The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:32 pm

Sick in America

Excerpt:
Much of what we hear about health care is pure propaganda with no basis whatsoever in fact. The purpose of propaganda is to manipulate, not to enlighten or inform, so it's no surprise that the partisan fight over health care in Congress has generated more heat than light. The baleful effect is to deceive and thereby perpetuate the status quo—and an ever-greater inequality that threatens to destroy the fabric of our society.

Among the false impressions created by libertarians, FOX news, and reactionaries of all stripes is that Americans far more freedom to choose physicians, hospitals and treatments than people in Europe and other advanced societies with single payer systems. Most anyone who has lived abroad and experienced a single-payer system in operation knows that's simply not true. Nor is it true that people in these countries get less personalized attention from doctors than we do. (Ask anybody who's spent a few days in a hospital lately how much time the doctor spent with them.) It's what the Corporatocracy tells us, and many of us are only too eager to believe, but it's not true.

The U.S. is NOT the leader in health care in the modern world.
In fact, the U.S. is not even in the top ten. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the health care system in the U.S. ranked thirty-eighth in the world in 2000. If you're thinking that was over a decade ago, maybe we're doing better now, think again.

Americans DO NOT LIVE LONGER than people in many other advanced countries.
Don't trust UN figures? How about Bloomberg? According to a Bloomberg study of the most efficient health systems in the world, the U.S. ranks forty-sixth, just below Iran (oops!) and just above Serbia. Among the top ten (Hong Kong, Singapore Japan, Israel, Spain, Italy, Australia, South Korea, Switzerland, and Sweden), life expectancy is significantly higher (and infant mortality is lower), as it is in the UK, Austria, Canada, France, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Greece and Germany, among others. Amazingly, getting better results costs a lot less in these countries than we have to shell out.

Medical treatment in the U.S. is BY FAR THE MOST EXPENSIVE in the world.
Health care costs in US account for over 17 percent of total GDP every year—roughly $2.7 trillion in 2012. By itself, that's a very big number, as big as the entire GDP of France and bigger than Brazil's, but it takes on a whole new meaning when compared to what people in other advanced societies spend on health care and what they get in return. Among the top ten most efficient health care systems in the world, health care costs as a percentage of GDP ranges from a low of 3.8 percent in Singapore to a high of 11.5 percent in Switzerland. The average for the top 25 countries, all of which rank above the U.S. in health care efficiency, is 6.54 percent. That's 6.54 percent of GDP for a better result than we get in the U.S. spending 17.2 percent of GDP."

The American health care system IS NOT A FREE MARKET.... [snip]
Prescription drug prices in the U.S. are the HIGHEST IN THE WORLD.... [snip]

Conclusion #1: There's no perfect health care system anywhere in the world, and whether the best system possible is one that is state-funded or market-based is debatable.
Conclusion #2: "Among advanced economies, the U.S. spends the most on health care on a relative cost basis with the worst outcome." Bloomberg
Conclusion #3: The U.S. health-care system combines the worst features of both state-funded and market-based systems with none of the advantages of either.

The rest: http://www.nationofchange.org/sick-amer ... 1382361276
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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:41 pm

A most excellent article:

Obamacare: The Rest of the Story
By BILL KELLER

"...What you may not know is that the Affordable Care Act is also beginning, with little fanfare, to accomplish its second great goal: to promote reforms to our overpriced, underperforming health care system. Irony of ironies, the people who ought to be most vigorously applauding this success story are Republicans, because it is being done not by government decree but almost entirely with market incentives.

Using mainly the marketplace clout of Medicare and some seed money, the new law has spurred innovation and efficiency. And while those new insurance exchanges that are now lurching into business will touch roughly 1 in 10 Americans (the rest of us are already covered by private employer plans or by government programs like Medicare), these systemic reforms potentially touch every patient, every taxpayer.

“This is the 90 percent of the story that doesn’t make the headlines,” said Sam Glick, who follows health care reform for the Oliver Wyman consulting firm.

Since the Affordable Care Act was signed three years ago, more than 370 innovative medical practices, called accountable care organizations, have sprung up across the country, with 150 more in the works. At these centers, Medicare or private insurers reward doctors financially when their patients require fewer hospital stays, emergency room visits and surgeries — exactly the opposite of what doctors have traditionally been paid to do. The more money the organization saves, the more money its participating providers share. And the best way to save costs (which is, happily, also the best way to keep patients alive) is to catch problems before they explode into emergencies.

Thus the accountable care organizations have become the Silicon Valley of preventive care, laboratories of invention driven by the entrepreneurial energy of start-ups.

These organizations have invested heavily in information technology so they can crunch patient records to identify those most at risk, those who are overdue for checkups, those who have not been filling their prescriptions and presumably have not been taking their meds. They then deploy new medical SWAT teams — including not just doctors but health coaches, care coordinators, nurse practitioners — to intervene and encourage patients to live healthier lives. ...

