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All items for December, 2014


Notice The Enrollment Spin

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

The disinformation coming from the Obama administration is unrelenting.

CMS has released Obamacare’s open enrollment numbers through 12/15/14.

 On December 15,2014 all of last years enrollees who did not change their health plan or did not discontinued their plan were automatically re-enrolled for 2015.


Confirmed 2015 QHPs: 3,039,524 as of 12/15/14”

“Estimated 2015 QHPs (Cumulative):

11/21: 610K (462K HCgov) • 11/28: 1.02M (765K HCgov) • 12/05: 1.80M (1.35M HCgov) Thru 12/15: 4.70M (3.52M HCgov

Enrollment by state can be studied in the following link.

The Obama Administration bragged with the following statement.

The number of people enrolling or re-enrolling last week was considerably higher than in previous weeks. Week one saw 500,000 enrollees, week two had 300,000 and week three saw 600,000 sign up through

Week four saw 850,000 people enrolling or re-enrolling.

The cumulative estimate of people needed to sign up was 4.7 million through 12/15/14. The sign up number included people who were automatically re- enrolled with the same insurance policy they bought last year. This year’s premiums and deductibles will be higher that last year’s premiums in most cases.

The Obama administration picked up 1 million enrollees for the week as a result of the automatic re-enrollment. These enrollees have been warned that they will be paying a higher premium than if they searched for a different plan by a different insurance carrier.

Only 3.4 million sign ups were confirmed to receive healthcare coverage by January 1,2015.

This is only seventy percent (70%) of the expected enrollment through 12/15/14. The enrollment had been extended previously to February 15, 2015.

CMS told us that last year 8 million were enrolled. The number was modified to 7.2 million and then changed to 6.7 million as 400,000 were not enrolled in healthcare but bought dental care insurance.

We were never told that 65% of the enrollees received federal subsidies in the traditional media. How many of those people who received subsidies subsequently lost their subsidy because the IRS could not confirm their reported income?

The next critical question is how many of the people who lost their subsidy dropped their insurance because they could not afford the premiums and deductibles.

How many people that enrolled have preexisting illnesses? How many of the people who enrolled can pay the high deductibles and copays?

How many people in the individual market can afford to pay the insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars?

Whatever the premium is in the individual market the enrollee has to have twice as much disposable income to pay the premium because the premium is not tax deductible.

Healthcare insurance premiums are tax deductible to employers in the employer group markets.

How many taxpayers know that the Obama administration is subsidizing the healthcare insurance industry so the industry cannot loss money if the healthcare insurance is bought through Obamacare?

The original goal for enrollment for 2015 was 13.5 million. It was lowered to 12 million and now 9 million by the time the enrollment started. If 6.7 million were originally enrolled the increase in new enrollment will only be 2.3 million.

What happened to all the millions of people who lost insurance through their employer because they were shifted to part-time work?

It seems that Obamacare is unattractive or unaffordable to those who need it most. If taxpayers knew the waste in Obamacare’s administration and guarantees to the healthcare industry, taxpayers would not be very happy.

It goes back to Jonathan Gruber’s statement that the people are stupid and the lack of transparency is very powerful political tool.

Meanwhile, the enrollment rate is low but the Obama administration is feeding the traditional media the spin that enrollment is surging. This game is not going to promote Obamacare’s credibility.

More than a million people signed up for health insurance plans in the past week, bringing the overall total of signups for the first four weeks of the current open-enrollment period to nearly 2.5 million, the CMS announced Tuesday.

Dec. 15 was the deadline to enroll for coverage to go into effect Jan. 1.” 

“More than half of the people who enrolled between Dec. 6-12 were renewing their coverage.

Many of the State Health Exchanges are already extending the deadline for coverage to begin January 1,2015, California, Maryland and Minnesota, Idaho, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Washington already have extended their deadlines for signing up.

If enrollment was going as well as the Obama administration claims, there would not be so many 2 week extensions.

