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projected household spending on health care as a % of income
From Sally Kohn at CNN, how bad things were pre-ACA
NY Times:
A day after they were caught off guard by President Obama’s proposal to prevent cancellation of insurance policies for millions of Americans, top executives of some of the biggest insurance companies emerged from a meeting at the White House on Friday, expressing mixed feelings about whether the idea could work in every state.
A few weeks old but a great post about ACA from an insurance perspective (and hat tip to Maggie Maher for the links) from Colorado Health Insurance Insider:
Marsha Blackburn’s comment about people who prefer to “drink out of a red Solo cup and not a crystal stem” is not a good analogy if we’re talking about limited benefit plans.  The fact is, a red Solo cup and a crystal stem both get the job done:  they hold your beverage while you drink it.  A better analogy would be to ask if people prefer to drink out a sieve.  Because if you’re looking for something to hold your drink, that’s what a limited benefit plan is.

Then again, Marsha Blackburn’s primary concern seems to be getting rid of the ACA.  That doesn’t mean that she really understands the finer points of the law, only that she hates it.  Possibly more than she loves her country. ...

All in all, there’s a lot of hype about policy cancellations.  Some valid, some not.  Everyone will have access to health insurance in the future.  Some will pay more for it than they do now.  The people with the lowest incomes will generally pay less.  But truly awful policies that don’t provide any sort of safety net are going away.  That’s a good thing.  And people with pre-existing conditions will be able to get coverage.  That’s another good thing.

As for Obama's "fix", some perspective from Wright on Health blog:
The President, by his own admission, did “fumble the ball” on the rollout of the major elements of health reform implementation. Not only is healthcare.gov not functioning as it should, but people in the individual market are having their health insurance coverage cancelled–despite repeated assurances that if they liked their current coverage, they could keep it.

While that is absolutely a problem, it needs to be put into perspective. For each person in this country who is in the individual market and therefore at risk of having their insurance plan cancelled on them, there are three people who are–and have been–uninsured. It strikes me as somewhat ironic that while we are rightly upset about the broken promises of the Obama administration, we are not three times as outraged by the reality that has confronted the uninsured for decades. ...

What does this mean for you? Well, for about 95% of Americans, it doesn’t mean anything. You weren’t having your insurance coverage cancelled, and you can’t buy one of the non-compliant plans even if insurers and state regulatory agencies decide to permit them back on the market. But, for the 5% of Americans who do find themselves affected or potentially affected by this aspect of the ACA, it is important to pay attention. If a non-compliant plan once again becomes available to you in your state, carefully consider if the benefits you’ll lose are worth the savings you’ll gain.

More politics and policy below the fold.

Naomi Freundlich:

For about 5% of the population, President Obama’s promise “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” was clearly off the mark. They like it and they can’t keep it—or they will have to pay more for it. Their anger and sense of betrayal are being used by opponents of the Affordable Care Act to discredit the President and highlight the law’s alleged shortcomings. But let’s be honest; how great was that insurance in the first place? Sure it might have been cheap, but many policyholders were one illness or accident away from crushing bills and even bankruptcy. And is it worth it to allow insurers to keep selling these policies to cherry-picked healthy people, even if it threatens to raise premiums for many of the 40 million uninsured people who have been priced out of the individual market because of their health status, age or gender?

The answer, for at least another year, is “yes.” Under pressure from anxious Democrats in Congress—including some like Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA) who are facing tough reelection battles—Obama today proposed an administrative fix to the ACA that would let insurance companies renew plans through 2014 that do not meet the benefit standards of the health care law. State insurance commissioners and insurance companies will now make the final decision on whether they will renew cancelled policies on the individual market. Insurers would have to notify plan subscribers of alternative plans they could purchase through the exchanges, as well any benefits they would miss out on by staying with their existing policy. As the President put it: “the Affordable Care Act is not going to be the reason why these companies are canceling your plan.”

Sally Kohn:
The 106,000 enrollments are well below the 500,000 the White House had originally projected for this period before launch of the exchanges. The brouhaha over canceled insurance plans has muddied an otherwise positive law. But all of the above should be put in a broader context —the context of enrollment in past comparable insurance systems, the context of what health insurance was like before the Affordable Care Act passed, and the context of its opponents' repeated lies meant to distort and destroy Obamacare.

So, here are three handy charts to help you understand the reality of Obamacare and separate fact from fear-mongering.

And in non-health care news:

George Will, ignoring how strong a candidate Hillary actually is:

Come 2016, Clinton may be the one thing no successful candidate can be, and something [Elizabeth] Warren (or some other avatar of what Howard Dean in 2003 called “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party”) would not be: boring. The social scientist Robert Nisbet called boredom “one of the most insistent and universal” forces that has shaped human behavior. It still is. So, all those who today regard Clinton’s nomination as it was regarded in 2008 — as a foregone conclusion — should ask themselves: When was the last time presidential politics was as predictable as they think it has become?
It's a great reminder of the strength of his analysis. Does anyone think it's 2008? Hillary is a much stronger candidate now than then, and while it's way too early to conclude anything, the "tear her down' industry has been pushing this stuff since 1992, the real year Will is stuck in.

Joshua Green:

But a story on Tuesday illustrated why Republicans probably won’t be able to take advantage of this opening. Before the shutdown and the Obamacare collapse eclipsed everything else, this fall’s big event was supposed to be the push for corporate tax reform. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan has been beavering away on the Republican plan for months and was preparing to unveil it. But as Roxana Tiron and Richard Rubin of Bloomberg News report, “Republican leaders are worried about political damage if the party’s top tax writer releases a plan to revise the US tax code and limit popular breaks.” So they’re trying to stop it.

