Tag Archives: Obamacare/The Affordable Healthcare Law

Most of the new 2017 Obamacare signups were from Trump/Red States…

The lawmakers from those states want to REPEAL the coverage their citizens signed for in the millions ….

Makes sense, right?

“Americans in states that Donald Trump carried in his march to the White House account for more than 4 in 5 of those signed up for coverage under the health care law the president still wants to take down,” ABC Newsreports.

“An Associated Press analysis of new figures from the government found that 7.3 million of the 8.8 million consumers signed up so far for next year come from states Trump won in the 2016 presidential election. The four states with the highest number of sign-ups — Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia, accounting for nearly 3.9 million customers — were all Trump states.”….

Politicalwire….

Republican Senator Collins got ‘rolled’….

I KNEW this was coming…..

Collins should have also….

House Republicans are STILL pleding to REPEAL the Affordabale Healthcare Law….Something Collins wants to help ….

The tax bill could hang on her vote and she’s gonna look pretty stupid if she goes along with NOT getting what she bargined for….

Tax bill chances , for me?…..remains LESS than 50%

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The three biggest stories in Washington — a broad overhaul of the U.S. tax structure, a health-care makeover and a spending bill that would avert a government shutdown — all depend, more or less, on one moderate Republican senator who says she’s got a deal that could deliver them all.

The only trouble is, Senator Susan Collins’s deal could unravel fast, putting the Maine lawmaker and her party in a tight spot as GOP leaders seek a major policy win in 2017.

Collins joined 50 of her GOP Senate colleagues Saturday in voting for tax legislation — but only after securing what she’s called a promise that Congress would pass two other bills before year’s end. Both measures are aimed at shoring up insurance marketplaces that experts say would be ravaged by one part of the Senate tax bill: a repeal of the “individual mandate” imposed by the 2010 Obamacare law.

But Collins’s promise came from Senate Majority Mitch McConnell — who can’t always deliver a vote in his own chamber, let alone the one across the capitol. It’s by no means clear that either of the health care bills Collins bargained for will get anywhere in the House, where conservatives regard at least one of the measures with disdain.

“I wasn’t part of those conversations,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Thursday, when asked about Collins’s bargain with McConnell…..

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Note….

Sen Jeff Flake’s DACA promise will rest on the Democarts NOT him….

Senator’s Collins, Flake and Crker could doom the tax cut bill…

Update…

Hmmmmm?

Do they have the votes in the Senate?

The House will not vote next week on a final agreement to rewrite the tax code, though House and Senate negotiators are expected to work through the weekend.

“It will not come up next week, but if it could, I would bring it up as soon as we come out of conference, because I do believe the American people are waiting for a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told colleagues late Thursday in remarks on the House floor….

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image….washingtonexaminer.com

The Affordable Healthcare law performed fine this year…Next year…Well?

A new study out debunks all of the doom and gloom on how the Affordable Healthcare (Obamacare ) program is ACTUALLY doing this year….

It reports that insurance companies held the line and made marginal profits by increasing premunim’s for policyn holder and that those policy holders should have made out alright by getting the tax credits available….

Huh?

Yes…

The study Taking Stock of Insurer Financial Performance in the Individual Health Insurance Market Through 2017,” points to the program ACTUALLY working the way it is SUPPOSED to despite the media , Republican and Donald Trump cries against it….

The report points out that despite reports in the media?

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Most Americans would have been able to balance increases in their 2018 premiums with tax credits….

In fact, in a little noticed regard….

If Trump and Congress do NOT resume subsidies to healthcare insurance providers? (They will)….ANOTHER type of subsidy will kick -in for some …..

The reality is that the Affordable Healthcare program isn’t gonna be repealed and will survive….

The program is doing better than the what is being sold to the public on a politiocal plate…..

Republican efforts seem to be aimed at hurting the weakest part of the program…

Healthcare benefits for low population Red states…

But then ?

That is how things have just about always been , eh?

The report finds that insurers were on track to break even or make modest profits on ACA-compliant individual market policies in 2017, on average, before the Trump Administration’s decision to end cost-sharing reduction payments. The sharp improvement for 2017 were the result of the significant premium increases insurers implemented for 2017, together with continued subdued claims growth in the ACA-compliant individual market. That progress should have set the stage for comparatively moderate premium increases in 2018, likely in the mid-to-high-single digits. The higher premium increases occurring in reality likely reflect a range of threatened and actual changes in federal policy.

