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ObamaCare clusterfuck: In shocker, Obama lied about you being able to keep your coverage

Foolish little person! You believed him! Kid Dynamite:

Does anyone remember this key promise from The President?

That whole “you can keep your plan – you can keep your doctor” foundation that was used to “sell” the Affordable Care Act to the American People? To me, that’s a pretty important foundation for this reform: the whole point is to add options for those who need it, while maintaining current choices for those who don’t wish to make a change.

Well guess what – I’m finding out in a hurry that this core foundation of my support for Obamacare was a fantasy. I – the individual healthcare purchaser (in New Hampshire) – am about to get royally screwed. New Hampshire residents who purchase their own health insurance basically have one option: Anthem. The Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act will also only have one provider option: Anthem. One might think that if there is only one provider, that the Government might go to great lengths to make sure that this one provider isn’t going to hose their subscribers – but one would be mistaken.

See, Anthem’s new plans will only include coverage for 14 of the state’s 26 hospitals. “Kid Dynamite,” you say, “you live in the Greater Concord Area. Concord is the capital of New Hampshire. Concord Hospital is one of the major hospitals in New Hampshire. You’d be crazy to think that Anthem could get away with excluding Concord Hospital from their exclusive monopoly coverage that will be offered under the Affordable Care Act.” See, pragmatically, your words would make total sense: it seems impossible that the Government, regulators, New Hampshire Lawmakers, etc would allow Anthem to exclude major hospitals like Concord Hospital from their coverage, right? Yet somehow that is exactly what is happening.

But Kid Dynamite,” you say, “forget about the new plans – just keep your current plan and ignore the impact of the Affordable Healthcare Act.” Great idea! I might just have to do that – BUT WAIT – Anthem has informed me that my current plan is ceasing to exist. They’re making it so that I don’t even have the option of keeping my current plan.

Killing my current plan option is bad, but tolerable if the new choice offers me access to the same hospitals and doctors. Replacing my current plan with a new plan that excludes access to my hospitals and doctors is flat out inexcusable. The President made this promise a foundation of his push for Healthcare Reform, and he’s failed before the plan is even at the starting line.

Of course, I recognize that wider coverage comes with wider costs. Anthem claims that they are going with this “narrow network” to keep costs down. I don’t know the costs of the new plan yet, but I’d be willing to bet anybody any amount that they will be higher than my current plan (read my prior posts, linked below, for details of the evolution of my own health insurance coverage over the past few years). More importantly: it seems that the Anthems of the world have pulled a major coup: managing to strengthen their monopoly hold on their business while simultaneously cutting access for their subscribers. How the Powers-That-Be managed to let this happen is beyond me, and I’m on BAJUNGI tilt over it…

Ha ha. And Kid Dynamite is a smart finance professional. He got fooled. I'm tellin' ya, Obama is a GENIUS!

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Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

except that they are not quite a pernicious, since they mostly limit "networks," as opposed to actually slashing benefits (if I understand this policy).

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

in 2014 and 2016, if they don't get their demands for the "repeal" of parts of the ACA.

Union membership has dimiinished so greatly over the past few years, that I sort of scoffed at the idea, when I first heard them complain about the effect of the Taft-Hartley Act on their health plans. [Not that I don't sympathize with them--just that I didn't figure they could do anything about their predicament.]

However, heard the last few minutes of their convention last night on Sirius/XM, and I'm wondering if they might not be able to actually effect change.

If they were smart, they could have the Dems pleading "How high?" when they say "jump."

Unless the speaker was mistaken, there are approximately 20 million individuals (or families--not sure which) who are getting ready to get scr**ed by the ACA.

Just hope that use their leverage to get the ACA repealed (they are only asking for narrow repeal and replacement--which affects them) and replaced with "enhanced MFA."

At one time I said that if labor joined with the black community, they could defeat this bill.

Heck, they don't NEED another progressive community, if there figure was accurate.