Let that one sink in for a moment: Republican leaders are trying to block their own tax-reform plan for fear that it will prove too extreme and inflict further damage on the party. And when they do work up the courage to put forward aggressive legislation, they frequently discover that they cannot muster enough Republican support to pass it. That has often been the case when Republican leaders have attempted to implement their own budget. Over the summer, the House farm bill failed for this reason, and so did a housing and transportation bill a month later. Usually, when Congress is divided, the parties pass their agenda through the chamber they control and the hard part is reconciling the two. What House Republicans have demonstrated is that they can’t enact an agenda even when they’re in charge.

Woven together, these threads tell the story of Washington’s ongoing ineptitude: Americans are fast losing faith in the president, his party, and his signature policy achievement. But while they’re open to the idea of handing power to the opposition, Republicans are busy demonstrating that they have no idea how to govern.

Green and others who know politics but nothing about health care policy nonetheless feel free to pontificate about what will happen with complete certainty. However, as the health care web site improves, and more and more uninsured get coverage, and folks find out how it works for themselves (and not reporters), things can and will change on the perception front even if they never return to what they were. The Republican inability to govern? That's structural and will not change.
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Comment Preferences

  •  This.... (25+ / 0-)
    What does this mean for you? Well, for about 95% of Americans, it doesn’t mean anything.
    all the screaming, wailing and gnashing of teeth over 5% of the population?  

    Naturally, the 1% of the population is paying big $$bucks$$ to ensure this president's - and all dems by default - popularity is tarnished.

    I'm not a prognosticator, but I'm willing to bet that practically none of those 5% will have the policy they wanted to keep come 2015.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 04:41:12 AM PST

    •  My health insurance changes (27+ / 0-)

      every year when we have open enrollment (employer provides, we pay 25% of the premium). Last year we changed insurance companies in an effort to control costs, and was the second year in row we did not have an increase in our premiums.
      I don't think this is about "being able to keep your crappy policy", it's more about the media covering this as some sort of tragedy, when most people who can even afford individual health insurance are more wealthy and middle aged.
      No one is talking about the 400,000 people who are now covered by the expansion of Medicaid.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 04:54:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your statement cuts to the heart of the matter... (9+ / 0-)
        No one is talking about the 400,000 people who are now covered by the expansion of Medicaid.
        and the proof is from ban nock's comment below: http://www.dailykos.com/...

        I'm glad to hear yours is not one of those "crappy" policies, but I'm afraid that the majority of the 5% are of the "crappy" kind.

        As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

        by JaxDem on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:04:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not all of them are, from this article I found (12+ / 0-)
          *Some people do have high quality coverage that is getting cancelled and replaced with an ACA-compliant plan (we consider our family’s coverage to be in this category).  It may be that the policy has out-of-pocket limits that are above the limits set by the ACA, or it could be that some relatively minor component of the policy doesn’t meet the standards of the law.  If you have a policy like this and you’d prefer to keep it, you can check with your carrier to see if you can retain your current coverage until your renewal date in 2014.  And some carriers are offering early renewal at the end of this year that will allow policy-holders to keep their plans until the end of next year.  I know that this is frustrating.  Our family is in this situation.  I would have preferred that the ACA allowed higher out-of-pocket limits as an option for insureds who prefer to take on more risk in exchange for lower premiums.  But no law will ever fulfill every wish on everyone’s list.
          *If your policy is truly a high-quality plan (which means that it covers all or nearly all of the essential health benefits, has an out-of-pocket limit that you could actually afford to pay if necessary, includes a decent network of providers, etc.) and you have to switch to better coverage at a higher price next year, I understand your frustration.  And in that case, the red Solo cup might be an accurate analogy.  But if we’re talking about people like Diane Barrette and her $50/month policy that covered almost nothing, she’s switching from a sieve to something that will at least hold water (and  her subsidized premiums are around two hundred dollars a month.  She wouldn’t be paying the “retail” rate of five hundred plus that was widely reported across the internet).
          http://www.healthinsurancecolorado.net/...

          The solo cup reference was from the speech by Marsh Blackburn a couple of weeks ago:

          "It’s what they wanted,” she said. “I will remind you: some people like to drive a Ford and not a Ferrari, and some people like to drink out of a red solo cup and not a crystal stem. You’re taking away their choice."
          http://www.mediaite.com/...

          Isn't it funny seeing anti-choice Republicans screaming about choice?

          Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

          by skohayes on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:29:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  here is what happened (18+ / 0-)

            the high quality cheap plans for healthy people (which really did exist) were affordable because insurance companies didn't have to cover everyone, including the sick, so could offer you a cheap price. As soon as you needed it, you got your plan cancelled or changed.

            This only happened on the individual market because, say, at your job, the job has to cover everyone. Pregnancy, hospitalization, glasses, the whole works. So as an individual you could buy as good a plan but cheaper on the individual market than you'd buy at work IF you were younger and healthy.

            The cheaper discount you got was at the expense of people who could not buy insurance because of preexisting conditions, etc. When the rules changed, and everyone was in, your discount disappeared.

            This was known and expected (and announced with little fanfare back in 2010) since ACA was debated and passed. it affects about 3% of the population.

            "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:39:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  1 million recs to you, Greg! We are (6+ / 0-)

              NOT even close to comfortable, but knew we had to have some kind of insurance. After being turned down by one or two companies, which were insurers like what you mention in the first paragraph, we finally found one that was sort of affordable, but had a $2,500 deductible per person per incident. I'm betting it's the insurance company's definition of incident. So we knew it would be a crapshoot as far as what would be covered. Since we're pretty healthy for our age, we usually never meet a deductible but good insurance is, for us, a safety net in an emergency. We go to the doctor twice a year to re-fill necessary minor medications, but otherwise, unless one of us gets in an accident or contracts a terrible disease, we'll pay premiums and never collect.

