will be is horribly expensive
"If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's
free." (P.J. O'Rourke)
(Or maybe it was Phil Gramm.)
Is An ObamaCare Bailout, Pure And Simple. Although pitched as a bipartisan plan to "stabilize" the ObamaCare
insurance markets, the bill now being talked up in the Senate would hand $14 billion over to the insurance industry
and do nothing to fix ObamaCare's underlying problems. The proposal, developed by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander and
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, would restore the roughly $7 billion in annual "cost sharing reduction" subsidies paid to
insurance companies through 2019. This money is meant to offset the cost of providing plans with reduced deductibles and
co-payments to low-income families. Insurers say that without the subsidy payments, they'd have to hike insurance
premiums on everyone in the ObamaCare exchanges even more.
47 of 50 Cities, Obamacare Coverage Will Be 'Unaffordable' in 2018 By Law's Own Definition. In 47 of 50 cities
in 2018, the cost of Obamacare's lowest-priced plan would be deemed "unaffordable" by the Affordable Care Act's own
definition, according to a study from eHealth, Inc. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance becomes
unaffordable when the lowest-cost plan costs more than 8.16 percent of a household's gross income. Usually people who
fall in this category can get an exemption from paying Obamacare's individual mandate. "Government subsidies are available
to people earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, but middle-income households earning 401 percent
or more of the federal poverty level are not eligible for subsidy assistance," eHealth explains.
in Florida to rise 45 percent on average next year. Health insurers selling Affordable Care Act plans in
Florida will raise monthly premiums by nearly 45 percent on average next year, the state's Office of Insurance Regulation
said Tuesday [9/26/2017]. Florida regulators said most of the average rate hike — 31 percentage points —
came from standard plans sold on the ACA exchange at healthcare.gov. Insurers raised rates for those plans due to the
political uncertainty that has plagued the healthcare debate, specifically whether the Trump administration will stop paying
subsidies that lower out-of-pocket costs for low-income Americans.
In 2018 Obamacare Premiums Projected to Increase 15%. Next year, average benchmark premiums for Obamacare plans
are expected to rise 15 percent more than they did this year, according to projections from the Congressional Budget Office.
"In 2018, the agencies project, the average benchmark premium will be roughly 15 percent higher than it was in 2017,
largely because of short-term market uncertainty — in particular, insurers' uncertainty about whether federal
funding for certain subsidies that are currently available will continue to be provided," the budget office explains.
Additionally, premiums for benchmark plans are expected to rise an average of 5 percent each year from 2017 through
2027. The budget office projects that average premiums will total $3,400 for a 21 year old, $4,800 for a
45 year old, and $9,800 for a 64 year old this year.
premium costs in Maryland set to jump as state approves rates. The cost of premiums for plans sold on the
state's health exchange will soar for 2018, adding to questions about the stability and affordability of the health insurance
program known as Obamacare. State regulators announced Tuesday that they have approved average rate increases of just
over 23 percent to nearly 50 percent, depending on the plan and carrier, increases that surely will burden consumers who get
no government subsidies but also potentially still leave insurers in the red. "Rates for individual plans have gone up
well over 100 percent in 4 years," said Chet Burrell, president and CEO of the state's dominant insurer, CareFirst BlueCross
BlueShield. "It's the worst of all worlds now with very high premiums and at the same time carrier losses continue."
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Makes Care Unaffordable. Obamacare stipulations imposed on insurers
stand as the primary reason premiums skyrocket within individual markets, according to a report commissioned by the
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS tasked the consulting firm McKinsey and Company with finding an answer
to the question: "What portion of the increase in premium is attributable to the effects of guaranteed issue and
community rating?" As it turns out, quite a large portion. The report presented to HHS earlier this year examined rates
in Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Georgia between 2013 and 2017, and attributed between 41 percent and 76 percent
of premium spikes to these onerous mandates of Obamacare.
Not Trump, Is Causing ObamaCare's Massive Rate Hikes. In Iowa, the state's sole remaining insurer announced on Thursday
[8/17/2017] that it wants to boost ObamaCare premiums by 57%. This isn't exactly the vibrant, competitive, low-cost market that
Democrats promised. But it is the inevitable outcome of ObamaCare's government-knows-best approach to health care. Earlier
this year, Aetna and Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield announced that they were pulling out of Iowa's ObamaCare exchange, leaving only
Medica, which was also threatening to leave. Not surprisingly, Medica has used its newfound monopoly status to push for increasingly
higher rates, while trying to pin the blame President Trump for the increases. The media, of course, are happy to buy into it
that claim. Anything to bash Trump.
ObamaCare Bailout. For seven years Republicans have solemnly promised to abolish the financially crumbling
ObamaCare law. But now that they have struck out, many in the GOP are working behind closed doors to bail out the very
program they say they hate. If they moderate wing of the party prevails and rescues the ObamaCare entitlement, the law
will be permanently enshrined into the federal budget only to eat up more tax dollars year after year. What is worse,
the deal the Republican surrender caucus is negotiating does almost nothing to actually roll back ObamaCare, provide
consumers with more choices, or lower insurance costs.
California premiums to jump by double digits for second straight year. Underlying uncertainty about the ongoing health-care
fight in Washington, D.C., has bled into the premiums that Obamacare consumers will pay in 2018, California's health insurance exchange
said Tuesday [8/1/2017]. Peter Lee — executive director of Covered California, which currently has about 1.4 million
enrollees, released his organization's 2018 rate guide for pricing regions from the Oregon border to San Diego County. Next year,
the average premium is expected to go up by 12.5 percent, about one percentage point lower than the rise for this year but still
three times higher than the 4 percent premium increases experienced by Covered California members in 2015 and 2016.
Fines Nailed The Working Class In 2017 And Other Unpopular Truths. While ObamaCare has been a big help to the
near-poor and those with major medical needs, it gives a bad deal to nearly everyone else. Even among working-class
households earning 150% to 250% of the poverty level, supposedly among the law's biggest beneficiaries, just 1 in 3
people who lack insurance from other sources are getting silver coverage that will protect them from financial disaster.
Most of the other two-thirds are uninsured, either because they or a spouse work full time and don't qualify for exchange
subsidies, or else they've spurned subsidized bronze plans that carry $6,000-$7,000 deductibles — despite the
threat of an individual-mandate penalty.
Health Insurer Left In Iowa Obamacare Raising Premiums At Least 43 Percent. For the last few weeks, Iowa's
individual health insurance market showed signs of collapse as companies pulled out one after another. The state
started to panic, even asking "the federal government to let it alter parts of the Affordable Care Act in an effort to entice
insurers into selling plans in the state." The small insurance company Medica has come to save Iowa after the company's
officials decided to remain in the state, making it the only company in the market. But officials said it has to charge
higher premiums in order to stay afloat.
repeal is a $1.5 trillion tax cut. By a 217-213 vote, the House passed a trillion-dollar tax cut on Thursday [5/4/2017]
and sent it to the Senate. Every Democrat voted against it, as did 20 turncoat Republicans. You probably think I am daft
for writing that, but that is exactly what happened when the House voted to replace Obamacare and replace it with something saner.
Rolling back Obamacare also rolled back the taxes the Democratic Party imposed. Americans for Tax Reform added up the
taxes repealed and the total was a trillion-dollar boost to the economy over the next decade.
of Obamacare Could Lead to $1.07 Trillion in Net Deficit Reduction. Former President Obama promised the
Affordable Care Act would not only guarantee health insurance coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions, but that
the law would lower health care costs and reduce the federal budget deficit. The report notes that Obamacare failed to
deliver on providing any fiscal benefits and that repeal of the law would substantially reduce the budget deficit.
"Repeal, effective in 2018, of the ACA's various spending and tax increases is expected to reduce federal deficits by a
combined $586 billion through 2026, with plausible outcomes ranging from $228 billion to $1.07 trillion in net
deficit reduction," the report states. Savings might be reduced to $228 billion if the Obamacare exchange enrollment
is larger than estimated, if the cost-sharing subsidies have been terminated, or if the Medicaid woodwork population has been
underestimated. Savings could be as high as $1.07 trillion, however, if Obamacare's insurance rules are repealed,
if taxes remain uncollected, and if the Medicaid expansion costs are less than expected.
Analysis: Obamacare Regulations Drove Up Premium Costs by Up to 68%. Until recently, the House was
scheduled to vote on the American Health Care Act, the GOP leadership's proposal to repeal and replace parts of
Obamacare. That vote has been called off. While the American Health Care Act would have repealed some Obamacare
regulations, the bill does not go far enough. Obamacare caused premiums to rise for various reasons, chief among them
being the vast new regulations the law imposed on insurance markets. A new analysis from Milliman backs this up.
The study provided estimates of the average impact that various Obamacare regulations had on premiums.
starts the Obamacare rollback as officials scrap $5 million of ads for the flagship HealthCare.gov website. The Trump Administration said on
Thursday night [1/26/2017] that it is pulling back advertising promoting HealthCare.gov as open enrollment draws to a close for this year. The
Health and Human Services Department said in a statement that the government has pulled back about $5 million in ads as part of an effort to cut
costs. The statement said HHS has already spent more than $60 million to promote sign-ups this year under former President Barack Obama's
healthcare law. Former Obama officials immediately accused the new administration of 'sabotage'.
healthcare reforms will cost taxpayers an extra $10 billion next year because of double-digit premium hikes, new study finds. Barack
Obama's subsidized healthcare reforms will cost taxpayers an extra $10 billion next year, a new report has found. Research by the Center
for Health and Economy has found the sum will be needed to cover double-digit premium hikes.
Subsidy Costs Will Jump 30% Next Year. Cost overruns are endemic to government health programs, and ObamaCare
is turning out to be no different. Not only are its Medicaid expansion costs exploding, skyrocketing premiums are now
pushing insurance subsidy costs through the roof. A new study from the Center for Health and Economy finds that because
of the double-digit premium increases across the country, federal spending on ObamaCare's insurance subsidies will shoot up
by nearly $10 billion next year
Health Care Spending Hits $3.2 Trillion in 2015. Health care spending in the United States grew 5.8 percent in
2015, hitting a record high of $3.2 trillion, according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services. Last year, health care spending in the United States totaled $3 trillion — or $9,523 a person.
This year, per-person expenditures went up to $9,990. "The faster growth in 2014 and 2015 occurred as the Affordable Care
Act expanded health insurance coverage for individuals through Marketplace health insurance plans and the Medicaid program," the
report said. The federal government is the biggest driver of health care spending and in 2015, 29 percent of the
nation's health care bill was due to the feds.
This is Your Medical
System on Government. In the floods of commentary following the election, a gigantic factor is being underreported.
Obamacare blew up in the weeks before the vote. It's one of the great ironies of history that the legislation was called
the "Affordable Care Act." Once it was implemented, we saw several years of sharp increases in premiums, sometimes as much
as 50% per year. Insurers sent out millions of notices, just before the election, of coming increases between 20% and 90%
starting January 1, 2017. Keep in mind that people are forced to pay these charges. And often people are afraid
to actually use the services they are forced to buy, because the deductibles are so high. And when they do use them, people
encounter all kinds of soft resistance from insurers ("we need more documentation") who are reluctant to pay, because they are trying
their best to survive in a world of mandates, bureaucracy, and price controls.
Obamacare is Failing
Before Our Eyes. Health care insurance premiums will increase significantly next year as a result of the
Affordable Care Act, and many consumers will be left with access to only a single insurance provider, according to
administration officials. Arizona will see the biggest spike in prices (a whopping 116 percent), while Oklahoma will
see a spike of 69 percent and Tennessee, Minnesota, and Alabama will see spikes of around 60 percent. The national
average will be about 25 percent, the administration says.
Victims Revolt: 'We Don't have that Kind of Money'. Some users of Obamacare are finding the medical care they
need to be too expensive to use due to high deductibles and high out-of-pocket costs. Michelle Harris is one of those
people. Harris, a 61-year-old retired waitress in northwest Montana, has arthritis in both shoulders but is doing
everything she can to avoid seeing a doctor due to the $4,500 deductible and $338 a month in premiums under her Blue Cross
Blue Shield plan.
Obamacare really affordable? Not for the middle class. For the 85% of enrollees with lower incomes,
federal subsidies make the premiums somewhat more affordable. Those even closer to the poverty line can get additional
subsidies that reduce the deductibles, which can run into the thousands of dollars. But for many middle class
Americans — a single person earning more than $47,520 or a family of four with an income of $97,200 —
the pricey premiums and deductibles mean health care coverage remains out of reach.
The Last Straw? The Affordable Care Act's open enrollment period for 2017 began yesterday. The timing
couldn't have been worse for Hillary Clinton. Across the country, exchanges opened with higher premiums, fewer
carriers, less choice and smaller networks. Did I mention higher premiums?
Lies, [...] and Statistics. During this transitional phase, as premiums continue to skyrocket and
insurance companies drop like flies out of the unprofitable insurance exchanges, [Jonathan] Gruber appeared on CNN in order
to whitewash the truth about Obamacare's premium hikes. In the interview he stated that 85% of Americans obtaining
their insurance through the government-run exchanges receive government subsidies in order to offset premium increases, so
they are unaffected. Besides the fact that 73.6% of all statistics are made up, Gruber's numbers leave out vitally
important information, and they don't add up. There are millions of Americans who don't get their insurance through the
exchanges, which means they are ineligible for subsidies, and therefore, are paying the full cost of these ever-increasing premiums.
Barry's October Surprise for Hillary. The ACA is now visibly crashing and burning, with premium increases of up to
116% in Arizona along with access to far fewer insurance plans as insurance companies exit the market. This always happens when
a country allows its purported leaders to substitute partisan ideology for physical, natural, or economic science. [...] When I looked
for an ACA plan, I discovered that I would have to pay more than $640 a month for an almost worthless Bronze Level policy.
Rising ACA Costs: You're Going To Have 'Riots'. Economist Chris Butler discussed the rising cost of
health insurance plans rising next year under the Affordable Care Act, saying he expects the populace to express more outrage
as they learn they will be priced out of health care options. Butler told Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT to
expect more public demonstrations of anger as prices move upward.
Americans Take The Biggest Hit With Obamacare. The October Surprise really isn't much of a surprise: We
have been expecting to learn the magnitude of Obamacare premiums increases just before Open Enrollment begins November
1 — and just before Election day. But the size of the increases is a shock, averaging nearly 25% across 38
federal exchange states, and with some increases in triple digits. The highest AVERAGE premium increases are in
Arizona, 116%; Oklahoma, 69%; Tennessee, 63%; and Minnesota, 59%. Millions of people in other states will find premiums
for their current plans spiking at least as high.
on 145% Obamacare Premium Hike: 'Reasonable,' 'Justified'. The Obama administration has tried to put a good
face on the news this week that Obamacare premiums are spiking an average of 25 percent for 2017. The department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) announced the increases under the heading, "More Than 70 Percent of Consumers Can Find Marketplace
Plans for Less than $75 Per Month." The reason for this good news for consumers, of course, is the U.S. taxpayer:
Subsidies will absorb most of the cost of the 2017 increases. Now, while some states have only single-digit increases
(or even a slight decrease), Arizona residents are looking at a whopping 145 percent jump. That number is based on
the increase in the second-lowest cost Silver plan, the coverage level HHS uses to compare premiums from state to state.
The Editor says...
You can buy insurance for $75 a month, but you'll find that it doesn't pay for anything until after you've paid the first
several thousand dollars of your medical expenses. That's practically the same as having no insurance at all.
Except that "no insurance at all" doesn't cost $75.
Obama Confirms Big Obamacare Hikes, Reduced Choice. If only someone had told us that this would happen due to
the way the law was written and implemented. [...] Opponents of Ocare said that prices would go way up while killing off
insurers, and that Dems would call for even more government control, up to a public option followed by pushing for single
payer. And that's what is happening.
hikes leave Dems exposed. Democrats are increasingly acknowledging that the Affordable Care Act has an
affordability problem. Former President Bill Clinton said recently that people who are ineligible to get subsidies to
buy ObamaCare insurance are "getting killed." Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said this month that "the reality is the
Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people." Even President Obama said in a speech last
week that "there are going to be people who are hurt by premium increases."
Benchmark Premiums to Rise 25% in Sharpest Jump Yet. Premiums for mid-level Obamacare health plans sold on the
federal exchanges will see their biggest jump yet next year, another speed bump in the administration's push for enrollment
in the final months of the U.S. president's term. Monthly premiums for benchmark silver-level plans are going up by an
average of 25 percent in the 38 states using the federal HealthCare.gov website, the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services said in a report today. Last year, premiums for the second-lowest-cost silver plans went up by 7.5 percent on
average across 37 states.
Care Act' premiums are set for double digit hikes next year averaging 22%. Donald Trump said Monday night [10/24/2016] that
the Obamacare system is at death's door, hours after the Obama administration confirmed double-digit rate hikes for consumers in the
39 states that participate in the government-controlled insurance marketplace. 'It's a disaster,' the Republican presidential
nominee said during a rally in Tampa, Florida. 'In some areas they're paying 60, 70 and 80 percent more than they were paying
last year,' he claimed.
Obama admits ObamaCare is about to be a ripoff. ObamaCare premiums will soar by an average of 25 percent in
39 states next year, the Obama administration said Monday [10/24/2016], giving new ammunition to critics who warn of a "death spiral"
in the national health insurance program. In some states, the premium increases are staggering. In Arizona, unsubsidized rates
for a 27-year-old buying a benchmark "second-lowest-cost silver plan" were scheduled to jump by 116 percent, from $196 to $422
a month, according to the administration. Oklahoma consumers face the next-largest increase — 69 percent.
grudgingly admit Obamacare hikes. Mainstream media outlets were slow to cover the Obama administration's Monday
[10/24/2016] announcement of a 25 percent average increase in federal Obamacare premiums for 2017, and for some, the news
wasn't worth covering at all. The Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday at 5 p.m. that in addition
to the price increase, there would be 36 percent fewer plans to choose from. When data was used for the three state-run
exchanges for which data was available, the average price increase dropped just a little, to 22 percent. HHS released
the news at 5 p.m., but even hours later, no trace of the story could be found on the websites of NBC News or MSNBC.
CBS Anchors on Obamacare Premium Hikes: "What Happened?". How did this happen? Well, Charlie, Norah
and Gayle: You carried the water for your 'messiah,' Barack Hussein Obama, for eight years, you all hailed Obamacare as
an amazing success, and you ignored the suffering of real Americans as Obamacare began to implode.
CBS Morning News Anchors Act Shocked at Totally Predictable, Huge ObamaCare Rates Increases. Watch the liberal
CBS Morning News Anchor crew act totally shocked at the totally predictable huge premium rate increases announced for
ObamaCare. Premiums are going up 25% on average, and many providers are dropping out of the system. CBS' Norah
O'Donnell acts like it is a total mystery. Yet, conservatives said years ago this is what would happen with
ObamaCare. It is a total disaster. [Video clip]
Anchors Bamboozled by Obamacare Rate Hikes. Have a look at the CBS This Morning anchors, totally mystified
about why Obamacare premiums are rising. I mean, do they administer IQ tests to these people before they put them on
TV? Listen to Norah O'Donnell — "The premiums are skyrocketing!" She sounds like she just
found out Martians had landed and opened up a chain of delicatessens. [Video clip]
'Democrats Are Going to Have to Answer' for Obamacare Premium Spikes. MSNBC's Kasie Hunt said on Tuesday that
Democrats are going to be in trouble for the coming spikes in Obamacare premiums. Host Stephanie Ruhle was speaking
with Hunt, who is covering Hillary Clinton's campaign, about the recent reports on how health care premiums under Obamacare
are expected to skyrocket next year. "'Nasty women' also have to provide their families with health care," Ruhle
said. "Can you talk about these Obamacare headlines? With premiums set to go up double digits, this has got to be
a problem for the Clinton campaign."
premiums to rise by double-digit percentages for millions. Obamacare premiums will soar in 2017, the
administration acknowledged Monday, with the price of the most popular benchmark plans jumping an average of 22 percent as
the law continues to rely on older, sicker customers than its backers had envisioned. The number of insurers offering
plans on the federally run exchange will also plummet as companies tap out, saying they can't figure out a way to make the
economics work — and raising the risk of lower competition and worse premium increases. Roughly one in five
customers will have only a single insurer as an option next year after major players such as UnitedHealth Group and Aetna
withdrew from most states and nearly all of Obamacare's co-op plans failed.
administration confirms double-digit premium hikes. Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack
Obama's health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday [10/24/2016].
for sticker shock? Obamacare prices revealed. While the online marketplace at HealthCare.gov doesn't
debut for its fourth year until Nov. 1, consumers and small businesses can now catch a glimpse of what they might pay in
monthly premiums, deductibles and other components of health insurance. In many cases, expect a hit to your wallet.
Illinois is among the states where premium rate hikes are "significant," the state insurance department cautioned two months ago.
Had Nothing to Do With That!' Obama Dodges Blame For Skyrocketing Premiums. President Barack Obama offers
multiple excuses for why health insurance premiums continue to skyrocket, including blaming Republicans and insurance
companies for the problems. He complains that too many reporters spend more time discussing premium increases than
explaining why he isn't responsible for them. "No, I had nothing to do with that," Obama said, calling it "complicated"
despite the "hysteria" that was growing. Obama traveled to Florida to argue that Obamacare was working well, but needed
to be fixed.
governor expresses regret over Obamacare comments, requests emergency relief for rate hikes. Minnesota
Gov. Mark Dayton Friday [10/21/2016] expressed "regret" that Democrats are being attacked over his comment that
Obamacare is "no longer affordable," and he called on his state to approve emergency measures to help people facing huge rate
hikes next year. Republicans across the country had seized on his remarks, which came just days after Bill Clinton
raised similar concerns about Obamacare's ongoing affordability problems.
even Democrats can see the ObamaCare death spiral. Another day, another Democrat finally owning up to the fact
that ObamaCare is a disaster. And another state facing the implosion of its health insurance market. Minnesota
Gov. Mark Dayton — once one of the Affordable Care Act's most enthusiastic champions — is the
latest Democrat to publicly eat crow for that support. With good reason: Tens of thousands of Minnesotans are
losing their coverage next year. And premiums on individual plans — which enroll 250,000 North Star State
residents — will rise an average 50 percent to 67 percent. "The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no
longer affordable for increasing numbers of people," Dayton admitted last week, calling the situation in his state "an emergency."
Premiums Rankle People Paying Full Price For Health Insurance. About 10 million Americans buy individual insurance
coverage without cost-reducing federal subsidies on the marketplaces on the open market, according to the Congressional Budget
Office. In Georgia, consumers who don't get insurance through their employers or don't qualify for tax credits to help
pay for policies they purchase are facing double-digit premium increases.
rates in MN skyrocket 60% to stave off "collapse". Seems that Washington DC isn't the only place that's learned the art
of the Friday afternoon news dump. Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced yesterday afternoon [9/30/2016] that
the state had approved health insurance premium increases that will average 60% in MNsure, the state's ObamaCare exchange. The
statement blamed big losses by insurers in the state, and bad predictions about utilization rates, for the decision.
health plan premiums to jump at least 50 percent in Minnesota. Health insurers are hiking premiums and limiting
enrollment in Minnesota's individual market next year, with regulators saying the emergency measures were needed to avert a
market collapse. The moves are a clear sign that the market for some 250,000 people who buy coverage for themselves is
dysfunctional and needs reform, said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman during a Friday news conference. While rate
increases of more than 50 percent aren't fair to consumers, Rothman said, things could have been worse. He described
a period this summer when all health insurers in the state seemed prepared to abandon that segment of the market.
Individual Mandate Fine Hit 8 Million People This Year. Roughly 8 million people faced ObamaCare individual
mandate penalties this year totaling more than $3 billion, an analysis of the latest IRS data reveals. Despite the
controversy and high-stakes legal battle that has surrounded the individual mandate, the scope of the penalties paid this
year has gone unreported by major news outlets as attention has focused on ObamaCare's latest and most glaring problems:
weak enrollment, surging premiums, and insurer losses that have provoked the exit of UnitedHealth, Aetna and Humana from most
care costs rise by most in 32 years. Prices for medicine, doctor appointments and health insurance rose the
most last month since 1984. The price increases come amid a broader debate about climbing health care costs and high premiums
for Obamacare coverage. A recent report by Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits forecasts that the average family health care
plan will cost $18,142, up 3.4% from 2015. That's faster than wage growth in America. Medical care costs altogether rose
1% just in August from July, according to the Consumer Price Index, a report on price inflation from the U.S. Labor Department.
It's time to kill
the ObamaCare penalty. President Obama promised his law would provide an array of affordable health
plans. In 2017, consumers will get neither choice nor affordability. In nearly a third of the nation, only one
insurer will offer coverage — that's no choice at all. And insurance premiums are skyrocketing across the
country. ObamaCare is broken. Slapping ObamaCare refuseniks with hefty penalties (averaging almost $1,000) for
not signing up would be unfair, like enforcing a parking ticket when the meter's broken. Consumers will be
clobbered starting Nov. 1, the beginning of the open-enrollment period. They'll want to know what Donald Trump and
Hillary Clinton intend to do about it. In swing states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, premiums are
rising 30 percent and even as high as 40 percent.
ObamaCare Costs Surge
While Choice Shrinks. Health care affordability and choice remains the top health care concern among registered
voters two months before they go to the polls in November. Unfortunately, ObamaCare has in its mission, only increased
costs and decreased options for consumers. The August Health Tracking Poll from the Kaiser Foundation, released this
morning, found that two-thirds of voters (66%), consider health care access and affordability the top health care priority
that presidential candidates should be discussing on the campaign trail. Additionally, a majority continue to hold an
unfavorable view of President Obama's signature law that is continuing to fail Americans daily.
Premiums Set to Rise, Even for Savvy Shoppers. In the last few years, even though premiums in the Affordable
Care Act's health insurance marketplaces were rising, most customers could avoid a big price rise by shopping for a cheaper
plan. Next year, according to a preliminary analysis, that is going to be a lot harder. Even someone who shopped
wisely this year and is willing to switch plans to get the best deal next year is looking at an average premium increase of
11 percent, according to an analysis of rate filings in 18 states and the District of Columbia provided by the
McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform. That's more than double the increase McKinsey measured last year for
the same plans in the same group of states.