In greater detail, the report reaches two main conclusions about the state of the individual market in 2017 and how the market would have evolved in 2018 in the absence of recent changes in policy:

  • Insurers were on track to break even or make modest profits on ACA-compliant policies in 2017, on average, before the administration ended cost-sharing reduction payments: The report estimates that insurers were on track to incur small losses averaging 0.4 percent of premium revenue on ACA-compliant policies in 2017 before the administration ended cost-sharing reduction payments for the final quarter of the year. Furthermore, there is reason to believe that the data used in this analysis may systematically understate insurers’ actual financial performance, suggesting that insurers were, in fact, on track to make modest profits on ACA-compliant policies in 2017, on average nationwide….

 

  • In a stable policy environment, 2018 premium increases for ACA-compliant policies would have been in the mid-to-high single digits on average nationwide…..

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image…latimes.com

Trump’s Obamacare action is going to court…State’s announce lawsuit..

Why NOT?

The Republican’s took President Obama to court on the program…..

18 State Attorney General’s have joined together to file against Trump’s excutive actions  concerning the Affordaable Healthcare law….

President Donald Trump’s move to cut off critical Obamacare subsidies will almost surely be tied up in the courts for years as Democratic-led states seek injunctions, while insurers seek to recover payments they say they’re owed.

It’s impossible to predict whether a judge might order the administration to continue the payments while the lawsuits are heard, but at least some legal experts express doubts.

“Forcing an administration to continue making payments when the president believes there is no appropriation, and when Congress believes there’s no appropriation, would be a pretty extreme move by the court — even if it was a temporary measure,” said Nicholas Bagley, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School who has written extensively about Obamacare legal issue

The result is that consumers are likely to be caught holding the bag if their insurers bolt and their Obamacare markets teeter on the verge of collapse. Many will end up paying higher premiums to make up for the shortfall, estimated at $7 billion this year alone. And although most insurers have locked in commitments to participate in the Obamacare markets for 2018, some may re-examine those decisions….

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Rural Hospitals Are Dying and Pregnant Women Are Paying the Price

…from Politico Magazine….

….As Congress debates repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, rural hospitals are in a kind of purgatory, unsure about their Medicaid budgets and the private health insurance that sustains them. At least 81 rural hospitals have shut down across the country since 2010, according the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center at UNC. The pace of closures has been increasing since the Great Recession, but the current health care policy limbo—which leaves hospitals and insurers unable to predict their income—exacerbates the problem. “The uncertainty is really impinging providers, particularly hospitals, from making the kinds of decisions that might put them on a better footing,” says center director Mark Holmes…..

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Republicans take heat on trying to deep six the Healthcare Law….

Far away from their buddies in the hall’s of Congress ?

Indidviual Grand ole Party lawmakers  are faced with angry people who sent them to work  and see them  trying to take away their healthcare coverage…and the few who think Donald Trump is the next coming….

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But at town-hall meetings since the start of the recess, tax reform has hardly come up; health care has dominated. At a Monday town hall in Flat Rock, N.C., Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) pitched a plan to devolve ACA programs to the states, then found himself fending off constituents who backed universal Medicare.

“You can take the top one percent and tax them fully, and it still won’t pay for Medicare,” said Meadows.

At a town hall in Chico, Calif., in the most Democratic portion of a deep red district, Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) found himself fending off furious complaints about the repeal vote, with constituents accusing him of acting to bring about their death.

“I hope you suffer the same painful fate as those millions that you have voted to remove health care from,” one constituent told LaMalfa. “May you die in pain.”

Carter’s town halls did not reach that boiling point, but they revealed what the tone of congressional listening sessions has become — angry, wistful and loaded with progressive activists….

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image..theslote.jezabel.com

Ohio Healthcare Insurers will cover Obamacare market coverage dropout’s….

Ohio officials step up to the plate….

Five health insurance companies in Ohio, including Molina Healthcare Inc, have stepped up to sell health plans in 19 counties that would have been without Obamacare individual coverage in 2018, the state’s insurance regulator said on Monday.

Ohio’s Department of Insurance said it had worked to draw in insurers for the 20 counties that were left without an option after others, including Anthem Inc, said it would exit in 2018.

