooked into the law, and yet they don't see any increase to revenue from Medicaid expansion because it hasn't happened."

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 07, 2015, 11:56:58 am

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 07, 2015, 05:18:35 pm
^^ I don't agree with everything Bryan and Katherine said in this video - but nonetheless I found it very edifying, and learned some things in general.(biblically, that is)

With that being said - car and homeowner insurance is a must. God will provide and protect, but nonetheless there are a lot of crazy drivers, and busy work-drivers on the road, that one would be completely dumb to go without car insurance. And a number of things can go wrong in a home, especially with families. I don't think God will withdraw his protecting hand on your home just b/c you bought insurance on it.

As for insurance companies like Allstate that have Freemasonic logos on their companies - last I checked, a lot of companies and businesses are runned by Freemasons and Roman Catholics - does that mean we shouldn't work, and be bums on the street? Last I checked in scripture, if we don't work, and we don't eat, and (paraphrasing here)we give our even mean masters respect. And we're IN the world, but NOT OF it.

But with Obamacare - couldn't agree more - if anything, avoid anything that brings you under BONDAGE, period. Obamacare's rates are going to SKYROCKET next year - so if you're not insured, it'll be no different from getting Obamacare.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 10, 2015, 02:07:08 pm
Just curious - does everyone else think owning insurance(health, car, homeowners, or whatever) is biblical, or no?

Just wanting everyone's feedback here - but nonetheless I thought Bryan made some good points(he said he has family members in the insurance business, and have made a hefty penny scamming others), but at the same time I think he errs b/c it's not like car or homeowners insurance puts us under the bondage of this world.

Obamacare is another story - in addition, last I read if you're uninsured, you're better off than getting Obamacare b/c its rates are going to skyrocket next year. But just having health care is bad? Really?(Bryan thinks having health insurance period is unbiblical too)

Car insurance - again, a lot of crazed drivers out there - every time I go out, there's at least 1 or 2 drivers trying to cut in front of multiple cars. And I gave you the story with my mom 9 years ago.

Homeowners insurance - Bryan said God may not protect your home if you get homeowners insurance. Again, this doesn't make any sense. The example he gave in his video was one of his lost family members - seriously, if lost people have ZERO protection on their homes, then while haven't 90% of lost people's homes been burned down by now? Just a fact - a million things can go wrong in a home(ie-stove kept on, electrical wiring going haywire, etc). You better have that homeowners insurance!

Freemasons and Roman Catholics may run the insurance companies - but guess what, they pretty much run 90% of businesses and corporations in America! Same goes with the Organic Food stores. Should we boycott Organic Food stores, and eat at Chick-Fil-A instead b/c they're runned by (professing)Christians? Last I checked, Chick-Fil-A is in the GMO/Aspertame fast-food industry.

As for God protecting us - I believe scripture says he'll protect us from evil people, and commands us to sanctify ourselves from them. God also says to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Mark on December 02, 2015, 12:00:45 am
UnitedHealth CEO regrets entering ObamaCare

The CEO of UnitedHealthCare on Tuesday said he regretted the decision to enter the ObamaCare marketplace last year, which the company says has resulted in millions of dollars in losses.

“It was for us a bad decision,” UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said at an investor’s meeting in New York, according to Bloomberg Business.

UnitedHealth, the country’s largest insurer, announced last month that it would no longer advertise its ObamaCare plans over the next year and may pull out completely in 2016 — a move that sent shockwaves across the healthcare sector.

Hemsley’s remarks double down on his earlier warning that the ObamaCare exchanges remain weaker than expected after two years and that it will take far longer for insurers to profit from the millions of new enrollees.

The company had already eyed ObamaCare’s federal marketplace cautiously since it launched in 2013. UnitedHealth only began selling plans on the exchanges last year.

Now, UnitedHealth officials have said that move will result in a half-billion dollars in losses over two years.

Hemsley said it was smart to sit out of the exchanges for the first year, but that the company should have held out another year.

“In retrospect, we should have stayed out longer,” he said, adding that he believes the marketplace will take more than “a season or two” to develop.

“We did not believe it would form this slowly, be this porous, or become this severe,” he said.


Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 19, 2016, 04:34:04 pm
Obamacare Left Intact as U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up a new constitutional challenge to Obamacare, turning away an appeal that said lawmakers used flawed legislative procedures to pass the measure.

Opponents of President Barack Obama’s health-care law were seeking to sway a court that has upheld core parts of the measure twice since 2012, most recently in June. In the latest case, they argued that the law violated the constitutional requirement that revenue-raising legislation start in the House before proceeding to the Senate.

In declining to hear that contention, the high court all but ensured that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, will remain intact through the November election. The rebuff leaves health care as one of the core issues in the presidential and congressional campaigns.

The latest challenge was pressed by the Pacific Legal Foundation, an advocacy group based in Sacramento, California, on behalf of Matt Sissel, an Iowa artist and small-business owner.

The suit had gained little traction in the lower courts, even as it provoked a party-line divide on the legal reasoning. A federal trial judge in Washington upheld the law, as did a unanimous panel of three Democratic-appointed judges.

A larger panel of judges then voted not to reconsider the case. Although the four Republican appointees on the 11-member Washington appeals court would have heard arguments, they also said they would have upheld the law for different reasons.

At issue was a rarely invoked constitutional provision known as the origination clause, which says that “all bills raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.”

Revenue-Raising Bill?
Sissel’s lawyers said Obamacare qualified as a revenue-raising bill, in part, because of the 2012 Supreme Court decision interpreting the law as imposing a tax on people who forgo health insurance.

The three-judge panel rejected that argument, saying that under past Supreme Court cases, the origination clause applies only when a law’s “primary purpose” is to raise revenue. Judge Judith Rogers said money collected by the government was a “byproduct” of the law’s effort to encourage participation in the health insurance system.

The four Republican appointees, led by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, called that conclusion “untenable,” saying the measure would raise almost $500 billion over 10 years.

Kavanaugh said, however, that the law had met the requirement that it originate in the House. When the Senate took up the issue in 2009, it started with a House bill on an unrelated matter and substituted what became the core of Obamacare. The House then approved it, and Obama signed the measure into law.

“Congress’s longstanding practice has been to permit Senate amendments of exactly the kind at issue here,” Kavanaugh said.
The case is Sissel v. Department of Health and Human Services, 15-543.

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 26, 2016, 04:20:30 pm
Analysts said Obamacare will chase more workers out of the labor force over the next five years, adding pressure to an economy still struggling to spring to life more than seven years into the Obama recovery.




The federal government will be flirting with $30 trillion in debt within a decade, the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday, blaming an aging population, new spending and tax cuts approved on Capitol Hill, and the growing burden from Obamacare for erasing the progress Washington had made over the past few years.

Analysts said Obamacare will chase more workers out of the labor force over the next five years, adding pressure to an economy still struggling to spring to life more than seven years into the Obama “recovery”.


The Affordable Care Act itself is still struggling to attract a customer base, the CBO said, lowering its estimate for the number of people who will sign up for the exchanges from 21 million to 13 million — a drop of nearly 40 percent in projections. Customers collecting taxpayer subsidies this year will be 11 million, down from the 15 million the CBO projected a year ago.


The economic front is somewhat brighter for Mr. Obama, who seven years into the recovery will finally see significant sustained growth of 2.5 percent this year and 2.6 percent next year, the CBO said.

That will be followed by a cooling off, with growth dropping below 2 percent in 2019 and 2020. The economic gains will continue to go disproportionately to the wealthy, helping boost income tax revenue but limiting payroll taxes, which will put even more pressure on the entitlement programs that are driving up deficits. source

Title: Re: The true cost of Obamacare
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 19, 2016, 11:11:53 am
Donald Trump Says He Supports the ObamaCare Mandate

Last night Donald Trump was on CNN with Anderson Cooper. The subject of health care came up. Naturally it resulted in a dumpster fire of nitwit-ish blather from Trump and cowed silence from Anderson Cooper.