              When it came time to start applying for ACA, I worked on my application over a period of weeks, going back and putting in info as I had time, or as I gathered documents. I had to apply for Medicaid first, but it was no big deal and we were denied instantly (as we knew we would be), and then I could set up our exchange and shop.  Good news, I found a decent plan, very affordable, and through the company that had offered quality insurance to perfect people (with minor middle-aged person problems, we weren't considered perfect before, they had turned us down pre-ACA).
              I think all this hoopla proves two things -
              1) people are desperate for insurance, and
              2) the Republicans are still terrified because they know people are desperate for good insurance and can finally get it.

              Here's another thought - people who want to "keep their old plan" are going to be told in black and white by their insurance companies that their old plans are inadequate and they've been screwed by the insurance companies all along! Some will still blame Obama, but reasonable people will finally get it - that the insurance companies are the bad guys here!

              “You can say any fool thing to a dog and the dog will just give you this look that says, 'My GOSH, you're RIGHT! I NEVER would've thought of that!” ― Dave Barry

              by Merry Light on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:56:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  The media is increasingly a collection of fools (31+ / 0-)

        that really do not know how or, perhaps worse, have no interest in really examining a problem. This is probably a direct result on the publish or perish full bore commercial aspect of today's media. They are obsessed with "gotchas" while ignoring a real story. It is also probably very reflective of an audience that increasingly cannot take the time to understand much beyond immediate gratification of needs and wants.

        There is a long history of old codgers like me "viewing younger generations with alarm"—but here I'm viewing an entire society with alarm and some of the worst in that society are people older than I. I would guess, with a bit of actual observation and data, that the change has been in leadership of media and other public figures including political. That change has been pushed by politics, commercialism gone wild and lack of attention in the population. People like the Limpbough have always been with us. People like Moyers seem to be disappearing. It does not take much change in a recipe's spices to change the dish and we are seeing the result.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:31:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The tendency to accentuate the negative (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        It seems it is the media's job to accentuate the negative instead of the positive.  How in the world the GOP and some Dems are taking kudos for watering down and weakening the core of the ACA is beyond understanding.

        Anyone who has traveled to countries where health care is a given, and sees it is a part of their social consciousness, is hard pressed to understand why after 100 years, we are finally on track, but it is being sabotaged.  Our citizens will have peace of mind throughout their lives when it comes to being covered by their insurance companies, where is the reasoning behind stopping this momentum from happening?

        If the GOP gets their way, will the majority of Americans really jump up for joy because now millions of their countrymen will get crappy plans?  We will be right back where we were before the ACA, ER treatment with bills not paid, costs thrown back at those who are insured and their insurance companies.  People born with a condition, or have developed one who can't get insured.  Lifetime caps put back on.  Insurance companies going back to taking your prermium dollars but delivering less than the 80% on your medical care, that is now the law.  And, the list goes on...

        This equals higher premiums that will never stop.  Is that what we really want after all this?  Really?  

    •  You can take that to the bank (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, marykk, thomask
      I'm not a prognosticator, but I'm willing to bet that practically none of those 5% will have the policy they wanted to keep come 2015.
      They may have the same plan in 2015, but it will cost them more than any ACA plan.

      If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:54:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why is anyone surprised about Obamacare? (11+ / 0-)

        Obamacare is, at heart, a conservative program, first put forth by the Heritage Foundation. It was designed to protect the insurance industry in the event that demand for health care reform got too overwhelming.  It placed the privileges of Big Insurance first, with any benefits to the general population to be incidental.

       It's worked about as well as any conservative idea has ever worked. Big shocker there.

       Obamacare is simply the most tragic expression of the massive missed opportunity that the Obama presidency has been. The President has adopted conservative idea after conservative idea, and when they predictably make things worse, they're branded as "liberal" failures, from the too-small, tax-cut-driven stimulus, to the preservation of the Bush tax brackets, to the appointment of anti-union, supply-side stiffs to Treasury.

       What a colossal waste. All because Obama craves approval from conservatives, which he will never, ever get.

       

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 04:41:57 AM PST

    •  "Show them no mercy, for you shall receive none*" (11+ / 0-)

      That's how the GOP should have been dealt with from Day-One, and how it needs to be dealt with now.

      *with reference to "The Two Towers"

    •  Why do you think this is about President (8+ / 0-)

      Obama's personal insecurity and need to get approval from conservatives and not about a his Administration's need to work with conservatives to pass legislation?  For that matter why do you think he can ignore both the middle and the right and accomplish more than he does by cobbling together support from wherever he can get it?  I'm just curious why you frame everything he has done or tried to do as a failure due to a personal, character flaw in the man who is President?

      "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

      by stellaluna on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:53:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I might distinguish (9+ / 0-)
        ... his Administration's need to work with conservatives to pass legislation?  For that matter why do you think he can ignore both the middle and the right and accomplish more than he does by cobbling together support from wherever he can get it?

        [emphasis added]

        Sometimes Obama did seem to fetishize "work[ing] with conservatives" who weren't ever going to work with him -- and it was painful to watch, because Clinton went through this in 1993-94. However, I think Obama always was going after 218 + 60 -- the middle, not the "right" by contemporary standards -- and I think people are kidding themselves if they think he could have rammed through Medicare For All during his hundred days. I think he was more realistic about optics than wishful about cooperation, although the two aren't mutually exclusive.

        "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

        by HudsonValleyMark on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:03:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  One "Lie" vs One Truth (0+ / 0-)

      "If you have insurance that you like you can keep it".

