O’s State of Healthcare

obamacare-hurricane

On the eve of Trump’s inauguration, Obamacare is back in the news.  This week has seen much activity on Capitol Hill with confirmation hearings and the repeal of Obamacare.  A number of clowns like Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders have staged “save Obamacare” rallies in a “day of action” across the country this week.  The liberal Democrats just won’t give up.

Schumer even announced today on Capitol Hill, “These past 2 weeks we have seen repeated efforts from the Trump transition aided and abetted by Senate Republicans to jam through nominees in a way that hides their views from the American people.”  Of course he was talking about Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon and staunch critic of Obamacare.  Price has been appointed by Trump to head the Department of Health and Human Services.

It’s ironic that someone like Schumer who so strongly supports Obamacare even mentions it.  The same could be said about Obama and how he jammed Obamacare through in 2010 without a single Republican vote.  Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Hilary clone (or should I say Hilary clown?)  of Capitol Hill,  also grilled Price today about his roll in buying stock with Zimmer Biomet as a conflict of interest.

The Guardian recently reported that Democrats and activists have planned more action, announced by the Washington DC director of MoveOn.org, a progressive advocacy group involved in organizing support for Obamacare.   This will include protests, rallies and “call-in days” in which constituents, especially in Republican states, will flood politicians’ phone lines with demands to protect the law.

This is the same organization calling for a boycott of the upcoming inauguration.

Seriously, they should MOVE ON.  The house this week voted 227 to 198 on a resolution package that lays the framework for rolling back the health care law. Donald Trump promptly tweeted “The “Unaffordable” Care Act will soon be history.”

Mark Meadows , a Republican representing North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District also voted and then tweeted:

markmeadows-on-obamacare

In my continuing series of O’s La La Land, we now to look at O’s claims on our state of Healthcare. In an earlier post, we took a look at O’s lies to the American people in his many speeches and latest farewell address. How he has taken data and manipulated it to his liking. (O’s La La Land)

One of O’s most famous data manipulations is his numbers on healthcare. With the repeal of Obamacare now in the house, he has frequently boasted to the American Public how The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare has now provided coverage to over 20 million people without health insurance.

The liberals are concerned about no replacement plans and that it will be “catastrophic” for the millions that will be left without healthcare.  There will be “chaos!”.  Never mind that Trump has already said he will keep some provisions of the plan and make it a smooth transition.

Any repeal such as Obamacare will progress over some time and will allow people to get better coverage.  The repeal, as outlined in my post “Replacing Obamacare . . . It’s Simple  . . . Really”  will allow for a more competitive market by replacing income-based subsides with age-based tax credits.   This will increase a pool of younger and healthier insured individuals.  The replacement plan has already been set in place for over 2 years called the  Empowering Patients First Act—which is the most detailed of all the Republican proposals to replace Obamacare.  The media such as CNN and NBC will fail to tell us those details.

What many people also fail to understand is Obamacare penalized employers causing a job-killing market.  Some employers shut their doors, new jobs dried up and some employers either hired more part-time labor to get around the costs or down-sized.  Our lack of a more rapid economic recovery, the over 95 million Americans out of the labor market and labor-force participation rates that have slid to its lowest numbers since 1978 can also be attributed to Obamacare.

So let’s look at those 20 million new people who have health insurance and signed up on the healthcare exchange through Obamacare.

If you actually look at the REAL numbers, the number is more like 14 million.  And of the 14 million, 11.8 million (84%) were people who entered the MEDICAID market.   New research has shown that the 2 to 7 million people now in the Medicaid program would likely have been eligible to enter the healthcare system even without Obamacare.

As a physician, we cannot deny medical treatment.  However, many physicians do not accept Medicaid.  But many will still get into the system under charity.  In this case, many people who were left out of the Healthcare system get just as good or even better medical care.  In fact the uninsured usually get better healthcare than those on Medicaid.

Genevieve Wood, in her brilliant article Why Obama’s ’20 million’ number is fake, she reports:

Multiple studies have also shown that even those who are uninsured often have better outcomes than those with Medicaid. A University of Virginia study found that for eight different surgical procedures, Medicaid patients were more likely to die than privately insured or uninsured patients. They were also more likely to suffer complications.

The facts show that an increase in Medicaid recipients will burden an already stressed system which is primarily governmental or social health welfare.  Most of the people signing for Medicaid are the poor and disabled.  All doctors know how overly regulated this program is.  It pays the least and provides the least amount of benefits.

Some states, such as Texas, have also refused federal money under the ACA to expand their Medicaid program.  So, if you are a single mother, working just below the poverty line ($12,000/yr), you would not be eligible for Medicaid and also would not qualify for Obamacare.  So, the safety net is gone.

