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Posts tagged ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’

Obamacare Campaign Highlights Sports Injuries to Enroll Young People.


With the clock running down on Obamacare enrollment, the administration sought to persuade young people to sign up for health coverage on Tuesday by telling them how much it hurts not be insured – that is, how much it can hurt the wallet.

Take the humble ankle sprain, one of the most common injuries among young adults under the age of 25. Treating it can cost $2,290. Then there’s the broken arm: On average $7,700. And people without health insurance get to pay full freight.

Or as U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius put it in a government blog: “This can be a huge financial blow to young people and families alike.”

That is the message the administration hopes will be heard by college-age kids and others who do not have health insurance, but could qualify for federal subsidies to help purchase coverage. Some could also qualify for the Medicaid health program for the poor.

Open enrollment ends March 31.

In a promotion aimed at fans of the annual college basketball playoff series known as March Madness, Sebelius’ Department of Health and Human Services and the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition released data looking at the economic costs of common sports injuries like sprains and fractures – just the sort of thing to send a young person to the emergency room.

Young people are vital to the success of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law. Obamacare prevents insurance companies from penalizing people who are sick or older. And so the new marketplaces need young people who are cheaper to insure to make up for the higher financial risks posed by others.

But so far, the administration’s target audience of people aged 18 to 34 have not been signing up in such large numbers, a trend that could lead to higher insurance costs down the road if it continues.

More than 5 million people have enrolled in private health insurance under Obamacare, according to the administration. But the latest breakdown shows the number of younger adults stuck at 25 percent of the enrollment population, versus the 38 percent target that the administration laid out before last October’s botched rollout.

Administration officials say younger people could sign up in huge numbers in the final days of the open enrollment period.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Obamacare to Cover Married Gay Couples in 2015.


Married gay couples will be eligible for a family health policy under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law beginning in 2015, the government said on Friday, encouraging insurers to begin offering coverage this year.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also announced it would extend for one month a temporary program that offers insurance to some of the sickest Americans, who have had trouble finding private plans in new health insurance marketplaces set up in all 50 states under Obamacare.

Friday’s announcements add to the series of delays and modifications the administration has made to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, since the law was enacted in 2010 and formally launched last October.

Obamacare’s six-month enrollment period ends March 31. And with volume expected to surge in the final two weeks, officials say the website HealthCare.gov continues to operate smoothly after technical problems in October and November paralyzed the portal for consumers in 36 states. The remaining 14 states run their own markets.

About 4.2 million people have enrolled in private Obamacare health plans so far, and millions more have been found eligible for the Medicaid program for the poor, according to the administration.

It continues, however, to wrestle with complicated and controversial issues related to the law.

In its decision on gay couples, HHS exercised federal authority to prevent discriminatory insurance market practices on an issue that has been caught up in state marriage laws.

The move follows a February lawsuit filed by an Ohio gay couple, who were unable to obtain family coverage under Obamacare, they said, because their state does not recognize same-sex marriage.

The gay community is a key constituency for Democrats, who are facing a Republican onslaught over Obamacare in this year’s midterm elections for control of Congress.

“If an insurance company offers coverage to opposite-sex spouses, it cannot choose to deny that coverage to same-sex spouses,” Dr. Matthew Heinz, who heads HHS outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual communities, said in a posting to a government website.

“In other words, insurance companies will not be permitted to discriminate against married same-sex couples when offering coverage. This will further enhance access to health care for all Americans, including those with same-sex spouses.”

A formal clarification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the lead Obamacare agency within HHS, said the administration is encouraging insurers to voluntarily implement the non-discrimination policy for the 2014 coverage year under the Public Health Service Act.

Compliance will be required starting in 2015.

“We expect issuers to come into full compliance with the regulations as clarified in this guidance no later than for plan or policy years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2015,” CMS said.

“We also expect states to begin enforcing the regulations in accordance with this clarification no later than for plan or policy years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2015,” it said.

Administration officials said the gay marriage decision and extension of the program for people with pre-existing conditions, known as the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), were both intended to help Americans transition to the new healthcare era established by Obamacare.

The law requires most Americans to pay a penalty unless they are enrolled in insurance coverage by March 31, which is also when the PCIP program was set to expire.

Patient advocates welcomed the move, saying people with cancer, multiple sclerosis or other serious disorders need time to find insurance plans that meet complicated healthcare needs.

“We encourage patients in PCIP to look at other insurance options, including the health insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov, as soon as possible so they are assured of coverage beyond the short term,” the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said in a statement.

The extension came a day after U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told lawmakers in Congress that the enrollment deadline would not be delayed.

Administration officials said the PCIP program was being extended through April 30, under congressional authorization that has already allowed for two other extensions. PCIP was originally intended to expire at the end of 2013, but was extended first through January and later through March. (Reporting by David Morgan, editing by Karey Van Hall and Gunna Dickson)

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

RNC Building Database of Obamacare Cancellation Victims.


