Tag Archives: Obamacare

US healthcare is often compared with the Canadian version. Here are the figures.

Canadian health care cost figures

 

According to the nonpartisan Fraser Institute, many Americans falsely believe that Canadians pay nothing for health care visits. This couldn’t be further from the truth.  A scathing new report just revealed how much Canadians actually pay for their “free” health coverage, and revealed deep problems with the system that Democrats want to force onto Americans.

“Canadians often misunderstand the true cost of our public health care system,” the institute found in a detailed report. “This occurs partly because Canadians do not incur direct expenses for their use of health care, and partly because Canadians cannot readily determine the value of their contribution to public health care insurance.”

In other words, the system seems almost designed to hide costs from the people who pay them. Canadians end up paying through a complex web of taxes at both the national and local level.

A “typical Canadian family of four will pay $12,057 for health care in 2017—an increase of nearly 70 percent over the last 20 years,” explained The Daily Caller, which dug into the Fraser report.  Over a $1,000 per month is hardly “free,” and the costs keep increasing. So do the wait times — and people often forget that having coverage on paper is not the same as receiving timely care.  Wait times for many medical procedures were approaching half a year.

“For all those tax dollars, there is still a long waiting list for a host of operations, both routine and urgent. Another Fraser Institute study recently revealed that 63,000 Canadians left the country in 2016 to seek medical assistance elsewhere — usually the U.S.,” explained the Caller.

According to the Fraser report: “Services are being rationed.  In our last report on wait times in Canada, we discovered that the average wait time from referral to treatment was 20 weeks. That was the longest wait time in the history of our survey.”

It turns out that the socialist model doesn’t work so great in real life. Who knew?

Almost everybody agrees that America’s health care system needs to be overhauled and simplified. Costs are high, the system is complex, and everything only became more confusing with the Affordable Care Act, which is proving itself to be anything but affordable.  Single payer systems are clearly not all they’re cracked up to be.

Canada is often seen as the ideal model… but it would be wise to take a closer look at its flaws.

 

[From an article published by the CONSERVATIVE TRIBUNE]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

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Congressional Budget Office shows it’s just as good at creating fake news as any media outlet

The latest analysis of the CBO’s scoring of the GOP’s repeal efforts is shocking, but it really shouldn’t be. The media is constantly telling us that the Congressional Budget Office is an unbiased, and nonpartisan entity that does their very best to accurately score the legislation coming out of Congress. Here’s the problem with that statement… it’s wrong. The CBO has proven time and again to be biased towards big government initiatives, and hardly ever “accurate” on its estimates. Now, one of the foremost healthcare and economic experts, Avik Roy, is unmasking the CBO for what they truly are – a hack organization that doesn’t care at all about accuracy or truth.

Roy is a right-leaning economist and thinker but he recently decided to dig into the CBO projections because he noticed something startling about the projections of every GOP healthcare plan – they all showed expectations of more than 20 million people “losing” their healthcare. It didn’t matter how conservative or how moderate the plan, no matter what the GOP suggested, the CBO kept saying that more than 20 million people would lose their healthcare. Roy wondered how this was possible give the wildly different plans being suggested by various legislators. So, Roy dug into the numbers and realized almost immediately that the CBO was playing a corrupt and very misleading game with their projections:

In the national debate over the GOP health reform proposals, one data point has stood out above all others: the estimate, from the Congressional Budget Office, that more than 20 million people would “lose” coverage as a result. And there’s been an odd consistency to the CBO’s projections. Do you want to repeal every word of Obamacare and replace it with nothing? The CBO says 22 million fewer people would have health insurance. Do you prefer replacing Obamacare with a system of flat tax credits, in which you get the same amount of assistance regardless of your financial need? The CBO says 23 million fewer people would have health insurance. Do you prefer replacing Obamacare with means-tested tax credits, like the Senate bill does, in which the majority of the assistance is directed to those near or below the poverty line? The CBO says 22 million fewer people would have health insurance. 22 million, 23 million, 22 million — these numbers are remarkably similar even though the three policies described above are significantly different. Why is that?