 “Our community wants to do everything we can to make sure consumers have greater peace of mind about their healthcare coverage and to support them throughout the open-enrollment process,” Karen Ignagni, CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, said in a statement Monday.ė

Why wouldn’t the healthcare insurance companies want more enrollees? They are selling insurance policies for the Obamacare at no financial risk.
Federal plans are underway for a special outreach campaign to the roughly 250,000 individuals whose existing plans are no longer being offered on the federal exchange for 2015. HHS plans to point these people in the direction of a plan that is substantially similar to the ones they've lost but they won't be auto-enrolled.”

The Obamacare’s enrollment period is desperate for more enrollees

HHS is rolling out online partnerships with three online firms to further promote during the current open-enrollment period,which ends Feb. 15.
The partnerships are with,, and Higi, a provider of interactive health stations tracking weight, BMI and other vital signs to supermarkets such as Kroger and Meijer. The company will post messages informing users of the open-enrollment period. 

The partnerships are innovative but have a low probability of success.

President Obama and his administration continue its information  spin. The real truth is the Obama administration is not transparent at all. It takes hard work to figure out what is the truth.

The public is beginning to figure out that they are not getting the truth.  Consumers are directly affected by the manipulation of the truth personally. Consumers are not showing up to participate.

Presently, Obamacare is only covering consumers in the individual marketplace.

Just wait until Obamacare affects the small group and large group employers that are going to have to pay a penalty for providing  unqualified Obamacare healthcare coverage. 

One outstanding example is the worthless Mini-med plans of McDonald and Burger King that President Obama gave a waiver to until 2017.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone

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Looking For Alternatives To Obamacare

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

The dice have been loaded against the American people by the rules and regulations in Medicare and Obamacare.

Patients liked their doctors. Once they discovered that they could not keep their doctors under Obamacare they became angry at President Obama for lying to them. The soon to be released new payment rules will increase the anger.

Physicians have found it more difficult to run small private practices.  The complexities of compliance with the rules, regulations and the payment systems for both Medicare and Obamacare are forcing physicians to sell out to hospital systems.

These complexities are in effect ending independent medical practices. This has been intentional. The Obama administration doesn’t want to control 600,000 independent physicians. It wants to deal with the hospital systems the are involved with. The hospital systems can then deal with the doctors.

Republicans are looking for a compelling alternative to Obamacare.

Just as Obamacare was forced through congress, President Obama is trying to force how medicine is practiced in America down the throats of Americans.

It is consistent with Jonathan Gruber’s view that Americans are to stupid to understand what is going on. It follows that Americans are too stupid to be responsible for their own care.

Americans want freedom of choice. They do not want the government to tell them what to do.

Republicans are looking for an alternative to Obamacare. A viable alternative could be to save the private practice of medicine and not subject Americans to the inefficiencies of a government controlled bureaucracy.

 Physicians by nature and education are competitive. Competition leads to improvement of the delivery of medical care.

All medicine is local. The alternative to Obamacare is to have local completion among physicians and permit patients to choose their doctors.

The answer to the Republican’s dilemma is right in front of their eyes.

A real Republican alternative to Obamacare would support physician ownership of independent medical practices and preserve local competition between doctors and maintain choice for patients.

Obamacare’s promotion of large hospital systems with salaried physicians eliminates physicians competing for patients. The lack of physicians competing for patients destroys the physician/patient relationship.

Physicians listen to patients if patients have a choice. The interaction is a partnership called the patient /physician relationship.

This solves the problem of President Obama’s lie. “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor period.” Patients choose their doctors.

Dr. Donald Berwick and Jonathan Gruber’s view the consolidation of physicians and hospital systems as a necessary step to enable payment liability onto providers through hospital systems and away from government programs such as Medicare and Obamacare.

President Obama does not understand that doctors are not stupid either. At the moment physicians feel financially cornered by the government and the hospital systems and are joining hospital systems as a temporary means of surviving.

President Obama also does not realize that over the last 50 years there has been a build up of physician distrust for most hospital administrations.

Most administrators have tried to repair that mistrust but it has not been very successful. Hospital systems have been trying for years to own their physicians’ intellectual property and surgical skills for their hospital system’s profit. It is all about economics. Patient care is secondary.

As hospital systems consolidate competition will be eliminated.  Then hospital systems will realize they are losing money because of the risk they agreed to accept from the government. Hospital systems will demand more money from the government or consumers or go out of business.

