Thursday, February 20, 2014

Reluctant Obamacare Schadenfreude

It almost seems a shame to slip into Schadenfreude after such a nice day.  Yesterday topped out near 60 F, bright and sunny. Today promises to be almost as nice.  But, well, some things just demand doing.

Obamacare is starting to make itself felt across the country.  Another hospital in Georgia is closing because of the law.

Fourth Georgia hospital closes due to Obamacare payment cuts

The fourth Georgia hospital in two years is closing its doors due to severe financial difficulties caused by Obamacare’s payment cuts for emergency services.

The Lower Oconee Community Hospital is, for now, a critical access hospital in southeastern Georgia that holds 25 beds. The hospital is suffering from serious cash-flow problems, largely due to the area’s 23 percent uninsured population, and hopes to reopen as “some kind of urgent care center,” CEO Karen O’Neal said.

Many hospitals in the 25 states that rejected the Medicaid expansion are facing similar financial problems. Liberal administration ally Think Progress has already faulted Georgia for not expanding Medicaid as Obamacare envisioned.

But the reality is more complicated. The federal government has historically made payments to hospitals to cover the cost of uninsured patients seeking free medical care in emergency rooms, as federal law mandates that hospitals must care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay.

Because the Affordable Care Act’s authors believed they’d forced all states to implement the Medicaid expansion, Obamacare vastly cut hospital payments, the Associated Press reports.
So the states that chose not to expand Medicaid are being hurt for not accepting the democrats "deal." But, hey, somebody slowed traffic on a bridge in New Jersey.
Hope 'n Change

Since then, we have seen that the Medicaid expansion will not lessen, but almost certainly increase the the problem of emergency services. Two new problems for the price of one!

Over Ted's way, one man is celebrating the implementation of Obamacare by waiting for his back operation, which has been put on hold thanks to Obamacare:
A Sonora mechanic is in so much pain that he can barely walk, but he can’t seem to find a doctor to fix his ailing back after he and his wife switched their insurance coverage through Covered California.

Chris Dunn reached out to CBS13 hoping we could get answers.
. . .
He’s still working, despite the pain. But finding a surgeon to fix his back has turned into a full-time jobof its own.

“We get this coverage and go to the best doctor to fix Chris, and they tell us we’re out of network,” said his wife Tammy.

In January, they transitioned from an Anthem Blue Cross Plan over to Blue Cross Covered California. She says they had to switch to avoid the premium skyrocketing, but didn’t realize their provider network would be smaller.
But apparently he's not a Jimmy Kimmel follower, since Kimmel could find no one in his audience who had signed up for Obamacare:
Jimmy Kimmel asked his audience Tuesday night to raise their hands if they’ve signed up for Obamacare. No hands went up — at least none visible to the human eye.

“Really?” Kimmel responded, while cracking up. “Well, they claim that more than 3 million people have now signed up on website. Maybe they have. I don’t know.”

He then aired a video sketch mocking the government’s Obamacare implementation problems.
But healthcare (or more properly health insurance is a big concern for some people.  A recent Ph.D. finds that concern over Obamcare is cutting into his research time:
My experience with the exchange has been a nightmare. Note that I have finished a PhD, yet the anxiety for that had been more manageable than the anxiety I have endured through navigating the exchange. I have grown more gray hairs recently than during that period (unpublished observation). As I previously mentioned, the website did not work on October 1, but I will attest that I did work that day. This was not a problem, as my cancellation letter had stipulated that our coverage would not end until April 1, 2014, which must have been some exemption provided by the administration. I waited for things to be fixed, and although the website has actually allowed me to put security questions and sign up since then, I still periodically get error code 500.300518, which prevents me from looking at available plans. The major issue that I am facing now, which has already been reported on, is the fact that if your children are eligible for Medicaid, you cannot get family coverage through the exchange. Instead, I was told in my eligibility results that my information would be sent to the Virginia Department of Health. But guess what? That is not happening. After calling the healthcare hotline, I was told that I would have to sign up for Medicaid through the Virginia website. Why is that? The Virginia Department of Health is not certain when they will get that information. I cannot sign up for insurance until I find out how my children will be covered. However, I am fortunate enough to still have my current coverage.
I call bullshit.  He was looking for an excuse to procrastinate.  I've been there....

But these are all anecdotal cases, right?

Democrats stuck in stage 3 of ObamaCare grief?
Indeed. The problem is that the disruption still far exceeds the benefits, and according to the CBO, always will — as 30 million will still be uninsured at the end of the program’s first decade anyway. In the meantime, the impact of the program produces outcomes like this one highlighted by Americans for Prosperity. Julie Boonstra had satisfactory health insurance and coverage for her medications treating leukemia, until ObamaCare forced her out of her plan despite Barack Obama’s promise:
Americans for Prosperity, a conservative tax-exempt organization, has a new 60-second television ad running in Michigan that criticizes Democratic congressman Gary Peters for his vote and continued support of Obamacare. The ad features Michigan citizen Julie Boonstra, who describes how she was diagnosed with leukemia but lost her health insurance coverage this year because of Obamacare’s regulations.

“I was doing fairly well fighting the cancer, fighting the leukemia, and then I received a letter. My insurance was canceled because of Obamacare,” says Boonstra. “Now, the out-of-pocket costs are so high, it’s unaffordable. If I do not receive my medication, I will die. I believed the president. I believed I could keep my health insurance plan. I feel lied to.”
Democrats shoved ObamaCare through Congress over the opposition of a majority of Americans largely by offering anecdotal arguments. That ground has shifted now that the impact of the ACA is being felt in reality, rather than hailed in theory. There will be many more stories such as Boonstra’s, and Democrats who think they can defend themselves by saying they waggled a finger at incompetence aren’t in the bargaining stage. They’re in sheer denial.
Liberals are winning wild praise for their candor in admitting problems with Obamacare. It shows you the level of honesty people have come to expect of our liberal friends. Now, liberals are applauded for not lying through their teeth about something.

What are they supposed to say? This Obamacare website is fantastic! And really, haven't you already read all the magazines in your current doctor's office anyway?

The New York Times has described Obama's repeated claim that you could keep your insurance plan and keep your doctor under Obamacare as a mere slip of the tongue: "Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that."

Misspoke? How exactly does one misspeak, word for word, dozens of times, over and over again?

That wasn't misspeaking -- it was a deliberate, necessary lie. Even Democrats couldn't have voted for Obamacare if Americans had known the truth. It was absolutely vital for Obama to lie about people being able to keep their insurance and their doctors.

Of course, it was difficult for voters to know the truth because every time Republicans would try to tell them, the White House and the media would rush in and call the critics liars.

The White House posted a specific refutation of the "disinformation" about not being able to keep your doctor or insurance plan. That claim, the website said, was being disseminated by Republicans "to scare people."

Their proof consisted of a video of Obama clearly stating, "If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If you've got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor." . . .
Read the whole thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment