A Human Events’ blog, written by Bre Paxton and Andrew Collins, notes that as Obamacare marketplace defaults rack up, conservative “pundits and politicos” continue their railings against wasteful government spending for the online insurance portals.
The May 27 Human Events report, which was reprinted from WatchDog.org, cites “five bright spots surrounding the Obamacare exchange failures.” These include the fact that Oregon’s state exchange failed miserably, causing the Beaver State to scrap it in favor of the Healthcare.gov site, though it also was glitch-ridden.
Other bright spots listed include $474 million in healthcare exchange stimulus money, which went to Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada and Maryland, although the funds did create high-paying temporary jobs.
Only four of the 24 states who operate their own exchanges or those who partnered with the ACA, have experienced significant problems. The article also says Massachusetts, the original model for Obamacare, may fail within a year after an infusion of $500 million, followed by an additional $170 million in federal funds.
According to The Hill.com on May 31, 2014, the insurance industry is waging a war against Big Pharma.
The problem arises over the soaring cost of specialty drugs. Insurers claim high prices are needed to fund research and development, while drug makers say pharmaceutical companies should pay more in covering prescription drug costs. This latest battle centers around American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), “the lobbying group for insurers,” and the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
One underlying cause for this latest war is the pharmaceutical company, Gilead’s, $1,000 per pill cost for Sovaldi, a medication used to treat Hepatitis C. Individually, patient expense breaks down to one pill a day taken for 24 weeks, equaling an astronomical $168,000.
As the White House awaits news about 2015’s premium pricing on Affordable Care Act exchanges, debate continues over whether Obamacare benefits or spells financial disaster for businesses. A new report in the May 27 The Hill.com, cites White House claims that, “consumers and businesses are seeing healthcare costs rise more slowly thanks to Obamacare.”
In a recent blog post, Jason Furman Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, pointed to a series of measurements showing that healthcare prices and premiums are increasing at never before seen low rates. The Hill cites Furman’s blog as saying the trend “is partly due to the Affordable Care Act, which contains measures intended to restrain the growth of healthcare costs.” Furman adds, “2014 is shaping up to be a year of continued success in keeping underlying growth in healthcare costs low, alongside historic progress in expanding health insurance to millions more Americans.”
The outsourcing firm, Automatic Data Processing (ADP), reports that “large-employer health plans have seen premiums jump 1.7 percent from 2013 to 2014, compared to 3.1 percent previously.
Tom Fitton outlines in the May 27 Breitbart.com, a 106-page document obtained from Judicial Watch. It originates from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and reveals alarming information regarding the disastrous rollout of the program last fall.
Fitton said following the launch of the registration for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, the government tried to cover up the truth. On the first day of the rollout, only one person enrolled.
The account goes on to outline numerous key failures occurring last October, including: On the first full day of enrollments, October 1, 2013, although 43,208 accounts were created, one enrollment was made.
● October 2, 2013, the second day of the rollout, “the Obamacare website had 70 million page views but only 5 million were unique visitors, and 48 percent of registrations failed. The large number of page views have been the result of visitors repeatedly hitting the “refresh” button due to long waiting times.”
● Estimates say approximately 33 percent of the 834 forms for enrollees in Healthcare.gov may have been incorrect, not complete, or not found.
According to an article on TheHill.com, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) believes that the federal government is making inaccurate Obamacare subsidy payouts.
Sen. McConnell, along with Republican Senators Hatch of Utah, and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, have written to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General (IG). They’ve asked the IG to scrutinize recent accounts that the government may be paying for Obamacare subsidies to people who aren’t at low enough income levels to receive such payouts.
The root cause of the incorrect payments? HHS hasn’t yet installed a computer system ensuring only those who are eligible are getting the assistance to pay for healthcare needs. Under the healthcare law, low income families can apply for monies to help cover healthcare costs.
A May 29, 2014 report by Kaiser Health News says the Affordable Care Act may be a boon for cancer sufferers. An Obamacare provision holds that individuals cannot be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions; nor can they be charged a higher premium for them. Additionally, under the ACA, “there are no annual or lifetime caps on insurance coverage.”
The May 29th article, written by Judy Peres was written in partnership with the Chicago Tribune. Peres said, “It’s also change that can make the difference between life and death. According to the Barack Obama administration, Americans who are uninsured and diagnosed with cancer are 60 percent more likely to die of that cancer than those who have insurance.“
Prior to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies usually ended health coverage at $1 million. Kaiser’s Karen Pollitz said despite the changes in healthcare, most patient problems are not solved. And despite government subsidies which aid the public in paying for healthcare, “some people can’t afford their premiums or find the out-of-pocket costs (deductibles, copays and coinsurance) too burdensome.”
More than 60 percent of bankruptcies in the U.S. are medically-related according to Obama administration.