Archive for September 25th, 2013

25
Sep
13

The Affordable Care Act: a personal experience

The media is swamped with news about the roll-out for the Affordable Care Act, from newspapers and broadcast media outlets and blogs giving primers on the act’s machinery, to Republicans mounting a last ditch and futile effort to derail it. The efforts to derail it are laughable, and veer into Looney Tunes territory; the fact is that the law will be in effect come next Tuesday, and a tsunami wave of information about it is starting to come out detailing its parameters and costs. Politically, this means that the act will be the defining topic for the 2014 elections; once people start applying for coverage, and fully discover all the benefits, they’ll start to appreciate it, and look very askance at any politician who wants to repeal it.

You can’t swing a dead fly on Twitter without hitting a tweet about Obamacare’s imminent birth. But this one struck me quite strongly:

Let that sink in. Over 100 million of our fellow citizens have a pre-existing condition. Before Obamacare, if they had insurance from their job, lost that job, and found work with a company which didn’t provide health coverage, they would either be denied coverage on the open market, or only be able to buy expensive and almost useless insurance.

I’m one of those 129 million people.

Continue reading ‘The Affordable Care Act: a personal experience’

25
Sep
13

ObamaCare: A Tweet Or Two

50 simple and easy facts to counteract the lies about ObamaCare.

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Continue reading ‘ObamaCare: A Tweet Or Two’

25
Sep
13

Obamacare: A Fact or Fifty

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1. Starting now and on October 1st you can go to healthcare.gov or call (1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325) to compare options and select health coverage.

2. Thanks to ObamaCare, insurance companies must cover mental health, substance-use disorder, alcohol misuse screening, domestic violence screening, depression screening, etc. under “essential health benefits.”

3. ObamaCare will increase the need for doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, health information specialists, medical billers, medical sonography, home-care aides, lab technicians, etc. Now, that’s job creation!

4. 360,000 Small Businesses have taken advantage of the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit to insure 2 million workers.

5. ObamaCare will change work and retirement by tilting power from employers to employees.

6. Young Americans (18-34) are eager to purchase health insurance through ObamaCare.

7. ObamaCare saved 6.8 million consumers $1.2 billion on health insurance premiums in 2012.

8. An easy and informative Twitter list of ObamaCare health insurance exchanges.

9. 63% of young adults who identify as Republicans enrolled in their parents health plans under ObamaCare.

10. Health insurance premiums will cost dramatically less under the ObamaCare exchange marketplace.

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White House – Health Reform

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11. 8.5 million Americans from the 19 states already operating health insurance exchanges will use ObamaCare to purchase insurance. It far outstrips the government’s estimate of 7 million new customers in all 50 states.

12. CDC predicts that 200,000 heart disease related deaths per year could be prevented because of ObamaCare.

13. Thanks to ObamaCare, 6.4 million Americans will be able to purchase insurance for $100 a month or less.

14. A fun quiz that tests your ObamaCare knowledge and helps correct confusions and lies.

15. Five great ways ObamaCare helps small businesses.

16. Eight ways ObamaCare benefits Americans.

17. A typical average family buying insurance on their own will save thousands of dollars thanks to ObamaCare.

18. Thanks to ObamaCare, you can use a subsidy calculator to calculate health insurance premiums.

19. Questions about ObamaCare? There are answers.

20. Annual checkups, colonoscopies, contraception, vaccinations, mammograms, HIV counseling, prescription services, ObamaCare covers all of that.

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White House – Health Reform

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21. Confused about the health insurance exchanges? ObamaCare has a breakdown.

22. You own a business or know someone who does? ObamaCare has a website for you.

23. Thanks to ObamaCare, healthcare costs rose at the slowest rate in 50 years.

24. ObamaCare is not abstract. It helps people.

25. 2014 is around the corner and thanks to ObamaCare, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition.

26. Major drops in hospital infections? New Jersey credits ObamaCare for that great news.

27. Thanks to ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, 1.3 million uninsured veterans and their families will have health insurance.

28. Doctors are excited about ObamaCare and here’s why.

29. Insurance companies don’t see ObamaCare as a threat. Sorry, GOP!

30. ObamaCare makes it easy for low income Americans to purchase insurance by making sure insurance companies accept cashier’s checks, re-loadable pre-paid debit cards, and money orders.

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Healthcare.gov

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31. ObamaCare helps doctors improve patient quality while saving $1.9B on the cost of care.

32. Seniors concerned about Medicare? ObamaCare has an answer for that.

33. Thanks to ObamaCare, if insurance companies don’t spend 80% of your premiums on your medical services, they owe you a rebate check.

34. Since the ObamaCare “80/20 Rule” for insurance companies went into effect in 2011, Americans have received over $1.5B in insurance rebates.

35. Dealing with mental health issues? ObamaCare has you covered.

36. Thanks to ObamaCare, 3.1M young Americans have health coverage and saved $147M in high medical bills in 2011.

37. Thanks to ObamaCare, 17 million children with pre-existing conditions are no longer denied coverage or charged more.

38. ObamaCare’s insurance application form is simpler than others currently on the marketplace.

39. Thanks to ObamaCare, the average premium increase in 2012, was 30% lower than in 2010.

40. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that $200B will be saved on federal spending for healthcare.

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Health Reform Map

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41. Thanks to ObamaCare, businesses with 50 or more employees will be fined for not providing health insurance.

