Obamacare Questions?

Got Obamacare questions? Call the man himself. This is his train wreck. Let him answer your questions.   obamacare questions

People regularly call their representatives for help with Medicare, Social Security and other government programs. Yet, Republicans believe healthcare reform spells doom for the federal budget, private businesses and the U.S. healthcare system. They’re also enormously frustrated that the law has persevered through two elections and a Supreme Court challenge and believe a botched implementation could help build momentum for the repeal movement. 

Some Republicans indicated to The Hill they will not assist constituents in navigating the law and obtaining benefits. Others said they would tell people to call the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The Hill

In spite of the rhetoric by The Hill, it probably won’t do much good to call your Democrat Representative or Senator either. Many of them don’t want any part of this and even the ones that voted for Obamacare never bothered to read the bill before they voted for it.

And you thought “We have to pass this bill so you will know what is in it” was just a joke.

It wasn’t.

If you have Obamacare questions your Congress people won’t know the answer either.

But if you are from Kansas you might have a leg up on the rest of us.

“Given that we come from Kansas, it’s much easier to say, ‘Call your former governor,'” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R), referring to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

“You say, ‘She’s the one. She’s responsible. She was your governor, elected twice, and now you reelected the president, but he picked her.'” Huelskamp said.

Yes, the white-haired health care czar is your go-to gal for all your Obamacare questions.

Polls have shown that the public is largely ignorant about the law and how it operates. This dynamic adds to the task facing the Obama administration and its supporters before the fall, when enrollment is scheduled to begin.

Very true.

I still get calls on a weekly basis from people who think health insurance carriers cannot deny your application if you have a pre-existing condition, including things like “I am pregnant and need health insurance to cover the hospital and doctor bill”.

These Obamacare questions will not go away. Next year they will probably increase and at least then I can tell them to keep that baby inside until the next open enrollment in October and you can sign up for health insurance to become effective in January, 2015.

Obamacare Collapsing

SI ExifOn the eve of the most massive tax bill in history, the folks in Congress that crafted this law are finally realizing it is impossible for even them to understand.

Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, a leading force in the creation of President Obama’s health care law, now says the health reform is at risk of falling under its own regulatory weight and that it’s becoming too complicated to properly implement.

“[The law] is so complicated and if it isn’t done right the first time, it will just simply get worse,” he said, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

Washington Times

The 2300 page law begat over 15,000 pages in regulations and new rules coming out every day.

Add to that the failure of PCIP due to lack of funding, is there any reason to believe Obamacare will deliver?

“I believe that the Affordable Care Act is probably the most complex piece of legislation ever passed by the United States Congress,” he said, as quoted in the Washington Examiner. “Tax reform obviously has been huge, too, but up to this point it is just beyond comprehension.”

Straight from the horses . . . .   mouth.

Obamacare Navigators

Obamacare navigators and the economy. Washington has given us a preview of the process individuals will have to go through in order to obtain their Obamacare health insurance plan.

If you think applying for health insurance will be as easy as buying a book or movie from Amazon, think again.

The application is 26 pages and the instructions are 61 pages. DC estimates it will take you about 45 minutes to complete the health insurance exchange application.

This is IN ADDITION to the hours needed to gather your financial and tax records BEFORE you start the application process.

After spending hours gathering information plus another 45 minutes completing the application to determine if you QUALIFY for a health insurance subsidy (only applies if you purchase through the exchange) then you get to pick from a handful of plans available.

Having fun yet?

Obamacare plans will be pricey. In some cases 2x current prices.

Find out how to lock in rates now and avoid the coming increase. Compare health insurance plans and rates now.

HHS Admits Obamacare Will Raise Premiums

screwedObamacare WILL raise premiums. Most of us have known that for years, but now HHS Secretary Sebelius is finally willing to admit that health insurance premiums WILL be higher as a direct result of Obamacare.

(HHS Secretary Sebelius) remarks are among the first direct statements from federal officials that people who have skimpy health plans right now could face higher premiums for plans that are more generous. She noted that the law requires plans to provide better benefits (which are MORE EXPENSIVE) and treat all customers equally regardless of their medical claims.

“These folks will be moving into a really fully insured product for the first time, and so there may be a higher cost associated with getting into that market,” she said. “But we feel pretty strongly that with subsidies available to a lot of that population that they are really going to see much better benefit for the money that they’re spending.

