Michelle

West Mifflin, PA

#54107 Nov 18, 2013
For Obamacare to succeed, it's crucial for young people to sign up.
Healthy young Americans need to pay into the insurance system to help cover the costs for older, sicker people.
So the White House is reaching out. Its website sent emails to subscribers with a big, orange graphic that says half of young people can get coverage for $50 a month or less.
And there's a link to an online video featuring David Simas, an assistant to the president, who touts that statistic again. "Nearly 50 percent of young, single adults will be eligible for a plan at $50 a month or less," he says. "That's an amazing rate."
But is that accurate? The short answer is no — at least not according to the administration's own analysis. The report done by the Department of Health and Human Services actually says it's only 32 percent of single, uninsured young adults who can get health coverage that cheap. The rest will have to pay more.
Now to be fair, the administration mentions on its blog, emails and press releases that this $50-or-less number refers to people who are "eligible for the health insurance marketplace." But it doesn't explain that that qualifier eliminates more than half of uninsured young Americans. For that you have to read the actual report.
If you do, you'll see that most young Americans actually don't make enough money to qualify for the public exchanges.

People like that were supposed to be covered by Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act compelled states to expand their Medicaid coverage and be reimbursed by the federal government for the extra cost. But the Supreme Court struck down that part of the law, and states got the right to opt out.
By the latest count, 25 states — 22 of them with Republican governors — are so far not expanding Medicaid. So many young people in those states fall through the cracks.
OK, so back to that $50 health care claim, which should probably have a big asterisk next to it.
"It's really just trying to get young people to check out their options," says Jonathan Gruber, an MIT professor who was a consultant to President Obama on the development of the Affordable Care Act. Gruber says he doesn't know if all the White House statements are accurate.
The president himself is encouraging young people to check out just how affordable health coverage can be. He spoke to supporters at a hotel in Washington this month. "Most of the young people in this country who don't have health insurance currently are going to be able to get it for less than their cellphone bill, less than their cable bill," he said.
But the actual numbers in the administration's own study show that, without some qualifiers and asterisks, it's still a bit of a stretch. According to the HHS study, 40 percent of young people under 35 can get coverage for $100 a month or less.
Some of these sound bites may seem a bit oversimplified or overstated. "The goal of a statement like that is to really just say to young people: Hey, there's good low-cost options out there," Gruber says. "And for many of you it could be $50 a month. For some it could be a bit more, but it will be surprisingly cheap once you look at it. And the important point is for people to get on the website and shop."
So in other words, it's like any other marketing campaign. All the pitches aren't exactly, entirely true, but they do get your attention.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/11/13/24...
Michelle

West Mifflin, PA

#54108 Nov 18, 2013
Young People Still Not Signing Up For ObamaCare

Experts say that young, healthy people must enroll in ObamaCare’s health exchanges to cover the cost of insuring sicker, older people. It’s a simple math equation: Charge everyone roughly the same rate for access to basically the same product. The people who use it less will subsidize the people who use it more.

The problem with this plan is that it hoses young, relatively poor people like me right when we least need high bills for services they’re not using. And it helps older, relatively rich people who should be able to afford the care they need. If America’s downtrodden and struggling young people are smart, they’ll opt out. Then it’ll be up to the federal government to fine them enough to make up for the shortfall.

A report from the conservative American Action Forum found that health insurance rates for 2.7 million people aged 18 to 35 — the so-called young invincibles crucial to the health-care law’s success — would rise dramatically.

“Due to the ACA’s sweeping market reforms, rates for low-premium plans have increased exponentially between 2013 and 2014. In fact, on average, a healthy 30 year old male nonsmoker will see his lowest cost insurance option increase 260 percent,” reads AAF’s report.

A healthy 30-year-old would see his health insurance costs rise in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Pre-Obamacare premiums average about $62 per month, according to AAF, while post-Obamacare premiums average about $187 per month — a 202 percent difference. The average change between 2013 and 2014 low-cost premiums is 260 percent.

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/201...
bad news for barack

West Mifflin, PA

#54113 Nov 18, 2013
The Obamacare Exchange Scorecard: Around 100,000 Enrollees And Five Million Cancellations

HHS has released the official numbers. The HHS report states that only 26,794 people enrolled in the federal exchange—which amounts to 23 per state per day—and 79,391 enrolled in the state-based exchanges, for a total of 106,185.

In the market for individually-purchased health insurance, more than 4.8 million Americans have received notices that their preexisting plans are soon to be illegal, and will be cancelled. Many more cancellation notices are imminent. But yesterday, the Wall Street Journal obtained information regarding the number of people who have signed up for new private health coverage under Obamacare:“40,000 to 50,000” for the federal exchange, and 49,000 for 12 of the 14 state-based exchanges.