ObamaCare Rate Hikes Are A Good Thing, White House Says. Anyone shopping for ObamaCare coverage in Illinois
this fall is in for a big shock. The average increase for cheap Bronze plans is likely 44%. It's 45% for the
lowest-cost Silver plan, and 55% for the cheapest Gold plan. These are the kinds of rate hikes individuals buying
insurance will see across the country, as insurers who've suffered massive losses are getting huge double-digit premium
increases approved by state regulators. Fewer choices and higher costs are not what President Obama promised when he
signed ObamaCare into law. But now, in the face of this market meltdown, the Obama administration put out a report
this week that says, if anything, massive rate hikes are good for ObamaCare enrollees.
shock hits key Senate races. As insurers push large premium increases for 2017 Obamacare plans, some of the
steepest hikes have been requested by insurers in crucial swing states that could determine control of the Senate. In
nine of 11 states with competitive Senate races, at least one insurer seeks to hike rates for Obamacare customers by at least
30 percent next year: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Pennsylvania wants to jack up average premiums by more than
40 percent. In Wisconsin, three insurers have asked for rate hikes of more than 30 percent. In New Hampshire,
two of the five carriers want to sell plans with rate increase above 30 percent.
Department of Insurance: Premiums for Plans on Obamacare Exchange Set to Skyrocket. Although President
Barack Obama has frequently promised ObamaCare would reduce health insurance premiums by $2,500 for the average family,
health insurance costs continue to rise for everyday Illinoisans. According to new data released Aug. 24 by the
Illinois Department of Insurance, premiums for the cheapest silver-level plan on the ObamaCare exchange are set to rise by an
average of 45 percent next year. The cheapest bronze-level plans will rise by an average of 44 percent, and the
cheapest gold-level plans will rise by 55 percent.
in 17 States Face Double-Digit Rate Hikes Under Obamacare. Consumers in 19 states will see increases to their health insurance
rates, most in the double digits, for 2017, according to publicly available data filed with state insurance regulators. Since June, insurance
companies have been submitting proposed rate requests to state departments of insurance for the 2017 plan year. The U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services also has to approve rates for insurers selling on Obamacare's exchanges. States are now in the process of reviewing those
requests and ultimately deciding whether to approve or alter the insurers' proposals for next year.
How to Escape Obamacare.
When open enrollment starts Nov. 1, the public will see they're going to be paying lots more for health insurance in 2017 and getting
less. Across the country, state insurance departments are announcing double digit premium hikes, often as high as 20 percent
and occasionally even 40 percent. People who earn too much to qualify for a subsidy will be forced to pay as much as a fifth
of their income for health insurance. And they'll get less choice of doctors and hospitals and less prescription drug coverage.
Annual enrollment begins eight days before voters go to the polls. Donald Trump is vowing to repeal Obamacare. Hillary Clinton
is doubling down on keeping and expanding it.
Sticker Shock: Average 2017 Premium Surges 24%. Now, courtesy of a new study by independent analyst Charles Gaba —
who has crunched the numbers for insurers participating in the ACA exchanges in all 50 states — we can also calculate what the
average Obamacare premium increase across the entire US will be: using proposed and approved rate increase requests, the average Obamacare premium
is expected to surge by a whopping 24% this year. As Politico notes, Cigna and Humana recently revised their rate requests in Tennessee, and
the new filings are dramatically higher. Cigna is now asking for a 46% average increase, up from 23%, and Humana is requesting a 44% increase,
up from 29%, The Tennessean reported on Friday [8/12/2016]. Expect these numbers to rise even more as insurance companies exit even more states.
are at risk as Obamacare crumbles. The health insurance exchanges that are the beating heart of Obamacare are
on the edge of collapse, with premiums rising sharply for ever narrower provider networks, non-profit health co-ops
shuttering their doors, and even the biggest insurance companies heading for the exits amid mounting losses. Even the
liberal Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill is warning of a possible "Obamacare meltdown" this fall. Three
states — Alaska, Alabama, and Wyoming — are already down to just a single insurance company, as are
large parts of several other states, totaling at least 664 counties. UnitedHealth is pulling out completely, Humana is
pulling out of 88 percent of counties it was in, and last weak Aetna strongly suggested it will be exiting, too, unless it
gets bribed to stay with a huge, annual infusion of direct corporate bailout payments from taxpayers.
Obamacare plans seek big 2017 premium hikes. Insurers want to crank up the cost of health insurance premiums by
as much as 45 percent for Illinois residents who buy coverage through the Affordable Care Act's marketplace. Blue Cross
Blue Shield of Illinois, the most popular insurer on the state's Obamacare exchange, is proposing increases ranging from 23 percent
to 45 percent in premiums for its individual health-care plans, according to proposed 2017 premiums that were made public
Monday. The insurer blamed the sought-after hikes mainly on changes in the costs of medical services.
leader says left is turning on Obamacare as costs soar. Even progressives are turning against Obamacare as
health care costs and premiums skyrocket. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, said Wednesday
there was strong support for a single-payer system on the Democratic platform committee, and one reason is that progressives
blame the Affordable Care Act for rising costs. "In a world in which people are facing rising costs and they kind of
hear the ACA is over here, they're blaming the ACA for their rising costs," Ms. Tanden said during a panel discussion
at the Democratic National Convention.
Obamacare premium sticker shock. California's Obamacare health insurance exchange dropped a pretty big surprise
on both supporters and critics of the Affordable Care Act earlier this week when it announced an average increase in premiums
next year of 13.2 percent. That's particularly large by California standards, given that the state's exchange —
called Covered California — has earned kudos for keeping average premium hikes down to only about 4 percent the
past two years. No wonder an average 13.2 percent jump got everyone's attention.
Obamacare Premiums to
Spike Again in 2017. According to a study released yesterday by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), the 2017
increase for the "most common plan choices" made by individuals buying coverage through Obamacare exchanges will average
about 10 percent. The 2016 increase for these plans was 5 percent. [...] In the 14 cities whose data KFF used,
Obamacare enrollees living in 10 are likely to experience large premium increases on top of this year's already-substantial
hikes. And the unfortunates who live in 6 of those 10 will endure double-digit increases. Those big spikes will
occur in Portland, OR (26%), Washington, DC (21%), New York City, NY (16%), Hartford, CT (13%), Richmond, VA (12%), and
Baltimore, MD (10%). Even in Denver, where individuals will enjoy a lower increase than in 2016, enrollees will be hit with
a double-digit spike. Their 14 percent increase is "lower" only when compared to this year's 29 percent hike.
digit rate hikes expected for Obamacare plans in 2017 as Trump claims Obama wants to delay bad news until after the election.
The Obama administration is scrambling to head off projected double digit rate hikes by insurers who participate in Obamacare, amid concerns
that the hikes could be a political liability. A new study by Kaiser Health News predicts an average rate hike of 10 percent in 14
metropolitan areas. Several of these are in battleground states Colorado, Nevada, and Virginia. Open enrollment begins under
Obamacare in November just days before the Nov. 8 election. Hoping to avoid the rate hikes, the administration is shoveling
money to states to get them to study the problem.
Rate Shocks Are Here, And They're Getting Worse. A new study shows that the average increase for low-cost
ObamaCare plans in 2017 will be 11% — which is twice the rate from last year. Will the "rate shocks are a
myth" crowd finally admit it's wrong?
House urges states to resist ObamaCare hikes. The White House is urging states to be more aggressive against
health insurance companies as it looks to prevent expected and widespread premium hikes of 10 percent or more this
year. The federal health department announced Wednesday that it will dole out about $22 million to boost state-level
"rate reviews," considered one of the strongest weapons against premium increases. Under the system, health insurers
are required to justify rate increases to state insurance departments, some of which have the power to reject "unreasonable"
increases. With the new funding, federal health officials hope states can hire outside insurance experts to dig deeper
into the proposed rates and prove the hikes are unjustified.
if you have health insurance, you may want to pay cash. Five blood tests were performed in March at Torrance Memorial Medical
Center. The hospital charged the patient's insurer, Blue Shield of California, $408. The patient was responsible for paying
$269.42. If that were all there was to this — which it's not — you'd be justified in shaking your head and
wondering how it could cost more than $80 apiece for blood tests. These weren't exotic procedures. The tests were for
fairly common things such as levels of vitamins D and B12 in the blood. It's what happened next, though, that this makes this
story particularly interesting.
Blue Cross wants to
raise rates for Obamacare in Texas by 60 percent. Fresh problems for Obamacare: The largest health
insurer in Texas wants to raise its rates on individual policies by an average of nearly 60 percent, a new sign that
President Barack Obama's overhaul hasn't solved the problem of price spikes. Texas isn't alone. Citing financial
losses under the health care law, many insurers around the country are requesting bigger premium increases for 2017. That's
to account for lower-than-hoped enrollment, sicker-than-expected customers and problems with the government's financial
backstop for insurance markets.
case of the $629 Band-Aid — and what it reveals about American health care. Last January, Malcolm
Bird took his 1-year-old daughter, Colette, to the local emergency room. His wife had accidentally cut the young girl's
pinky finger while clipping her fingernails, and it had begun to bleed. They were nervous, first-time parents who wanted
a doctor's opinion. Colette turned out to be completely fine. A doctor ran her finger under the tap, stuck a
Band-Aid on her pinky, and sent the family home. A week later, something else showed up at home: a $629 hospital
bill for the Band-Aid and its placement on Colette's finger.
Seeks 50% ObamaCare Premium Hike In Michigan. This year, the nation's fifth-largest insurer offers the cheapest
bronze and silver plans in Michigan's largest market, including Detroit. But Humana has filed for a 50% premium hike
for its low-cost silver plan. The unsubsidized cost for a 40-year-old will jump from $210 a month to $315, if approved.
On top of that, the maximum out-of-pocket cost for plan members will rise 9%, to $7,150 from $6,300 in 2016. Meanwhile,
Humana wants a 38% premium increase for its lowest-cost bronze plan, from $178 a month to $246.
expected double-digit rate increases boost Republicans' repeal efforts. Insurers are preparing for Obamacare
customers double-digit rate increases to be announced in coming months, handing Republicans a key talking point as they try
to persuade voters to accept a repeal of the 2010 health care law. The people signing up for Obamacare so far are
sicker than expected, meaning insurers will have to raise rates to cover the costs, in what nonpartisan analysts said amounts
to a "market correction." Even as insurers grapple with a most costly population, they are about to lose some of the
supports built into Obamacare that have helped mitigate their losses in the first couple of years of operation.
Dumbfounded by Rising Cost of Obamacare. Hillary Clinton was stunned Monday [5/9/2016] when a small business
owner told her that the cost of her health insurance had increased nearly two fold. "A $400 increase, assuming you
didn't have some terrible healthcare event, which it doesn't sound like you did," Clinton said at a campaign event in
Virginia. "I don't understand." The voter told Clinton that her health insurance plan had a rigid income cut-off
that was preventing her from qualifying for subsidies. "I have seen our health insurance for my own family go up $500 a
month in the last two years," the voter said. "We went from $400-something to $900-something ... we're just fighting to
keep benefits for ourselves." [...] Clinton offered numerous solutions but avoided addressing the source of the problem.
Do Government Subsidies Provide? Higher Prices And More Overhead, Mostly. While [President Bill] Clinton
didn't get his [wife's] plan enacted, health care has become increasingly "free" to consumers, as the share they pay out-of-pocket
dropped from 47% in 1960, to 23% by 1980 to less than 11% today. This trend has been driven almost entirely by government
policies — either through government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, or because of distortions caused by the tax
code, which heavily subsidizes generous employer-provided insurance. And because health care looks like a bargain, this trend
has fueled health care spending, which has outstripped growth in the economy for decades. The problem is that much of this
extra health care spending didn't buy better health care. Much of it went instead to increased overhead costs, as doctors and
hospitals were forced to cope with increasing paperwork demands from Medicare, Medicaid, managed care plans, and other third-party
payers — paperwork that, by the way, was supposed to hold down costs.
November surprise. The last thing Democrats want to contend with just a week before the 2016 presidential
election is an outcry over double-digit insurance hikes as millions of Americans begin signing up for Obamacare. But
that looks increasingly likely as health plans socked by Obamacare losses look to regain their financial footing by raising rates.
and More Lies. Obamacare was passed in 2009 and began to be implemented in 2010. Obama declared that families
could expect $2,500 of savings per year. I know for a fact my annual medical expenses were $2,000 higher in 2015 than they
were in 2010. The lies of the government and their minions at the BLS are revealed to anyone who cares to open their eyes.
The BLS reported inflation rates for health insurance since 2010 is beyond laughable. They must have triple seasonally adjusted,
massaged, and tweaked these figures to arrive at the absurdly false inflation figures they are feeding to the sheeple.
Ready for Huge Obamacare Premium Hikes in 2017. Amid rising drug and health care costs and roiling market
dynamics, the spokesperson for the nation's health insurers is predicting substantial increases next year in Obamacare
premiums and related costs. Without venturing a specific percentage increase, Marilyn Tavenner, the president and CEO
of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), said in an interview with Morning Consult that the culmination of market shifts
and rising health care costs will force stark increases in health insurance rates in the coming year.
Premiums Rose A Lot More Than HHS Says. New data out from the Obama administration on Tuesday seemed to suggest
that all the hand-wringing over double-digit ObamaCare rate hikes in 2016 was much ado about not that much: The average
exchange premium on plans selected via HealthCare.gov rose a less-jarring 8.4% from 2015. Yet a close look at the data
shows that HealthCare.gov rates actually did rise at least 10% after all, with the average premium rising less, in part,
because people were buying less coverage for their money.
Clinton: My Mom Could Use 'Executive Action' to Handle Obamacare's 'Crushing Costs'. On the campaign trail for
her mother, Chelsea Clinton is both giving Hillary Clinton credit for Obamacare's basic framework and distancing her from the
boondoggle's massive increase in costs to average Americans. [...] However, Truth Revolt observed last week that Chelsea
Clinton told voters that something needed to be done to deal with Obamacare's "crushing costs" and said her mother was
prepared to consider "executive action" as a means to bring down those costs.
insurance premiums rising faster than wages. Health insurance premiums have increased faster than wages and inflation in recent
years, rising an average of 28 percent from 2009 to 2014 despite the enactment of Obamacare, according to a report from Freedom Partners.
President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010, and Wednesday is the law's sixth anniversary. The Obama
administration expressed concern in 2009 about skyrocketing health care premiums in a report entitled, "The Burden of Health Insurance Premium
Increases on American Families." They were concerned that premiums had increased by 5.5 percent from 2008 to 2009.
Obamacare Premiums Are Climbing All Over U.S.. On the third year of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, it is
becoming more apparent that the promises of cost saving and premium reduction may only be reserved for people that are able
to capture the most subsidies. Exchange premiums are climbing all over the country. For example, plans increased rates
by 25.1 percent in Kentucky, 14 percent in Ohio, and nearly 11 percent in Michigan. In Idaho, the largest
insurer, Blue Cross of Idaho, had a rate increase of 23 percent. Some plans, as is in the case of New Mexico, had to
pull from the exchanges due to high costs. For the country as a whole, through modelling at The Heritage Foundation, we
estimate that a premium increase of roughly 15 percent is in order for 2016.
Insurers Could Get Billions From Controversial Government Fund. A $5 billion lawsuit filed by a nonprofit
insurer against the Obama administration for a program implemented under Obamacare is raising questions about the use of a
fund available for settlements with the government and whether Congress can, and should, intervene. According to legal
experts, if the Obama administration decided to settle its class action lawsuit with Health Republic Insurance of Oregon, one
of 23 co-ops started under Obamacare, and other insurers for all or part of the $5 billion it's seeking, the money would come
from the Judgment Fund, an indefinite appropriation created by Congress and administered by the Department of Treasury.
'Cadillac Tax' Will Hit Chevy-Class Families Hardest, Study Finds. When it kicks in, it will impose a huge,
non-deductible 40% surcharge on insurance premiums above $10,800 for individuals and $29,100 for families. The tax
effectively caps what is today an unlimited tax exemption offered to employer-provided insurance. MIT economists Jonathan
Gruber, who helped design the tax, claimed that only "the top few percent of health plans" would be affected. The
implication of it all was that only the rich would notice any changes. But a new study published in the International
Journal of Health Services shows that middle class families — those with incomes between $38,000 and $100,000 —
will bear the brunt of the Cadillac tax.
are Obamacare Deductibles Up in Your State? Find Out Here. Americans across the country are paying higher health care deductibles under
Obamacare. Freedom Partners, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting freedom and expanding opportunity, released an analysis of data tracking the weighted
average of 2016 Obamacare deductibles in all 50 states. A total of 41 states saw an average increase in deductibles.
Obama Administration's $5 Billion Obamacare Problem. One of the more than 20 failed or struggling "consumer-oriented"
insurers created by Obamacare is suing the U.S. government for as much as $5 billion in payments it claims are owed to itself
and other insurers. Health Republic Insurance of Oregon filed a class action complaint in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in
Washington, D.C., seeking $2.5 billion. Dawn Bonder, CEO of Health Republic, told the Portland Business Journal the
company hopes to win as much as $5 billion for insurers.
Health Insurance Costs To Spike 60 Percent, Thanks To Obamacare. A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report [...] states that, over
the next 10 years, private health insurance premiums will increase by about 5 percent annually — a rate that outpaces the gross
domestic product by 2 percentage points. By 2025, employment-based coverage (health-care insurance an employer offers) will cost
60 percent more than it does today. For a family, that increase costs to an average of $24,500 per year. For those with an
individual plan, health-care costs will increase to cost an average $10,000 per year. What's driving these price increases? Obamacare.
report: Illegal immigrants benefited from up to $750M in ObamaCare subsidies. Illegal immigrants and individuals with unclear legal status wrongly benefited
from up to $750 million in ObamaCare subsidies and the government is struggling to recoup the money, according to a new Senate report obtained by Fox News.
The report, produced by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, examined Affordable Care Act tax credits meant to defray the cost
of insurance premiums. It found that as of June 2015, "the Administration awarded approximately $750 million in tax credits on behalf of individuals who were
later determined to be ineligible because they failed to verify their citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence."
foresee $30 trillion debt, blame looming tax hikes and Obamacare. The federal government will be flirting with
$30 trillion in debt within a decade, the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday [1/25/2016], blaming an aging population,
new spending and tax cuts approved on Capitol Hill, and the growing burden from Obamacare for erasing the progress Washington had
made over the past few years. Analysts said Obamacare will chase more workers out of the labor force over the next five years,
adding pressure to an economy still struggling to spring to life more than seven years into the Obama recovery.
No health insurance?
Californians face tax bite of up to $10,000 per family. Sign up for health care coverage or pay the price.
That's the message from Covered California officials, who urged consumers Wednesday [1/13/2016] to sign up for Obamacare coverage
by the Jan. 31 deadline or face stiff tax penalties. This year, the penalties are hitting harder, ranging from a minimum
of $700 for an individual to as much as $10,000 for a family of four, depending on income. The average penalty in 2016 will be
$969. That's a 47 percent increase from last year, according to a recent analysis by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.
More than ten percent of your income is going to
Obamacare. The law that promised to reduce our costs has instead inflated them beyond anything we could have imagined.
Premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and overall health care spending continue to escalate faster than ever, piling increase upon increase,
with no relief in sight. This, of course, on top of the tax hikes needed to subsidize Obamacare for the Taker class so they'll
keep on voting Democrat. Which only means we'll see more stories [...] describing how average Americans can't afford to use
their mandatory health insurance.
Subsidies, Poor Spending 10-20 Percent of Income on ObamaCare. A new study from the Urban Institute finds lower
income Americans paying 10-20 percent of their income on ObamaCare health benefits. These high costs come after generous
federal subsidies covering premiums for individuals making up to $55,000 a year are considered. Of course, the least healthy
are paying even more of their income for ObamaCare, providing an overdue lesson on how insurance works. While the ObamaCare law
caps the premium costs of those receiving federal subsidies, beneficiaries can still face high costs due to co-pays and deductibles.
Biggest Threat To Obamacare Is Already Written Into Law: No Insurance Industry Bailouts. When Barack Obama was
campaigning for the presidency in 2008 and when he was selling Obamacare to the public in 2010, he made insurance companies
the villains. In fact, on the eve of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, every Democratic spokesperson who appeared on TV
to support the health reform legislation had one and only one argument to make: We needed Obamacare to protect ordinary
people from ruthless, profit mongering insurance companies. They said almost nothing about insuring the uninsured or
controlling costs or making health care delivery more efficient. Instead, every advocate produced at least one example of
what they claimed was insurance company abuse — usually from their home state or district. How things have
changed. Today, Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration are desperate to do something you may find surprising:
give the insurance companies more than about $2.5 billion in bail out money. That's not a misprint. They want to
take tax money from people who already think their premiums are too high and their coverage too skimpy and give it to the very
"villains" they were excoriating only a few years ago.
Mandate Penalties Spike In 2016, But Will Anyone Care? First, the administration recently downgraded enrollment expectations for
next year, despite the fact that the mandate penalty for being uninsured will more than double. Rather than signing up 22 million or
so, the White House says it will be more like 10 million. In addition, even with the sharp penalty increase — it goes from
$325 per individual this year to $695 in 2016 — most uninsured will still find it cheaper to go uninsured than buy the cheapest
available ObamaCare plan. The Kaiser report says that of almost 11 million uninsured who are eligible to enroll in an ObamaCare plan,
just 34% could buy a plan that costs less than the tax penalty.
And Overhead Costs Explode Under ObamaCare, Official Report Shows. President Obama has repeatedly credited the
dramatic slowdown in health spending as proof positive that ObamaCare was "bending the cost curve" down in health care. He
conveniently ignored the fact that the slowdown started long before he took office. And now that the law has actually
taken effect, spending has shot up. That's what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows in its annual report
on national health spending. For more than a decade, annual spending growth was on a steady downward trend, going from 9.6%
in 2002 to just 2.9% in 2013. Then came ObamaCare. In 2014, national spending climbed 5.3%. A separate CMS report
says that it will stay at this elevated level for decades. More troubling is where these spending hikes are coming from.
Is Failing To Make Care More Affordable. The promise of ObamaCare wasn't just that insurance would be cheaper.
It was that health care itself would be more affordable. It's an important distinction. Insurance that doesn't cover
anything, strictly limits the doctors you can see, imposes fantastically high deductibles, or costs too much to buy, does nothing
to improve access to health care. Nor do insurance plans — like Medicaid — that doctors refuse to
accept. So far, that's all ObamaCare has delivered. Premiums are sky high and deductibles for a Bronze plan average
more than $5,000. To keep costs down, insurers skimp on provider networks, making it more likely patients will end up paying
out of pocket for care they need. Medicaid enrollment has exploded while the number of doctors willing to take Medicaid shrinks.
A new taxpayer bailout to cover up
ObamaCare's failure? Thursday [11/19/2015], just hours after giant insurer UnitedHealthcare said it's losing money selling
ObamaCare plans and will likely exit the health exchanges next year, the Obama administration quietly promised to bail out insurers for
their losses — using your money. Nearly all insurers are bleeding red ink trying to sell the unworkable plans.
Without a bailout, more insurers will abandon ObamaCare, pushing it closer to its demise. A bailout would benefit insurers and the
Democratic Party, which is desperate to cover up the health law's failure.
US defends Obamacare after top
insurer threatens pullout. US officials rushed to defend President Barack Obama's signature health care reforms Friday [11/20/2015]
after the country's largest insurer said it might pull out due to large financial losses. UnitedHealth Group on Thursday [11/19/2015]
said it expects to lose up to $500 million next year from its participation in exchanges providing insurance under the Affordable Care
Act, known as Obamacare.
Bailing out Obamacare insurers an 'obligation' of the federal government. The Department of Health and Human
Services attempted to reassure private insurers on Thursday [11/19/2015] that they'll be able to recover losses from participating in
Obamacare by claiming it was an "obligation" of the U.S. government to bail them out. At issue is a provision within the law
known as the risk corridors program. Under the program, which runs from 2014 through 2016, the federal government is to collect money
from health insurers doing better than expected and use those funds to provide a federal backstop to other insurers who incur larger
than expected losses from rising medical claims. The idea was to provide training wheels to insurers in the first years of
Obamacare's implementation, and to take away any incentive for insurers to cherry pick only the healthiest customers.
Obamacare collapses, HHS claims taxpayers have 'obligation' to bail out crony health insurers. One critical
element in selling the Obamacare legislation to the Democrats, who passed it into law without a single Republican vote, was
the lobbying of the health insurance industry. The insurers were made into cronies by the inclusion of the so-called "risk
corridor" payments, guaranteeing them profits should premium revenue fail to cover expenses. The deal was thus presented
to them as a no-lose proposition that would expand the market for their products by forcing consumers to buy them on pain of
hefty fines (later redefined as "taxes" by Chief Justice Roberts).
Care Still Unaffordable, Despite ObamaCare — Gallup Poll. The official name of ObamaCare is the "Affordable Care Act."
So, as it enters its third year, how is it living up to its moniker? Not every well, according to a new Gallup poll. Cost and access to care
remain the top concern of 42% of Americans, which is actually up from 2013, the year before ObamaCare went into effect, when 39% cited these as top
concerns. And it's far above 1997, when just 22% listed cost and access as top health concerns. [...] Even those getting generous subsidies
through ObamaCare exchanges often find that they can't afford treatments because of the health plans' high deductibles.
Enrollees Reeling From Exploding Deductibles. Make sure you're sitting down before you read the next sentence:
Obamacare is causing health insurance premiums, deductibles and fees to skyrocket. I know, that's startling news. Who
could have predicted such a catastrophic failure on the part of DMV-care?
Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All but Useless. [F]or many consumers, the sticker shock
is coming not on the front end, when they purchase the plans, but on the back end when they get sick: sky-high deductibles
that are leaving some newly insured feeling nearly as vulnerable as they were before they had coverage. "The deductible,
$3,000 a year, makes it impossible to actually go to the doctor," said David R. Reines, 60, of Jefferson Township, N.J., a
former hardware salesman with chronic knee pain. "We have insurance, but can't afford to use it."
The Gift That Keeps on Taking. The brain dead proponents and cheerleaders for Obamacare reveal themselves to be
nothing more than liberal control freaks who care not for the people they supposedly are helping with "free" healthcare. They
need to falsify enrollment figures in order to prove how successful they've been in destroying the health system. They only
care about press releases and winning the PR battle with the Republicans. It's all about votes. It's not about what
is best for the uninsured. Families being forced into the limited number of Obamacare plans are seeing weekly costs of $300
to $400 for barely acceptable coverage.
7 Keys To Trapping As Many Americans As Possible In Poverty. [Scroll down] Exploding medical costs are also helpful and Obamacare
has done an amazing job of this. Medical costs are skyrocketing for the middle class and helping to drive them towards poverty. As an extra
added bonus, middle class Americans who can no longer afford to pay for their medical care because of Obamacare will also be hit with a tax penalty.
If your goal is to hurt middle class Americans financially, you could not do much better than Obamacare.
For some, Obamacare does not seem so
affordable. The third year of open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act began this week.
Premiums are up and some people have decided they are not so affordable.
Premiums Jump, But Insurers Still Struggle for Profit. Many people shopping for health coverage this weekend on the websites
created by Obamacare are going to see double-digit percentage increases in their premiums. That's still not enough for some insurers.
Anthem Inc. says there remain competitors in the government-run marketplace offering premiums that aren't enough to profitably provide the
coverage patients will require. Prices in some areas probably will have to climb in 2017 and even 2018 to reach levels that make sense,
according to Chief Financial Officer Wayne Deveydt.
USA Cures U.S. Healthcare System. The U.S. spends more on our healthcare system than anyone else on earth, over $8700 per
person per year. Yet, there is not enough money to provide patient care. Why is that? Where is all that money going?
Estimates range from 31 percent to 40 percent for the cost of healthcare system BARRC: bureaucracy, administration, rules,
regulations, and compliance. Those numbers were calculated before we were hit with the cost of ObamaCare: $2.6 trillion
in new spending. In 2012, the U.S. spent $3.4 trillion on healthcare, which means that the federal bureaucracy diverted
$1.5 trillion (40 percent of $3.4 trillion) from care services to itself.
Rate Shock Now Includes Its 'Cheap' Plans. The Obama administration recently announced that ObamaCare enrollment would be
flat — a stunning admission of failure. An IBD report Tuesday [10/27/2015] suggests even that could be too optimistic.
Insurance premium increase
of 85 percent a stunner. "When you're doubling the cost, it's threatening," said Eric Gil, co-owner with his wife Ellen of the
longtime downtown business. Ellen, with 2016 quotes from the insurance agent in hand, said, "One choice is the nuclear option —
don't offer insurance." This is not what they expected from the Affordable Care Act. They thought rates could go up 10 to
12 percent, hoping as more people got health coverage, costs would come down, but that's not happening.
Obamacare Fiasco: Most Low-Income Workers Can't Afford "Affordable Care Act". Just ten days ago we described the latest unintended
(we hope) consequence of the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare, when Colorado's largest nonprofit co-op health insurer and participant
in that state's insurance exchange, Colorado HealthOP, announcing it was abruptly shutting down ahead of the November 1 start of enrollment
for 2016, forcing 80,000 Coloradans to find a new insurer for 2016.
premium increase of 85 percent a stunner. The owners of the Sockshop & Shoe Co. face a stunning 85 percent
increase in the cost of their group health insurance plan for their employees. "When you're doubling the cost, it's
threatening," said Eric Gil, co-owner with his wife Ellen of the longtime downtown business. Ellen, with 2016 quotes from
the insurance agent in hand, said, "One choice is the nuclear option — don't offer insurance."
How Congress Stopped a Massive Obamacare
Bailout. Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced that insurers who lost money selling Obamacare would not
get a $2.5-billion bailout. It was great news for taxpayers, but it didn't happen by chance. Both chambers of Congress worked very
hard to make those savings possible. And lawmakers will have to continue working hard to keep bailouts like this from happening in the future.
Grant Theft Obamacare.
Between 2010 and 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded $4.6 billion in Obamacare start-up grants
to 16 Democrat-controlled states and the District of Columbia. $1.4 billion of this taxpayer largesse was spent on
exchanges, many of which imploded upon launch or operated so inefficiently that enrollees have been left to the tender mercies
of Obamacare.gov. The rest of these states also appear likely to abandon their exchanges in favor of federal "marketplaces."
Yet, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), they have kept all but $1 million of the grants. Where's
the rest of our money?
Premiums Have Climbed $4,865 Since Obama Promised to Cut Them $2,500. Since 2008, average family premiums have
climbed a total of $4,865. [...] "We will start," Obama said back in 2008, "by reducing premiums by as much as $2,500 per
family." That $2,500 figure was Obama's mantra on health care. You can watch the video if you don't believe it.
And Obama wasn't talking about government subsidized insurance or expanding Medicaid or anything like that. He specifically
focused on employer provided health care.
Enrollment Tumbles As Huge Price Hikes Loom. In its latest enrollment report, the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services says 9.9 million were still enrolled in ObamaCare exchange plans. That's almost 2 million fewer than
the administration claimed in the spring, when it bragged that 11.7 million had signed up, and way below the Congressional
Budget Office's earlier forecast of 13 million. And if this year is anything like last year, that 9.9 million will
dwindle further as the year goes on.
Rates Going Up Everywhere — A LOT. Rates are going up everywhere and in some states, every
plan — every policy is going up a lot. All of the plans in Delaware, South Dakota and West Virginia are rising
by double digits. In Montana, Utah, Louisiana and North Carolina, three-quarters of the plans will see double-digit rate hikes.
Welcome to the United States of Alice.
Whether or not one supports the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is anything but "affordable." Most premiums are increasing steeply,
government subsidies are growing, and the number of health providers is shrinking. This has to produce less health care as health
Those Shocking ObamaCare Rate Hikes Are For Real. In Alaska, the state regulator approved a 39.6% rate increase
for Moda Health, and Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska got a 38.7% hike. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee asked
for and got a 36.3% boost in premiums. Oregon's insurance commissioner approved a 25.6% increase for Moda, the biggest
insurer on its ObamaCare exchange. In Kansas, ObamaCare enrollees will face increases of up to 25.4%. In the
pre-ObamaCare days, rate hikes of this magnitude, no matter how rare, would have been cited as proof positive of the need for
ObamaCare-type changes. But these eye-popping jumps are showing up across the country, and ObamaCare itself is to blame.
The best thing about Obamacare is all that
bending of the cost curves. [The state's health care commissioner approved a] 36.3% increase sought by the biggest health plan
in the state, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. She said the insurer demonstrated the hefty increase for 2016 was needed to cover
higher-than-expected claims from sick people who signed up for individual policies in the first two years of the Affordable Care Act.
ObamaCare Co-Op Bites The Dust, As Taxpayer Costs Mount. After getting $69.5 million in government-sponsored startup
loans, Nevada's co-op saw enrollment come in far lower than expected, and claims costs far higher, resulting in a $15 million
loss last year. CEO Pam Egan said the co-op was seeing the same dismal results this year, making it impossible to provide "quality
care at reasonable rates." Democrats who designed ObamaCare created these nonprofit co-ops in the belief that they could provide
price competition in ObamaCare exchanges. To get them off the ground, the federal government pumped more than $2.5 billion
in startup loans and $355 million in solvency loans when things started to turn sour last year. The costly experiment has
largely been a failure.
The Obamacare Tax Everyone Will
Pay. So much for "affordable" health care. Yet another Affordable Care Act tax is on tap for September,
starting at $8 billion a year and increasing to more than $14 billion annually by 2018. In short, every health
plan with more than $25 million dollars of premiums has to pay a portion of that giant tax. That means that even Americans
who are not covered by Obamacare, but instead have private insurance plans, will still pay this tax through premium increases and
'Cadillac tax' to hit 1 in 4 employers that offer health care benefits. Obamacare's "Cadillac tax" will hit one
in four employers that offer health care benefits, a leading industry analyst says in a report being released Tuesday [8/25/2015],
socking companies with a massive levy that Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill say is unfair to those who have negotiated
high-quality plans as part of their jobs. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 26 percent of companies will be
affected by the tax when it takes effect in 2018 and 42 percent of employers will be paying the levy a decade later,
signaling just how quickly health care costs are expected to rise — and how valuable the Cadillac plans are.
Exchange Customers: Health Care Still Costs Too Much. Many Americans who bought health
insurance through exchanges operated by states or the federal government have a good understanding
of how their plan works, but also are afraid they can't afford medical services, according to research
published Monday [8/3/2015] by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. Health insurance exchanges,
or "marketplaces," were created as part of President Barack Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care
Act. They are used to help Americans shop for health insurance when they do not qualify for a
government health program and do not have insurance through an employer.
Spending Leaps Upward As ObamaCare Takes Effect. After trending downward since 2002,
national health spending jumped 5.5% in 2014 — the steepest climb in seven years —
as ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies took effect, according to the latest data from
the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Spending by the federal government jumped 10.1% last
year, compared with 3.5% in the private sector, the report shows. The finding runs counter to repeated
boasts by President Obama that ObamaCare had ushered in the lowest rate of health spending growth in decades.
II: ObamaCare's $3 Billion Co-Op Program Is Failing. When government-supported solar
cell manufacturer Solyndra failed in 2011, it was headline news for weeks — a prime
example of the dangers of crony capitalism. But Solyndra's demise cost taxpayers just
$500 million. The ObamaCare co-ops could wind up costing close to $3 billion.
ObamaCare created these nonprofit, "consumer directed" co-ops to provide stiff price competition in the
ObamaCare exchanges. And to get them off the ground, the Obama administration handed out
$2.6 billion in low-interest loans and startup funding. Administration officials claimed
that the resulting 23 co-ops were carefully selected because they showed a "high probability of
financial viability" and an ability to repay those loans. Did they mean that as a joke?
costs plague some state-run health insurance markets. State-run health insurance
markets that offer coverage under President Barack Obama's health law are struggling with high costs
and disappointing enrollment.
the 'Affordable' Care Act? Suckers! You remember how the average family was going to
save $2,500 a year on "health care," and how if you liked your plan and your doctor, you could keep
them, right? After all, the president of these United States looked us right in the eye and told us
so. Well, that was then — the baited hook to get us to fall for the scheme —
and this is now.
blamed for insurer mega-mergers amid premium hike fears. A new wave of insurance mega-mergers is fueling fears that
ObamaCare is crushing competition. Despite initial claims that the law would bring down costs, Republican critics and others
say it's driving the industry to consolidate — which could end up costing consumers more. "Without question, the enactment
of ObamaCare has prompted increased consolidation in the health care industry," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob
Goodlatte, R-Va., said in a statement Thursday [7/23/2015], announcing hearings on health care industry competition.
newest Obamacare fail: penalties of $36,500 per worker. Hey, employers, don't even
think about reimbursing your workers' health-insurance premiums. Beginning this month, the IRS
can levy fines amounting to $100 per worker per day or $36,500 per worker per year, with a maximum
of $500,000 per firm. This Internal Revenue Service penalty is not written into the Obamacare
law. The amount is over 12 times the statutory amount in the Affordable Care Act of $3,000 per
worker per year. That is what an employer is charged when one of its employees gets subsidized care
on one of the health-care exchanges. It's 18 times the $2,000 penalty for not offering adequate
did billions in Obamacare grants go? The Government Accountability Office charged the
Obama administration and many state-run healthcare exchanges with not adequately tracking federal
funding, according to a report in the libertarian Reason magazine on Monday [7/20/2015]. The GAO
report, which is still in draft form, comes as the administration is taking heat for not properly
screening fake Obamacare applications.
Tries to Blame Insurers For Coming ObamaCare Rate Shocks. President Obama is already
pointing the finger of blame at greedy insurance companies for what many expect will be huge
ObamaCare premium hikes when people go to sign up for their 2016 health insurance. On his
ObamaCare victory tour last week after the Supreme Court ruling on insurance subsidies, Obama
bragged at an event in Tennessee about the many wonderful aspects of the law, including the fact
that "we're actually seeing less health care inflation." But then a questioner had the temerity
to ask Obama about massive rate hikes in the state: [...]
Is Humana's CEO Praising ObamaCare As Rate Shocks Loom? Across the country, health
insurers are asking for huge ObamaCare premium increases, blaming new costs imposed by the law.
So why is a top industry CEO praising ObamaCare as being great for consumers?
Insurance Companies Seek Big Rate Increases for 2016. Health insurance companies around the
country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new
customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected. Federal officials say
they are determined to see that the requests are scaled back. Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans —
market leaders in many states — are seeking rate increases that average 23 percent in Illinois,
25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee and 54 percent in
Minnesota, according to documents posted online by the federal government and state insurance commissioners and
interviews with insurance executives.
Committee Demands Emails About Oregon's Failed $305 Million Obamacare Exchange. The
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform earlier this month demanded the Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS) hand over all documents related to Oregon's failed $305 million
Obamacare exchange, known as Cover Oregon. The Letter sent to HHS "questions about the use of
federal funds to develop Cover Oregon remain" amid allegations that control over the exchange was
given to campaign consultants concerned with getting then-Gov. Kitzhaber reelected, not fixing the
many faults of the system.
Obamacare Nightmare Is Just Beginning. The driving force behind health reform has been
the desire to control rising health-care costs. From 2008 onwards, President Obama promised that his
reform agenda would reduce the annual cost for the typical American family by no less than $2,500.
After a while, it became a rather tiresome talking point. But it was pure nonsense from the start.
Health-care spending increases were slowing down well before Congress enacted Obamacare. But with the
onset of Obamacare, health-insurance premiums in the exchanges jumped by double digits, while deductibles
increased dramatically. If you liked your doctor, you would be able to keep you doctor, the president
insisted, but maybe not, in reality, depending upon whether or not your physician networks narrowed.
Looking toward 2016, health insurers say premium costs will soar.
California's ObamaCare Exchange, Failure Gets You a 27% Raise, Plus Bonus. The
1.4 million who signed up for an ObamaCare plan through Covered California, and who
are paying a $13.95 fee every month for the privilege, might be interested to learn that Executive
Director Peter Lee just got a 26.8% raise, plus a $65,000 bonus, which is bigger than the $53,000
bonus he received last year. To put this in perspective, Lee's base salary of $333,120
is 49% higher than the average health insurance CEO in the country, and 69% higher than all
the CEOs in California, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. We don't begrudge
people for being well compensated for their success. But in this case, Lee is being
rewarded by Covered California for what looks like a rather astounding string of failures.
More Reasons To Get Rid Of ObamaCare, Hidden In The CBO Report. ObamaCare advocates
tout a new Congressional Budget Office report saying that ObamaCare's repeal would boost the
deficit. But read the actual report. It tells a far different, more disturbing tale about
this law. The report found that repealing ObamaCare lock, stock and barrel would boost the deficit
by $353 billion. That was enough for news outlets like CNN to report that repeal would "blow
out the deficit." Actually, given that the CBO expects deficits to total $7.2 trillion over
those same years, the increase is more like a rounding error than a blowout. But what the CBO's
latest analysis does is provide three more reasons ObamaCare is a bad deal for the American public.
the Supreme Court Rules, ObamaCare Is In Deep Financial Trouble. By 2025, the CBO
says, ObamaCare will cut Medicare spending by $153 billion. That's equal to 73% of what the CBO
expects the exchange subsidies and the Medicaid expansion will cost in that year. By comparison,
planned Medicare spending cuts will cover only 24% of ObamaCare's subsidy costs in 2016.
No one believes these Medicare cuts — which involve mainly payment cuts to doctors
and hospitals — will happen. Medicare's board of trustees, the Government Accountability
Office and Medicare's chief actuary have all warned they are unrealistic and unsustainable over the long term.
plans headed for 'modest' rate hikes, report says. The average insurance premium under
ObamaCare is probably not headed toward a double-digit hike next year, new data shows. Premiums
for silver plans on the federal insurance exchanges are slated to increase an average of 5.8 percent
in the eight states where all data is available, according to an analysis by Avalere Health. For
the lowest-cost silver plans, that increase will be 4.5 percent, or an average of $378 per year.
loss would be Americans' gain. Last week health insurers announced they will hike premiums on Obamacare plans by
double digits in 2016. That's not a problem for consumers eligible for Obamacare's taxpayer-funded subsidies. Their
cost is calculated based on their income. It's you — the taxpayers — who get gouged when premiums
are hiked, because you foot the bill for the subsidies. That makes the Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell, expected
some day this month, even more consequential. It will determine the fate of these subsidies. Without them, Obamacare
buyers in 37 states will have to pay the actual — and unaffordable — sticker price of Obamacare.
And taxpayers will be off the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.
Hospitals Say They Will Lose $1 Billion Due to State's Obamacare Exchange. Hospitals in Kentucky are
hemorrhaging money and laying off staff, all thanks to the KYNECT Affordable Care Act state health care exchange,
according to a report from the Kentucky Hospital Association. Those losses will only get worse over the coming
years, the hospitals say.
Obamacare's Revenge. New
York City's unionized municipal employees and retirees enjoy some of the most expansive —
and expensive — health-insurance benefits in the country. But in 2018, Obamacare's tax on
such generous plans will finally kick in, and public-sector union plans will be the first hit by the
so-called Cadillac Tax. How much the penalty will amount to remains unknown, but one thing's for
sure: New Yorkers will wind up footing the bill.
Vermont, Frustrations Mount Over Affordable Care Act. The online insurance marketplace that Vermont built
to enroll people in private coverage under the law had extensive technical failures. The problems soured public
and legislative enthusiasm for sweeping health care changes just as Gov. Peter Shumlin needed to build support for his
complex single-payer plan. Finally, Mr. Shumlin, a Democrat, shelved the plan in December, citing the high cost
to taxpayers. He called the decision "the greatest disappointment of my political life."
Ready For The Unaffordable Obamacare Premium Rate Hikes. Just as the deadline is about to hit for
insurers to post their health insurance rates, Obamacare is ensuring that premiums skyrocket once again.
Already, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as Obamacare, is back in the headlines as rates were
announced to increase on Louisianians by about 24 percent. On a dozen of select plans for health
insurance, the Obama administration has already approved increases of 60.5 percent, 48.8 percent and
20 percent. In Tennessee, Blue Cross Blue Shield is looking to hike health care premiums a whopping
2016 sticker shock. Health insurers are proposing to raise Obamacare rates more than
in the past — some by more than 70 percent — now that they are finally
equipped with all the information they need to price those plans. Plans wanting to raise rates
by at least 10 percent next year posted the proposed increase online Monday, as required by the
2010 healthcare law. Insurers are allowed to raise rates each year, but they must publish
significant increases ahead of time.
Hikes Prove ObamaCare Isn't Affordable. It may be hard to remember it at times, but
the official name of President Obama's signature health care legislation is the Affordable Care Act,
not ObamaCare. That moniker was affixed to the monstrosity passed by the Democratic Congress in 2010
in the hope that it would lower health care costs even though few of its architects had any idea of
what it would actually mean. For the initial period of its launch, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's
famous comment about the bill needing to be passed before anyone knew what was in it, primarily
applied to the impact that the various mandates it imposed on businesses, institutions, and
individuals would have on the country. But now it is increasingly clear that whatever it might have
accomplished in allowing some to acquire insurance while causing millions of others to lose their
coverage, the one thing we know for sure that it hasn't done is lower costs.
ObamaCare Rate Hikes Are Sign Of Worse Things To Come. When rate increases came in
last year and seemed relatively mild, they were treated as proof positive that the law was
succeeding. [...] But as IBD and others have noted, ObamaCare's insurance regulations virtually
guaranteed a rate spiral. The reason is that ObamaCare bans insurance companies from denying
coverage or charging more for those who have pre-existing conditions. We pointed out that several
states had already tried these "guaranteed issue" and "community rating" reforms, and they'd been a
disaster. Higher premiums encouraged the young and healthy to forgo insurance, knowing that they
could sign up after they got sick, which drove premiums still higher. ObamaCare was supposed
to avoid this fate by heavily subsidizing insurance premiums and imposing a tax penalty for going
uninsured, to get the young and healthy to sign up and keep premiums down.
seeks high premium increases for individual health plans. Highmark Inc. wants to raise
premium prices by as much as 39 percent for individual policies to offset steep financial losses
from selling those plans under the Affordable Care Act. The state's largest health insurer is
asking Pennsylvania regulators to approve the rate increases, which range from 23 percent to
39 percent depending on the policy, for plans it would sell next year on the health law's
New Report Finds
Obamacare Overhead to Cost $273 Billion. Obamacare will be responsible for $273.6 billion
in new administrative costs between now and 2022 according to a new report released by Health Affairs Blog.
As the researchers note, this means Obamacare overhead accounts for an average of $1,375 per newly insured person
per year. [...] This is not the first time Obamacare has left the American people on the hook for billions of dollars
in unneccesary costs. Since 2011, $5.4 billion in taxpayer money has gone to the states to set up
healthcare exchanges. This money was given away with zero oversight and no strings attached and so it should
not be surprising to hear that numerous states have wasted billions in taxpayer money on unworkable Obamacare websites.
ObamaCare Premiums Spiral, Dems Push Costly New Mandates. The list of states reporting
enormous rate hike requests for ObamaCare plans next year grows by the day, as state commissioners
release the rate proposals they've received from insurers for the next open enrollment. Last
week, IBD reported that BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee wants to jack up its ObamaCare premiums by
more than 36%; CareFirst in Maryland by close to 30%; and Moda Health in Oregon by almost 50%.
Since then, North Dakota has reported rate hike requests of 43%, Kansas 38% and Iowa 18%.
advocates seek to fix problem they made worse. The problem is that the deductibles on
many Americans' health insurance policies have shot up so high that as a practical matter they can't
afford care. If a couple had a deductible of, say, $500 in the past, and it's now $3,000, that
couple has to spend a lot of money out-of-pocket before reaping the benefits of coverage. And the
higher the deductible, the more likely a person is going to skip some sort of needed treatment or
medicine because he or she can't afford the up-front costs. "About a quarter of all non-elderly
Americans with private insurance coverage do not have sufficient liquid assets to pay even a
mid-range deductible, which at today's rates would be $1,200 for single coverage and $2,400 for
family coverage," the Wall Street Journal reported in March.
Shock for Some Obamacare Customers. So the proposed 2016 Obamacare rates have been filed in many states,
and in many states, the numbers are eye-popping. Market leaders are requesting double-digit increases in a lot
of places. Some of the biggest are really double-digit: 51 percent in New Mexico, 36 percent in
Tennessee, 30 percent in Maryland, 25 percent in Oregon. The reason? They say that with a full
year of claims data under their belt for the first time since Obamacare went into effect, they're finding the insurance
pool was considerably older and sicker than expected.
Ready For Another
Obamacare Price Hike? In July of 2009, as the Obamacare debate was heating up, Gallup
published a survey indicating that 83 percent of Americans wanted health care reform to make their
health insurance more affordable. Now, more than five years after the President's "signature
domestic achievement" was passed, health insurance premiums are higher than ever. And it's obvious
that Obamacare is a major driver of the increase. The Wall Street Journal reports that
insurers are proposing rate increases ranging from 25 to 51 percent for 2016. Why?
"All of them cite high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act."
Anticipate Significant 2016 Obamacare Premium Hikes. [Scroll down] "Things just
haven't worked out" sounds like a plausible slogan for the law. [Philip] Klein notes that based
on the administration's own data, sign-ups among healthy young adults are nowhere near White House
projections, and that overall enrollment is lagging far behind the pace needed to hit stated goals.
Says Aloha To Its $205 Million ObamaCare Exchange. After taking $205 million in
federal grants to build its own ObamaCare exchange, Hawaii is making plans to shut it down before
the next open enrollment. The exchange, called Hawaii Health Connector, never had much of a
chance. In addition to its huge startup costs, its operating costs were far too high, given
that only a little more than 12,000 people are enrolled.
The Government Did
WHAT With $300 Million? As reported in the last "Oregon Trial" dispatch, it's not only
possible but likely that the state of Oregon scuttled the launch of a functional Obamacare website
for political reasons, after wasting $300 million in federal taxpayer dollars. That's
right: the total earnings of 300 working American lifetimes just tossed aside like it was
nothing. This happened because a corrupt governor badly wanted to win reelection for a fourth
term. He pulled it off last November, and lasted all of 38 days of the new term before resigning.
Exchanges Are A Model Of Failure. [S]tate-run exchanges were supposed to form the beating
heart of ObamaCare. And the Obama administration dumped almost $5 billion in an effort to
make it a reality. The results have been a disaster. Of the 37 states that received
$2.1 billion in grants to establish an exchange, only 17 did so, and they got an additional
$2.7 billion from the feds. Of those 17, two went bankrupt in the first year. One
of them, Oregon, had received a $60 million "early innovator grant." Residents of those
states now use the federal Healthcare.gov site.
Obamacare expansion costs $3 billion in first 15 months. Americans' tax burden is
already $3 billion heavier because of Ohio Gov. John Kasich's expansion of Medicaid under
Obamacare. By putting more able-bodied, working-age childless adults on Medicaid than Kasich
projected, Obamacare expansion is reducing incentives to work and threatening traditional Medicaid
recipients' access to care faster and at greater cost than anticipated.
Tax Shock Is Far Worse Than Predicted. H&R Block now figures that two-thirds of
ObamaCare enrollees who got subsidies had to pay at least some of it back. And the average payback
was $729. So roughly 5.5 million ObamaCare enrollees had to return, on average, almost a quarter
of their premium subsidies. Given that these subsidies are available only to families with modest
incomes, that's got to hurt. Why all the subsidy mistakes? Because ObamaCare uses a Rube
Goldberg subsidy scheme that requires enrollees to predict next year's income.
