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Feds will now pick plans for displaced Obamacare customers

Feds will now pick plans for displaced Obamacare customers

If you like your plan…..Nevermind!

One of the biggest surprises of the Sunday debate was the moment that Obamacare came up as an audience-member question.

Hillary Clinton basically said she’ll mend it, and Donald Trump vowed to end it.

Gone are the days of, “if like your plan, you’ll keep your plan.”

So many health insurers have bailed out of Affordable Care Act markets that the Obama Administration plans to assign affected consumers with remaining insurance companies.

…“Urgent: Your health coverage is at risk,” declares a sample “discontinuation notice,” drafted by the government for use by insurers. It tells consumers that “if you don’t enroll in a plan on your own, you may be automatically enrolled in the plan picked for you.”

That may make for a jarring start to the health law’s fourth annual open enrollment period, which starts Nov. 1, a week before Election Day, and runs through Jan. 31. While the administration says 20 million people have gained insurance through President Obama’s signature health law, it has suffered setbacks: Nonprofit health insurance co-ops created by the law have shut down; major health insurers have withdrawn from its marketplaces; and the ones that remain have raised premiums sharply.

For some reason, the Obama administration is worried about backlash.

…Some consumer advocates say this latest effort will help people retain coverage in a challenging year when premiums also are rising. Other advocates, however, worry it will cause confusion. Insurers fear a backlash from customers disappointed with reduced options. The administration says consumers have the last word on accepting any “alternate” plan they’re offered.

…The administration said it isn’t able to provide an estimate of the number of people who’ll get notices about their new plans. It could range from several hundred thousand to 1 million or more, say independent experts.

So, what is the alternative for a customer who rejects the “recommended plan”? Perhaps finding more unaffordable insurance or paying the Obamacare penalty. In fact, nearly 8.1 million taxpayers paid $1,694,088,000 in penalties for not having health insurance in 2014, the first year the penalty was in effect, according to the the Internal Revenue Service.

Returning to the Sunday debate, the key difference between the Democratic and Republican candidates is how they would handle the health insurance companies:

Clinton said that if Trump is elected and succeeds in repealing Obamacare, Americans would lose a slew of gains they’ve made under the ACA, including a bar against charging women more for health insurance, prohibiting insurers from discriminating against customers for pre-existing health conditions, and allowing people under age 26 to stay on their parents’ health plans. She said getting rid of Obamacare would unshackle insurance companies.

Asked what he would do to replace Obamacare, Trump repeatedly cited his proposal to allow insurers to sell health plans across state lines, which he said would add competition to the marketplace.

At this point, the competition that is the heart of a free market system is dead.

Perhaps if Trump is elected, people could pick a plan they liked and see their preferred doctors, too.

If Clinton is elected, and based on the current Obamacare trajectory, it is likely that we will all be assigned government-issued healthcare. You can refer to the VA hospitals for that is likely to work out for us.


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…this latest effort will help people retain coverage in a challenging year when premiums also are rising.

…this latest effort will force people to retain coverage in a challenging year when premiums also are rising.


Remember HillaryCare – Tried to copy the canadian system including the canadian system’s problems, then made it a criminal offense for health care providers to circumvent those problems that would arise due to the rationing.

Mamograms – prohibited until age 50 – how is that for womens health care.

Sad commentary on the media and presidential debate commission- and on the gop for letting this scandalous state of debates continue on and on and on every 4 years – that it’s a surprise when a 20% sector of our nation comes up in a debate. Especially when that 20% involves our MEDICAL CARE.

The media should be humiliated by their mediocrity.

Humphrey's Executor | October 11, 2016 at 9:17 am

What if the only way you could a mammogram was cash on the barrel-head? How much would it cost?

    I look for models in the world outside of “regular insurance”.

    Both cutting-edge eye care and plastic surgery have gotten both better and cheaper as the result of being exposed to market forces.

    Those, and vet care, should stand as bellwethers for the direction we SHOULD be going.

