How much MORE does Obama care cost us in the backend?
How much MORE does Obama care cost us in the backend?
300 million x 5% = 15 million people will lose their insurance – EXACTLY what the IRS audit advised the president back in 2010 – and 100% contrary of the presidents statements up till last week:
“If you like your doctor and plan you an keep it – period!”
I guess he was mistaken – the biggest bait and switch ever!
When this folly ends!
And so it begins!
The BIG lie!!!
Amazing how we define success these days. Millions of rides – other cities want them – we are expanding the program! Yet – they have not made any money and are reportedly losing money! Hence, the prices will increase OR they will be subsidized in our taxes.
Success Is simple – COST-SELL=PROFIT.
a simple equation lost today on the “good of the few” and tax the rich
[preamble]Another government misuse of OUR money. 2Billion dollars wasted in defaulted loans and a failed system. NO competition in the insurance market place hence Obama care simple unjustly enriches private insurance companies with OUR money. So far EVERYTHING this president has done has been a failure – who voted for him? When this folly ends…”[backtopost]
When the new health-care law was being cobbled together, Congress decided to establish a network of nonprofit insurance companies aimed at bringing competition to the marketplace, long dominated by major insurers.
But these co-ops, started as a great hope for lowering insurance costs, are already in danger.
While the debut of the Affordable Care Act this month has been marred by widespread computer problems, the difficulties the co-ops face have been less obvious to consumers. One co-op, however, has closed, another is struggling, and at least nine more have been projected to have financial problems, according to internal government reviews and a federal audit.
Their failure would leave taxpayers potentially on the hook for nearly $1 billion in defaulted loans and rob the marketplace of the kind of competition they were supposed to create. And if they become insolvent, policyholders in at least half the states where the co-ops operate could be stuck with medical bills.
Although the co-op plan originated in the Senate, resistance to the initial proposal quickly materialized on Capitol Hill, in part because of pressure from insurance industry lobbyists.
So Congress saddled its new creations with onerous restrictions that, experts say, doomed many co-ops to failure. Federal grants for the co-ops were converted to loans with tight repayment schedules; they were barred from using federal money for crucial marketing; and they were severely limited from selling insurance to large employers, which represent the most lucrative market.
And even as the Obama administration was setting up the program, White House officials, who had no pride of authorship and feared it would be risky, repeatedly suggested that funding for the co-ops be reduced, according to more than half a dozen people familiar with budget negotiations and the legislative debate. The funding was cut to a small fraction of what experts told Congress would be needed for the ventures to be viable.
Brian Cook, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency overseeing the co-ops, said it is closely monitoring their progress and is “confident that co-ops will be an important option available to millions of consumers.”
But while the program was meant to be nationwide, only two dozen co-ops have begun selling insurance on the new health-care exchanges. The difficulties the co-ops are confronting pose a challenge to the new law that is largely separate from the troubled rollout of the exchanges this month. But the problems, in particular the malfunctioning federal Web site, are hitting the co-ops hard because they depend on the exchanges for business.
The co-ops differ from traditional insurers in their nonprofit status, consumer focus and organizational structure; they will be governed by boards controlled by policyholders.
Those co-ops that have opened their doors are scrambling to prevail against the odds, sending their small staffs door to door to educate people about what they do without violating a ban on explicit marketing. To get around what she called the “really difficult” restriction, Julia Hutchins, chief executive of the Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative, was reduced to dispatching scantily clad models into the streets of Denver to urge people to “get covered.’’
The Obama administration has estimated that more than a third of the nearly $2 billion it has lent to co-ops will not be repaid.
The co-ops have been set up by health-care organizations, such as hospitals and doctors groups, as well as by local businesspeople, unions and community groups, and are being run by a variety of people, including former hospital and insurance executives and two former state insurance commissioners.
Despite the obstacles, co-op leaders say that the federal loans will help them succeed and that it is imperative that they do. “It is truly a historic moment . . . in the history of health care,’’ said John Morrison, president of the National Alliance of State Health Co-Ops, the co-ops’ trade group.
