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Obamacare

May 19, 2016 - 1:00pm

Press release: 

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after reports surfaced that health insurers operating in New York’s Obamacare exchanges requested premium rate increases by as much as 89 percent.

“These requested premium increases come on the heels of the total failure of the New York-based, Obamacare-created CO-OP Health Republic, which has already cost taxpayers more than $265 million at the end of 2015,” Congressman Collins said. “The failure of Health Republic forced thousands of beneficiaries onto more expensive plans and, based on the insurer requests, these beneficiaries will see substantial rate increases next year.

“Now Obamacare’s runaway premium costs are devastating families, businesses, and individuals in Western New York. President Obama’s health plan needs to be left behind with the rest of his failed presidency.”

The report detailing the insurer requested rate hikes can be read here. Health insurers in New York requested increased rates hikes of 17.3 percent on average.

June 30, 2014 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Obamacare, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (formerly Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.).

“The Supreme Court’s ruling today is a victory for our First Amendment rights and the free exercise of religious beliefs,” Congressman Collins said. “Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate is an intrusion on the religious freedoms of private employers, and was decided to be what many of us expected: unconstitutional. The Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., case is another example of this Administration’s hubris and extreme overreach into every corner of our lives.”

April 11, 2014 - 5:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Health Care, Obamacare, Insource Urgent Care.

The turnout was light, but the discussion was heavy this morning in a seminar for local business owners at Center Centre about the Affordable Health Care Act hosted by Insource Urgent Care.

Bottomline: The cost of health care is continuing to escalate, Obamacare won't fix it, and eventually Washington politicians will push for a single-payer system.

Insource CEO Mark Celmer opened the discussion this morning with a presentation about the bureaucracy created by the Affordable Health Care Act and the expense of emergency room visits vs. patient visits to urgent care centers.

The AHC was originally passed as a 2,500-page piece of legislation four years ago. After 38 amendments and executive orders, it's now more than 20,000 pages and stacked from floor to ceiling, it stands taller -- at 7' 3" -- than Wilt Chamberlain (7' 1").

Hundreds of government agencies have their hands in AHC administration and oversight.

And it does nothing to bring down the cost of health care, Celmer said. But it does make insurance companies richer.

"The Obama Administration has protected all the major insurance companies with the promise of new premium revenues from the 48 million uninsured," Celmer said. "He has written into the law provisions to guarantee revenue to them (the equivalent of a TARP Bailout) in the event insurers' medical payments fail to produce profits. This hidden element of the ACA is called the "risk corridor" and guarantees up to 80 percent of the insurance companies profit. This is the reason that the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies have remained horribly silent on the negative effects of Obamacare on the middle-class working population."

Dr. Victor DeSa, a retired general surgeon and former member of the UMMC board of directors, spoke at length about why the health care system is broken.

Real problems started with the creation of Medicaid and Medicare in the 1960s. The two programs are rife with fraud, waste and abuse.

"Now you have your insurance card and you can overuse it all you want," DeSa said. "The incentives have changed. When you paid out of pocket, you didn't overuse the system."

Insurance company statistics, Celmer said, that nearly 50 percent of emergency room visits are unnecessary.  People use emergency rooms for dozens of routine ailments that could be better treated by a doctor's office visit or urgent care center.

Millions could be saved if people used ER's less, but in the current system there is no incentive for them to think about the costs because it costs them nothing.

There is a $38 trillion gap between the amount of tax revenue coming in to fund Medicare and its actual liabilities, DeSa said.

"Ninety percent of seniors are blissfully unaware that Medicare is broke," DeSa said.

The cost of funding the run-away expense of Medicaid is borne by local taxpayers. In Genesee County, 80 percent of every property tax dollar raised goes to Medicaid.

DeSa, like Celmer, believes that the AHC is actually intended to fail because the real goal of Washington politicians is to create a political climate where voters will accept a Canada-like, single-payer system.

Obamacare was supposed to usher in an era of health insurance for all, DeSa said, but that's an impossible goal.

Of the some 50 million people in the United States who don't have health insurance, 10 to 15 million are workers in the country illegally. They're supposedly not covered by Obamacare, but they receive taxpayer-subsidized healthcare every time they visit an emergency room because hospitals are mandated by law to treat even those who can't pay the medical bills. They won't sign up for health insurance through the exchanges.

DeSa said he doesn't object to that, however, because these workers contribute greatly to the U.S. economy and are needed by our farmers. As a matter of compassion, they should receive health care.

Then there are 10 to 15 million working poor who earn just enough to be above the Medicaid limit, but still not enough to afford health insurance even under the ACH.