42. Republican Governors in Ohio, Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Mexico, and North Dakota will expand Medicaid.

43. Thanks to ObamaCare, 6.1M Older Americans have saved more than $5.7B on their prescription drugs.

44. ObamaCare could eliminate cost barriers for 40 million people seeking addiction treatment.

45. Thanks to ObamaCare, primary care providers in Medicaid will get a 73% raise.

46. ObamaCare makes sure insurance companies offer a four page summary of your benefits and coverages in easy to understand terms.

47. You’re a woman? ObamaCare has your back.

48. ObamaCare strengthened and lengthened Medicare’s lifespan.

49. Want a fact sheet on healthcare? ObamaCare has that.

50. Thanks to ObamaCare, community health centers received $728M to expand services and provide for more patients.

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Essential Links:

HeathCare.gov

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ObamacareFacts.com

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ObamacareByZipCode.com

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KFF.org

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GetCoveredAmerica.org

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FamiliesUSA.org

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DrsForAmerica.org

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WebMD.com

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What has Obamacare done for me lately?

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Walgreens.com

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CVS.com

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Get Covered!

25
Sep
13

How the GOP became bad pantomime

Because any article that has “pantomime” in its title needs an appropriate overture, a bit of Monty Python to start things off:

And really, that’s what the GOP has devolved to: a Monty Python skit, but not as humorous, and with much more dire consequences for the country.

Let’s take a short trip down memory lane and dissect the GOP’s behavior since 2009.

Continue reading ‘How the GOP became bad pantomime’

25
Sep
13

The Bard of TOD

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Chat away, back in a bit!

25
Sep
13

Rise and Shine

On This Day: On a Saturday, the President listens during a conference call in the Situation Room on the Middle East negotiations, Sept. 25, 2010 (Pete Souza)

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Today (all times Eastern):

1:0: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:45: President Obama holds a call with mayors, county officials, and state legislators on the Affordable Care Act

8:15: VP Biden delivers remarks at Clinton Global Citizen Awards

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USA Today: Obama’s day: More health care

President Obama spends Wednesday maintaining his new health care push and monitoring the budget dispute that centers on the same plan.

In the afternoon, Obama holds a conference call with mayors, county officials, and state legislators, pushing the health care plan that faces a pivotal moment.

The president will urge these local officials to urge their constituents to sign up for health care exchanges that open Tuesday. These exchanges are essential to the financing of the health care plan.

More here

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Link

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ThinkProgress: New Report: For 95% Of Americans, Obamacare Will Cost Much Less Than Expected

When uninsured Americans begin enrolling in Obamacare’s new health care exchanges on Oct. 1, the overwhelming majority — 95 percent — will face health care premiums that are 16 percent lower, on average, than the government had previously projected, according to a new report released on Wednesday by the Obama administration.

In the 36 states where the federal government supports or fully runs the Health Insurance Marketplace, a 27-year old who does not qualify for tax credits will pay, on average, $163 for a plan that covers approximately 60 percent of health care expenses (a so-called bronze-level plan), while a 27-year-old with an income of $25,000 could pay $83 dollars per-month after subsidies. Individuals up to 30 years old will also have the option of buying cheaper catastrophic coverage outside of the marketplaces, though they will not qualify for subsidies. A family of four in Texas with an income of $50,000 would pay as little as “$57 per month for the lowest bronze plan after tax credits,” the report finds.

More here

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NBC: $11 a month? Obamacare super-cheap for some, feds find

Bare-bones health insurance could cost just $11 a month for a family of four in Indianapolis on the federal government’s new exchanges, which start serving customers next week.

A similar family in New Orleans might pay as little as $23 a month, although they’d have to shell out $282 for a more generous “silver” plan, the Health and Human Services Department estimates.

And, on average, people will have more than 50 different health plans to choose from if they live in states where the federal government is running the exchanges, HHS says in a report issued Wednesday.

More here

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By Japa:

There is something missing in talking about ObamaCare and I think it is relevant. I am talking about actual cost of healthcare to consumers from a different perspective. In the actual post it talks about a bronze plan, which would cover 60% of charges. Now people might think that 40% is still a lot to pay, but we need to look at the baseline.

Let’s say a person has a $10,000 hospital bill, which isn’t hard to rack up nowadays, if they are uninsured. So they owe $10,000, right. Now let’s say they have the bronze coverage which pays at 60%. So they owe $4,000, right? Wrong.

All the payers have contracts with the different facilities and, in general, those contracts will average from 40%-50% below that regular billed charge. So that $10,000 bill is now reduced to (at the higher end) $6,000. After payment of 60% the individual has a bill for $2,400, significantly less that the $4,000 they might think they would owe.

As the plan level increases, the amount due shrinks drastically.

What does all this mean? The overall cost of health care shrinks as well.

The same applies to doctor visits and a whole host of other services, including prescriptions. And this last is very important.

Because, for the noninsured, prescriptions can be too costly, they do not buy them, which actually, over time, significantly increases cost of care, as well as other things, such as lost work time, loss of productivity, reduced income, therefore reduced money going into the economy.

These are the types of things that I don’t hear being discussed a lot.

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Continue reading ‘Rise and Shine’

25
Sep
13

Early Bird Chat

Sept. 25, 2011: President Obama greets children upon arrival in Seattle, Wash (Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning Early Birds!




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