Tag Archives: The Affordable Healthcare Law

Obamacare signup’s almost match last years’s under Obama…

Not bad for a healthcare program that Donald Trump say is terrible and that they are trying to shitcan and blame on Barack Obama?

Not all of the signup’s have been counted abd the numnber COULD BEAT last years numbers under Obama….

Democrats declared victory Thursday after the Trump administration announced that nearly 9 million people signed up for health insurance through the federal ObamaCare exchanges.

Last year, 9.2 million people signed up for coverage during an open enrollment period that was twice as long.

Approximately 8.8 million people enrolled during the six-week open enrollment period in the 39 states that use the federal healthcare.govwebsite, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said.

In the final week alone, more than 4.1 million people enrolled, more than 1 million of whom were new customers, the agency said.

“This is a remarkable result given the administration’s efforts to sabotage enrollment by gutting outreach, creating chaos and confusion, cutting off subsidies for low-income families and shortening the enrollment period by six weeks,” Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement.

“Today’s enrollment numbers make clear that the American people want access to high quality, affordable health insurance coverage, and they want Congress and the Administration to stop playing games with our health care system,” he continued.

In a tweet, CMS administrator Seema Verma said her agency had done a great job to “make this the smoothest experience for consumers to date.”….

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McConnell probably will need 60 votes in the Senate to Repeal The Healthcare Law…

THAT is NOT gonna happen…..

The Senate would likely need 60 votes to overcome Democratic opposition and pass key portions of the GOP health care bill under the chamber’s rules, a blow to both the plan’s policy and its political fortunes unless Senate Republicans are willing to break decades of precedent or the bill is substantially rewritten.

The Senate’s so-called “Byrd Rule” is designed to make sure policies passed under “budget reconciliation” — which allows legislation to advance with only 51 votes instead of the usual 60 needed to get past a filibuster — directly affect the federal budget, either by decreasing spending or by increasing revenue. (Vox has explained the Byrd Rule in great detail.)

The findings of the Senate parliamentarian, who evaluates whether policies included in bills meant to pass through reconciliation comply with the Senate rules, were posted online late Friday afternoon and sent out by Democratic ranking member Sen. Bernie Sanders’s office. A Senate Republican aide noted that the parliamentarian reviewed a draft version of the bill, and the legislation could still be changed.

They are a critical blow to Republicans’ hopes of repealing and replacing Obamacare. Their plan is already short on votes, but Friday’s news could make it even more difficult for Senate leaders to sway their holdouts….

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Note….

McConnell CAN change the rules….

But if he does?

What would happen if the Republicans lost their majority?

What comes around?

Goes around, eh?

HHS head Price wants to go back in the day for future healthcare coverage….

The Affordable Healthcare Law was put in place to BETTER the Problems with the old way of doing business….

WTF go backwards????

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price suggested Sunday that the nation’s health insurance system ought to operate as it did before the Affordable Care Act was passed.

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Price was asked to respond to a blistering criticism of the Senate Republicans’ health care proposal by two major groups representing the U.S. health insurance industry. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) earlier this week, the groups called the latest version of the bill “simply unworkable in any form” and warned that it would cause “widespread terminations of coverage” to people with serious medical problems.

“It’s really perplexing, especially from the insurance companies, because all they have to do is dust off how they did business before Obamacare,” Price said, referring to an amendment proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that would allow insurers to resume sales of policies that leave out key benefits, such as prescription drugs or mental health treatment.

“A single risk pool, which is what they’re objecting to, is exactly the kind of process that was ― that has been utilized for decades to care for individuals,” he added.

America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association of America, the two groups who wrote the letter, oppose the latest draft of the legislation. They say it would allow insurance companies to discriminate among customers based on medical status ― essentially causing insurance premiums for people with pre-existing conditions to skyrocket.

In discussing their health care plan, Republicans do not usually speak as candidly as Price about returning the nation’s health care system to its pre-Obamacare period, a period marked by egregious insurance company abuses. Protections for pre-existing conditions remain highly popular around the country, and GOP lawmakers are loath to admit their policies would weaken them…….