Who loses? 

Patients lose, taxpayers lose, and the American healthcare system loses.

The abuses of the healthcare system by all the stakeholders must be fixed. It will never be fixed by forcing stakeholders to fix it. It will only be fixed by aligning incentives of all the stakeholders. Consumers must lead the way.

A recent Physicians Foundation survey of 20,000 U.S. doctors found that 35% described themselves as independent, down from 49% in 2012 and 62% in 2008.

It has also been reported that hospital systems are complaining that they are losing money on their physicians in these integrated systems.

Hospital systems are dropping out of the Obamacare Accountable Care Organization programs. There have been reports that salaried physicians are less productive that independent practicing physicians.

I believe in the team approach to the management of chronic disease. The patient must be at the center of the team with the physician being the head coach or manager and his team being an extension of the physician’s care.

Medical decision making entities must not be the insurance company or the government.

The idea that integrated systems with salaried physicians leads to increased economic efficiency, better quality of care and clinical outcomes than small independent private practices never made syllogistic sense to me.

Patient care becomes depersonalized in large hospital systems. Both patients and physicians become commodities in systems focused on the bottom line.

Small practices have the advantage of providing a personal style of care. Consumers want that comfort when they are sick. They want someone they know who is going to listen to them and talk to them.

In a private setting physicians can practice the way they want, without interference by a large, impersonal organization driving efficiency.

If a physician in private practice does not satisfy the consumer’s need the consumer can leave the practice and go somewhere else.

  "When you work closely with patients and empower them, they are going to make better choices," said Craig C. Koniver, MD, a solo family physician in North Charleston, South Carolina. He said a team of caregivers at a large practice will not have the same impact, because none of them are as close to the patient as he is.”

Health Affairs published a study in August 2014 looking at primary care physicians in small practices and “ambulatory care sensitive” admission rates. The study included such conditions as congestive heart failure in which admission to the hospital can be preventive by high quality primary care. The patient relates positively to the physician and the physician relates positively to the patient (positive patient/physician relationship).

“The study found that practices with 1 to 2 physicians had ambulatory care-sensitive admission rates fully 33% lower than practices with 10 to 19 physicians.”

This is not the only study that shows that small independent private practices can deliver just as high or higher quality of care than large integrated hospital systems with salaried physicans.

“ A 2013 study[2] showed that small practices in general had slightly lower hospital readmission rates than large practices.”

Additionally, “a 2012 study[3] looking at practices ranging from 5 to 750 physicians found that the smaller ones had fewer ambulatory care-sensitive admissions and lower overall costs of care for diabetes.”

 All three studies turned a piece of conventional wisdom on its head; that large practices, with their care management teams and sophisticated clinical information systems, produce better clinical outcomes.

Republicans should start presenting alternatives to Obamacare. The alternative must provide consumers with what they want rather than systems that let the government to tell consumers what they are going to get.

The ideal medical savings account will let consumers choose and keep their doctor if they like their doctor.

 The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone

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If You Like You Doctor

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

 This is a message for the Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Obamacare is a disaster built on a failed ideology, deceptions and lies.

Obamacare started off with lies and continues to deceive the American public.  

Its emotional seductions have also deceived many physicians.

All one has to remember is Jonathan Gruber’s statement about the lack of transparency being a powerful political tool. Gruber said given the lack of transparency, the public is too stupid to figure out the truth.

President Obama told us; ”If you like your doctor you can keep you doctor, period.”

This statement was not true for an instant. President Obama knew it but ideology trumps reality. Many have blamed Obamacare’s failure on President Obama’s inexperience as a manager. This is not the reason.

The failed progressive ideology of big government controlling choices and freedoms of the American people is the reason for Obamacare’s failure.

Last week, Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) admitted the passage of Obamacare was a mistake. Not surprisingly, the mainstream traditional media has not mentioned Schumer’s admission.

The mainstream media has been a shill for Democrats and President Obama. It has helped the Obama administration keep the truth from the American public.  

President Obama keeps the American public uninformed with the help from the traditional mainstream media. His goal is central government control of Americans’ choices and freedoms. President Obama’s support is derived from his appeal to Americans’ emotions and not from the facts.

