Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cost-Shifting Under ObamaCare As Reported By Fox News; An Update On Fixing The Website

Sometime ago I wrote that ObamaCare is playing out in several arenas: a) the political arena; b) the emotional arena; c) the business/real-world arena. To some extent, at least for me, there has been an evolution, a migration of sorts, through the various arenas. Although it is hard to keep it in check, the first two arenas interest me very little any more. It is the business/real-world arena of ObamaCare that interests me most. Much of what I wrote when ObamaCare was first being discussed is now being reported in the mainstream media.

I track cost-shifting under ObamaCare here. So, today, it warms the cockles of my heart to see the top headline over at Drudge: SHOCK: almost 80 million could lose employer coverage under Obamacare. The link takes one to FoxNews, the number one news station now. I've not read the story yet, but will do so in real-time as I complete this post.

It will be interesting to see if the story repeats what I've posted over at my "cost-shifting" link. So, let's see.

The report:
Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute added, "the administration estimated that approximately 78 million Americans with employer sponsored insurance would lose their existing coverage due to the Affordable Care Act."
Last week, an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, showed the administration anticipates half to two-thirds of small businesses would have policies canceled or be compelled to send workers onto the ObamaCare exchanges. They predicted up to 100 million small and large business policies could be canceled next year.
The reason behind the losses is that current plans don't meet the requirements of ObamaCare, which dictate that each plan must cover a list of essential benefits, whether people want them or not. "Things like maternity care or acupuncture or extensive drug coverage," said Veuger.
"And so now the law is going to force them to buy policies that they could have gotten in the past if they wanted to but they chose not to." Some plans already have been canceled and employers are getting sticker shock at the new, higher prices under ObamaCare.
Nope, I completely missed that. I have been talking about the "big corporate" health care plans. So, this is a new wrinkle (although I've linked the same story earlier this month and as recently as yesterday).

So, this is where we stand.  The original goal of ObamaCare was to insure the 30 million or so who were uninsured.

It turns out that many of those 30 million are not eligible for ObamaCare in the first place: one must have income to be eligible. When ObamaCare was passed, I was unaware of that.

So, in the process of trying to cover the 30 million or so who were uninsured, it looks like the Affordable Care Act will throw tens of millions more than the 30 million into "health care hell."

To think that acupuncture coverage is responsible for all this, as well as maternity coverage for all.

Meanwhile, Update On Fixing The Website

Bloomberg is reporting:
With the president’s job-approval ratings down to their lowest point in two years and Democratic lawmakers anxious about the health-care plan’s impact on their re-election prospects next year, the nation is about to find out if the Obama administration is up to the challenge [of fixing the website].
Some in the health-insurance industry are skeptical. Companies continue to see high error rates in enrollment data they receive from the website and executives doubt it will be able to handle a surge in enrollments from people who want to start coverage January 1, 2014, said industry consultant Robert Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associates in Washington.
“The general sense is that healthcare.gov will not be functioning in any way close to what you need for relatively high numbers,” he said. “There is this enormous pessimism that this thing will be fixed enough to handle the flood.”
My hunch is that the president will direct health insurers not to post any information on how the website is working as of December 1, 2013 -- that would be this Sunday. Something tells me this will be the most-watched re-launch of any website ever in the history of the internet.

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