      "Crappy insurance policies with the high deductible that provide nothing but the paper it's written on are a thing of the past?"

      Obama could have gone either way but choose the polite and  simple phrase.

      The other phrase implies "CHANGE".
      what part of the change agenda did elected officials think we wouldn't understand?

      THis CHANGE was for the better for the majority of americans.
       THis Law was to CHANGE the behavior of Insurance companies. Companies that were bankrupting many to pay for the cost of health care.

      Now we're toying with the "STATUS QUO"?

      I hope the media doesn't link this statement with another REAL LIE.
      "We have intelligence that Iraq was WMD" that lie cost us thousands of dead and wounded and a trillion price tags .
      All fought on a credit card and republicans are trying to get "The American People" to pay it ,by gutting the social safety net.

      Keep It Real Folks

    •  Let's look at Massachusetts (0+ / 0-)

      Romneycare is working very well in Massachusetts.  It's start was very rocky and it took almost one year before enrollment took hold.

      You are right, the Heritage Foundation (the Kochs) were behind it, the mandate and all.  You are spot on that it was a "republican" idea.  However, President Obama, as you remember, came into office at a time a Great Depression was saved only by the fact that this time we had Soc. Sec., and FDIC.

      Along with the stimulus which kept us from going completely under, he saw the need for reforming our health care delivery.  We have the highest GDP in health care 17-18% of any country in the world.  Our debt needs trimming.  Reform with regulations to the insurance industry was the only viable road at the time; no republican would have voted for single payer or Medicare for all; no way.

      Romney, at that time, was proud of his achievement and noted it was a "model" for the country.  He abandoned his pride and shunned his Romneycare during the election, interestingly.

      My point is, it is working.  It will work nationwide through no help from the GOP.  That is the difference.  Obama could not get, still can't, any viable help from the opposition.  Things would be a lot different with some cooperation.  This really is President Obama's monumental achievement.

  •  I have been self pay through my wife's union (11+ / 0-)

    insurance and I have good insurance and I get to keep it with no problem. When they talk about rate increases mine started out costing $32 a month 23 years ago today I pay $450 per month. This year is the first time that we have not had a rate increase. The good news is that we also save money because many of the test that we get each year no longer have a copay ( My wife is a cancer surviver so she has test run each year) I did take a look at the health care exchange and I could buy the silver plan for $58 per month It is not as good as the plan I have but for a lot of people it would be a real blessing since it is a good plan and if you have no insurance at all now you have insurance for a very good price. It sure would be nice if the idiots in the GOP would grow up and realize that health care is a basic right that all American should have. But the odds of the Republican's acting like adults is slim to none!

    •  My frustration is that the supporters of the ACA (9+ / 0-)

      aren't meeting every "horror story" of cancelled coverage with five success stories.  I have an excellent plan purchased on the individual marketplace that has gone up in price every year since I started privately purchasing 15 years ago.  Except this year when it dropped $50 month.  And I can still purchase a platinum plan (which appears to be even better than the policy I have) for $150/mo. less than I am paying now.  There are all kinds of success stories with the ACA and we need to find a way to get those out there.

      "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

      by stellaluna on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:58:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I put my personal story everywhere (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stellaluna, ssnbbr, SoCalSal, northerntier

        I can! I post it on Facebook, on my page and others'.

        I am drafting a letter to the editor today, for my local conservative audience.

        It's up to us to start the ball rolling on this and the media may just start picking it up.

        “You can say any fool thing to a dog and the dog will just give you this look that says, 'My GOSH, you're RIGHT! I NEVER would've thought of that!” ― Dave Barry

        by Merry Light on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 07:01:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for including non-health care news. (15+ / 0-)

    I just hope ACA covers ACA Fatigue.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 04:52:07 AM PST

  •  MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE HEALTH CARE ISSUE (5+ / 0-)

    Health insurance plans in effect prior to the passing of PP&ACA were grandfathered, and could be kept if you liked the plan.  Plans which were issued or changed after passage but before 2014 would either have to conform to the new law or be changed again by 2014 to conform.  Health insurance companies knew and understood; as did the employers who purchase group insurance.  Why was not the consumer/customer/employee informed by them??  
    I believe the PP&ACA is a victim of one cruel political party with the goal to sabotage and undermine the law and its enactment.  Furthermore, I think a conspiracy or collusion or a tacit understanding between the health care companies and the private contractors who designed and built the health care website to slow the enrollment process, embarrass the administration and provide the health care CEO’s a reason to raise rates.  The first two have occurred while the third has been suggested.  

  •  This week I went to the doctor (30+ / 0-)

    and that's the bottom line. Colorado is signing up those who are Medicaid eligible right now, not waiting for Jan 1. Because our kids were already there and they had all our documentation we were easy.

    And I got medical care.

    The flu had lingered for 2 weeks and I couldn't shake it, lotta junk coming up out of my lungs, not sleeping well, called the eight hundred number on the back of the Medicaid card for  nurse assistance. She sent me to a doc in a box because it costs much less than an emergency room. And I was given antibiotics and something to knock back the mucus. Physicians assistant actually, heck a horse doctor would be fine by me.

    Bottom line I got medical care.

    And we no longer pay 20% of income for insurance that was 10K deductible before insurance paid one penny.

    I hope to pay a premium for regular insurance via the ACA soon but am not eligible until my wife gets out of school and our income gets back to normal.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 04:55:10 AM PST

    •  Thank you, great story (16+ / 0-)

      and so glad that you were able to get what you needed. And kudos for helping out the system by not just going into the ER -- those 800# nurse-lines are great. (The one time in recent years that I've gone to the ER -- and the insurance company balked at paying the bill, because really I didn't need to -- I prevailed by pointing out to them that I had called their 800# nurse line first and she instructed me to go to the ER instead of waiting until Monday when the urgent care was open.)