His problem is Americans are not stupid. They can separate reality from appearance when they pay attention. Obamacare is now affecting them directly and they are paying attention.

President Obama is waking up the sleeping tiger of Patient Power.

Obamacare is failing, but Obama’s lies keep coming. One recent lie is Obamacare’s open enrollment period is going well. I have shown evidence to the contrary in my last blog. So far the administration is 50% behind their estimated sign ups.

As of 12/05/2014 open enrollment is still (884,354/1,050,000) behind with 59% of estimates to sign up.


Confirmed 2015 QHPs: 884,354 as of 12/04/14


Estimated 2015 QHPs (Cumulative):11/21: 610K (462K • 11/28: 1.02M (765K
12/05: 1.50M (1.12M (special: 1.64M / 1.23M HCgov)

Thru 12/06: 1.57M (1.18M

 The biggest lie, since “you can keep your doctor, period” is that healthcare spending is decreasing because of Obamacare. This lie is a complicated lie. It is important to understand this lie.

 Obamacare is not lowering healthcare spending. It is increasing healthcare spending. Premiums and out of pocket costs are increasing for consumers.

 As a result of Obamacare deductibles have increased beyond affordability. Consumers cannot afford to utilize their “healthcare insurance” until absolutely necessary. The result will be higher costs when patients are forced to use the insurance because of the development of complications from a chronic disease.

 “The Bureau of Economic Analysis issued its advance estimate of first-quarter growth in 2014, which barely made it into the black with an annualized GDP growth rate of 0.1 percent.

Healthcare spending rose at an annualized rate of 9.9 percent, far outstripping inflation and standing in stark contrast to other components of the BEA report.

 Exports fell 7.6 percent, and demand for imports declined by 1.4 percent. Consumer consumption rose 3.0 percent, but that came in part from the high rate of health-care spending.

Without the spending on health care in 2014 Q1, annualized GDP would have dropped to a recessionary -1.0 percent, according to economist Ian Shepherdson.”

 In 2008, pre Obamacare, the US had seen a drift downward in health-care spending.

 The downward trend began to reverse as Obamacare first officially launched in October 2013. In the fourth quarter of 2013, health-care spending rose 5.6 percent, far above the 2.6 percent growth rate of the economy, to which it significantly contributed.

 The New York Times writes article after article claiming that the cost of healthcare is decreasing. The implication is that Obamacare is working.

 Nothing could be further from the truth.

“The rapid increase in spending does not indicate that the system is working to lower costs, an absurd if not Orwellian construct by President Obama.

“Nor is the debate “over,” no matter how many times Obama claims otherwise. Too bad the White House chose not to take advice from National Journal’s Ron Fournier

“The president risks insulting a vast majority of Americans by dismissing their concerns with a consultant's talking point,” Fournier wrote before the economic figures were released, “and Obama can't afford any more blows to his credibility.”

Consumers are tired of President Obama’s lies. He has lost all credibility with the American public.

The Obama administration keeps telling us how well Obamacare’s Accountable Care Organizations are doing. The Obama administration keeps saying hospital systems must set up integrated healthcare systems (ACOs) to increase the quality of care.  

 Hospital systems have been promised increased revenue incentives by setting up ACOs. Most hospital systems are losing money with their ACO’s.

As a result of losing money hospital systems are dropping out of the federal ACO program.

 This week, the Obama administration published regulations to decrease the hospital systems’ risk and increase its financial incentives, in order to decrease the ACO dropout rate.

President Obama refuses to believe that even though the ACO model sounds great its successful execution is difficult to impossible. 

The chances for ACOs to succeed is not only dependent on the hospital system’s ability to decrease utilization, it is heavily dependent on patients taking responsibility for their own care. Patients must follow instructions.

President Obama believes he can lie his way out of reality. The American public is not buying these lies any more.

Republicans must focus on the reasons for the obvious failures of Obamacare.

Consumers want to have freedom of choice. They do not want the government to control them.

Republican must focus on creating programs to provide incentives for consumers to be in control and responsible for their health and healthcare dollars. 

Republican must focus on ways to permit consumers “to keep their doctors if they like their doctors period.”

My ideal medical saving account will do all of the above.