"...these services address the embarrassing fact, reiterated in study after study after study, that Americans pay much more for medical care than other developed countries, with no better results. Obamacare addresses this problem by going, as Willie Sutton famously advised, where the money is. It concentrates resources on the unhealthiest. According to Kaiser Health News, the sickest 1 percent of patients account for 21 percent of health care costs; 5 percent account for half of the total costs."
--New York Times

The rest.... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/opini ... share&_r=0
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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:52 pm

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"You're against Obamacare?
What you are saying is you would rather continue to pay for the medical care of the un-insured vs. them buying their own insurance. So... You're a socialist?"

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:47 pm

Obamacare Explained: Dispelling The Myths And Outright Lies

First, President Obama does not sell health insurance. Second, the Federal Government does not sell health insurance. Third, states do not sell health insurance either. “Obamacare” is a LAW that sets guidelines for insurance companies so that the insurance that THEY sell gives the purchaser ADEQUATE COVERAGE and REASONABLE RATES.
A story came out a day or two ago about a woman in Florida, Dianne Barrette, who claimed that her monthly premiums were going from $50 per month to $591 per month. What most Obama-hating media outlets neglected to mention (but that Mediaite spoke out about) is that her $50 per month premiums don’t get her much:
a) her policy is what is considered a “JUNK” policy, that pays only $50 towards most of the services that it covers.
b) there is a $6250 DEDUCTIBLE. So, in addition to the $54 per month in premiums ($648 per year) she has another $6250–or $6898 total–annually before her insurance kicks in $50!
c) There is NO MAXIMUM on Dianne’s OUT OF POCKET expenses! How is this insurance?
Straight from their website, here are the “benefits” that Dianne was “receiving” for her monthly payments:

http://www.theeverlastinggopstoppers.co ... ight-lies/

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:54 pm

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Sarah Palin explaining the republican alternative to the ACA:
"The plan is to allow those things that had been proposed over many years to reform a healthcare system in America that certainly does need more help so that there's more competition, there's less tort reform threat, there's less trajectory of the cost increases, and those plans have been proposed over and over again!"
"It's like a Scrabble game exploded inside her head."
--radio host Stephanie Miller

Full quote: "The plan is to allow those things that had been proposed over many years to reform a health care system in America that certainly does need more help so that there's more competition, there's less tort reform threat, there's less trajectory of the cost increases? And those plans have been proposed over and over again. And what thwarts those plans? It's the far left. It's President Obama and his supporters who will not allow the Republicans to usher in free market, patient-centered, doctor-patient relationship links to reform health care!"

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:04 am

Insurance rates down:

***
"'Big Health Insurance Rate Hikes are Plummeting'"
"Researchers combed through data available from the 15 states that publicly post all requests for rate increases in the individual market. They found that, in 2009, 74 percent of all requests came in above 10 percent. By 2012, that number had fallen to 35 percent."
http://economistsview.typepad.com/econo ... eting.html

"The Remarkable Slowdown In Health Care Costs Since The Passage Of Obamacare"
"A new survey of health care premiums for employer-sponsored health care coverage shows that health care inflation is slowing, further undermining critics’ predictions that costs would skyrocket in the aftermath of the Affordable Care Act."
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/08 ... obamacare/

"More Good News on Health Care: Medicare Costs Are Down, Down, Down"
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2 ... -down-down

"Major New Study On Obamacare Premiums Should End The ‘Rate Shock’ Hysteria Once And For All"
"Strikingly, in every city analyzed, a family of four with two 40-year-old adults and a household income of $60,000 per year would pay $409 per month for the second-cheapest Silver plan after receiving subsidies. That’s more or less in line with the average $4,565 per year that workers currently contribute towards their employer-sponsored health insurance plans...."
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/09 ... ed-kaiser/

A recent CBO report shows that ObamaCare is projected to lower most Americans insurance premiums by 5 - 7%. That being said some Americans, especially families above the 400% FPL mark may pay more for insurance due to the ever increasing growth in premium costs and the new excise tax on high-end insurance plans. Regardless of this, the average cost of health insurance is going down, while the rate at which costs are rising are being curbed by the law."
http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-myths.php

“The bottom line is that the government has consistently reported that Obamacare will raise national health spending by about 1 to 2 percent.” “This is a small fraction of the typical 5 to 7 percent annual growth rate in health care – and is a small price to pay for insuring 30 million or more Americans.”
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/09 ... e-article/

ObamaCare and Al Franken Saved Nearly 80 Million Families $3.4 Billion on Premiums
http://www.politicususa.com/2013/12/16/ ... miums.html

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AND
ObamaCare Myth: Obamacare Means Higher Premiums
One of the most wide spread ObamaCare myths is that ObamaCare increases insurance premiums. While many Americans have seen their health insurance premiums rise since the passing of the new health care law, blaming "ObamaCare" is an over simplification of the truth.

