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Old 04-01-2014, 01:16 PM   #276
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Thanks for the articles Rigs. Excellent reads!
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:08 PM   #277
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And think of what would have happened if all 50 states had properly implemented and supported the PPACA. The initial enrollment numbers would easily be double what they are now.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:04 PM   #278
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Obamacare numbers coming in huge: Here's a guide to GOP excuse-making



Against all odds and expectations, enrollments in health plans qualified under the Affordable Care Act are surging Monday toward -- and maybe beyond -- the 7-million figure projected by the Congressional Budget Office before Oct. 1, when the open-enrollment period began. The deadline for starting enrollment applications for 2014 plans is midnight Monday.


The surge is creating a big problem for the "train wreck" narrative of Republican opponents of the ACA, who have been holding out hope for Obamacare's utter failure. So the excuse-making has begun.

Before we examine those excuses: You will recall that the budget office reduced its projection of enrollments on individual insurance exchanges to 6 million earlier this year to account for the botched launch of healthcare.gov, the federal enrollment website. Enrollments blew past that mark days ago. If exchange enrollments meet or exceed the original projection of 7 million despite the loss of some six weeks in website functionality in October and November, that would be a testament to the public's latent desire for effective healthcare coverage.

Photos: The battle over the Affordable Care Act

We won't know the final March 31 tally for days, possibly weeks, but that indispensable enrollment tracker Charles Gaba is projecting 6.78 million exchange enrollments, with a chance of topping 7 million.

That figure covers enrollments in private healthcare plans via healthcare.gov and the individual websites offered by 14 states and the District of Columbia. As my colleague Noam Levey is reporting, the Rand Corp. estimates that another 4.5 million previously uninsured adults have signed up for Medicaid in states that expanded that program under the ACA. And about 3 million young adults have obtained coverage through an ACA provision allowing them to stay on their parents' employer plans until age 26.

For Obamacare critics, consequently, the enrollment numbers demand debunking. Here's a bestiary of their arguments for why the figures shouldn't be believed, and explanations of why they're off-base.

"How many have paid?" (Also known as "The statistics are full of deadbeats"): We examined this argument a few days ago. We observed that the concern is probably exaggerated and certainly premature, since many people who enrolled late in the cycle, including those in the March surge, may not have payments due for as much as six weeks after enrollment. Many haven't even received their first monthly premium bill yet.

Figures from states that track this metric, including California and Vermont, show that 85% to 90% of enrollees have paid on time, which secures them the coverage they applied for.

"Most of them were already insured": The argument here is that if we've just moved people from one insurance plan to another, we've just been wasting Americans' time and subjecting them to an onerous bureaucratic procedure as well.

The claim is based primarily on a survey in January from McKinsey and Co., which concluded that only 11% of exchange enrollees had been previously uninsured. A McKinsey survey a month later raised that figure to 27% -- still low, compared to expectations.

The major problem with the McKinsey survey is that doesn't say what its hawkers claim. The survey combines on-exchange enrollments and off-exchange enrollments; the latter are likely to heavily skew figures toward the previously insured because those are people merely signing up again with their existing carriers. The goal of the exchange marketplaces, however, is to reach uninsured Americans, and the McKinsey surveys fail to do that.

The few states that do break out their own numbers, moreover, contradict McKinsey. Kentucky says that some 75% of its exchange enrollees were previously uninsured. New York says that about 60% of its exchange enrollees were previously uninsured. That number has been rising over time, raising the prospect that the March surge will include an even higher ratio of uninsured customers; Gaba, who has calculated a time series of New York enrollments based on the state's monthly news releases, calculates that of enrollees in mid-February, at least 92% had been uninsured.

"'Young invincibles' aren't signing up": This is related to the oft-mentioned threat of a "death spiral" in the insurance market -- if the enrollees are predominantly older and sicker consumers, they'll drive up premiums, which will discourage younger and healthier people from enrolling, which drives up premiums, which discourages, the young, etc., etc.