A congressional staffer kindly leaked the CBO’s scoring process to Roy, and what he learned was that nearly 75% of the difference in coverage between Obamacare and any of the GOP bills has to do with the repeal of the “individual mandate.” Yes, almost all of the difference is just because the GOP would stop forcing people to buy healthcare, and the people would CHOOSE to stop getting healthcare insurance.

Repeal Obamacare

It gets worse.  Almost all of the rest of the difference between the GOP’s suggested bills and Obamacare only exists because the CBO is using faulty numbers.

Based on those estimates, of the 22 million fewer people who will have health insurance in 2026 under the Senate bill, 16 million will voluntarily drop out of the market because they will no longer face a financial penalty for doing so: 73 percent of the total.  Two factors — repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate and the CBO’s outdated March 2016 baseline — explain nearly all of the CBO-scored coverage difference between GOP bills and Obamacare.

The GOP keeps suggesting new plans with hopes that the CBO will give them a better score, but as Roy’s explanation proves, there is no plan that the GOP could propose that would give them a fair scoring. The CBO score has been the primary reason that GOP moderates have given to explain why they continue to fight against repeal, but again, Roy’s breakdown proves that their excuse is spurious. The moderates have to choose: Will they continue to be cowed by the fake numbers from the CBO, will they continue to break the very promises they made to get elected, or will they finally stand up and do what they promised to do, which is repeal Obamacare?

In a follow up piece over at Forbes, Roy suggests a simple solution for the GOP to prove that the CBO’s projections are all washed up:

There’s a simple way for Republicans to highlight the CBO’s mandate mania: have CBO score one version of the bill with an individual mandate, and one version without. It’ll make as plain as day what those of us who follow this stuff see up close: that the mandate is the secret sauce driving the CBO’s faulty coverage predictions.

By the way, the media continues to report that repeal is unpopular, but you shouldn’t believe that lie either. The most recent CNN poll revealed that most Americans want Obamacare repealed.

 

[From an article published by CONSTITUTION.COM]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

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Nineteenth Obamacare co-op folds, leaving only four operating

Minuteman Health of Massachusetts and New Hampshire announced it is withdrawing from the Affordable Care Act exchanges in 2018, leaving only four co-ops in operation. The co-op will stop writing business on January 1 and organize a new company, Minuteman Insurance Company, instead.

The company cited issues with Obamacare’s risk-adjustment program, which is the program that shifts money away from those with healthier customers to those with sicker enrollees. Minuteman Health said that the negative impact of this program had been “substantial.”

“Unfortunately, the program has not worked as intended,” the company said. “It has been difficult for insurers to predict their risk-adjustment obligations, which has led some to withdraw from the ACA market.”

“The program also unfairly penalizes issuers like MHI that are small, low cost, and experience high growth,” the company said. “The significant relative impact from risk adjustment has been the principal driver of a reduction in MHI’s surplus and capital over 2 [sic] time.”

The co-op was able to grow to 37,000 members since it began in 2014 but said that being subject to certain co-op rules made it hard to adjust its business model to mitigate issues with the risk-adjustment program. The co-op was awarded $156.4 million in taxpayer-funded loans in 2012 and 2013.

The new company, Minuteman Insurance Company, will not be subject to these rules.

“Offering our members a quality, more affordable coverage option has been Minuteman’s mission from day one,” said Tom Policelli, CEO of the co-op. “We want to continue that mission in 2018 and beyond through the new company we are currently working to organize. Forming Minuteman Insurance Company will allow us to address numerous federal restrictions and work to make our coverage available to more people.”

There are only four co-ops of the 23 originally created through Obamacare that will still be offering health care plans next year.

 

[From an article by Ali Meyer, published by WASHINGTON FREE BEACON]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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Federal judge blocks Obamacare’s abortion and sex change mandates

A federal judge blocked the Obama administration’s attempt to force doctors and healthcare providers to perform sex change operations and abortions under the Affordable Care Act.

