Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 16, 2014

Affordable Care Act Looks Less Affordable

“Republicans have long blamed President Obama’s signature health care initiative for increasing insurance costs, dubbing it the ‘Unaffordable Care Act.’ Turns out, they might be right,” National Journal reports.

“For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data. Adding even more out-of-pocket expenses to consumers’ monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles under the Affordable Care Act.”

“Health law proponents have excused the rate hikes by saying the prices in the exchange won’t apply to the millions receiving coverage from their employers. But that’s only if employers continue to offer that coverage–something that’s looking increasingly uncertain.”

  • ducdebrabant

    In New York, costs will he halved.

    • Forrest

      Yeah but that’s not part of “real America.”

  • Lorrie Al Bohi

    are the prices, and deductibles in line with the average inflation rate insurance companies have been doing for more the 13 years? Or is it more. Because as I see it both company and individual polices have been rising every year long before Bush 2 and way longer before the ACA. On a plus side this is exactly what businesses wanted to be able to bow out of offering health care as a benefit ever since Clinton. So it could either leave more money to offer higher wages or a less of a tax burden if congress got on board with the law and offered all companies a tax break for giving the employees a health care package. Not sure how their fighting the law every step of the way has had an actual effect on the insurance companies, I know their market value has been on the rise. Something to think about there.

  • ASRKC

    For several years many were arguing that ACA would also result in more part time work, only to be ignored or mocked. Now there is growing evidence, both anecdotally and statistically (90% of new jobs this year are part-time) that this is correct.

    With the disruptions and increases in costs on businesses caused by ACA, I have been wondering why the sudden growing demand for an immediate increase in the minimum wage which would cause a further burden on businesses, especially small businesses. Might it be very simply that the Democrats have suddenly realized that the ACA forces small businesses using relatively unskilled labor to cut the hours of their workers, thus greatly impacting those individuals lives? Sen. Feinstein suggested an increase to $10.00, others have suggested $10.50 all the way up to $15.00. Simple math explains this sudden move: 40 hours @ $7.25 equals $290.00, 29 hours @ $10.00 equals $290.00. Thus another, from the standpoint of small business, negative impact of ACA. a significant increase in hourly wage.

    • Inkan1969

      It’s not just small businesses that are trying to avoid hiring people for more than 30 hours. A lot of multimillion corporations are doing it, too. Maybe the law should’ve included rules requiring larger businesses to be able to explicitly justify the need to keep hours below 30 before they can get away with this tactic.

  • 1dahliagirl

    Hmm…. today’s N.J.

    Obama’s Affordable Care Act Looking a Bit
    Unaffordable

    Independent National Journal analysis finds premiums higher under Obamacare as employers weigh dropping coverage.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/domesticpolicy/obama-s-affordable-care-act-looking-a-bit-unaffordable-20130829

    • 1dahliagirl

      As Wonk Wire reports , there is more here than that.

      —————–

      Forever 21

      Employees who received the memo will have their
      hours reduced to a maximum of 29.5 a week — just under the 30-hour full-time
      designation assigned by the Affordable Care Act, which requires companies who
      employ 50 or more workers to provide health insurance coverage for their
      full-time employees or face a penalty.

      Newly part-time workers who were enrolled in
      medical, dental, vision and voluntary plans will also see their coverage cut off
      on Aug. 31, and they won’t be able to receive paid time off.

      UPS won’t
      insure spouses of many employees

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/08/20/ups-spouses-health-insurance/2651713/

      • Tom_P

        Well, speaking from my pragmatic experience, this was true in jobs since 2001.

        • 1dahliagirl

          Tom,

          Thank you for being civil & giving me your personal experience.

          Let me give you a little of mine. I come from am medical family… Dad, a doctor , 3 brothers, doctors, & , myself ,&, 2 sisters, RNs. Most in my family, oppose the ACA for a variety of reasons.
          One of my brothers. though, is a progressive & is one out of the 32 groups in the ACA Pilot Program ‘Pioneer’ that has been doing the government testing for the last 18 months. His group has cut the rise in cost of health care from 7% to 1%. That’s impressive until you look at how… by rationing . While some over testing needs to be stopped, a 6% cut is pretty drastic. Is it in the patient’s best interest , or, the doctors ? My brother is getting a “huge” government bonus because of the cuts he’s made.

          ‘Pioneer’ also had 35 hospitals in the ACA Pilot Program. Nine have dropped out & a” report by the General Accountability Office shows that the money saved in those still in the program isn’t being targeted for indigent patients, as required. As profits from the program rose, and oversight remained lax, more of the money has instead become a general revenue source for 340B-eligible hospitals.”
          Hospitals have signed on more than 400 oncologists since the ACA . It’s interesting reading to see how much the cost of chemotherapy has gone up & why . I had one poster challenge this until he did his own research.
          I just saw my Internist of 13 years & he was using the new ACA forms. He charted 3 “Preventative” care measures that were never done or discussed with me . I had one med, & one other health issue I could discuss & I had to make a f/u appt. for another issue. My doctor doesn’t like it either. On the med discussed , he had to fill out a 3 page form …. I’ve been on that med for 30 years.