      These stories will not get the kind of "OMG!!!!" breathless press coverage that one person losing their insurance seems to. But in terms of the health and quality of life of our communities, it's huge. Civilized, even.

      And the people like you who are spending much much less of their money on medical care may be able to spend more on other things, whether it's vegetables, getting the car repaired, ice cream cones for the kids, whatever. That should be good for the economy as well as making your lives more pleasant.

    •  Thanks nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:22:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  you did what you were supposed to do (10+ / 0-)

      Go to the doctors office, not the emergency room. You got treatment and saved costs. ACA is working. Maybe we will start to see some reporting on this achievement in the next few weeks.
      Multiply you by a couple million people. The number of healthier people increases and taxpayer costs go down. should be a republican dream. If only a democrat hadn't implemented it.

      Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

      by Sherri in TX on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:30:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Speaking of Colorado (8+ / 0-)

      former Kansas tech expert (hired to set up state exchanges
      until Brownback decided not to take the FREE MONEY) moved to Colorado:

      Perhaps it is a case of could-have-been.

      Two years ago, Gov. Sam Brownback rejected a $31.5 million federal grant to set up a health insurance marketplace tailored for Kansas — defaulting instead to the federally run marketplace that was launched Oct. 1 but which continues to be beset by problems.

      Gary Schneider — the technology expert who was poised to lead Kansas' marketplace development until Brownback opted against it — left instead for Colorado, one of 16 states that chose to run their own marketplace. He now is the IT project manager for the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange.

      In Colorado, so far, things are going smoothly, Schneider said.

      More than 700 people have enrolled in insurance plans using Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s marketplace. And more than 30,000 people have created accounts on the website allowing them to compare plan options and see if they qualify for tax subsidies.


      http://www.khi.org/...

      Article dated October 21st,  so numbers have changed, I'm sure.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:35:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, ban nock, thomask

      I'm so happy to hear this!  Getting the Medicaid Expansion passed as part of ACA was a huge accomplishment.  I'm so happy for you.

      If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:57:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks so much for this story ban nock (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock

      and hope you will diary it soon.  Although I am single payer supporter and  not a supporter of ACA I have  sent all my family any good news about the plan I get my hands on and gotten positive response.

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:05:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In the NYT article (28+ / 0-)

    the next to last paragraph about killed me:

    Sandy Praeger, the Kansas insurance commissioner, is still trying to work out how to deal with the roughly 9,000 people in her state who received cancellation policies. No matter what happens next, she said, the consumer will get the short end of the stick.

    “Insurance is complicated to start with,” she said. “This, in the best-case scenario, would be a problem, but in the political climate we are in, it is a nightmare for the consumer.”

    This is a PERFECT example of why the media today is just about worthless.
    Kansas is a state that not only turned down the $32 million offered to set up the exchanges, they also turned down the money to expand Medicaid.
    13.1% of Kansans are uninsured, roughly 370,000 people.
    But the NYT never mentions either one of these facts and quotes our insurance commissioner whining about 9000 people losing crappy plans.

    Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

    by skohayes on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:03:25 AM PST

  •  Conflating health care with health insurance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    Well, Greg, I see that you like this trend enough to put a graphic at the top and labeling it "How bad things were pre-aca"

    The graphic itself has some serious problems as it assumes inelastic demand for health care, and we both know that's not true.

    Still, the basic point is correct: health care spending is out of control and getting worse.  If the projected numbers are unrealistically high, the point remains completely valid.

    Except for that "pre-ACA" part, at least by implication that the ACA is going to fix the problem.  It's going to change the numbers, I'm sure of that.  Drive them up in the beginning and -- who knows? Drive them up at the end?

    I don't know.  A public option sure would have been helpful -- a true public option with widespread roll-out of public facilities with public doctors on staff earning nice salaries.

    Even a public insurance option would have helped.  It could offer low prices by refusing to pay for expensive drugs that are no more effective than generic drugs (there are more than a few of those) and not paying for antibiotics for viral infections, etc, etc. Waiting a few days ( or is it a couple of weeks, I can't recall) to see if that gall bladder really needs to come out, requiring nitroglycerine caps for those who have no need for the risks of open heart surgery.

    That sort of thing.

    As it is, the ACA has a built-in mechanism to accelerate health care costs: the 80/85% pay-out rule.  That's the equivalent of a cost-plus contract, and cost-plus contracts are infamous for their encouragement of contractors to incur costs as a way to increase profits.

    With any luck, I am far too pessimistic.  We'll all see soon enough, presuming the President ever actually allows the whole thing to take effect.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:05:22 AM PST

    •  public option would be better (6+ / 0-)

      but you are wrong about ACA and costs, and you continue to wrong about ACA and costs.

      But I give you points for consistency.

      we really can't discuss it because you refuse to accept CBO and other analysis.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:07:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've actually read the CBO analyses which is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        why I don't accept them.

        I don't actually reject them completely, but I don't believe that all of their assumptions will hold up, especially the assumption that few employers will dump health care benefits.

        CBO, btw, completely ignores the cost-plus aspect of the law.

        At any rate, I would love to be wrong on this.  Until the law has been in place for a few years, we both have the luxury of being right because nobody can prove otherwise.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:12:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  A pubic option would have been nice (6+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, our conservadems in the Senate had other plans.
      Imagine we had as cooperative a Congress as Bush did with the Medicare Part D rollout- a Congress that worked to fix things rather than spend 2 years grandstanding 43 bills in the House that never in a million years would pass in the Senate or be signed by the president?