Federal judge Reed O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a preliminary injunction against the Department of Health and Human Services after it expanded Obamacare’s anti-sex discrimination language to include “gender identity” and “termination of pregnancy.”

The agency’s interpretation would have forced “nearly every healthcare provider in the country” to provide abortions and sex change operations. The court determined that the agency exceeded its authority in drafting the rule and blocked the rule on Dec. 31—just hours before it was to take effect.

 “The regulation violates the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) by contradicting existing law and exceeding statutory authority, and the regulation likely violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) as applied to Private Plaintiffs,” the injunction says.

An HHS spokeswoman told the Washington Free Beacon that the agency will continue to enforce non-discrimination statutes  “to the full extent consistent with the court’s order.”

The agency proposed its new interpretation of Title IX in September 2015 as Obamacare was being implemented. The agency contended in its May 2016 announcement of the new rules that the expansion of sex discrimination to include abortion and gender identity “clarifies and codifies existing nondiscrimination requirements” in federal law.

However, the court found that such rule-making crossed the bounds of the law as it is written.

“The meaning of sex in Title IX unambiguously refers to ‘the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth,’” the court found. “Congress clearly addressed the question at issue by incorporating Title IX’s existing legal structure, and HHS had no authority to interpret such a significant policy decision.”

Franciscan Alliance, Inc., an Indiana-based network of Catholic hospitals, sued the agency, claiming that the statute violated its religious liberty since it would be forced to participate in abortion or sex change operations contrary to the Church’s teaching. Franciscan argued that the agency ignored religious and abortion exemptions that were included in Title IX and said that the agency’s interpretation would force doctors to perform medically unnecessary gender transitions for fear of being accused of discrimination.

The court found that the hospitals’ and doctors’ fear of enforcement action by the federal government “is reasonable.”

“HHS stressed that some procedures ‘related to gender transition’ may be required even if not ‘strictly identified as medically necessary or appropriate,’” the court said in its order. “Private Plaintiffs will be forced to either violate their religious beliefs or maintain their current policies which seem to be in direct conflict with the Rule and risk the severe consequences of enforcement.”

Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arizona also joined the suit, arguing that the federal government overstepped the rights of states to regulate healthcare services provided in public hospitals. Each of those states has laws barring the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion—laws that would have been superseded by the agency’s rules if they were to take effect.

“The Court finds [State] Plaintiffs have demonstrated that they face a substantial threat of irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction,” according to the injunction.

The Franciscan suit is not the only one launched to block the Obama administration’s mandates over abortion and transgender treatment.

The Catholic Benefits Association, which provides insurance coverage to 90,000 people and is administered by Catholic clergy, sued the HHS in December to block the rule in a North Dakota federal court. That suit goes one step further than Franciscan’s in that it asks the court to protect religious employers, as well as religious healthcare institutions and states. CBA general counsel Martin Nussbaum told the Free Beacon that the preliminary injunction bolsters its case against the mandate.

“We framed the CBA lawsuit to address problems under both the 1557 Rule and Title VII and to protect both Catholic medical providers and other Catholic ministries and employers,” he said in an email. “The Franciscan Alliance precedent will be very helpful to us in the CBA litigation. … The reasoning is thorough and quite good on almost every issue.”

 

[From an article published by The Washington Free Beacon]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

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Health insurance lawsuit has White House “grasping at straws”

The Wieland FamilyLast week, attorneys for the United States Department of Health and Human Services filed a document in a civil lawsuit by a Missouri legislator to support the Department’s motion for summary judgment that reiterated the same arguments previously rejected by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The Thomas More Society is representing Missouri State Senator Paul Wieland and his wife, Teresa Wieland, in Wieland v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, defending the Wieland family against the Affordable Care Act’s controversial contraceptive mandate and the substantial religious burden it places on them.  The lawsuit, in its simplest form, is the individual state employee’s version of the well-publicized Hobby Lobby case in which the United States Supreme Court rejected Obamacare’s infringement on religious rights. The Eighth Circuit soundly rejected the United States government’s position and sent the case back down to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

In response to the Obama administration is rehashing the same argument already rejected by the United States Supreme Court. Thomas More Society Special Counsel Timothy Belz stated, “The government is grasping at straws in their argument. The Eighth Circuit agreed with the Wielands that the contraceptive mandate is indeed a substantial religious burden on them, and if an injunction is granted in their favor, then the state-run insurance company would be required under state law to provide a contraceptive-free policy. The court has also disposed of the government’s other argument — that the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate survives strict scrutiny. The Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Sharpe Holdings, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decisions hold that the government flunks the strict scrutiny test.”

