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Obamacare & Healthcare in America (was Tales of People Screwed by...)


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#61 indy

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 12:20 PM

HHS announced today that with more than 800K signups so far in Jan., the total private plan enrollment has surpassed 3 million.

http://www.hhs.gov/h...rketplaces.html

#62 LFC

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 12:47 PM

View PostTraveler, on 23 January 2014 - 07:38 PM, said:

But no real data? I blame BO as much as the blowhards. I cannot believe the lack of transparency. Math boo-boo aside, McArdle is about as sensible as they come, and her take is none to promising. So better pay attention folks. This could sink dems in 2014, maybe even 2016.

I'm beginning to believe that this is all quite intentional. Allow the numbers floundering to continue until the 2014 campaign cycle really starts to spin up and then pour out the best looking numbers possible. Then bash the Republicans for wanting to take health insurance away from millions and millions of people who have to shop for their own, who have preexisting conditions, are poor, or are on their parents' policies. Imagine the backpedaling required by Republicans from their 40+ votes to repeal (not repeal and replace) Obamacare? And how many young people will be receptive to a GOP who are telling them they need to be kicked off their parents' policies the moment they turn 18?

I believe that the lack of hard data is all about politics on Obama's part. And as Chris Rock said, "I'm not sayin' it's right, but I understand."
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

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#63 Banty

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 01:10 PM

View PostLFC, on 24 January 2014 - 12:47 PM, said:

I'm beginning to believe that this is all quite intentional. Allow the numbers floundering to continue until the 2014 campaign cycle really starts to spin up and then pour out the best looking numbers possible. Then bash the Republicans for wanting to take health insurance away from millions and millions of people who have to shop for their own, who have preexisting conditions, are poor, or are on their parents' policies. Imagine the backpedaling required by Republicans from their 40+ votes to repeal (not repeal and replace) Obamacare? And how many young people will be receptive to a GOP who are telling them they need to be kicked off their parents' policies the moment they turn 18?

I believe that the lack of hard data is all about politics on Obama's part. And as Chris Rock said, "I'm not sayin' it's right, but I understand."

I think it's about:

1. Defensiveness in the really partisan environment where any and everything gets spun.

2. It's a fast moving story, subject to un-steerable human tendencies notably the tendency to proscrastinate.

They don't want to be "snapshotted". People are careful about things even on my engineering job. There's always the question of when to discuss a problem, when it might be a one-lot problem or one quickly accounted for, when over-eager management is out and about.
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#64 Probabilistic

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 01:20 PM

View PostLFC, on 24 January 2014 - 12:47 PM, said:

I'm beginning to believe that this is all quite intentional. Allow the numbers floundering to continue until the 2014 campaign cycle really starts to spin up and then pour out the best looking numbers possible. Then bash the Republicans for wanting to take health insurance away from millions and millions of people who have to shop for their own, who have preexisting conditions, are poor, or are on their parents' policies.

Too much faith in a concerted rope-a-dope? You may have noticed the enrollment figures are being released at a faster pace in the last couple of months. The administration has inherent interest in advertising the increasingly successful enrollments to generate momentum for the March deadline, way before the beginning of the mid-term election cycle. With last year's miserable and shameful roll out, the best the administration can hope for this issue to be a tie, politically. A whole lot of damage has been done to the president's credibility.

The real bet is healthier people will be willing to pay more (than they otherwise would have) to support sicker people, who would pay less (than they otherwise would have). Hence, the importance of the ratio. I think the bet is going to take few years to play out before a verdict can be rendered.

#65 Traveler

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 01:47 PM

I go with probabilistic. Wish it were 3-D chess, but don't see it that way. Too many signups are just switchers like me, not new enrollees. So the vaunted 3m signed up by no means represents 3m that didn't have insurance before. Looking more and more like the Health Ins. Co. Act of 2010. Ignore McArdle at your own risk. She seems about as knowledgeable as anyone I have read yet. That is, maybe next to Indy...
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#66 Traveler

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 01:55 PM

On a related note, POGers are gonna shut 'er down if they dont get revisions to ACA.

Quote

"There are issues with Obamacare," Ryan said Thursday at a San Antonio event, as quoted byPolitico. "A lot of folks don't realize there could be some massive insurance company bailouts in the near future with Obamacare that a lot of taxpayers probably didn’t know about that we don’t want to see happen. That’s one of the issues that's in the realm of possibility. There are a lot of things ... that are being discussed but its just not in our interest to negotiate in the media."

The "insurance company bailout" is a reference to a burgeoning Republican effort to eliminate a stability mechanism in Obamacare -- known as "risk corridors" -- that is aimed at holding down premiums in the first few years of the law's insurance marketplaces. It is financed by insurers who enroll healthier patients and pays out insurers who enroll sicker patients. But it does not have to be deficit neutral if the overall pool of consumers is sicker than projected (as earlyestimates suggest is so far the case).