Federal officials have set an informal target of 40% of enrollments in the 18-34 age range. The latest figures from various states put the enrollment rate at the mid-20% level. But it was always expected that younger people would be among the last to enroll, and reports from the states suggest that's happening.

Even if the statistics remain fixed in the mid-20s, however, the death spiral won't be happening. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that even if the young enrolled at only 50% of expected levels, premiums for 2015 would have to be raised a couple of percentage points. That's nowhere near enough to set off a death spiral.

Moreover, as we explained way back in October, the ACA has a corrective to the death spiral written in. It's called risk adjustment, and it works by paying a subsidy to insurance companies that end up with older or sicker customer bases than they anticipated. The money comes from payments made by carriers that end up with favorable customer profiles. Republicans know this arrangement will keep Obamacare stable. How do we know? Because in a majestically cynical move spearheaded by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., they tried late last year to kill it, calling it an insurance "bailout."

"More people got cancellations than signed up": The numbers never supported this claim, and the latest estimates make it even more of a fantasy. It's based on the wave of reports late last year of insurance companies canceling old policies that didn't meet ACA standards, which led to hysterical claims that as many as 17 million Americans were being left uninsured.

Rand's figures support earlier estimates that fewer than 1 million people who had health plans in 2013 are now uninsured because of cancellations. Insurance companies that issued the cancellation notices say they've retained "the vast majority" of their old customers, mostly by moving them into new, compliant, plans.


"The White House is 'cooking the books'": This is the last refuge of scoundrels like Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who made the claim this weekend on Fox News Sunday while the slack-jawed host, Chris Wallace, sat silently by.

What makes this claim particularly fatuous is that the most encouraging figures don't come from the federal government at all, but from states with their own enrollment programs. The eight states with the best records of signing up their eligible citizens in exchange plans (actually seven states and D.C.), all have their own exchanges and websites. Vermont leads the parade at 83% enrolled. California, which leads all states in number of exchange enrollees at more than 1 million, ranks fourth with a 41% outreach rate.

If the feds are cooking the books, they've cooked them to look worse, not better -- the 36 states that dumped their enrollment responsibilities on the federal government are clustered at the bottom of the list, most of them with enrollment rates of 20% or less of eligible citizens. Many of these are states that actively discouraged or interfered with enrollments of their citizens in health insurance plans -- behavior that should be grounds for impeachment or recall of their governors and legislators.

Of course, even the enrollment of 7 million Americans in ACA exchanges doesn't mean Obamacare is a certified success. There's a lot of work to be done to fix the inevitable flaws in any law as far-reaching as this one. As Noam Levey reported, it amounts to the largest expansion of health coverage for Americans since the enactment of Medicare half a century ago, but many more people need to be signed up in coming years.

The apparent success of the first annual open enrollment period, however, should show Republican naysayers that this law is here to stay, with all its customer-protection provisions intact. It's time they recognized that the rhetoric about Obamacare's failure has gotten them nowhere. It's gotten the country nowhere. It's time for them to get behind the law, to help get their fellow citizens the coverage they need, and to help fix what needs to be fixed.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hilt...#ixzz2xeneMyWa
http://www.latimes.com/business/hilt...#ixzz2xenN8atA


http://www.latimes.com/business/hilt...#ixzz2xenDZCOy



http://www.latimes.com/business/hilt...#ixzz2xen71xRr


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Old 04-01-2014, 11:08 PM   #279
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I think the joke's on you hobo.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:35 AM   #280
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Bobo is just sad, he knows his party is running on nothing but criticism and wacko statements.their only hope is.......another Bush
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:03 PM   #281
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:55 PM   #282
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:21 PM   #283
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So, a technical SNAFU physically preventing people from buying through the federal exchange DIDN'T mean there was a mass revolt against the idea?

Whodathunkit.
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:55 PM   #284
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Gee, did that unbiased LA Times who just tells nothing but the truth report this story?