Molina, Buckeye Health Plan, CareSource, Medical Mutual of Ohio and Paramount Health Care will together cover 19 counties where 11,000 Ohioans are enrolled in these plans, the department said. It is continuing to look for an insurer for Paulding County…..

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McConnell will take things to brink on Healthcare Vote…

His aim is to try to force a vote on if the Senate will HAVE a vote…

His brinkmanship is a attempt to make members of his party who are against the repeal of the Healthcare Law stand up and be counted…

His effort may work….(Last time it didn’t)

But if only three Republican Senators feel that they CAN survive a NO vote back home?  (He did NOT have the votes less than 24 hours ago)

There probably won’t be a vote…

The effort to repeal the law remain unpopular with most Americans of BOTH parties…

Trump is standing on the sidelines pleading for a legislative victory for HIMSELF, after he had promised during the campaign that NO ONE would lose their healthcare coverage…

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appears to be blundering into a healthcare vote this week, despite not having a deal on a Senate healthcare bill.

Public struggles aside, McConnell actually does have a plan: pin down fellow Republican senators on their seven-year-old promise to repeal ObamaCare.

McConnell told activists from Tea Party Patriots, FreedomWorks and Americans for Limited Government during a Monday meeting at the Capitol that a key procedural vote will happen Tuesday afternoon.

The motion to proceed needs the backing of 50 senators to pass — assuming Vice President Pence breaks a tie — and it will be close.

Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder of the grassroots group Tea Party Patriots, said McConnell is pushing very hard on getting members to vote for the motion but did not appear to have it in hand as of Monday afternoon…..

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Obamacare isn’t collapsing….

But it DOES have issues….

…from AXIOS….

Georgetown’s Sabrina Corlette notes that Friday’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report on the Affordable Care Act’s reinsurance and risk adjustment programs didn’t exactly portray a market in collapse. In fact, it suggested, in the dry language of the CMS bureaucracy, that the programs to help insurers cover sick people are actually in good shape:

  • The two programs “functioned smoothly for the 2016 benefit year.”
  • The predictability of the risk scores “was noticeably improved.”
  • “Risk scores were stable in the individual market and decreased in the small group market.”

Why it matters: The report isn’t enough to negate the real problems of the ACA market. Insurers have been pulling out and premiums have been increasing, although some of that is influenced by the Trump administration’s hostility to the law. But this is one of the first CMS reports in the new administration that hasn’t tried to emphasize the law’s problems. Instead, it’s a rare “business as usual” report — a change in tone that suggests some in the agency are still just trying to implement the law.

The Senate Healthcare Bill would hurt MORE people than the House one…Open Thread for June 15, 2017

Media reports on the Senate stealth healthcare bill write up points to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doing about the same thing as Speaker Ryan….

Crafting a bill that will hurt millions of Americans JUST to be able to say their party did SOMETHING….

Any change to the Affordable Healthcare Law, slang named Obamacare is viewed as INCREASING UN POPULAR to the American public ACROSS the board….

Why?

Congressional Republicans and President Trump seem hell-bent on pushing through a bill to replace parts of the Affordable Care Act. “Duh,” you say, “the Republicans have been promising to repeal Obamacare since literallythe day it was passed.”

But here’s where things get interesting. We tend to assume political parties want to get their policy goals adopted, but also to stay in power. Republicans won control of Congress in 2010 in part because Democrats pushed through a health care bill that the plurality of voters did not approve of, according to several major polls from that time. The Republicans are doing the same thing now, only their health care bill is significantly more unpopular than the ACA was in 2010.

So why are Republicans so determined to pass a bill that they already seem to know is not popular and could hurt them in next year’s elections? It’s almost impossible to determine exactly what drives a politician’s actions, particularly because sometimes the reasons they give publicly are not their only or primary motives. So while we can’t prove anything, we can still identify four likely reasons that Republicans are pushing so hard on health care….

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Note….

Trump just mentioned that he thought the House Bill was ‘mean’……

….

The latest: Even though Republicans had raised expectations that they were finishing a draft bill, it turns out that GOP leaders actually submitted multiple policy options to the budget office — partly explaining why senators won’t say much about their bill, let alone release a draft of it.

Both the bill and its CBO score will be public eventually, and there’s nothing inherently scandalous about trying to run the traps on a piece of legislation before bringing it to the floor.