Here's an excerpt from, and link to the AFL-CIO Resolution 54 which passed during their convention in LA, last evening.

AFL-CIO steps up criticism of health care law

Despite White House pressure, AFL-CIO steps up criticism of Obama's health care law

Associated PressBy Sam Hananel, Associated Press | Associated Press – 11 hours ag

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The AFL-CIO on Wednesday approved a resolution critical of parts of President Barack Obama's health care law in spite of efforts by White House officials to discourage the labor federation from making its concerns so prominent.

The strongly worded resolution says the Affordable Care Act will drive up the costs of union-sponsored health plans to the point that workers and employers are forced to abandon them. Labor unions still support the law's overall goals of reducing health costs and bringing coverage to all Americans, the resolution says, but adds that the law is being implemented in a way that is "highly disruptive" to union health care plans.

Some individual unions have complained about the law's impact for months. The resolution marks the first time the nation's largest labor federation has gone on record embracing that view. Unions were among the most enthusiastic backers of the law when it passed in 2010.

A labor official told The Associated Press that White House officials had been calling labor leaders for days to urge them not to voice their concerns in the form of a resolution. The official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the conversations publicly and requested anonymity, said many union leaders insisted that they wanted to highlight their concerns.

Asked about any efforts to discourage unions from passing the resolution, the White House said in a statement Wednesday night that officials "are in regular contact with a variety of stakeholders, including unions, as part of our efforts to ensure smooth implementation and to improve the law."

The AFL-CIO, one of the president's major boosters, approved the resolution just as the administration began rolling out a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to encourage Americans to sign up for health care exchanges starting Oct. 1.

Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Firefighters, said the intent of the resolution is to "point out the criticisms without being overly caustic."

"There have to be some changes made in the area that are giving a number of our unions great concern," said Schaitberger, who chaired the committee that hammered out the resolution's language.

The resolution was approved at the AFL-CIO's quadrennial convention in Los Angeles. It claims the new law will increase costs for health plans that are jointly administered by unions and smaller employers in the construction, retail and transportation industries. That could encourage employers to hire fewer union workers or abandon the health plans altogether and force union members to seek lower quality coverage on the new health exchanges.

Union officials are seeking rule changes that would make their low-income workers eligible for the same types of federal subsidies they could get in the exchanges. They have also suggested rules that would treat their multi-employer plans as qualified exchange plans under the new law.

But the Congressional Research Service issued a memo earlier this year finding that neither change is allowed through rulemaking. The AFL-CIO resolution calls for the law to be amended by Congress if new rules cannot satisfy their concerns.

There's actually much bigger news about the AFL-CIO.

Apparently, they are considering "dropping anything pretense of being bi-partisan," and allow so-called progressive groups (especially Dem Party astro-turf organizations) to more or less "buy into" the union movement. Most rank-and-file union members obviously object to this.

Just more Trumka nonsense, as if he's not already a major sell-out to the Dem Party Elite and the One Percent.

It is hard for me to imagine that any organization even considering openly becoming an apparatchik of the Democratic Party, would really follow through on measures to push back on the ACA.

But for sure, the rank-and-file have awoken--and they're furious (which they should be).

Oh, I've only scanned this piece, but heard the blogger from the Nation on "The Press Pool," pushing the idea (if I understood him correctly. He talks "Katrina-Speak"--out of both sides of his mouth, LOL!)

Here's the link to his piece that he was on "The Press Pool" to discuss.

AFL-CIO Pledges Prison Reform, Partnerships and Accountable Organizing Plans

Dont' misunderstand--I am a strong proponent of many of their newly purported goals--but they are not the business of an union.

Of course, unions SHOULD BE totally independent of all political parties. That's why they are a "fail."

This move will further consolidate their (unions') function as an extension of the Democratic Party.

And as a result, further diminish any benefit to their rank-and-file workers.

But the good news is--the workers ARE catching on!

