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The true cost of Obamacare

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September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
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September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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Author Topic: The true cost of Obamacare  (Read 22616 times)
Kilika
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« Reply #210 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.
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« Reply #211 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...

http://nypost.com/2013/11/22/obamacare-enroll-deadlines-delayed-until-after-2014-elections/
11/22/13
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?”
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« Reply #212 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.

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/cnn-if-youre-christian-its-your-fault-that-people-dont-have-health-insurance_11232013
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« Reply #213 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).

http://dailycaller.com/2013/11/22/poll-if-voters-had-known-theyd-lose-insurance-romney-would-have-won/
Poll: If voters had known they’d lose insurance, Romney would have won
11/22/13

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.

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« Reply #214 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.
 
Why?
 
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…
http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/there-already-is-a-government-health-care-system-in-america-and-it-is-the-medical-version-of-hell
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« Reply #215 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).
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« Reply #216 on: November 27, 2013, 09:23:02 pm »

http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/us-health-law-insurance-delayed-1-231032935.html
11/27/13
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."
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« Reply #217 on: November 29, 2013, 05:46:58 pm »

Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Catholics 'outmarketed' on gay marriage
11/29/13
http://news.yahoo.com/dolan-catholics-outmarketed-gay-marriage-180946986.html

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."
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« Reply #218 on: November 30, 2013, 01:14:48 pm »

http://www.barnhardt.biz/2013/11/19/toldya-toldya-confirmed-today-unemployment-numbers-all-faked-and-obamacare-website-code-never-even-written/
11/19/13

#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:

http://www.barnhardt.biz/2013/10/19/ill-have-a-manhattan-up-thanks/

http://www.barnhardt.biz/2013/11/19/toldya-toldya-confirmed-today-unemployment-numbers-all-faked-and-obamacare-website-code-never-even-written/
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« Reply #219 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.”   

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/12/01/all-hell-is-going-to-break-loose-george-wills-dire-obamacare-concern-for-2014/#
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« Reply #220 on: December 02, 2013, 06:28:26 pm »

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2013/12/02/jay-carney-isnt-sure-if-people-who-have-signed-up-for-obamacare-will-actually-be-covered-on-january-1-n1756135
12/2/13
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."
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« Reply #221 on: December 03, 2013, 06:27:45 pm »

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101243819
12/3/13
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. "
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« Reply #222 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.”

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« Reply #223 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.   

http://personalliberty.com/2013/12/02/ups-spouses-lose-insurance-coverage-thanks-to-obamacare/
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« Reply #224 on: December 05, 2013, 12:40:39 pm »

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2013/12/05/obamacare-raises-health-insurance-costs-especially-for-the-young/?partner=yahootix
12/5/13
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.
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« Reply #225 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.

12/4/13
http://news.yahoo.com/why-obamacare-never-enroll-americans-175934294.html
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« Reply #226 on: December 07, 2013, 12:52:56 pm »

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/12/06/hill-staffers-hit-errors-galore-as-they-try-to-sign-up-for-obamacare/
12/6/13
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?
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« Reply #227 on: December 07, 2013, 08:26:31 pm »

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/12/07/calif-health-exchange-shares-data-without-permission/
12/7/13
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.
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« Reply #228 on: December 08, 2013, 02:53:09 am »

 Roll Eyes
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« Reply #229 on: December 08, 2013, 11:54:10 pm »

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/08/21820633-insurance-agents-feeling-left-out-of-obamacare?lite=
12/8/13
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."
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« Reply #230 on: December 09, 2013, 07:36:12 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/colin-powell-pitches-single-payer-health-care-us-185113825--abc-news-politics.html
Colin Powell Pitches Single-Payer Health Care in US
12/9/13

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."
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« Reply #231 on: December 11, 2013, 12:05:19 pm »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/millennials-obamacare-thee-not-051500138.html
Millennials: Obamacare for Thee, But Not for Me
12/11/13

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
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« Reply #232 on: December 14, 2013, 04:16:10 pm »

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/12/14/government-takeover-white-house-forces-obamacare-insurers-to-cover-unpaid-patients-at-a-loss/?partner=yahootix
12/14/13
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.
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« Reply #233 on: December 18, 2013, 01:39:14 pm »

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/supportservices/article3809637.ece
Serco beats US rivals to Obamacare contract
7/6/13

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.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 01:48:21 pm by BornAgain2 » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #234 on: December 18, 2013, 01:47:43 pm »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/362544/sercos-checkered-history-jillian-kay-melchior
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]
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« Reply #235 on: December 18, 2013, 02:00:08 pm »

Quote
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.
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« Reply #236 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.

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/conncarroll/2013/12/17/federal-judge-calls-obamacare-totally-ineffective-while-striking-down-contraception-mandate-n1764623
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« Reply #237 on: December 19, 2013, 11:24:36 am »

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/365863/multiple-state-exchanges-vulnerable-wi-fi-attack-sterling-beard
Multiple State Exchanges Vulnerable to Wi-Fi Attack
12/9/13



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.
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« Reply #238 on: December 20, 2013, 04:41:50 pm »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/finally-californians-rushing-sign-obamacare-221205768.html
12/19/13
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 .
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« Reply #239 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.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/Decoder-Wire/2013/1220/Is-Obamacare-individual-mandate-cracking
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