Tag Archives: obamacare

The Irony of the “Affordable Health Care for America Act” AKA “Obamacare” – It Doubles Insurance Premiums

the irs has always been a corrupt syping entity used to subjigate people... let's put them in charge of health care

Rate Shock: In California, Obamacare to Increase Individual Health Insurance Premiums by 64-146%

One of the most serious flaws with Obamacare is that its blizzard of regulations and mandates drives up the cost of insurance for people who buy it on their own. This problem will be especially acute when the law’s main provisions kick in on January 1, 2014, leading many to worry about health insurance “rate shock.”

Last week, the state of California claimed that its version of Obamacare’s health insurance exchange would actually reduce premiums. “These rates are way below the worst-case gloom-and-doom scenarios we have heard,” boasted Peter Lee, executive director of the California exchange.

But the data that Lee released tells a different story: Obamacare, in fact, will increase individual-market premiums in California by as much as 146 percent.

Lee’s claims that there won’t be rate shock in California were repeated uncritically in some quarters. “Despite the political naysayers,” writes myForbes colleague Rick Ungar, “the healthcare exchange concept appears to be working very well indeed in states like California.” A bit more analysis would have prevented Rick from falling for California’s sleight-of-hand.

Here’s what happened. Last week, Covered California—the name for the state’s Obamacare-compatible insurance exchange—released the rates that Californians will have to pay to enroll in the exchange. “The rates submitted to Covered California for the 2014 individual market,” the state said in a press release, “ranged from two percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer plans in California’s most populous regions.”

That’s the sentence that led to all of the triumphant commentary from the left. “This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” exulted Peter Lee.

Except that Lee was making a misleading comparison. He was comparing apples—the plans that Californians buy today for themselves in a robust individual market—and oranges—the highly regulated plans that small employers purchase for their workers as a group. The difference is critical.

Obamacare to double individual-market premiums

If you’re a 25 year old male non-smoker, buying insurance for yourself, the cheapest plan on Obamacare’s exchanges is the catastrophic plan, which costs an average of $184 a month. (That’s the median monthly premium across California’s 19 insurance rating regions.)

The next cheapest plan, the “bronze” comprehensive plan, costs $205 a month. But in 2013, on eHealthInsurance.com (NASDAQ:EHTH), the average cost of the five cheapest plans was only $92. In other words, for the average 25-year-old male non-smoking Californian, Obamacare will drive premiums up by between 100 and 123 percent.

Under Obamacare, only people under the age of 30 can participate in the slightly cheaper catastrophic plan. So if you’re 40, your cheapest option is the bronze plan. In California, the median price of a bronze plan for a 40-year-old male non-smoker will be $261. But on eHealthInsurance, the average cost of the five cheapest plans was $121. That is, Obamacare will increase individual-market premiums by an average of 116 percent.

For both 25-year-olds and 40-year-olds, then, Californians under Obamacare who buy insurance for themselves will see their insurance premiums double.

Impact highest in Bay Area, Orange County, and San Diego

In the map below, I illustrate the regional variations in Obamacare’s rate hikes. For each of the state’s 19 insurance regions, I compared the median price of the bronze plans offered on the exchange to the median price of the five cheapest plans on eHealthInsurance.com for the most populous zip code in that region. (eHealth offers more than 50 plans in the typical California zip code; focusing on the five cheapest is the fairest comparator to the exchanges, which typically offered three to six plans in each insurance rating region.)

 

As you can see, Obamacare’s impact on 40-year-olds is steepest in the San Francisco Bay area, especially in the counties north of San Francisco, like Marin, Napa, and Sonoma. Also hard-hit are Orange and San Diego counties.

According to Covered California, 13 carriers are participating in the state’s exchange, including Anthem Blue Cross (NYSE:WLP), Health Net (NYSE:HNT), Molina (NYSE:MOH), and Kaiser Permanente. So far, UnitedHealthCare (NYSE:UNH) and Aetna (NYSE:AET) have stayed out.

Spinning a public-relations disaster

It’s great that Covered California released this early the rates that insurers plan to charge on the exchange, as it gives us an early window into how the exchanges will work in a state that has an unusually competitive and inexpensive individual market for health insurance. But that’s the irony. The full rate report is subtitled “Making the Individual Market in California Affordable.” But Obamacare has actually doubled individual-market premiums in the Golden State.

How did Lee and his colleagues explain the sleight-of-hand they used to make it seem like they were bringing prices down, instead of up? “It is difficult to make a direct comparison of these rates to existing premiums in the commercial individual market,” Covered California explained in last week’s press release, “because in 2014, there will be new standard benefit designs under the Affordable Care Act.” That’s a polite way of saying that Obamacare’s mandates and regulations will drive up the cost of premiums in the individual market for health insurance.

But rather than acknowledge that truth, the agency decided to ignore it completely, instead comparing Obamacare-based insurance to a completely different type of insurance product, that bears no relevance to the actual costs that actual Californians face when they shop for coverage today. Peter Lee calls it a “home run.” It’s more like hitting into a triple play.

