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Healthcare.gov may be temperamental and insecure, but it came through in the end

Healthcare.gov , the internet face of "Obamacare" -- a mandatory federally guaranteed public insurance marketplace for the uninsured -- has been troubled to say the least.  Experts suggested security was bad enough that the portal should be shut down for repairs (it never was).  The portal at times was unreachable, and at other times lost registration information midway through enrollment.  In recent months the site's quality and reliability improved somewhat, although some problems on the service and security fronts remain.
 
I. HealthCare.gov Reaches Milestone
 
But the progress was apparently good enough to keep the site from being a deal breaker for Americans.  On Tuesday, President Barack Obama (D) told CBS Corp. (CBS) in a video interview aired on the network's "Evening News":

We admittedly had just a terrible start because the website wasn't working, and despite losing effectively two months, we are going to be reasonably close to that original projection [of 7 million enrollees].



At roughly 4 pm today the administration announced that 7.1 million Americans had enrolled in the program.  

ACA 7.1 million

The White House's press secretary, Jay Carney, states:

We surpassed the 7 million mark with the over 200,000 people who enrolled yesterday in states run by the federal government alone.  When we get numbers in from the rest of the states and people who are trying to sign up by the deadline and are finishing now, even more people will be covered.



The President in a speech said the new regulation didn't fix America's troubled healthcare system, but "it has made [it] a lot better".  While others will disagree with that assessment, the landmark warrants a look back at what exactly "Obamacare" is, how some Americans enrolled in it, and the troubles it has had.
 
II. What is Obamacare and the ACA?
 
It's been four years since The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [PDF] passed through Congress and was signed into law by the President.  The bill survived a Supreme Court challenge and multiple efforts to undo or undermine its provisions by House Republicans.
 
A key provision of the bill was the mandate to states to create so-called "healthcare exchanges" -- online portals where citizens can shop for health insurance and be guaranteed the ability to not be denied coverage.  A central federal website -- Healthcare.gov -- guided Americans through the enrollment process, trying (and at times failing) to connect them to their state exchange.
 
Given the massive traffic pressure on Healthcare.gov and state portals, the ACA was intimately tied to the internet and tech space in general.  Indeed the President often leaned on top tech executives and thinkers to try to brainstorm solutions for the program, as it struggled.
 
Healthcare.gov
Healthcare.gov managed to survive the final week of enrollment, by far its busiest week since its disastrous launch.

As of last week only 6 million people had enrolled, leaving the program 1 million short of its target mark.  But an advertising campaign helped to fuel a surge of enrollment requests, which pushed the program to its target in the eleventh hour.
 
The late surge brought in record traffic, both at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and The Medicare & Medicaid phone center.  Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the DHHS said the volume of visitors and callers set records.
 
But unlike in the disastrous launch of the program last October -- a milestone that also set records -- the centers braced for the surge and handled it relatively well this time, from a technical perspective.  There were relatively few complaints of service outages.
 
Open enrollment closed Tuesday morning, although those who tried to enroll but were stymied by technical glitches should be able to still try again to complete the process.
 
III. A Compromise
 
Many of the ACA's biggest backers will admit the bill is an imperfect compromise.
 
While the bill assures that some "uninsurable" groups both young and old -- e.g. cancer patients, etc. -- get the insurance and treatment they need, its costs are somewhat unevenly distributed.  Older Americans generally will pay the same or sometimes a little less overall versus existing plans.  Out of pocket expenses (e.g. the cost of buying drugs at the pharmacist or paying a part of the doctor's visit bill) may increase somewhat; that increase is almost always offset or surpassed by a decrease in monthly premiums.  
 
Younger Americans, many of whom are uninsured, are forced to enroll in more expensive plans or face modest financial penalties.  Either way costs for younger Americans will tend to rise as costs for older Americans dip.
 
The bill lacks some of the provisions that make healthcare in other socialized insurance schemes more cost-competitive -- namely collective drug buying.
  

HIV treatment
The ACA dropped early proposals for collective drug buying, placating one key opposition group (the corporate pharmaceutical lobby).  [Image Source: Tomorrow Global]

The concession prevented vigorous opposition from the pharmaceutical industry, but it also makes Obamacare one of the more expensive socialized medical plans worldwide in terms of cost versus services.  It also lacks much of the preventive medicine that's offered in Canada and other socialized medical systems, provisions that have been shown to reduce the cost of care.
 
But the bill is also misunderstood somewhat.  Even before the ACA, hospitals and medical centers were mandated to give some level of medical care to uninsured patients in emergency situations.  While the hospitals could try to collect medical bills from these people, bankruptcy or inability to pay often left the public covering the majority of uninsured Americans' health care costs.
 
IV. What Came Before the ACA?  Meet "Reagancare"
 
Perhaps the greatest misunderstanding perpetuated by both parties for image reasons, is the notion that Obamacare is the first program of its kind or the first system of mild socialism/federal regulation on the medical industry.

Before the ACA, there was The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) (USC 42§1395dd), a component of the The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985.  Signed into law by President Ronald Wilson Reagan, that act offered America's first major institutionalized socialism in the medical care field.

(For those who care, the 99th Congress that passed that law had a Republican-controlled Senate and a Democratic controlled House -- sort of the party mirror image of today's Congress and President.)
Cobra medical care
Under both COBRA/EMTALA and the ACA the federal government took medical marketplaces deeply reliant on federal aid and forced them to become controlled markets, obeying federal mandates and guaranteeing service. [Image Source: West One Mortgages]

Under COBRA/EMTALA (which could be creatively termed "Reagancare") hospitals were forced into a regulated marketplace, in which private competitors offered services to customers, but were forced to live with federal rules -- namely guaranteeing service and limiting abusive practices.  In exchange, the hospitals received federal Medicare funding for participating in this controlled market.
 
Sound familiar?  That "shocking", "revolutionary" socialist Obamacare program wasn't really all that new at all -- it was nearly identical on some levels to the Regan program.  Under the ACA the finer details are of course different from the EMTALA/COBRA, but the motivations and execution from a high level viewpoint are virtually indistinguishable.
 
Under the ACA medical insurers were forced into a regulated marketplace, in which private competitors offered services to customers, but were forced to live with federal rules -- namely guaranteeing service and limiting abusive practices.  In exchange, the insurers received federal Medicare/Medicaid funding for participating in this controlled market.
 