Ryan's comments come on the heels of indications by Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) office and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that Republicans won't agree to raise the debt limit -- the congressionally mandated limit on how much debt the federal government can incur -- without policy add-ons. The House budget chief provided the first indication of what Republicans might conceivably ask for in exchange for a debt limit increase.
Like that worked so well the last time? And just after you passed a fucking budget for the first time since 2008 (?). WTF is the matter with these people?
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
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#67 Traveler

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 02:37 PM

Sorry to be a repetitious Cassandra here, but Moody's seems to agree with me.

Quote

Moody’s announced Thursday it was downgrading its outlook for health insurers from stable to negative based on uncertainty related to ObamaCare. The credit rating agency cited an unstable environment because of the healthcare law’s difficult rollout, and projected that insurers would earn 2 percent less than forecast in 2014.
“While we’ve had industry risks from regulatory changes on our radar for a while, the ongoing unstable and evolving environment is a key factor for our outlook change,” Moody’s Senior Vice President Stephen Zaharuk said in a statement. “The past few months have seen new regulations and announcements that impose operational changes well after product and pricing decisions were finalized.”
The Moody’s report also cites the slow enrollment of young people into ObamaCare as a reason for the downgrade.


And Aetna has some serious reservations as well.

Quote

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC on Wednesday that Obamacare has failed to attract the uninsured, and he offered a scenario in which the insurance company could be forced to pull out of program. The company will be submitting Obamacare rates for 2015 on May 15.

"Are they going to be double-digit [increases] or are we going to get beat up because they're double-digit or are we just going to have to pull out of the program?" Bertolini asked in a "Squawk Box" interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "Those questions can't be answered until we see the population we have today. And we really don't have a good view on that."

He said that so far, Obamacare has just shifted people who were insured in the individual market to the public exchanges where they could get a better deal on a subsidy for coverage. "We see only 11 percent of the population is actually people that were firmly uninsured that are now insured. So [it] didn't really eat into the uninsured population."

For Obamacare to work better, it needs more flexibility and choice of insurance programs, Bertolini said. "We need to make it a lot more simpler for people. There needs to be more choice. When you get more choice, you make it more of a market and you get more people in the program."

That indicates some 220,000 uninsured so far. Not good.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
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#68 Probabilistic

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 02:37 PM

View PostTraveler, on 24 January 2014 - 01:55 PM, said:


How about advocate for, or even assist in the enrollments of younger, healthier people instead of misinforming them? That way the need for insurance bailout will reduce or even disappear. But then again, preventing tax payer money going to the insurance companies for no benefit is not the point; devising clever slogans to hobble the law is.

View PostTraveler, on 24 January 2014 - 01:55 PM, said:

WTF is the matter with these people?
Let me know when you find out.
.

#69 indy

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 02:48 PM

View PostTraveler, on 24 January 2014 - 01:47 PM, said:

I go with probabilistic. Wish it were 3-D chess, but don't see it that way. Too many signups are just switchers like me, not new enrollees. So the vaunted 3m signed up by no means represents 3m that didn't have insurance before. Looking more and more like the Health Ins. Co. Act of 2010. Ignore McArdle at your own risk. She seems about as knowledgeable as anyone I have read yet. That is, maybe next to Indy...

If you include expanded Medicare/Medicaid enrollees (7 million) and people 26 and under who have joined their parents plan (approx 3 million), the grand total is close to 13 million. Perhaps 1.5 million of those are previously enrolled private plans (and that's admittedly just a stab in the dark because the CBO estimated a total of 2 million currently enrolled private plan enrollees would move over in 2014. )

Anyway, there is no going back at this point. It's a done deal. Changes will need to be made as we roll along depending on results, but it is silly to think there is any real existential threat to the new system.

The next thing to overcome is the consolidations that will take place in the health care system, where companies try to monopolize certain coverage areas and drive prices up.

We're a long way from settling this whole thing and Republicans can bay at the moon all they like, but we won't be turning around.

#70 Traveler

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 02:55 PM

Agreed with you on the overall numbers so far. And gubnors rejecting Medicaid aint helping. But seriously wondering about the Medicaid ineligible folks that are still on the sidelines. Weren't they supposed to be around 20 million? I thought Aetna's idea of having more choice in the plans had some merit. I found the choices available to be quite sparse.

You think there is any rope a dope going on?
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#71 indy

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:02 PM

View PostTraveler, on 24 January 2014 - 02:55 PM, said:

Agreed with you on the overall numbers so far. And gubnors rejecting Medicaid aint helping. But seriously wondering about the Medicaid ineligible folks that are still on the sidelines. Weren't they supposed to be around 20 million? I thought Aetna's idea of having more choice in the plans had some merit. I found the choices available to be quite sparse.

You think there is any rope a dope going on?

No, I don't think it's any sort political maneuvering.

You have to remember that the individual retail market is less than 10% of most insurers business (Aetna included), so the material impact of a rocky year or two will be fairly minimal to them. By 2020, the individual retail market will be close to 75 million people if current trends continue. They are in it for the long haul.