'Total Cost' to the Individual of ObamaCare. The cost of healthcare in the U.S. as a percentage of the
gross domestic product (GDP) was 13.8 percent in 2000 and 16.8 percent in 2008. So in eight years,
spending on healthcare went from being less than one-seventh of the entire economy to being more than one-sixth.
Might it become one-fifth?
Math Is Hard For Obamacarians.
If you are masochistic enough to read the "reporting" of the legacy media on Obamacare, you will
have noticed a spate of recent stories with titles like the following from CNBC: "Health spending
post-Obamacare seen $2.5 trillion lower." This headline is not only awkwardly worded.
It is, like the article over which it appears, misleading. It misrepresents a new study from the
left-leaning Urban Institute concerning projected health care spending in a way that suggests the nation
has saved enormous amounts of money thanks to the "Affordable Care Act." This is absurd, of course,
but it highlights an underappreciated element of the health care reform debate — the adversarial
relationship that exists between Obamacare's partisans in the press and basic statistics.
Caused Health Insurance Rates to Go Up By 50% On Average. Remember how Barack Obama
claimed that all our insurance rates would go down? Heck, at one point he even claimed he'd save
Americans $2,500 a year. Well, it turns out that his Obamacare law caused expenses to soar
by over 50% on average and for some more than that. Yes, Obama lied again.
Has Led to Higher Insurance Premiums. It's been five years since the Affordable Care
Act became law, but only two since most of its provisions went into effect. As its detractors
predicted, Obamacare's implementation led to a large, immediate rise in health insurance premiums.
This is hardly surprising: The law required that a broad swath of treatments be fully insured,
thus deepening the moral hazard problems that have long plagued the American health insurance system.
Heritage Foundation microsimulation analysis of the 2015 health insurance offerings on the ACA exchanges
found that the sharp 2014 price spike was not reversed.
hasn't aged well. As time has gone on, more and more of the promises of the healthcare
law have been proven false. When Obama pitched the legislation to lawmakers and the public in a
speech to a joint session of Congress in September 2009, he said it would cost "around $900 billion
over 10 years." Yet that cost estimate depended on an accounting gimmick — because the
major spending provisions didn't kick in until 2014, it was essentially a six-year cost estimate.
According to the most recent Congressional Budget Office projections, the law is going to cost $1.7 trillion
over the next 10 years. That much spending, has, indisputably, increased the number of Americans
with health insurance by millions, but that wasn't supposed to be the only purpose of the law.
Premiums Jumped 23% This Year — After Subsidies. President Obama has talked
a lot in recent months about how health care inflation has moderated in recent years, and he always
manages to credit ObamaCare for the result. But there is rampant inflation in one part of the
health care system, and ironically enough it involves ObamaCare premiums. According to official
government data, the average premium paid by those signing up through the federal Healthcare.gov
site this year was $101 a month, after factoring in the subsidies. Last year, however, the
average premium, net of subsidies, was $82. That's a 23% increase.
$340 million, Barack Obama owns world record for most expensive music videos ever.
Oregon's new governor, Democrat Kate Brown, dissolved Cover Oregon and transferred its duties to a
state agency. From its onset, though, Cover Oregon was a dismal failure. It couldn't sign up
Oregonians for months after its initial launch due to tech failures, which forced state residents to submit
paper applications for coverage. When the agency ironed out some of its tech problems, it only
signed up less than a quarter of its goal. The dissolution comes after $340 million in total
spending, including $300 million in federal dollars. But the saga's not done yet. The state
and federal government may pay up to $30 million to bring Oregon onto the federal exchange.
premiums to significantly spike: CBO. Obamacare exchange customers could see a
significant spike in their premiums over the next few years as insurers face pressures from both the
government and the marketplace, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday in a new analysis
finding Obamacare is both cheaper and less comprehensive than predicted. The CBO said the
exchanges and other new medical coverage under the Affordable Care Act will cost the government
slightly more than half a trillion dollars over the next five years, which is about $200 billion
less than than the $710 billion projected when the law was enacted in 2010.
Court ruling could increase Obamacare premiums 700 percent. If the government loses in
a major Obamacare challenge before the Supreme Court, it will result in premium increases of up to
700 percent for nearly 8 million people, a new analysis claims. [...] If the subsidies are illegal,
average monthly premium contributions for about 7.5 million people could increase between 122 and
774 percent, depending on the state, according to Avalere. Residents in Alaska and Mississippi
would have the highest increases, the think tank said.
Poorest Obamacare Enrollees Face $530 IRS Tax Bill. The majority (52 percent) of
Obamacare enrollees receiving an advance premium tax credit to purchase Obamacare insurance is facing
the prospect of paying back $530 of that tax credit to the IRS, according to a new study from H&R Block.
This clawback is reducing the refunds for these taxpayers by 17 percent this filing season.
Under Obamacare, taxpayers earning between 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level
are eligible to receive a tax credit to help purchase insurance on Obamacare exchanges. This
tax credit is calculated using old tax data of the recipients. The credit is advanced ahead of
time to the taxpayer's insurance company. The taxpayer must reconcile at tax time the advance credit
received with the actual credit [he or] she is eligible for.
costs a fortune. Whenever I write about ObamaCare's expansion of health insurance,
most of the emails I get from readers include some version of: Sure, the premiums may be low, but
who can afford to see a doctor? A survey released [last week] by the Kaiser Family Foundation,
tracking 2015 deductibles and copayments across most exchange plans, says those complaints are at
least half right. For all but the most generous ObamaCare plans, out-of-pocket payments are
usually higher than for employer-based insurance — in some cases, drastically so.
Co-Ops Cost Taxpayers $17,000 Per Enrollee. More than 500,000 people enrolled in
health plans offered by nonprofit insurance companies created under the Affordable Care Act.
And with the co-ops receiving an average of $108.7 million from the federal government, taxpayer-backed
funding per enrollee topped $17,000. Twenty-three co-ops received a total of $2.5 billion from
the federal government and enrolled more than 520,000 people in plans through September. However, an
analysis conducted by The Daily Signal published yesterday found that just one, Maine Community Health
Options, was profitable last year.
In The Numbers: Obamacare's Costs Are Climbing, Not Receding. Late last month, the
Congressional Budget Office reported that the provisions within Obamacare expanding access to
insurance coverage would cost 20% less than the agency estimated in 2010, when the law passed.
The White House was ecstatic. "The estimates released today by CBO once again confirm the progress
we've made," said deputy press secretary Eric Schultz. Taxpayers, however, should worry. A closer
look at the CBO's numbers shows that Obamacare is growing much more expensive — and disruptive.
taxes looming, time to repeal ObamaCare's individual mandate. The individual mandate
in ObamaCare has been able to lay low as the actual financial impact of this draconian, socialistic
aspect of President Obama's signature policy, forced on the nation with the support of only
Democrats, comes to fruition. For the uninsured and underinsured, the new tax penalty
will come as a surprise, or even a shock.
program costs $50,000 in taxpayer money for every American who gets health insurance.
The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization's new
ten-year budget outlook. The best-case scenario described by the CBO would result in 'between
24 million and 27 million' fewer Americans being uninsured in 2025, compared to the year
before the Affordable Care Act took effect. Pulling that off will cost Uncle Sam about
$1.35 trillion — or $50,000 per head.
Obamacare costs $50,000 per taxpayer.
It will cost the federal government — taxpayers, that is — $50,000 for every
person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget Office revealed
on Monday [1/26/2015]. The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the
nonpartisan organization's new ten-year budget outlook.
To Cost $50,000 Per Person. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
said it will cost about $50,000 per person to insure every American under the Affordable Care Act
(ACA) — otherwise known as Obamacare.
Still Refuses to Score Obamacare, Ignores 15 Tax Hikes in Healthcare Law. The Congressional
Budget Office (CBO) this week released their annual Budget and Economic Outlook which sets the budget
baselines and estimates for the whole year. Buried in Appendix B of the report is CBO's attempt
to provide an updated score of Obamacare. But that's not what they did. They only scored the
"coverage provisions" of the law, ignoring some fifteen tax increases which are also a part of Obamacare
and its cost to taxpayers.
received $3.2 billion in Obamacare premium subsidies. Californians received $3.2 billion
in Obamacare premium subsidies during the rollout of the federal health law last year. That federal
aid went to about 800,000 California households, state officials said Monday [1/26/2015]. Those
individuals and families paid $1.1 billion in premiums themselves, meaning for every dollar they
spent the federal government paid an additional $3 to their health insurer. Nearly 90% of
enrollees in the Covered California exchange qualified for financial help based on their income.
The average monthly subsidy was $436 per household, according to the state.
Professors Grumble About ObamaCare Costs. It seems that ivory tower professors at
Harvard, where health experts helped craft the law, are now grumbling about the impact ObamaCare is
having on their pocketbooks. [...] As the New York Times reports, Harvard provided ridiculously
generous benefits to its faculty, with no deductible and no coinsurance, features common to just
about every other health plan on the market. Now these poor souls face a $250 deductible and
out-of-pocket costs that could top out at $1,500.
Obamacare: The Real
Pain Starts This Year. Obamacare was designed such that its most harmful provisions
would not be implemented until after the President had been returned to office for a second term and
his Democrat accomplices had been reelected to their congressional seats. Fortunately for the
nation, the latter part of that strategy was a spectacular failure. Nonetheless, it did provide the
public with a temporary reprieve from the health care law's most painful exactions. That brief
respite is now at an end. This year, you will begin to experience the realities of "reform" first
hand and you are not going to like how it feels.
Ahead. Among other recently revealed shortcomings — according to the
Kaiser Family Foundation's Employer Health Benefits, 2014 Annual Survey ("Employee Cost
Sharing" chapter) — the average deductible for individual plans has climbed from $826 in
2009 to $1,217 in 2014. This is an average annual increase of approximately 8.1 percent on Obama's
watch. Also, a Commonwealth Fund survey discovered that 40 percent of working-age adults have
skipped medical treatments because they cost too much.
Millions of Obamacare
subsidy recipients may need to pay back-taxes. [Scroll down] No, the problem for Democrats here
is that this is going to happen every year. The system is more or less designed to assume that people
would twiddle with their coverage on a regular basis: as plans changed, improved, or degraded the consumer would
be obligated to follow suit, in order to keep the subsidy. This sounds perfectly reasonable... if you're
not the one doing it. But out in the real world? [...]
over deductibles: Costs crippling middle class. Physician Praveen Arla is witnessing a
reversal of health care fortunes: Poor, long-uninsured patients are getting Medicaid through
Obamacare and finally coming to his office for care. But middle-class workers are increasingly
staying away. "It's flip-flopped," says Arla, who helps his father run a family practice in
Hillview, Kentucky. Patients with job-based plans, he says, will say: "'My deductible is
so high. I'm trying to come to the doctor as little as possible. ... What is the minimum I can
get done?' They're really worried about cost."
surprise looming. Obamacare enrollees who received subsidies to help pay for coverage
will soon have to reconcile how much they actually earned in 2014 with how much they estimated when
they applied many, many months ago. This will likely lead to some very unhappy Americans.
Those who underestimated their income either will receive smaller tax refunds or will owe the IRS money.
Annus Horribilis. President Candy Land promised that he'd "lower premiums by up to
$2,500 for a typical family per year." But premiums for people in the individual market for health
insurance have spiked over the last year. In fact, Forbes health policy journalist Avik Roy and the
Manhattan Institute analyzed 3,137 counties and found that individual market premiums rose an average of
dollars at work: 87% of new Obamacare users given federal aid. Some 87 percent of
people who just signed up for Obamacare are getting financial assistance to lower their premiums,
according to the Department of Health and Human Services. That is a jump from 80 percent during
the last open enrollment period. The department did not say how much it was offering to new Obamcare
enrollees or what the total bill to taxpayers would be.
government fines for skipping medical insurance in America will climb in 2015. Being
uninsured in America will cost you more in 2015. It's the first year all taxpayers have to report
to the Internal Revenue Service whether they had health insurance for the previous year, as required
under President Barack Obama's law. Those who were uninsured face fines, unless they qualify for
one of about 30 exemptions, most of which involve financial hardships.
wins $563M contract to run HealthCare.gov. The Obama administration has awarded
Accenture — the technology company that swooped in to help revive HealthCare.gov at the
start of this year — a five-year, $563 million contract to continue its work on the
federal Obamacare exchange, the company said Monday [12/29/2014]. Reeling from a disastrous
rollout of the federal website, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in January
dropped a key contractor on the project, CGI Federal, and selected Accenture Federal Services to
rehabilitate and build out the portal.
fines loom for uninsured. People without insurance are running out of time to avoid
the hefty ObamaCare penalties that the IRS will be handing down in 2016. Consumers face a Feb. 15,
2015, deadline to buy insurance, after which those without coverage could be hit with fines of $325 per adult
or 2 percent of family income, whichever is higher.
Spending by the Numbers, 2014. Obamacare's new spending will cost more than $1.8 trillion
over the next decade for its massive expansion of Medicaid and subsidies for those purchasing health insurance
in the new exchanges. There are 36 states currently relying on the federal exchange to facilitate their
enrollment, for which the federal government has spent an estimated $800 million. The 14 states
and the District of Colombia that are operating exchanges have received over $4 billion in grant money to
help build them. However, the long-term costs of operating the Obamacare exchanges rest squarely on the states.
sticker shock fears: Government pleads with Americans to shop around. The administration is trying to
preempt Obamacare sticker shock in 2015 by pleading with Americans to shop around in the marketplaces instead of
automatically re-enrolling in the health plans they chose last year. Officials said Thursday [12/4/2014]
those who don't look around and compare plans during open enrollment could see their costs rise because the
so-called benchmark plans are more expensive this year.
whopping Cadillac tax under fire. Of all the taxes in ObamaCare, none is more onerous
than the whopping 40 percent Cadillac tax on the more generous employer-provided health care plans,
which often are union plans. The now-famous former outside adviser on ObamaCare, Jonathan Gruber
of MIT, spoke about the Cadillac tax before an audience at the Pioneer Institute in 2011, saying,
"It turns out politically, it's really hard to get rid of. And the only way we could get rid of it
was first by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when
we all know it's a tax on people who hold those insurance plans."
rude Obamacare surprise awaits. Taxes are bad enough when you know they're
coming — and much worse when they arrive unexpectedly. As the Affordable Care Act
enters its second year of operability, a key and controversial element of the plan will begin to
affect several million Americans for the first time. People who didn't have health insurance during
2014 may soon have to pay a penalty fee that starts at $95 and goes up based on how much you earn.
Some Americans know about the penalty, and they've budgeted for it or at least accepted its inevitability.
But several million others could be in for a rude surprise when Washington assesses a fee they didn't even
know was coming.
Jonathan Gruber, Badly. The health care law assesses a hefty 40 percent tax on costly,
so-called "Cadillac" insurance plans exceeding $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family.
However, Obamacare is structured such that the Cadillac tax is pinned to CPI inflation rather than
medical inflation. Since the latter is much higher, over time the Cadillac tax would end up
being a big tax hike on the middle class.
fines for non-enrollment triple for coming year. Recall that conservatives had been
warning not enough of these young people have been signing up to pay for these more expensive
enrollees. The people who need to be forced to sign up are the young people who don't use health
care. These young people — especially young men — have to be forced to pay
into the system while not taking anything out. Young men almost never use health care, so they are
the perfect serfs for this government controlled health care plan.
2015: Higher costs, higher penalties. With the Affordable Care Act to start enrollment
for its second year on Nov. 15, some unpleasant surprises may be in store for some. That's
because a number of low-priced Obamacare plans will raise their rates in 2015, making those options
less affordable. On top of that, penalties for failing to secure a health-insurance plan will rise
steeply next year, which could take a big bite out of some families' pocketbooks. "The penalty is
meant to incentivize people to get coverage," said senior analyst Laura Adams of InsuranceQuotes.com.
"This year, I think a lot of people are going to be in for a shock."
ObamaCare deductibles send enrollees in search of free care. Fox News first reported
the issue, pointing to places like Denton, Texas, as one example. Denton is a suburb of Dallas,
Texas. Dr. Flippo Masciarelli, chief physician at the community care center there, told Fox News
that some patients' deductibles "are so elevated that they can't afford them." Alyene Senger,
research associate at The Heritage Foundation's Center for Health Policy Studies, tells OneNewsNow
that some deductibles are quite substantial. "The most popular ObamaCare plan, the Silver plan,
has an average deductible of over $2,700," she says.
Ways ObamaCare Hides Its Costs. Far from making insurance costs more transparent,
ObamaCare appears to be making it more difficult to assess the true cost of any insurance plan.
To keep premiums down, for example, many plans adopted narrow provider networks, forcing patients
either to go to the short list of approved doctors and hospitals, or to pay out of pocket. A
McKinsey survey found that the share of individual market plans with narrow networks jumped from 20%
before ObamaCare went into effect to 41% this year, with 15% now using "ultranarrow" networks.
ObamaCare patients with high deductibles turning to community care centers. When
ObamaCare patients learn their deductible is so high they're unlikely to get any reimbursement, they
often wind up in places like the Denton, Texas Community Care Center. "There are quite a few, and
I saw another one today, where their deductibles are so elevated that they can't afford them," said
Dr. Flippo Masciarelli, chief physician at the center, which was designed to treat indigent
patients. Robert Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associates noted, "You're going to the
doctor, you're paying (a) premium, and because of this really high deductible, you're not getting
any benefits." The administration pushed insurance companies to keep premiums low, but that also
created high deductibles, about $5,000 per person for the least expensive plan, as well as narrow
networks of providers.
sends health premiums skyrocketing by as much as 78 percent. The Affordable Care Act
was supposed to make health care more affordable, but a study of insurance policies before and after
Obamacare shows that average premiums have skyrocketed, for some groups by as much as 78 percent.
Average insurance premiums in the sought-after 23-year-old demographic rose most dramatically, with
men in that age group seeing an average 78.2 percent price increase before factoring in government
subsidies, and women having their premiums rise 44.9 percent, according to a report by HealthPocket
scheduled for release Wednesday [10/29/2014].
Enrollment Delays Hide Insurance Cost Hikes Till After Elections. On October 1st of
last year, ObamaCare's inaugural enrollment period launched with all of the grace of a rocket
exploding on its launch pad. Double-digit premium hikes, cancelled plans, and non-functioning
websites caused misery for millions, leaving even supporters of the law lacking for words at times.
This October there is silence, with few outside of the beltway focused on anything to do with
ObamaCare. Has the system been fixed — is ObamaCare working? Not at all.
to Meet the Deductible or the Doctor. Patricia Wanderlich got insurance through the
Affordable Care Act this year, and with good reason: She suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2011,
spending weeks in a hospital intensive care unit, and has a second, smaller aneurysm that needs
monitoring. But her new plan has a $6,000 annual deductible, meaning that Ms. Wanderlich, who
works part time at a landscaping company outside Chicago, has to pay for most of her medical
services up to that amount. She is skipping this year's brain scan and hoping for the best.
customers afraid to use their benefits due to sky-high deductibles. It must have pained the New York Times to publish its
article about how many ObamaCare customers fear to make use of their taxpayer-subsidized, hyper-regulated benefits because the deductibles are
so high. It's a devastating indictment of the Affordable Care Act, cutting deep into the very small number of Americans who actually
find the ACA somewhat useful.
How Much Will Obamacare
Cost? Bet on 'More Than Expected'. Back in 2009, it was really important to President Obama that
people understand he would not "sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the
future. Period." He sold the plan as costing about $938 billion in its first decade of operation
(2010 through 2019) but saving about $143 billion overall because of the various taxes and other revenue it
raised. A 2012 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report figured that Obamacare would shave $109 billion
off the deficit between 2013 and 2022. This past June, however, the CBO said it will no longer try to
estimate the law's effects on the deficit. There have been too many delays, postponements, modifications,
you name it, to the original bill.
Bronze Plan Premiums To Jump 14% In 2015. ObamaCare shoppers in search of the lowest-cost plan may come down with a mild
case of rate shock when 2015 exchange enrollment begins next month. An examination of next year's rates in the biggest city in
15 states and Washington, D.C., reveals that the cost of the cheapest bronze plan will jump an average of 13.9% for 40-year-old
non-smokers earning 225% of the poverty level ($26,260).
November Surprise. Only in November will Americans learn how much their health care
costs will rise after the implementation of President Obama's "signature" legislative
accomplishment, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Of course, the
administration doesn't admit that it is waiting until after voters cast their November ballots to
give them a nasty post-election "surprise." As the Washington Times notes, there are some states in
which word is already leaking out. Those happen to be states with hotly contested Senate contests.
can find out your 2015 Obamacare premiums after the election. Citizens will have the
opportunity to line up at their laptops once again and enroll in the program which will provide them
with some sort of health insurance (no matter how much it costs or if they can even afford it) and
avoid having their government hit them with a cash penalty for not being able to afford insurance in
the first place. But there will be some differences this time.
documents suggest $1B Obamacare cost. The [Deval] Patrick Administration could spend
as much as $560 million in taxpayer dollars this year for free temporary Medicaid insurance plans
for the hundreds of thousands of Bay Staters unable to sign up for Obama-care through the state's
disastrous website, according to confidential documents obtained by the Herald. The internal
working papers — marked "confidential draft" and confirmed by state officials last
night — show the cost of the temporary Medicaid plans for fiscal 2015 could reach as high
as $560.2 million. That figure — which would be covered by both state and federal
taxpayers — was listed on documents used by the state as it negotiates a Medicaid waiver
with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Plant Manager to Obama: Why Are Health Care Costs Rising? President Obama held a
town hall yesterday [10/3/2014] in Indiana, and faced a question from a steel plant manager about
rising health care costs. [...] The man said, "One of the questions I had is about the health care
costs. We are seeing almost a double-digit increase in health care costs every year. So do you think
that trends will go down and what can we do to control that trend?" Obama answered, "The question
is whether you guys are shopping effectively enough, because it turns out that this year, and in fact
over the course of the last four years, premiums have gone up at the slowest rate in 50 years."
Is Coming! $2.1 Billion for Obamacare Enrollment System Alone. According to a Bloomberg Government Analysis, the
Obamacare enrollment system didn't cost the roughly $834,000 claimed by our administration. It cost a whopping $2.1 billion.
I guess we should be grateful it's not a trillion. People have to understand that it's not just wasteful, it's money that
would have been used for our healthcare that won't be used for its intended purpose. The government will have to ration
care because of their inefficiency and overall problem with corruption. The government figure was untruthful. They
don't count all the money they spend. They spread it around to hide their inefficiency.
refunds will be cut for ACA recipients. A significant benefit of the Affordable Care Act is the opportunity to receive
money-saving tax credits up front to cut the overall cost of health insurance, but now hundreds of thousands of consumers could owe back
some of that money next April. Those affected took advance payments of the premium tax credit for health insurance. Some
married couples could owe $600 or $1,500 or $2,500 or even more. It might feel like a raw deal for some who are already
suffocating under the escalating costs of health insurance.
Replacing Obamacare Saves a
Lot of Money. Supporters of the Obama administration like to create the impression that there is no viable alternative to the
Affordable Care Act — i.e., Obamacare. But that is demonstrably not true. Republican senators Richard Burr, Tom Coburn,
and Orrin Hatch introduced a plan earlier this year that would cover just as many people with insurance as Obamacare at a fraction of the cost.
Now we have confirmation, in the form of a new cost estimate, that a similarly constructed but slightly different proposal would also cost less,
while covering nearly the same number of people.
Predicted Federal Exchange Website Would Cost Less Than That Of A Single State. It is
widely reported that taxpayers shelled out more than 500 million dollars to complete HealthCare.gov,
the federal government health insurance website created for states that did not establish their own
exchange under the Affordable Care Act (the "ACA" or '"Obamacare"). It is less widely reported that
the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") also handed out more than $4.8 billion of
taxpayer money to help states establish their own exchanges such as Covered California, New York
State of Health and Cover Oregon. What has not been reported is that in several states such as
Oregon, the original budget to develop a single state exchange was originally estimated to cost
substantially more than HealthCare.gov.
Expert: Obamacare's 'Quiet Summer' is About to End in a Big Way. One major reason for the enduring opposition is that the
[Obamacare] law has violated virtually every major promise erected in dishonest ideologues' sales pitch. Another is that an ongoing
parade of unpleasant developments continues to make headlines, including the recent revelation that Healthcare.gov was hacked last month.
Apologists can cherry-pick useful data points to try to convince the public that Obamacare is reducing premium costs and driving down costs,
but that's simply not the case. Individual market premiums exploded in 2014, and are expected to grow by roughly eight percent in 2015
(with many consumers confronting double-digit spikes) — to say nothing of high out-of-pocket costs and narrow coverage networks.
Early Preview of Obamacare Premiums Show
a 40% Spike in 2015. It is my sincere hope that one day conservatives will kick teachers' unions to the curb and retake
the nation's educational system. One of the first orders of business then would be to teach not only the genius of the American
founding but also the utter, repeated and unbroken failures of collectivism. Which brings me to Obamacare, a socialistic plan
sold on a panoply of lies and doomed from the outset to failure. Failure that even the Obama administration acknowledges, with
its serial and unlawful rewrites of the statute, along with delays and modifications to shield a complicit Democrat Party from enraged
Device Tax Grows More Devious. Business is not going well at the Internal Revenue Service. The agency
projected that it would collect $1.2 billion between April and September of last year from Obamacare's medical device
tax, which went into effect at the beginning of 2013. But the tax take was just three-quarters of that. Implementing
the tax has proven nightmarish. Administrative errors, overpayments, and erroneous penalties have grown common. And
these snafus are nothing compared to the havoc the device tax is beginning to wreak on the economy and the job market
paying the new Obamacare tax? You. When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, it
required health insurers, hospitals, device makers and pharmaceutical companies to share in the cost
because they would get a windfall of new, paying customers. But with an $8 billion tax on insurers
due Sept. 30 — the first time the new tax is being collected — the industry is
getting help from an unlikely source: taxpayers.