So instead of fixing a broken system, Obamacare has only added sicker and poorer people to its pool.  The bureaucratic red tape and subsidies have only added to the cost of delivering health care.   It did nothing to improve our delivery of healthcare.  It also dishonestly redefine people who make 38% more money than the poor as also being “poor” so that they can get on Medicaid.

And did we forget about the 6 million who actually lost their existing insurance after ACA was signed into law?  The media and Obamacare activists would rather you look the other way on that figure.  Here is a typical response on why ACA doesn’t work.

ACA has made healthcare unaffordable for me and a lot of people near me in Illinois. I did not get to keep my policy like he promised, but the premium went from $3000 per year to $11000 per year and a deductible of $6500.  This for a bronze plan.  I’m a healthy 56 year old who has never used it. Why should I have to pay for those around me who refuse to take care of themselves or save for their future. We only have one provider in our county now and I know of plenty of people who have bills twice as high as mine. There is also a penalty for being married as most could get a subsidy if separated or divorced but living together as opposed to married and living together.

So, Obama has bamboozled the American people again by manipulating the numbers and telling everyone that we have 20 million more people insured in the healthcare market.

Obamacare has also directly added to the cost of overall healthcare for the other Americans who get their healthcare through the open market.  Premiums are now set to increase by 22% and over 140% in other states such as Arizona.  On the Obamacare exchange, almost every insurer is either increasing it’s rates or dropping out of the exchange altogether.  In Texas, the largest insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas said it is seeking increases averaging from 57.3 % to 59.4 % across its individual market plans.  North Carolina’s largest insurer said it will seek an average increase of 18.8 %.  A recent analysis of nine states by the consulting firm Avalere Health found that average premium increases for the most popular kind of plan ranged from 5 percent in Washington state to 44 percent in Vermont. (NPR)  Anthem, is the nation’s second-largest insurer.    In its home state of Indiana, it is currently seeking premium hikes from nearly 20 percent to 41 percent for coverage under the health care law.

To off-set the cost of Obamacare, insurance companies now have raised their deductibles to the highest rates ever seen in insurance history (5K-10K for some).  So if you want an affordable monthly rate, you can choose a plan with a higher deductible.

And what do we get for these higher costs?  Fewer services, fewer insurance companies and fewer choices.

And who are the people rallying for Obamacare.  The truth is the liberal media and others have turned this topic into a political firestorm just because Trump had based much of his campaign on the failure of it.  So now the liberal outcry against Trump is to save Obamacare.

As Democrats and liberals continue to chant “Save my Healthcare”, most insurance companies such as Aetna, United HealthGroup, Humana and United Healthcare have all but pulled out of the Obamacare exchange.  It is the latest and probably last blow to this broken law that is slowly imploding under its regulatory red tape.

Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said that the company suffered a total pretax loss of more than $430 million since January 2014 in its individual products.(NPR)  According to Amy Palmer, a spokesperson for the California exchange, United Healthcare is pulling out of California’s individual market including Covered California in 2017. (NPR)  United Healthcare said it lost $475 million in 2015 from the marketplace plans and was on target to lose another $650 million in 2016. (NPR)

Millions of Americans have now lost their health coverage under this disastrous policy, eliminating their ability to choose their doctors.   And thousands of businesses have been forced to cut employment or shut their doors.  Obamacare directly effected our economic recovery by slowing it to a crawl.  It killed jobs by forcing companies to insure their employees.  Doctors have changed they way they deliver medicine.  The pharmaceutical and health insurance industries have all incurred increasing costs and over-reaching regulation under this law.  This has been detrimental to the American People who just want affordable healthcare in a runaway market.  Way to go “O”!

Now, because the market is in such chaos and people don’t know where to turn for insurance, many have no choice but to continue signing up through Obamacare due to governmental mandates placed in the workplace.  6.4 million people signed up with Obamacare since November 2016.  Overall, however, the enrollment numbers are slowing compared to previous sign-ups.

And what will be the affect to working people like you and me?  Taxpayers will fork over nearly $10 billion more to cover double-digit premium increases. The cost of premium subsidies will increase by $9.8 billion in 2017, rising from $32.8 billion currently to $42.6 billion. (NPR)

Remember, this was a Democratic plan.  Primarily O’s own creation.  And don’t think policy makers haven’t tried to talk to O about modifying and changing the plan.  They have been trying for years.  He has refused to meet with any Republican law makers when it comes to HIS healthcare law.   ACA was ramrodded to the American people under false pretense without a single Republican vote.  Now it has completely unraveled.  Trump is swinging the final wrecking ball to put O’s signature universal healthcare achievement out of its misery. The Unaffordable Care Act . . .  indeed.

So, if some liberal is out there rallying to save Obamacare?  You can set them straight by the numbers.

 

 

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