ObamaCare stops insurance companies from raising premiums or denying coverage based on health status. In other words insurance companies must now cover everyone and can't charge a sick person more than a healthy person. This has led some insurers to inflate everyone's insurance premium costs.

Luckily, ObamaCare does a lot to mitigate this affect by creating a number of consumer protections and cost-cutting measures that help to decrease the growing rate of health insurance costs.

One of the ways ObamaCare helps to lower insurance premium costs is through the creation of a Health Insurance Exchange Pool known as the Health Insurance Marketplace. Starting October 1st, 2013 low-to-middle income Americans can shop for subsidized, regulated health insurance from competing health care providers using their State's online marketplace. Cost assistance offered through the marketplace greatly reduces premium costs of those making less than 400% of the Federal poverty level. (400% of the Federal Poverty level equates to individuals making less than $46,021 or a family of four making less than $93,700 a year). Learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace.

A recent CBO report shows that ObamaCare is projected to lower most Americans insurance premiums by 5 - 7%. That being said some Americans, especially families above the 400% FPL mark may pay more for insurance due to the ever increasing growth in premium costs and the new excise tax on high-end insurance plans. Regardless of this, the average cost of health insurance is going down, while the rate at which costs are rising are being curbed by the law.
Despite the best intentions and consumer protections offered by the new health care law (such as insurance companies being required to justify rate hikes of a certain amount to the State for approval), it has not prevented insurance companies are raising rates to compensate for costly aspects of the program such preexisting conditions reform." http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-myths.php

“The bottom line is that the government has consistently reported that Obamacare will raise national health spending by about 1 to 2 percent.” “This is a small fraction of the typical 5 to 7 percent annual growth rate in health care – and is a small price to pay for insuring 30 million or more Americans.”
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/09 ... e-article/

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No, Obama didn’t lie to you about your health care plan
Terminated policies were introduced after ACA's passing -- often with insurers' knowledge they'd be scrapped

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:02 pm

"Think America has the best health-care system in the world? Americans don’t.

When the Commonwealth Fund surveyed residents of different health-care systems, Americans proved a whole lot less happy with their health-care system than anyone else did. The study also looked at costs, wait times, barriers to access, quality measures, and much more. Those more “objective” measures of health quality don’t come out looking so good for the U.S., either:

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Change is painful. But the health-care status quo is a complete disaster.
Americans spend 17.7 percent of GDP on health care. No one else spends even 12 percent. Let's make that more concrete: If Americans only spent 12 percent of GDP on health care we would have saved $893 billion in 2012.
The reason isn't that Americans get more health care than anyone else. We have more uninsured than anyone else. We have fewer physicians per capita than anyone but the Japanese. We go to the doctor less often than anyone but the Swiss. We don't have more hospital beds than other developed countries, and when we do go to the hospital, we don't stay longer.
But we do pay more for the privilege. The average hospital stay costs more than $21,000 in the U.S. It costs only $8,363 in France. (See "Why an MRI costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France".) Administrative costs in the U.S. are more than three times higher than in most nations with universal health-care systems."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/won ... isaster/?a
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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:48 pm

The Shame of American Health Care
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD New York Times
November 17, 2013

"...an international survey released last week by the Commonwealth Fund, a research organization, shows why change is so necessary.
The report found that by virtually all measures of cost, access to care and ease of dealing with insurance problems, Americans fared poorly compared with people in other advanced countries. The survey covered 20,000 adults in the United States and 10 other industrial nations — Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Britain, all of which put in place universal or near-universal health coverage decades ago. The United States spends far more than any of these countries on a per capita basis and as a percent of the national economy.

For that, it gets meager results. Some 37 percent of American adults went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick or failed to fill prescriptions in the past year because of costs, compared with 4 percent in Britain and 6 percent in Sweden. Nearly a quarter of American adults could not pay medical bills or had serious problems paying them compared with less than 13 percent in France and 7 percent or less in five other countries. Even Americans who were insured for the entire year were more likely than adults abroad to forgo care because of costs, an indication of how skimpy some insurance policies are.

When Americans got sick, they had to wait longer than people in most of the other countries to get help. Fewer than half were able to get same-day or next-day appointments with a doctor or nurse; one in four had to wait six days or longer. (Only Canada fared worse on both counts.) But Americans got quicker access to specialists than adults in all but two other countries."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/opini ... .html?_r=0

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:06 pm

Obama just launched single-payer in America
byWillinoisFollow

"Did you notice? Did you see what happened when everyone was complaining about a website? Single-payer got started in America.