The problem: What happens next? How long will the bill be publicly available before a vote? Will policy experts have time to digest it, and will voters have time to process that analysis? Will there be a real, good-faith opportunity for senators to offer amendments? GOP leaders have already short-circuited an awful lot of the process by not holding hearings or committee markups.

Working with CBO now will likely help Senate Republicans avoid the kind of bad-news bombshells the House experienced — but it’s making that July 4 timetable look less and less realistic.

Who could lose from state health benefit limits

Data: CAP analysis, 2015 American Community Survey, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2017 Willis Towers Watson Survey; Table: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The Senate health care bill is expected to allow states to relax the Affordable Care Act rules only on benefits, not on pricing as the House bill does. But that change could impact people far beyond those states, according to a new analysis by the liberal Center for American Progress — because it could lead to a return of annual and lifetime benefit limits, and not just in the states with the waivers….

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The Senate is in No Rush on their Obamacare rewrite bill….

Meaning that the Affordable Healthcare Law will continue in effect and the political ‘hot potato’ will be left on the side for a long while…

The Senate GOP’s progress on Obamacare repeal has been hard to decipher so far, with lots of public assurances that negotiations are continuing but few tangible results.

The process, which Republicans claim began even before the House passed its repeal bill, has been notable for what it’s been missing. It’s unclear, publicly at least, who is leading the effort, the direction they’re taking and whether there’s even agreement on how far the Senate will stray from the deeply unpopular House proposal, which guts Medicaid while scaling back the Affordable Care Act’s widely-liked consumer protections.

The Senate GOP’s 13-member working group initially unveiled to iron out an approach that could bring 51 votes was quickly met with ugly headlines about the lack of women, while rival groups have popped up among the members left out of the original task force. GOP leaders have since stressed that all Republicans are invited to participate in the talks, which happen twice or thrice weekly in Capitol, behind closed doors.

In the meantime, trial balloon after trial balloon has been floated with anonymous leaks, only to be immediately popped by other Republicans, who sometimes are only hearing of alleged proposals directly from the press….

While GOP Senators swear their not adhering to any specific timetable, some deadlines do in fact exist. To stay on track to pass both Obamacare repeal and tax cut legislation this year, the Senate will likely need to wrap up their health care talks this summer. More pressing, however, is insurers’ filing deadlines for their 2018 plans. Insurers would like to see more certainty on what the marketplace will look like, including what will happen to key ACA subsidies Republicans have previously attacked….

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Canada has the ‘least-universal health care system’ in the world: André Picard

For those who keep citing the Canadian Healthcare system as the solution for America?
They have issues up North in their healthcare program also….
In his new book, the Globe and Mail health columnist outlines the many ways our much-lauded health care system can do better.by

Matters of Life and Death: Public Heath Issues in Canada by André Picard, $23.

Canadians have a complicated relationship with our health care system. We love to point out all its faults and failures, yet we’re thankful the only bill we pay at the hospital are the parking tickets. We’re deeply proud of Tommy Douglas. Some would go so far as to say our health care system defines us as Canadians. Which is one of André Picard’s biggest pet peeves.

The Montreal-based health columnist has been writing about Canadian public health issues for The Globe and Mail for nearly 30 years. It’s all he ever tweets about, if you couldn’t already tell by his handle, @PicardonHealth. He’s been named a “public health hero” by our country’s top public health experts and even stops in on hospitals around the world when on holiday. Once, in an emergency room in Spain, he asked the triage nurse what wait times were like. She looked confused. “Why would anyone wait? It’s an emergency room,” she said.

Picard talked to Chatelaine about what Canada is doing right, how we can be better, and how we compare, not just to our southern neighbours but to the rest of the world…..

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The basic’s of Obamacare aren’t going anywhere….

The idea that the government should help those less fortune started back almost a hundred years ago coming out of the depression with FDR…..

There are those on the Right in the American Congress and beyond who want their country to cast aside any safety net for the less fortunate and play to the rich…

Those people have NOT had their way…

The House Repeal Bill that finally made it thru on a slim margin points to problem for those who want to go backwards….

Their publicized efforts have actually pushed American to INCREASE support for a healthcare program born of the Democrats and the countries first black/mixed race President….

In the last few days as the House Repeal bill has come under study?