The last group -- the ones Obama really wanted to rope into the system -- are the young workers, another group of about 10 to 15 million people.

"We call them the young, healthy and invincible," DeSa said. "They're they real target of Obamacare. They are supposed to buy insurance to subsidize the high-risk people who sign up through the exchanges who are older and richer. They are asked to pay two and four times what they would nomrally pay for their age and risk factors."

There is very little incentive for them to sign up, DeSa said. Yes, they can be fined -- $75 in the first year, and in a four years as much as $700. But even $700 is a lot less than paying $12,000 or more annually for a health insurance policy.

The White House has said 7.1 million people have signed up for health insurance through the exchanges, but DeSa said that's a tricky number. We really don't know how many of those people were the previously uninsured. Contained within that number are people who had private health insurance and switched plans through the exchange. There's also the group of people who liked their plan, but found they couldn't keep it. DeSa was critical of the Obama Administration for not releasing the actual number of newly insured people.

DeSa expects young people who haven't signed up yet to "game the system." If a young person develops a medical problem that requires expensive treatment, he or she will sign up for insurance, get treatment and then drop the insurance. He said that has taken place in Massachusetts, which instituted an insurance program similar to Obamacare when Mitt Romney was governor.

In three years, insurers will no longer be eligible for government subsidies, and that's when premiums will start climbing and consumers will start complaining and Obamacare will start failing.

"Obamacare is really a two-phased system," DeSa said. "The first phase, the phase we're in now, is designed to fail. It will drive insurance rates way up and then the politicians can say, 'we told you, the insurance companies are the bad guys.' "

That will create a climate more receptive to a single-payer system.

Celmer said insurance companies bought into Obamacare because they didn't realize it was really a system designed to put them out of business.

DeSa likened the government's handling of Medicare and Medicaid to "the gang that couldn't shoot straight" and he wonders how the feds can handle a single-payer system.

"Medicare and Medicaid are broke," DeSa said. "What gives you the confidence they could run single payer?"

December 6, 2013 - 1:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Health Care, UMMC, Obamacare.

Customers signing up for an MVP health insurance plan through the new government-run exchange might find they can't get treatment from doctors in Genesee County.

A local healthcare provider was alerted to the potential hole in coverage and he said he's confirmed it with MVP representatives.

The lack of local coverage arose after UMMC declined to sign a reimbursement agreement with MVP.

The situation affects only customers who sign up for individual plans through the exchange. People who get any type of group coverage through MVP or who get MVP health insurance directly from the company (rather than through the exchange) are not affected.

An MVP spokesman has not responded to a request for an interview.

Jeff Baldick, at Genesee Orthopedic, alerted The Batavian to the hole in coverage and said he has spoken directly with MVP about the situation and confirmed with the insurance provider that his patients who purchased insurance from MVP through the exchange will not be covered.

He said MVP told him that it is not providing coverage for any patient in Genesee County who purchased insurance through the exchange.

According to Bob Chiavetta, CFO for UMMC, the hospital was presented with a take-it-or-leave-it reimbursement plan by MVP some months ago for patients covered by insurance through the exchange.

The hospital rejected the reimbursement agreement because the health care reimbursements are significantly lower than those of other insurance providers, even lower than what MVP reimburses for group coverage and Medicaid.

So while the hospital continues -- as it alway has -- to accept patients covered by these other MVP products, it has no agreement with MVP for reimbursements of patients who purchased MVP insurance through the exchange.

"We communicated to them that those rates were not adequate," Chiavetta said. "They told us they were trying to work on their network and would get back to us, but we never heard anything back from them. We never received a letter or any written communication that we were being excluded. Then a week and a half to two weeks ago, we started hearing from patients that we were not listed as a network provider. When we heard that, we spoke with them and we're trying to work through something."

Chiavetta is hopeful an agreement can be reached soon with MVP to provide adequate reimbursements for patients who purchase MVP insurance through the exchange.

MVP is the only insurance provider, Chiavetta said, who significantly lowered reimbursements for patients coming through the exchange. All of the other insurers, he said, provide reimbursements to the hospital that are consistent with policies obtained outside the exchange.

It was Chiavetta's understanding that MVP was providing coverage on the exchange product to patients in Genesee County up to the point the patient might get referred to UMMC, but Baldick said MVP told him explicitly that no Genesee County patients would be covered because any doctor's office visit could potentially result in a referral to the local hospital.

Across the board, Chiavetta said, the Affordable Health Care Act, is leading to lower reimbursement rates for the hospital, but that won't affect the quality of care at UMMC.