But Karen Davis, a professor of health policy management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said the co-ops were not designed with the support they need to thrive. “One provision after another got stuck in there to limit their probability of success,’’ she said. “It’s a little ironic to say you are for competition in the free market and then you don’t make it easy for new entrants.’’
Government money needed
It all started with “co-op night” in North Dakota. For two decades, leaders of the state’s numerous agricultural and other cooperatives had a chance at an annual forum to preach their virtues to one of Washington’s most powerful lawmakers, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D).
When Senate leaders were seeking in 2009 to make the insurance market more competitive amid opposition to a proposed government-run health plan commonly called the public option, they turned to Conrad, who chaired the Budget Committee. He suggested co-ops. He said their potential to compete with major insurers while remaining out of government hands could place co-ops in a middle ground acceptable to Democrats and Republicans.
But the American history of health insurance co-ops has been “littered with failures,’’ Davis said. If these new entities were going to succeed, experts told Congress, they would need government help.
“The second we heard it, it raised red flags,’’ said one person involved in the congressional debate who spoke on the condition of anonymity to convey private conversations. “What kind of funding would it take to get this to a place where we could trust they wouldn’t default and leave people enrolled in co-ops all high and dry?’’
Congress commissioned insurance and actuarial experts to find out. They recommended $10 billion. Early legislative drafts funded the co-ops at that amount through government grants, because Conrad argued that loan repayments would excessively burden them.
The insurance industry balked. Industry lobbyists objected to what they called unfair government backing for the co-ops and raised concerns that they were not financially viable. Others familiar with the lobbying effort said the insurers didn’t want the competition.
If the government was to finance the co-ops, the lobbyists said, the new entities should get loans, not grants. “They were being given a gift, a federal handout,’’ said Philip Stalboerger, a former lobbyist for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
The insurance industry had an ally in Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), and he had emerged in late 2009 as a key vote for the bill’s passage. He insisted to Senate Democratic leaders that co-ops receive loans instead of grants, and they consented. Nelson, a former insurance lawyer and insurance company chief executive, said he objected to the government giving money to an “insurance entity.”
In another provision sought by industry lobbyists, the legislation said “substantially all” of the co-ops’ business must be in the individual and small-group insurance markets, meaning the outfits were essentially barred from the lucrative large employer market.
The law allowed co-ops to band together to purchase actuarial and other services, but it prohibited them from jointly negotiating contracts with doctors, which could have helped them compete with major insurers. Although the law required the administration to give top consideration to co-op applicants with significant private financial funding, it hampered their means of getting it by preventing them from accessing equity markets or investor capital.
Then there was the restriction on using federal money for marketing.
The changes still rankle Conrad, who left the Senate in January. “The long knives were out for this,’’ he said in an interview. “No money could be used for marketing? Really? That was clearly intended to be a poison pill.’’
By the time the bill passed, Congress had cut co-op funding from $10 billion to $6 billion. When the White House got involved, it was reduced even more.
Some senior White House officials considered the co-ops risky, including for prospective policyholders, and questioned whether the loans would be repaid, said multiple people familiar with their thinking.
As the administration prepared to implement the health-care law, there was also concern that the co-ops could leave the White House vulnerable to GOP criticism. Republicans began investigating the co-ops and pressing comparisons to Solyndra, a bankrupt California solar-panel maker that defaulted on a half-billion-dollar federal loan.
White House backing melted. The administration offered up the co-ops as a potential savings in April 2011 budget negotiations with Republicans, and their funding was cut by an additional $2.2 billion, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
Last year, as Washington approached what was being called the “fiscal cliff,” the White House again put co-op funding on the table. With hours remaining before the deadline, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) buttonholed Democrats in a Capitol hallway and said, “We want the co-op money,” according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The White House agreed.
Conrad was blindsided by the deal. “To do this in the dark of night and never even bother to tell me?’’ he said. “It was a very significant blow to the co-ops.’’
The last-minute cut eliminated the remaining co-op funding, leaving only a small contingency fund, and prevented the administration from lending additional money. Applications from more than 40 proposed co-ops were junked.