V. "Patient Dumping" -- the Existential Medical Moral Crisis of 1980s, which Reagancare (aka COBRA/EMTALA) Answered
 
Prior to the passage of the COBRA/EMTALA it was rare, but not altogether unheard of for hospitals to engage in so-called "patient dumping" -- literally abandoning patients with treatable, relatively inexpensive emergencies like a heart attack to die if they had no insurance or cash to pay.  
 
Clearly many hospitals and doctors would not do such a coldhearted act, given their religious, ethical, and/or professional convictions.  For example, such an act would seem to clearly violate the Hippocratic Oath that is taken by doctors in the U.S. took.
 
That said, patient dumping did happen, which ostensibly led to President Reagan and the divided Congress to work together to pass the EMTALA and other measures within COBRA to try to prevent the coldhearted tragedy of a medical institution turning away a patient and condemning them to death because they couldn't pay.

Hospital entrance
The EMTALA was an instance of Reagan resorting to mild socialism (heavy regulation) to prevent a seemingly abusive private sector practice -- patient dumping [Image Source: Queller Fisher]

Of course, the cost was government regulation of a private market -- mild socialism.  But President Reagan and Congress were undeterred by that unmentionable elephant in the closet.
 
Thus the EMTALA/COBRA were passed and hospitals that turned away patients for profit risked being shut down by the big federal government.  Like insurers under Obamacare, hospitals weren't exactly thrilled at this notion, but they had little room to argue given that without government aid, most hospitals by the 1980s would likely have been insolvent.  The government was artificially propping them up with taxpayer money and it could pull the plug at any time.  Thus the muffled outcry against the EMTALA/COBRA -- like the ACA -- was like a child crying over their overbearing parent's household rules.  They could whine and throw a tantrum, but at the end of the day they were inescapably reliant on their loving provider, the federal government.
 
Likewise in the current context the ACA arose largely out of the occasional practice of insurance companies refusing coverage for individuals with certain expensive, but treatable conditions such as cancer or brain diseases.  While a hospital could not deny patients emergency treatment, EMTALA did not provide for long-term treatment guarantees -- it was up to the patient and their insurance to provide that.  If they couldn't get insurance, or if their insurance refused to pay for their treatment, they would likely get sicker and die, when they might have been able to be saved.
 
Such cases, much like the patient dumping issue, appear to be relatively rare, but are not unheard of.  They happened frequently enough to convince President Obama and the divided Congress -- basically the mirror image in terms of party control of the White House and Congress under President Reagan -- to legislate new regulation for yet another key component of the medical market.  Here again, the unspoken argument was similar -- the costs of mild socialism and federal regulation were worth it to prevent the relatively rare, but very disturbing and sad tragedies of patients who were denied coverage and died.
 
VI. Both Parties Practice Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell When it Comes to Policy Parallels
 
Neither party over the course of the ACA debate has been overly eager to highlight the similarities of the two programs.  For Obamacare's supporters, mentioning the EMTALA could be viewed as plugging their supposed archrival -- the Reaganists.  And it would dull some of the luster of Obamacare -- a program that was supposedly so unique and revolutionary (although it really wasn't).  It might also highlight how limited and lacking Obamacare was compared to strongly socialist public offerings in the UK and Canada.
 
Obamacare's opponents, likewise, were happy to keep the EMTALA skeleton in the closet, as it threatened to undermine their argument against Obamacare.  After all, if you accept sweeping federal regulation of one key medical market to prevent the medical industry from willfully allowing treatable patients to die, it's hard to make a compelling case against similar regulation to another key medical market for nearly the exact same reason.
 
Hence both parties practice a "don't ask don't tell" sort of philosophy when it comes to what came before Obamacare.  But it's important that the media remind the public of this secret that our politicians want us to forget about.
 
Under the EMTALA, it became illegal for any hospital receiving Medicare federal funding to turn away patients needing emergency treatment.  Other corresponding COBRA provisions brought new regulations to insurers. 
 
Arguably both the EMTALA and ACA are examples of "mildly" socialist federal health care programs that aim to solve the tough question of how to treat (or some would say, whether to treat) those who cannot pay for treatment, or which the free market does not view as profitable to treat.
 
In both cases the socialism is rather "mild" in that these are secondary efforts in comparison to the much larger primary private sector insurance market.

Ronald Reagan signs COBRABefore the ACA, the EMTALA of 1986 -- championed by President Ronald Reagan -- first institutionalized mild socialism into the U.S. medical system. [Image Source: White House Photo]

Some fear that Obamacare might eventually grow into the primary U.S. insurance provider, but it's important to recognize that even under Obamacare it's more a story of regulation than a government takeover. Under Obamacare, new regulations ban insurance companies from engaging in certain practices.  Insurance companies are required to compete in the government ensured state markets that guarantee enrollment.  At the same time citizens are also regulated, as they are penalized financially if they choose not to pay for the enrollment and don't otherwise have insurance.
 
In that regard while the insurance exchanges provision of the ACA is inherently socialist and different in principle to the EMTALA, it's a similar idea to some extent, in that it involves the federal government going in and giving orders to some group of medical businesses, mandating them to provide service to citizens.

VII. What Will Obamacare's Legacy Be?
 
Will Obamacare work out any better than Reagancare?  Is the answer to one troubled federally controlled, regulated, and subsidized healtcare market to tightly regulate another crucial piece of the healthcare economy?

Even among those willing to ask that bold question, the answers are admittedly unclear.

Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told Reuters that achieving the enrollment mark was a metric to look at, but that it would take analysis to figure out exactly what the enrolling population means politically and to the program's future.  Comments Ms. Pollitz:

We still have a lot to learn about what underlies those numbers in terms of who signed up and how many were newly insured people versus switching from other coverage.  We have more to see ... about how many of them actually completed enrollment and how much coverage expansion was accomplished.

At a victory lap of sorts in the White House Rose Garden, President Obama addressed the press stating:

This law is doing what it's supposed to do — it's working.  The debate over repealing this law is over.
 
Obama ACA
Wishful thinking?  President Obama claimed today that the debate over "Obamacare" was "over".
[Image Source: AP]

That statement might be a bit premature.  Even The White House in its follow-up press release acknowledged that the budget plan put forth by House Republicans would repeal the ACA, effectively eliminating Obamacare.  While that bill is unlikely to succeed, Republicans clearly are still trying to capitalize on criticism surrounding the ACA, including the technical debacles generated by healthcare.gov, as well as more technical debates (and at times misinformation) regarding the healthcare exchanges themselves.
 