Vermont is using authority granted under the Affordable Care Act to start a single-payer system. Most Americans still don't know what the phrase "single-payer" even means. It had little support in Congress in 2009 and Senate "Democrats" like Nelson and Lieberman even killed the public option. But, ACA had this sweet little provision that allowed states to set up a single-payer system and now people will see it in action. You know what that means.

As Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) opines, "The quickest route toward a national health care program will be when individual states go forward and demonstrate that universal and non-profit health care works, and that it is the cost-effective and moral thing to do.”


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In the first two Minutes, Bernie Sanders Nails... What No One Wants To Hear About Those Canceled Health Plans LINK

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"Turning the health care corner"

LINK

"There are increasing reports that HealthCare.Gov is working better – perhaps much better – for consumers than it was a few short weeks ago. “Consumer advocates say it is becoming easier for people to sign up for coverage,” report Sandhya Somashekhar and Amy Goldstein in the Washington Post. “The truth is, the system is getting stronger as it recovers from its disastrous launch,” writes Sam Baker in the National Journal. Applying “was no problem at all, with no delays,” says Paul Krugman.

Reports from inside the health care bureaucracy are also turning towards optimism. People who knew the Web site was going to be a mess on Oct. 1st are, for the first time, beginning to think HealthCare.Gov might work. Data backs them up: By mid-November, the pace of enrollment in the federal exchanges had doubled from what it was in October.

The Obama administration is certainly acting like they believe the site has turned the corner. Somashekhar and Goldstein report that they’re “moving on to the outreach phase, which had taken a back seat as they grappled with the faulty Web site. Next week, the White House will host an insurance-oriented ‘youth summit’ aimed at people ages 18 to 35, an age group whose participation in the health-care law will be critical to its success.”


Why didn’t the White House do this sooner? Because officials didn’t much see the point in directing people to a website that didn’t work. If they’re increasing the website, it’s the result of greater optimism.

Perusing the news this morning, there are more than a few compelling pieces along these lines. The L.A. Times has a terrific article, for example, on “the Obamacare success stories you haven’t been hearing about.” NPR today highlighted some Californians who received cancelation notices – and are thrilled with the results. National Journal made the case yesterday that Obama not only can recover from the troubled rollout; he already has.

Moreover, Greg Sargent has a great piece noting that for all the talk about health care crushing Democrats, there’s a credible argument that the Republican position “is actually a political liability of its own.”

...those stuck in the “Obamacare is and will remain a disaster” story, it’s time for a reality check. The system is improving, enrollment is increasing, more consumers are smiling, horror stories are failing, and health costs are shrinking."
http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show ... are-corner
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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:58 pm

Why does health care cost so much in America? Ask Harvard's David Cutler

Paul Solman: Harvard's David Cutler is among the country's foremost health economists, famous for -- among other research -- a controversial paper arguing that even our exorbitant health care industry, in terms of increased productivity and life span outcomes, delivers more than what we pay for it.

Cutler, who was profiled by Roger Lowenstein in the New York Times Magazine in 2005, subsequently worked for President Barack Obama on health care issues, and talked to us recently for a story about cost savings. But far more of what he had to say seemed worthwhile than what we have time to air. Here is some of it.

Paul Solman: Why does health care cost so much in America?

David Cutler: Let me give you three reasons why. The first one is because the administrative costs of running our health care system are astronomical. About one quarter of health care cost is associated with administration, which is far higher than in any other country.

Paul Solman: What's the next highest?

David Cutler: About 10, 15 percent. Just to give you one example, Duke University Hospital has 900 hospital beds and 1,300 billing clerks. The typical Canadian hospital has a handful of billing clerks. Single-payer systems have fewer administrative needs. That's not to say they're better, but that's just on one dimension that they clearly cost less. What a lot of those people are doing in America is they are figuring out how to bill different insurers for different systems, figuring out how to collect money from people, all of that sort of stuff.

The second reason health care costs so much in America is that the U.S. spends more than other countries do on many of the same things. Drugs are the most commonly noted item, where a branded drug will cost much more in the U.S. than in other countries. But, for example, doctors also earn more for doing the same thing in the U.S. than they do in other countries, and a lot of suppliers charge more for things like durable medical equipment in the U.S. than in other countries.

Paul Solman: And that's not only doctors being paid more in this country, but the United States making the decision as a government not to buy drugs in bulk and therefore to bid down the price that pharmaceutical companies can charge.

David Cutler: The lowest prices for pharmaceuticals, and a variety of other medical devices and payments to physicians, are in government plans. So Medicaid gets the best prices on pharmaceuticals. In terms of physician payments, Medicaid payments are the lowest. Medicare payments are above that and private payments are above that. The more leverage the buyer has, the lower the price they get. That's true in every industry. In health care, the United States doesn't utilize that leverage as much as other countries do.

Paul Solman: Okay, so that's two and what's the third reason?