Bad News for the Middle Class and Their Health Care. The biggest "unforeseen" issue
arising with the poorly named Affordable Care Act is its effect on affordability of care. The
typical middle-class family, in order to afford the broader coverage necessitated by ObamaCare, is
having to choose a higher and higher deductible insurance plan. This is having a huge impact on a
patient's decision even to go to the doctor, much less survive the increased cost if he does find
himself needing care.
You Like Your Obamacare Plan, It'll Cost You. If you like your Obamacare plan, you can
keep it — but you might end up paying a whole lot more. People who decide to stick with
the coverage they've already gotten through Obamacare, rather than switching plans, are at risk for some of the
biggest premium spikes anywhere in the system. And some people won't even know their costs went up
until they get a bill from the IRS. Insurance plans generally raise their premiums every year, but those
costs are just the tip of the iceberg for millions of Obamacare enrollees. A series of other, largely
invisible factors will also push up many consumers' premiums.
rates could rise 13 percent next year, state says. Monthly premiums for the second
year of Obamacare health insurance plans are expected to rise an average of 13 percent, Florida
officials announced Monday [8/4/2014]. [...] After those subsidies are applied, the monthly cost will
range between $400 and 600 per family in most counties, according to the state analysis. "Even
with a federal subsidy, that could mean an out-of-pocket cost of $500 or more per month to have
coverage," the Florida office stated in a news release issued Monday.
insurers raise 2015 Fla. exchange rates. Florida Blue, the state's largest insurer,
is raising its premiums by an average of 18 percent.
ObamaCare Disaster in California. California's
experience with ObamaCare portends a dubious future for the nation. "The rate increase from 2013 to 2014, on average, was
significantly higher than rate increases in the past," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones at a news conference Tuesday
[7/29/2014]. Jones admitted that Californians endured premium rate increases ranging from 22 percent to 88 percent
from last year to this year. "The rate increase from 2013 to 2014, on average, was significantly higher than rate increases
in the past," Jones added.
Website Has Cost $840 Million. The Obama administration has spent roughly $840 million
on HealthCare.gov, including more than $150 million just in cost overruns for the version that failed so
badly when it launched last year. The Government Accountability Office says cost overruns went hand-in-hand
with the management failures that led to the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov and the 36 state insurance
exchanges it serves. GAO's report, prepared for a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Thursday [7/31/2014],
details a long series of management, oversight, and contracting problems that plagued the entire process, from
risky contracting practices in 2011 through the botched launch last October.
CBO Is Using Enron-Style Accounting On Obamacare. CBO has always been at the center of
a debate about how much we should trust these estimates and how much legislators should rely on them
in crafting policy. The larger the legislation, the more moving parts it has, the more difficult it
is to calculate the fiscal and economy-wide impacts. In the case of Obamacare, the sheer largeness
of the measure and its many factors contributed to a higher degree of distrust for the CBO's assumptions
about what would come of Obamacare's passage.
Your health care:
Obama's $18,000 broken promise. During his 2008 campaign, one of then-Senator Obama's
most audacious promises was that his health plan would reduce premiums by $2,500 for the average
family. His repeatedly made his pledge on videotape; you can view those promises here. But health
insurance premiums have continued to rise — not just despite ObamaCare, but in many cases
because of the law's new regulations and mandates.
Obamacare 'Lie' Touted By Landrieu Is Now A Reality In Louisiana. It seems that the
supposed "lie" that Obamacare would drive costs up is now becoming a reality, at least in Louisiana. Individuals
who have individual health plans through Time Insurance Company could face a 24% premium rate increase, affecting at
least 996 Louisianans. And the double-digit increases do not stop there.
• Those who hold Blue Saver individual health plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana could face
a 18.3% premium rate increase, affecting 18,041 Louisianans.
• Those who hold Blue Max individual health plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana could face
a 19.3% premium rate increase, affecting 30,273 Louisianans
• Those who hold Multi-State individual health plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana could face
a 19.7% premium rate increase, affecting 4,324 Louisianans
• Those who hold individual health plans through Humana Louisiana could face a 15.5% premium rate increase
in 2015, affecting at least 4,947 Louisianans.
NY Family Hammered With 22% Obamacare Rate Hike. In a series called New York Exposed,
WHEC-NY in Rochester demonstrates the possibilities of skyrocketing rate hikes being ushered in
under Obamacare. One family profiled in their report experienced a 22% Obamacare rate hike from
their insurance company. The reporter initiated the report by saying, "Most of our viewers could
understand some increases year-to-year, but 22%?" But that's exactly what happened to Michelle
Vergilia, an MVP Health Care customer who according to the investigation, is experiencing the 22%
Obamacare rate hike on a monthly basis, less than a year after she purchased her new plan.
Spent $4.8 Billion on Obamacare Exchanges So Far. According to CMS, the government
spent $456 million to support "exchange operations" between fiscal years 2010 and 2012, before the
law went into effect. In 2013 the government spent $1.545 billion for administrative costs
associated with the exchanges, and expects to spend an additional $1.390 million this year. The
agency has requested another $1.788 billion for 2015. The law enabled HHS to distribute multiple
grants to states to plan and establish exchanges. Initial planning grants were valued at $1 million,
though multiple rounds of "exchange establishment grants" cost much more, totaling $4.6 billion.
women bear the brunt of higher insurance costs under Obamacare. First of all, figures
that look good "on average," often mask extremely wide differences across age groups. Secondly,
it's hard to find pre-ACA policies that are comparable to the policies available post-ACA. These
differences are shown by two recent reports with sharply different implications. The government's
report shows that federal tax credits make health insurance premiums more affordable for everyone.
The academics' report, however, shows that women age 55 to 64 will face a huge spike in cost when
they go out to buy individual insurance on the federal exchange. These women bear the brunt of the
increased premiums and out of pocket expenses after the Affordable Care Act.
Average Individual Market Premiums Soar 49 Percent Under Obamacare. Premiums have
increased in the large and small group markets as well — in addition to higher
out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and copays for many consumers. Insurers across the country
have been releasing a "drumbeat" of projected 2015 rate hikes throughout the spring, which will
spill over into the summer and early fall. More Americans say their health costs are going up,
not down, with large majorities expecting Obamacare to raise costs in the long term. Numerous surveys
have demonstrated Obamacare's ratio of "hurt" to "helped" among consumers is roughly 2-to-1.
Care Act isn't so affordable in New Jersey. It's a dubious honor, but New Jersey now
has the highest Obamacare premiums in the nation.
You're Not Going to Believe This, But Obamacare
Is Going to Cost Taxpayers a Lot More Than Projected. 90% received subsidies — so
much for the "young, healthy" enrollees who would be overpaying into the system and thus keeping overall
ObamaCare Costs More Than Predicted. The Health and Human Services report, released
this week, claims that of the 5.4 million people who enrolled in ObamaCare through the federal
HealthCare.gov site, 4.7 million got tax subsidies to offset the cost of their premiums. It goes
on to say that once you factor in the subsidy, the average premium was $82 a month. "Consumers have
more choices, and they're paying less for their premiums," boasted new HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.
That claim itself is dubious. Even with the subsidies, ObamaCare is hardly cheap. For example,
a young person making $22,980 would pay up to $1,450 for an ObamaCare "silver" plan after subsidies.
But that same person would likely have been eligible for cheaper rates before ObamaCare, without any tax subsidies.
subsidies push cost of healthcare law above projections. The large subsidies for
health insurance that helped fuel the successful drive to sign up some 8 million Americans for
coverage under the Affordable Care Act may push the cost of the law considerably above current
projections, a new federal report indicates. Nearly 9 in 10 Americans who bought
health coverage on the federal government's healthcare marketplaces received government assistance
to offset their premiums.
Looming Subsidy Overpayment Crisis. Lawmakers have learned that ObamaCare could end
up overpaying insurance subsidies by as much as $152 billion. That's more than the deficit
cut Washington once promised ObamaCare would produce.
And The CBO — No Longer 'Giddy'. How critical to the passage of Obamacare
was the 2010 "score" given the legislation by the Congressional Budget Office? [...] Vital.
Critical. Indispensible. Roll Call reminds us, "For Democratic lawmakers who were hesitant
to sign onto the sweeping 2010 healthcare law, one of the most powerful selling points was that
the Affordable Care Act would actually reduce the federal budget deficit, despite the additional costs
of extending health insurance coverage to the uninsured." To the pile of broken Obamacare promises,
we now add another. It is not true if you like you doctor you can keep your doctor. It is
not true that if you like your plan you can keep your plan. It will not save the average household
$2,500. It will not bend the cost curve down. And now we know that Obamacare cannot promise, as
advertised, to shrink the deficit.
Short Unhappy Life of ObamaCare. President Obama claims the debate over the
Affordable Care Act is "over," but in coming weeks and months expect it to intensify.
Health-insurance companies will soon begin releasing preliminary rate estimates for next year's
plans. Industry experts say consumers should once again brace for significantly higher premiums.
Dysfunctional Government, Top to Bottom. Obama trusted that his health and human
services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, would tell him if Healthcare.gov wouldn't be ready by the
deadline. After a humiliatingly dysfunctional launch, Healthcare.gov has cost taxpayers "at least
$834 million in IT spending so far, and another $200 million is being requested for fiscal 2015."
[...] Separately, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, and Oregon will spend $240 million to
fix their sites or switch to the federal marketplace, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows.
Hidden Cost Chickens in Obamacare Coming Home to Roost. Labor unions have been reliable supporters of
President Obama and his policies. Their support for Obamacare was critical to its passage in 2010. Yet
they are continuing to learn that their members will be paying more for their healthcare, not less. One of the
selling points of Obamacare was the lowering of health insurance costs. Nancy Pelosi promised, "Everybody will
have lower rates." President Obama was more specific, telling us that his signature program would "Bring down
premiums by $2,500 for the typical family." A year later, however, Mrs. Pelosi, in the face of rising premiums
for many, forgot her promise of the previous year, "I don't remember saying that everybody in the country would have
a lower premium."
IRS Obamacare Rule Guarantees Massive Job Loss. For the last two years many businesses have been
warning that because Obamacare will hurt them so badly they will cease offering employees healthcare and dump
employees onto the Obamacare exchanges. But now the IRS has ruled that business will not be allowed to
do this and this move guarantees that companies will begin a massive wave of layoffs to make up the costs.
An article in The New York Times relays the bad news to employers that no matter what they thought they
were going to do, they are stuck with the massive new costs of Obamacare and they won't be able to escape that
massive tax increase by just closing out their healthcare benefits.
Costs From Health Law Snarl Union Contract Talks. Disputes between unions and
employers over paying for new costs associated with the Affordable Care Act are roiling labor talks
nationwide. Unions and employers are tussling over who will pick up the tab for new mandates, such
as coverage for dependent children to age 26, as well as future costs, such as a tax on premium
health plans starting in 2018. [...] In Philadelphia, disagreement over how much workers should
contribute to such health-plan cost increases has stalled talks between the region's transit system
and its main union representing 5,000 workers as they try to renegotiate a contract that expired in March.
insurance coverage now costs $23,215 for a typical family. The typical cost of health care for a family of
four with employer-based insurance this year is $23,215, according to a new report from the Milliman actuarial firm.
Obamacare: Home of the $11,500 Application. Remember the
good old days when the Pentagon was spending only $640 for a toilet seat and $400 for a hammer? [...] It turns out that procurement
officers there were, relatively speaking, wise stewards of taxpayer dollars, at least when compared to the Obama administration's
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS has given the American people the $11,500 paper Obamacare application —
and that may be a lowball estimate.
a taxpayer bail out that could run into billions was built in to Obamacare to protect insurance companies. A
provision of the Obamacare law known as 'risk corridors' provides the safety valve for insurance companies if they keep
rate hikes modest but still wind up in the red. According to that system, insurers whose claims in 2014 are
3 percent higher than what was projected will recover half of the differen[ce] from the government.
If claims are 8 percent or more above projections, taxpayers cover 80 per cent of the company's losses.
administration creates slush fund to bribe insurance companies to keep rates low. That's not how the
administration is characterizing the new regulations buried in dozens of new rules released last week. But read
this and tell me it isn't exactly as I describe it; a slush fund that will make payments to multi-billion dollar
companies — as long as they keep premium increases low in advance of the November elections.
earmarked to offset Affordable Care Act insurer losses. The Obama administration has
quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature healthcare law to potentially make billions of
additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage
through the Affordable Care Act lose money. The move was buried in hundreds of pages of new
regulations issued late last week. It comes as part of an intensive administration effort to hold
down premium increases for next year, a top priority for the White House as the rates will be
announced ahead of this fall's congressional elections. Administration officials for months have
denied charges by opponents that they plan a "bailout" for insurance companies providing coverage
under the healthcare law.
ObamaCare Style. Last week, the administration promised insurers it would use "other sources of funding" to
protect their profits "in the unlikely event" that ObamaCare costs more than expected. The language was buried in
a 435-page regulatory filing that only the industry would normally care about. But it caught the eye of the Washington
Examiner's Philip Klein on Friday [5/16/2014]. The bailout story got legs this week when the Los Angeles Times followed
suit, noting that the regulatory change could "potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the
insurance industry." Keep in mind that only a few weeks ago, White House officials were denying that any such bailout
existed in ObamaCare. The "risk corridor" program at issue, a White House budget spokesman said in March, was merely
a "safety valve for consumers and insurers" transitioning to a "brand new market."
for Seniors. Nationwide, readmissions rates are dropping because Section 3025 of
Obamacare punishes hospitals if a senior returns within 30 days. What happens to the senior
treated for a heart attack who rushes back to the hospital a week later feeling faint, possibly
because of arrhythmia? To dodge the penalty, hospitals put the patient under "observation."
It's just a word on the chart. The patient may get the same tests and be put in the same room as if he'd
been admitted. But unless he stays at least two nights, the hospital won't bill Medicare for a
stay, and the patient gets clobbered with the cost. Many seniors don't even know they were under
observation until they get the bill.
health-care subsidies may be too high or too low for more than 1 million Americans.
The government may be paying incorrect subsidies to more than 1 million Americans for their health
plans in the new federal insurance marketplace and has been unable so far to fix the errors,
according to internal documents and three people familiar with the situation. The problem means
that potentially hundreds of thousands of people are receiving bigger subsidies than they deserve.
They are part of a large group of Americans who listed incomes on their insurance applications that
differ significantly — either too low or too high — from those on file with the Internal
Revenue Service, documents show.
warns out-of-pocket costs could double under O-Care. A new study commissioned by
PhRMA finds that many consumers in ObamaCare's insurance exchanges could end up paying more than
twice as much in out-of-pocket drug costs. The report for the nation's top drug lobby was
conducted by actuarial firm Milliman, which found that people on the Silver Plan, the most popular
ObamaCare plan, would likely pay 130 percent more for out-of-pocket prescription drugs
compared to people on similar employer-sponsored plans.
We Admit It: ObamaCare Is Working! It's working just like critics said it would, and nothing like its
supporters promised. High and rising premiums. Runaway costs. [...] Warnings of ObamaCare rate shocks were
a big myth, we were told — merely "scare tactics" used to gin up opposition to the law by Republicans.
Then the first year's rates came out last fall, and they were far higher than pre-ObamaCare premiums in most states,
often even after taxpayer subsidies.
$474M for 4 failed
Obamacare exchanges. Nearly half a billion dollars in federal money has been spent developing four state
Obamacare exchanges that are now in shambles — and the final price tag for salvaging them may go sharply higher.
Each of the states — Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada and Maryland — embraced Obamacare, and each
underperformed. All have come under scathing criticism and now face months of uncertainty as they rush to
rebuild their systems or transition to the federal exchange.
Massachusetts Obamacare Website
a 'Mess'. Massachusetts officials are requesting $121 million in additional federal funds for a
new healthcare exchange website. The new website idea was presented Thursday [5/8/2014] at a board meeting of the
state's exchange, the Connector. The state's original healthcare website was dysfunctional, causing officials to
create a new plan to get consumers health insurance properly. [...] The new website comes with a hefty price tag: a
whopping $121 million. They previously received $174 million and have already used one third of that money.
Customers In For Deductible Sticker Shock. A new report finds that Obamacare customers are in for
sticker shock because, unlike many employer-sponsored insurance plans, the fine print in many Obamacare policies
requires patients to meet their deductible before lower-cost prescription drug co-pays kick in. That means
hefty out-of-pocket expenses for Obamacare plan holders, especially since Obamacare deductibles are "relatively
high" as compared to employer-sponsored insurance plans.
costs surpassing $500M. The total cost to implement Obamacare in Massachusetts surpassed a half-billion dollars
yesterday, as the Health Connector board agreed to seek an additional $121 million in federal funds to try to rescue the
money-hemorrhaging health exchange. "This is now Massachusetts' Big Dig I.T. project," said Joshua Archambault, a
health care expert at the Pioneer Institute. "The decision was completely irresponsible to taxpayers, with very little
uncertainty we're going to get the end result that we want."
Overhead: $2,500 Per Newly Insured Enrollee. While ObamaCare was sold on the premise
that it could cut health costs, the results of the first open enrollment show that, even with
8 million people signed up, doing so turned out to be hugely expensive. In D.C.,
the navigator grants were just the tip of the spending iceberg. The federal government handed
D.C. officials $133.6 million to build their own exchange and another $631,000 in grants to
health centers to help sign people up. All told, that works out to more than $13,123 per
ObamaCare exchange sign-up.
spending up most since 1980. Health care spending rose at the fastest pace since 1980
during the first three months of the year, as the new health insurance law prompted many more
Americans to visit doctors and hospitals. The sharp rise also reflects other trends that should
continue to drive up spending in 2014 after years of slow growth, analysts say. Health care
spending climbed at a 9.9% annual rate last quarter, mostly because of higher spending at hospitals,
reports the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Claims Obamacare Unconstitutionally Imposes New Taxes. A Sacramento-based law firm is challenging President
Barack Obama's health care law, claiming it imposes new taxes unconstitutionally.
Obama can't build that. The latest news is that the initial estimates for fixing the site were grossly
underestimated. That's no surprise, but that doesn't make it any better. Accenture is claiming that it
will need $121 million to make it through January 10, 2015. To place that in perspective, just the
latest figure exceeds at least one set of estimates for 10 highly popular web start-ups. That is exceeding the
cost to start all of them, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, Pinterest and Vine.
says ObamaCare website fix will cost $121M. The contractor hired to fix the ObamaCare exchange website
announced Tuesday that it would cost $121 million to get the site ready for a second open enrollment period in 2015.
In a statement posted on its website, Accenture Federal Services said the contract it had agreed with the Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid Services (CMS) covers initial repair work, as well as "enhancing back-end capabilities to improve issuer payments
and plan management including deploying new features."
Care Spending Soars 9.9% On ObamaCare In Q1. The U.S. economy grew at a tepid 0.1% annual rate in
the first quarter, the weakest growth since Q4 2012. But health care spending shot up by the most since 1980
thanks to ObamaCare costs. Gross domestic product barely expanded in the first three months of the year, hurt by
the unusually harsh winter.
WH: Obamacare Drove Weak First
Quarter GDP. White House press secretary Jay Carney claimed Obamacare helped drive economic growth
Wednesday [4/30/2014] in the White House press conference. However first quarter GDP registered a mere 0.1 percent,
a drastic decrease from the 2.6 percent America saw in the fourth quarter of 2013 and well short of the 1 percent
economists were expecting. Massive increases in healthcare spending reportedly kept GDP out of the red, as Carney
was quick to trumpet: [...] While healthcare spending increases due to Obamacare mandates are sure to have positive near
term impacts on domestic consumption, there are a barrage of forthcoming taxes and fees consumers will see in 2014.
Moreover, most Americans have seen only a tiny fraction of Obamacare's roughly $1 trillion total tax increase.
The Slush Fund: When
the government provides medical care, it normally delegates the task. Under Medicare, Washington doesn't
employ doctors, nurses, and hospitals to treat the elderly. It has to coax them to participate.
Similarly, Obamacare functions only if big insurance companies are willing to play ball with big government.
Those driven by the profit motive must be won over by those driven by the power motive. Money, however, is
no object, since the bill for securing this alliance is sent to taxpayers. According to the latest
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates, more than $1 trillion will be funneled over the next
decade from everyday Americans, through the IRS, to insurance companies.
Democrats back push for cost tally on Health Connector. House Democrats have overwhelmingly approved a
Republican measure to force the Patrick administration to provide a total accounting of all taxpayer money used to
salvage the broken Obamacare website and fund temporary health insurance coverage to Bay Staters. "You can't
help but admit it's a failure," said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones Jr. (R-North Reading).
"It's an abject failure that's going to cost the taxpayers, whether it's the commonwealth of Massachusetts or
money from the feds or rate-payers, tens of millions of dollars that shoudn't have happened."
Obamacare will cost taxpayers $53,000 per newly insured. Taxpayers will pay over $53,000 per
each person newly insured under Obamacare, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis of the
Congressional Budget Office data. Last week's highly debated CBO report found that Obamacare will
cost slightly less than expected over the next decade. The budget office shifted its assessment of
the health care law due to unexpectedly low premiums, which it attributed not to lowered costs but on "less
attractive" health insurance offerings than it assumed would be available.
Obamacare could destroy
us. At first thought, health care for everybody sounds like a great idea. The
problems begin once you read the law. The layers of government regulation that will be implemented
because of the law will cripple our health care system. It is meant, by design, to eliminate the
free market health care system we currently have in place. The free market will be replaced with a
socialist health system, with health care rationing, which will ultimately cause a shortening of the
average life span of Americans. Health insurance costs have already risen, and will continue to
skyrocket until this monstrosity is repealed.
Cornyn calls for broad probe into Obamacare spending, fundraising. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is
calling for a broad investigation into spending and fundraising to help promote Obamacare after a report released
Monday [4/21/2014] raised new questions about the White House's involvement in persuading private entities to
donate to the effort. The Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, released a report
Monday on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' fundraising on behalf of Enroll America, a nonprofit
founded by former Obama campaign and White House staffers, to help boost enrollment in the federal exchanges.
drugs have had eye-popping price spikes. Pharmacist Larry Cowan can flip through his records and spot
the generic drugs that have taken big price jumps in the past year or so. There's digoxin, a heart medicine
that he used to buy for pennies a pill. "Now the price is close to 10 times that," said Cowan, owner of
Glenview Professional Pharmacy in Richland Hills.
Growing Financial Disaster of Obamacare. President Obama asserts that 8 million people
have signed up for Obamacare, as though that were something to be proud of. In fact,
Obamacare has always been a fiasco from a fiscal perspective — a black hole of subsidies and
expanded Medicaid, with largely fictitious mechanisms in place to pay for it. As the number of
subsidized participants grows, the disaster gets worse.
This is where Obamacare is headed.
Dems want government health
care for all — no matter the cost. With little fanfare, Vermont is preparing to become the first
state to implement a single-payer, government-run health-care system. The Vermont plan, if implemented, would abolish
private health insurance in the state and replace it with a taxpayer-funded system under which the state government directly
pays doctors and hospitals. Of course the state is having a bit of trouble figuring out how to pay for the program's
estimated $2 billion price tag, considering that the entire state government's operating budget is currently just
$2.7 billion. Currently under consideration is an increase in the state sales tax from 6.9% to 29%.
Sticker Shock Happening Across the Country. A new survey of health insurance brokers
shows premiums in several states have increased more than 50 percent, Fox News reported Monday
[4/14/2014]. "So this was the largest percentage increase in any quarter since they've been
doing the survey, but a 12 percent, 11 percent increase on average across all the states,
that puts it at the upper end of any increase we've seen for decades," said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a
former adviser for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The CBO Gets It Very Wrong on ObamaCare. [T]he
CBO's latest report on ObamaCare simply defies reality. It says, for example, that ObamaCare will
cost $104 billion less over the next 10 years than it thought just two months ago. That
drop rests almost entirely on the CBO's belief that premiums will remain virtually flat next year, which
then lowers the insurance subsidy costs. But the CBO somehow missed the fact that the industry is
already warning of double-digit rate increases across the country next year. Right now, in fact,
it's pushing for changes to minimize the rate shock. A sharp spike in premiums will drive
ObamaCare's costs up far beyond the CBO's current estimate.
Obamacare Means for Your Taxes. Tax day is here — and some people will pay
more this year because of Obamacare. The law's biggest tax provision — billions of
dollars in tax credits to help people cover the cost of their premiums — is already in
effect, but doesn't affect the taxes due on Tuesday [4/15/2014]. A handful of smaller provisions,
mostly affecting wealthy households, will show up for the first time in this year's filing.
Among this year's changes: a 0.9 percent increase in Medicare taxes and a 3.8 percent
surtax on investment income. Both are limited to high-income taxpayers, and both took effect
for the first time in the tax season that just ended.
shows ObamaCare sending premiums rising at fastest clip in decades. A recent survey of
148 insurance brokers shows that ObamaCare is sending premiums rising at the fastest clip in
decades. "For the last, about, five years they've been doing this survey, so this was the largest
percentage increase in any quarter since they've been doing (it)," said Scott Gottlieb of the
American Enterprise Institute. "But at 12 percent, 11 percent increase on average across
all the states — that puts it at the upper end of any increase we've seen for decades."
Obamacare taxes add
billions to rising premiums. On top of rising premiums, Obamacare taxes are adding hundreds of dollars
per year onto customers' costs, according to new study from the American Action Forum. Those who braved the
health-care law's exchanges will have to pay an extra $354 on average in 2014, reports the free-market D.C.-based
think tank, just due to seven taxes included in Obamacare. The vast majority of the country covered by
employer-sponsored health insurance will be forced to pay a somewhat lower tab of $196 to cover the taxes.
Here's How Much Health Plan Premiums Spiked Over The Last Four Years Of
Obamacare's Rollout. The average increases for the present quarter are in excess of 11% in the small
group market and 12% in the individual market, where consumers purchase coverage directly from health plans.
Some states show increases 10 to 50 times that amount. The analysts conclude that the "increases
are largely due to changes under the ACA."