"Employers Say Obamacare Will Cost Them $5,000 More Per Employee
Businesses reveal in confidential survey that Obamacare will add up to $200 million in costs"


http://freebeacon.com/issues/employe...-per-employee/
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:18 PM   #285
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Gee, did that unbiased LA Times who just tells nothing but the truth report this story?

"Employers Say Obamacare Will Cost Them $5,000 More Per Employee
Businesses reveal in confidential survey that Obamacare will add up to $200 million in costs"


http://freebeacon.com/issues/employe...-per-employee/
And?
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:32 PM   #286
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Implications of the Affordable Care Act for American Business
Linda J. Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens, Judy Feder, and John Holahan
October 2012

Critics frequently characterize the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a threat to American business and to the survival of employer-based health insurance. The law’s new requirements, they argue, create business uncertainty, delay economic recovery, and will cost jobs. But objective analysis of the ACA’s impact on coverage and costs demonstrates the opposite. In fact, the ACA’s requirements have a negligible impact on total employer-sponsored coverage and its costs.
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...qBX-f34lGJ60oA
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:39 PM   #287
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BTW, what the hell is the "American Health Policy Institute?" I can't find any information on them.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:57 PM   #288
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Gee, did that unbiased LA Times who just tells nothing but the truth report this story?

"Employers Say Obamacare Will Cost Them $5,000 More Per Employee
Businesses reveal in confidential survey that Obamacare will add up to $200 million in costs"


http://freebeacon.com/issues/employe...-per-employee/


Still pushing that childish bull****? It might fly with other uninformed bozos, but it's nonsense.

Here's a newsflash for you and others that still think companies with 50 or more employees are suddenly being penalized by the ACA.

96% of those business were offering healthcare to their employees before the ACA.

So now the miserly bastards who were too cheap to provide the remaining 4% with healthcare are having to join the human race.


http://kff.org/other/state-indicator...erage-by-size/

BTW, 97% of US businesses have less than 50 employees.

Last edited by DenverBrit; 04-02-2014 at 11:03 PM..
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:51 PM   #289
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There are certainly plenty of things about the ACA to be lukewarm about. There are the short-term questions about whether the exchanges have signed up enough healthy clients, or whether they have brought in enough of the previously uninsured. Then there are the long-term concerns about whether the ACA's payment reforms succeed in slowing healthcare inflation. (The Dutch experience suggests that the all-private insurance model, whose chief raison d'etre is to hold down costs, doesn't do this very well.)

But these issues don't explain the bitter opposition to Obamacare. What does? Some of it came early, in response to the unpopular prospect of an individual mandate; Americans tend to bristle when forced to do anything. Some is driven by the experiences of people who have been on the losing end of the law's reforms; while the sick and the poor overwhelmingly benefit, many others will indeed be stuck paying more for insurance. Others are angry to have lost policies which they liked, but which did not meet Obamacare's requirements. For yet others, every frustrating change in the healthcare system has become identified with Obamacare, regardless of whether it actually has anything to do with the law. And Republicans have certainly tried to ensure we hear every single health-related sob story, regardless of whether the facts are confused or untrue.

For the most part, though, opposition to Obamacare now is based on two things. At one level, it's a question of partisanship. Republicans have turned "Obamacare" into a word that much of the country finds inherently distasteful. No matter how well the system performs, it's too late to reverse those associations. At another level, many dislike the basic transaction at the heart of universal coverage: richer people have to basically pay for poorer people's health-insurance. In Kentucky, for example, Republicans are avidly working to reverse the state's Medicaid expansion, even though the federal government pays for the entire thing initially, with the state expected to kick in 10% in the future.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/democ...4/04/obamacare
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:56 PM   #290
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Republicans Rage Against The Dying Of Their Favorite Obamacare Memes