White House falls short of target by around 80%

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/201...
bad news for barack

West Mifflin, PA

#54114 Nov 18, 2013
DEBORAH PERSICO, Washington, D.C.: Hello. This is Deborah Persico.

Beginning some time in October, I actually had just gotten my rate renewal for my current plan. My premiums had gone up to $297 a month. The deductible of $2,700 was still the same. The out-of-pocket maximum expenses of $3,200 was still the same. But my premium had just gone up a little bit.

Convincing 'young invincibles' to sign up for coverage And a couple weeks later, I got another letter from CareFirst telling me that that policy didn't qualify under the Affordable Care Act, and that by next October, at the time of my renewal, that policy was going to be canceled. I nearly fell off the chair because, for years, all I had heard from President Obama, if you like your policy, you can keep your policy; if you like your doctors, you can keep your doctors.

I have excellent coverage with the plan I now have. I have hospitalization, and doctor care, and labs, and blood tests, physical therapy, ambulance, hospitalization. I mean, everything is included in this plan that I feel I would need.

It is a PPO, which I really wanted to be in, and I'm perfectly satisfied with this plan. So, once I received this letter from CareFirst, I was completely shocked. I could not figure out what was happening, and then I started the process of trying to find out what the new available policies were.

What I found in the bronze level, not the platinum level, in the bronze level, there's a PPO HSA policy that, between the higher premiums and the much higher maximum out-of-pocket costs, will cost me probably more than $5,000 a year more than what I'm already paying for health insurance.

It's been a total sticker shock. I have had some health issues this year, and I have had to reduce some of my workload. It's a real hardship right now. My husband is 67 years old. I'm 58. We are desperately trying to save for retirement.

As I said, we are both self-employed, so we don't have a pension from some company. And $5,000 more a year is not pocket change. You know, it's really going to affect us. And now it makes no difference that we tried to cut back on other expenses, because it's all going to be absorbed by the new health care policy.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/government_pro...
Ghost of Trayvon Martin

Hazleton, PA

#54116 Nov 18, 2013
My murderer is be in jail again. When will da Black Panthers avenge me?

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54119 Nov 18, 2013
GOP Ramps Up Smear Campaign Against Obamacare Navigators

Beware anybody trying to help people sign up for health insurance under Obamacare.

That's the line from top Senate Republicans, who have magnified their smear campaign against the law's so-called navigators, groups that have received federal money to assist people in enrolling for coverage. Their latest shot: darkly warning that Americans could put their personal and financial safety at risk if they seek out assistance.

Republicans have a longstanding animosity toward the navigators -- state officials in a number of red states have put up roadblocks for them -- but the comments of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) are a new extreme in the party's assault on those tasked with helping Americans navigate the health reform law.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/obamacare-nav...

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54120 Nov 18, 2013
We have officially reached peak 'Obamacare/Dems in disarray' delusion

Josh Kraushaar of National Journal opines:

Unless the HealthCare.gov website miraculously gets fixed by next month, there's a growing likelihood that over time, enough Democrats may join Republicans to decide to start over and scrap the whole complex health care enterprise.[...]

Would President Obama sign a death warrant on his own signature legislation? That's almost impossible to imagine, but it's entirely reasonable that he may not have a choice in the matter.

And why would they have no choice in the matter? Because, Kraushaar says, Congress may soon have veto-proof majorities in both chambers that want to repeal Obamacare. But, as Jason Linkins asks:

Cool story, bro, but you got any sources on this?

As it turns out, the answer is no. The closest he comes is an anonymous quote from a "Democratic campaign operative," but even that quote ("we don't care what the White House says") doesn't support Kraushaar's claims that repeal is right around the corner.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/18/1256...

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54122 Nov 18, 2013
Right wing cyber attacks on Healthcare.gov website confirmed

Roberta Stempfley highlighted one successful attack that is designed to deny access to the website called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack is designed to make a network unavailable to intended users, generally through a concerted effort to disrupt service such as repeatedly accessing the servers, saturating them with more traffic than the website is designed to handle.

Right wingers have been distributing the link to the necessary tools to perform the attacks on the Healthcare.gov website through social networking, as pointed out by Information Week, and other websites .

The name of the attack tool is called, "Destroy Obama Care!"

http://www.examiner.com/article/right-wing-cy...

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54126 Nov 18, 2013
Which of the following politicians apologized after uttering erroneous claims about the Affordable Care Act?

Hint: The only guy who apologized is the Democrat.