How much does
Obamacare actually cost? It's a question that has been at the heart of the health care debate for
the past five years, and one that has been the source of plenty of confusion and misinformation: How much
does Obamacare actually cost? Over at the newly launched vox.com, Sarah Kliff has a piece attempting to
offer an easy explanation of President Obama's health care law. Kliff is always worth reading on health care
policy, but when describing the cost of Obamacare, she writes, "Expanding health coverage to millions of Americans
is expensive; it will cost more than $1 trillion over the next decade." In reality, the Congressional
Budget Office estimated this February that the cost would be slightly more than $2 trillion.
Insurance Premiums Skyrocketing Because of Obamacare. Some states are seeing huge rate increases.
For example, Delaware and New Hampshire are seeing rate increases of 100 percent and 90 percent,
respectively in the individual insurance market. Washington state is seeing a 588 percent increase
in the small group market.
lawmakers believe over $1 billion spent to promote Obamacare. Republicans are demanding greater
transparency on how much the administration spent to promote and implement Obamacare — and hitting
back at President Obama's claim that he "didn't make a hard sell." The new effort comes after Obama's
claim that the administration met its goal of enrolling more than 7 million people without spending billions.
"We didn't make a hard sell," Obama said. "We didn't have billions of dollars to spend on commercials like
our critics did." But both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill estimate the administration has spent
roughly $4 to 5 billion to get the Affordable Care Act running, including hundreds of millions to
build and repair healthcare.gov.
Premiums Skyrocketing Thanks to Swine Flu and Obamacare, But Mostly Obamacare. Health insurance
premiums are showing the sharpest increases perhaps ever according to a survey of brokers who sell coverage in
the individual and small group market. Morgan Stanley's healthcare analysts conducted the proprietary
survey of 148 brokers. The April survey shows the largest acceleration in small and individual
group rates in any of the 12 prior quarterly periods when it has been conducted. The average
increases are in excess of 11% in the small group market and 12% in the individual market. Some state[s]
show increases 10 to 50 times that amount. The analysts conclude that the "increases are
largely due to changes under the ACA."
Gov't Spent $700
Million Promoting Obamacare. President Barack Obama contended that the government did not
"make a hard sell" for Obamacare, despite his administration spending nearly $700 million to promote
the law. "We didn't make a hard sell," Obama said in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, praising the
7.1 million sign ups for the Affordable Care Act. "We didn't have billions of dollars
of commercials like some critics did." However, last July the Associated Press reported that
Obamacare's marketing campaign would cost at least $684 million. [Updated later
to $684 million.]
The Editor says...
You must purchase insurance from us by March 31 or you will be fined, and the IRS will come after you.
Is that not a hard sell?
insurers fear backlash over new Obamacare rate increases. As the first Obamacare enrollment period comes
to a close, U.S. insurers are already anticipating the need to raise prices for 2015 and fear that it will put them
at the center of the political blame game over President Barack Obama's healthcare law.
of Five: Obamacare Jeopardizing My Family's Financial Future. A Michigan mother of five says that the
crushing new costs associated with Obamacare have imperiled her family's financial future and will burden the household
with thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses. The uptick in costs that Shannon Wendt and her family will face
in the coming years under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act will strain the family's finances and force both
Shannon and her husband to work harder to bridge the fiscal gap.
Coming Obamacare Shock for 170 Million Americans. A new study from the American Health Policy
Institute — recently launched by former Bush administration Deputy Secretary of HHS Tevi
Troy — shows that large employers expect to face steep compliance costs, starting in the fall.
Their cost estimates range between $4,800 and $5,900 per employee over the next decade. The total cost to
large employers over the next decade will run between $151 billion and $186 billion, according to the
100 companies surveyed by AHPI that employ 10,000 or more people. That doesn't include additional
price increases from insurers attempting to cover bad bets in their 2014 premium rates after the first round
$300 Million Dollar Obamacare Exchange Hasn't Enrolled a Single Person Online. After spending
over $300 million on its exchange, the state of Oregon has failed to enroll a single person online.
Somewhere along the way Oregon managed to sign up 44 people for Obamacare, but not through the internet.
Say Obamacare Will Cost Them $5,000 More Per Employee. Obamacare will cost large companies between
$4,800 and $5,900 more per employee and add hundreds of millions to their overhead, according to a new survey. [...] By
2023, employers will be paying 8.4 percent more than "what they would otherwise be spending" for their
employees' health care. In the next 10 years, the total cost of Obamacare to all large American employers
is estimated to be from $151 billion to $186 billion, according to the study.
Clinic CEO: 3/4 Of Obamacare Signups Will Face Higher Premiums. A leading healthcare expert poured cold water
on the administration's recent Obamacare enthusiasm, saying that three quarters of those signed up will face higher premiums
than under their previous insurance. "Out of people that have signed up about three quarters will find premiums higher
than previously with other insurance," Dr. Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic said on Fox News Sunday [3/30/2014].
to reportedly abandon $125M ObamaCare exchange for new system. The Washington Post reported late Friday [3/28/2014]
that the board of the Maryland exchange will vote on changing the system that has cost at least $125.5 million at a
meeting on Tuesday [4/1/2014], the day after the end of the first enrollment period under ObamaCare.
Penalty fees for uninsured under 'Obamacare' might be higher than
you think. Most residents shouldn't worry about Obamacare's March 31 deadline because they're
already insured, many of them through their employer, or by Medicare or Medicaid, but those who aren't could
face a fine for failing to enroll in a plan by Monday. This penalty, officially called the "individual
shared responsibility payment," is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, or 1 percent of your household's
Anniversary of Obamacare Brings Billions in Costs to Economy. Obamacare is adding billions in economic
costs and millions of paperwork hours, according to a new report released on Monday [3/24/2014]. To mark the
anniversary of Obamacare, which became law on March 23, 2010, the American Action Forum released a report finding
that the law's regulatory burdens are twice as great as its benefits.
ObamaCare and Drug
Poverty. Hard as it is to believe, there is yet another price spike coming courtesy of ObamaCare.
Avalere Health, a market and healthcare research firm, estimates that some consumers will pay as much as half the
cost of so-called "specialty drugs" under health overhaul-related plans. By comparison, consumers in private
plans typically pay no more than a third of those costs.
ObamaCare premiums will rise next year. Early into ObamaCare's troubled launch — plagued
with website problems, canceled plans, and numerous delays — several insurers were already warning that
the rocky rollout would result in significantly higher premiums in 2015. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini first raised
concerns over a potential rate shock in December, when he told investors that "in some markets," individual-market
premium increases "could go as high as 100 percent." Now, other insurance executives are coming to similar
Much You've Paid to Promote Obamacare: Way More Than President Obama Promised. As Democrats around the
country continue to tout their "fix it, don't end it" mentality about how to deal with the ongoing disaster of Obamacare,
they seem to be forgetting who's paying for the promotion of President Obama's signature achievement: taxpayers.
So far, the Obama administration has wracked up a tremendous bill in promotional and advertising costs for Obamacare.
The results? A paltry number of Obamacare signups as the March 31 deadline for enrollment quickly approaches.
Obama Scares Me. Nothing so encourages an aggressor as the perception of weakness in his
antagonists. Obama hasn't even processed that he is an antagonist. Why, he means no one
any harm (except perhaps Republicans). Didn't he reset relations with Moscow? Didn't he
promise in 2012 to show "more flexibility" toward Putin after the election? Didn't he say, over
and over again, that a "decade of war is ending" and that we are going to do some "nation building here
at home"? Did he not maneuver the United States into "leading from behind" in Libya? Hasn't
he pressured allies like Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians while permitting Mahmoud Abbas
to skate? Hasn't he let bygones be bygones about the Edward Snowden unpleasantness? Hasn't he
drastically reduced defense spending?
double-digit Obamacare price rises in many states next year. U.S. consumers eligible for Obamacare health
plans could see double-digit price hikes next year in states that fail to draw large numbers of enrollees for 2014,
including some states that have been hostile to the healthcare law, according to insurance industry officials and analysts.
admin spending $17 per head on Obamacare ads. In the final push before the end of open enrollment
on March 31, the Obama administration has spent millions to promote Obamacare. From January to the
end of March the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is administering the president's signature
health-care law will have spent $52 million on paid media for Obamacare. Meaning, if all goes
according to the most recent plan and the administration reaches its revised enrollment goal of six million,
taxpayers will have spent nearly $9.00 per signup on advertising alone. With an average pay out of
$17.3 million a month on advertising alone, past months have already seen higher average costs per signup.
Does it really cost less than cell phone coverage? [I]n courting young people, President Obama is making a
simple-yet-questionable pitch — that new health coverage basically costs the same as 4G cell coverage.
"You can at this point get health insurance for $100 a month or less, in some cases less than your cell phone bill or
your cable bill," Obama told Ellen DeGeneres this week. Really? Monthly cell phone plans on major carriers
like Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T cost anywhere from $80-$90. The weighted average cost of the lowest "bronze" plan
on the new health insurance exchanges costs $249.
The Devious Secret of
Obamacare. My spouse was concerned that, if I used my real name, the IRS would come after us. A
few years ago I would have considered such thoughts paranoid. Now, under Obama's IRS, I suspect that she might
be right. I am a former small business owner and former journalist. I've had individual health insurance
policies since 1989, and with the same (major) company for the last fifteen years. As with most folks, I saw
my premiums go up incrementally over the years as age and health care costs rose, but nothing like what happened in
the past year.
insurance premiums up 39% to 56% under Obamacare, reach $2,604 a month in California. Americans buying health
insurance outside the new Obamacare exchanges are being forced to swallow premiums up to 56 percent higher than before
the health law took effect because insurers have jumped the cost to cover all the added features of the new Affordable Care
Act. According to a cost report from eHealthInsurance, a nationwide online private insurance exchange, families are
paying an average of $663 a month and singles $274 a month, far more than before Obamacare kicked in. What's more, to
save money, most buyers are choosing the lowest level of coverage, the so-called "bronze" plans.
glitch in Obamacare marketplace no one noticed. Incorrect poverty-level guidelines are automatically telling
what could be tens of thousands of eligible people they do not qualify for subsidized insurance. The
error in the federal marketplace primarily affects households with incomes just above the poverty line in states
like Pennsylvania that have not expanded Medicaid. The mistake raises the price of their insurance by
thousands of dollars, making insurance so unaffordable many may just give up and go without.
should bail on Obamacare. [W]hile Washington is debating whether enrollment in Obamacare is
terrible or just awful, the Washington Examiner brings to our attention a February 2014 cost report by
eHealthInsurance that reveals the premiums for private health insurance policies (those outside of Obamacare)
have risen by 39 to 56 percent for individual and family plans. And The Hill's Elise
Viebeck writes this morning that "Health industry officials say Obamacare-related premiums will double in
some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration." So Obamacare has
resulted in higher costs, limited plans, restricted doctor options, a reduction of about 2.5 million
full-time equivalent jobs and has failed to get the uninsured to actually sign up. If Obamacare
isn't a disaster, what does a disaster look like? How could this be any worse?
ObamaCare Rate Shock On The Way. Soon after enrolling in ObamaCare, many people discovered the high cost of believing Obama's
promises. Not only were millions required to change plans, but many learned that their "new-and-improved" ObamaCare plans forced them
to give up their doctors and hospitals, too. Turns out that insurers — desperate to keep premiums as low as they could
in the face of ObamaCare's costly benefit mandates, taxes and regulations — set up narrow, sometimes extremely narrow, provider
networks to hold down costs. For those with serious health problems, this could mean disruptions in care, lack of access to doctors
and hospitals, and potentially huge out-of-pocket costs if they ended up out of network.
premiums to skyrocket. Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country,
countering claims recently made by the administration. The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense
election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP's prospects in November and
hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015. The industry complaints come less than a week after Health and Human
Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sought to downplay concerns about rising premiums in the healthcare sector.
set to blow $1 trillion in 2015 as healthcare costs grow by leaps and bounds. "The Department of Health and Human Services
is projected to spend over $1 trillion in FY2015 under the president's budget, and health care costs — which today comprise
nearly 30 percent of all federal spending — are growing more rapidly than other areas of the budget, especially over the
long-term. It would be good for members of the Committee to discuss these matters with Secretary Sebelius," Alabama Republican Sen.
Jeff Sessions said on Monday [3/10/2014], according to The Hill. Sessions, a ranking member on the Budget Committee, has stridently
criticized President Barack Obama's health-care law and the high costs it imposes on Americans.
to Young People: If You Can't Afford My Healthplan, Just Cancel Your Cell and Your Cable. Younger Americans who supported Barack
Obama's elections are now getting ripped off by him. He is forcing them to subsidize healthcare for older and wealthier Americans.
Obamacare is killing hiring at the bottom end, where careers start. And now he wants younger Americans to live lives of quiet desperation
just to prop up his ghastly law.
Sebelius says Obamacare premiums will
go up next year. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted Wednesday that Obamacare
premiums will probably go up in 2015, that she does not know how many Obamacare customers have paid their premiums, and that she does not
know how many Obamacare enrollees had insurance previously. [...] "I can't tell you that, sir, because I don't know that," Sebelius said when
asked by Georgia Rep. Tom Price how many Obamacare customers have paid their first premiums. Sebelius said she also does not know how many
Obamacare customers previously had insurance plans that were canceled.
The Editor says...
In my opinion, if Ms. Sebelius says she does not know those numbers, and went before Congress to testify (as the HHS Secretary)
without bringing those numbers with her, then she is either lying under oath to the Congress or she is grossly incompetent.
Need Another $12.5 Million for Exchange Repairs. Nearly six months, 33,000 signups. This is another one of those state exchanges
that didn't work on the launch date: "Some people were locked out of their applications, while others struggled to find out if they
were eligible for financial assistance. MNsure didn't play well with certain web browsers, and many users were confronted with
frozen screens. MNsure officials would have known about many of these problems if they had tested the site with consumers prior
to Oct. 1." The state has spent about $100 million so far on creating its exchange.
One is driven by free-market competition and the other is a
Obamacare is definitely
not as cheap as your cellphone bill. One of President Barack Obama's favorite new Obamacare sign-up pitches is that young
enrollees, which the law banks on for sustainability, can get health insurance for the price of a monthly cellphone bill. But in
reality, premiums are more than a little pricier.
Sebelius admits Obamacare will raise health insurance premiums in 2015. Health and
Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told House Ways and Means Committee members on Wednesday [3/12/2014] that she expects health
insurance rates to increase as the Affordable Care Act takes full effect. 'I think premiums are likely to go up,' she conceded under
questioning, 'but go up at a slower pace' than they have already under Obamacare. President Obama famously promised in 2008 and 2009 that
his health insurance overhaul plan would lower the cost of health care for an average family by $2,500 per year.
The Obamacare Disaster Is Now
Undeniable. [T]here goes the famed rationale for the health-care law — which was to bring the people, numbering
anywhere between 31 million to 47 million depending on how and whom you count, without insurance into the system. Why
aren't they signing up? First off, there will always be people who choose to live on the margins in some way or other.
They don't want to be in the system, they're paranoid about the system, they keep their money in their mattress and lots of cans in
the basement. But mostly, people aren't signing up now and haven't had health care before because of the cost.
Uninsured: Obamacare is Unaffordable.
A new survey confirms that the "Affordable Care Act" has failed to achieve one of its most important goals — making health
coverage accessible to the uninsured. As the Washington Post reports, "Just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private
health plans through the new marketplace have signed up for one." Why so few? According to the survey, which was released
last Thursday by McKinsey & Company, the most common reason cited by uninsured respondents was lack of affordability. Out of five
possible reasons for failing to enroll, most chose, "I could not afford to pay the premium."
Airport Vendors Levy Health Benefits Surcharge. Travelers passing through the Oakland Airport may be in for a surprise
when they get their meal or drink receipts — a surcharge for employees' health benefits. The Oakland Airport
authority decided to allow an additional surcharge to be added to patrons' bills — not unlike the Obamacare surcharge
restaurants in Florida and L.A. are charging.
Now on your restaurant bill: Obamacare fee.
Several restaurants in a Florida chain are asking customers to help foot the bill for Obamacare. Diners at eight Gator's Dockside casual
eateries are finding a 1% Affordable Care Act surcharge on their tabs, which comes to 15 cents on a typical $15 lunch tab. Signs on
the door and at tables alert diners to the fee, which is also listed separately on the bill.
ObamaCare may increase
premiums for 11 million workers, report says. Republicans renewed their fight against ObamaCare on Monday in response to a new report
in which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services concludes that 11 million small business employees will see their premiums rise under the
law. The report, released Friday, says the higher rates are partly due to the health law's requirement that premiums can no longer be based on
a person's age. That has sent premiums higher for younger workers, and lower for older ones.
MN Dems Laugh When Asked Why Obamacare Doesn't
Save Families Money. During a panel at South Central College in Mankato, MN Wednesday, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Reps. Tim Walz and Collin
Peterson fielded questions on a range of issues, including the farm bill, the national debt, and immigration reform. But the most notable question
was on Obamacare. "I thought the Affordable Care Act would save $2,500 per family," a constituent asked. "What happened?"
Obamacare's Latest Surprise for Taxpayers?
Industry sources tell the Washington Examiner's Susan Ferrechio that the Barack Obama administration is thinking of extending the Affordable Care Act's "risk
corridors," the federal reimbursement program for health-insurance companies that lose money by participating in the newly created health-care exchanges.
This is not the first time we've seen this idea floated, and frankly, believing that the administration is considering it is all too easy.
Popular L.A. eatery adds 3 percent surcharge, cites
Obamacare. A popular French-style bistro in Los Angeles has added a 3 percent surcharge to each guest check to cover their workers' health
coverage under Obamacare's mandates. Republique has taken heat from patrons for the tacked-on cost, but managing partner Bill Chait told Southern California
Public Radio there is a method behind the madness. The restaurant wanted its 80-plus workers to be full-time workers, but the health care law in the coming
years will require large employers to provide health coverage to its full-timers or pay fines.
ObamaCare: $56,819 To
Sign Up Each Enrollee In Hawaii. How much does it cost taxpayers to sign up one ObamaCare enrollee? In President Obama's home
state of Hawaii, it's $56,819. The Obama administration gave Hawaii $205 million in grants over the past three years to set up
its state-run exchange. But so far, only 3,614 Hawaiians have filled out applications — just 40% of the state's enrollment
goal. Even if Hawaii were to reach its 9,000 target, it would still cost nearly $23,000 for each enrollee.
Obamacare will reduce incomes of most
Americans. There's no doubt the Affordable Care Act will redistribute wealth in America. People at the top of the income ladder
will pay more; people at the bottom will benefit. But how, exactly, will that work? A new study finds that Obamacare's redistribution
will be stunningly lopsided. Scholars at the liberal Brookings Institution have discovered that Obamacare will increase the income of Americans
in the lowest 20 percent of the income scale, and especially in the lowest ten percent. But all other income groups — even
people who make very modest incomes in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, as well as all income brackets above that — will experience a
decline in income because of Obamacare.
A Few More Reasons To
Repeal ObamaCare. Moody's rating agency has lowered the outlook for health insurers from stable to negative, blaming ObamaCare.
Few Americans will shed tears for insurance companies. But the Moody's announcement is a warning sign to taxpayers. They'll be getting
Will Get $250-450 Million to Offset Expected Losses This Year — That's Just One Insurer. Of course, it is possible that,
in the long term, insurance companies will end up making a lot of money thanks to Obamacare, especially if the mandates stay in place and
enforcement is vigorous. There's a very small probability that the law could destroy the industry completely in the process, but we can
see why insurers so far are standing by the law: They have little to lose and a lot to gain.
Insurance Rates Skyrocket for Pre-Obamacare Policies. Up to 306,000 Anthem Blue Cross customers with insurance policies purchased
before Obamacare was enacted will have rate hikes as high as 25%. Additionally, some premiums have already jumped 53% since 2010,
not including this latest change.
Anthem Blue Cross to raise some
premiums as much as 25 percent unless state regulators step in. Thousands of Anthem Blue Cross individual customers whose policies were
unchanged by the nation's new health care law could see their premiums jump as much as 25 percent unless California regulators step in.
Cost of Generic Drugs Soaring
Due to Increased Demand from Obamacare. The pervasive use of generic over brand-name medications was anticipated to be a money-saver,
but recently prices are soaring, even up 6,000 percent for some common drugs that were once fairly low-cost. As National Journal
reports, pharmacists are perplexed about the huge price hikes in many drugs and are asking Congress to hold a hearing to look into the matter.
Dumped $1.2 Bil Into Failing State Exchanges. In late October 2013, the Obama administration sent $41.9 million to Minnesota for its
state-built health exchange. It was the sixth ObamaCare grant awarded the state, and all told taxpayers ponied up $155 million to help build
MNSure. But just 13 weeks after that last grant arrived, an independent consultant issued a damning report, saying Minnesota should consider
scrapping MNSure entirely and starting over from scratch, citing systemic technical and management problems.
Covered California gets federal money to
improve service, enrollment. California's health exchange said it would use an additional $155 million in federal grant
money to address customer service woes and to boost low enrollment among the key market of uninsured Latinos. The Covered California
exchange announced the injection of money from the Obama administration Thursday [1/23/2014] as it faced growing criticism for dismal service
and a disappointing sign-up rate among Latinos. The state has led the nation with more than 625,000 people enrolled in health plans
through mid-January, and it's a bellwether state for the national rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
The Obamacare Bailout. The latest
revelation about this horrible law is the presence of a "risk corridor," a euphemism for an insurance industry bailout that will occur
sometime in the next year. The law depends upon the voluntary participation of insurers. Private citizens are compelled to
purchase insurance, but insurers are free to walk away from Obamacare. To prevent that from happening, congressional Democrats
put in place guarantees to cover insurance industry losses for the first few years of the program. The total cost of this bailout
could feasibly run into the tens of billions of dollars.
America's Bipartisan Political Class.
Critics of Obamacare successfully pushed an amendment requiring congressmen and congressional staffers to purchase their health insurance through the
new government exchanges. Being tossed from their special plans meant the end of federal subsidies, which run $5,000 annually for individuals
and $11,000 for families. [...] So the administration stepped in to help. Without any legal authority President Barack Obama offered to maintain
existing federal contributions.
Stop Obamacare's Outrageous Bailouts.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has already achieved "preliminary sustainability," an official recently told the National Journal.
And what's making the program sustainable? The prospect of a massive taxpayer bailout. The bailout would come from the law's "risk
corridor" provisions. If insurers pay out more than 108 percent of the premiums they collect from customers in Obamacare's exchanges,
taxpayers are on the hook for about 75 percent of the extra cost.
The hidden costs of ObamaCare. ObamaCare
has delivered another sucker punch to the middle class. This time it's sticker shock. Now that most people can get past the tech
problems of HealthCare.gov and actually see the real cost of insurance plans available, they are finding that Affordable Care is a big hit
to the family budget. And when the family budget gets hit in the solar plexus, guess what happens to consumer spending and the economy?
Another Problem Obamacare
Won't Solve: Health Costs. Does giving people Medicaid drive ER usage up, or down? The answer, it turns out, is "up."
People who got access to Medicaid used doctors more than people who didn't. But they also used the ER more. And contrary to the
theory that Medicaid might divert people from ERs to primary care physicians, the big increases actually came from the somewhat-less urgent
problems that we were hoping to divert from ERs.
Here are the big losers in ObamaCare. New York's
small-business owners, seniors and doctors are among the big losers as President Obama's prescription for health-insurance reform takes effect.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses, an organization that represents nearly 11,000 entrepreneurs across the state, says it has yet to
find a single member whose health-care costs are going down under the ObamaCare program, whose plans took effect New Year's Day. Meanwhile,
an "overwhelming majority" of businesses canvassed by the group has reported increases in their insurance premiums, said Mike Durant, the NFIB's
New York director.
New Year Brings Dawn of Obamacare Tax Increases.
[Scroll down] Seventy-seven years later, the Social Security tax rate is now 12.4 percent. In 2013, a little over six percent
began to be withheld from both employer and employee. Like Social Security before it, Obamacare promises to increase Americans' taxes
year by year, starting this month. Here are three of the major tax increases that come from the Democrats' healthcare law: [...]
Hawaii approves higher rates for HMSA,
Kaiser. Insurers say the increases are necessary to cover higher medical expenses, taxes and fees anticipated under the Affordable Care Act.
NJ College Students Lose
Low Cost Coverage Thanks To ObamaCare Regs. Along with documenting the many technical failures of Obama's so called signature website
Healthcare.gov, this CBS New York item reports the Obama sticker shock many Garden State college students now face thanks to the increasingly
misleadingly named Affordable Care Act.
Care Shocker For N.J. Students Looking For Low-Cost Insurance. It was a health care shocker for college students in
New Jersey who found out that they can't buy low-cost health insurance at their schools because of the Affordable Care Act. Now,
they are at the risk of being without insurance, CBS 2's Christine Sloan reported.
at auto dealership come face to face with Obamacare trade-offs. The 41 employees of Extreme Dodge in Jackson, Mich., are very
familiar with trade-ins, but this year they're learning about trade-offs as they come face to face with the new realities of health care.
A few workers say they're getting a great deal, but most have a severe case of sticker shock. "I feel like I've been taken to the cleaners,"
said Neal Campbell, a salesman.
the model for Obamacare, has highest health costs in the United States. In his October remarks, Obama used the Massachusetts
experience to argue that Obamacare could work, despite what the naysayers claimed. "All the parade of horribles, the worst predictions
about health care reform in Massachusetts never came true," Obama said. "They're the same arguments that you're hearing now ... Care
didn't become unaffordable; costs tracked what was happening in other places that wasn't covering everybody." Yet a new report
from the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission reached a different conclusion.
Older Workers Could Pay 25% Of Income. Like a hiker who has overlooked several "Danger: cliff ahead" signs, the Obama
administration stepped back suddenly last week, delaying the individual mandate for those with canceled policies. The reversal
came in response to complaints from middle-class shoppers on the ObamaCare exchanges who have found themselves on the wrong side of
the law's subsidy cliff. For those earning more than 400% of the poverty level — about $62,000 for two-adult
households — ObamaCare provides no premium subsidies. This is no minor issue.