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GOPer’s go after Hillary Clinton for wanting to fix Healthcare Law….

Clinton DID offer to FIX problems with the Affordable Healthcare Law….

The Republicans tweeted about that today….

As a negative to help THEM….

When in trouble?

Republicans bring out a Clinton to beat up on , eh?

Clinton’s plan looked very different from what Republicans were proposing then, or what they are trying to do now, because Clinton also recognized the Affordable Care Act’s accomplishments ― which included not just a historic drop in the number of uninsured Americans but also cheaper, stronger coverage for millions whose low incomes or pre-existing medical conditions had made decent insurance impossible to get in the old days.

Instead of ripping the guts out of the Affordable Care Act and reversing that progress, Clinton sought to strengthen the new system ― by, among other things, using government negotiating leverage to bring down prescription drug prices, creating a public insurance option to improve competition and reduce prices, and offering new tax credits to offset out-of-pocket expenses for people with severe medical problems.

The plan was vague on key points, like exactly how the federal government would use its new negotiating authority with drug companies. But it was more detailed than what then-presidential-candidate Donald Trump had put forward and, fully fleshed out, Clinton’s proposal would have represented a substantial commitment of government resources.

When the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget analyzed Clinton’s health care agenda, as part of a broader examination of her campaign promises, it concluded that the initiative would cost about $250 billion over 10 years ― money Clinton proposed to raise through higher income taxes on the very wealthy.

Clinton’s proposal looked a lot like recommendations that former President Barack Obama made before leaving office…..

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GA-06…Republican Healthcare moves have more support there than the media paints it…

The special election IS TODAY....

The Washington Post’s 

Support for the Republican effort to change the Affordable Healthcare Law…..

While certain parts of it people want to keep?

Most Republicans are ok with changes to the program….

In addition, Republican  HHS head Tom Price was very popular as the House member from the district…

Hohmann writes that the polling stories do not show the situation actually on the ground in the district ….

the polling does not capture the full story. In dozens of interviews on the ground over three days, most Republicans and many independents who have concerns about the House bill stressed that they still detest Obamacare. Their expectations might seem unreasonable to anyone who is closely following the debate or is steeped in the complexities of public policy, but they believe Donald Trump can and should enact a replacement plan that will both reduce their costs and improve their quality of care.

No matter where people fall in the debate, virtually everyone cares deeply about the outcome. The Journal-Constitution survey, conducted the week before last, found that 81 percent of likely voters describe health care as an “extremely” or “very” important “priority” to them, larger than any other issue by far.

One reason a lot of Republicans in the suburbs north of Atlanta are willing to give Trump leeway is Price. After representing the district for 12 years, he is still highly respected by the grassroots. He won reelection by 23 points last November, even as Trump edged out Hillary Clinton by just one point….

— The bottom line: If Handel loses tonight, it will be almost entirely because of moderate unease with Trump and his agenda. The Journal-Constitution poll found that only about one-third of voters in the district approve of the president. Even one in four Republicans give him an unfavorable review….

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Obamacare isn’t gonna crash…But it DOES needs adjustments…

The nations’ s healthcare program the Affordable Healthcare program, also labeled Obamacare is doing what it was supposed to do…Increase healthcare insurance for those who could didn’t have access to coverage…

And while the political scrimmaging is going on ?

The fact is the program DOES Need fixing…

That fixing should NOT be a full repeal of the program knocking up to 24 million people out coverage entirely to make premiums lower for those who can pay them without effort…

Are the insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act really on the verge of collapse, as President Trump and GOP leaders have repeatedly claimed?

Three months ago, this story would have started like this: It depends on where you look and who you ask.

Today, it goes something like this: They are in a fragile state pretty much everywhere.

With Trump threatening to withhold payments to insurers and expressing reluctance to uphold the mandate requiring most people to either buy insurance or pay a penalty, otherwise stable state markets are now in a precarious position. Others are experiencing issues they likely would have anyway, but with a layer of new instability on top. But just because many markets were stable doesn’t mean they were serving everyone well. The messy reality of these two intertwined issues — what keeps the markets stable and who they cover — often leaves politicians on both sides of the aisle telling half-truths about the health of Obamacare’s most public provision. A look at the ways marketplaces are succeeding and failing reveals opportunities for improvement and hints at why the political climate could make those improvements all but impossible.