U.S. House Speaker Rep. John Andrew Boehner (R-Ohio) pledged to beat back the ACA on Tuesday.  But even his rhetoric has softened.  His press release did not explicitly mention a repeal.  In it he writes:

Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president's health care law will continue.  We will rely on aggressive oversight that highlights the law's massive flaws and smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the president has relied upon to force his health care law on the American people.

John Boehner
House Speaker John Boehner pledged to continue to fight "Obamacare".
[Image Source: AP]

Whatever side of the fence you're on, Healthcare.gov's staff deserves some credit for somewhat salvaging the trainwreck the internet portal was at its launch last year.  

And for those looking to argue politics, remember this -- Republicans and Democrats alike have both embraced a socialist federal health care solution, ever since President Reagan signed such an agreement into law.  The latest debate simply boils down to the parties' inability to agree on whether to expand on that socialist solution, or leave it as is.  At the end of the day, for now Obamacare is the law of the land -- a young sibling to the aging, troubled child of the 1980s, Reagancare (EMTALA/COBRA).

At the end of the day Obamacare's biggest difference from Reagancare very well may be its shiny coating of digital age, internet services.  That makeover transformed a quiet, elephant in the closet, into a noisy, misunderstood, and heavily criticized federal effort.  But in the end it also showed signs of achieving some degree of success, establishing a legacy of its own -- young and fragile as that legacy may be.

Sources: The White House (official blog), (speech via YouTube), House Speaker John Boehner, USA Today



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

We signed up
By Samus on 4/1/2014 10:04:28 PM , Rating: 5
My wife quite her job to, like myself, start her own business.

Whole family is covered on a Gold plan for $800/month.

It wasn't easy, though. I think in the end, over 10 hours went into the web site, phone calls, and contacting Blue Cross because they sent us cards with the wrong plan on them.

I hope the ACA is successful. It will only get cheaper as more people enroll, and before the ACA, this same policy would have cost $1500.

It's really up to the next guy to decide whether they will improve it, or dismantle it. I hope for the former. This is one of the only industrialized countries in the world that doesn't offer universal healthcare, and go figure, we are one of the most unhealthy, while having the worlds most superior medical services, drugs, and research.




RE: We signed up
By piroroadkill on 4/2/14, Rating: 0
RE: We signed up
By GotThumbs on 4/2/2014 11:53:01 AM , Rating: 2
Look at the articles publication date.

APRIL FOOLS!

This has to be the greatest April Fools joke ever.

Nice one Mick.


RE: We signed up
By ShaolinSoccer on 4/2/2014 4:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. The deadline to sign up was March 31. So, it kind of makes sense to talk about it the next day.


RE: We signed up
By pandemonium on 4/3/2014 5:54:11 AM , Rating: 3
Success for something I'm repeatedly told to believe - via popular media - is condemning this great country to exaggerated economic failure? Say it ain't so!

Why are people voting this down...lol.

Saving the average healthcare recipient is a good thing, you silly people.


RE: We signed up
By Arsynic on 4/2/2014 9:31:50 AM , Rating: 4
Good for you. But somewhere else a family that makes a little more, like mine, had to subsidize your family with higher premiums. For every story like yours, there's two more that had to pay higher premiums and two more that will lose their jobs or be forced into part time work by their employer.


RE: We signed up
By Motoman on 4/2/14, Rating: -1
RE: We signed up
By Motoman on 4/2/2014 11:26:21 AM , Rating: 4
Read this:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/health-costs-h...

Good synopsis and demonstration of how horrifically out-of-step our healthcare costs are with benefits to the citizens.

This is the kind of reality-based information that conservatives don't want to believe in. Sorry liars - the truth hurts.


RE: We signed up
By FITCamaro on 4/2/14, Rating: 0
RE: We signed up
By FITCamaro on 4/2/14, Rating: 0
RE: We signed up
By senecarr on 4/3/2014 9:12:19 AM , Rating: 2
Knee replacement and hip replacement surgery in this country is often driven by costs. US insurance companies will cover the cost without requiring someone to try physical therapy first, even though physical therapy can often treat a lot of these issues. The problem is physical therapy is time intensive and doesn't tend to be profitable. This is one of the many reasons other countries have better results with lower costs, they require cost effective treatments be done before jumping to surgery.


RE: We signed up
By Nexos on 4/3/2014 9:30:53 AM , Rating: 4
Slow down there cowboy, your ignorance is showing. The EU has both a higher percentage of old people (65+) and a longer life expectancy than the US.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world...

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world...

Obesity does play a big role in these statistics:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK62367/

but is offset (somewhat) by the higher levels of alcoholism and smoking in the EU

http://www.who.int/tobacco/mpower/mpower_report_pr...

http://gamapserver.who.int/gho/static_graphs/gisah...


RE: We signed up
By Nutzo on 4/2/2014 11:43:28 AM , Rating: 2
If what you are saying it true, then you are an exception.

A recient study showed that 75% of the people signing up under the ACA are paying MORE, and for worse coverage.

Even though I have coverage through work, the cost has grown faster the past 2 years than the years before, and the coverage has gotten worse.
If my family had the same medical problems we had 3 years ago, my out of pocket would now cost me more than $3,000 on top of the higher insurance rates.


RE: We signed up
By SpartanJet on 4/2/2014 12:47:36 PM , Rating: 3
Please link your source for this. IMHO you need to stop watching Faux news for your information. People aren't paying more except in situations where they are clearly getting MORE coverage not less.

Almost ALL "horror" stories about the ACA have been debunked. About the only credible complaint is the shifting of doctors within coverages. Hey but that like NEVER happened before ACA imirite?!?!


RE: We signed up
By mdogs444 on 4/2/2014 1:04:07 PM , Rating: 4
100% patently false. I work for a hospital for 8 years now and what you are saying is completely untrue.

Yes, many people are getting "more" coverage than they were before - but not by choice. However, in order to pay the same premium price they were before on the private market, their deductibles have increased greatly.


RE: We signed up
By Motoman on 4/2/14, Rating: -1
RE: We signed up
By mdogs444 on 4/2/2014 1:45:29 PM , Rating: 2
I know full well what I am talking about - and here are some mainstream news sources with data:

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/health/NATL-ACA-...

http://www.healthpocket.com/healthcare-research/in...


RE: We signed up
By Motoman on 4/2/2014 3:17:44 PM , Rating: 1
Thank you for demonstrating beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are utterly clueless.