Human Events

Obamacare requires “better benefits”.

Define better.

Is paying an insurance company a higher premium to cover a portion of a routine medical bill that most can pay out of pocket a “better benefit”? Would you be willing to pay your car insurance carrier a higher premium in order to have “better benefits” that cover the cost of oil changes, wiper blades, car washes and a fill up at the gas station?

And what about this “treat all customers equally regardless of medical claims”?

Do you think someone with damaged credit should be entitled to the same interest rate on a loan as someone who pays their bills in full on a timely basis? Should a person with a history of moving traffic violations pay the same car insurance rate as someone who has never had an accident or moving violation?

If you have no problem with these suggestions, then you won’t mind one bit that Obamacare will raise premiums on your health insurance by 100% or more?

We now live in an era when life is only fair if everyone pays their “fair share” so when your premiums go up due to Obamacare you have no right to complain . . . even if you can no longer afford to buy health insurance.

So what about these subsidies that are supposed to make your health insurance more affordable?

Do you believe it is OK to raise taxes on medical devices, pharmaceutical drugs and rich benefit plans (such as those MANDATED by Obamacare) is fair just so a chosen few can pay less for their health insurance? You do understand that these costs will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and higher health insurance premiums?

Are you still OK with this grand scheme?

Is it OK for employers to lay off workers, reduce hours and drop health insurance plans because Obamacare will raise premiums on employers who want to provide a benefit?

How many people have to lose their job or work fewer hours just so you can have a new Obamacare health insurance plan?

Don’t worry, folks, ObamaCare is blowing premiums through the roof, but there will be subsidies available for lower-income Americans!  That means the rest of us will get screwed twice – once when we pay our higher insurance premiums, then again when we pay for all those lovely subsidies.

On the political front, Obama’s cherished young voters are getting rooked, but luckily they tend to be low-information types who don’t hold him accountable for anything – they keep saying jobs and economic growth are their top concern, but they voted to re-elect him, didn’t they?

There is a price to be paid for failing to be an informed citizen.

Obamacare WILL raise premiums. The administration is FINALLY admitting it, and the people who voted for this guy will pay for their foolishness.

Obamacare and Your Grocery Store

obamacare and your grocery storeWhat does Obamacare and your grocery store have in common? Nothing really, until the FDA decided they wanted to mess with us.

For those who have been on an alien space ship for the last 3 years, Obamacare is the massive health “care” law that is growing more heads than Hydra. Just when you think you have a handle on it, the damn thing grows another head that infringes on personal liberty and steals more money from your wallet.

In this case, Obamacare and your grocery store are now married in a twisted sort of way.

If the Food and Drug Administration gets its way, your trip to the grocery store could get a tad pricier.

Supermarket owners argue a pending federal food-labeling rule that stems from the new health care law would overburden thousands of grocers and convenience store owners — to the tune of $1 billion in the first year alone.

The rule stems from an ObamaCare mandate that restaurants provide nutrition information on menus. Most in the restaurant industry were supportive of the idea, but when the FDA decided to extend the provision to also affect thousands of supermarkets and convenience stores, the backlash was swift.

The proposed regulation would require store owners to label prepared, unpackaged foods found in salad bars and food bars, soups and bakery items.

Fox News

We already have the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Peace Corps and the federal Office of Personnel Management with their fingers in Obamacare. What’s one more federal agency and another billion or so in extra hidden taxes?

Yes, I said hidden taxes.

The Supreme Court said Obamacare is a tax, and this will be an additional consumer cost directly tied to Obamacare which means it is a hidden tax.

The FDA says much of ObamaCare is aimed at helping Americans live healthier lives, and these proposed labeling requirements would help them do just that. In the text of the proposed regulation, the FDA states: “[The information] should help consumers limit excess calorie intake and understand how the foods that they purchase at these establishments fit within their daily caloric and other nutritional needs.”

Nutritional labels have existed on pre-packaged foods for years now and yet we, as a nation, are becoming fatter. So why will this proposed FDA rule change things?

Obamacare and your grocery store. Just one more stupid government trick.

Navigators on the Obamacare Exchange

navigatorsLet’s say you have a new give away and need to sign up 30 million folks in 90 days. What do you do?

In the case of Obamacare, you plan to hire “navigators” to assist in the process. These navigators are kind of like online Wal-Mart greeters whose job is to direct you to the right health insurance plan.

