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ObamaCare Works!

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  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
    The Advisory Board Company, June 12, 2014: In every state so far, more insurers are asking to participate in Obamacare

    Many insurance companies sat out the first year of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act, but for the second year, the trend is very good. In New Hampshire, for example, only one insurer, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, participated in the first enrollment period. However, for the second year of enrollment, four more companies are planning to participate.

    The trend is the same for other states reporting: Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Michigan are all reporting significant increases in the number of insurance companies entering the market place exchanges for the 2014 enrollment period starting in November.

    There are several good reasons for this increase in insurers and plans for 2014. Some companies sat out the first year taking a wait and see approach on the the start-up risks. And some didn’t want to insure the first batch of customers who were largely expected to be old and sicker with pre-existing conditions.

    The penalties for not signing up increase substantially in the second year, so many healthy young people that were swayed by the Fox News propaganda machine to not sign up, will do the arithmetic, calculate the risks and sign up in the second year. This is an attractive target for those companies to get a piece of that action.

    The fee for not having insurance in 2014 is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child (up to $285 for a family) or 1% of your taxable income, whichever is greater. For 2015, the penalty increases to $325 per adult and $162.50 per child (up to $975 per household) or 2 percent of your taxable income. The penalty for 2016 will be even higher.

    ObamaCare Facts, Individual Mandate

    So the Affordable Care Act is working...the market exchanges are working...the free market is working. The number of insurance monopolies per state like New Hampshire are becoming less, and competition amongst insurers is heating up state by state, which should hold down the rate of cost increases.

    That is good for the consumers.

    Unless you watch oligarch Rupert Murdoch's Fox News: To Fox News ObamaCare is a Big Government takeover of your healthcare system...never mind the fact that the healthcare system was badly broken and needed fixing. Ted Cruz and others are still clinging to "repeal and defund". Sooner or later they will realize that they are on the wrong side of history.

    Next all we need is a "public option".
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
    Not much interest in this topic now that Obamacare is working. Just a quick update:

    Washington Post, July 11, 2014: Remember that whole Obamacare thing? Apparently Congress has moved on.

    Badmouthing of Obamacare in Congress has died down, as the good news about the law's first 100 days trickles in.

    According to a new Gallup survey, 13.4 percent of Americans were uninsured at the end of the second quarter of 2014 -- that's a hefty drop of 4.6 percent drop from the 3rd quarter of 2013, when anti-Obamacare rhetoric in Congress was in full stride.

    A study by The Commonwealth Fund, a private health-care foundation, shows 9.5 million fewer Americans are uninsured now than before the Affordable Care Act's insurance provisions were implemented.

    The same study also found that "78 percent of Republicans with new coverage are optimistic that the insurance is going to improve their ability to get quality health care. Another 85 percent of newly insured independents agree. Sixty percent of the newly insured have already used their coverage."

    A Brookings Institute study indicates that $450 million has been spent blasting Obamacare, yet Obamacare survives and is getting stronger every day.

    Just think how better the law would be without Republican obstructionism.

    The title of the article says "apparently Congress has moved on". Well not quite. Boehner and his House colleagues are suing the President because, responding to requests from employers, Obama delayed the employer mandate by one year. It defies all logic, but Boehner still has to continue to pander to the stupid part of the Republican base. They cannot be abandoned. The hate rhetoric against Obamacare is always worth a few ignorant votes.
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    There is another aspect of ObamaCare that has received little coverage, but is highlighted by the Trader Joe's example in this article.

    Huffington Post: Obamacare Can Free Us From The Wrong Jobs

    Many people for a long time were staying in jobs that were less satisfying, only because they feared losing their health insurance and might not be able to pick up new insurance if they changed jobs or went out on their own. The example of the person at Trader Joe's is being repeated all over the country...and is one factor in the steadily improving economic situation.

    "We've talked for years about 'job lock' -- staying in jobs just to keep the benefits," said Paul Fronstin, a researcher at the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a nonprofit that examines the role of workplace benefits in the economy. "The Affordable Care Act completely changes the playing field. You don't need your employer anymore for health benefits. You can go to an exchange and get coverage without worrying about a pre-existing condition."

    The Affordable Care Act is indeed a game changer. It will release people from employers who are treating them badly...or are in dead end jobs. And it can be a win for the employers as well as less motivated employees decide to leave.

    The big plus for America, however, will be all those people with an entrepreneurial spirit that want to start their own business. The Affordable Care Act is for you!

    I will have to do some digging in the future to see just how many people become "unshackled" from their employer based health care plans and went out on their own.

    There's another word for it: The Free Market!
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    Here's a NYT article by Paul Krugman that says the same thing...

    New York Times, July 13, 2014: Obamacare Fails to Fail

    Paul Krugman asks:

    "How many Americans know how health reform is going? For that matter, how many people in the news media are following the positive developments? I suspect that the answer to the first question is “Not many,” while the answer to the second is “Possibly even fewer,” for reasons I’ll get to later. And if I’m right, it’s a remarkable thing — an immense policy success is improving the lives of millions of Americans, but it’s largely slipping under the radar.

    "How is that possible? Think relentless negativity without accountability. The Affordable Care Act has faced nonstop attacks from partisans and right-wing media, with mainstream news also tending to harp on the act’s troubles."

    Krugman goes on to list all the attacks and predictions of doom and gloom about ObamaCare...none of which have come through.