#72 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:06 PM

View PostProbabilistic, on 24 January 2014 - 02:37 PM, said:

How about advocate for, or even assist in the enrollments of younger, healthier people instead of misinforming them? That way the need for insurance bailout will reduce or even disappear.

You have it backwards. The objective is the shutdown. In order to get the shutdown, they need a payment problem with the ACA. In order to get a payment problem with the ACA, they need to get healthy people to not enroll. Which they're doing their best to make happen.
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#73 Traveler

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:11 PM

Interesting take on McArdle's conclusions.

Quote

Obamacare is beyond rescue. I think this is almost definitionally wrong for two reasons, one technical and one philosophical.
Chait addressed the first pretty elegantly in his presentation, so I’ll more or less recapitulate his argument. Obamacare’s an insurance system intended, for now, to patch a large hole in the country’s safety net, which creates healthcare guarantees for most but not all Americans. It could in theory be expanded as other programs are phased out or incorporated in, but that’s a question for future years.
The system works by guaranteeing that uninsured people can buy private, regulated coverage; providing them subsidies on a sliding, so that the plans on the market are relatively affordable; and penalizing them if they opt out. A system like this becomes “beyond rescue” if very few people enter it, or carriers pull out of it en masse, or perhaps a combination of the two, precipitated by an actuarial death spiral, where an unexpectedly ill client base causes insurers to increase premiums, driving more healthy people out of the market until it fails altogether.

By these metrics, looks pretty stable to me. Virtually everyone says no actuarial issues that cannot be fixed.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#74 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:14 PM

View PostTraveler, on 24 January 2014 - 02:55 PM, said:

Agreed with you on the overall numbers so far. And gubnors rejecting Medicaid aint helping. But seriously wondering about the Medicaid ineligible folks that are still on the sidelines. Weren't they supposed to be around 20 million? I thought Aetna's idea of having more choice in the plans had some merit. I found the choices available to be quite sparse.

You think there is any rope a dope going on?

I doubt it (rope a dope) would work. These folks go with first opinions. They are still sure that Fast And Furious was intended to kill border agents, the IRS was out to get conservatives, and Benghazi is the worst scandle in U.S. history. Every time it snows in the con-U.S. it proves global warming is wrong. Even if you gave them great numbers, they claim it was lies.
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#75 indy

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:14 PM

Sen. Murray already sent them a letter that said, in essence, you tried this already and we both know you will back down, so shut up already.

[In fairness, what she ACTUALLY said, was: "We will not negotiate over whether or not the United States of America should pay its bills...As we have repeatedly shown, attempts to avoid compromise by putting the full faith and credit of the United States on the line will not succeed"]

#76 Traveler

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:18 PM

I cannot believe they even had the temerity to raise the issue. But what else is new?
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#77 LFC

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:22 PM

View Postindy, on 24 January 2014 - 03:02 PM, said:

By 2020, the individual retail market will be close to 75 million people if current trends continue.

FMI, what trends? Is it population growth or a continuing trend towards businesses jettisoning health insurance as a benefit? Or something else? Or all of the above?
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#78 LFC

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:30 PM

View PostProgressive whisperer, on 24 January 2014 - 03:14 PM, said:

I doubt it (rope a dope) would work. These folks go with first opinions. They are still sure that Fast And Furious was intended to kill border agents, the IRS was out to get conservatives, and Benghazi is the worst scandle in U.S. history. Every time it snows in the con-U.S. it proves global warming is wrong. Even if you gave them great numbers, they claim it was lies.

The right-wing is not the target of pushing out good looking data. NOTHING will please them outside of total control of the government. These are the people who advocated high deductible plans until Obamacare supplied them at which point they proceeded to howl about the high deductibles. They are insane and I think Obama and the Democrats finally grasp that there will never be any reaching through to them on anything.

The people to hit are the independents who do not need Obamacare ... yet. The fact that data is being dripped out and nobody can agree on the numbers is indicative of something intentional. I believe that the Obama Administration has better data than we do. If it's currently not showing what they wish, then it doesn't get out. When it shows something they want us to know, more will be presented. I don't think it's a "rope a dope" strategy, just standard political message control.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#79 Traveler

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:32 PM

Maybe, but I would still love to see the numbers behind the title of this thread. All them folks that lost coverage and all that....
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#80 LFC

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:59 PM

View PostTraveler, on 24 January 2014 - 03:32 PM, said:

Maybe, but I would still love to see the numbers behind the title of this thread. All them folks that lost coverage and all that....

Of course those numbers would be meaningless without an analysis of policies lost. As pointed out, some (many?) of those policies were best viewed as "insurance in name only." So do I think Obama might hide those numbers for political reasons? Absolutely.

I think the poster children cited in my original links that the right-wingnuts chose for themselves are very telling on this issue. Where are the examples of people losing good policies and being unable to afford the lesser replacement policies? If it's so common, they should be able to trot them out by the dozen and shouldn't have to resort to easily debunked cases. But they haven't. Perhaps they are just completely and totally incompetent at selecting evidence from an abundance of cases, but I kinda' doubt it.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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