David Cutler: The third one is Americans receive more medical care than people do in other countries, not so much in terms of doctor visits, but if a person has a heart attack in the United States, they're much more likely to get open heart surgery than they are in most other countries.

Go back to Canada. In all of Ontario there are 11 hospitals that can do open heart surgery. Pennsylvania has roughly the population of Ontario and it has a bit over 60 hospitals that can do open heart surgery. So there's no way you can operate on as many people in Ontario as you can in Pennsylvania even if you operated around the clock.

Paul Solman: But that means that the people in Canada or in Ontario have to wait longer right?

David Cutler: Sometimes they wait longer. What's much more common is that there's a lot of gray area where it's not clear if you need the open heart surgery or not, and in the U.S., people will get it and in Canada, they don't. The interesting thing about it is that life expectancy or one-year mortality after a heart attack is the same in the two countries."

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:37 am

Freedumb markets!

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As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500
— ELISABETH ROSENTHAL, REPORTER

SAN FRANCISCO — With blood oozing from deep lacerations, the two patients arrived at California Pacific Medical Center’s tidy emergency room. Deepika Singh, 26, had gashed her knee at a backyard barbecue. Orla Roche, a rambunctious toddler on vacation with her family, had tumbled from a couch, splitting open her forehead on a table. ...

Then the bills arrived. Ms. Singh’s three stitches cost $2,229.11. Orla’s forehead was sealed with a dab of skin glue for $1,696. “When I first saw the charge, I said, ‘What could possibly have cost that much?’ ” recalled Ms. Singh. “They billed for everything, every pill.”

In a medical system notorious for opaque finances and inflated bills, nothing is more convoluted than hospital pricing, economists say. Hospital charges represent about a third of the $2.7 trillion annual United States health care bill, the biggest single segment, according to government statistics, and are the largest driver of medical inflation, a new study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found.

A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries, according to the International Federation of Health Plans, a global network of health insurance industries. The most expensive hospitals charge more than $12,500 a day. ...

The main reason for high hospital costs in the United States, economists say, is fiscal, not medical: Hospitals are the most powerful players in a health care system that has little or no price regulation in the private market.

“Sutter is a leader — a pioneer — in figuring out how to amass market power to raise prices and decrease competition,” said Glenn Melnick, a professor of health economics at the University of Southern California. “How do hospitals set prices? They set prices to maximize revenue, and they raise prices as much as they can — all the research supports that.”

In other countries, the price of a day in the hospital often includes many basic services. Not here. The “chargemaster,” the price list created by each hospital, typically has more than ten thousand entries, and almost nothing — even an aspirin, a bag of IV fluid, or a visit from a physical therapist to help a patient get out of bed — is free. Those lists are usually secret, but California requires them to be filed with health regulators and disclosed."

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:39 pm

This is actually quite brilliant:

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"President calls GOP and insurance companies' bluff"

"Republicans may have been caught flat-footed judging from the less-than-inflammatory rhetoric that followed. Maybe they thought the president would have to resort to legislation that they would be able to politicize and block.

The fix the president has instituted is rather ingenious. More importantly it immediately ensured that Congress, the insurance companies, and the American citizens absorb responsibility for the solution.

The president said, "Insurers can extend current plans that otherwise would be canceled into 2014 and Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan." He then said, "This fix won't solve every problem for every person, but it's going to help a lot of people. Doing more would require work with Congress."

The president’s fix allows insurance companies to extend the cancelled policies even if they do not conform to the Affordable Care Act for one year. The insurance companies cannot enroll new customers into the substandard policies. The insurance companies are also required to inform the purchasers of these substandard policies that they may qualify for federal subsidies only through the exchanges. They must disclose that these policies do not have the consumer protections that all new insurance policies must have. They must also inform them that they may qualify for Medicaid."

President Obama tells insurance companies they have the freedom to extend the policies but cannot force them. That removes the narrative of Obama/government takeover of your health care. He forces insurance transparency by requiring insurance companies to come clean on their substandard policies relative to the Affordable Care Act. In doing this the American citizens purchasing these policies know upfront that they are purchasing junk.

The fact that many will now have the comparison and the knowledge that there may be subsidies on the exchange will limit the size of that insurance market. This means it is unlikely many insurance companies will bite. There are some people who will not get subsidies, will not have policies extended by insurance companies, and will be upset that they will pay higher rates. The president put the onus of fixing that on working with Congress. Congress can choose to engage or not. Not engaging becomes a new campaign direction for Democrats.

The insurance companies are now upset. When they cancelled policies they did so with an up-sell of more expensive policies as opposed to encouraging folks to go to the Obamacare exchanges. In doing so they created a political firestorm instigated by Republicans. Now the insurance companies are complaining about the fix disrupting the insurance markets.

