Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
The enrollment projection by the Obama administration is far below the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s projection of about 21 million people.
The CBO gets the numbers to calculate its projections from the Obama administration.
The next sentence is the Obama administration’s spin to confuse the public about the truth.
“We’ve seen high levels of satisfaction with the marketplace and expect the vast majority of our current customers will re-enroll. And our target assumes that more than one out of every four of the eligible uninsured will select plans.”
The original Obama administration enrollment prediction for 2015 was 17 million.
The Obama administration claimed Obamacare was a success in 2014. Eleven million people enrolled despite the healthcare.gov problems. Enrollment in 2014 was extended for most of the year.
The final enrollment number was reduced to 6.6 million after not payment of premiums, false applications, miscounting and dropouts.
Enrollment numbers for 2015 were published as more than 13 million. It was again revised to 11 million and finally 9 million. Enrollment again was extended in 2015.
Two weeks ago it was announced that 330,000 enrollees did not make their second month’s premium payment. Enrollees have a 90 grace period in which they can use their insurance to pay for medical care.
The result is enrollees can have four months of healthcare insurance for the price of one.
People stopped paying the premium because they realized they could not afford the 2015 premium cost. This year the cost will be between 10-40 percent higher than 2015.
In 2012 fifteen (15) million people lost their individual healthcare insurance because of Obamacare’s changes in insurance policy requirements.
The CBO predicts there will be 21million enrollees in 2016.
The Obama administration, using taxpayers’ money, has loaned health insurance co-ops more than $2.4 billion spread over just 23 states.
Most of the Co-Ops are hemorrhaging cash. Four have gone bankrupt and Colorado and Oregon are on the way. Consumers who bought healthcare insurance from these “Co-Op’s” are going to have to find another insurance company through the health insurance exchange.
People are not going to be able to find an affordable insurer. Premiums and deductibles are going to be out of reach to everyone including people on subsidies.
In 2015 the 300,000 that did not pay after the first premium payment has proved this already.
Medicare will expose millions of senior americans to a staggering 50 percent increase in their premiums for Medicare Part B.
It is a result of provisions in the laws governing Medicare and Social Security.
Here is the impending disaster.
The Part Medicare B premiums have been rising each year. The premiums are deducted from Social Security payments made to beneficiaries’ each month.
There is a “hold harmless” provision in the Medicare rules that guarantees that a dollar amount increase in Medicare’s premium one year cannot be so big that the senior is left with a Social Security check payment that is less than the year before.
The goal of the provision is to ensure that senior beneficiaries don’t have less money to live on the next year than the year before.
Inflation is not calculated into the equation.
Seventy percent of the Medicare beneficiaries are held harmless and do not have to pay the increased premium because of the rising premiums. These seniors will pay the same premium they paid the previous year.
The increased costs to the government will have to be paid by higher Medicare premiums and deductibles by the remaining 30 percent of beneficiaries not held harmless.
The Medicare rule is that beneficiaries have to cover at least 25% of the government’s Medicare Part B costs.
As premiums to the government are increased 10-40% by the healthcare insurance companies that do the administrative services for the government, the premium costs to the 30% who are not held harmless are going up over 50% of the previous year’s premiums.
“Medicare Part B deductible, which must be paid by everyone on Medicare (no one is “held harmless”). Medicare Part B premiums will rise from $147 in 2015 to $223 in 2016.”
“This will pose a particular burden to beneficiaries just above the poverty line who aren’t eligible for assistance from Medicaid in paying deductibles.”
The Medicare deductible of $1300 for each hospital admission is a tremendous burden on a senior.
President Obama and the Democrats are frantically seeking ways to avoid a senior uproar as seniors discover yet another hidden Obamacare tax increase.
The Democratic leadership is trying to figure out how to blame Republicans for this mess.
The leadership of both parties is quietly trying to figure out a way around the increase to the affected seniors.
“Premium increases could affect about 30 percent of the 51 million people enrolled in Part B of Medicare, which covers doctors’ services, outpatient hospital services, some home health care and other items.”
Nancy Pelosi has started grandstanding to blame the Republicans for the increase in premiums.
She said, “Congress has a responsibility to act,”
“If we do nothing, millions of American seniors will suffer. Democrats continue to press the Republican leadership to bring a fix to the floor so we can prevent the serious harm this increase will have.”
To avoid a big uproar from seniors Democrats want the federal government to absorb the estimated $7.5 billion dollar premium increases in 2016.
The blame game starts. John Boehner’s aids told Mrs. Pelosi’s staff that the cost would have to be offset by savings elsewhere in the federal budget.
“ President Obama’s staff is considering administrative action to moderate the increase in premiums, perhaps by using a Medicare contingency fund.”
The White House is grandstanding without regard for the law or fiscal responsibility.
“We share the goal of keeping Medicare’s premiums affordable, are exploring all options, and appreciate the interest and ideas of members of Congress,” said Katie Hill, a White House spokeswoman.
Republicans are worried that Democrats will depict them as waging a “War on Seniors” if they do not go along to soften the affect of any premium increase on some irresponsible funding solution.
Isn’t this terrible? Congress and the President refuse to look at and solve the real cause of these problems. They are the unintended consequences of Obamacare that got us into this situation.
The Democrats are using the banal excuse is that the country is to far down the road with Obamacare to abandon it.
Maybe this is exactly what President Obama intended?
Obamacare has only enrolled 9 million people and yet.
- It is destroying employer insurance.
- The cost of adjusting to Obamacare’s rules is too high.
- It has left more uninsured than insured.
- It has caused insured persons healthcare insurance to be unsustainable.
- It has added millions to the Medicaid roles.
- Medicaid reimbursement is very low.
- People on Medicaid cannot find a physician because of low reimbursement.
- It has pushed up premiums and deductible for seniors who can barely afford the costs.
- Seniors on Medicare cannot find a physician.
- Obamacare has made the cost of our healthcare system more unsustainable that previously.
Why don’t Republicans teach the people to understand why Obamacare is such a terrible law?
Why can’t they stand up for what they believe?
Why can’t they use my ideal medical saving account to simplify and solve the complications of Obamacare?
The answer always is 50% of people are getting entitlements and they do not want to give them up.
Entitlements can be formatted so that they are earned and responsible entitlements that will not bankrupt the country.
Entitlements can be formatted to help people become independent and prosperous as opposed to more dependent on government and poorer.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone
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