More phony Obamacare hype

If you only read the headlines you would think that Obamacare was in great shape.
Here's a few examples:
Surge in ObamaCare signups surprises experts
Obamacare is thriving despite GOP attempts to kill it
What reason is there for this hype?

Two weeks in, numbers released by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services show 2018 open enrollment signups are up 40 percent over last year.

Well, that's impressive!
Or is it?

The Hill's reporter correctly notes that "the pace of sign-ups has exceeded last year: In the first 26 days of last year's open enrollment period, 2.1 million people signed up compared to the 2.3 million people who signed up the first 18 days of this year's period."
...Surely that is evidence of strong enrollment, no?

The reason it is not is buried at the tail-end of the story where the reporter notes "the enrollment period ends Dec. 15, which is about half as much time as people had to sign up last year."

Yipes! If enrollees have only half the time to sign up, then by pure arithmetic, the daily enrollment pace needs to be double last year's in order for total enrollment at the end of the enrollment period to match the level reach at the end of last year's enrollment period

If you keep reading these stories you'll find that a majority of people signing up for Obamacare are getting mostly or totally subsidized by the taxpayer.
Which can be a good thing...unless this happens.

Expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act has been wildly successful in improving the fortunes of one particular group in California — just not the group Medicaid was intended to help.
A recent Kaiser Health News story reported that from 2014 (when the state expanded its Medicaid program under Obamacare) to 2016, Medicaid insurers made $5.4 billion in profits. During this same period, the massive expansion of Medi-Cal (the state’s Medicaid program) saw its enrollment grow to one out of every three California residents. Some California Medicaid insurers’ profit margins increased by 200 to 300 percent after the expansion.
... In 2013, before expansion, Medicaid managed-care profits totaled $1.1 billion in 34 states and the District of Columbia. In 2015, one year after expansion, that number had more than tripled to $3.9 billion.

And that's the reason why Obamacare sucks and needs to be replaced by Medicare For All.
I don't mind paying taxes for poor people getting health care, but I have a BIG problem paying taxes for bigger CEO bonuses and corporate dividends.

On the other hand, this huge corporate giveaway certainly explains why a) Democrats love Obamacare, and b) the news media supports Obamacare.

To give you a good comparison, take a peek at what unsubsidized Obamacare looks like.

A separate analysis from Obamacare.net examined the national average monthly premium for a single, unsubsidized, 30-year-old nonsmoker in 2018 and came up with the following figures:

Bronze plan: $379 a month ($4,548 annually)
Silver plan: $478 a month ($5,736 annually)
Gold plan: $545 a month ($6,540 annually)
Platinum plan: $682 a month ($8,184 annually)

Based on the above, even a bronze plan would be practically unaffordable for most middle-class individuals and families in the upcoming year. In total, bronze plan premiums are rising by nearly 22%, silver plans by more than 30%, gold plans by 17%, and platinum plans by 23%. Around four out of five enrollees typically choose a silver or bronze plan.

Somewhere along the way Obamacare, a Heritage Foundation idea, became a "leftist" program. Only by rejecting Obamacare can progressives bring the debate back to reality.

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Citizen Of Earth's picture

are around $8,000/year + ~$5,000 deductible. Basically only useful for catastrophic incidents (cancer, etc).

And recall that the few weak overtures for a Medicare For All plan were quickly stomped on by Dem leadership back when OCare was passed.

F*** the Dems. F*** the Repubs.
And I'm hating Donnie the Douchebag as much as I hated Bush and Obama. Well, maybe a little more because he's a F***ing Douchebag.

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

If your example "couldn't afford" $379 a month he would probably be getting a subsidy (In 2016 I checked. Making $45k a year I qualified for about a 1/3rd subsidy.) But this in no way invalidates your point. The premium is not the real cost, in my case copays and deductibles would easily double my out of pocket, and I am not unusually unhealthy.
BTW, the "surge" in applications could also be from people losing Medicaid due to states tightening eligibility.I would sure hate to be some Uber driver, have a good month and lose Medicaid.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

snoopydawg's picture

I thought this was a government run program like Medicare. Learn something new here every day.

Utah finally offered Medicaid to people who can't afford to buy insurance. But instead of offering it to everyone who is eligible, its only for people who have addiction problems or have recently been released from prison. While this is good for people in those situations, it's unfair to everyone else who needs it.

This state is pretty much run by the Mormon church and most of its government members are Mormon, but apparently they have no problem watching people who can't afford insurance die.

The comments on this issue are pretty much what I expected. People are upset paying for insurance for others because those people make decisions to do drugs and break the law...

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

@snoopydawg

People are upset paying for insurance for others because those people make decisions to do drugs and break the law.

If everyone was covered very few would be complaining.

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Wink's picture

@snoopydawg
You can get Medicare "as is" if you're not on any meds and prolly do ok. But Medicare doesn't cover meds. You need to go find a middleman - aka Big Insurance - to add pharmacy to your Medicare. And with that come all the add-ons. So... Big Pharma and Big Insurance gets a BIG chunk of your Medicare premium. Fuckers. Is why they want to privatize. Almost is, so... might as well privatize the whole program and REALLY fuck seniors!