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:11:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The funny thing is, a really good public option (0+ / 0-)

        might have gotten through.

        When  I say really good, I mean one with the kinds of restrictions I was talking about: refusal to pay for bad and ineffective practices/medications.  It could have been sold as "not for everyone", but an alternative to Medicaid or something like that.

        In time, people would notice that the "stripped down" health care isn't just cheaper, it's better.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:15:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not likely (7+ / 0-)

          Joe represented insurance companies in Hartford CT and I doubt anything would have been acceptable.

          "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

          by Greg Dworkin on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:27:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Irrelevant what could and could not get through (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Greg Dworkin, dinotrac

            It wasn't even attempted. A few Democratic Senators bleated about a public option for a few days, Ed Schultz and other punditry announced that it was yet another line that could not be crossed and still merit their support for the overall law But in the end, the Senators supported it without a public option and Ed defended it. Mr. Obama and the Democrats started on the rightward side of the field and then got pushed back and back, while Republicans kept moving the goal posts and broke every rule along the way without getting penalized and we are all aware of it. No good getting upset with me for pointing it out though because that doesn't make it less true. Because the difference between they and I is that when I said that no public option was a bridge too far, I actually meant it.

            "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

            by MargaretPOA on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:50:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  why would anyone get upset with you? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              I love OCD, dinotrac

              you had your line in the sand, and it wasn't the same for others.

              Not the first time that has happened, I suspect, and not just you ;-)

              "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

              by Greg Dworkin on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:00:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Over 30 Dems in the House yesterday voted (6+ / 0-)

            for the GOP bill that strips out most of the ACA protections--all in the name of "fixing" the problem 5% of the people are potentially affected by.  Anybody who thinks that anything like single payer could have passed just isn't paying attention.  Yes Joe was the final hold out and made it clear that in the Senate he wouldn't let single payer pass.  But we barely passed ACA in the House as well.  And 30+ Dems voted against it then as well.  If we want single payer we have to have more and better democrats.  

            "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

            by stellaluna on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:16:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Gotten through how? (4+ / 0-)

          It never even made it out of the Finance Committee.

          The Finance Committee is the last congressional panel to consider health care legislation before debate begins in the full House and Senate. Democratic proposals passed by another Senate committee and three House committees all include the public insurance option.
          http://www.cnn.com/...

          Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

          by skohayes on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:45:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Throwing out an idea. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skohayes

            How about if the Senate Dems push a big get better PR front by throwing out Public Option bills or other real fixes and then daring the GOP to vote them down?

            "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

            by Stude Dude on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:49:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  If Obama had been in favor of it (0+ / 0-)

            it would have gotten out of Committee.

            It was passed in the House version of the bill.   Obama did his work through the Senate when ACA was being written and passed.

            If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

            by Betty Pinson on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:03:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bullshit (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SoCalSal
              Now, I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business.  They provide a legitimate service, and employ a lot of our friends and neighbors.  I just want to hold them accountable.  (Applause.)  And the insurance reforms that I've already mentioned would do just that. But an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange.  (Applause.)  Now, let me be clear.  Let me be clear.  It would only be an option for those who don't have insurance.  No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance.  In fact, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, we believe that less than 5 percent of Americans would sign up.
              From Sept 9, 2009 right after the Senate Finance Comitttee agreed to take up one of three different House bills (all of which included public options).
              http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

              Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

              by skohayes on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:53:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  A public option of the nature I suggest was never (0+ / 0-)

            presented.  Instead, it was presented as an alternative to regular health insurance.

            Which a "stripped down" version would actually be because we really need our health care to be stripped down for the sake of delivering better care without abuse.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 09:29:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Obam & the GOP killed the PO (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinotrac

        That said, he's probably regretting that decision now and will hopefully learn from the experience. Republicans are probably glad they did it.

        If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:02:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is a public option (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalSal

      Bernie Sanders snuck it into the bill. It has a long, slow roll-out, so it's hard to notice, and this year, rather than ribbon cuttings for new public facilities with public doctors on staff earning nice salaries, it is mostly expanding existing facilities and bringing more people in.

      Ten years from now? There will be public primary care clinics within five miles if you live in a city, inside an hour's drive if you're out in the rural areas of the country.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 08:56:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Idiocy of media coverage is nauseating and helps (8+ / 0-)

    muddy the waters for both ACA itself and the IT issues of the "web site" problem. That media idiocy is symptomatic of a parallel in our sound bite, ADD. instant gratification society as a whole. We don't examine things and find realistic solutions, we scream and shout and grab shiny objects to display and the damn problems mount. Our infrastructure crumbles, our ability to cope in a complex world falls further behind and various demagogues divert us while raking in cash for mouthing foolery.

    Take a Washington Post article today. Woo hooo! Reporters found "Health-care Web site’s lead contractor employs executives from troubled IT company"!

    Well, woo hoo (very small), if you look hard enough you could probably find "problems" in any IT company's history. Further, because of complexity and indeed, recognized problems long associated with government IT any company involved is rather likely to have problems.