(Apologize for typos, etc.--cut a finger last night, and bandage make typing quite difficult.) ;-)

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

Yes they are but they need to stop supporting demodogs blindly. If there isn't a true progressive running that they will support then full back or work on putting one in office. That what the teamsters tried to do in my area of Calli and they almost made with No support from dnc

http://www.labornotes.org/2013/08/longshore-union-quits-afl-cio

http://www.medicaldaily.com/longshoremen-part-ways-major-labor-union-sup...

Submitted by lambert on

What in the name of sweet suffering Jeebus is wrong with being "overly caustic"?!?! And given what ObamaCare is, how is being overly caustic even possible?

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

I agree I think would be wrong not to be caustic at lest it shows you're paying attention. Then there those corps. throwing employees under the bus so fast it amazing and will get worse as corp. looks for more way to cut cost and be able give the ceo a bigger bonus.

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/ibm-joins-growing-list-employers...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/11/trader-joes-obamacare_n_3902341...

Just another message to Main Street by corp. We just don't care that much or not at all about you.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

"A labor official told The Associated Press that White House officials had been calling labor leaders for days to urge them not to voice their concerns in the form of a resolution. The official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the conversations publicly and requested anonymity, ..."

Whoa!

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

If they don't fight back then look for new people in charge of the afl-cio, current management has sold out the workers and should be removed.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

Forwarded by a friend who is self-insured in NYS and wants to keep her current policy. She went to healthcare.gov and used Chat to ask about this issue. Here is the transcript.

[4:00:44 pm]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.
[4:00:47 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.
[4:00:51 pm]: Welcome! You're now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.

Thanks for contacting us. My name is Sean. To protect your privacy, please don't provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.
[4:00:59 pm]: Sean
Hello. Thank you for contacting the Health Insurance Marketplace chat. Before we begin may I have the state you reside in?
[4:00:59 pm]: Jenny
Hi Sean, Good Afternoon!
[4:01:22 pm]: Sean
Hello. How can I help you today?
[4:02:33 pm]: Jenny
I currently have an individual policy with an insurer in New York State -- this is the policy I've had for 7 years and it works well for me -- for example, my main providers are all part of the network, and there's a very low deductible. I think that under the ACA I can keep this policy and don't have to get one on the marketplace exchange?
[4:03:27 pm]: Sean
Basically you want to know if you can keep your current coverage, correct?
[4:03:39 pm]: Jenny

Yes, that's exactly right!!
[4:04:12 pm]: Sean
If you currently have health insurance, the health care law will not affect your coverage. However, you may use the Health Insurance Marketplace to compare plans based on price and benefits and find a plan that fits your needs and budget. If you have job-based insurance you like, you can keep it, but if you do not want the health insurance plan your employer offers, you may choose to buy coverage through the individual Marketplace.
[4:04:39 pm]: Sean
Basically, you can keep your current coverage.
[4:04:56 pm]: Jenny
Ok, so I can stop worrying that in 2014 I'll have to swith to a policy that is on the Exchange Marketplaces?
[4:05:08 pm]: Sean
Yes.
[4:05:28 pm]: Jenny
That is great news, Sean. Thanks so much! Have a good day!
[4:05:34 pm]: Sean
Thank you for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
[4:05:42 pm]: Your chat session is over. Thanks for contacting us, and we hope we've answered your questions. Have a great day.
[4:05:42 pm]: 9/12/2013

Submitted by lambert on

... seems to talk about employer insurance, not individual insurance.

Do we have an NY Correntians would be willing to really challenge the script, and then post the transcript?

NOTE Also, NY has its own exchange. I forget whether NH does or not, but in either case they might well differ in their policies.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

wanderindiana's picture
Submitted by wanderindiana on

Hate to go all Big Dog on y'all, but Sean said, ". . . the health care law will not affect your coverage."

". . . the health care law . . ."