Purists believe the Obamacare fix is about to create a big mess. This is partly true. This mess is politically necessary to expose insurance companies and Republicans. It will illustrate realities versus perceived hypotheticals.

The insurance companies attempted to circumvent the Obamacare exchanges and got bit. Their threats of future higher premiums should be ignored. If they do not work towards assisting in getting a sustainable pool that can be insured at affordable rates, Americans will demand a public option which will likely evolve into a single payer (Medicare for all) in the form detailed by Anthony Weiner on Real Time with Bill Maher."

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:28 pm

More good news:

***
Enrollment is Going Up and Costs are Going Down:
Some Recent Good News for the Health Insurance Exchanges

by Elissa Dines

"In the first two days of operation after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the healthcare.gov website fixed, the portal got almost 2 million visits. And yesterday, HHS announced that in those same two days, 29,000 people signed up for coverage. That number is higher than the enrollment number for the entire month of October. The enrollment surge – and the fact that the website hasn’t crashed in spite of higher than expected traffic – is good news for the exchanges.

And for consumers, the New York Times this week reported on what may be even better news over the long term: New, lower Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections for health care spending under the Affordable Care Act. ...

CBO now projects much higher cost savings in both private and public health insurance than originally projected in its 2010 budget baseline. CBO’s latest projection of spending in 2020 for Medicare is now 15% lower than its 2010 estimate, and 16% lower for Medicaid spending. In the private market, new CBO projections of health insurance premiums per enrollee in 2020 are 9% lower than their 2010 estimates. One independent health economist estimates that if costs continue to grow at this low pace, the cumulative savings to the federal government could total more than $750 billion over the next ten years. These savings ultimately accrue not only to federal taxpayers, but to all consumers of health care services."
LINK

***
"If canceled, not even 1% will pay more for Obamacare: Study" http://www.cnbc.com/id/101218418
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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:23 pm

***
Insurance Scam; How Private Insurance Companies Are Using Obamacare Fears To Rip People Off

Excerpt: "Here’s how this scam works.
How this scam works is that private insurance companies send out letters notifying existing customers that their current policy has been canceled, because of the ACA’s new requirements. They then offer customers a new, ACA compliant policy at far higher rates than what the customer would pay if he went through the ACA marketplace. In most cases the insurance companies do not tell their customers what other options are available or even let them know they have a choice under the new law. Some insurance companies have pressed their customers to sign up for the new policies by a certain date, saying if they don’t, their health coverage will be lost.

Consumer Reports found her a policy for $165.00.
On the program, Barrette tells CBS that she has to hurry and make up her mind by November 1st or she will lose out on her chance to buy in. CBS offered her no explanation of her alternatives, but Consumer Reports examined Barrette’s story shortly after it aired. They easily found her a policy in the Marketplace for $165.00, not the $591 Blue Cross Blue Shield was shamelessly going to charge her.

What’s more, Consumer Reports also looked at her old policy, the one she was paying $54 a month for. They determined that it was “junk.” In essence, Barrette had been paying one of these corrupt private insurance companies nearly $650 per year, to have almost no real medical coverage, under her previous Blue Cross Blue Shield policy.

Insurance companies are exploiting the people who are looking to them for advice.
Talking Points Memo (TPM) recently published an in depth expose’ on how insurance companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield are scamming people all across the country. While in most states it’s not criminal, it’s a scam nonetheless. By telling consumers that their policies have been canceled under the new law and offering them insurance plans that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than what those consumers would pay in the marketplace, these insurance companies are exploiting the people who are looking to them for advice. High pressure tactics are used to get confused customers to sign up for these overpriced policies, including threatening letters and harassing phone calls.

Humana was fined more than $65,000 in Kentucky for this scam. ... "

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/11/05 ... care-scam/
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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:21 pm

Millions of Women Now Pay Nothing for Birth Control. Thanks Obamacare!

"The percentage of privately insured women who didn't pay a dime for birth control pills almost tripled this year, rising from 15 percent in 2012 to 40 percent in 2013. That's according to a new study from the Guttmacher Institute, a think tank that backs abortion rights. The study, which was published in the journal Contraception, examined the effects of an Affordable Care Act rule requiring private insurers to cover contraceptive products and counseling with no co-pay."
http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/12 ... acare-2013

See also: "Abortion rates plummet with free birth control"
"Providing birth control to women at no cost substantially reduced unplanned pregnancies and cut abortion rates by a range of 62-78 percent compared to the national rate, a new study shows."
The research, by investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, appears online Oct. 4 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Among a range of birth control methods offered in the study, most women chose long-acting methods like intrauterine devices (IUDs) or implants, which have lower failure rates than commonly used birth control pills. In the United States, IUDs and implants have high up-front costs that sometimes aren’t covered by health insurance, making these methods unaffordable for many women.
“This study shows that by removing barriers to highly-effective contraceptive methods such as IUDs and implants, we can reduce unintended pregnancies and the need for abortions,” says lead author Jeff Peipert, MD, PhD, the Robert J. Terry Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology."
http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/24334. ... s.facebook