Obamacare taxes will appear on health insurance bills starting in 2014. New Obamacare taxes that were previously kept
secret have been unveiled by outraged customers who feel betrayed. Residents in many states have yet to feel the change that
will come when President Obama's signature health care program which will go into full effect in January.
Coming up next: ObamaCare taxes and fees.
The disastrous rollout of ObamaCare is only the appetizer for Americans, the 2013 lead-in to higher costs and fees built into the so-called Affordable
Care Act. What most people haven't heard — yet — is the new fees that ObamaCare charges for access to those higher premiums.
New ObamaCare fees coming in 2014. Here comes the
ObamaCare tax bill. The cost of President Obama's massive health-care law will hit Americans in 2014 as new taxes pile up on their
insurance premiums and on their income-tax bills. Most insurers aren't advertising the ObamaCare taxes that are added on to premiums,
opting instead to discretely pass them on to customers while quietly lobbying lawmakers for a break.
Damage Control: Obamacare Repeal Will 'Cost too Much'. [I]t is a bit hard to understand how repealing the Affordable Care Act could
cost more than the millions that is being inefficiently spent to enroll single applicants. Early in November, for instance, it was discovered
that the five Obamacare enrollees for the District of Columbia cost the taxpayers a hefty $26.7 million each. Other states have seen
similar waste, one source estimating that the cost for all enrollees nationwide had been $14,000 each.
The lost generation: Young people have been
had. [Scroll down] Among these unanswered questions, the most disturbing pertains to the demand that millions of so-called
millennials under 30 must purchase health insurance — estimated at about $1,700 a year — that they will hardly use.
Their premiums supposedly will subsidize older, in-need Americans who cannot pay the full costs of coverage that they will draw on frequently.
We forget that young people are already targeted for a number of government redistribution plans. Of America's age cohorts, the under-30 bunch
is the least likely to be employed, and the most likely to work at low-wage or part-time jobs. Millennials already pay high payroll taxes for
Social Security and Medicare coverage for the elderly.
'Another Problem' With ObamaCare — Higher Deductibles; ABC, NBC Omit. Norah O'Donnell's 20-second news brief on
Monday's CBS This Morning is the sole Big Three network mention so far of the Wall Street Journal's Sunday report about a "troubling element"
of ObamaCare — exorbitant deductibles with the no-frills plans available on the health care exchanges. O'Donnell zeroed
in on the item by reporters Leslie Scism and Timothy W. Martin, who cited a new report that found that "the average individual
deductible for ... a bronze plan on the exchange ... is $5,081 a year".
Shimkus on Sebelius: 'It's
Like Talking to the Republic of Korea'. In a contentious exchange with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
over her repeated claims that mandated health services do not raise costs for consumers in the form of higher insurance premiums, Rep. John
Shimkus (R-Ill.) waved his hand in apparent surrender and said to her, "It's like talking to the Republic of Korea or something."
More Hidden Taxes Funding ObamaCare.
There have been many taxes put in place to help fund Obamacare that are rarely discussed in the media. [...] The new earned income tax to
help fund Obamacare is 0.9%.
Obamacare's opportunity cost.
According to the most recent numbers from the Kaiser Foundation the average cost of one day of in patient hospital care in Oregon was $2,967.
Oregon has 36 hospitals with a total of 5916 beds, $300 million in state and federal funds used for Oregon to build its website
would pay for 101,112 days of hospitalization — enough to fill every hospital bed in Oregon for 17 days. Instead, it went
to pay government bureaucrats and software contractors.
Payment Due: The Obamacare
Deadline No One Is Talking About. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced this morning that nearly
365,000 Americans had signed up for private health insurance under Obamacare. The vast majority came from 14 states running
their own insurance exchanges, while 137,000 came by way of HealthCare.gov, the much-faulted federal Web site that handles enrollment for
the remaining states. But amid the rush to enroll as many people as possible by the Dec. 23 deadline, there's a huge caveat
that isn't getting much public attention: For coverage to take effect on Jan. 1, enrollees must pay their first month's premium
on time. (The deadline varies somewhat by state and by insurer.)
Obamacare highlights Barack Obama's inverse
genius. [T]he costs of Obamacare fall like a hammer on discrete groups of people who face hikes of hundreds of dollars in premiums in being
forced — by the collapse of their plans — to go on exchanges. And most of these people are not rich. The pain was direct, and the pain was
immediate, and the pain was communicated in the press and to Congress, where it was enough to force Obama into an improvised (and unworkable) program "fix" to
keep 100 House Democrats from stampeding to the Republicans' side. And at the same time, the program costs more and causes people problems they never
expected (and were promised they never would face).
of Obamacare becomes nightmare of higher premiums and deductibles. From a distance of three and a half years, the events
of March 23, 2010, the day President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, seem like something from
another world. [...] At the time, no one had any idea just how ill-prepared Obama and his administration were to actually do the job they
set for themselves. Three years later, approaching an Oct. 1, 2013, deadline for the establishment of the Obamacare exchanges,
the administration was still scrambling to finish even the most basic tasks. What followed was disaster.
Website Costs Show Lack of Transparency. President Barack Obama's health agency said it has spent $319 million building
an online health-insurance marketplace through October. More than three years after the passage of Obama's signature health-care law
in 2010, it's almost impossible to verify and track that spending through public records. What the estimates don't include is the
around-the-clock effort to repair the website, which hundreds of thousands of Americans found unusable after its Oct. 1 debut.
signs up just 44 people for Obamacare despite spending $300 million. Oregon, once touted as a model for President Obama's health
care law, signed up just 44 people for insurance through November, despite spending more than $300 million on its state-based
exchange. The state's exchange had the fewest sign-ups in the nation, according to a new report today by the Department of Health
and Human Services. The weak number of sign-ups undercuts two major defenses of Obamacare from its supporters.
Emanuel: If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Pay More Under Obamacare. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the hapless, goalpost-shifting so-called
"architect" of Obamacare, told Fox News' Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that President Barack Obama's promise "if you like your doctor, you can
keep your doctor" was absolutely true — with one important caveat: if you like your doctor, "you can pay for it."
Obamacare Architect: If You
Like Your Doctor, You Can Pay More. If you want to keep your doctor, you might have to pay more for it, Obamacare architect Zeke Emanuel
said today [12/8/2013] on Fox News Sunday.
The Editor says...
You can pay more and keep the doctor you like without an insurance company, and certainly without government assistance. That has always been an
option. The Dr. Zeke Emanuel's statement amounts to an obscure admission that Obamacare will raise the cost of medical care for everyone.
On Health Exchanges,
Premiums May Be Low, but Other Costs Can Be High. Until now, it was almost impossible for people using the federal health care website
to see the deductible amounts, which consumers pay before coverage kicks in. But federal officials finally relented last week and added
a "window shopping" feature that displays data on deductibles. For policies offered in the federal exchange, as in many states, the annual
deductible often tops $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a couple.
I Pay $4,500 More for Health Insurance Because of Obamacare. Senate majority leader Harry Reid tells the Reno Gazette Journal
that the Affordable Care Act has made his health insurance a lot les affordable: [...] Reid isn't exactly hurting for cash, but leading
Democrats once promised that Obamacare would bring down the cost of insurance for everyone.
Taxpayers looking at $1B bill for ObamaCare
site. Taxpayers can expect to get stuck with a more than $1 billion bill for the creation and repair of the federal ObamaCare
website, a top House Republican warned. "The fact is, eventually they'll get this website working at the cost of probably over a billion
dollars," House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (Calif.) said on Fox News Channel. The Obama administration
did not respond to The Post's questions Thursday about the tab for the round-the-clock "tech surge" deployed in mid-October to repair HealthCare.gov.
The cost of building the bug-ridden site, which launched Oct. 1, is estimated at $600 million.
The Editor says...
As many other bloggers and comedians have already stated, I could have built a dysfunctional web site for half that amount.
The Liars Club. It is now apparent that our President has lied to us.
He lied when he crooned soothingly about improving the healthcare of millions of Americans through vast changes in health policy that would actually
lower their costs. Those costs are now going up, and they are going up for almost everyone.
Tech Experts: HealthCare.gov Should Cost Less Than
$10 Million. The price for building the Obamacare website HealthCare.gov should have topped out at less than $10 million, tech
experts have claimed. "I would say to build a site like this with the infrastructure, the architecture around it, you are looking at maybe
$5 million to $10 million at a very maximum rate," David Kennedy, President and CEO of TrustedSec also known as the "White Hat Hacker"
told Sean Hannity on Fox News Wednesday [12/4/2013].
get switched automatically to more expensive insurance plans under Obamacare. Some people getting switched to new expensive health insurance
plans under Obamacare might not even be aware of it — until it's too late. If you have an insurance plan that isn't compatible with the
Affordable Care Act, your insurance company might be automatically rolling you into the plan "most similar" to your own. For one Washington state
resident interviewed by The Daily Caller, his new "Bronze" plan is 80 percent more expensive for him and his wife. His wife is paying $220 more
and he's paying $150 more with higher deductibles.
What Obamacare Coverage Costs Congressmen.
As the [Wall Street] Journal has reported, a provision in the health law requires lawmakers to get their benefits alongside small-business employees for
the first time, and that means lawmakers' premiums will suddenly be tied to their age. Members of Congress used to pay the same rate, regardless
of how old they were, which was around $186 a month to cover just themselves on one popular plan after their employer (in this case, the federal
government) kicked in a 75% contribution. They paid more — $434 — for a family plan, which covered a spouse and any
number of children. Now they will be keeping the employer contribution, despite the efforts of some critics.
called 'Forget About The Price Tag' wins HHS grand prize for promoting Obamacare. The Department of Health and Human Services has crowned a
YouTube video entitled "Forget About The Price Tag" as the grand prize winner in a contest meant to encourage young people to sign up for Obamacare.
The video contest, announced in August — in partnership with a group called Young Invincibles — encouraged participants to produce
clips filled with pro-Obamacare messaging.
And the winner of the
HHS video contest to promote Obamacare is.... [Scroll down] The huge irony is that she won by posting a video urging her fellow
youth not to worry about the price tag, when she herself is getting her insurance paid for by the taxpayers.
John Boehner's premiums spike
under Obamacare. House Speaker John Boehner's health insurance premiums will nearly double — and his deductibles
will almost triple — as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to figures provided by his office at POLITICO's request.
Here's one reason for the high prices:
21 of 53 Bay State Obamacare staffers make more than $100G a year. A stunning 40 percent of the staff at the state agency
that oversees the glitch-plagued, befuddling $69 million Obamacare website earn six-figure salaries, according to payroll numbers obtained
by the [Boston] Herald. Some 21 of the 53 employees at the Massachusetts Health Connector make more than $100,000 a year, even
as Bay Staters struggle to sign up for health care through a website beset by slow speeds and technical difficulties and a call center
with frequently long hold times.
Director Reveals Counselors Paid $58 for 'Each Successful Enrollment'. Dana Howard, the deputy director of California's
Healthcare Exchange program, appeared on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt's program on Friday [11/22/2013] where he revealed an
interesting detail about the incentives for Affordable Care Act navigators. Howard revealed that enrollment counselors are
paid $58 for each individual they successfully enroll in the California's insurance exchanges.
Hill aides shocked by Obamacare prices. Veteran House Democratic aides are sick over the insurance prices they'll pay under Obamacare,
and they're scrambling to find a cure. "In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office (folks over 59) have now found out their personal
health insurance costs (even with the government contribution) have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before," Minh Ta, chief of staff
to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO. "Simply unacceptable."
ObamaCare overreach[Scroll down] So, today's unfolding
health-care catastrophe will help — at best — just 15 million people. Given ObamaCare's 10-year outlay
of $2.6 trillion, this equals $17,333 annually (or $1,444 per month) per net beneficiary. This is an astonishing cost for such
a concentrated benefit. However, rather than target these 15 million people, ObamaCare unleashes chaos on 315 million
Americans. Already, some 5 million people, and counting, have seen their health plans canceled. Others are watching
their work hours get chopped from full time to part time.
A 'fix' to boost Obamacare subsidies
would explode cost. Following President Obama's NBC interview in which he said his aides were looking into ways to provide some sort of
relief for millions of Americans with cancelled insurance policies, the Huffington Post's Sam Stein reported that officials are considering an
"administrative fix" for those whose insurance premiums are going up, but who earn too much to qualify for federal subsidies. It's hard to
imagine what such a fix would be, as anything that would adjust the formula for calculating subsidies would require an act of Congress.
White House might expand eligibility for ObamaCare subsidies. The administration is considering expanding the premium tax credits
that are available to some people purchasing insurance coverage on the new exchanges, according to Huffington Post. Right now, the tax
credits are only available to people making 133 to 400 percent of the federal poverty line. But the administrative fix under
discussion would widen the eligibility for people with incomes above the 400 percent level. Widening that eligibility for people with
incomes above 400 percent of the poverty line would raise the Affordable Care Act's overall cost, a major issue for Republican lawmakers.
Why Does Obamacare Make Health
Insurance So Expensive? [Aetna CEO Mark] Bertolini identifies three main factors: 1) Obamacare imposes a requirement that,
on an actuarial basis, insurance cover at least 60% of health care costs. Currently, more than half of Americans who buy individual coverage are
below 50%. 2) Obamacare imposes 4% to 5% additional cost in the form of new taxes and fees. Aetna alone will pass on $1 billion in
Obamacare taxes and fees to its policyholders. 3) Obamacare mandates many coverages, whether customers want them or not, and requires insurers
to provide subsidized coverage to those who are already sick. In essence, Obamacare has made cheap health insurance illegal.
anger: It's not about sticker shock; it's about pillage and plunder. [Marlys] Dietrich cannot keep her insurance plan, as the president promised
she could. And she cannot keep her doctor unless she pays twice as much for insurance as she pays now. In fact, even if she goes into a plan in
which she can't keep her doctor, she will still pay around 65 percent more than she currently does. Finally, the family deductible will be
almost twice as much as before.
Sticker shock leads to anger. Americans who face higher insurance costs under President Obama's
health-care law are angrily complaining about "sticker shock," threatening to become a new political force opposing the law even as the White House struggles
to convince other consumers that they will benefit from it. The growing backlash involves people whose plans are being discontinued because the policies
don't meet the law's more-stringent standards. They're finding that many alternative policies come with higher premiums and deductibles.
Obamacare is being used for political retribution.
ObamaCare price hikes hit 'red states' hardest.
Experiencing sticker-shock at the price of insurance on ObamaCare exchanges? That's more likely if you live in a "red state" that didn't vote for Obama,
according to price data compiled by the Heritage Foundation. In red states, premiums for 27-year-olds rose an average of 78% on ObamaCare exchanges,
whereas in "blue states" that voted for Obama, premiums rose a smaller 50%.
Obamacare Failed Promises. The actual name of the
law — the Affordable Care Act — is a joke. For a vast majority of Americans, premium prices are skyrocketing. The
Heritage Foundation has concluded that health insurance costs will be higher in 45 out of the 50 states. At least 10 states will
see prices double for people over the age of 27. Day after day we've seen stories about those who are truly experiencing sticker shock.
NBC: ObamaCare Explodes Small Business
Owner's Premium By 400%. On Tuesday's [10/29/2013] NBC Nightly News, Lisa Meyers told the story of a victim of President Obama's
lie about being able to keep your insurance if you like it. ObamaCare not only kicked this small business owner off his plan, his new premium
will cost 400% more. Meyers also reports what much of the media won't: that he is not getting "better coverage."
How the Obama Administration Made Sure You Couldn't Keep Your Plan. First of all, even the
"grandfathered" policies required that they be offered at equal prices to those with pre-existing conditions — thus jacking up premiums
immediately, by law.
CNN reluctantly reports the obvious:
For many, Obama's promise of health care choice does not ring
true. [A] CNN analysis found that consumer options vary significantly from state to state, and many Americans are discovering that they
have very few options. In West Virginia and New Hampshire, for example, residents shopping on the exchanges can only purchase plans from a single
company. Contrast that with the state-operated exchange in New York which has 16 participating companies, an average of five per county.
Wisconsin, which is on the federal exchange, has 13 participating insurers, although some counties in the state have only one.
The Editor says...
The more companies compete, the lower the prices will be. That's what used to happen before Obamacare struck. It was called free market
competition. The price of health insurance could have been lowered by allowing interstate competition amongst the insurance companies, but the
left-wing tax-and-spend baby-killing Democrats wanted power and control.
California resident: 'I was all for
Obamacare' until I got the bill. California residents are rebelling a bit against Obamacare, with thousands shocked by the sticker price
and rethinking their support, saying that what seemed wonderful in principle is not translating so well into reality. As Pam Kehaly, the
president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, reported, she received a letter from one woman who saw her insurance rates rise by 50 percent
due to Obamacare.
Health insurance rates rising.
Small businesses and individuals in Michigan have complained long and hard the past several weeks to health insurers, agents and state insurance regulators
over health insurance renewal quotes they have received for 2014 that range from under 10 percent to up to 75 percent or more.
Southeast Michigan's health insurers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Priority Health, HealthPlus and Health Alliance Plan, have
told customers that rate increases next year are driven by a combination of regular medical cost trends along with new taxes, coverage of
pre-existing conditions, regulations and additional benefits required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Some health insurance gets pricier as Obamacare rolls
out. Although recent criticism of the healthcare law has focused on website glitches and early enrollment snags, experts say sharp price
increases for individual policies have the greatest potential to erode public support for President Obama's signature legislation.
Obamacare Costs One Indiana School
District $6 Million. It would cost $6 million a year to provide health care to every employee who works more than 30 hours, says
ObamaCare Doubles Premiums for Young Women.
The vast majority of the population will be screwed by ObamaCare. A small number of people with medical problems who have jobs will benefit, but it would
have been far easier and cheaper to pay to cover them. This is still about the Government Class and its insatiable welfare lust.
Health-Insurance Premiums Will Almost Double in Wisconsin. Health-care premiums in Wisconsin will almost double under Obamacare, compared
with their current rates, according to a report from the MacIver Institute.
'If the N.S.A. is Big Brother, We're Big Mother'.
When President Obama said, ObamaCare is "not just a website," unfortunately he was right. The disastrous launch of the ObamaCare exchanges is only part
of the transformation of the U.S. healthcare system that has been going on since 2009. One prominent example: the Center For Medicare
And Medicaid Innovation was established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with an appropriation of "$10,000,000,000 for the activities initiated under
this section for the period of fiscal years 2011 through 2019," or $1.1 billion per year for nine years.
Health Law Fails to Keep Prices Low in Rural
Areas. As technical failures bedevil the rollout of President Obama's health care law, evidence is emerging that one of the program's loftiest
goals — to encourage competition among insurers in an effort to keep costs low — is falling short for many rural Americans. While
competition is intense in many populous regions, rural areas and small towns have far fewer carriers offering plans in the law's online exchanges.
What Government Schools Can Teach Us
About Government Healthcare. A common argument made in favor of government-financed healthcare is that it is inherently cheaper than a private system.
Strangely, however, the people who celebrate the government's ability to hold down healthcare spending would be horrified at the same argument applied to other
public-sector functions. It's a seriously inconsistent position held by advocates of bigger government. To see why, let's think for a moment about a
different industry run by the government: K-12 education.
spending to top contractors tops $1 billion. The price tag usually associated the Affordable Care Act rollout is $394 million, based
on a Government Accountability Office report. [Peter] Gosselin argued that study was too narrowly focused, so he expanded his search of a federal
contractor databases to include all awards where the acronym "ACA" or other related words and phrases appeared. "In looking at the full range of
ACA-related contracts for just 10 firms, the BGOV analysis found more than $1 billion worth of contract awards," he wrote.
HealthCare.gov's Facebook page is getting a lot of
hate. Facebook users piled onto HealthCare.gov's Facebook page this week, slamming the dysfunctional website and the hugely increased cost of health
insurance. Many called the new costs "outrageous" while railing against "huge deductibles." The few Americans able to access the exchange website were
angry to discover that President Obama's Affordable Care Act isn't so affordable at all.
Poynter Offers Media Guide to Gloss Over Millions of ObamaCare's Victims.
Because the media are as desperate as Obama to see ObamaCare succeed, the faulty federal website is getting all kinds of attention. One thing that isn't, though, is
that millions among the working and middle class are losing insurance they are happy with and seeing their monthly premiums spike, sometimes by as much as 150%.
Obamacare Raising Premiums, Hurting Middle, Lower Class.
Premiums for plans in the exchanges will climb in 45 states compared to plans offered in the individual market before Obamacare's implementation, according to
a study released Wednesday [10/23/2013] by the Heritage Foundation. States like Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, and Vermont will see triple-digit percentage
increases. For example, premiums in Arkansas will soar by more than 170 percent to $285 per month for adults aged 27. Rates will also increase
by 79 percent for adults aged 50 and 25 percent for a family of four.
Sticker Shock: Obamacare Increases Premiums in 42 States.
A comprehensive review has found that young people will see the largest increases to their health insurance premiums and insurance costs will go up in all but
fives states for which data is available. Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) insurance exchanges has proven to be a somewhat daunting process
amidst technical glitches and delays. A recent report says once individuals are able to get a quote for health insurance on an exchange, they might
experience "sticker shock."
How affordable is
health insurance after the Affordable Care Act? Across New Jersey and throughout the country many people, especially those in their 50s and
60s, are experiencing a bit of "sticker shock" as they shop for insurance. Plans cost thousands of dollars per year and many come with deductibles
that are a couple thousand more.
We Won't Back Down on ObamaCare. Supporters of
ObamaCare usually defend the law by insisting that they want to help people. I won't question their motives. I do wonder, however, if they
understand what they're doing to the country. We know that premiums are going up due to ObamaCare — Americans are getting notices in their
mailboxes every day. [...] In North Carolina, for example, many consumers will find their premiums almost double when shopping on the government exchanges.
The hardest-hit states, such as Georgia, Arizona, Vermont and North Dakota, will see premium increases of up to 150%.
If you think the ObamaCare
exchanges and premiums were bad... ... then Barack Obama's hometown newspaper has news for you. The initial shock of the
premium increases and the incompetent use of $94 million [see update] to create the world's biggest 404 exchange are just the
starting shocks of ObamaCare. Wait until people have to actually start using their new insurance, and perhaps the biggest surprise
of all will be waiting. [...]
$12,600 deductible, 40 percent co-pay, zero competition. Many Americans shopping for better health insurance deals promised by the
two-week-old Obamacare system are instead being slapped with rate shock, including savings-sapping deductibles and co-pays, according to multiple
reports from around the country. For some able to get the problem-plagued Obamacare website to work, the so-called "deals" the system is
coughing up around the country include $12,600 deductibles, co-pays of up to 40 percent, zero competition, and rate hikes of 260 percent.
ObamaCare rates trigger more sticker shock.
Andy Mangione, who lives in Louisville, Ky. with his wife Amy and their two boys, is doing the same thing millions of people are doing — trying
to figure out how much his insurance will cost under ObamaCare. [...] The problem is the plan closest to what he has now will mean a 24 percent
increase over his current payment — after subsidies. And his co-pay for emergency room visits almost tripled — from $125
to $350 — an important factor for a family with two young boys.
Family of Four Will Pay $10,000 More for
Insurance Because of Obamacare. "I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today." That's what Tom Waschura, an independent who
voted twice for Barack Obama, told the San Jose Mercury News on the day he learned his family of four would pay nearly $10,000 more for health insurance in 2014
in order for his policy to "conform to all the requirements of the new health care law."
Gov. actuaries say ObamaCare will
increase health care spending by $621 billion over next 10 years. President Obama has made many promises about his signature health care plan, but one of the
simplest was an assurance that it would lower national health care spending and save every family thousands of dollars. For example, in May 2009 he hailed "comprehensive
health care reform — so that we can do what I pledged to do as a candidate and save a typical family an average of $2,500 on their health care costs in the coming
years." But now government actuaries have reached a different conclusion, finding that ObamaCare will actually increase health care spending by $621 billion over
the next 10 years.
Liberals Mugged By ObamaCare Reality.
While President Obama refuses to consider any delay of ObamaCare, his liberal base is waking up to the fact that "free" health care is awfully expensive. And that
they're the ones getting stuck with the bill.
Insurance Rate Spikes Due to Obamacare Crushing N.C.
Consumers. Because the Affordable Care Act mandates certain types of coverage each health care plan must contain, some insurers like Blue Cross
are canceling existing plans and requiring customers to purchase new plans. How large are the increases? For some families, the changes will mean
tens of thousands of dollars a year, the Charlotte Observer reports: [...]
Obamacare Facebook Erupts with
Citizen Sticker Shock. On Thursday, the government's official Obamacare Facebook page was riddled with people expressing sticker shock over
the government's high cost premiums after struggling for hours to wade through the technical failures vexing Obamacare exchanges all across the country.
"I am so disappointed," wrote one woman. "These prices are outrageous and there are huge deductibles. No one can afford this!"
The comment received 169 "likes."
$175 premium for a young, healthy
student? Thanks, Obamacare! American media outlets were finally able to track down a mythical creature — a person who actually
signed up for the Obamacare exchanges online. But that person, Chad Henderson, admitted to the Washington Post that the premium for the plan he
enrolled in was $175. Ouch! Wasn't Obamacare supposed to lower premiums?
has become the Un-Affordable Care Act. Not only is Obamacare unpopular with the general public, but it also is losing favor among the very
people it's supposed to help. The White House has difficulty getting the uninsured to buy Obamacare not merely because the government website is
bad, but mostly because the product is bad. It's overpriced. The Affordable Care Act long ago became known as Obamacare. Now it's time
to re-christen it the Un-Affordable Care Act.
Five Game-Changing Questions on ObamaCare.
This is an unpopular law that is being promoted with empty slogans and outright lies. But tough questions must be asked. [...] Question 5:
"How could you have been so wrong in promising a $2,500 annual drop in healthcare premiums for a typical family of four under ObamaCare?" President
Obama mentioned this figure many times throughout his 2008 campaign, and in the months preceding the passage of the law. President Obama may claim
that he was making a good faith projection, but the reality is that when he repeatedly made this promise he was way off. Instead of going down, most
family's healthcare costs are going up.