Republican National Committee data scientists are building a list of the millions of Americans who lost their insurance policies through Obamacare in hopes of aiming campaigns at those people this year and in the 2016 presidential election, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said.

“Getting that information and having good data as to who votes, who doesn’t vote, voter registration, party affiliation, consumer characteristics, cross-referenced with that kind of information, I think, is important for us to have,” Priebus told the Washington Examiner  after participating in a Conservative Political Action Conference panel talk on Saturday.

Priebus said the RNC has not had difficulty finding tech staffers, and has brought in some top engineers from sites like LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Facebook to work on the data projects.
The cancellations stand to play a key role in this year’s midterm elections, with many Democratic Party leaders urging candidates to talk openly about Obamacare issues while offering their own solutions to fix them.

The new approach, Democrats say, is based on polls such as a CBS News survey in January, which showed people agree the healthcare law has some good aspects, but changes are needed to make the law better.

In Colorado, where Fox News reported late last year that 250,000 people received cancellation notices, Obamacare is expected to make a huge impact on elections.

Republican Rep. Cory Gardner is challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in November, and Udall has been arguing about whether the figures are valid, The Denver Post reports.  But Jo Donlin, director of external affairs for the state insurance division, insisted the figures are right, saying many people have renewed policies, but “regardless, they received cancellation notices.”

The Obama administration also eased some election pressure on Democrats about a week ago when it announced a directive allowing insurers to keep offering health plans that did not meet minimum Obamacare coverage requirements, reports The Hill.

Without the delays, another wave of health insurance cancellations would likely have hit this fall, just before voters headed to the ballots in November.

“I don’t see how they could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September,” one consultant in the health insurance industry said. “Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House. This is not something to have out there right before the election.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Obamacare Architect: ‘Be Prepared to Kiss Your Insurance Company Good-Bye Forever’.


Now we see the true intent of Obamacare, a complete and total takeover of not just your health system, but of the insurance corporations themselves. The government will decide who gets care and who does not. They will decide who lives and who dies. This is true in all Socialist countries.

Blaze: Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the architects behind Obamacare, is now claiming that “insurance companies as we know them are about to die.” Critics of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law have long alleged that one of the real goals of the law was to put private insurance companies out of business.

obamacare-architect-ezekiel-emanuel-insurance-companies-will-die

“So be prepared to kiss your insurance company good-bye forever,” Emanuel concludes.

“The good news is you won’t have insurance companies to kick around much longer. The system is changing,” Emanuel writes in an op-ed on New Republic. “As a result, insurance companies as they are now will be going away. Indeed, they are already evolving. For the next few years insurance companies will both continue to provide services to employers and, increasingly, compete against each other in the health insurance exchanges.”

Due to Obamacare, “new actors will force insurance companies to evolve or become extinct,” he continues. Instead, new groups called “accountable care organizations” (ACOs) must start competing directly in the health care exchanges for exclusive contracts with employers. source – The Blaze

by NTEB News Desk

Christians Flock to Obamacare Alternative.


A Christian healthcare sharing program that’s been around for more than 20 years has exploded since the launch of Obamacare, Fox News reported.

Exempt from the Obamacare mandate to buy health insurance, Medi-Share is a network of Christians who pool their financial resources to cover members’ medical expenses in what the organization deems a “proven biblical model of healthcare.”

Editor’s Note: Health Benefits of Prayer Revealed!

According to Fox, the nation’s three largest ministries have 242,000 members from all 50 states. Since the Oct. 1 Obamacare rollout, Medi-Share has enrolled 30,000 new members, more than the number of people who selected Obamacare plans in 24 states.

“Fellow believers who are living God-honoring lifestyles, based on biblical principles and service to others,” according to MyChristianCare.org, who meet the following requirements are permitted to apply to join the network:

• Attend church regularly and submit a “verifiable Christian testimony indicating a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and profess the Statement of Faith;

• Abstain from sex outside “traditional Christian marriage” ;

• Cannot use tobacco or illegal drugs and cannot abuse alcohol or legal drugs;

• Must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident with a green card or visa and Social Security number living full time in the United States.

A “New Testament way of thinking,” Medi-Share is not health insurance, and there is no guarantee that it will cover a member’s healthcare costs. But CEO Tony Meggs told Fox that during its 21 years in existence, there have been only a handful of complaints about coverage.

Medi-Share does not cover abortion or morning-after pills, since those things violate members’ religious beliefs.

Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a healthcare consumer advocacy group, told Fox News that Medi-Share does not offer the same protections as federally regulated coverage.

Editor’s Note: Health Benefits of Prayer Revealed!