***
ObamaCare and Al Franken Saved Nearly 80 Million Families $3.4 Billion on Premiums
http://www.politicususa.com/2013/12/16/ ... miums.html

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:51 pm

"Report: Hype Over Canceled Plans Under Obamacare Was Overblown"
" the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a report examining exactly how many people will lack health insurance under the new regime. The report uses anAssociated Press estimate that 4.7 million people received cancellation notices as their baseline. But out of that group, according to the Democrats, only a small sliver of Americans—just 10,000 people—who lost their 2013 coverage won't have access to affordable insurance."
http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/01 ... -overblown

***

Health costs down:
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***
5 Million People To Miss Out On Health Insurance Because Of Their Governors

"HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — About 5 million people will be without health care next year that they would have gotten simply if they lived somewhere else in America.

They make up a coverage gap in President Barack Obama's signature health care law created by the domino effects of last year's Supreme Court ruling and states' subsequent policy decisions.

The court effectively left it up to states to decide whether to open Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor and disabled, to more people, primarily poor working adults without children.

Twenty-five states declined. That leaves 4.8 million people in those states without the health care coverage that their peers elsewhere are getting through the expansion of Medicaid, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation estimate. More than one-fifth of them live in Texas alone, Kaiser's analysis found.

Among those in the gap is Cheryl Jones, a 61-year-old part-time home-care worker from Erie, Pa., who makes do without health insurance by splitting in half pills for high blood pressure, which she gets from a friend, not a pharmacist. She'd also like to visit a dentist to fix her broken partial dentures. A new pair of glasses might be nice, too."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/3 ... 20263.html

***
"Rep. Waxman Catches Republicans in Another ACA Lie and Delivers Truth Bomb With Report"

http://www.politicususa.com/2014/01/02/ ... a-lie.html

On New Year’s Eve, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, published a report showing that the Republican claim that 5 million people have had their health insurance policies canceled due to the ACA is flat out false....
Finally the Democrats are able to point to an accredited report that proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that 5 million people are not the victims of the evilness of Obamacare and will be prevented from having insurance now. The report takes the claims of the GOP at face value, using the assumption that 4.7 million people have received cancellation notices from their insurers. Among that number, the report shows that half of those people can immediately renew their plans due to fixes that the administration put forth over the past weeks and months.
Now, of those remaining that received cancellation notices (remember, again, this is a made-up number from the Republicans), 1.4 million would be able to receive subsidies on the individual marketplaces or would be eligible for Medicaid, therefore receiving free or greatly discounted health insurance. Now, that still leaves a little less than one million consumers. Of those 900,000+, all but 10,000 of them would be able to purchase another plan on the health exchanges.
In other words, this Republican talking point is complete and utter BS. With this report, the Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee proved that there is no widespread epidemic of policy cancellations due to the ACA. And, even if we take the Republicans’ statements as completely true, in the end, only 0.2% of those who received cancellation notices would fall through the cracks and be unable to purchase a new policy. Per the report, the only reason that is the case is because those people live in rural counties (mostly in Red states) where there are no other insurance carriers."

***
More good news (unless you're a conservative):
"Call It A Comeback: More Than 9 Million Americans Have Health Insurance Through Obamacare"
"After two months of barely functioning, the federal online health care exchanges delivered, racking up 975,000 enrollments in the month of December. That brings the total number of people who have picked a plan through an exchange since October 1 to about two million. The administration reached about two-thirds of its goal of enrolling 3.3 million by the end of 2013 after being fully operational one-third of the time. And it turns out most of the enrollments came during the one-week extension the White House gave itself after the initial problems with the site became apparent.
Four million people have qualified for Medicaid, according to ACASignups.net. Another 3.1 million young adults are covered by their parents’ health insurance, thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
This means over nine million people have gained coverage through the ACA since it first became law."
http://www.nationalmemo.com/call-it-a-c ... obamacare/

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:17 pm

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—71 million Americans on private insurance have gained coverage for at least one free preventive health care service such as a mammogram, birth control, or an immunization in 2011 and 2012. In the first 11 months of 2013 alone, an additional 25 million people with traditional Medicare have received at least one preventive service at no out-of-pocket cost.

—Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions—including up to 17 million children —will no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health status.

—Approximately 60 million Americans have gained expanded mental health and substance use disorder benefits and/or federal parity protections.

—41 million uninsured Americans will have new health insurance options through Medicaid or private health plans in the Marketplace. Nearly 6 in 10 of these individuals could pay less than $100 per month for coverage.