We see something MUCH less than  the media made it out to be…

Most of the major parts of the Affordable Healthcare Bill have been left intact….

Now THAT doesn’t mean that Democrats and others should accept the Republicans cuts in the House bill….But the fact is?

When  this is  all over?

Either the House and Senate will craft a bill that will be able to get the votes ?

Or the Affordable Healthcare Law will have to be fixed in little pieces….

Donald Trump has repeatedly said he does NOT want to make cuts to Social Security …..

Wether Conservatives like it or NOT?

Americans are solidly behind having Big Government help them in their lives….Risking THAT could have negative political effects on their party come the 2018 Midterm elections….

Fighting the expansion of the so-called welfare state is a fundamental premise of the American conservative movement. But as tens of millions of Americans have come to rely on coverage under the 2010 health law, Republicans have learned the political risks of being seen as taking a hatchet to the program, however imperfect it may be.

So conservatives have now cast aside their high-minded arguments of political principle, replacing them with dense discussions of policy. Pre-existing conditions, risk pools and premium costs — not the more conventional Republican disquisitions in favor of the free market, personal responsibility and smaller government — dominate the debate today.

This dramatic shift in focus has confirmed what conservatives said they always feared when Democrats granted the government expansive new powers over health care. The government can giveth, they said, but it can almost never taketh away…..

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Trump Administration to Pay Health Law Subsidies Disputed by the House…

…from the NY Times….

The Trump administration says it is willing to continue paying subsidies to health insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act even though House Republicans say the payments are illegal because Congress never authorized them.

The statement sends a small but potentially significant signal to insurers, encouraging them to stay in the market.

The future of the payments has been in doubt because of a lawsuit filed in 2014 by House Republicans, who said the Obama administration was paying the subsidies illegally.

Without the subsidies, insurance markets could quickly unravel. Even more insurers could withdraw from the public marketplaces where more than 10 million Americans obtained coverage last year….

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Obama asks that his Healthcare law NOT be made ‘Worse’….

Barack Obama defends his efforts to increase Healthcare coverage for over ten million more Americans….

After he leaves office and their covergae is in danger ?

They finally come to realize what good the ex-President has done for them…

Just hours ahead of the House’s Thursday vote to gut and replace the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama marked his signature health care law’s 7th anniversary by urging Republicans not to make our health care system “worse for hardworking Americans.”

The former President celebrated the achievements the ACA realized, including averting 100,000 deaths and providing insurance to more than 20 million Americans, in a statement.

Acknowledging that the legislation still needs improvements, Obama urged Congress to “build on this law” rather than dismantle it….

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McConnell and Ryan set to push Obamacare plan and see what other party members do?

I told ya so….

THIS is how FUCKED UP the things are gonna be for Republicans in Congress….

Their leadership is under pressure to do SOMETHING on their promises to Repeal Obamacare…and they are stuck….

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image….cbsnews.com

Resistance protests are all over Republican home town hall’s….

Obamacare approval numbers are approaching 50%….

And the adopted head of their party wants EVERYBODY covered….

SO?

It look s like [ Wall Street Journal wise] House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell are just gonna drop anything on their members and let THEM figure something out?

Mr. Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) are staking almost everything on this bet, because their entire domestic policy agenda, including a highly prized tax overhaul, rests on the health-care maneuver paying off first…

The plan could be torpedoed by everything from Republican divisions to public backlash to Democratic resistance. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California said on ABC’s This Week on Sunday morning that she didn’t believe Republicans would be able to follow through with their repeal bid.

“They won’t be able to do that,” she said. “How can they do it? They do not have the votes.”

‘In the 25 years that I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever, one time agreed on what a health-care proposal should look like.’
—Former House Speaker John Boehner

Republican leaders see little alternative but to try, especially since they are already facing criticism for failing to move faster. Some conservative advocacy groups, such as Heritage Action, have said swifter movement could have forestalled the town hall meetings and the polls showing increased support for the ACA that are now rattling some centrist Republicans.

The town halls have also invigorated some conservative lawmakers, who are eager for the fight. “Not everyone is going to get what they want,” said Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R., Tenn.). “I’ve been telling people back home if they don’t see major movement on this by Easter, there’ll be reason to be concerned.”

Republicans still have to overcome significant divisions on central issues….

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