If the co-ops were set up in a way that made many likely to fail, the way their financing was designed meant taxpayers could pay the toll.
As a condition of licensing the co-ops, state insurance commissioners insisted that most of their federal loans be structured so that state officials can control whether and when the loans are repaid. If the co-ops run into trouble, state officials can order them to withhold payment. And if they go under, any remaining money will go to doctors and other debtors before the federal government, according to loan documents and insurance industry officials.
And despite the assurances of some co-op advocates, policyholders in some cases could be left with medical bills. “It’s always possible,” said Monica J. Lindeen, commissioner of securities and insurance in Montana. That’s because at least 11 of the co-ops, because of the way they’re licensed, are not eligible for the guarantees available to traditional insurance companies, industry officials said.
Officials at CMS did what they could to help. They designed regulations saying that co-ops could use federal funding to educate people about their companies, although they could not mention specific insurance plans. CMS also clarified that one-third of co-op policies could be in the large-employer market.
A study released by the co-op alliance found that average premiums in states with co-ops are about 9 percent less than in states without, although it is unclear what accounts for the difference. If co-ops do force prices down, that could save the government money by reducing subsidies for people buying insurance on the exchanges, supporters say.
Yet the obstacles remain daunting. “This is by far the most challenging thing I’ve been involved with in my 21-year career,’’ said Peter Beilenson, a former Baltimore health commissioner who is chief executive of Evergreen Health Co-Op in Maryland.
The Maryland outfit is one of at least three co-ops forecast to have financial problems in internal application reviews by Deloitte, a contractor for the Department of Health and Human Services. The review, uncovered by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), said the Maryland co-op initially did not qualify for funding because its financial statements “indicate a tenuous ability to remain financially solvent.’’
The reviews also found that New York’s co-op had overly high debt and may have been overstating assets, while New Jersey’s co-op was projected to have expenses grow faster than revenue, “a negative indicator of the co-op’s ability to remain financially solvent.’’
Officials at all three co-ops said they are optimistic about their finances and ability to repay federal loans. They said high debt and expenses are typical of any start-up.
In July, an HHS inspector-general audit found that 11 co-ops had projected start-up expenditures that exceeded their start-up funding — and that there was “little evidence” of critical private support for 16 co-ops.
In Vermont, the state denied the co-op a license in a scathing report that said it would lose millions of dollars. HHS terminated the co-op’s $33.8 million in loans last month, forcing it to dissolve. Christine Oliver, the co-op’s former chief executive, said it will be unable to repay $4.5 million that had been spent.
In Ohio, co-op chief operating officer Briggs Hamor said the federal restrictions are posing “a ton of challenges.” His co-op, InHealth Mutual, missed the deadline to get licensed in time for the exchange this year.
“There really is a fighting chance for us,’’ Hamor said. He added, “I do think there will be some co-ops that will struggle for whatever reason and probably not make it.’’
Alice Crites contributed to this report.
[preamble]What more can you say – the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many. socialism – Obama – who voted for him? [backtopost]
By: John Hayward |
October 22nd, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Money gets a bad rap from some people, because it’s supposed to be the instrument of greed. Wanting more money is said to be crass. Indeed, in our modern political culture, wanting to keep your own money is treated as “greed.” The noble and virtuous demands of the collective, as interpreted by a priesthood of politicians, completely trumps individual self-interest.
But it’s easy to be greedy without demanding money. The ObamaCare debate provides a great example of this. We are incessantly told that the needs of the people President Obama believes will benefit from his health-care scheme outweigh the needs of everyone else. The relative size of these two groups doesn’t change argument, even when Obama tacitly admits – as he did during his speech yesterday – that only 15 percent or less of the populace stands to benefit from the program. Higher premiums, exploding out-of-pocket costs, lost coverage, and enormous levels of inconvenience visited upon the rest of us are of absolutely zero concern to the President. He didn’t even mention those people in his speech. He never does. He has nothing to say to them, and evidently no one in the mainstream media intends to ask tough questions on their behalf.