He's more concerned, he said, about the higher out-of-pocket expenses some patients might encounter if they purchase health insurance through the exchange.

The lower premium plans have deductibles as high as $6,500 annually.

He said people planning to purchase health insurance through the exchange should look very closely at those plans and ensure they are adequate to meet their needs. Just because a monthly premium is as low as $200 doesn't mean it's the right plan for an individual.

"I can see where it's attractive to them," Chiavetta said. "The only thing I would say is for people who are actively looking for insurance on the exchange is be very aware of what the cost is going to be. A lot of people are gravitating toward the lower premium plans, but that's a risk. It doesn't take much of an illness to cost a lot of money.

"A product for $200 a month might work great for some, but they might be better off paying more if they picked a higher plan. You've got to take your own health care needs into account."

The hospital has three people going through training next week on how to help people navigate the exchange.

"As patients come to us who are uninsured, just as we do now, we will help them understand financial assistance, Medicaid, and we will add to that help in getting through the exchange and selecting a health care product that is out there that is appropriate for them," Chiavetta said.

Anyone with questions now are welcome to call Sue Brown, director of patient financial services, at (585) 344-5428.

November 2, 2009 - 1:47pm
posted by Peter O'Brien in Obamacare, Ronald Reagan.

A voice from the past speaks as though he was still alive and well today.

 

Reagan, my first president, spoke about Socialized Medicine.  His speech, amazingly, is still extremely relevant almost 5 decades later.

http://nofanniemed.com/2009/08/13/ronald-reagan-on-socialized-medicine-1...



As if we’re not already overextended enough financially, the issue of National Health Care is now on the table once more vote. Here’s some perspective you might find interesting.

Now back in 1927 an American socialist, Norman Thomas, six times candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket, said the American people would never vote for socialism. But he said under the name of liberalism the American people will adopt every fragment of the socialist program.

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.

 

Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it. We had an example of this. Under the Truman administration it was proposed that we have a compulsory health insurance program for all people in the United States, and, of course, the American people unhesitatingly rejected this.

Let’s take a look at social security itself. Again, very few of us disagree with the original premise that there should be some form of savings that would keep destitution from following unemployment by reason of death, disability or old age. And to this end, social security was adopted, but it was never intended to supplant private savings, private insurance, pension programs of unions and industries.

Now in our country under our free enterprise system we have seen medicine reach the greatest heights that it has in any country in the world. Today, the relationship between patient and doctor in this country is something to be envied any place. The privacy, the care that is given to a person, the right to chose a doctor, the right to go from one doctor to the other.

But let’s also look from the other side, at the freedom the doctor loses. A doctor would be reluctant to say this. Well, like you, I am only a patient, so I can say it in his behalf. The doctor begins to lose freedoms; it’s like telling a lie, and one leads to another. First you decide that the doctor can have so many patients. They are equally divided among the various doctors by the government. But then the doctors aren’t equally divided geographically, so a doctor decides he wants to practice in one town and the government has to say to him you can’t live in that town, they already have enough doctors. You have to go some place else. And from here it is only a short step to dictating where he will go.

This is a freedom that I wonder whether any of us have the right to take from any human being. All of us can see what happens once you establish the precedent that the government can determine a man’s working place and his working methods, determine his employment. From here it is a short step to all the rest of socialism, to determining his pay and pretty soon your children won’t decide when they’re in school where they will go or what they will do for a living. They will wait for the government to tell them where they will go to work and what they will do.

What can we do about this? Well, you and I can do a great deal. We can write to our congressmen and our senators. We can say right now that we want no further encroachment on these individual liberties and freedoms. And at the moment, the key issue is, we do not want socialized medicine.

Former Representative Halleck of Indiana has said, “When the American people want something from Congress, regardless of its political complexion, if they make their wants known, Congress does what the people want.”

So write, and if your representative writes back to you and tells you that he or she too is for free enterprise, that we have these great services and so forth, that must be performed by government, don’t let them get away with it. Show that you have not been convinced. Write a letter right back and tell them that you believe in government economy and fiscal responsibility; that you know governments don’t tax to get the money the need; governments will always find a need for the money they get and that you demand the continuation of our free enterprise system. You and I can do this. The only way we can do it is by writing to our congressmen even we believe that he is on our side to begin with. Write to strengthen his hand. Give him the ability to stand before his colleagues in Congress and say “I have heard from my constituents and this is what they want.”

Write those letters now; call your friends and them to write them. If you don’t, this program I promise you, will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow, and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country. Until, one day, as Normal Thomas said we will awake to find that we have socialism. And if you don’t do this and if I don’t do it, one of these days we are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.

