Keeping Obamacare’s Failures Out Of The News
Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP, MACE
The Obama administration has tried its best to keep Obamacare’s failures away from the people. However, it has been almost as difficult as putting toothpaste back in the tube. The reasons are clear to me.
People are paying attention now because most are personally affected by the failures of Obamacare.
These failures along with President Obama’s other policy failures such as the IRS scandal, Benghazi scandal, Fast and Furious, border control failures, immigration failures, foreign policy failures, NSA privacy intrusions and his lying about those intrusions, attempts at Internet takeover, and unconstitutional unilateral changing of laws through executive orders have lead the American people to lose confidence and trust in whatever President Obama and the Obama administration say.
The traditional mass media has tried mightily to protect President Obama. They have tried to help him keep Obamacare’s failures out of the news.
They have been unsuccessful. If our only source for news was the traditional news media we could be fooled.
Americans must work to stay informed in order to maintain our freedoms.
I will list some of Obamacare’s failures of the last few months.
These failures have had little coverage in the traditional media. Obamacare has continued to move forward to hobble and then destroy the medical care system in America.
President Obama’s goal is to prove that a free market healthcare system does not work. He has disregarded the fact that the healthcare system is not a free market system.
In a recent blog I presented the reasons for physicians’ discontent with Obamacare.
Survey of Physicians And Their Discontent
In July 2014 the “Physicians Foundation” published a survey sent to 660,000 physicians. Twenty thousand physicians completed the survey.
“Forty-six percent of doctors give President Obama's healthcare law a "D" or an "F," according to a new survey from the Physicians Foundation. In contrast, just 25 percent of those surveyed gave the law an "A" or a "B."
A large number of physicians complained about the vast new bureaucracy that has been added to the medical profession.
A physician comment read, "I'm a Canadian physician practicing in the United States. The politicians and policy makers need to understand that government involvement in healthcare never works."
The only newspaper that reported the survey to my knowledge was the Washington Examiner.
President Obama and his administration are playing a numbers game with the enrollment figures. His March 31,2014 figures were inaccurate. The figures were grossly inflated.
President Obama said on March 31st, "this thing is working” successfully. President Obama claimed that 8 million enrolled in Obamacare.
“At a hearing Thursday September 18, 2014 at House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, finally confessed that 7.3 million were enrolled in ObamaCare plans as of mid-August.”
The 7.3 million figure is also fiction. At least 115,000 additional enrollees have not validated their citizenship or legal status. The validation must be completed by September 30,2014.
An additional 360,000 could lose their Obamacare subsidies because of discrepancies over their income. Eighty-five percent of the enrollees are receiving government subsides for healthcare coverage.
Most do not pay taxes because they make less than forty thousand dollars a year. They will not be able to afford the overpriced premiums.
How many of the 8 million have not continued to pay the premiums? No one knows or is telling. Enrollees have a three-month grace period.
California reported in late August that an additional 100,000 of those who enrolled through its state-run exchange were at risk of losing their coverage over citizenship issues.
By my calculations less than three million of the forty-eight (48) million people who were uninsured pre Obamacare became insured. An additional 7 million people lost their healthcare insurance in the individual market.
President Obama provided the American public with a grossly overestimated enrollment figure.
Ms. Tavenner had to put a positive spin on this latest revelation of the fictional enrollment numbers by saying,
"We are encouraged by the number of consumers who paid their premiums."
No one is buying this explanation.
She didn't provide answers to important details for these latest enrollment figures.
- How many who dropped out were young and healthy?
- How many have signed up through the so-called special enrollment process?
- How many are keeping up with premiums?
- How sturdy are the back-office computer programs in order to detect enrollment misinformation?
- How will the government collect the money due to it from these non-paying enrollees?
- Is the November 15th open enrollment period going to go smoothly?
Next Open Enrollment Disaster
It is easy to see that President Obama has delayed the open enrollment time from October 15th to November 15th for political reasons. He wants the potential disaster to occur after the mid-term elections.
Kevin Counihan, the former chief executive of Access Health CT, Connecticut’s online marketplace, was just named head of the insurance marketplaces for the federal government.
He said, “Part of me thinks that this year is going to make last year look like the good old days.”
The front end of the web site looks like it will run smoothly. The back end of the web site still needs work. The government is still trying to see if the links to the IRS, the healthcare insurance industry and social security are functioning properly.
There were not enough healthy young subscribers to keep the insurance rates low. The premiums were too high for many young and healthy uninsured people.
This year the healthcare insurance premiums will be up at least 20%. Healthcare insurers fear it could be even more difficult to sign up young healthy people than it was last year.
Adding to the problem is that the sign up period for choosing a new policy this year will be shorter than last. It will be 3 months instead of six months.
President Obama will probably break the law again and extend the signup period an additional 3 months.
This year it should be more difficult to receive subsidies than last year.
People will drop out of the pool because of the increase in insurance rates. The renewal procedure has not been worked out yet.
Andrew Slavitt, principal deputy administrator for Medicare said they are working hard to make the process as easy as possible.
“We’re putting in place the simplest path for consumers this year to renew their coverage.”
This is another Obamacare smokescreen.
I predict it will be a price disaster.
Obamacare And Zeke Emanuel Setting Us Up For Rationing
One of the most bizarre articles imaginable was Zeke Emanuel’s article in the Atlantic Monthly “Why I Hope to Die at 75”
Dr. Emanuel, one of Obamacare’s authors, gives all the reasons why he doesn’t want to live past 75 years old.
His argument is why should you live longer since you probably are not useful to society.
You have contributed all you are going to contribute. After 75 years old affliction will accumulate and disabilities will make life less pleasant.
It is apparent to me that he is setting us up for government rationing of healthcare for seniors.
The government controls Medicare. It is cheaper for the government not to pay for procedures such as hip replacements, knee replacements, for coronary artery surgery or cardiac pacemakers. All these procedures will extend the life of seniors over 75 years old who need them.
We have also heard rumors that this bureaucratic thinking is already in progress.
Don’t we live in a free country?
Isn’t it up to individuals to make their own life decisions?
Should we leave these decisions up to the government and bureaucrats?
Should they decide our choose of treatment for us?
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.
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