Obama attacked insurers in 2010 for much smaller increases

That Obamacare more than doubles insurance premiums for many Californians is especially ironic, given the political posturing of the President and his administration in 2010. In February of that year, Anthem Blue Cross announced that some groups (but not the majority) would face premium increases of as much as 39 percent. The White House and its allies in the blogosphere, cynically, claimed that these increases were due to greedy profiteering by the insurers, instead of changes in the underlying costs of the insured population.

“These extraordinary increases are up to 15 times faster than inflation and threaten to make health care unaffordable for hundreds of thousands of Californians, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet in a difficult economy,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “[Anthem’s] strong financial position makes these rate increases even more difficult to understand.” The then-Democratic Congress called hearings. Even California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, a Republican running for governor, decided to launch an investigation.

Soon after, WellPoint announced that, in fact, because of lower revenues and higher spending on patient care, the company earned 11 percent less in 2010 than it did in 2009. So much for greedy profiteering.

So, to summarize: Supporters of Obamacare justified passage of the law because one insurer in California raised rates on some people by as much as 39 percent. But Obamacare itself more than doubles the cost of insurance on the individual market. I can understand why Democrats in California would want to mislead the public on this point. But journalists have a professional responsibility to check out the facts for themselves.

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UPDATE 1: On Twitter, Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic argues that I’m being unkind to California (1) by not describing the mandates that Obamacare imposes on insurers in the individual market, and (2) not explaining that low-income people will be eligible for subsidies that protect them from much of the rate shock.

For an extensive discussion of Obamacare’s costly insurance mandates, such as its requirement that plans cover you whether you’re healthy or sick ,read this post. For a discussion of how Obamacare’s insurance mandates dramatically increase the cost of insurance for younger workers, go here.

Jon is right that low-income individuals will be protected from these rate increases because of Obamacare’s subsidies, but if you’re not low-income, you face a double-whammy: higher taxes to pay for those subsidies, and higher indvidual-market insurance costs for yourself. A better approachwould be to offer everyone access to low-cost consumer-driven health coverage.

UPDATE 2: A number of writers did call out California for the apples-to-oranges comparison last week, including David FreddosoPhilip Klein, andLanhee Chen.

Lanhee, writing in Bloomberg View, does the useful exercise of showing that even for plans with the same generous benefit package that Obamacare requires, eHealthInsurance is significantly cheaper:

To put it simply: Covered California is trying to make consumers think they’re getting more for less when, in fact, they’re just getting the same while paying more.

Yet there are many plans on the individual market in California today that offer a structure and benefits that are almost identical to those that will be available on the state’s health insurance exchange next year. So, let’s make an actual apples-to-apples comparison for the hypothetical 25-year-old male living in San Francisco and making more than $46,000 a year. Today, he can buy a PPO plan from a major insurer with a $5,000 deductible, 30 percent coinsurance, a $10 co-pay for generic prescription drugs, and a $7,000 out-of-pocket maximum for $177 a month.

According to Covered California, a “Bronze” plan from the exchange with nearly the same benefits, including a slightly lower out-of-pocket maximum of $6,350, will cost him between $245 and $270 a month. That’s anywhere from 38 percent to 53 percent more than he’ll have to pay this year for comparable coverage! Sounds a lot different than the possible 29 percent “decrease” touted by Covered California in their faulty comparison.

While Covered California acknowledges that it’s tough to compare premiums pre- and post-Obamacare, at the very least, it could have made a legitimate comparison so consumers could fairly evaluate the impacts of Obamacare.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/05/30/rate-shock-in-california-obamacare-to-increase-individual-insurance-premiums-by-64-146/?utm_source=TOPin&utm_medium=twitter

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INJURY CLASSIFICATIONS FOR TURTLE BITES & BURNING WATER SKIS? HERE’S RAND PAUL’S HILARIOUS OBAMACARE RANT

The IRS wants to target you, raid you and steal your stuff . why not put them in charge of your healthcare

With the implementation of Obamacare, doctors will soon be required to use roughly 122,000 new medical diagnostic codes to inform the federal government of injuries sustained by Americans, so says Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

The new codes, Sen. Paul explained, include classifications for “injuries sustained from a turtle,” “walking into a lamppost” and “injuries sustained from burning water skis.”

“Your government just wants to take care of you,” he added, criticizing the new law’s 9,000-plus pages of new regulations. “They don’t think you’re smart enough to make these decisions.”

Physicians currently have about 18,000 medical diagnostic codes, called ICD-9, to choose from to help them inform insurers of their patients’ ailments. But according to Paul (himself a physician), Obamacarewill require physicians to adopt roughly 122,000 new codes — and some of them sound downright ridiculous.