      Humphrey's Executor in reply to Ragspierre. | October 11, 2016 at 9:37 am

      We’ve been trained like circus animals to expect that someone else pays for our healthcare.

      I knew a MD with a small family practice (since merged with a big group due to all the overhead from insurance and regulations). If he didn’t collect the $10 or $20 co-pay up front from the patient he’d never get it — not even from people of substantial means. They just didn’t think that was their responsibility.

      When people begin to see what they have to pay for other peoples bad habits and risky behavior, then the trouble really starts.

    “Humphrey’s Executor | October 11, 2016 at 9:17 am
    What if the only way you could a mammogram was cash on the barrel-head? How much would it cost?”

    One of the main thrusts of HillaryCare was to prohibit (often criminalize) step to circumvent the problems that occur in socialized medicine. Paying cash to move up the line was prohibited.

thalesofmiletus | October 11, 2016 at 9:34 am

Backdoor’ed Public Option.

We abandoned the insurance industry and have signed up with a Christian healthshare ministry. It’s not for everyone, but it’s worth checking out if one is looking for alternatives.

Vet care as an example? Do you even own an animal? I have 3, previously 5 resuced animals,and the cost of care is outrageous.
People would be dying in the streets if they have to pay the cost of healthcare. As it is now, people don’t go for preventable care because they have 5 to $10,000 decutibles and refuse to go to the Dr. when ill unless ot is life threatening, because of the cost.
70% of the American workers have less than a thousand in their savings accounts. Wages have not keep up, they are struggling.
Is that not to say some of the blame on the disposable, credit card society does not lie with the consumer? No, but the cost of medical care is off the charts, and with competition it may come down a small bit, but we are not talking huge amounts of money here.
I’m a nurse, and I have been a patient..people in the medical industry make decent wages, but they are stagnant.
Hospitals are increasing patient ratios, less RN’s..that means poor care. Mine literally went up double. Safe healthcare will be an oxymoron if this trend continues.

    Ragspierre in reply to gonzotx. | October 11, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I own a rescued Golden, and my vet care is quite reasonable in my area, with several competing vets.

    I use an old goat’s head of a private doc and pay cash, and he’s quite reasonable, too. He won’t be giving my health records to anyone, either. He’s an avid hunter, and would not dream of asking a patient if they owned guns.

    I raised eight kids and never had a stitch of health insurance. None of us “died in the streets”, and I was in the oil field and in the building trades though most of those child-rearing years.

    I have a nurse daughter and a physician son. Both make more that I do as a simple country lawyer.

      jack burns in reply to Ragspierre. | October 11, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Touching bio, a fantasy worthy of the Hallmark channel. Your private doc going to crack your chest when you plug up, which, given your weight and propensity to sit around on the computer all day, will can’t be far off. I do buy the “simple” part. Shillary 2016!

      Nice family work.
      You made a better decision than wife and I about the number of kids to have. Good for you and yours.

    The unapologetic conservative in reply to gonzotx. | October 11, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Vet care is a perfect example. Direct charge for direct service. You the consumer decides if the service provided is worth the cost. You however seem to be advocating for someone to be forced to pay for services provided to another. Do you understand why health insurance is so costly…because those who pay are paying for those who don’t. Are you responsible for those who make poor choices in regards to their health? No, however if you want to engage in charity work you can, by choice. Therein lies the heart of the matter, the government meddling in matters that should be personal choice.

      ‘You however seem to be advocating for someone to be forced to pay for services provided to another.’

      I don’t see where you get that from anything I’ve said.

      ‘Do you understand why health insurance is so costly…because those who pay are paying for those who don’t.’

      No. I don’t understand that because it isn’t so.
      “Insurance” in its proper definition ONLY considers those who are part of a voluntary risk pool. That’s its purpose. It is “socialization” of risks in the NOT STATE sense, and that’s a wonderful expression of a free market working in response to a need in a society.