For the last couple of decades, the term “death spiral” has been used to describe a marketplace spinning out of control. In the face of rising premiums, healthy people bail from a marketplace, causing premiums to rise further, until the prices are unaffordable for everyone and the whole plan falls apart. The Obamacare marketplaces are not in a death spiral, according to various health policy experts, despite numerous Republicans’claims to the contrary. In fact, the term, at least under its pre-Obamacare definition, is largely obsolete. That’s because the ACA fundamentally changed how the markets are organized. Now that the government is subsidizing health insurance, people with incomes just above the federal poverty line are largely protected from rising premiums — 83 percent of the people currently using the markets receive subsidies to help pay for their plans — and, healthy or sick, they are unlikely to flee the markets amid rising premiums.

However, growing costs in the marketplaces frequently determine whether someone with a slightly higher income1 will buy into the market. That’s because under the current system, those people receive low or no subsidies to offset the cost of insurance — they aren’t immune to the price increases…..

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Republican push just for Repeal of Obamacare is almost gone…

Strike while the iron is hot?

On the Affordable Healthcare Law/Obamacare?

That iron is cooling and probably cold….

Between the mounting protests in the streets and at town halls….

Along with polling showing that more American’s are worried about losing their coverage?

The chances of an outright repeal of the program is just about gone….

Rightwingnuts still walkabout an immediate junking of the program…But NOBODY except them are for that anymore…

Repeal and Replace has been the call from the new President….

But any senario proposed on that will wait until next year or 2019 AFTER the midterm elections….

We’ve pointed this out before here….

The Affordable Healthcare program’s worst problem is it’s nickname….

As President Obama tried to do…

The program needs adjustments…

They ARE coming….

Probably another name….

But in the end….

That’s about all….

Ever since Republicans got down to the business of repealing the Affordable Care Act, the Senate has been singled out as the likely problem. Any plan that could zoom through the House would hit roadblocks among Senate Republicans, many of whom have resisted a wholesale repeal of the health law without a robust replacement plan.

But after weeks of loud protests, boisterous town hall meetings and scores of quieter meetings with health care professionals, patients, caregivers and hospital managers in their districts, it is becoming increasingly likely that a consensus in the House may be just as hard to reach.

The most conservative House members are pushing for a fast repeal of the health law with only a bare-bones replacement to follow, possibly just bigger incentives for people to open health savings accounts to fund their own health needs. Other Republicans are more interested in taking their time to come up with a replacement plan that, as of now, they have failed to cobble together beyond a menu of options….

“For the first time Republicans need to demonstrate what they are for and not just being against Obamacare,” said Doug Heye, who served as the deputy chief of staff to former Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia when he was majority leader. Mr. Cantor and House Republican chairmen labored in 2014 to bring a replacement bill for Republicans to get behind, Mr. Heye said, and got nowhere, even with no stakes.

“Republicans are going to come back to Washington next week and say what they’ve heard on the ground, at hospitals, at restaurants, at events where people have been concerned about where they go from here,” he said. “How much that shapes things over the next months remains to be seen.”

Further, recent polls show increasing enthusiasm for the health law as Americans see its repeal on the horizon…

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The IRS won’t withold your refund if you don’t have insurance…

The Trump Admin makes smalll changes in which the Affordable Healthcare is administered which soften the Obama mandate filing deadline and will help insurance companies while making it harder for some one to buy insurance by cutting the enrollment period and giving insurance companies leeway to hike deductibles …

It appears that the Trump Admin is helping the big business insurance companies at the expense of the consumer, something that Republicans live by….

The Trump administration is taking its first steps to put its imprint on the Affordable Care Act, reversing plans to withhold tax refunds this year from Americans who flout an insurance requirement in the law while proposing a series of rule changes to encourage insurers to remain in ACA marketplaces.