You're not comparing apples and apples. The catastrophe insurance that is no longer available was cheap. It also provided essentially NOTHING. To compare it's cost to the cost of an Obamacare policy is like complaining that a Corvette costs more than a unicycle.

Both the articles you posted were designed to cater to right-wing nutjobs without providing any actual facts comparing ACA policies to the catastrophe policies that have gone away. You are doing nothing but cow-towing to the lies told to you by Faux News et al.


RE: We signed up
By mdogs444 on 4/2/2014 3:46:04 PM , Rating: 2
You can't force people to buy corvettes and then come out and say that its not costing them anymore money than it was before.......that is what you are essentially doing, and justifying it by claiming that its better for them because you say so.


RE: We signed up
By Motoman on 4/2/2014 4:10:57 PM , Rating: 1
It's not because "I say so." It's because it is.

The dirt-cheap catastrophe policies that existed before were hardly useful at all...and in a lot of ways, were predatory on the consumers. Massive profits for the insurance companies, not much of anything for the policy holder.

You keep trying to pretend that the old system was OK. It wasn't. It was horribly abusive. The ACA is nowhere near where it needs to be...but it's infinitely better than what we had before.

You just keep insisting on having your head buried in the sand without recognizing the irrefutable fact that the ACA system provides vastly better policies at vastly lower rates...and yes, the predatory catastrophe policies that cost very little (and did even less) are gone.

Good riddance.

I suppose you'd like to repeal all the laws requiring auto liability insurance too. Because, you know, lots of people would prefer to just take their chances without having such insurance. But they're the ones that would cause the burden on society by doing so...


RE: We signed up
By FITCamaro on 4/2/2014 10:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well good to know that you believe that you should be able to tell people what they should and should not be able to buy. My brother thanks you for your wisdom since he is having to pay more for a policy because you decided that his catastrophic coverage policy that he only wanted to protect himself from major medical issues (because he is otherwise healthy) shouldn't be allowed to be sold.


RE: We signed up
By Dorkyman on 4/2/14, Rating: -1
RE: We signed up
By Motoman on 4/2/2014 3:20:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
A recient study showed that 75% of the people signing up under the ACA are paying MORE, and for worse coverage.


Another lie. Paying more (than catastrophe insurance)? You bet. Worse coverage? Please. The catastrophe policies that no longer exist hardly provided any coverage at all.

Provide your source, or STFU and GTFO. The audacity of the liars on these forums is astounding.


RE: We signed up
By FITCamaro on 4/2/2014 11:16:27 PM , Rating: 2
So all the reports of premiums (reports that the government doesn't deny but claims "Well they'll get tax credits to cover it") are all just lies?

The cost of insurance at my company went up 120% this year.

Nearly everyone I know with employer provided coverage had their costs go up at least 50%. If not over 100%. You can't promise to cover more and expect costs to go down.

Where the health care exchange plans are worse is in their options for where you can go. Many of those plans are having to restrict availability of hospitals or specialists in order to keep costs down. It's so bad that the White House is now, illegally, ordering that the plans offer broader care options in 2015.

There is absolutely no way you can honestly say that the ACA is not causing costs to go up for millions, millions to lose their plans that they were perfectly happy with and able to afford, and millions to no longer be able to afford their plans without subsidies. And the pricing this year is only the beginning. Insurers are already saying that they will have to raise prices 20-40% next year on the exchanges. Because too many sick people are signing up and not enough healthy people to pay for it. Medicaid roles are also expanding like crazy in the states that passed the Medicaid expansion which could have been potentially health clients of insurers.

If all this is so great, why do things keep getting delayed, and delayed, and delayed. Why did the administration tell insurers that they could keep selling their old plans late last year after the truth about the costs of the plans were coming out? Why did they, again illegally, delay the individual mandate? It's his signature law and he's illegally changed it numerous times. But hey, its great!

Ultimately this law to me is about one thing. Creating a disaster in the system so when it all comes crashing down because it isn't sustainable, liberals, like yourself, will say "SEE! THE PRIVATE SECTOR DOESN'T WORK! WE NEED SINGLE PAYER!"


RE: We signed up
By GotThumbs on 4/2/2014 11:50:07 AM , Rating: 2
What are your deductions now?

As with car insurance, you can have a low monthly premium, if you increase your deductible.

In the end, how much do you need to keep in the bank before your new insurance policy starts paying the bills?

Read the small print.


RE: We signed up
By GotThumbs on 4/2/2014 11:51:07 AM , Rating: 2
I meant to say Deductible.

No edit.


RE: We signed up
By Motoman on 4/2/2014 1:23:58 PM , Rating: 1
My deductible is far less than what my out-of-pocket would have been with the catastrophe insurance before it would have started paying for anything.

And I get prescrption coverage...which no catastrophe policies include. I get a few low-cost doctor visits per year...which no catastrophe policies include.

So on and so forth. You need to follow your own advice - you've never read the fine print on the catastrophe policies that people are crying about not having access to anymore.

I was gambling with our lives because the cost of real insurance was so high before.

There is no way in which the new Obamacare policies are not vastly better for all involved than the old policies.


RE: We signed up
By GotThumbs on 4/2/2014 11:56:08 AM , Rating: 2
You're correct, but they don't care and neither does Obama.

No mention in this marketing piece of all the hidden taxes within the ACA, but it's not surprising since many don't want to look at ALL the facts.

~Best wishes keeping what you earned.


RE: We signed up
By BZDTemp on 4/3/2014 8:36:53 AM , Rating: 2
Remember the upside. Everybody wins when people are healthy (and the same also goes for good education).

In the short run Obamacare may not be great for all, but a better overall health makes for a more productive society and everybody benefits from that.


RE: We signed up
By wordsworm on 4/2/2014 10:03:14 AM , Rating: 2
In Korea my health care/dental care cost about $110 per month. In Canada it's about $200, not including dental care. I don't know how you Americans can spend so much money on your doctors and hospitals. A big part of the cost, I guess, is all the litigation that your medicare faces. Too much money gets awarded, insurance skyrockets, and that cost gets dumped onto the consumers for their insurance. It doesn't help that education in America sucks and consequently there aren't enough doctors to match the demand let alone to outstrip it (lowering costs to everyone).


RE: We signed up
By mdogs444 on 4/2/2014 10:33:47 AM , Rating: 2
In Canada its $200/mo....but you already pay for the universal system via taxes and VAT. Its estimated that the Canadian government covers about 70% of the total cost - which is paid for in the form of VAT and higher taxes than we have in the US. At the end of the day - its most likely pretty close to the same cost on a per person level.