    And it used to be the topic de jour on this website as well. This specific Democratic Hub thread had over 200,000 views and 223 posts with a lively debate amongst us supporter versus the naysayers:

    Democratic Hub, Getting Health Insurance With New Obamacare Exchanges

    I certainly can expect the current silence of the naysayers, but I, for one, have to toot my own horn!

    Way to go President Obama.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
    Thanks for providing all of these articles Schmidt. I think the reason no one wants to talk about it is because it's actually working and costs are coming down. We love scandals and controversies, not things that work. Thanks for giving us some information about the positive aspects of the law.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
    Okay, I know I'm blowing the trumpet on this topic, but I just can't resist one more dig. Last year President Obama used his executive authority to delay by one year the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that businesses with 50 or more employees provide insurance to their employees...aka the employer mandate. This is what the businesses have more time to implement this part of the law. And Congress was not ready to help him one iota in any fixes, except to scrap the entire all or nothing approach.

    Nevertheless, although Obama acted on his own, John Boehner followed up and brought the one year delay in the employer mandate to a vote in the House.

    ABC News, July 17, 2013, House Votes to Delay Employer and Individual Mandates by One Year

    "The House of Representatives voted this evening not only to delay the employer mandate by one year, but also to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate by one year as well.

    "The vote on the employer mandate delay passed 264-161. Thirty-five Democrats joined 229 Republicans in support for the bill. One Republican, Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia, voted against the measure."

    Note the date above...July 17, 2013...exactly one year ago.

    Now look at this headline one year later:

    TPM, July 15, 2014: Boehner To Sue Obama For Unilateral Delay Of Obamacare Employer Mandate

    "Today we're releasing a draft resolution that will authorize the House to file suit over the way President Obama unilaterally changed the employer mandate," Boehner said in a statement. "In 2013, the president changed the health care law without a vote of Congress, effectively creating his own law by literally waiving the employer mandate and the penalties for failing to comply with it."

    This is what frustrates me. Republicans are absolutely ruthless in their political games. They should be the laughing stock of America, but instead mainstream media take them seriously while never looking back at what they did a year ago. The lawsuit is a waste of taxpayers money, but who cares in the upside down world of the "do nothing" Republican Party?

    Is Boehner mad at Obama for doing what Republican friendly businesses wanted...delaying the employer mandate one year...exactly what Boehner also wanted but couldn't do because he would be seen somehow as cooperating with the President? It doesn't make much sense to me. This is a frivolous lawsuit if it even gets off the ground.
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    I wouldn't delay a damned thing on the topic. New 2016, sworn in in January 2017. If it's a republican (and it very well could be) it will probably be less than 24 hours until they try to cancel the Affordable care act. I'm so hoping for a Democrat in 2016 so we can let poor people get used to having their own health care coverage.
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    The New England Journal of Medicine released a study last week that estimated over 20 million individuals obtained health insurance before the enrollment deadline back on March 31.

    The study estimated that "1 million adults under age 26 enrolled in their parents' plan; 8 million enrolled in private coverage through the insurance marketplaces; 5 million enrolled in private coverage directly through their insurer; 6 million enrolled in Medicaid."

    Not surprisingly, no Republican released a single statement about these recent numbers.

    Click on the link below to read the entire piece by the NEJM

    Health Care Coverage under the Affordable Care Act — A Progress Report
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
    Jared --

    Thanks for sharing the New England Journal of Medicine link.

    New England Journal of Medicine, July 17, 2014: Health Care Coverage under the Affordable Care Act — A Progress Report

    I encourage everyone and especially skeptics to read the report. It has several subheadings, so you can skip to the parts that you are most interested in. Some Democrats running for Congress have said they support the Affordable Care Act with some "fixes" but never say what fixes they would implement. The New England Journal of Medicine addresses all the concerns of individuals in a factual Fox News misinformation.

    Of course, some Republicans are still running on "full repeal". These guys should be voted out of office for incompetence and pandering misinformation to the ignorant.

    ObamaCare works!
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    President Obama to congressional Republicans this morning: "Stop just hating all the time. Let's get some work done together."

    Three hours later Republicans answered Obama's call with a message of their own...they sued Obama.

    Republicans in the House have just voted 225 to 201 to sue President Obama for implementing a one year delay in the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act...something they wanted, and in fact passed themselves, 264 - 161, on July 14, 2014.

    Of course, every Democrat voted against the lawsuit. It defies imagination...but that lawsuit as it finds it way through the courts will be funded 100 percent by us taxpayers. This is the way Republicans spend our taxpayer money...on hate legislation.

    ObamaCare works and they just hate that.
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    This is nothing more than a political stunt and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the suit is thrown out before it is even heard. House Republicans will have a very difficult time convincing even the most conservative judge or court to grant them standing in this suit. Boehner knows it. The House Leadership knows it. And every single sane Republican in the House knows it. Things like that don't seem to matter to them though. Republicans seem impervious to the warnings from both sides of the political spectrum that this suit will go nowhere and make the Republicans look like whining babies.

    If the Court grants standing and the Administration loses then we will most likely see a Constitutional crisis unlike anything any of us have seen in our lifetimes. I can envision both sides constantly suing the other and having the courts, a supposedly co-equal branch of our Federal government, picking winners and losers in fights between the other two branches of government. This isn't supposed to happen in our democracy and I just can't see any court opening up that Pandora's box.

    The craziest part about this whole charade is that House Republicans are suing the President to enforce a law they have been ceaselessly trying to sabotage since well before it was even signed into law. How in the world can they do this with a straight face?