The Internal Revenue Service has revoked an Obama-era instruction to taxpayers that was taking effect during the current filing season as a way to further compliance with the ACA’s requirement that most Americans carry health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Under the instruction, the IRS had announced that it would no longer process tax returns for people who fail to send a notice with their returns that they have insurance, are exempt from the requirement or are paying the fine.

Instead, the agency said in a statement on Wednesday, tax returns will be processed as always, even for individuals who do not provide the required information. The IRS said the decision, made earlier this month but not previously publicized, was in line with an executive order that President Trump signed hours after his inauguration, giving agencies broad authority to lighten the burden of federal rules under the ACA.

The IRS confirmed the change on the same morning that Health and Human Services officials proposed a set of rules to help protect insurers and shore up ACA marketplaces in the short term while Republicans work on demolishing the law. The proposal drew swift praise from the insurance industry and condemnation from consumer advocates and congressional Democrats….

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Note….

The IRS action will be for this tax session….

The proposed rule changes only allow for 20 days of comments and will mostly go in effect NEXT year , when Midterm elections will be held….So of the rule changes where also under consideration by the Obama Admin….

Update….

The NY Times is out with a piece that gives more details on the GOP moves which would NOT make any structural changes in the Affordable Healthcare Law know as Obamacare , but would help richer people with healthcare insurance while hurting those who are poorer…

Republican lawmakers get bombarded about Obamacare Repeal back home…

Left from the hallowed hall’s of the nations Capital?

The questions and fear about the Affordable Healthcare Law’s future are coming fast and furious at Republican  US House and Senate members…..

And the these incidents are happening in places where Donald Trump won and some are certained organized by Democrats…

As has been predicted here?

There will be NO MASS changes in President Obama’s signature Obama care Healthcare bill….(Trump has promised that No ONe should lose their coverage)….At least not anytime before the 2018 Midterm elections….And Republicans ARE gonna have to roll out some solutions to keep most Americans and Inurance Companies calm soon…

Liberal-leaning groups are trying to foment a real movement against Trump — and in particular against repeal of Obamacare — sharing spreadsheets of town halls for Republicans across the country in hopes of sparking a grassroots movement similar to the tea party movement of 2009. Videos of screaming constituents were splashed across TV that summer as Congress drafted Obamacare, slowing the law’s momentum and crushing any chance that Republicans would help pass it.

So far, protests against the repeal effort are not nearly as heated as those rage-filled 2009 town halls, some of which ended in fistfights, arrests and hospitalizations. But they show growing angst over the GOP’s uncertain plans to replace the health care law….

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Democrats look to organize a Jan 15th Protest against Obamacare Repeal…

A Repeal is coming….

It will be delayed actually…

But Democrats are gonna make sure the Republicans OWN the Obama created program going ahead….

In a letter Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) asked local communities to help them organize protests against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

“Beginning in January, it is likely that Republican leaders will follow through on their threats to ram through a budget bill that will severely undermine the health care needs of the American people,” the letter read.

Republicans are planning to use a procedural maneuver known as budget reconciliation to repeal the law with a simple majority vote in the Senate as soon as January, but Democrats are trying to lay the groundwork for a grassroots movement against the repeal.

Democrats argue that repealing the law will take away insurance for more than 20 million people and take away Medicaid expansion in states throughout the country. Republicans say their plan wouldn’t phase out Obamacare for two to three years. Republicans also promise they will replace it, but have yet to come up with a replacement bill.

In the letter, Schumer, Pelosi and Sanders designated Jan. 15 the day of action and asked activists to “organize a rally or other event” back in the states. Democrats are calling Jan. 15, “Our first stand. Save health care.”….

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The Congressional Budget Office will call out any Obamacare replacemment that doesn’t keep coverage on a certain level….

While some people think the Republicans will just CUT-UP the Affordable Healthcare law (Obamacare) and let the chips fall where they may, knocking millions out of their healthcare coverage?

There is little evidence of such a risky political action….

A Repeal of the six year old may come soon….But a replacement of the program isn’t gonna ready for two years or more…..