Obamacare launch will be ugly. Premiums will vary widely depending on
where you live. In a few places like New York City, which have long suffered from dysfunctional insurance markets, some people may pay a bit less than
before, especially those getting subsidies. But elsewhere — upstate, for example — many will pay considerably more. Yes, the
federal Health and Human Services Department recently said ObamaCare premiums are "lower than expected," but that "expected" means Congressional Budget Offices
projections — which were that insurance costs would rise.
Thanks A Lot, Mr. President!
My Health Premium Is Up 114%. My health insurer, Kaiser Permanente, has finally calculated what our family's new health insurance rates will
be under the grotesquely misnamed Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare.) The upshot: my premiums are about to rise by 114.6%. My
wife's rates? Up 109%. Our kids? Don't ask. Yes, it's time to say goodbye to my current plan, with its $232-a-month premium.
That plan is being discontinued, I'm told, because it "does not meet the requirements of the ACA."
IRS failed to account for $67M in
ObamaCare costs, report says. The Internal Revenue Service is unable to account for $67 million in spending related to the
implementation of ObamaCare, according to an IRS watchdog report released Wednesday. The report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax
Administration said the money was part of a $488 million fund established to cover implementation costs between 2010 through 2012. The
$67 million in unaccounted-for spending was associated with "indirect" implementation costs, which can include providing employees with
workspace and information technology support.
Exchanges may have high out-of-pocket costs.
Consumers may have to dig a little deeper into their wallets to pay for health care in the Obamacare insurance exchanges, according to a new analysis by
Avalere Health. The study of six states suggests that consumers could face steep cost-sharing requirements — like co-payments,
co-insurance and deductibles — layered on top of their monthly premiums.
Obamacare will triple men's premiums, double women's. The White House on Wednesday [9/25/2013] released a report on the costs
of Obamacare for most Americans, heralding its interpretation that 95 percent of the nation will be able to buy health insurance premiums
below "earlier projections." But note the words "earlier projections." That doesn't mean that the insurance Americans will have to
buy, or be fined, under Obamacare will be cheaper than what they pay today, before Obamacare kicks in.
Now They Tell Us:
ObamaCare Has Huge Hidden Costs. In fact, the cheapest ObamaCare Bronze plan available to 25-year-olds in several states will cost
more than the median-priced plan in those states today, even after taking account of the subsidies. In Virginia, a low-income 25-year-old
will pay $127 a month for the cheapest plan after subsidies, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But the Government Accountability
Office found that the mid-priced plan in Virginia today costs just $112 a month. And as the New York Times discovered, even these ObamaCare
prices are misleading, since the only way insurance companies could keep them low was by severely restricting their networks of doctors and hospitals.
Home Depot Moving Part-Time Workers
to Obamacare Exchanges. On Thursday [9/19/2013], Home Depot became yet another company that announced it would shift part-time workers to the
government-run healthcare exchanges. In addition, a company spokesperson conceded that full-time employees, though they will still get health benefits,
would pay more due to an increase in costs next year.
Here's Why ObamaCare Will Drive Up Health
Costs. The Affordable Care Act that takes effect in 13 days will add $621 billion to the nation's health care bill over the next decade.
That's the good news. The bad news is that costs are likely to be even higher. According to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report,
released on Wednesday [9/18/2013], health spending next year will shoot up 6.1% as ObamaCare takes effect, and increases will average 6.2% in the years after
that. In 2014 alone, ObamaCare will add more than $47 billion to the nation's health care tab.
Government Says Health Spending to Jump Next Year.
The nation's health care spending will jump by 6.1 percent next year as the big coverage expansion in President Barack Obama's overhaul kicks in, government
experts predicted Wednesday [9/18/2013].
Study: ObamaCare could cost billions
more than anybody projected. As estimates of exactly how much the huge new entitlement program that is the "Affordable" Care Act is going to impact the federal
debt and deficit have shifted over the past few years (and not in a good way), the fact is that the top-down attempt to remake an entire sixth of the U.S. economy is bound
to be fraught with still more unintended consequences and hidden costs than you can shake a stick at.
Business Owners May Face $100-Per-Day Penalty Under
ObamaCare. Small business owners who thought they were off the hook for ObamaCare regulations until 2015 may be in for an expensive wake-up call next month.
Beginning Oct. 1, any business with at least one employee and $500,000 in annual revenue must notify all employees by letter about the Affordable Care Act's health-care
exchanges, or face up to a $100-per-day fine. The requirement applies to any business regulated under the Fair Labor Standards Act, regardless of size.
The Obamacare bomb: The scheme is about to blow up the incentive to
work. A mere three weeks remain before the Obamacare exchanges open for business. The likely result will be the closing doors on Main Street, as shopkeepers and
entrepreneurs shut down, unable to make ends meet. It's clear that the wounded economy can't cope with the exploding costs ahead. Ohio announced that premiums would
rise in the individual market by an average of 88 percent next year. Premiums will rise 72 percent in Indiana, 125 percent in Wisconsin. Even
California, with its relatively robust individual market, is bracing for increases of 66 percent.
Obama's Affordable Care Act
looking a bit unaffordable. For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they're
currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data. Adding even more
out-of-pocket expenses to consumers' monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles under the Affordable Care Act.
IRS issues final rules on Obamacare's
'individual mandate'. If individuals choose not to carry insurance, they are subject to a penalty, starting at $95 per person
per year or 1 percent of income in 2014, whichever is greater, and eventually reaching $695 per person or 2.5 percent of income by 2016.
Shocking News: Affordable Care Act
Turning Out to Be Unaffordable. The National Journal must be choking on its bile. It has had to acknowledge that the Republicans have
been right about Obamacare.
Premiums Climbed $2,976 Since 2009, Despite Obama Vow.
The average employer-provided family health insurance premiums have climbed $2,976 since 2009, according to an annual Kaiser Family Foundation survey released
this week. They're up $3,671 compared with the year before President Obama took office. That's despite Obama's repeated promises that the health
care reform law he championed would cut premiums by $2,500 in his first term.
. According to Delta, in 2014 Obamacare will cost the company at least $38 million in direct costs and that is only the
beginning. With added medical inflation, Delta claims "the cost of providing health care to our employees will increase by nearly $100,000,000
next year." A $100 million increase thanks in large part to Obamacare and ancillary cost increases derived therefrom.
3 Million Young People Would
Save Money Ditching Obamacare. A new study finds that three million young Americans would save $1,000 by forgoing the Obamacare health exchanges and
instead paying the government's penalty for being uninsured. The study, conducted by the National Center for Public Policy Research, concludes that Americans
aged 18 to 34 without children would benefit financially by opting to pay the government's $95 or one percent of income penalty and not sign up
for the Obamacare health exchanges.
Obamacare to end health plan used by 100,000 New Jerseyans.
The bare-bones health insurance policy that's been the plan of choice for New Jerseyans who can't afford something better is set to go away next year, thanks to the
Affordable Care Act. And what those policy holders will be left with may be a choice among pricey, pricier and priciest.
Obamacare subsidizes fatherlessness.
Single Mom Pays $8,173 Obamacare
Penalty — for a Marriage License. Obamacare attacks the liberty and financial viability of the traditional family, and nothing demonstrates
this more clearly than the system of federal subsidies it puts in place starting next year. This system rewards people who don't marry, don't work and don't
take care of their own children. It punishes people who do marry, work hard and take care of their own children.
The liar in chief. [Scroll down] Then just
last month the White House — again with no congressional input to actually change the law — simply announced a one year delay in the
requirement that large employers offer health care coverage to full time employees or face a penalty. Individuals faced with a similar dilemma and similar
penalties are also demanding relief — thus far without success. But this week the administration announced yet another delay — until
2015 — on perhaps the most consumer-friendly aspect of the Affordable Care Act. The law was supposed to limit out-of-pocket expenses, including
deductibles and co-pays, to $6,350 for an individual or $12,700 for a family.
The Close Connections between the Economy and the
Family. [Scroll down] Worse, we are discovering that ObamaCare really will "destroy marriage for the middle class the same way that the Great Society
welfare state destroyed the black family — with financial incentives for staying single." ObamaCare's marriage penalty could possibly cost couples over
$10,000 a year. This intentional disparity means that U.S. government policy will encourage singleness and create increased disincentives for marriage.
Report: Obamacare May Raise
Insurance Premiums 400 Percent. Insurance companies are saying premiums could increase up to 400 percent as a result of Obamacare.
health insurance plans will increase next year because of the Affordable Care Act. [The South Carolina] Department of Insurance
released the first specifics on Friday [8/2/2013] about how the federal Affordable Care Act will impact health insurance prices here. The
department estimates the premiums for some plans may increase by 70 percent.
Analysis: Obamacare [is] Gutting
[the] Middle Class. While President Barack Obama has claimed he is a champion of the middle class, two of his signature
initiatives — comprehensive immigration reform and Obamacare — threaten to further gut America's middle class.
'Cheapest' ObamaCare Plans Aren't So
Cheap After All. The average price for the lowest-cost ObamaCare "bronze" plan in eight states is 122% higher than the cheapest plan currently
available in those states, according to an IBD analysis of rate filings and a recent Government Accountability Office report.
HHS sought to spend an estimated $159 million per year on new employees to help run Obamacare. Documents obtained from the Health and
Human Services Department through a Freedom of Information Act request show that on the day the Affordable Care Act became law, the agency received
fast-track authority to hire 1,814 new high-level employees to put Obamacare into practice, at a likely cost of more than $159 million per year.
It's unclear whether those employees were ever hired. HHS did not respond to a request for comment. But the hiring request was approved by
the Obama administration's Office of Personnel Management despite a government-wide hiring freeze.
Is ObamaCare Destined to Become a Parking Lot?
Perhaps the nearby little hospital which you love is consolidated with the bigger one a drive away, or the average doctor's appointment falls from to
ten minutes or five, followed by the choice in doctors being narrowed so that you have to accept the one assigned to you by the government. Or
certain tests or treatments which were once ordered automatically will be denied because they don't fit the metric of some anonymous advisory
panel — as all the while the amount families pay for medical insurance doubles, then doubles again. So what happens then?
Where's the affordable part of the Affordable Care Act?
A few months ago, Obamacare critics were pointing to alarming predictions that some insurance rates would spike when the law took
effect — by as much as 41 percent in Wisconsin, 85 percent in Ohio, and so on. In Virginia, though,
the potential increases are not all that bad. Some are actually much worse. [...] Aetna says its most popular policy for a
29-year-old man currently costs $118 per month in Richmond. Once Obamacare kicks in, the rate will jump to $225 — an
increase of more than 90 percent.
of ObamaCare subsidies has increased dramatically, critics say. The cost of subsidies for those seeking government aid
through ObamaCare has increased dramatically, critics say — even before a single dollar has been collected. Republican
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah wrote a letter to the administration asking why the president is already requesting 107 percent more
than three years ago to pay for subsidies. "They low-balled everything, and they knew they were not asking for enough money
to actually do this," John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis said.
NBA MVP LeBron James Faces $157K
Medicare Tax Hike Under Obamacare. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is in discussions with the Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS) on ways to help promote the Obama administration's signature health care law. But the league's top players, including NBA Finals
MVP LeBron James, are already feeling the effects of Obamacare's tax increase right in their wallets. Under Obamacare, the Medicare payroll
tax rate rose from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent on January 1, 2013. James, a forward for the Miami Heat, will see a $157,905
increase in the Medicare payroll tax he currently pays on his $17.5 million salary, bringing his total Medicare tax bite to $666,710.
ObamaCare Increases Insurance Premiums Prices in California.
One of the most serious flaws with ObamaCare is that its hurricane 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."
Local Governments Reeling Under ObamaCare
Costs. When Regal Entertainment Group (RGC) in April blamed ObamaCare for the fact that it was cutting some of its workers' hours, backers of the law
mounted a furious backlash against the theater chain, among other things filling its Facebook page with boycott threats. "Greed and selfishness make me sick,"
one of them said.
The Young Won't Buy ObamaCare. Media outlets lately
have emphasized the challenge of enticing healthy young adults to sign up for ObamaCare, "exactly the type of person insurance plans, states and the federal
government are counting on to make health reform work," as the L.A. Times put it. These pieces are useful as far as they go, but miss a key point
that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito managed to convey in many fewer words during last year's Supreme Court argument on ObamaCare. Mr. Alito pointed
out that young, healthy adults today spend an average of $854 a year on health care. ObamaCare would require them to buy insurance policies expected to
cost roughly $5,800.
Obamacare: Is a $2,000 deductible
'affordable?' States are starting to roll out details about the exchanges, providing a look at just how affordable
coverage under the Affordable Care Act will be. Some potential participants may be surprised at the figures: $2,000
deductibles, $45 primary care visit co-pays, and $250 emergency room tabs. Those are just some of the charges enrollees
will incur in a silver-level plan in California, which recently unveiled an overview of the benefits and charges associated
with its exchange. That's on top of the $321 average monthly premium.
ObamaCare Is Working As Intended. President Obama went to California last week to declare ObamaCare is working just
as planned. If he means it was intended to dramatically hike insurance costs, he's got that right. [...] Blue Cross says a
28-year-old male Rhode Islander who makes $34,000 will see his premiums more than double to $244 a month next year.
More Bad Obamacare News. Forbes reports that Ohio is the latest
state to announce a market-increase in healthcare premiums as a consequence of Obamacare. According to an Ohio Department of Insurance
press release, the average Ohioan currently pays $223 per month, but can expect premiums to surge to $420 with the implementation of the
Affordable Care Act.
ObamaCare Sticker Shock Will Hit
Americans Hard. Federal lawmakers are warning Americans to prepare for some "shocking" news when they renew their health insurance next year.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee just published "The Looming Premium Rate Shock" — a report estimating that some Americans could see their
insurance bills quintuple.
Obamacare socks union
health plans with 40% tax. Deep in the list of taxes that the president's Obamacare plan will hit Americans with is
a 40 percent excise tax on health plans typical union members have, especially in Midwest states, according to a new analysis.
The Obamacare tax won't take place until 2018, but when it does it will smack high cost, or so-called "Cadillac" health insurance
plans, according to the group Americans for Tax Reform.
ObamaCare Will Fuel Health Care Inflation. Americans were promised that ObamaCare would make their health care more
affordable. But a pair of studies show the new system has done nothing to lower health costs and will sharply raise them.
Liberal Democrat: Obamacare Insurance Premiums To "Shoot Up". Isn't it funny that when Republicans were pointing out
issue after issue with Obamacare, Democrats were insisting that the bill was perfect. However, now that Obamacare is about
to go into effect, suddenly Democrats are seeing all sorts of problems that they never noticed before.
Higher Medical Costs, Less Research Because of Device Tax. The federal medical device tax, which went into force on
January 1 of this year, will have an adverse effect on the medical device industry, consumers, and the economy, according to
a new analysis by the Tax Foundation. The 2.3 percent excise tax on the manufacturers of medical devices is part of the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. The provision is predicted to
raise $3.2 billion dollars each year on average for the next 10 years.
set to repeal Obamacare tax on medical devices. The GOP-led House is set to repeal
Obamacare's medical device tax this week, forcing Democrats either to stand by President Obama's
signature law at all costs or side with industry groups who say the tax on pacemakers, artificial
joints and other products is a job killer that stifles innovation. The repeal could be the one
significant tweak to the Affordable Care Act of 2010 that makes it through Congress this year, as
Republicans team up with Democrats who've said the 2.3-percent excise is particularly damaging back
home, despite their support for the 2010 law overall.
Obama Expects States to Pick Up
Obamacare Tab. President Obama's health care law was projected to spend $898 billion over ten years when it was passed. That
price tag largely masked the true ten-year cost because of the delayed implementation of the law, and the CBO revised its cost estimate in 2013 to show
that the law will spend $1.85 trillion in the next ten years. Obamacare is already experiencing cost overruns, and the Obama Administration
expects the states to pick up the tab.
ObamaCare Launch Failures
Won't Be For Lack Of Money. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been complaining a lot about
money lately. Specifically, about how she doesn't have enough to implement ObamaCare. At a recent congressional
hearing, for example, she said that although the Congressional Budget Office calculated "we'd need about $10 billion in
implementation money; $1 billion was appropriated." At another hearing she told how "we were incredibly disappointed
that our requests for additional outreach and education resources were not made available," referring to a request for
$949 million more to help set up the federal exchanges.
$54 million: Price for just
one year of Obamacare 'navigators'. The Obama administration has set aside $54 million in federal grants to fund the first year of
Obamacare "navigators," the community activists, union members and health professionals who will be paid to help an estimated 7 million Americans
sign up for health exchanges nationwide.
This won't be the last "revised estimate" by any means.
Obama Doubles Estimate
to $4 Billion for Health Exchanges. The $1.3 trillion U.S. health-care system overhaul is getting more expensive and will
initially accomplish less than intended. Costs for a network of health-insurance exchanges, a core part of the Affordable Care Act, have
swelled to $4.4 billion for fiscal 2012 and 2013 combined, and will reach $5.7 billion in 2014, according to the budget President
Barack Obama yesterday [4/9/2013] sent to Congress. That spending would be more than double initial projections, even though less than half
the 50 U.S. states are participating.
When Government and Health Care
Converge, Socialism Begins. The most ominous trend in America's employment data is not the number of people who have left the labor
force, but the number who are now working either for the government or in the as-yet-still-private sector of the health care industry. Health
care has boomed under Obama, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, there
were 13,436,700 jobs in the private health care industry; by this March, there were 14,516,600.
Study: Health overhaul to raise
claims cost 32 percent. Insurance companies will have to pay out an average of 32 percent more for medical claims on
individual health policies under President Barack Obama's overhaul, the nation's leading group of financial risk analysts has estimated.
The Unaffordable Care Act.
[Scroll down] These are just a few of the many increasingly evident reasons why Obamacare in its current form has no future.
For now, you've got to dig pretty deep in your newspaper to see it. But it's going to become clearer and clearer to real
voters as implementation proceeds.
White House Yawns
As ObamaCare Premium Spikes Loom. News this week that ObamaCare will cause a huge spike in insurance claims in the
individual market — and result in sky-high premium hikes — was bad enough. Worse still was the
Obamacare's crushing burden.
To see why the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will raise the costs of health insurance for Americans, look no further than
Missouri, where U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig struck down a state law exempting moral objectors from purchasing birth control
coverage. Judge Fleissig wrote on Thursday [3/21/2013] that this Missouri law contradicted federal law, which requires insurers
to offer free contraceptive coverage, and that federal law pre-empts state law.
Youth Healthcare Premiums to Skyrocket 145%-203%. A report released yesterday [3/5/2013] by the House Committee on
Energy and Commerce reveals the devastating reality many Americans will face when Obamacare is in full force next year. While
the majority of Americans will likely see their healthcare premiums increase, no one will swallow the cost burden more than young
Americans. Previous studies have reported that youth healthcare premiums could increase as much as 45 percent, but the the House
Committee report concluded that young Americans could see an increase as much as 203 percent.
'I told you so' on Obamacare. The program was allocated $5 billion, but some estimate it will take $40 billion
to fund the effort. Such surprises are becoming routine. The New York Times has reported that many small and mid-size
firms may be opting out of Obamacare entirely.
Insurance Plans Will Be Bare Bones — And Expensive. There's mounting evidence that come fall, the health
plans sold through the Obamacare exchanges will be bare bones affairs — with narrow networks of providers to select from,
and heavy co-insurance once patients go "out of network." In many ways these plans will be a throwback to insurance schemes of
the late 1990s, when managed care was dominant and restrictive networks standard fare. With one difference: The Obamacare
plans won't be cheap.
Reasons ObamaCare Will Add Far More To Deficits. On Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions touted a government report that
blew a $6.2 trillion hole in President Obama's promise that his signature health reform wouldn't add a dime to the deficit.
According to the report by the Government Accountability Office, that promise rested entirely on several cost-control mechanisms in
ObamaCare that almost no one thinks will work.
Report: Obamacare Adds $6.2 Trillion to Long-Term Deficit. Obamacare will increase the long-term federal deficit by
$6.2 trillion, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released today [2/26/2013]. Senator Jeff
Sessions (R., Ala.), who requested the report, revealed the findings this morning at a Senate Budget Committee hearing. The
report, he said, "confirms everything critics and Republicans were saying about the faults of this bill," and "dramatically proves
that the promises made assuring the nation that the largest new entitlement program in history would not add one dime to the deficit
The Affordable Care Act Nobody Can Afford.
The cheapest category of Obamacare is the Bronze Plan which costs $20,000 per year for a family of two adults and three children
and it pays only 60% of medical costs after the deductibles for the year have been met. [...] During my 30-year teaching career,
I seldom had to pay more than $3,600 a year premium for private insurance for my family. Even a retirement private plan
did not cost more than $8,000 per year with 80% reimbursement as opposed to only 60% reimbursement under the Obamacare Bronze
Plan. Is Obamacare really affordable? The answer is a resounding no.
ObamaCare's 'affordability glitch' leave your family without health care? The "Affordable Care Act" is turning out to be
anything but. Slogans reminiscent of the government doublespeak of George Orwell's 1984 are taking the place of real access to
real care. Advocates for the poor are now suddenly concerned about a new oxymoron, the so-called "affordability glitch," where your
employer can no longer afford to cover you and your family, and you will be forced to go to the state exchanges for your health insurance
only to discover that you can't afford the rising premiums there and don't qualify for a federal subsidy.
is Going to Make Something Else More Expensive. ObamaCare was sold as a health insurance reducer. Instead, in
a few years many Americans will see their health insurance costs rise to $20,000 per year. Some premiums will rise by as much
as 85%. ObamaCare was sold as being good for your bottom line. Instead, it may drive the price of pizza through the
roof. And now, it may also force price hikes at your local supermarket.
Obamacare Exchange Costs Up 29% Before Program
Starts! One of the big features of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. health-care reform or Obamacare) is the creation of
exchanges where people can buy subsidized insurance plans if they don't qualify via the workplace. There's a raft of implementation
issues as states try to figure out whether they want to set up their own exchanges or go along with federal ones. Here's
something that only makes 2014, the year Obamacare fully comes online, even more dread-worthy: The estimated cost of subsidizing
plans through Obamacare's exchanges has grown from $3,970 in 2010 to $5,510.
ACA premium sticker shock
could fuel foes. The federal health care law could nearly triple premiums for some young and healthy men, according to a
forthcoming survey of insurers that singles out a group that might become a major public opinion battleground in the Obamacare wars.
The survey, fielded by the conservative American Action Forum and made available to POLITICO, found that if the law's insurance rules were
in force, the premium for a relatively bare-bones policy for a 27-year-old male nonsmoker on the individual market would be nearly
190 percent higher.
CBO: Entitlements, ObamaCare To
Make Up 53% of Federal Spending. According to projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), entitlements
and ObamaCare spending will comprise 53 percent of all federal spending over the coming decade, totaling $24.9 trillion.
In its updated Budget and Economic Outlook report released on Tuesday, the CBO projects that Social Security will account
for $11.149 trillion in spending from 2014 to 2023 while federal health care entitlements, including Medicare, Medicaid, and
ObamaCare, will spend $13.85 trillion. (That total includes TRICARE, CHIP, and "other" spending listed by the CBO under
to citizenship could increase Obamacare cost up to $300 billion over a decade. Any immigration package in which current
illegal immigrants are made eligible for Obamacare — in the form of either exchanges or Medicaid — could increase
costs to the federal government by between $120 billion to $200 billion in its first decade, according to internal calculations
by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee that were obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller.
IRS Admits Obamacare's Cost is $20,000 Per Family.
The IRS (which is charged with enforcing the onerous penalties and fines of the President's healthcare "reform" law) has finally released a cost analysis based on
ObamaCare regulations showing that the cheapest healthcare plan in 2016 will cost average American families of four or five members $20,000 per year for the
so-called "bronze plan."
Whatever Happened to Free Obamacare? The
IRS issued regulations last week announcing that the cheapest insurance plan under Obamacare will cost a family of five $20,000 per year by 2016. That
estimate is based on choosing the plan offering the least benefits, the bronze plan.
IRS: Cheapest Obamacare Plan Will Be
$20,000 Per Family. In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare
the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year. Under Obamacare, Americans will
be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.
Obamacare didn't do anything for rising health care costs. It is called "The Affordable Care Act." But most
supporters of Obamacare have stopped talking about cost savings and started focusing on increased benefits, acknowledging (sometimes
explicitly and sometimes implicitly) that expanded coverage and more benefits will actually cost more money, not less, but that the
trade-off is worth it.
Insurance Brokers Prepare Clients For Obamacare Sticker Shock. A California insurance broker, who sells health plans to
individuals and small businesses, told me that she's prepping her clients for a sticker shock. Her local carriers are hinting to
her that premiums may triple this fall, when the plans unveil how they'll billet the full brunt of Obamacare's new regulations and
mandates. California is hardly alone. Around the country, insurers are fixing to raise rates by double digits.
health czar: Obamacare is driving up insurance rates before it drives them down. President Obama's health care adviser during the
Obamacare debate admitted that health insurance rates are rising in anticipation of the implementation of the health care law, but argued that
it's because the law will lower rates later.
ObamaCare's Health-Insurance Sticker Shock.
Health-insurance premiums have been rising — and consumers will experience another series of price shocks later this year when some
see their premiums skyrocket thanks to the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare. The reason: The congressional Democrats who crafted
the legislation ignored virtually every actuarial principle governing rational insurance pricing. Premiums will soon reflect that
disregard — indeed, premiums are already reflecting it.
'ObamaCare' provisions to watch. The Medicare trust fund is kept afloat through a dedicated tax, clearly identified on taxpayers'
pay stubs. For families who make more than $250,000 per year (or individuals who make more than $200,000), that tax is about to
go up — from 1.45 percent to 2.35 percent. Republicans have cited this increase in opposing higher income tax rates for
the wealthy, arguing that "ObamaCare" has already raised taxes above the $250,000 threshold Obama has targeted in "fiscal cliff" talks.