October 20, 2009 - 10:58am
posted by Peter O'Brien in Obamacare, Medicare.

Some on here have claimed that the private insurance agencies are demonic.  They deny care to those who need it.  But did you know that according to the American Medical Association (AMA), Medicare is worse than Aetna, Anthem/BCBS, CIGNA, Coventry, Health Net, Humana, and United Healthcare (UHC)

 

In a report claiming that "Billions of dollars in administrative waste would be eliminated each year if third party-payers sent a timely, accurate and specific response to each physician claim", the AMA (who supports Obamacare) showed us that government is the biggest denier of care. 

http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/368/reportcard.pdf

 

This will only get worse as more people are forced into a system they don't want. 

The Baucus bill which passed the Senate Finance Committee last week is going to tax "Cadillac" health care plans by 40%.  But the definition of a "Cadillac" plan can be redefined on a whim.  You will come to find out that most of you who have plans, have "Cadillac" plans.  And of course most unions have these plans as well.

 

But then there is the other side of the coin.

"My husband retired from IBM about a decade ago, and as we aren't old enough for Medicare we still buy our health insurance through the company. But IBM, with its typical courtesy, informed us recently that we will be fined by the state.

Why? Because Massachusetts requires every resident to have health insurance, and this year, without informing us directly, the state had changed the rules in a way that made our bare-bones policy no longer acceptable. Unless we ponied up for a pricier policy we neither need nor want—or enrolled in a government-sponsored insurance plan—we would have to pay $1,000 each year to the state."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870329800457445910102233823...

 

That $1000 tax turns out to be cheaper to pay than to get the better coverage that they don't need.

There is also a provision similair to this in the Baucus bill.

 

What America needs now is to be thrifty and stop spending money that we don't have.  We don't need more taxes that will take peoples income away.  Income that could be used to to buy things people want instead of what is mandated by a bureaucrat in Washington who will not be subject to the provisions of the bill.

September 4, 2009 - 12:36pm
posted by Peter O'Brien in Obamacare, Louise Slaughter.

Louise Slaughter will not be holding any town hall meetings on Obamacare.

Here's Why:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/09/03/dem_rep_im_not_doing_town_hall_meetings_im_not_going_to_give_those_people_a_forum.html

"I'm not doing town meetings; I'm not going to give those people a forum. I went through it with the Clinton health care bill, with the John Birch Society, where we had to have police around, and people hysterically crying…" 

and town halls are "beneath the dignity of my office".

August 26, 2009 - 9:24am
posted by Peter O'Brien in unions, Obamacare, Whole Foods.

Here is another example of why I hate today's labor unions.  

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Unions-target-Whole-Foods-CEO-apf-34525087...

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, the CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, wrote an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal.  In it, he outlined a free market solution to health care reform.

 

Well the union didn't appreciate that.  They are now calling for his resignation because "he is undermining President Barack Obama's health care reform". 

 

Now what does that have to do with his ability to run the company?  Absolutely nothing.  But the Union is for Obamacare.  So they are trying to squeeze the CEO out for his political views.  They claim that he as "deeply offended a key segment of Whole Foods consumer base".  But do they provide any evidence of this claim?  Not the in article they don't.

 

Meanwhile, "Whole Foods pays all of the premiums for its employees who work 30 hours or more per week in a high-deductible health-insurance plan, and the company contributes to wellness accounts that employees can spend as they choose on their health needs."  Sounds to me like a great heathcare program provided by the private sector.

 

Oh and the cherry on top of this debate.. Whole Foods is not unionized.  This union involved is the United Food and Commercial Workers Union which is part of Change to Win.  These people do not work for Mackey.  They are just angry that he is against Obamacare.

 

They are angry that he allegedly "deeply offended" Whole Foods shoppers.  So to ensure that they understand Obamacare and in my opnion to offend those that shop at Whole Foods and support Mackey, they are going to hand out "information to Whole Foods shoppers about health care reform".  

 

It is just plain sad.

August 18, 2009 - 10:45am
posted by Peter O'Brien in Eric Massa, Obamacare.

Eric Massa is smarter than those he represents.  Or at least he thinks he is.  He held a town hall meeting yesterday in which this exchange took place.

August 12, 2009 - 8:08am
posted by Peter O'Brien in Obamacare, Canada.

Thanks to Scott Atlas we learn that American Health Care (rated number 1 in the world in patient care by the liberal WHO) is much better than Canada's Public Health Care system.


1. Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers. Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the United Kingdom and 457 percent higher in Norway. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher.

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