During that period of time Republicans will gain ownership of the program and will hard pressed to NOT have the Democrats use the program on them like they did on the Democrats…..

And American’s with insursnce thru the program will be voting in the 2018 midterm elections as stakeholders ….

Any rewrite will NOT be a easy excercise….

The Congressional Budget Office laid out some important ground rules in a blog post Tuesday for how it will judge whatever Obamacare replacement plans lawmakers eventually offer if they repeal the Affordable Care Act next year. The CBO said it would not be giving any proposals credit for covering consumers unless the plans that consumers would be receiving met certain broad standards for coverage.

The post comes as GOP lawmakers are readying their push to repeal Obamacare early next year, but with a two- to four-year delay that they say would give them enough time to settle on a replacement. Over the six-plus years since the ACA was passed, Republicans have struggled to develop consensus around an alternative, in part because of deep disagreements within the party over the government’s role in the health care industry and whether universal coverage should be a goal.

The CBO blog post adds a new wrinkle to the debate, by making clear that lawmakers won’t be able to claim that they will protect the millions of people that stand to lose insurance with an Obamacare repeal if the coverage that comes with their ACA replacement is significantly less generous or wide-ranging.

“Two key questions for policymakers in developing such proposals are what type of insurance products would qualify for tax credits and what role states would have in making that determination,” the CBO said.

The blog post went on to explain the regulations imposed by ACA that determine which plans are eligible for the law’s subsidies and how they compared to the standards the CBO used before the Affordable Care Act to determine whether a plan offered enough for its recipient to be considered covered. It noted that many proposals that have been floated to replace Obamacare offer tax credits for plans, but significantly loosen or eliminate the regulations surrounding insurers…..

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All the sudden Republicans say Obamacare has a “relatively small” foot print?

Here we go with changing of Reality that Trump & Co. and the Republicans in Congress are trying to sell….

The numbers speak for themselves….

The current enrollment numbers (as of February 2016) are roughly: 12.7 million in the marketplace, and very roughly 20 million total between the ACA between the Marketplace, Medicaid expansion, young adults staying on their parents plan, and other coverage provisions.

The 2016 uninsured rate remains at an all time low with the uninsured rate at 11.9% for Americans 18 – 64 and 8.6% for all Americans. 8.6% is down from 9.1% as of 4th quarter 2015, and 15.7% before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law….

Source….

“Obamacare is a malignant tumor that feeds and metastasizes on American liberty,” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) once said of the law.

“Obamacare is doing tremendous damage across America, and in Utah in particular,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said a year ago.

Reacting to a major 2012 Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare, then-Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) gravely pronounced: “This ruling erodes the freedom of every American, opening the door for the federal government to legislate, regulate, and mandate nearly every aspect of our daily lives under the guise of its taxing power.”

“If we don’t repeal and replace Obamacare, we will destroy health care in America,” Donald Trump warned a week before the election.

That was then.

This is now:

“It’s a relatively small number of people who really are involved here,” Hatch told reporters earlier this month when he was being pressed for specifics about the GOP plan to repeal and maybe eventually replace Obamacare.

The sudden change in tone comes as the Obamacare buck, as it were, has been passed on to Republicans, who have vowed to repeal it as soon as the new Congress convenes in January. GOP lawmakers are now facing a bevy of concerns about what their current plan – repeal and delay – could mean for the individual markets, which health policy experts warn could collapse in the so-called transition period. The threat of rising premiums and disappearing choices, which has provided much of the ammo for Republican ACA attacks under Obama, is not so panic-worthy given individuals on the exchanges make up just 4 percent insurer market, their new refrain goes.

”We have an Obamacare emergency in a relatively small part of the insurance market, the individual — people who buy insurance individually. That’s about 6 percent of all of the insurance that is bought in the country, 4 percent … is through the exchanges,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who is the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, told TPM last week.

Republicans are right that Obamacare’s exchanges implicate a relatively small part of the overall health insurance market, though it still affects millions of people. But the shift is notable as the nuance and hedging were largely absent from discussions over the last six years when Obamacare’s problems were not GOP lawmakers’ to fix….

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