The President’s political team is having a very hard time finding any happy ObamaCare purchasers – none of his human props at yesterday’s Rose Garden event had actually bought a policy. This seems like a significant data point, over three weeks into the launch of a multi-trillion-dollar program with a $500 million website whose use is mandated upon a formerly free population by law, with the IRS standing by to enforce stiff fines against the disobedient.
But let us stipulate that some happy customers will eventually come forward and declare themselves happy with the cost, deductible, benefits, and restrictions of the policies they have purchased. Why is their satisfaction supposed to completely outweigh the higher prices and poor service encountered by millions of others? Are they not greedy for insisting on benefits for themselves, without concern for the price paid by others? They’re pursuing their own naked self-interest in a way that damages the lives of other people, and they’re worse than most of the people liberal culture routinely characterizes as greedy or selfish, because they are using huge amounts of compulsive force to get what they want. Nobody on the fuzzy end of this lollipop is allowed to say “no.”
Last Sunday, blogger Matt Walsh solicited testimonials from those who feel shortchanged by ObamaCare. He reports receiving hundreds of emails within 24 hours. (Those who got a raw deal from ObamaCare certainly seem to be much easier to find than ordinary Americans who endorse it!) Walsh summarized his review of the responses as follows:
This is about people. People with kids, and bills, and health problems. This is about people who can no longer afford their health coverage, their mortgages, their lifesaving medication. This is about doctors and nurses leaving medicine behind, driven away by destructive bureaucratic interference. This is about moms and dads losing their jobs so that their employers can compensate for the financial burden of Obamacare. This is about people without insurance because of Obamacare, now being fined for not having insurance because of Obamacare. This is about business owners driven to the edge of bankruptcy. This is real. We heard a lot of fantasies about what Obamacare was “supposed” to accomplish, now it’s time to talk about what it’s actually doing.
So when they say you are “heartless” for opposing Obamacare, show them why it’s heartless to support it.
Walsh has published dozens of the responses he received, with plans to post more as he finds time to read them all. Some of them talk about disruptions in their work and personal lives caused by ObamaCare’s endless maze of mandates, while others lay out hard numbers about the higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs awaiting them because of the “Affordable Care Act.” A few examples from the latter group:
We are losing our current health insurance at the end of this year. My husband’s employer is getting rid of it due to Obamacare. Our insurance currently covers my husband, myself, and our two daughters. My husband’s employer is having to replace our current insurance with a policy that is $400 more a month and an added $3000 deductible. The worst of it is that it will now cost him $100 more a month to cover me, his WIFE! Disgusting.
My current health insurance policy for my family of four is $375/month. The cheapest I can find for relatively similar coverage is $784/month. I can “save” money by going with a high deductible plan and pay $630/month. How is that saving? I can’t afford health insurance at these prices, and my employer doesn’t provide insurance
There are many, many more of these stories at Matt’s blog. Are we to understand these people don’t matter? Their higher costs and damaged lives are irrelevant, as long as a few of President Obama’s favored constituents get something they like? But don’t you dare call those people greedy or selfish!
Furthermore, we are supposed to disapprove of “divisive” politics. What could be more divisive than pitting people against each other in a gladiatorial contest to see who can claim victory and cut benefit trophies from the hides of the losers? How are the people suffering under ObamaCare supposed to feel when the White House finally manages to put together a few chipper testimonials from satisfied Obama voters? This is a generation-spanning formula for conflict and division… in which one side is supposed to meekly submit, or face the wrath of the Ruling Class for daring to resist. The sheep will be castigated as selfish for wishing to keep their wool.
Statism thrives by spreading the belief that selfishness is sanctified through the application of compulsive force. The State decides which ambitions are valid, and which can be discarded. ”Greed” is re-defined as resistance to these judgments. Selfishness becomes a virtue by official proclamation, while independence is viewed as theft. No one may refuse demands that have been politically consecrated.