—Consumers have saved $5 billion over the past two years due to a new requirement that insurance companies have to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on care for patients (at least 85 percent for large group insurers). If they don’t, they must send consumers a rebate. In 2013, 8.5 million enrollees will receive rebates averaging $100 per family.

—Insurance companies must submit premium increases of 10 percent or more for review by experts. In 2012, 6.8 million Americans saved an estimated $1.2 billion on health insurance premiums after their insurers cut back on planned increases as a result of this process.

—Since the health care law was enacted, more than 7 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved an average of $1,200 per person on prescription drugs as the health care law closes Medicare’s “donut hole.”

—Over three million young adults have gained health insurance because they can now stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26.

—Individuals no longer have to worry about having their health benefits cut off after they reach a lifetime limit on benefits. Starting in January, 105 million Americans will no longer have to worry about annual limits, either.

—Using funds available through the Affordable Care Act, health centers are expanding access to care by building new sites and renovating existing sites. Health centers served approximately 21 million patients in 2012."

http://www.nationalmemo.com/how-many-pe ... -millions/
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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:48 pm

CBO delivers welcome news to Obamacare backers

"The Congressional Budget Office is out with its latest report on the Affordable Care Act, and here are a few bottom lines:
— The ACA is cheaper than it expected.
— It will “markedly increase” the number of Americans with health insurance.
— The risk-adjustment provisions, which Congressional Republicans want to overturn as a “bailout” of the insurance industry, will actually turn a profit to the U.S. Treasury."
LINK

***
"CBO Director Says Obamacare Will Lower Unemployment"

"On page 125 of the report, the CBO says that the ACA will leave millions of Americans with extra money to spend, and that spending result in increased consumer demand, “The net increase in demand for goods and services will in turn boost demand for labor over the next few years, CBO estimates.Those effects on labor demand tend to be especially strong under conditions such as those now prevailing in the United States, where output is so far below its maximum sustainable level that the Federal Reserve has kept short-term interest rates near zero for several years and probably would not adjust those rates to offset the effects of changes in federal spending and taxes. Over time, however, those effects are expected to dissipate as overall economic output moves back toward its maximum sustainable level.”
http://www.politicususa.com/2014/02/05/ ... yment.html

***
Obamacare Enrollment Reaches 4 Million
"WASHINGTON -- Approximately 4 million individuals have now signed up for health care plans under the newly created Obamacare insurance exchanges, a senior administration official told The Huffington Post on Tuesday.
The numbers mean that roughly 700,000 people have signed up for health care plans since the end of January. And with five weeks before the enrollment period deadline at the end of March, they put the administration on pace to come close to the Congressional Budget Office's initial projection that 7 million individuals would sign up for insurance coverage during the period.
"With individuals and families enrolling in coverage every day, we continue to see strong demand nationwide from consumers who want access to quality, affordable coverage," reads a statement from the administration, passed in advance to The Huffington Post. "Consumers are shopping and enrolling in plans on HealthCare.gov every day; system error rates are low and response times are consistently less than half a second. Our call center has handled more than 12 million calls so far and is open 24/7 to assist consumers in English, Spanish and more than 150 languages."
...supporters of the law will cheer the news that 4 million people have now signed up for the Affordable Care Act,...
The new enrollment number does not include the millions of individuals who have signed up for Medicaid, though it's not known how many of those individuals renewed their prior coverage or how many are new Medicaid recipients."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/2 ... 55954.html

***
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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:32 pm

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:07 pm

Anti-Obamacare States Are Falling Far Behind In Insuring People

"The ranks of the uninsured are thinning most quickly in states that have actively embraced Obamacare, a new poll finds.
The uninsured rate has fallen about 2.5 percentage points this year in states that agreed to expand Medicaid and established their own insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday. In states that either rejected Medicaid expansion or refused to set up state-run exchanges, or both, that percentage has only fallen 0.8 percent so far this year."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/1 ... 58950.html

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Safety-net hospitals reaping benefit of more insured patients
Harborview Medical Center and other safety-net hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid under
Obamacare have seen an increase in revenue as they serve fewer patients who are uninsured.
At Seattle’s largest safety-net hospital, the proportion of uninsured patients fell from 12 percent last year to an unprecedented low of 2 percent this spring — a drop expected to boost Harborview Medical Center’s revenue by $20 million this year.

And the share of uninsured patients was cut roughly in half this year at two other major safety-net hospitals — Denver Health in Colorado and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Hospital (UAMS) in Little Rock, Ark.

Among the biggest beneficiaries of the health law’s expansion of coverage to more than 13 million people this year have been the nation’s safety-net hospitals, which treat a disproportionate share of poor and uninsured people and therefore face billions of dollars in unpaid bills.

Such facilities had expected to see a drop in uninsured patients seeking treatment, but the change has been faster and deeper than most anticipated..."
http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/ ... etxml.html
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer


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