“Included among these codes,” the senator continued, “will be 312 new codes for injuries from animals; 72 new codes for injuries just from birds; 9 new codes for ‘injuries from the macaw.”‘

“The macaw?” he asked. “I’ve asked physicians all over the country, ‘Have you ever seen an injury from a macaw?”‘

He continued, adding that he had found “two new injury codes under Obamacare for ‘injuries sustained from a turtle.”‘

“Now, you might say, ‘Well, turtles are dangerous’ — but why do you have to have two codes?” he asked.  “Your doctor has to inform the government whether you’ve been struck by a turtle or bitten by a turtle.”

He added:  “There is a new code for … walking into a lamppost. There’s also a code for ‘walking into a lamppost, subsequent encounter.’”

“I guess that’s if you don’t learn,” he added. “[T]here is [also] a code … for ‘injuries sustained from burning water skis.”‘

Though the Republican senator delivered his speech earlier this month to the Iowa Republican Party, his Obamacare remarks have only recently gained traction online:

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Cancer Care Rationing Begins in America as Cancer Clinics Turn Away Thousands of Medicare Patients

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 As reported by NaturalNews.com, Cancer care clinics have started turning cancer patients away on a large scale. Even when you know that things are headed in a predictable direction, you are never quite prepared when you hear the news. Now, after admittedly contributing to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of cancer cases, the US government decides to quite paying for treatment. Of course, like any dictatorial government, they want the weakest and most infirmed out of the way so that they are left with only worker bees…

“With an aging global population and an endless conveyor belt of expensive new drugs and technologies and increasing financial pressures, the cost of cancer care in high-income countries is becoming unsustainable,” said the journal The Lancet Oncology…

I wonder if it would be more sustainable if we didn’t have constant war and hundreds of military bases all over the world? Perhaps if we weren’t sending the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt 10billion dollars a year in aid? Perhaps we don’t need to research the length of duck penises or effects of snail sex or buy talking urinal cakes for the White House… Maybe then we could afford to treat cancer patients?… All food for thought.

Cancer care rationing begins in America as cancer clinics turn away thousands of Medicare patients

Thursday, April 11, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

federal funding study of duck penis length(NaturalNews) Federal sequestration measures that came into effect on April 1 are making it impossible for many cancer clinics across the country to administer conventional care to patients, and particularly to those on Medicare. Consequently, thousands of cancer patients with taxpayer-funded insurance coverage are being turned away, according to reports, as clinics simply do not have the capacity nor the funding to administer expensive pharmaceutical-based treatments such as chemotherapy.

According to the Washington Post, many cancer clinics are having to turn away patients without adequate coverage, or else face potential closure of their practices. Since many of the latest cancer drugs now cost upwards of $35,000 or more per year, it is grossly unsustainable to deliver such treatments to patients without adequate insurance coverage — doing so would spell financial suicide for even the most successful and well-funded cancer clinics.

“If we treated the patients receiving the most expensive drugs, we’d be out of business in six months to a year,” said Jeff Vacirca, chief executive of North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates in New York, to the Washington Post. “The drugs we’re going to lose money on we’re not going to administer right now.”

Back in October, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, another New York-based cancer center, announced that it would not be administering an expensive new cancer drug known as Zaltrap (ziv-afilbercept), a Sanofi-Aventis creation designed to treat metastatic colorectal cancer. According to an op-ed piece published by The New York Times (NYT), an average month’s worth of treatment with Zaltrap costs more than $11,000, or more than $132,000 per year.

“We don’t sugar-coat things, we’re cancer doctors,” explained Charles Holladay, an oncologist at the Charleston Cancer Center in South Carolina, to the Washington Post. Holladay’s facility began informing many of its government-covered patients several weeks ago that they would have to seek out alternative treatment options.

“We tell them that if we don’t go this course, it’s just a matter of time before we go out of business,” he added.

Prevention, natural treatments are the keys to beating cancer and avoiding a total healthcare meltdown

 feds fund study benefits of snail sex Even if sequestration was not a factor in the current cancer treatment crisis, the ever-escalating costs of conventional cancer treatments would still be bankrupting an already-overburdened American healthcare system. The public at large is still not being informed about effective cancer prevention strategies, for instance, nor is there any effort whatsoever being made by public health authorities to teach people about effective natural cancer treatment options like the Gerson Therapy protocol, Indian black salve, and all-natural cannabis oil.

This, of course, is due to the fact that the conventional healthcare system is owned and operated by the pharmaceutical cartel, which has no interest in actually healing people. Instead, a sadistic combination of greed and eugenics is what drives healthcare, and especially the cancer industry, today — and this death-care model is directly responsible for pushing the healthcare system to the precipice of complete destruction.

“With an aging global population and an endless conveyor belt of expensive new drugs and technologies and increasing financial pressures, the cost of cancer care in high-income countries is becoming unsustainable,” said the journal The Lancet Oncology in a statement back in 2011 about the failure of the conventional cancer industry.

http://www.naturalnews.com/039879_sequester_cancer_care_health_rationing.html

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