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

in the majority of states today.

Today, all but a few states use managed care to provide coverage to a significant proportion of Medicaid enrollees.

As of 2014, 26 states have contracts with managed care organizations (MCOs) to deliver long-term care for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. The states pay a monthly capitated rate per member to the MCOs that provide comprehensive care and accept the risk of managing total costs.[5]

Nationwide, roughly 80% of enrollees are enrolled in managed care plans.[6] Core eligibility groups of poor children and parents are most likely to be enrolled in managed care, while the aged and disabled eligibility groups more often remain in traditional "fee for service" Medicaid.

If we're not vigilant, Kaine and Bennett will succeed in doing the same to Traditional Medicare.

Mollie

The "Grand Bargain" isn't dead--it's being implemented incrementally through piecemeal legislation. Please read "The Moment Of Truth."

"The standard of living of the average American has to decline. I don't think you can escape that."
--Paul Volcker, The New York Times, October 18, 1979, Page 1.

“If we can divide the electorate this way, we can have them expending their energies fighting amongst themselves, over issues that for us, have no meaning whatsoever."
--USA Bankers Magazine, August 25, 1924

"Every time I lose a dog, he takes a piece of my heart. Every new dog gifts me with a piece of his. Someday, my heart will be total dog, and maybe then I will be just as generous, loving, and forgiving."
--Author Unknown

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."--Old English Proverb

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

snoopydawg's picture

Trump canceled the payments, called cost-sharing reductions, in October. He has since waffled on whether he would support the bill, and Republican leaders have said they wouldn’t put the bill on the floor without expressed approval from the president.

I thought that since the ACA was passed by congress, then the president can't just do whatever he wants to change it.
Does anyone know what the law is on this?

This came from this article on the republicans meeting with him this afternoon. I still think that Pelosi should have gone to the meeting. She has to show that she is trying to block the tax bill. According to this article the tax bill is going to pass because republicans are getting rid of the mandate and Trump is going to fund the ACA.

Trump backs bipartisan fixes to ObamaCare markets

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg

court ruling.

The original suit was filed by the House Of Representatives before DT was elected.

Judge won't force Trump to keep making ObamaCare payments
BY NATHANIEL WEIXEL - 10/25/17 04:32 PM EDT

A federal court in California has struck down an emergency motion that would have forced the Trump administration to continue making ObamaCare subsidy payments to insurers.

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria denied the motion for an injunction, saying that he was skeptical that cutting off the payments known as cost-sharing reductions (CSR) would cause an immediate injury to residents of the state. . . .

IMO, the Bill coming out of the HELP Committee will serve to further entrench the ACA. Last I heard, Dems had agreed to allow so-called 'Copper Plans' to be sold in the Exchanges. (unless there have been changes)

Folks may recall that several Conservadem Senators, including Independent Angus King, ran on introducing these barebones health plans in 2014. (Actuarial value - 50%.) Several of the Senators were voted out--Landrieu, Begich, and Pryor come to mind.

Mollie

The "Grand Bargain" isn't dead--it's being implemented incrementally through piecemeal legislation. Please read "The Moment Of Truth."

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

snoopydawg's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

From what I've heard, if Trump does sign this, it's because of the deal he made today with republicans that will allow some of the holdouts for the tax bill to decide to vote for it.
This is not good news and this is why Pelosi should have gone to today's meeting with Trump and republicans. It was probably another psyop by Pelosi and Trump. His insulting her today gave her an out to not attend the meeting.
Gawd, I'm so sick of the games being played by both sides! People's lives are at stake if this tax bill passes. But, hey, they can't bomb us like they're doing to the people in the Middle East, but they can starve us or make it impossible for us to see doctors or pay for our medications. This is a crime against humanity.

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg

correctly, DT did some horse trading with Susan Collins--promising to support and sign the Alexander Bill out of the HELP Committee which pays CSRs for a couple years. Of course, it also allows Copper Plans, along with a few other noxious policies. Anyhoo, this was in exchange for dropping the ACA "individual mandate," which Collins claimed to have wanted (to stay in effect).

Have a good one! Pleasantry

Mollie

The "Grand Bargain" isn't dead--it's being implemented incrementally through piecemeal legislation. Please read "The Moment Of Truth."

"The standard of living of the average American has to decline. I don't think you can escape that."
--Paul Volcker, The New York Times, October 18, 1979, Page 1.

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@Unabashed Liberal I'm holding out for the Tin Foil Plan.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Snode

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Snode

Mollie

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

jwa13's picture

... like they're doing to the people in the Middle East ..."

Care to place a little wager on that? I give the repugnants two years -- max -- before the drone missiling of inner cities begins. Of course, these will be "surgical strikes", carried out to ensure "security" and "safety" (HAH!!); and there likely won't be much of a fuss made by anyone who counts.

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When Cicero had finished speaking, the people said “How well he spoke”.
When Demosthenes had finished speaking, the people said “Let us march”.