In truth, self-interest only becomes truly destructive when compulsive force is involved. In a lawful, minimal government where every individual’s right to property is equally respected, and all forms of theft are outlawed, self-interest is pursued mainly through hard work and persuasion. Everyone enjoys the fruits of voluntary commerce, which includes the sale of our labor at mutually agreeable prices. It’s not a utopian state, and it takes much effort to preserve – there will always be robust debate about the needs of society, and the mandated cost of providing for those needs. But generally speaking, it is a constructive environment, in which ambition fuels the growth of general wealth.
And it is an environment in which the dignity of all citizens finds roughly equal official respect. They might waste some energy insulting each other’s dignity in various ways, but at least no one is told he must submit to the morally superior demands of a preferred dependency class… or that his survival can only be ensured through parasitic dependency on people better able to provide for themselves and their families. How can you respect someone’s human dignity without having full respect for their ambitions, and their ability to fulfill them?
Instead, ObamaCare is one of many arenas in which we are told to squabble and steal from one another, in a battle no one can fight alone. You’ve got to organize politically and win elections to gain the power you need to extract desired benefits from your vanquished enemies. President Obama spoke explicitly in those terms when he chided his Republican critics for not winning enough elections to prevail in the shutdown conflict. We are not allowed to withdraw our consent from what the Ruling Class imposes upon us, unless we band together and win enough election battles over the coming years to change the Ruling Class.
And if you’re not happy with the way the commissars of ObamaCare are treating you… well, you missed your only chance to escape from the system in the last election. You know, the one in which Barack Obama and his allies relentlessly lied to you about what would happen when their health-care scheme went live. But even if you’re looking at thousands of dollars per year in inflated premiums… even if you lost the health care coverage Obama swore you would be able to keep… you are not permitted to express the smallest bit of righteous anger at the people who are using a political victory to raid your paycheck.
Such feelings would challenge the right of the Ruling Class to sanctify greed, in a process that also bleeds away the freedom conferred through cash prizes. Accepting the notion of money as the vile symbol of greed concedes the freedom we gain by spending our fortunes as we see fit, and also allows greed to be concealed by hiding the dollar signs. The “prize” in these political contests is scrip – benefits which the Ruling Class can re-evaluate whenever it wishes, or even take back for use as a prize in future contests. The only permanent winners are the overlords of the arena.
Canadian Firm received over $600,000 US dollars to make Obama care web site
Government has “no statistics” on anything until after November elections
Doctors responsible for over 400,000 unnecessary deaths a year – everything is preventable
Politicians demanding all cars have backup cameras – price increases to ensure
Politicians demanding all smart cell phones have :kill switch – price increases to ensue
Job market not good
Over 70% of people “feel” economy is bad and will get worse
Obama care is found to be “unaffordable”
Florida insurance company sent out thousands of letters dropping seniors from insurance because it does not comply with the new Obama care
When this folly ends……………
[preamble]When non physicians decide on medical care you have a recipe for disaster. Now that we know what Obama care costs and what it offers on the exchanges – its a disaster that’s already happening – Massive deductibles from $2000 upwards of $10,000. This I snot insurance this is extortion to pay for something we do not need. There is no coverage – it really MAJOR Medical – NOT for normal checkups – you are penalized for that with high copays $75 or more and massive deductibles. We are paying for nothing.[backtopost]
I suppose this is the issue with health care. Patient’s don’t have insurance and cannot follow up to confirm viability of pregnancy. What is one suppose to do in that case? If you don’t follow up and you have a complication, then your malpractice is on the line. On the other hand, if you send those patient to the ER who has no insurance, the hospital loses money.
Patient’s can’t afford for simple blood draw or better yet, some patient’s are UNWILLING to pay for blood draw and rather soak up the health care money. Unfortunately, the ER cannot turn away patient.
Therefore, I don’t think this is a GYN department issue. Tell those liberals to further support Obamacare so the situation can get worst.
After being ordered to allow more minorities in in the name of diversity, after 1 year we are finding that 15% increase in dropouts amongst the very people that the NYPD were forced to allow in.
We have special people helping them to achieve goals – yet they fail. So in the end we spend more money and get less.
Diversity is a failure! There are standards for a reason. Not everyone is the same!