RE: We signed up
By wordsworm on 4/2/2014 4:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
I do find the system to be retarded. I figure the Canadian government basically gives every citizen a gold card to be used at any provincial hospital and clinic. But, if the government is going to refuse to give citizens the right to medicine without a prescription, then people should have the right to that prescription. I also don't like the idea that the government should shell out billions of dollars for research into medicine that costs a lot of money despite heavy subsidies.

When I first went to Korea, I got tonsillitis. I went to the pharmacist and she gave me some antibiotics and I got better. Fast forward a few years and I couldn't do that any more, and I had to see a doctor. The doctors are inexpensive (because of Korean medical insurance), but that's not the point. The point is that they're taking away my right to administer medicines to myself when I'm sick with something common. Especially when doctors themselves are usually guessing on everything and too often arriving to the conclusion that they don't know after they're done testing.

I don't like my taxes paying for the gold cards... but until we dismantle their monopoly on medicine, I think it behooves the community at large to foot the doctor's bills.


RE: We signed up
By ven1ger on 4/2/2014 5:52:48 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure I understand, I don't think you should be able to self-medicate for just anything. You can buy aspirins, and other over-the-counter medicines in the US, but anything that could be dangerous or have the potential for abuse, a prescription is required authorized by a doctor. Otherwise, we'd probably people self-medicating on cough medicine with codeine. If Korea is starting to implement a more stringent policy with regards to administering medicines, it could possibly be because of abuse of the ability to self-medicate.


RE: We signed up
By wordsworm on 4/2/2014 11:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
What a croc. Why shouldn't I be free to self medicate? Why should I have to pay a stupid doctor for a consultation when I can figure most things out for myself? If I pay for it, why not? If people want to abuse meds, but they're paying for them and not slipping them into anyone's drinks, then who am I to say what they do? A lot of doctors don't know as much as they pretend to. I don't doubt that there are many who do.


RE: We signed up
By drevas2528 on 4/2/2014 12:16:03 PM , Rating: 3
Good for you. Thanks to ObamaCare we lost our previous Insurance, were forced to take a new Provider, and now our Premiums are 20% higher, our deductibles are steeper, and we have to pay for things that our previous Policy covered 100%.

Yeah, the ACA is a real Peach.


RE: We signed up
By Motoman on 4/2/2014 4:13:20 PM , Rating: 2
I find it to be 100% likely that you are lying.

Care to provide links to the insurance policy you had before ACA, and the one you have now?


RE: We signed up
By Keeir on 4/3/2014 1:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
Why? Why aren't you the one lying? The truth is that for some people, coverages and prices will go up. For some people prices and coverages will go down. For some people, things will remain the same. None of these statments is false. It is unclear what the end effect on average will be at this time.

Health Insurance companies work very simply. They take the average cost per person for the healthcare they must pay out, add a percentage as overhead, add a percentage for profit, and then charge the people of the group a monthly rate. The ACA does nothing to change this formula. What the ACA does is

1.) force low risk people who might otherwise not purchase healthcare insurance to purchase healthcare, lowering the cost of healthcare provided per coveraged person, thereby lower the charged cost

2.) Change the way the Insurance companies group people for rates applications.

In your particularly case, not knowing (or wanting to know any of the specifics), the main cause of reduction of quoted price probably has a great deal to do with 1 and 2. Where pre-ACA, the insurance companies likely labeled you/your family as moderate risk, they are now labeling you are low risk. This results is a significantly more favorable initial price. If over a few years the Insurance companies are shown to be wrong, and the group of individuals you are lumped with actually consumes large amounts of healthcare, your price for this coverage you purchased this year will quickly increase. (Before ACA, it would be a reasonable assumption that individuals shoping for many Insurance plans would have a belief they were or were to soon start consuming large amounts of healthcare.)

My personal experience knowing what my self-insured large company spends per covered individual versus the prices quoted on the ACA exhange in my state suggests that most "private" companies are willing to cover me for within 10% of my companies projected per-person expedenture. This suggests to me that many companies are gambling with the assumption that "new" patients will be a cross section that does not consume excessive amounts of healthcare.


RE: We signed up
By ianweck on 4/3/2014 3:46:20 PM , Rating: 2
You know, you keep throwing that word "lying/liar" around, and people aren't going to take you very seriously.


......
By HakonPCA on 4/1/2014 8:53:50 PM , Rating: 1
TLDR.....




RE: ......
By Reclaimer77 on 4/1/14, Rating: 0
RE: ......
By Chyort on 4/2/2014 12:45:24 AM , Rating: 2
i mostly skimmed it. But it repeatedly tried to compare current day events to history... While ignoring the fact that obamacare was introduced under a completely different setting...

quote:
(For those who care, the 99th Congress that passed that law had a Republican-controlled Senate and a Democratic controlled House -- sort of the party mirror image of today's Congress and President.)


Just because the republicans control the house now, does not mean they controlled it when obamacare was signed into law. That was a democrat house/senate/president from what i recall... If you want to make comparisons, you should be using the information from when they both were signed into law.

And, i am personally going to wait a bit longer for other/better numbers to come out... I have grown tired of listening to obama and other supporters brag about how many people have "Selected a plan" on the website and trying to make it sound as if they have all signed up and paid up. I am tired of listening to hand picked data that pushes one agenda or another. Give us the full numbers and let us make up our own minds.

As a side note... How is this related to tech anything? Other than mentioning that train wreck of a website... Which, correct me if i am wrong, is still flawed and vulnerable last i heard.


RE: ......
By ianweck on 4/3/2014 3:44:08 PM , Rating: 2
What I want to know is, how many people who "signed up" are first time insurance customers? And not people who were kicked off of their plans by this train wreck. Wasn't that the entire point of Obamacare? To give people access to affordable insurance? Until I hear that most or all of the people out there that couldn't afford insurance before, but can now and are actually customers now, until I hear that, I will be withholding my rejoicing and praise of our dear leader. Kicking people off of their plans, then bragging about how many of those same people have signed up under the new system is so intellectually dishonest it makes me want to vomit.


RE: ......
By Old Veteran on 4/2/2014 5:41:49 AM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer77, Jason Mick doesn't have a clue as to what he's saying.


Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics
By Arsynic on 4/2/2014 9:26:40 AM , Rating: 3
So it's 7.1 million because Obama says so. Yet we don't know how many people have actually paid premiums. You're not insured until you've paid for a policy. We also don't know how many of those people include people who had insurance that Obamacare made illegal and had to sign up for a compliant plan.