Now, the insurance companies might change their group or individual plans, but Sean would still be 100% truthful with his statement -- just so long as you don't hold stock in lies of omission.

I never inhaled, and I did not have sexual relations.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

I mean, the logical system would have been to have had ONLY professionals (Licensed Insurance Agents or Brokers) handle all enrollment, no?

But, because an insurance professional would have a fiduciary responsibility (and carry O&A insurance to the tune of millions of dollars for just this reason), the writers of this "fiasco of a piece of legislation" purposely avoided that outcome. Or that's how it appears to me.

No "unintended consequences" here . . .

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

Alas, and precisely.

As a commenter at The Kid's blog noted, I can promise you a Silverado truck next year but if Chevrolet stops making it next week (1) you don't get the Silverado and (2) I didn't lie.

Lambert got it right -- Obama is a genius. For some definition of "genius" ...

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Are you sure that he doesn't address "both?"

This sentence is in answer to Sandy's specific question, as I read it:

Basically you want to know if you can keep your current coverage, correct?

[4:03:39 pm]: Jenny

Yes, that's exactly right!!

[4:04:12 pm]: Sean

If you currently have health insurance, the health care law will not affect your coverage. However, you may use the Health Insurance Marketplace to compare plans based on price and benefits and find a plan that fits your needs and budget.

And here, Sean further addresses Group Plans.

If you have job-based insurance you like, you can keep it, but if you do not want the health insurance plan your employer offers, you may choose to buy coverage through the individual Marketplace.

It is the Group Plan portion of the script that appears to be "off," or flat-out incorrect, IMO.

The assurance that one can still carry their same private (individual or family) insurance is consistent with what has always been stated--that I've ever seen or read.

Now, one would think that at least SOME people would come out better who carry this kind of insurance, if they DID GO INTO the Marketplace to shop. IOW, if this piece of c**p law works, they should be able to buy a cheaper plan in the Exchange. No?

And this statement, seems to further cement that Sandy will be allowed to stay with her "individual" plan.

[4:04:39 pm]: Sean

Basically, you can keep your current coverage.

And here's the second confirmation (I believe).

Ok, so I can stop worrying that in 2014 I'll have to swith to a policy that is on the Exchange Marketplaces?

[4:05:08 pm]: Sean

Yes.

Or have I misread this?


Here's part of the problem--this same thing happened when I "called."

Regardless of what you ask, they elaborate with extraneous information.

And I believe that this is done simply because they are told to read or type "the entire script," regardless of the specific question.

Again, I would rather be forced to "walk on white hot coals" than have to actually sign up for something, with this kind of "advice."

But I have a feeling that all the scripts in the world will yield the same "mechanical" answers. Again, I imagine that the reps have been instructed to answer in this fashion--either for the purpose of "CYA," or maybe just to "sell" the idea of the Marketplace, in general.

[Which is not to say that I, too, wouldn't welcome more scripts for comparison purposes.]

Who knows what's going on? ;-)

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

The query was specifically about being a SELF insured individual (see narrative at beginning), not about employer insurance ... FYI.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

not less so.

Actually, the information IS consistent with what I was told when I called the Marketplace.

Now, it seems somewhat logical that your friend's "insurance status" would not change, if the law is implemented as they claim it should be.

But, the part about individuals/families being able to "choose" between employer and Marketplace insurance--something must have changed, if this is true.

Actually, the information IS consistent with what I was told when I called the Marketplace. But that was one reason that I was left feeling so unsettled--I believe that they are mistaken on that point.

Does anyone here know of a definitive "regulation" on this point?

My searches haven't yielded one, but I'm fairly certain that I remember from the "hashing out" of this bill, that you can only go to the Exchanges (Marketplaces) if your employer insurance for "the employee"--not the family--exceeds a certain percentage of the employee's income (8-9/12%???).

And it is not to be up to the whim of employees who are offered insurance by their employer, to choose "the best deal."