While some people will find registering for health insurance as easy as booking a flight online, vast numbers who are confused by the myriad choices will need to sit down with someone (navigators) who can walk them through the process.

Enter the “navigators,” an enormous new workforce of helpers required under the law. In large measure, the success of the law and its overriding aim of making sure that virtually all Americans have health insurance depends on these people. But the challenge of hiring and paying for a new class of workers is immense and is one of the most pressing issues as the Obama administration and state governments implement the law.
Tens of thousands of workers will be needed — California alone plans to certify 21,000 helpers — with the tab likely to run in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Washington Post

California is broke, as are several other states. Where will they get the money to pay for these navigators?

Groups such as unions, chambers of commerce, health clinics, immigrant-service organizations, and community- or consumer-focused nonprofits can use the grants to train and employ staff members or volunteers to provide in-person guidance — especially to hard-to-reach populations — and to provide space for them to work.

That is a rather diverse group that is expected to become versed in the business of health insurance terms, plans and procedures. So if you need landscaping work, a green card and health insurance you can get it all at one place . . .

Compounding the difficulty, de Percin said, is that many of the uninsured struggle with English or don’t have easy access to the Internet. Others aren’t familiar with concepts like co-payments and deductibles, let alone the subsidies that will be provided for lower-income people or the new eligibility rules for Medicaid.

And the folks that wrote this law never considered any of this . . .

In a kind of Catch-22, the money must come from an exchange’s operating funds, which will rely on fees from insurers. But those won’t be available until at least Jan. 1, well after navigators must be in position.

States can pitch in during the meantime. But that’s an unlikely option in Colorado, which has stringent rules governing its budget.

Buy now, pay later. Hire someone that knew how to ask if you want fries with that order and make them navigators.

What could possibly go wrong?

Affordable Health Care Through ACO’s

The government has promised affordable health care but has yet to deliver. Truth is, most of the proposed solutions do nothing to lower the cost of health care. Everything they have tried, and most things they have proposed, will not result in more affordable health care.

Washington’s big idea in making health care more affordable is to pay doctors and hospitals LESS for the services they provide.

Consider this. How enthusiastic would you be if your employer told you they were going to reduce your pay by 27% but expected you to do the same amount of work for less pay? Medical providers that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients feel the same way.

But one part of the incorrectly named Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) may indeed provide a way to improve the quality of health care while lowering costs. Accountable Care Organizations, or ACO’s, are an attempt to hold providers accountable for the level of care they provide.

Emory and Blue Cross said in a press release that a goal is “to bring together the often fragmented health care delivery and reimbursement systems to create an integrated model of coordination and shared accountability among hospitals, doctors and insurance carriers.’’

An Emory official, Janet Christenbury, said the two organizations will have more to say about the collaboration in coming weeks. She said the talks were driven, in part, by changes in the health care marketplace and by the Affordable Care Act.

Charles Goldberg, an Atlanta-based health care consultant, said the Emory/Blue Cross collaboration could be a response to recent moves by Piedmont Healthcare and WellStar Health System. Those two organizations have formed a partnership and are working to offer a health insurance product.

“There’s a lot of momentum’’ toward these combinations, Goldberg said. “It will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of years.’’

Georgia Health News

One potential downside of ACO’s is this. Since providers are penalized for poor results, the ACO’s may limit or refuse to take on the most difficult medical cases or limit the number of sick people with traditionally poor outcomes. By restricting the number of patients to those who have a better than average chance of recovery, the ACO can maximize their revenues.

This will limit access to health care, affordable or otherwise, which is never a good situation.

Affordable health care may or may not prove effective. Still, it is an attempt to change the status quo but completely ignores the one element that can truly lower the cost of health care.

The patient can make health care affordable by taking personal responsibility in their health. Proper diet and exercise go a long way toward affordable health care.

Obamacare Health Insurance Exchange Cliff Hanger

Obamacare health insurance exchange

Today is the day. States must decide today if they will set up a state run Obamacare health insurance exchange. If they refuse, the federal government will establish and run the exchange for them.

 

Seems a no brainer to me.

 

States have limited resources. States must adhere to a balanced budget.

 

Contrast with the federal government with unlimited access to money.

