The Oath of Office

Once again, we see that President Obama views his oath of office as a promise to faithfully execute the laws he likes.

Territories Free of ObamaCare

The White House issues another illegal exemption.

wsj.com, July 21, 2014

Last week’s burst of world disorder was ideal for a news dump, and the White House didn’t disappoint: On no legal basis, all 4.5 million residents of the five U.S. territories were quietly released from ObamaCare. Where does everybody else apply? Continue reading

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Tell your representatives: Why Obamacare Medicaid expansion must be stopped

  • It’s not ‘Medicaid Expansion’
    • It’s ‘a massive new entitlement’ and a ‘government takeover’ of healthcare.
  • Medicaid provides the worst healthcare outcomes when compared to every other form of insurance in America.
  • If Virginia expands Medicaid into the middle class as proposed, it will attract non-producers to the state, i.e., people who will migrate here for the ‘free’ healthcare.  While the federal government will foot 100 percent of the bill in the first 3 years, producers will eventually migrate to low-tax states that haven’t expanded Medicaid.
  • Medicaid expansion would change the program from a poverty program into a middle-class entitlement.
  • Virginia taxpayers would have to maintain coverage for 400,000 more Virginians once the federal funding begins to decrease.
  • In 2008, Milliman, the leading insurance consulting firm, estimated that the average American family with private health insurance paid $1,800 extra, because of Medicaid and Medicare’s underpayments to providers.
  • Having Medicaid does not guarantee access to a physician. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found mothers seeking specialty care for their children covered by Medicaid / S-CHIP were denied appointments 66 percent of the time. Mothers of children with private insurance were denied only 11 percent of the time.
  • If the hospitals are losing money on poor people, how does dumping middle class people who may have been previously covered with private insurance into Medicaid which reimburses only 85% of the cost of care solve the problem with poor people?
  • The expansion of government control over healthcare is driving physicians themselves out of medicine. According to a February 2012, non-partisan survey of 5,105 physicians found that:
  • 24% believed they would be very likely to retire within the next five years because of the ACA.
  • 19% believed they would be somewhat likely to retire within the next five years because of the ACA.
  • 90% of physicians were unwilling to recommend healthcare as a profession.
  • Medicaid Expansion would put us on a fast-track to single-payer (government-run medicine).
  • Medicaid expansion would grow the culture of dependency on government that the Obama administration and its Progressive allies are deliberately seeking to foster with the ultimate aim of displacing as many private choices as possible with the iron fist of government.
  • Expansion will devastate states in the long term and end state sovereignty.  It will mean the breakdown of our federalist system.
  • Medicaid has the worst patient outcomes of any form of coverage.  Patients have a higher hospital survival rate if they have no insurance at all.  Study after study shows this, including a recent Oregon study.  Medicaid is detrimental to your health.
  • Doctors and hospitals lose money on every Medicaid patient they see.

 

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A health industry expert on ‘the fundamental problem with Obamacare’

by Ezra Klein, washingtonpost.com

Robert Laszewski is president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a policy and marketplace consulting firm where he works closely with many in the heath industry as they try to navigate the Affordable Care Act. He’s also the author of the excellent Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review blog, as well as Wonkblog’s 2013 “Pundit of the Year“. We spoke on Wednesday. A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows. Here

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Humana Says Obamacare Sign-Ups Are Skewing Toward Sick

By Alex Nussbaum, Bloomberg.com

Humana Inc. (HUM) said it expects new Obamacare customers to be sicker and costlier than anticipated, after the U.S. government’s decision to let healthier people keep their existing plans.

Enrollees through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges will be “more adverse than previously expected,” Humana said in a regulatory filing yesterday. While affirming its 2014 profit forecast, the Louisville, Kentucky-based health insurer said it was evaluating expectations for the new year. Continue reading

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House Passes First Anti-Obamacare Bill of 2014

By Emma Dumain and Matt Fuller

More Democrats defected on the House’s first anti-Obamacare bill of 2014 than on any other Obamacare-related vote to date, a blow to party unity and leadership’s advice that rank-and-file members stand strong against GOP “gotcha” bills.

The legislation, which would require victims of security breaches through the HealthCare.gov insurance exchanges to be notified within two days, passed 291-122. Sixty-seven Democrats joined Republicans to vote for the bill. Continue reading

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Colorado enrollment spikes, but age may be a problem

CNN White House Producer Adam Aigner-Treworgy

(CNN) – Health insurance enrollment in at least one state appears to be picking up.

Colorado’s state-based insurance exchange Connect for Colorado announced on Monday that more than 5,000 new customers have purchased private insurance since November 30, increasing the state’s total enrollment numbers in private plans by more than 50 percent.

As of November 30, just 9,980 Coloradans had purchased private insurance. But that number has increased to over 15,000 since, according to Monday’s announcement.

Another 64,290 had enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program as of November 30, putting the state’s total enrollment at 74,270 for the first two months of the exchange.

But if current trends continue, the exchange may have an age problem. Continue reading

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AIDS advocates say drug coverage in some marketplace plans is inadequate

By Ariana Eunjung Cha, washingtonpost.com

The nation’s new health-care law says insurers can’t turn anyone away, even people who are sick. But some companies, patient advocates say, have found a way to discourage the chronically ill from enrolling in their plans: offer drug coverage too skimpy for those with expensive conditions.

Some plans sold on the online insurance exchanges, for instance, don’t cover key medications for HIV, or they require patients to pay as much as 50 percent of the cost per prescription in co-insurance — sometimes more than $1,000 a month.

“The fear is that they are putting discriminatory plan designs into place to try to deter certain people from enrolling by not covering the medications they need, or putting policies in place that make them jump through hoops to get care,” said John Peller, vice president of policy for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Continue reading

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Ezekiel Emanuel: If You Want To Pay More For Your Doctor, You Can Do That

Fox News Sunday at Politico
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: President Obama famously promised, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Doesn’t that turn out to be just as false, just as misleading, as his promise about if you like your plan you can keep your plan? Isn’t it a fact, sir, that a number, most, in fact, of the Obamacare health plans that are being offered on the exchanges exclude a number of doctors and hospitals to lower costs?

EZEKIEL EMANUEL: The president never said you were going to have unlimited choice of any doctor in the country you want to go to.

WALLACE: Wait. No. He asked a question. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Did he not say that, sir?

EMANUEL: He didn’t say you could have unlimited choice.

WALLACE: It’s a simple yes or no question. Didn’t he say if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor?

EMANUEL: Yes. But look, if you want to pay more for an insurance company that covers your doctor, you can do that. This is a matter of choice. We know in all sorts of places you pay more for certain — for a wider range of choices or wider range of benefits. The issue isn’t the selective networks. People keep saying, ‘Oh, the problem is you’re going to have a selective network.’

WALLACE: Well, if you lose your doctor or lose your hospital —

EMANUEL: Let me just say something. People are going to have a choice as to whether they want to pay a certain amount for a selective network or pay more for a broader network.

WALLACE: Which means your premiums will probably go up.

EMANUEL: They get that choice. That’s a choice you’ve always made.

WALLACE: Which means your premium may go up over what you were paying so that, in other words —

EMANUEL: No one guaranteed you that your premium wouldn’t increase. Premiums have been going up.

WALLACE: The president guaranteed me I could keep my doctor.

EMANUEL: And if you want to, you can pay for it. Under President Bush, premiums went up 80% after inflation. We have actually seen a leveling off of health care costs and premiums in the last few years because of changes that have been made.

As a matter of fact, choice is something — we all understand that for more choice, more benefits, you have to pay more.

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