          • Tom_P

            “By rationing,” you say? I am poor and access to medical care has always been “rationed” to me, as I do not have the money to pay for it. I do not see how this is not “rationing,” except that some negative outcomes are OK, when they are not done in the “wrong” way.

          • 1dahliagirl

            I am interested. Do you have your exchange picked out ( if you won’t be paying the $95 tax,) & what will be your monthly payment ?
            If you are uncomfortable answering, I understand.

          • Tom_P

            I moved recently. Previously I lived in Texas. I now live in a state with a republican governor. I haven’t heard anything about it. I expect this is deliberate, though you have reminded me to look into the matter.

          • Micheal Planck

            Let me give you my personal experience.

            I live in Australia now. My co-pay for seeing doctors and buying medicines is about the same as it was in the USA. My care is actually better (my doctor put me on a newer diabetes medicine). I can get a doctor’s appointment on the same day I call in. And I can get a new job – or quit my job to start a business if I want – without losing the health care that keeps my diabetes in check. And even if I did have to pay the full cost myself, it would only be half as much as in the USA.

            If you want a decent health care system, nationalize it. Bring on single-payer. But I am guessing your relatives had lots of reasons why that wouldn’t work either.

            National health care works in every other civilized country in the world – and quite a few of the developing nations, too (like Cuba and Costa Rica). But I guess America’s just an exceptional place, right?

          • 1dahliagirl

            Micheal,

            I actually had this discussion with one of your New Zealand neighbors. It’s disingenuous to say this works everywhere. I read the UK Guardian & Telegraph 3-4 days a week , &, this is the kinds of things I read.

            £500m bailout to NHS as A&E on brink
            of collapse

            August 7 2013

            The NHS is to be given a £500m ( 775.1 million
            dollars ) bailout to Accident & Emergency departments across England after warnings that the system is on the brink of collapse

            The BBC reported that the bailout was only ‘papering cracks’.

            If the NHS embodies our social conscience, we’re in big trouble

            ———

            Chris Hopson: the NHS could keel over in 2016

            The Guardian, Tuesday 6 August 2013

            ——————

            Twenty-nine out of the thirty OECD countries
            levy a VAT. This includes Australia’s GST.

            The United States is the only OECD country that
            does not have a VAT, & , we don’t want one .

            I’m glad you are satisfied with your health care. You’re a country of somewhere around 22 million. The US has 330 million & big government actions are hurting our fierce independence. The Congressional Budget Office, the Hill’s nonpartisan scorekeeper, estimated that the health care law would reduce employment by about 800,000 workers and result in about 7 million people losing their employer-sponsored health care over a decade. The CBO also estimated that
            Obamacare during that period would raise health care spending by roughly $580 billion. (The cost has since been revised upward again)

            How can a law primarily written by a convicted felon be a good law?

            Robert Creamer wrote much of Obamacare in jail where he served time for sixteen counts of bank fraud. His contribution was Stand Up Straight! How Progressives Can Win, a 628-page manual for how “to reshape the structure of one-sixth of the American
            economy” — namely, health care. I bet very few cheerleaders for the law ( outside of David Axelrod & SEIU, Andy Stern) have even read it.
            So , now the US has a law that much of it was written by a felon from his jail cell . That shouldn’t surprise those of us who are opposed to it.

          • Micheal Planck

            What a load of ballocks.

            So the NHS needed a bailout. First off, it was a fraction of the bailout you just handed to the banks; second off, even doubling that bailout still means that the UK spends almost half as much of its GDP on healthcare as the USA does. So the UK can bail out the NHS a hundred more times and still spend less than you.

            The next thing you whine about is taxes – as if your tax burden was crushing you. Newsflash – the only problem with the USA is that rich people don’t pay enough tax. Here in Oz the top marginal rate is 47%. That means guys like Mitt Romney pay more tax than working joes. And guess what – our economy is doing great, our social mobility is better, our crime rate is lower, literally ever civilized index is better here than there. All because we make rich people pay their share. Which is your real objection to Obamacare – it requires the rich to actually pay for living in a civilized country.

            The only reason Obamacare raises spending is because people like you wouldn’t allow single-payer, which would – like every other nation in the world – lower the total GDP cost of health care. And don’t whine to me about population – Oz is far more diverse than the USA. Managing more people is harder, yes, but the real problem is much smaller – namely, a handful of billionaires who don’t want to pay their fair share.

            And whinging about the fact that somebody wrote something in jail? Do you know what the ad hominen logical fallacy is? It may amaze you to know, but lots and lots and lots of people have written on how to reform health care. You can’t just single out one guy you don’t like. Here, I am writing right now on how to reform health care: make it like Oz!

            That you went to ad hominen at the end of your argument tells every thinking person all they need to know. You have no case, you know you have no case, so you will smear and distort and hope that does the job.

          • 1dahliagirl

            Have a nice night. You have a lovely country

          • 1dahliagirl

            Oops ….forgot it’s morning there.