So if Obama ran a used car dealership, he would declare half of our cars dangerous to the environment and would force us to buy a new car. Then the next day he would have a press conference bragging that, "Thanks to Obama Car, 50 million people now have cars." Which is bullshit.

This is EXACTLY what happened here and EXACTLY why they aren't releasing details. Just that 7 million people "signed up". Whatever the fuck that means.




By Norseman4 on 4/2/2014 3:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
As a semi-parallel: Cash-For-Clunkers and the Chevy Cobalt.

Your old cars are bad, dangerous, and are icky, buy a new vehicle, like this great Cobalt, and get taxpayer money to boot.

CFC destroyed many good, though typically older, cars. The Cobalt, heralded by Obama a great success, was/is a lemon.


By ianweck on 4/3/2014 3:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We also don't know how many of those people include people who had insurance that Obamacare made illegal and had to sign up for a compliant plan.


This right here is the heart of the matter. I want to know the answer to this, if they have the balls to release the information.


By stm1185 on 4/2/2014 2:08:59 AM , Rating: 5
Kind of like how its amazing how fast people slow down when a cop gets on the highway. The consumer demand for driving slower while cops are around is going through the roof!




Enrolled?? Yes.....
By marvdmartian on 4/2/2014 7:25:09 AM , Rating: 5
That many signed up. Now for the REAL litmus test, to see where the numbers lie in the truly important areas:

1. How many will pay their premiums? Anyone who doesn't will have their insurance cancelled, and the number I last saw (reported by the insurance companies themselves) was <25% had already paid. Could be a lot of cancellations coming up!

2. How many were MedicAid signups? These will actually count AGAINST the success of Obamacare, as they represent a taxpayer burden. Sorry, but in reality, none of those should really count toward the 7 million, and the numbers I've seen for MedicAid signups said that there were way more than the administration had counted on having.

3. How many signup were in the 18 to 35 age category? Again, this was a big point for Obamacare, to get the bulk of signups in that age category (since they usually have lower healthcare costs), to offset the higher costs in older age brackets. Last I heard, they weren't seeing the number of signups they needed by younger folks.

So before anyone, on either side of the argument, starts crowing about the success or failure of the Obamacare law, why not sit back and see what REALITY brings us??




Not my experience
By CZroe on 4/1/2014 9:18:49 PM , Rating: 1
I tried to sign up and got a message saying that I had to wait. It had the option to get an email notice when I could continue. I typed my email address and it disappeared before I could click anything (perhaps even while I was still typing it). No, I did not wait a long time and if it was the page refreshing then they should have considered that. Anyway, I managed to type and submit it BEFORE it disappeared and the option went away so I assume it submitted successfully. I never got a notification email.




RE: Not my experience
By CZroe on 4/3/2014 10:51:40 AM , Rating: 2
Nice job down-voting me, Mr. Anonymous-person-who-took-my-experience-as-an-affro nt-to-something-he-supports-politically. All I said is that it wasn't running as smoothly as the article said with a very relevant personal experience. Why did you make this political? Grow up.

That said, I finally got my email yesterday but it was also the first day of my employer's open enrollment and I signed up there. Now I'm getting emails from Some "health markets agency.com" noticing that I had "trouble" and offering "help." Did they really just share my details with a commercial entity?! Unless it's lucky-guess spam, it looks like it.


7 million
By flyingpants1 on 4/2/2014 10:09:47 AM , Rating: 2
7 million, WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What percentage of people are covered in Canada and western Europe?




By GotThumbs on 4/2/2014 11:37:43 AM , Rating: 2
We say cases where individual voted more than once for this president.

I don't put it past them to create multiple applications to help Obama.

The proof is when we can see REAL numbers and by then it may be too late.




By GotThumbs on 4/2/2014 11:47:46 AM , Rating: 2
While I'm not surprised at this propaganda article, it just further weakens my respect for the legitimacy of this site..

Of course we don't read any mention about the hidden taxes within the ACA or the fact that it's a national MANDATE forcing the purchase of a product or you will be punished with a TAX for non-compliance.

Or about the fact that the ACA will be costing BILLIONS more than what the bill was sold on.

This must be giving the "Writer" HUGE brownie points, because it comes with a huge cost regarding respectability IMO.

Take a look at the top row and you DO NOT SEE a politics category.

Home, Auto, Gadgets, Hardware, Internet, IT, Science, Software, Blogs, Polls.

NOPE.




What's in a number
By Divide Overflow on 4/1/2014 9:19:49 PM , Rating: 1
I wouldn't trust them to know how many page hits they've had, let alone the number of completed applications or (more importantly) the number of people who have actually PAID their healthcare plan premium and now have medical coverage.




7.1 Million Living people?
By Ammohunt on 4/2/2014 1:37:47 PM , Rating: 1
Knowing democrats i am sure their are some dead people in there. be nice to know the breakdown my guess is that besides dead people 80% of those 7.1 Million are not young healthy paying individuals. ACA is the final nail in the fiscal coffin for this country the rest of what the Democrats have planned is just corpse abuse.




WTF????
By Old Veteran on 4/2/14, Rating: -1
RE: WTF????
By senecarr on 4/2/2014 12:15:31 PM , Rating: 6
The problem is you think the COBRA legislation only has the COBRA health coverage rules in it. It also contains rules that state it is mandatory for hospitals to treat patients without proof they have the capacity to pay. That is socialism. Read the article.


RE: WTF????
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/3/2014 4:25:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is a tech site


No it isn't, it's a circle jerk for low level IT drones and tier 1 tech support monkeys.

This is about as good a tech site as it is a political blog, right up there with the National Enquirer. I have no idea why Anand didn't get rid of this place years ago. Pipeline was added to push it down but you scroll a little bit and here this place and its idiot regulars are.


Republicans are pissing their pants.
By tayb on 4/1/14, Rating: -1
RE: Republicans are pissing their pants.
By Keeir on 4/1/2014 11:36:58 PM , Rating: 5
Your statements are confusing.

Having 7.1 million people start the enrollment process in 6 months on the government's website was not the goal of the ACA.

As far as I understand, the ACA is intended to do two (primary/advertised) things:

#1. Increase the percentage of US citizens covered by medical insurance.

In the time from 1999 to 2012, the average percentage with healthcare has been right around 85-86%. In other words, in 2011-2012 there were around 48 million US citizens without medical coverage. Given that its uncertain how many individuals using this program are converting from another form of medical coverage, reaching some random figure is not a good measure of "success" for this goal. Based on the data I find today, for all the work of the ACA more than 12% of American's would be without health care insurance through 2014(at best) with a disparate percentages of these in lower middle class minority groups.

#2. Reduce the cost of Healthcare Insurance.

Primarily through taking additional money from individual who do not use a medicare care, but must sign up for healthcare insurance regardless. Initially, insurance companies seem to be taking on faith that the influx of purchasers will reduce their requirement payout's by patient. But as the underlying cost of healthcare increases, if this hypothesis proves untrue, then "we" the private insurance buying public maybe back into 5-10% yearly premium increases

I agree however, Republicans have made a tactical mistake in focusing on a fairly meaningless statistic: enrollment numbers. Healthcare Insurance cost per person versus the CPI Index from 2010 to 2018, percentage of Hospital patients covered by insurance, etc would be better metrics to judge the success of the ACA. Of course, I personally find the law distasteful. It doesn't really solve any of the underlying problems with the US medical system but will be a very expensive (to the US taxpayer) band-aid solution. yes, expensive since the cuts to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement schedules are very unlikely to occur. In many areas (not all) the Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement rates are already the lowest in the industry.


RE: Republicans are pissing their pants.
By Solandri on 4/2/2014 1:59:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
#2. Reduce the cost of Healthcare Insurance.

Primarily through taking additional money from individual who do not use a medicare care, but must sign up for healthcare insurance regardless.

That's really key. It's primarily young, healthy people who pay more into the system than they get out. The numbers I saw thrown around were that they were estimating 40% of the folks who signed up would need to be from this category. But the results they got were only 25%.

So there's a chance this could actually make healthcare more expensive (i.e. a greater proportion of sick, older people signed up than in the general population). I didn't think the number of people who lost their existing health insurance were as big a deal as the Republicans were making it out to be. But that would certainly explain the low percentage of younger, previously uninsured people signing up - if a significant fraction of the 7.1 million were people who only signed up via the site because they lost their previous insurance.

But regardless of the cause, ultimately any system needs to be self-sustainable. I'm not enough of an ideologue to care whether this is done through private or public health care. But it needs to be self-sustainable. If only 25% of the people signing up are net payers and 75% are net recipients, well, that's just not sustainable. To fix it you'll need to somehow get more net payers to sign up, or raise prices until roughly half the people are paying for the other half.


By stmok on 4/2/2014 2:08:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's really key. It's primarily young, healthy people who pay more into the system than they get out.


This explains why the Obamcare ad campaigning primarily focuses on the young.


RE: Republicans are pissing their pants.
By BRB29 on 4/2/14, Rating: -1
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 4/2/2014 4:22:15 PM , Rating: 1
I suspect the # of people to get burned (once this puppy is full scale) will far exceed that of your poll.

Number of people ACA is supposed to cover: 40 million uninsured (2010)
Number of people who lost insurance as a result of ACA: 4.2 million (2014)
New number of Uninsured: 44.2 million (2014)
New number of enrolled: 7.1 million (as of Yesterday supposedly)
Actual net gains of previously uninsured: 2.9 million (over last 4 yrs).

40 mil /.72 mil per yr = 55 yrs till Insured Utopia!

Number of people actually PAYING Premiums: 800k
Number of people actually using ACA: ???

LOL.. Yes, quite the achievement. Be proud, liberals, be proud. At least we can all rest easy now knowing young, healthy 27+ yr old boys now carry maternity care.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2594309/Pr...

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/1118/...


By tim851 on 4/2/2014 7:19:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's really key. It's primarily young, healthy people who pay more into the system than they get out.

Only short term, since nobody stays young & healthy forever.


RE: Republicans are pissing their pants.
By therealnickdanger on 4/2/2014 7:08:05 AM , Rating: 5
Wasn't the main goal to have the uninsured be insured? Only about 800K people who were previously uninsured are actually signed up AND PAYING. Seems a bit too early to call this a success. In fact, I'd say it still qualifies as a major failure.


RE: Republicans are pissing their pants.
By StevoLincolnite on 4/2/2014 8:49:55 AM , Rating: 1
Thank goodness I live in a country with universal health care, this is the perfect example why other countries shouldn't emulate the American system, it's archaic, expensive and confusing.


RE: Republicans are pissing their pants.
By mdogs444 on 4/2/2014 8:58:46 AM , Rating: 2
Wait - you really think the "universal" system is not expensive?

Everyone loves the idea of "universal health care" when they think its free. Then tell them you need to institute an addition 20-30% VAT tax on top of every tax they already pay, and see how many continue to think that way.....


By StevoLincolnite on 4/2/2014 6:05:44 PM , Rating: 2
We don't have a "VAT" Tax.

We do have something similar known as the "GST" which is at 10%.


RE: Republicans are pissing their pants.
By Arsynic on 4/2/2014 9:29:21 AM , Rating: 3
How many people in your country pay taxes? Does your country have over 10 million poor refugees leeching off the system as well?

Please answer these questions.


By stmok on 4/3/2014 11:46:26 AM , Rating: 2
He's referring to Australia...I know, I'm from Australia.

I pay 1.5% of my income to his beloved "universal healthcare". Its called Medicare . (This is on-top of the 47% income tax I pay. So almost half of what I make goes to Govt, so he can gloat how awesome Australia is.)

His beloved Medicare isn't what you think he wants you to believe.

* I had to wait 1 yr to resolve my ingrown toenail. (They threw me on the waiting list). After that incident, I decided to switch to private health.

* My mother broke her hip. If she didn't have private health insurance, she would suffer in a bed queue of approx 1 week in the public health system. You see, when you flash your private health insurance card, they bump you up the queue for immediate surgery! (The poor woman next to my mother had to wait 10 days.)

* Waiting is a serious problem. Go on Google and search: Mother-of-two Sonya Malone endured a 30-hour wait for surgery at Blacktown Hospital (That happened LAST WEEK!)

* Ambulance services are NOT free. You have to pay this out of your own pocket or a good portion of it is covered by private health. (If you opt for private).

There are approx 23 million people in Australia. 45% don't pay tax.

I'm apparently one of the stupidly naive, hard-working 55% who does pay his taxes.

What StevoLincolnite also doesn't tell you, is the previous Govt (like your Democrats), has pissed away all the money and put Australia in the red. Something like AUD$350 to AUD$400 BILLION...Thanks for that Australian Labor Party . (Who doesn't actually represent working Australians any more...Its more about appeasing their Eco-nut buddies, The Greens . As well as serving their big, industrial union masters.)