And he's also the only one being exorcised on the 24/7 news cycle daily, even though he did apologize. The rest? Hey, they're Re- and tea-publicans, so it's their right to be wrong:

"If you like your health insurance, you can keep it." -- Barack Obama

"This is government taking over the entire health insurance industry. The American people ... do not want the government telling them what kind of insurance policy they have to buy, and how much they have to pay for it, and if you don’t like it we’re going to tax you." -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)

"Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt.... Only one president has ever cut Medicare for seniors in this country: Barack Obama." -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney

"The health care law rations care, like systems in Canada and Great Britain." -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott

"The health care law has 'death panels.' " -- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

The IRS is going to be "in charge" of "a huge national database" on health care that will include Americans’ "personal, intimate, most close-to-the-vest-secrets. " -- Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

Under Obamacare, "75 percent of small businesses now say they are going to be forced to either fire workers or cut their hours." -- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54127 Nov 18, 2013
GOP Food Stamp Cuts Would Kick 170,000 Vets Out of the Program

Republicans will salute America's veterans Monday, while simultaneously trying to deny them benefits. In addition to reducing housing aid, and denying health care to vets, the GOP is also trying to remove thousands of vets from the food stamp program, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

At least 900,000 veterans rely on SNAP. The House Republican version of the farm bill, the five-year piece of legislation that funds nutrition and agriculture provisions, would slash funding for the food stamps program by nearly $40 billion and boot 2.8 million people off the program next year. That includes 170,000 veterans, who would be removed through a provision in the bill that would eliminate food stamps eligibility for non-elderly jobless adults who can't find work or an opening in a job training program.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/11/veter...

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54132 Nov 18, 2013
Serial Liar, James O’Keefe, Releases Another Deceitfully Edited Video: ObamaCare Edition

However, we can’t know for sure whether they did that because the videos are so heavily edited that there is no way to discern the actual context. Also, the people O’Keefe’s shill spoke with weren’t certified navigators, but were in fact trainees. So the prospect of them making a few mistakes shouldn’t shock anyone.

In one case, though, it is apparent that the navigators did not do what O’Keefe accused them of doing. O’Keefe alleged that the navigators advised the shill to misrepresent his income. In reality, they simply told him to report on the ObamaCare website the same amounts he reported to the IRS. It’s his responsibility to file his income taxes honestly. But the conclusions drawn in the video conceal that. That’s just one example of how creative editing can distort the true picture of what occurred.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54133 Nov 18, 2013

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54134 Nov 18, 2013
Bill O'Reilly Pushes Latest Hit Piece by James O'Keefe's Project Veritas

The segment was even too much for Fox faux-liberal Juan Williams, who pointed out to O'Reilly that just catching a couple of trainees on video doesn't mean this is going on all across the system. O'Reilly just brushed off the complaints and went on to attack Williams for his belief that everyone should have access to affordable health care... even if they're lazy, having children of wedlock or not terribly smart. I can't imagine just who Billy boy was trying to stereotype there, can you?

Someone needs to tell him to get some new material, because the rehashing of Ronald Reagan's attacks on "lazy welfare queens" is getting tiresome, as is his support of O'Keefe and his drummed up "scandals."

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/b...

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54135 Nov 18, 2013
The Obamacare Cancellation Notices You Haven’t Heard About
-The GOP is denying coverage to 5 million working poor Americans.

The stories of private market enrollees being forced to purchase more substantive insurance have animated politics for the last three weeks. But the failure of 25 states to expand Medicaid coverage to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, as envisioned by reform, is actually far more disastrous and undermines the promise of health care for the millions who earn “too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits.”
...
Yet the very same Republican lawmakers and conservative advocacy groups who have seized on the cancellation notices to argue that the law has failed are actively campaigning to prevent states from expanding public health insurance to these people.

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/11/18/29...

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54136 Nov 18, 2013
Talking Points Memo:

Companies Use Obamacare Confusion To Sell 'Junk Insurance'

The Affordable Care Act was designed to make sure all Americans had a certain level of insurance. But TPM has learned that USHealth Group is actively telling consumers that they don't need that minimum level. In fact, company representatives are telling people they'd be better off without it. And the company may be just one player in a larger industry trend, where companies see non-ACA compliant plans, like the so-called fixed benefit coverage marketed by USHealth Group, as a business opportunity.

Health care industry analysts have long derided the kinds of non-insurance health care coverage products the company is selling as "junk insurance."

"They were not intended to be health insurance," Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University, told TPM, speaking about fixed benefit plans. "They were intended to be what are called income replacement policies.... But over the years, these things have kind of morphed. And for many people, unfortunately, mainly because they come with a cheaper sticker price, they are marketed as and treated as health insurance. Even though the coverage is really crappy."