 The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone

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What Republicans Must Do Now

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

The following is a weekly tracking of 2015 enrollees for Obamacare. I will try to report it weekly. Open enrollment ends February 28, 2015.

The only information the Obama administration has provided to the traditional mainstream media is the statement that open enrollment is going well. is providing weekly tracking against the estimates CMS has provided on the government’s web site. The data is there but the traditional mainstream media does not look at it or report it.

Tracking Enrollments for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)


Confirmed 2015 QHPs: 534,000 as of 11/27/14

Estimated 2015 QHPs (

Cumulative): 1st Week: 610K (462K • 2ndweek: 1.04M (780K
1,160,000 as of 11/30/14


The actual enrollment versus estimate enrollment is  minus 626,000 for the first 2 weeks of open enrollment. To look at state by state enrollment go to

What must Republicans do about Obamacare now that they have control of the Senate and the House of Representatives?

The Republican majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate must develop positive alternatives to Obamacare that all the stakeholders can accept.

 Republicans must address the concerns that led to Obamacare’s enactment in the first place. The dysfunctional parts of the healthcare system pre-Obamacare were unsustainable healthcare costs, too many uninsured and a lack of protection for patients with pre-existing conditions.

The healthcare system’s business model was dysfunctional before President Obama forced Obamacare through congress. All Obamacare has done is add more rules, regulations and bureaucracy to the healthcare system while imposing increasing government control.

 The result has been greater impingement on Americans’ freedoms as well as increased costs to taxpayers. Taxpayers are experiencing less personal care, less choice of care, less access to care, higher taxes and higher out of pocket expenses.

The healthcare costs to society are becoming more, rather than less, unsustainable as a result of Obamacare. These increased costs have had a negative impact on the entire economy.

 “We need to get rid of Obamacare instead of attempting to fix it because it is fundamentally flawed, cleverly designed to lead us over time to a single-payer system.”

This notion is widely accepted. Is a single party payer system a dirty phrase? No.

The problem is that a single party payer system has not worked efficiently anywhere in the developed world except Switzerland despite progressives’ spin to the contrary.

Obamacare’s road to a single party payer will become clearer when the employer mandate provisions kick in. The employer mandate was to begin in January 2015. It has already been delayed to 2016 or 2017. The Obama administration changed the law in order to make the ultimate goal of a single party payer system less obvious to consumers.

Meanwhile, new taxes to pay for Obamacare have been in effect since 2010.

Companies have already dumped workers from their employer plans into government-run exchanges by decreasing full time jobs to part time jobs.

The exchanges should have theoretically swelled. They haven’t because the premiums and deductibles are too high. If the exchanges swell they will become more costly to taxpayers. Americans will be told we must switch to a single payer system because a government monopoly will be more cost-efficient.

At that point it will be Medicare for all. Medicare is a single party payer system that has become unsustainable. Where is the logic?  

Republican majorities must articulate Obamacare’s destructive mayhem to the American public. The public is experiencing this mayhem right now. Republican must describe it and its cause.

President Obama is going to come back and blame Republicans for being obstructionist. Republicans must be right there and explain that President Obama and his administration owns the mayhem.

The public is not stupid.

Republicans should start proposing constructive alternatives. I have outlined these constructive alternatives in the past.

Republicans must present a plan which addresses the unsustainable healthcare costs, the uninsured and the lack of protection for patients with pre-existing conditions.

These alternatives should be developed through congressional committee debate, media debate and a public relations campaign.

Stakeholders other than consumers have invested lots of money in  adjusting and profiting from Obamacare’s new rules and regulations. They think they have a competitive advantage. They are wrong.

Medical care must between patients and physicians. Patients have tremendous power in the healthcare system. They just do not realize it yet.

Large financial companies with their lobbying power are investing in healthcare in order to profit from the Obamacare chaos. They view consumers and physicians as commodities.

Soon their companies will be too big to fail. However, the government is the only entity that can bail them out. The problem is the government will have failed too. These companies will have no one to bail them out.

Republicans must be responsible and responsive right now. 

Republicans must promote and harness Patient Power so that consumers, not government, are in control of their health, healthcare dollars and their medical care.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone

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