Monday, February 18, 2013

The Harm of Obamacare

The sadness is overwhelming every time I receive an email from someone telling me of the financial woes Obamacare is creating for their family. So many sick kids like mine may not get their medications because their families are in the same position as ours-- not poor enough for assistance programs, but not rich enough to cover all the increased costs of Obamacare.  Obamacare targets the sick! Friends in the High-Risk pool have told me their premiums and co-pays have gone up, making it harder and harder for them to take care of their chronic illnesses like Diabetes.  I've compiled information from recent articles that detail the harm Obamacare is doing to families like mine. We are still waiting for the specialist referral review for my son, which makes me so angry that the Democrats thought people were lying when they wrote Primary Care Doctors who Refer Patients to Specialists will Face Financial Penalties.  In 16 years, we've never had a wait or review like this for a specialist appointment.

On January 31, 2013, Daniel Kessler lays out Obamacare's Broken Promises in a Wall Street Journal OpEd, which is a great start for any blog entry trying to explain the harm of Obamacare! Mr Kessler notes, "Now, even advocates for the law acknowledge that premiums are going up." He goes on to list the other broken promises and ways in which Obamacare is harming average, hard working Americans.

A February 15, 2013 Wall Street Journal article states that A Lefty Website conceded recently that Conservatives were right about Obamcare. Imagine that!

In Kaiser Healthy News, it is reported that the Feds Increase Costs to High-Risk Pool Members.  The article says, "Under the changes which took effect Jan. 1, enrollees in federally-administered plans saw their maximum out-of-pocket spending limit increase from $4,000 to $6,250, according to a Jan. 31 report by CMS. Enrollees also began being required to order medicines to treat chronic illnesses by mail order after the second prescription refill."

In a January 7, 2013 article titled Obamacare Guarantees Higher Health Insurance Premiums 3,000 + Forbes reports the following: "[His] first term is just about up. And health insurance isn’t any cheaper. In fact, it’s more expensive. Premiums have increased by an average of $3,065. And they’re about to go up even more, as Obamacare takes effect during the president’s second term."

But... The Unsung, but massive Obamacare Sales tax increase is on it's way! In 2014, the largest of the Obamacare taxes hits. The worst is yet to come, folks!  Forbes has a February 15, 2013 article about it here.  A few highlights from the article:
  •  “The health insurance tax will add a financial burden on families and small businesses at a time when they can least afford it, and it should be repealed, ” says AHIP, a trade association representing health insurance industry providers, in today’s call for the repeal of the health insurance tax before it can take affect.
  •   Starting next year the ACA imposes a new $100 billion tax on health insurance. The tax will start at $8 billion in 2014, increasing to $14.3 billion in 2018, and will continue to increase each year.
  •  The health insurance tax is larger than the device tax and the prescription drug tax combined.
  •   The health insurance tax will increase costs for individuals and families purchasing coverage on their own, small businesses, seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, and state Medicaid managed care plans.
  • The health insurance tax is far greater than the minimum penalty for those who choose not to buy health insurance – further incentivizing young, healthy people to forgo purchasing insurance until they need medical care.
  • “The ObamaCare health insurance tax hits some of the most vulnerable people in our society, including poor people in Medicaid managed care plans and seniors in Medicaid advantage plans. It is also a tax on middle-income families who were promised by this administration that taxes would never rise.”
On February 5, 2013, The Wall Street Journal reports that the Congressional Budget Office figures more employers will drop health coverage.  In the article, the WSJ reports the following: "The CBO has long said it expects the new federal health law will prompt some companies to drop millions of employees from health plans because workers have new options to buy insurance on their own. In August, CBO put the number at four million over 10 years. Now it’s seven million."

 Feb 12, 2013 article by The Heritage Foundation: Obamacare doesn't actually lower healthcare spending

 2013:  Greene County Insurance Committee reports: "The ACA, commonly known as Obamacare, will take effect at the July 1 opening of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, bringing with it new taxes and fees that may worsen the county's financial situation in the coming year, county insurance broker Jim Jordan informed the Greene County Insurance Committee."

 Feb 13, 2013, Yahoo reports that Obamacare turns Employer Care into Bad Deal for Many. In the article, yahoo points out the following: 
  • A new ObamaCare rule sends a strong signal to modest-income families that they can no longer afford to work for firms that offer affordable health coverage.
  • Millions of such families could find themselves in what Cornell University economist Richard Burkhauser calls ObamaCare's "no man's land," where they can neither afford employer-sponsored family coverage nor access new government subsidies.
  • It's unavoidable because the law's definition of "affordable" — interpreted by the Treasury Department — only makes sense for single individuals.
  •  Several analysts have suggested that employers would respond to generous ObamaCare subsidies for moderate earners by dropping coverage. Burkhauser, along with co-authors Kosali Simon and Sean Lyons, suggest another option: Workers and employers could "change their current contracts" to make dependents eligible for exchange subsidies. Shifting employer premium costs to wages could make an "affordable" plan unaffordable by ObamaCare's definition for several million workers and their families, the authors conclude.