Wieland and his wife Teresa, like the owners of Hobby Lobby and Sharpe Holdings, object on religious grounds to mandated insurance coverage for contraceptives – which includes abortifacients such as Plan B and Ella as well as sterilization. The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act assures them of religious liberty that cannot be federally usurped. The Wielands previously had exemption clauses in their policy, which were available to any employee, and easily accommodated by the insurance company, but that is something the Obama administration refuses to acknowledge.  [NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  Our emphasis.]

Read more about the Thomas More Society’s defense of the Wieland family’s religious liberty here .

 

[from the Thomas More Society]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

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“I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW…”

Some of our editorial cartoonists have the clearest vision, and a great way of showing us that ability…

 

I can see clearly now...

 

How Iran got to be a nuclear power...

 

How the US stopped being a nuclear power...

 

norm-al-160315-2

 

Hillary's race...

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

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One-third of the Obamacare state-run co-ops are now officially dead…

One-third of the Obamacare health insurance co-ops have now failed, causing about 400,000 policyholders in 10 states to scramble for new coverage for 2016.

Seven of the 23 co-ops created by the Affordable Care Act in 2011 at a cost of $2.4 billion — including many launched by passionate but inexperienced health reform activists —  have since closed their doors. An eighth, the Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative, appears on the brink of default as well.

The failing Obamacare co-ops have canceled health insurance for largely poor and low-income customers in Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Nevada, Tennessee, Vermont, New York and Colorado.

The co-op’s are falling like dominoes.  In the last two months, the public has seen co-ops fail in Nevada, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and New York.

Including Colorado, taxpayers have lost $876 million in loan money that was supposed to last for 15 years.  The failed co-op’s existed for only two years before suddenly closing their doors.

More co-op failures are expected.  “There will be more closures,” said American Enterprise Institute resident fellow Thomas Miller, a health care expert. “The only question is when rather than whether.”

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which funded the co-ops, said this summer that six co-ops were under “enhanced oversight” because of poor financial reports.  The Daily Caller reported in August that federal officials refused to identify the six that are in trouble.

The Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported in July that 21 of 23 operating co-ops faced staggering losses, some greater than the loans that were expected to last 15 years.

New York’s Health Republic, the largest of the co-ops, announced it was closing its doors last month, leaving 155,000 customers in the lurch.

The New York failure was not only the largest, but was the flagship of the co-op movement. It was created by liberal political activist Sarah Horowitz, who had previously worked with then-state Sen. Barack Obama.

The New York Department of Finance Services last month reported that Health Republic had the worst 2014 consumer record of all insurance companies operating in the state.

Horowitz was the only individual to be given federal loans to run three co-ops at the same time.  Her other two co-ops are in New Jersey and Oregon.

Miller said there is growing apprehension among state insurance commissioners about the solvency of many of the other co-ops still hanging on.

Nov. 1 is the new date for open enrollment for the co-ops.  The deadline is forcing state insurance commissioners to take a closer look at the co-0p’s prospects over the next year.

Miller said many state commissioners are asking, “do you cut your losses now or do it later? There’s a lot of apprehension among state regulators in terms of signing up for another year in light of results that have happened.”

Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute think tank, said, “everything is coming to pass.  It was inevitable, given their inexperience.”

Kelly Crowe, CEO of the trade association that represents all of the co-ops has now turned against the Obama administration, which set up the programs.

She blamed “regulatory obstacles,” and said Obamacare — is “not working.”

 

[by Richard Pollock, writing for The Daily Caller News Foundation]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

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