OTOH, IF one's employer does not offer one a group plan, you have no choice but to either shop on the "private insurance market," or go through the Marketplace.

Since we've not heard anything from Mr A's employer, we're beginning to believe that we will (both) be covered. We have a "pending" surgery--the timing of which is his call, due to the nature of the surgery--IOW, when pain management is no longer sufficient, his doctors will proceed with a surgical solution.

We would love to avoid a "mad dash" for a last minute surgery at the end of this year, for obvious reasons. (Especially since we want to at least "look at" the possibility of going "outside" for the surgery, if approved by his employer.) These situations are stressful enough. And having to fool with this ridiculous law, does nothing but amplify the stress level.

It makes me wonder: Why do the "Powers hate the American People so much? [as is demonstrated by them putting millions and millions of people into positions regarding their health care that flat out ludicrous, not to mention totally unnecessary.]

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

... which clearly documents that NO, at least those in NH are not getting to keep their insurance -- granted NH is a one-insurer state so Anthem was able to take advantage of the Insurance Company Affordability Act by ending non-exchange policies and sending its orphaned policy-holders to the skinny plans on the exchange.

That said, one could imagine dozens of variations on this theme occurring where DE FACTO, people happy with their current policies will suddenly discover they must swtich to a crappy exchange policy.

It will be interesting to head real stories on the ground from across the country on how this plays out.

Nevertheless, the script my friend sent me contains some questionable statements by healthcare.gov in light of the New Hampshire situation. And this is where ObamaCare implodes: when its benign-sounding generalities (as exemplified by the scripted paragraph cited by Sean in the chat transcript) collide with reality.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Seems as though I remember hearing that "Quick Hits" don't "stay around" as long as a "front page" post. (IOW, if one wants to later reference their post for a link, for instance, this should be a consideration.)

Is this correct, or have I misunderstood something?

Thanks.

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Submitted by lambert on

However, they are not front-paged. Other than that, they are more or less the same. They have URLs and get searched like any other content type.

The basic intent is for time-sensitive links -- Hey, look at this! -- without long form analysis. But that's not enforced technically.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

a couple of "recurring" Quick Hits "bylines," for the lack of a better expression.

I've not meant to engage in "thread hijacking," although I guess some of my comments have been pretty OT lately (partly because I'm pushed for time--and setting up posts or Quick Hits can be somewhat time consuming).

If nothing else, I'll set up a Quick Hit or two that I can add comments to, without being OT in another blogger's post. ;-)

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

This is disgusting! He needs "to be sent packin'," as soon as possible.

And yeah--he's a Democrat.

Washington D.C. mayor vetoes controversial minimum wage bill

Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:38am EDT

(Reuters) - Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray on Thursday vetoed a controversial minimum wage bill that could have discouraged Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's biggest retailer, from opening stores in the U.S. capital.

The bill, approved by the City Council two months ago, would require big retailers to pay a 50 percent premium on the local minimum wage of $8.25 per hour, with backers saying that Wal-Mart and others can easily afford it to get into the District of Columbia's fast-growing market.

Major U.S. retailers, also including Target Corp and Home Depot Inc, had opposed the bill.

(Reporting By Chris Francescani; Editing by Scott Malone)

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Submitted by lambert on

That is all.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

N/T

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

being "disallowed" to keep their private industry insurance politices-- I stand corrected. ;-)

Now, I did realize that Sean addressed "Group" as well as "Individual," even though he was not asked about the "Group" policy.

But honestly, that was in keeping with the type of answers that I got on the phone.

IOW, I'm convinced that these folks have "scripts," and that when a question is asked, the read (or type) back a VERY broad, all-encompassing answer (and sometimes, the material does not even apply to one's original question--if that makes sense.)

That the very reason that I was so unsettled after I spoke to a call center rep.

(And I suppose I could be wrong--it wouldn't be the first time!)

But thanks again, for pointing out the NH discrepancy that I didn't catch.

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]