    For a change the comments in a story contain some sense, even if in a sea of nonsense. One by "AmericanAbroad" notes:

    What the sponsors of these projects don’t seem to grasp is a fundamental law of nature: the more complex the project, the longer it’s going to take – even if you have virtually unlimited resources at your disposal. President Kennedy understood this law when he launched the program to put a man on the moon in 9 years – not one year. There’s a body of knowledge that’s been building since the seventies that provides managers with tools to measure the complexity of projects before a single line of code is written (see my link). These tools give estimates of the optimum number of staff needed and the fastest possible time to complete projects. The trouble is, if private contractors used these tools, they’d never land any contracts. Why? Because, other companies that came up with unrealistic deadlines would land the contracts. Why? Because America is driven by dreams, not by logic.
    Bingo! And many thanks to "AmericanAbroad" for a bit of reality on a news article response thread and providing a link to "About Function Point Analysis" and that is used in government but, particularly under political or non-technical management pressure often ignored—leading to "problems" for contractors and projects. That is why the gutting of professional IT acquisition people in government is so devastating. Too often, particularly in agencies doing relatively few such acquisitions, we have real problems due to lack of skills and knowledge.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:15:32 AM PST

  •  I have a teabag co-worker (6+ / 0-)

    He's just a bit older than me and we both had colonoscopies around the same time, he a little bit in advance of me. When mine rolled around, I was really concerned about costs. Thinking that he had the same group coverage that I did, I asked him about his out of pocket expenses. He told me he had written two checks. For around $700 each! Yikes! But when I got my bill, it was just a facility charge for $95. With my $15 copay and $60 for the prep prescription, I spent under two hundred bucks for the whole thing. Later I find out that my co-worker has one of these "catastrophic care" policies. He even defended it, saying that "insurance is for when you have a serious illness or accident, not for 'maintenance'". Hmph! Well, George, I'd rather pay $170 with a policy for which, (with my company's contribution), I pay LESS than you do. And I'm glad I don't have a teabagger brain. Just sayin'.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:30:36 AM PST

    •  I don't entirely disagree with his premise (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Greg Dworkin, Nowhere Man

      To the extent that medical expenses are foreseeable, it "shouldn't" matter so much whether they are covered by insurance; what matters is the bottom line. Unfortunately, as you point out, there's no guarantee that the cheaper policy will have a better bottom line even if the expenses are routine. (And there's a lot of room between "maintenance" and "catastrophe.")

      Also, I put "shouldn't" in scare quotes because most people aren't in a position to make informed decisions about the expected costs and benefits of "routine" visits and procedures, so they may tend to underinvest in health care. I hate doctors enough as it is (sorry, Greg, it isn't about actual doctors), so I hardly need any more excuses not to seek appropriate care.

      "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

      by HudsonValleyMark on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:13:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All of this and more may be true (0+ / 0-)

    but the President repeatedly said people could keep their existing policies. He said it so often that regular people actually remember it.

    That really matters.  Who knows if the ACA will survive this fiasco?  The very same people on DK who were around at the time and telling us what good political sense it made to give up on single payer are now telling us how crappy the policies people have to give up are.

    We need a proper progressive movement in this country so that we don't end up here over and over again trying to make things better without changing fundamental inequities and inefficiencies and getting bit on the ass doing it.

    Remember to kick it over.

    by sprogga on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:31:06 AM PST

  •  Karl Rove (0+ / 0-)

    I was thinking about one of his tactics is accusing your opposition of doing of what exactly you're doing. This is with the Wisconsin GOP accusing the Dems of using intimidation.

    Didn't Rove have at least two more tactics? Hit the opposition where they're strong. And Hit the opposition where you are weak. Are there any others of note?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:44:38 AM PST

  •  Cancelled insurance solution (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Betty Pinson, tb mare

    For 1year govt subsidizes half the difference from a bronze plan and their old insurance.  At least this gets them started and they will eventually learn to enjoy its security.

    wall Street Casino is the root of the problem. Don't call them banks.

    by timber on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:47:57 AM PST

  •  Here's a surprise (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, marykk, Nowhere Man

    I was knocking the NYT above, and then the editorial board writes this:

    In a paper in the winter issue of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, two researchers — D. Mark Anderson of Montana State University and Daniel Rees of the University of Colorado at Denver — report that legalization of marijuana for medical purposes has been associated with reductions in heavy drinking, especially among 18- to 29-year-olds, and with an almost 5 percent decrease in beer sales. In addition, the increase in the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 seems to encourage greater marijuana use among people under 21, usage that drops sharply when they reach the legal drinking age.

    If marijuana is widely legalized for recreational purposes (only Washington State and Colorado have taken that step), the consequences are far from clear. But assuming the argument that alcohol and marijuana are “substitutes” bears out, that could be good news, especially for road safety. Of the two substances, alcohol is far more hazardous.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

    by skohayes on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:51:55 AM PST

  •  Change of pace and a sour chuckle for all you non (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, marykk, ratcityreprobate

    Virginians: "New invoices bring taxpayer-paid legal bills for McDonnell gifts scandal to $575,000" in a news story.

    Private attorneys representing the office of Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and other government officials grappling with federal and state investigations of McDonnell’s interactions with a wealthy political benefactor have now charged taxpayers more than $575,000.
    and
    That came on top of $244,000 the firms had charged earlier in the summer.
    Now, to be fair, the legal fees are not for governor Vaginal Ultrasound himself, they are for staffers where
    “Virginia law provides for situations in which outside counsel must be appointed due to the Office of the Attorney General determining that it has a conflict in a specific case. That is what has occurred in this situation,” Martin said.
    And why, pray tell, is the AG in such a conflict? Because The Cooch, that mad hatter of the ultra right anti abortion, anti gay, anti sex except missionary position, anti climate change scientists and all—and now defeated candidate for governor himself—is involved in the same fucking scandal!

    Chuckle sourly you non-Virginians. I snarl and hope the governor serves time with a general prison population and somehow, some way the soon to be former AG ends up in the same place because he too was involved, at least on the margins, in that pay to play fun and games and even refused to return the goodies.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:53:13 AM PST

  •  Journalism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, reginahny, PsychoSavannah


    One wonders, not really already know why, why the so called journalists profession isn't reporting about the Huge problems with using so many private government contractors, these that built the site didn't get hurt at all financially as their public stock went up with the totally crappy job done and the months to do it! Think NSA, National Security backround checkers, War Profitteering private contractors, and on and on and on......Q!!