USHealth Group's pitch is three-fold, according to accounts provided to TPM by Mortimer and another prospective customer. First, it says, it is a misconception that everyone needs ACA-compliant insurance. Second, USHealth Group plans are cheaper than ACA-compliant policies, even after customers pay the tax penalty for failing to comply with the ACA's individual mandate. Third, Obamacare is scary.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54137 Nov 18, 2013
Consumer Reports:

Junk health insurance
Stingy plans may be worse than none at all

It might seem to be health insurance, if you don’t look too closely, and most people don’t. The premiums are surprisingly affordable. And so millions of unemployed people, service industry workers, and those taken in by fast-talking telemarketers sign up. They may think they’re insured-- until they have a medical problem and find out that their coverage is as skimpy as a hospital gown.
[...]
Legal but inadequate
[...]
“I was aware that it wasn’t a great plan, but I wasn’t concerned because I wasn’t sick,” she says. But in July 2011 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, at which point the policy’s annual limits of $1,000 a year for outpatient treatment and $2,000 for hospitalization became a huge problem. Facing a $30,000 hospital bill, she delayed treatment.

‘Insurance’ that isn’t

Fixed benefit indemnity plans.
[...]

Medical discount cards.
[...]
The problem, say regulators and consumer advocates, is that all too often they’re sold to unsuspecting consumers as if they were health insurance -- these days, sometimes with the implication that the plans are part of health care reform.“It’s amazing how quickly these companies appear and disappear,” says Stephen Finan, senior director of policy for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.“They’re small operations that are one step ahead of the sheriff.”

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54138 Nov 18, 2013
Miami Herald:

Sorry, Obamacare haters: 300k FL Blue customers no longer 'losing' insurance policies for 2014

According to the state's insurance commissioner, the insurance company is holding off on the cancellations. It should be noted as well that these cancellations did not mean people were going with or went without coverage. They were being shifted over into Affordable Care Act-compliant (that is, richer and, in some cases, more expensive plans).

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54139 Nov 18, 2013
Politico:

House GOP 2014 agenda starts with blank slate

Last Thursday, a group of House Republicans filed into Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s Capitol office suite and received a blank piece of paper labeled “Agenda 2014.”

The blank slate just about sums up where Republicans find themselves after a year marked by the first government shutdown in 17 years, futile efforts to repeal Obamacare and the inability to pass spending bills at the levels set by Republican leaders.
...
“What we have done so far this year clearly hasn’t worked,” said the GOP aide involved in the planning sessions.“Cantor wants to take us in a new direction, which is good. The problem is we don’t know where we are headed, and we don’t know what we can sell to our members.”

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#54141 Nov 18, 2013
Talking Points Memo:

Special Investigation: How Insurers Are Hiding Obamacare Benefits From Customers

Across the country, insurance companies have sent misleading letters to consumers, trying to lock them into the companies' own, sometimes more expensive health insurance plans rather than let them shop for insurance and tax credits on the Obamacare marketplaces -- which could lead to people like Donna spending thousands more for insurance than the law intended. In some cases, mentions of the marketplace in those letters are relegated to a mere footnote, which can be easily overlooked.

The extreme lengths to which some insurance companies are going to hold on to existing customers at higher price, as the Affordable Care Act fundamentally re-orders the individual insurance market, has caught the attention of state insurance regulators.

The insurance companies argue that it's simply capitalism at work. But regulators don't see it that way. By warning customers that their health insurance plans are being canceled as a result of Obamacare and urging them to secure new insurance plans before the Obamacare launched on Oct. 1, these insurers put their customers at risk of enrolling in plans that were not as good or as affordable as what they could buy on the marketplaces.

TPM has confirmed two specific examples where companies contacted their customers prior to the marketplace's Oct. 1 opening and pushed them to renew their health coverage at a higher price than they would pay through the marketplace. State regulators identified the schemes, but they weren't necessarily able to stop them.
Murders row

West Mifflin, PA

#54143 Nov 18, 2013
Ghost of Trayvon Martin wrote:
My murderer is be in jail again. When will da Black Panthers avenge me?
George Zimmerman charged with felony after allegedly pointing gun at girlfriend

George Zimmerman was charged Monday with felony aggravated assault after allegedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend, according to Dennis Lemma, chief deputy with the Seminole County, Florida, Sheriff's Office.

Zimmerman, who was acquitted earlier this year of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin, was arrested after the incident at the home of Samantha Scheibe, Lemma said. He also was charged with two misdemeanors -- domestic violence battery and criminal mischief -- in connection with the same incident, Lemma said.

Zimmerman is being held in jail without bail and will make his first appearance in front of a judge Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/18/justice/florida...

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