Breitbart.com (Sept. 22) takes issue with Obamacare architect Ezekiel Emanuel’s latest Atlantic column. In it, he explains why he does not want to live past the age of 75. The main gripe by Breitbart, is over Emanuel’s perceived view of human life as being merely “utilitarian.” Perhaps arguably, during another time, Emanuel’s opinion piece would receive scarce mention, but for the fact he is seen as the chief constructor of the Affordable Care Act- – during its formative years. Breitbart also takes Emanuel to task for a brightly colored chart included in his Atlantic piece, designed to convey to anyone over the age of 75 that very likely their best years are behind them – - as of 10 years ago.
Breitbart also finds fault with those advocating what they term a “structured Utopia”, one in which “the idea that individual liberty and the rights of the individual must be subjugated by the need to perfect society and the future.”
At one time, Emanuel served as Special Advisor for Health Policy – - to the Obama administration.
According to Fortune (online, Sept. 24) during the past year a company known as Teladoc took over its two primary leading rivals, AmeriDoc and Consult A Doctor. Such companies are known in the healthcare industry as “telemedicine”, enabling patients to have access to physicians – online. Due to healthcare costs, and Obamacare, this emerging concept in treatment is also known as the “virtual reality doctor.” Teledoc has about 550 such virtual doctors on-call.
As it is structured now, Teladoc’s service is available with a paid annual subscription. There is also a $40.00 co-pay for each video or phone physician visit. Some businesses and organizations fund or reimburse the co-pay completely – for their workers.
A post in the Daily Caller (online, Sept. 24) tells the story of health insurance brokers, especially those described as small businesses, or independent insurance agents, resisting allegedly not well thought out Obamacare policies. Also, according to the Daily Caller, in several U.S. states, an appreciable number of ACA exchanges – - or marketplaces – - are not paying such health insurance sellers their commissions.
The Daily Caller report further clarifies the situation this way, “Although brokers say Obamacare is hurting their profits, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been working harder than ever.” One insurance broker is quoted in the report as saying, “There has been a 300 percent increase in time spent sharing information compared to the past — about three hours per enrolled life.”
Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, feels Obamacare is a system vulnerable to manipulation. Issa contends some 700,000 “got a free ride”, according to a Daily Caller report (online, Sept. 18). Also, according to the Daily Caller, a significant number of consumers, who are not paying their fair share, pose problems for both doctors and others in the business of rendering healthcare.
Obamacare administrator, Marilyn Tavenner, conceded – - in recent congressional testimony to Congressman Issa’s House Oversight Committee — that 700,000 of the initial Obamacare enrollees have nonetheless terminated their coverage.
As an example of what may be concerning Issa, during the initial 90 days of enrollment, a consumer is able to obtain care, even if they are a non-pay.
Another state level story about the Affordable Care Act. This time it’s the Gopher — or North Star State. In Minnesota, MNsure has pulled out of the government run and sponsored healthcare plan. Making news is the fact this is the insurer with the most the most signed-up customers. Also, according to a news release on the Web page for Citizen’s Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) – - of Sept. 16, PreferredOne notified Minnesota that providing coverage (via MNsure) is “not administratively and financially sustainable.” The state’s healthcare exchange, or marketplace, is seen as one whose structure is tenuous, one which may fall apart altogether. This is also according to the Citizen’s For Health Council Web news release. MNsure also said that going on into 2015 is “not sustainable.”
More polling data provides further insight as to the number of Americans disapproving of Obamacare. According to an online post by the Independent Women’s Voice (Sept. 15) voters located in pivotal congressional districts have made their ACA-rooted opposition clear. Tangible clues are found in the iwvoice.org poll, included in the organization’s recent post. 54 percent disapprove of what is termed by IWV as “the federal healthcare takeover”. Whereas, “strong opposition” stands at 25 percent, says IWV. Reasons for the unfavorable views, include:
● Reductions in, and inferior healthcare coverage.
● Physician loss.
● Narrow healthcare provider choices.
The CBS News Web page (of Sept. 15) features a story relating how, for the second year of the Affordable Care Act, many aspects of it are a wait and see. Is it wholly doable? Is it truly helping those it was supposed to in the first place? Meanwhile, the politically-based ACA discord continues. Rep. Bill Pascell, D-N.J., is quoted by the CBS report, as asking, “Why should individuals be punished if they got a bump in salary?” Pascarell is referring to an Obamacare reality, that some, as a result of personal earnings increases, may wind up returning a portion of their Obamacare subsidies. Also, according to the CBS story, Pascrell adds, “To me, this was not the ACA I voted on.” CBS additionally recaps the 2013 HealthCare.gov massive crash, occurring as soon as it debuted in October of that year. The result? A slowdown in Obamacare sign-ups.
For 2014, the Obama White House is promises better service for ACA customers. Yet, federal officials aren’t saying much. One possible reason? It is uncertain as to how well tests, on the system, are proceeding.
The tech executive, Andy Slavitt, who was invited by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — to assist with computer matters — is also quoted in the CBS account, “This coming year will be one of visible and continued improvement, but not perfection.”
In reading a recent Hill.com Sept. 16 Web post, Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., cannot be described as being happy over a recent reporting audit by the Government Accounting Office GAO. The subject? Just where Obamacare subsides are going. According to the GAO, in part they are going toward covering abortions. Black says, “Now the GAO has proven that the government has failed to ensure that the insurance issuers are not billing the abortion surcharge separately as required by the law. So the question remains, what will the administration now do to ensure compliance? This must be fixed.”
Rep. Black’s comments tie in with a recent GAO finding which sampled 18 insurers across the U.S. 17 permitted women to fund their abortions via their healthcare plans, under the auspices of the ACA. This, in spite of the fact they may currently receive federal subsidies. According to the Hill report, by Sarah Ferris, this was discovered following a 7 month probe.
According to the Heritage Foundation’s Web page, The Daily Signal (online, Sept. 15) Judicial Watch President John Fitton is weighing in hard against the storied Obamacare Website. The source for his contentious and negative feelings are documents (some 94 pages long) allegedly detailing an imposing picture of the website’s purported security lapses. Fitton is quoted in the Daily Signal piece as saying, “These documents show that this administration was concerned about the political problems of the security flaws but couldn’t care less about the threat to privacy of millions of Americans.”
The Judicial Watch-obtained documents specifically point out a breach in HealthCare.gov, which renders it susceptible to a “malicious code” – which can then be loaded on to the site.
Ramifications of The Affordable Care Act, in terms of actual costs and personal impacts on the American People, continues as a story about the states, including the Midwest.
A new report in Human Events (online, Sept. 9) says It is anticipated Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska rates will rise as much as 19.5 percent. This is according to a “rate sheet”, as prepared by the State of Nebraska Insurance Department.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield, according to Human Events, is placing the blame on Obamacare-mandated benefits, higher use of medical services, and ACA related taxes and charges.
Also, according to Human Events, Bruce Ramge, head of the Nebraska Department of Insurance says, “Under the federal Affordable Care Act, it appears that resulting health insurance costs will be Increasing for most Nebraskans.”