 

The federal government has admitted that it can't pay for this health care 'marketplace', which would cost between $10 to $100 million per year in each state. Hence the necessity for each state to set up its own exchange, shouldering some of the costs.

The problem with that notion is that nowhere in the 2,700 page behemoth known as the Affordable Care Act, is it written that the states will be required to do so; the assumption being that the states would simply go along with the federal governments wishes.

Freedomworks, "State run exchanges, last hope against Obamacare"

Rather pompous, don't you think?

We (federal government) don't have the money to run the health insurance exchange so you (states) do it for us? 

Because of this (lack of state run exchanges), the government cannot legally enforce the employer mandate "tax" on employers in a state that has not set up an exchange.  Without the employer mandate, and without the exchanges to manage the insurance subsidies, ObamaCare falls apart.

That's a mouthful.

It also brings up this point.

With regard to the health insurance exchange, states have the power to say "We didn't build that".

No Medicare for You

Just like Seinfeld’s infamous soup nazi, Washington may soon say “No Medicare for You”. From the land of buy now, pay later we learn the underfunded Medicare program will run out of money by 2024.

 

soupnaziThe folks at Kaiser Health News have this summation.

Trustees Puts Health Care Safety Net on Critical List
It is commonplace for politicians to suggest dramatic changes are needed in Social Security and Medicare or the programs won’t exist “for our children and grandchildren.” The annual trustees report for those two programs released on Friday reveals a future in which benefits are reduced, not eliminated. … For Medicare, the hospital trust fund will exhaust its surpluses by 2024, fully five years earlier than projected a year ago. At that point, the health care program for seniors would have to cut reimbursements to hospitals, home health aides and other providers by 10 percent (Goozner, 5/13).

Medicare costs will continue to grow substantially, from a 3.6 percent share of the economy in 2010 to 5.5 percent by 2035, the trustees project in their annual report.

Clearly, Medicare is a run away train.

In spite of political promises, Obamacrap does nothing (other than cutting payments to medical providers) to rein in health care costs and these moves will only make health care less accessible to Medicare beneficiaries.

More information can be found at the KHN Trustee’s Report.

If the government continues on this track one day a doctor may tell you “no Medicare for you”.

No English

 

Hospital bosses admit 'some of our doctors can't speak or understand English'

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 12:44 AM on 22nd March 2011

The level of English among some foreign doctors is ‘absolutely awful’, hospital bosses have said.

Some cannot even speak well enough to communicate with patients, they warned.

Bosses at Queen’s Hospital in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, revealed the poor level of English in their doctors from overseas after complaints from both staff and patients.

 
Queen's Hospital in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, revealed the poor level of English in their doctors from overseas

Queen's Hospital in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, revealed the poor level of English in their doctors from overseas

Chief executive of the Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Helen Ashley said many of the problems centred on them being unable to understand English sufficiently.

The hospital is struggling to employ middle grade, registrar-level doctors, and has on occasion to employ a locum doctor to cover a shift, Ms Ashley said.

While the application process for consultants involved their English and communication skills being tested with simulation of a meeting with a patient, Ms Ashley said she could not account for the English skills of locums, who work at the hospital on a temporary basis.

Helen Ashley said the hospital has been forced to rely on locums whose English isn't always up to standard

Helen Ashley said the hospital has been forced to rely on locums whose English isn't always up to standard

She added doctors from India and Pakistan had similar training to English doctors but due to changes to the NHS recruitment process and the drop in the value of the pound, many now prefer to go to work in countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

The chairman of the Burton Hospitals Trust, Jim Morrison, said: ‘I don’t want to sound racist, but some of the worst-speaking doctors that I have come across have been from Europe.

‘They are free to travel in Europe and occasionally their communication of English can be absolutely awful.’

Local people in the town have also complained about the issue.

Chairman of East Staffordshire Borough Council’s health sub-committee, Trevor Hathaway, told a meeting at Burton Town Hall: ‘A couple of weeks ago, a relative of mine met a consultant and he couldn’t understand a word he was saying.

‘Not only that, the nurse had to tell him what to write on the paperwork.’  

Ms Ashley added: ‘That’s not the first time I have heard that, or seen it in a complaint letter.

‘We had one doctor there were two or three complaints about his language skills.

‘He was hard to understand.’ 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1368380/Hospital-bosses-admit-doctors-speak-understand-English.html#ixzz1HLosYCrr