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melissa Clyne

Restaurants Across US Now Charging Diners An Obamacare Tax Surcharge.


RELATED STORY: BOMBSHELL! IRS Warns Obamacare Tax Will Be Forcibly Taken From Your Tax Return

Some restaurants have made the decision to charge customers for Obamacare: Gator’s Dockside restaurants in Florida have added a 1% Affordable Care Act surcharge on their diners’ tabs, while at least one popular restaurant in Los Angeles has added a 3% charge to bills. -

obamacare-tax-now-being-added-to-restaurant-checks

In Florida, The Gator Group told CNN Money that the company had to implement “the surcharge now because of the compliance costs it’s facing ahead of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate kicking in in 2015.” So even though their employees won’t get health insurance coverage until December, customers are feeling the pinch now.

The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors,” the sign [in the restaurant] reads. “Instead of raising prices on our products to generate the additional revenue needed to cover the costs of ACA compliance, certain Gator’s Dockside locations have implemented a 1% surcharge on all food and beverage purchases only.

The Gator Group employs 500 people, half of whom work part-time. Right now, they only offer health benefits to management. Instead of cutting their full-time employees to part-time to avoid the mandate as so many restaurants have chosen, the Gator Group decided to simply charge customers the added costs.

“I’m just trying to keep the employees I have that I’ve worked hard to train,” Sandra Clark, the group’s director of operations told CNN Money:

In addition to the costs of providing health care, the company hired one additional staffer and a consulting firm to make sure it is complying with the law and to assist in the additional tracking of workers’ hours and wages required by Obamacare.

In Los Angeles at the upscale restaurant Republique, customers have not always reacted positively to the ACA surcharge appearing on their bills.

One customer wrote: “1 star for the 3% healthcare surcharge. An employer who really cares about their employees’ health pays for this themselves. But because you and I both know that I’m finically [sic] well off your [sic] going to mandate me to pay for what YOU think if a great idea? You might fool other customers into believing that you truly care about your employees health but your [sic] not fooling this customer.”

So, companies are passing the costs of Obamacare on to the consumer. Economists totally did not see this comingsource – CNS News

by NTEB News Desk

Reid Slammed for ‘Horror Stories’ Claims.


Image: Reid Slammed for 'Horror Stories' Claims

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, while calling “horror stories” about Obamacare lies, “attacked the character and integrity” of Americans who are not afraid to show how Obamacare is hurting them, Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips says.

On Wednesday, Reid said on the Senate floor that there are “plenty of horror stories” being told about Obamacare that are untrue.

Later in the day, the Nevada Democrat amended his statement, saying he wasn’t referring to stories told by everyday Americans, but the “vast majority” of advertising financed by the conservative Americans for Prosperity, which was founded by billionaires Charles and David Koch, Fox News reported.

He also continued to criticize the Koch brothers, calling them “un-American,” after earlier in the day accusing them of “trying to buy Americans.”

Phillips, in a response posted on the Americans for Prosperity website, said some of the people sharing horror stories are “battling serious, life-threatening illnesses,” and accused Democrats like Reid of trying to divert attention from Obamacare’s failures by “declaring war on its victims.”

“Instead of admitting that the health care law is a bad deal for Americans, Senator Reid has chosen to attack the brave men and women who are sharing their personal stories about Obamacare,” Phillips said.

In particular, Reid and other critics have focused attention on one Americans for Prosperity ad featuring Julie Boonstra of Michigan, who says she has leukemia and her healthcare has become unaffordable under Obamacare.

She and the conservative group are standing behind the ad despite the criticism.

“The president’s allies are perfectly fine with brushing these horror stories under the rug — but that’s not so easy for people like Julie Boonstra in Michigan and Emilie Lamb in Tennessee, who are being forced by people like Senator Reid to live out the consequences of Obamacare every single day,” Phillips said.

The Koches also responded to Reid, chastising him for using an ad featuring a woman suffering from leukemia for his attack on Republicans.

“While Charles Koch and David Koch were not responsible for the advertisement in question, we believe it is disgraceful that Senator Reid and his fellow Democrats are attacking a cancer victim as part of their campaign against Charles Koch and David Koch,” said Koch spokesman Philip Ellender.

Republicans are also slamming Reid’s original remarks, with Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., calling them “astounding and offensive.”

South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune is demanding an apology from Reid to all those who have felt they are harmed by Obamacare.

“The majority leader, and any Democrat who agrees with him, owes an apology to all Americans who are suffering under this disastrous law and whose personal stories he has dismissed as ‘untrue,'” Thune said.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has read personal stories on the Senate floor several times about Obamacare’s negative impact on his state’s constituents, his spokeswoman Amber Marchand said in a press release.

“A fair question for the majority leader’s office today: Does Harry Reid believe Missourians are making this up?” Marchand said.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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