COOPER: If Obamacare is repealed and there’s no mandate for everybody to have insurance what’s to… and why would insurance company not have a pre-existing insure somebody…

TRUMP: I like tne mandate. Okay, so here’s how I’m a little bit different. I don’t want people dying on the streets and I say this all the time. And I say this… Look I did five speeches maybe six speeches today we had a lot of rallies with thousands and thousands of people. I mean we get big crowds. Everytime I talk about this I get standing ovations. The Republican people, they’re wonderful people, they don’t want people dying on the streets. Sometimes they say, “Donald Trump wants single-payer.” Because there is a group of people, as good as these plans are, and by the way your insurance will go way down you’ll have better players, you’ll get your own doctor

COOPER: Which…

TRUMP: Obama lied. Remember this…

COOPER: A person with a pre-existing condition should be able to get insurance?

TRUMP: Yes. Obama lied when he said you’re gonna keep your plan, you get to keep your doctor. I was a pure lie. Frankly many democrats went along only because they believed him. He lied twenty-eight times. Twenty-eight times he said it. Twenty-eight times. If that were in the private sector you be sued for fraud. Okay? He lied to get the plan through. He got it through and it’s turned out to be a disaster. The wrong people are buying it. You know what’s happening. It’s dead. It’s gonna… Look, ObamaCare is dead. It’s gonna be repealed, gonna be replaced. But I will say this, Anderson, if we don’t do something quickly you can have a health care problem that you… like you’ve never seen before in this country. Now the new plan is good, it’s going to be inexpensive, it’s going to be much better for the people. But there’s gonna be a group of people at the bottom people that haven’t done well, people that don’t have any money that won’t be able to be taken care of. We’re gonna take care of them through maybe concepts of medicare. We have hospitals that aren’t doing well. We have doctors aren’t doing well. You cannot let people die on the street, okay? Now some people would say “that’s not a very Republican thing to say.” Every time I say this at a rally, or even today I said it, once again a standing ovation, I said, you know, the problem is everybody thinks that you people as Republicans hate the concept of taking care of people that are really, really sick and are gonna die. And that’s not single-payer, by the way, that’s called “heart.” We’ve gotta take care of people that can’t take care of themselves. But the plans will be much less expensive than Obamacare, they’ll be far better than Obamacare, you’ll get your doctor you get everything you want to get, it’ll be unbelievable. [Italics are mine, read this a couple of times.] But you’ve got to get rid of the lines. You’ve got to have competition. those people that are left, we gotta help them live and everybody likes it when I say it, and that includes Republicans and it’s not single-payer.

It is hard to get any further from the mainstream of conservative and Republican philosophy or the national mood than supporting the ObamaCare mandate. How the ObamaCare mandate, which rather requires you to have a job in order to pay the premiums, keeps anyone from “dying on the street” is a mystery. Likewise, the existence of a plan predicated on killing off the sick and vulnerable by neglect is new to me.

There are a few takeaways from this. First and foremost, Trump doesn’t have a freakin clue as to what he’s talking about. What he’s obviously done is extract a few focus group tested themes, like “dying on the street,” and “get rid of the lines,” and he simply says these over and over with connecting verbiage. The plan Trump refers to, the one that apparently suspends the idea of supply and demand and guarantees everyone a free lunch, simply does not exist. In the tech field it is a concept known as vaporware.

Trump is in favor of an ObamaCare that is more efficient. His support for the ObamaCare mandate should unsettle anyone who thinks they are not voting for an old style populist Democrat. This willingness to use the coercive power of the state to achieve an end is reminiscent of the experience of the widow in Atlantic City whose house Trump tried to take.

Indeed, Obamacare’s individual mandate is not only coercive but unconstitutional. Obama’s congressional allies claimed that passing it was a valid exercise of their authority to regulate interstate commerce, but the mandate was rejected as unconstitutional on those grounds by the Supreme Court—with Justice Scalia in the majority on this question—because in truth it was an effort to compel commerce, not regulate it. The mandate was rescued only because five of the Court’s nine justices decided that it could plausibly be reinterpreted as a constitutionally permissible “tax”—even though Obama had insisted all along that it wasn’t a tax, and even though the legislative text declares it to be an “individual responsibility requirement” paired with a “penalty” for noncompliance.

In fact, his support of the individual mandate makes him a fan of Chief Justice John Roberts which is in contrast to his criticism of Ted Cruz supporting Roberts’s nomination while he was Texas Solicitor General.

The other thing to notice is that Anderson Cooper follows Joe Scarborough’s lead during this interview. He asks one question, about pre-existing conditions and coverage f