      You statement is true…sorta…about HEALTH CARE. Not “insurance”.

      ‘Are you responsible for those who make poor choices in regards to their health? No, however if you want to engage in charity work you can, by choice.’

      Indeed, and we make contributions to people who, for no fault of their own, are stricken with terrible health care costs.

      I’ve often referenced how, in my little rural community, you’ll find contribution jars, barbecues, etc. for the support of area families with kids with awful disease. There’s also the example of the Shriner’s hospitals, which are sterling examples of how effective private charities ARE.

      Americans historically have done this. We COULD do it now, but as government GROWS bigger, everything else grows smaller.

      Why is insurance so costly? Yes, it is because we healthy people pay for people making bad choices but it also pays for people who just have bad luck. Then, it pays for extra layers of expense induced by government regulations. It pays for the cost of defensive medicine.

      The cost of government interference in medicine is HUGE and rarely discussed. I started to write about it, but the response turned into a 3 page tome and I was only half way through my explanation.

      Also, Obamacare has done nothing to save the middle class. We all know that insurance premiums are unreasonable. If someone does get a significant illness (such as cancer) despite the fact that they have insurance, the copays and deductibles will still wipe out most middle class families. Why does the media never cover THAT story? Since everyone is supposed to have insurance, the grant and other aide programs for the uninsured have evaporated, which has made it even more difficult to provide care in areas with poor socioeconomics.

Re: “Will now pick plans…”

Obamacare already picks plans for citizens, by disallowing any they don’t approve of. All it’s doing now is further narrowing the menu of forced plans.

Hm. Somehow I doubt on the statistics. If 8.1 million taxpayers payed an average of $200 each in 2014, that seems way high on the people actually *paying* the fine, and way low on the amount. Perhaps 8.1 million people *should* have paid the fine, but since they can’t bill you for it and can only forcibly take it out of your refund, if any, the actual numbers are probably smaller.

    healthguyfsu in reply to georgfelis. | October 12, 2016 at 12:36 am

    The 8.1 million number is insurance census data. As for the collected fines, I think you are missing the point.

    That many people felt that the exchanges plans were essentially worthless to them or ridiculously overpriced and risked a fine AND no health coverage instead.

    If anything, the underestimation of the number is alarming considering what could be confiscated when the “progressives” beef up the IRS to the point of more vigorous enforcement.

“Automatic enrollment” is no different than what scam artists do when they get a hold of your financial info and set things up with automatic deductions for fake services. Those who don’t scrutinize their monthly statements often don’t find out about the unauthorized deductions until quite a bit of damage has been done.

I am so sick of schemes like this that are nothing more than designs to pick my pocket ~

Meanwhile – Pharmacy companies create drugs that keep terminal patients alive and extra 9 or 10 months. How much is it?

How much you got?

    healthguyfsu in reply to MattMusson. | October 12, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Yeah, you don’t sound entirely ignorant or anything.

    Any idea what goes into (capital and time) making new drugs, junior? Any idea how life-sustaining medical equipment works or are they your next target on the ignorant whine list?…those evil zombie-generating machines.

buckeyeminuteman | October 11, 2016 at 1:36 pm

My wife is a veterinarian and she gets people everyday who say they can’t pay for what the bill will come out to be. Then they expect her to help them out, give them a discount, or do it for free. “What am I suppose to do, let my cat die?” That is the attitude in America now. Somebody else is supposed to fix your problem. And since we don’t pay cash at the doctor’s office, why should we have to pay for our pets? Pets are a luxury, not a right. And perfect, pain-free health probably isn’t really a Constitutional right either.

insurance used to be for hospital visits and normal dr visits were paid directly then and there.
then we started thinking health insurance was same thing as health care and acted as such.
hows that worked out?
not so well. lot of it can be traced back to WW2 era wage/price restrictions (federally pushed by ahole FDR) and businesses using health insurance as benefit to make up for lack of raises.