In October of 2012, the New England Journal of Medicine blasted Obamacare. In the article, the authors noted several things, including the following:
  •  Obamacare will do little to address two of the three major problems facing the U.S. healthcare system — holding down costs and boosting the quality of care for patients, according to a scathing article published in this week’s prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.
  •  “Although the ACA expands coverage, it ignores the structural problems in the organization and reimbursement of care — a limitation that is disappointing but not surprising,” said the editorial’s author Gail Wilensky, an economist and a senior fellow at Project HOPE, an international health education foundation. “Adding more people to the insurance rolls is politically and technically easier than finding a way to ensure that care is effective, high-quality, and affordable for both the recipients and taxpayers.”
 The NEJM editorial also criticize other aspects of Obamacare and suggests more market-based approaches, such as those proposed by Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, would more effectively reform the nation’s healthcare system.
  •  FEE-FOR-SERVICE: Despite widespread recognition that fee-for-service reimbursement rewards doctors and providers for the quantity of healthcare services delivered and not high quality, Obamacare does little to change reimbursement strategies now used in Medicare. “Much of the coverage expansion is financed through Medicare budget savings, which are produced by reducing the fees paid by Medicare to institutional providers such as hospitals, home care agencies, and nursing homes,” Wilensky noted, “but using the same perverse reimbursement system currently in place.”
  •  PHYSICIAN PAYMENTS: Obamacare contains no reform of the way physicians are paid for some 800 specific services, which is “the most dysfunctional part of the Medicare program,” she argued. “This system rewards the provision of highly reimbursed services without consideration of whether clinicians are providing low-cost, high-value care for patients.”
  •  MEDICARE CUTS: Obamacare provides Medicare “productivity adjustments,” but unless these institutions find ways to reduce costs, lower Medicare reimbursements will force providers to bargain for higher payments from private insurers. “Eventually, seniors' access to services will be threatened,” she said. “The Medicare actuary expects that 15 percent of institutional providers will lose money on their Medicare business by 2019, and the proportion will increase to 25 percent by 2030.”
  •  FEW QUALITY PROVISIONS: Although some reforms are included in the law, such as value-based purchasing and accountable care organizations (ACOs), that could drive up quality while holding down costs, she said the amount providers will be paid are small and not likely to lead to many changes.
  •  NO MARKET-BASED REFORMS: Like Medicare, Obamacare relies on regulatory methods, instead of harnessing market forces, to promote spending reductions and improve quality of care. If that approach fails, the law authorizes an Independent Payment Advisory Board to reduce payments to clinicians and institutions. Although Congress can override the IPAB's recommendations, it can do so only by a three-fifth’s “super majority,” and only if it acts within a limited time and comes up with comparable savings.
  •  “What is needed are reforms that create clear financial incentives that promote value over volume, with active engagement by both consumers and the healthcare sector,” Wilensky added. “Market-friendly reforms require empowering individuals, armed with good information and non-distorting subsidies, to choose the type of Medicare delivery system they want.”
Colleges and universities are feeling the crunch. In turn, families sending their kids off to college are also strapped with an extra financial burden. A North Carolina college just up the road from me has had to increase its tuition costs because of Obamacare, as reported in a Blaze article found here.  Here are a few quotes from the article:
  • Guilford College in North Carolina will likely be forced to charge students 75 percent more for health insurance in order to comply with federal regulations under President Barack Obama’s sweeping healthcare law, college administrators told Campus Reform.
  • The cost for university provided health insurance is expected to increase dramatically from $668 to $1,179 in the 2012-2013 school year, Greg Bursavich, vice president for finance at Guilford College, told students in an email in late July.
  • “Our student health insurance policy premium has been substantially increased due to changes required by federal regulations issued on March 16, 2012 under the Affordable Care Act,” read the email from Bursavich.
  •  “It is directly related – it is only related – to the new healthcare law,” said Bursavich. “There is no reason why it has gone up except the requirements of the new law have forced it to go up. That is the whole story.”
The Galen Institute writes in Why Health Care Costs are Rising:  " "Health insurance premiums will increase as much as 100% because of ObamaCare over the next year, with states that have been most responsible in regulating insurance being hit the hardest, according to health policy experts Merrill Matthews and Mark Litow......Although President Obama repeatedly claimed that health-insurance premiums for a family would be $2,500 lower by the end of his first term, they are actually about $3,000 higher—a spread of about $5,500 per family."

As you can see, Obama, Pelosi, Reid and all of the Democratic lackeys in Congress lied to the American people.  I have a long list of articles I could quote, but instead, if you'd like to do further reading, please click on the links below. If you are negatively affected by Obamcare, please like the page "Families Negatively Affected by Obamacare" on Facebook!

More links that reveal the harm of Obamacare:

Everyone Pays for the Obamacare Freebies

Higher Co-pays seen for Medicare Brand Name Drugs

Shifting Obamacare Costs to Others

What Doctors and Patients have to Lose Under Obamacare

Primary Care Doctors Who Refer Patients to Specialists will Face Financial Penalties under Obamacare

State Lacks Doctors to Meet Demand of New Health Care Law (and wants to broaden who can legally practice medicine! Scary!)

Dr. Zelling: You Won't be able to keep your doctor under Obamacare

Some Students May Not Enjoy Obamacare Protections ( A CNN Article, no less!)

Obamacare: It's Not Working

From Sept 2011: The survey of private and public employers conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation disclosed that the average cost of a family policy climbed 9 percent to $15,073 in 2011, the largest increase since 2005. Premiums for single coverage rose 8 percent.

From 2011: The Galen Institute has an excellent summary of the damage that ObamaCare has already caused, such as driving insurers out of the child-only, small-group and individual markets. The article is only about four pages long, with plenty of supporting tables at the end.

1 comment:

Marytoo said...

When ObamaDoesntCare first came on the scene, we asked our doc what he thought about it. All he had to say was, "My best advice is to stay well."

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