So now, the new Govt (like your Republicans, but without the pro-gun stance), have to come up ways to maintain his beloved Medicare in a sustainable manner. Some options being considered is a $6 per GP doctor visit fee.

(BTW, the party is called Liberal-National Party ...Liberal as in Classical Liberal. Not the modern American Left-wing nonsense. You know, the people who believe in free-market and not give financial hand-outs to corporations, reduce regulation, fiscal responsibility, etc.)

What he won't tell you is that universal healthcare is NOT without its consequences. It becomes a growing financial burden because human nature will keep taking something when they are being told its free. He won't mention the long wait times and consequential suffering in hospitals of major cities in Sydney, etc. He won't even talk about the overstressed nurses, doctors, etc. (Because not all public hospitals are run the same. So the quality will vary. It also varies if they are underfunded or not. Not all public hospitals are given the same amount.)

You see, he won't mention that waiting lists in public hospitals is really about limited budgets of Govt. It is to defer someone's surgery until the Govt can afford it.

ie: You don't get your treatment until the Govt can afford to give you the treatment.

He also doesn't conveniently mention that the waiting list for certain cancers often reach a critical point such that even the specialist surgeon had to complain on national TV to get the necessary funding for treatment to be made. (The mother was at risk of dying if she wouldn't get her much needed surgery. The national TV broadcast, which caused a massive outpouring of public support, forced the health minister to quickly scrounge up some money to open more beds.)

The only way to work around this consistent waiting list scenario is to be financially responsible and set aside money for private health insurance.

Unlike Obamacare, you don't go through this nonsensical Govt middle man website. You find your own health insurance and you pick your own doctors. There is no close-knit relationship with insurance companies and Govt.

But you still have to pay for Medicare. (Unless you make less than some certain amount).

Heck, the most important thing StevoLincolnite doesn't talk about is that the original architect of Medicare indicated that it wasn't sustainable if Australia is in serious financial trouble. (He said this late last year when news got around that the endless spending of the previous Govt is unsustainable).

You see, when you let inept Left-wing losers into power to piss away lots of money recklessly, you kind of start to worry about the sustainability of such behaviour. For some reason, people like StevoLincolnite don't worry as much. Its like some people don't give a crap when stupidly-naive people like me work hard to pay our "fair share" for StevoLincolnite 's bragging indulgences. (At least bragging to Americans how awesome it is).

I wonder what happens to people like him when people like me just pick up and leave? Will he be still bragging to Americans about how universal healthcare is awesome when there is no one to fund it?

I hear Singapore or Hong Kong has low income taxes...16% to 17% (certainly beats paying 47% + 1.5% Medicare Levy!). And I have the option to pay for the health care I need.


By therealnickdanger on 4/2/2014 7:32:50 AM , Rating: 1
A handful of Republicans buried their heads in the sand. The majority of Republicans DID craft several bills that were viable alternatives - even with bipartisan support from Democrats that were against ACA, but were either shut out of closed-door meetings or not allowed to vote on their own bills. The President's idea of "compromise" is "fully support this or get the **** out of the way". It's hysterical to watch people fall for the oldest non sequitur in the book:

Democrats pass unpopular legislation that fail to produce results and then successfully shift blame to Republicans for not contributing to avoid answering questions about impact of the legislation. So no matter who wrote the bill, sponsored the bill, or passed the bill, the opponents take the fall.


RE: Republicans are pissing their pants.
By FITCamaro on 4/2/2014 8:38:26 AM , Rating: 4
Except the 7 million number is just people who have filled out an application to get coverage through exchanges. Not the total number of people who have actually signed up, paid their premiums, and gotten ACTUAL coverage.

And let's totally ignore the roughly 2-3 million people who were kicked off their health care plan that they were perfectly happy with and could afford WITHOUT government subsidies. And didn't have the costs driven up by being forced to pay for things that they didn't want or need.


By FITCamaro on 4/2/2014 8:47:15 AM , Rating: 2
It's estimated that at least 20% of that 7 million number only filled out the enrollment form but never actually signed up for coverage. At least through the exchanges anyway. That would mean potentially 1.4 million people never enrolled.

And again. We're now at a point where we're killing people's ability to buy insurance on their own(which they could afford before) and now making them depend on government subsidies in order to buy something that could contain things they didn't need or want. My brother used to have a cheap, catastrophic coverage only policy. It didn't cover doctors visits, he just paid those in cash. It had like a $8-10,000 max out of pocket in case he had something really bad happen. Obviously a lot, but better than the full brunt of the entire bill in a bad situation. And you just pay it off over time and work out a price with them. Same as I did when I first went on a high deductible health plan (I still have one today).


By spamreader1 on 4/2/2014 9:44:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, and now 1/2 of my family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) no longer have health coverage. 1/4 of those will be getting more expensive, and less comprehensive coverage starting June 1st. When they were perfectly happy with what they had to begin with...


RE: Republicans are pissing their pants.
By Reclaimer77 on 4/2/2014 3:07:45 PM , Rating: 2
Not a single person on this thread brought up the employer mandate, which has been pushed back.

Right now Obamacare is only affecting those who buy their own insurance. But most insured people in this country are insured through their employer.

When the employer mandate goes live, people are going to get a really rude awakening about this "affordable care".


By FITCamaro on 4/2/2014 10:43:37 PM , Rating: 2
Illegally pushed back.


By mdogs444 on 4/2/2014 8:56:17 AM , Rating: 5
The devil is in the details my friend.

Roughly 5.8M people were dropped from their insurance plans because of the ACA minimum requirements. They then had to buy insurance on the exchange. These are not newly insured people. If you do the math, that leaves only 1.2M newly insured people (out of 30M that they Democrats said are out there) that signed up via the exchange, and 75% of them were granted a subsidy.

If that's not bad enough, the 7M number is only the number of people who added a plan to the "shopping cart", not the number who actually purchased and paid for insurance plan. Remember, Obama's administration claimed they don't have a way to know that real number.


By KCjoker on 4/2/2014 6:37:41 PM , Rating: 1
If Obamacare is so great why aren't Democrats in the Senate and House that are up for re election this year running campaign's on it? If it's so great why is the Employer Mandate postponed(by Obama through Executive Order) until AFTER the mid term elections? Keep watching MSNBC for those talking points..lol


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