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/gop-obamacare-7-million
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:58 PM   #291
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The news that the insurance exchanges in Obamacare have exceeded their original enrollment projections — the projections made before the bungled website rollout cost two months' of sign-up time and created a branding catastrophe for the entire program — is sending reverberations of shock through Washington. One immediate conclusion is that the Republican war to strangle Obamacare in the crib has come to pieces. The plan assumed, correctly, that the new law would be most vulnerable in its nascent stage. Republicans hoped that a combination of legislative attacks, on-the-ground activism, and coordinated messaging could deprive the new insurance exchanges of the customers they needed to form a critical mass, either as a political constituency or as an actuarially stable mix of customers. They failed.
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer...k.html?mid=rss
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:48 PM   #292
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They're gonna run on this failed strategy this year and in 2016.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:54 PM   #293
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Clowns.. all of them..

House GOP Moves Against Health Care Law

House Republicans have voted for the 52nd time to change the president's health care law. The 248-179 vote comes just days after the law beat expectations by signing up more than 7 million Americans.

The bill passed Thursday would change the law's definition of full-time work from 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week. The result would be that fewer workers would get employer-sponsored health coverage.

Republicans say the change would give relief to businesses that have to cover full-time workers or pay a fine. They seized on a recent report saying the law will lead workers to cut their hours or leave the workforce.

Democrats say "Obamacare" is starting to work and accuse Republicans of playing politics in an election year.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireSto...e-law-23175492
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:54 PM   #294
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They're gonna run on this failed strategy this year and in 2016.
Well, unfortunately their propaganda has been powerful enough that it will probably succeed for them in the mid-terms.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:57 PM   #295
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I like the author's "meat is murder" analogy but I disagree with it. Obamacare is based on reforms proposed by conservatives, implemented by conservatives, and formerly supported by conservatives. This tells me it's more about politics than ideology.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:58 PM   #296
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:00 PM   #297
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Well, unfortunately their propaganda has been powerful enough that it will probably succeed for them in the mid-terms.
Not necessarily, polls show that americans are tired of repubs continuing to try and repeal this thing and that they should move on. Now that it' on the rebound and millions have signed up, what is the GOP's plan? To take away healthcare form those millions?
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:02 PM   #298
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Well, unfortunately their propaganda has been powerful enough that it will probably succeed for them in the mid-terms.
I doubt it.

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Unpopularity doesn't equal support for repeal: Just as most national polling indicates that more people disapprove than approve of Obamacare, the surveys also are clear that more people want to keep rather than scrap the Affordable Care Act.

Nearly six in ten in the Kaiser study said Congress should work to improve the measure or keep it the way it currently stands. Just under three in ten advocated repealing the law or replacing it with a Republican-backed plan.

A majority of the 53% in the Pew poll who said they disapprove of the law still said they wanted to make the measure work. Just over half of those questioned in a Bloomberg national poll said Obamacare may need small modifications, but "we should see how it works.” Thirteen percent said the law should be left alone, while just over a third advocated repealing the law.
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com...out-obamacare/

Yet republicans are apparently committed to running on a platform of full repeal, no reform allowed. They're going to regret it.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:01 PM   #299
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Clowns.. all of them..

House GOP Moves Against Health Care Law

House Republicans have voted for the 52nd time to change the president's health care law. The 248-179 vote comes just days after the law beat expectations by signing up more than 7 million Americans.

The bill passed Thursday would change the law's definition of full-time work from 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week. The result would be that fewer workers would get employer-sponsored health coverage.

Republicans say the change would give relief to businesses that have to cover full-time workers or pay a fine. They seized on a recent report saying the law will lead workers to cut their hours or leave the workforce.

Democrats say "Obamacare" is starting to work and accuse Republicans of playing politics in an election year.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireSto...e-law-23175492
Lolz. Are you really arguing that Republicans are wrong for trying to amend the mandate that Obama refuses to enforce in the first place.

If upping the mandate from 30 to 40 hours costs people coverage, how much is not enforcing it at all costing them?
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:45 PM   #300
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. Really?!? How many of that 7 million young people? How many actually paid? Show me where they know this information. Can't? Hmmmmmmmmm. Wonder why?
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