          • Micheal Planck

            I do. But you know what, I remember when the USA was pretty nice too. Back when people weren’t infected with pessimism and defeat.

            How is it, really, that the USA cannot afford all these nice things that every other country has? I am not being snarky; I really want to know. The USA used to be the greatest country in the world, and now it can’t even afford to give all of its citizens health care? Why not? The French can, the Germans (of course) can, the Icelanders and Swedes and Norweigians and Dutch can, the Ozzies and Kiwis and the Japanese can… why can’t the country that won the Cold War and the Space Race afford nice things anymore?

            What changed?

            That’s the key: think about what changed. Sure the USA has an underclass of lazy, stupid people… but it always has (and so do other countries). Sure there are problems such as blah blah blah (which every other country seems to cope with).

            Well, there are couple of things that distinguish America from the rest of the civilized world and from itself of 50 years ago. And really, only a couple: wars and taxes.

            Wars went up. Taxes went down. Unions got busted, banks got deregulated, all in the name of “efficiency,” and taxes went down. And here we are with the middle class squeezed like never before, with productivity going up steadily while worker’s wages aren’t, with CEOs making 500 times what their employees make instead of 50. Corporations are sitting on tons of cash but they’re not hiring. Investors got capital gains tax cuts but they’re not making new jobs.

            And you know that golden era that every conservative harks back to, when the economy was booming and hard work was the way to the top and men were manly men? During that golden era, we implemented huge social programs (Social Security!) and we had tax rates above 70%.

            Cutting taxes and social programs didn’t make our society richer. It just transferred wealth to the top 1%. Now I come along and suggest that maybe Americans learn from the rest of the world and from their own history, and what do I get? Snark.

            I do have a lovely country now. And you could too, if you would just give up your voodoo economics and the thinly disguised racism and all the damn fear of welfare queens and ghetto scenes and commies and Sharia law and homos and everything Fox news screams about day after day after day.

            Stop being afraid of your fellow Americans. The vast majority of them are decent, hardworking people. The parasites that are robbing you blind are not the poor people in the trailer park; they are the bastards in the banks. Who are paying lower tax rates than you.

          • 1dahliagirl

            Micheal,
            You are talking to me across two boards. My hard work did get me where I am. I had no financial family assistance . In addition to a regular job & going to school. I bought semi precious stones from Singapore (before China) , taught myself a skill & sold my jewelry to trendy boutiques. Also, hand knotting quality pearls brought in some more income.
            You put a great deal of thought into above, &, that’s good . I read your old Disqus comments, & , was curious what you did for a living in the USA in which you were in the top 10% of wage earners.
            I’ve got responsibilities today , so, I’m off.

          • 1dahliagirl

            Jeez, error again ….I meant Hong Kong

          • Micheal Planck

            You really don’t understand how luck played a role in your success? Here’s a hint: 90% of the world is not born into a society that would allow them to do what you did. So your good luck started literally at birth. If you think about all the things that could have gone wrong, and didn’t; and all of the people for whom those things did go wrong, then I think you will see how much luck played a part.

            What I did to get into the top 10% (actually strictly speaking 11%) was absolutely classic: I collected government welfare. That is, I worked for a defense company. I worked in an office full of engineers who were significantly overpaid for the work they did, the work they did was often useless (B1 bomber anyone?), and yet all they could do was whinge about those welfare queens bankrupting us.

            And as grossly inefficient as the Defense industry is, it can’t hold a patch on the finance industry.

            You have a right to be angry. You are being robbed. Your country is being sucked dry by parasites. All of this is obvious to everyone. What I cannot understand is why you blame the poor – the people who have nothing! while defending the rich – the people who have captured 90% of all the gains for the last 30 years. As the old adage says, “Follow the money.” If you want to know who ripped you off, look around and see who has far more money than they used to (even though they’re doing the same old job).

      • Jesse4

        Only about 7% of all companies with more than 50 employees will be affected.

        • 1dahliagirl
          • Micheal Planck

            This is great! Once every single employer stops providing health care, everyone will sign up to the exchanges, and it won’t be much longer after that before single-payer takes over. And then America can start saving some real money!

            Just imagine what America could do with 6% of its GDP. Why, it could apply it to the debt you conservatives seem so freaked out over (at least, right up until someone suggests making the rich actually pay for the services they receive).

    • Jesse4

      Insurance premiums are rising slower now than over the last decade. Is that the result of Obamacare too?

      • Micheal Planck

        Assuming you weren’t being ironic, the answer is: yes. Part of Obamacare requires insurance companies to limit themselves to a “just profit,” i.e. they have to pay out at least 80% of what they take in. So yes, they can no longer charge whatever the market can bear; hence the slower rise in premiums.

  • Jesse4

    That’s the National Journal, the Rand corporation, on the other hand, just released a study that says:
    “But our analysis found no widespread trend toward sharply higher prices [ of health insurance premiums] in the individual market.”

    • Micheal Planck

      Facts? Facts have no place in this discussion! If we were interested in facts we would be noting that every other civilized country spends half as much on health care while getting the same results.

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