    Also where's the reporting about the insurance industry, also had months to upgrade policies and inform holders of, no better then what the banking and wall street financials did to the country and huge sections of the world. God knows there's plenty in the archives to refresh memories and still going on, most of these cancelled policies were only created to build bottom lines with no thought to paying out to the policy holders if they developed expensive health problems, the complete opposite of 'insurance'!! And that insurance industry is all insurance not just health, much like the easy credit scheme's that constantly changed making the masses think they were actually getting 'trickled down' on!!

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:53:24 AM PST

  •  Fear and Loathing is right (7+ / 0-)

    Loathing of the black guy in the White House
    Fear that the ACA will succeed

    That's the recipe for all this gnashing of teeth

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:54:37 AM PST

  •  1772 (0+ / 0-)

    Is George wills preferred year....

  •  The President may have turned the corner on this (6+ / 0-)

    so-called 'fumble'.  It wasn't a fumble, an error or a broken promise at all.  As the President said in his press conference, his assumption is that most of the 3 percenters would find a better deal in the exchange, and the safe harbor/grandfather clause would take care of the rest.  That statement is still true.  Now, he recognized that insurance companies are manipulating the situation so he threw the ball back in their court with his new administrative action (though it does little more than restate what is in the law but opens the door to liability for failing to accurately disclose options).

    All this whining for a small group of people who are actually very healthy and fortunate is simply the media's revenge against Obama when he shut cable news out of asking questions during one of the gov't shutdown press conferences.

    This 'fix' is working better than I initially thought.  Insurance companies do seem a bit chastened and are concerned perhaps about the risk of being accused of misleading customers.  That's probably all Obama needs to do.

    The second half of November is looking a bit brighter for the ACA.  

    Global Shakedown - Alternative rock with something to say. Check out their latest release, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and other major online music sites. Visit http://www.globalshakedown.com.

    by khyber900 on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:59:04 AM PST

    •  yes, assuming (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      the web site is mostly working and can handle increased volume by the end of the month.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:04:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Employer Mandate (0+ / 0-)

      When the Employer mandate which covers 80% of the policies kicks in next year.  And, 10 or 20 or 30 percent of companies decide to cut healthcare benefits creating "only" 8/16/24% will they also be a "small group" of people complaining.

      ACA has been in effect for only 6 weeks and 39 Democratic Congressmen have already abandoned the law.  And, the President pushes a "solution" that is universally panned as being a desperate politcal ploy.

      Because that small group of people have seen 5 million policies cancelled (expected to rise to between 7 & 12 million policies by year end).  To offset this there have been 100k signups for ACA and another 400k who have joined Medicaid.

      I'm not the best mathematician - but that sure looks like 4 1/2 million people to the wrong side of the equation.

      That right there is the problem, not just a buggy website.  People are angry and as more policies are impacted, as they find the doctors they want are no longer in network and  the glib promises of a few years ago are played over and over again they aren't suddenly going to put on a happy face.

      •  I see your point. In fact the statements (0+ / 0-)

        in your post are the assumptions that underlie the faux outrage against Obama.  However, I don't think 1 year from now too many Americans will feel too sorry for those who did not bother to check their options in the exchange.  Many people will seek such options and benefit and that equation will be a little more balanced.  Year 1 of the ACA is not going to be optimal because the Supreme Court allowed states to opt out of medicaid expansion. Republicans have also indoctrinated a lot of their folks against ACA participation.  The fact is that blue states or nominally red states will do well under the ACA and red states probably will not with a few exceptions like KY and AR.  

        Global Shakedown - Alternative rock with something to say. Check out their latest release, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and other major online music sites. Visit http://www.globalshakedown.com.

        by khyber900 on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 08:55:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not so optimistic (0+ / 0-)

          Even if the best states enrollments are not hitting their key numbers.  Seven million & fifty percent.  It was always thought that in order for the system to stay solvent you needed 1 new "paying customer" to each medicaid recipient.  Right now the ratio is about 80:20.  Also, you needed 7 million new paying customers.  Hard to guage that, because the first month was so bad, but even as numbers improve 7 million seems like a fantasy.

          Don't meet these numbers and you get a death spiral.  Premiums increasing, copays increasing, cuts to doctor networks and insurance companies pulling out of markets.  

          The President's proposal just aggravates an already cloudy picture.  You can keep your plan -- if your state insurance commissioner agrees - dem leaning Washington state has already rejected - more will likely follow -- if you can stay in your old plan you're not subsidizing the new insurance pools as expected.  Meaning that 7 million number that already looks unobtainable needs to go up.  And that assumes the insurance companies can completely change policy assumptions by December 15th.  Realistically, that's impossible from a business implementation standpoint.

          People will hear about senior citizens losing better plans, and remember the promises that were broken.  And, if the Employer mandate throws even a small minority off of their existing coverage the news will be worse....just before next year's elections.

          •  you are exaggerating the down side (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Micheline

            In my state, CT, the ratio is 1:1, in fact more private than medicaid. it's an example of how it works when the web site works. CA is close to that.

            death spiral fears are vastly overblown:

            "Is Obamacare in a death spiral?" asks Megan McArdle.
            "The death spiral is already beginning," warns David Frum.
            No, it isn't.

            To health wonks, a "death spiral" means something very specific. Just ask professional health wonk Larry Levitt, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "A death spiral is a pool where you have disproportionately sick people enrolling, which causes premiums to go up, and then healthy people drop out because it’s a bad deal, and then premiums rise more, and so on," he says.

            Levitt isn't very impressed by what he calls "the death spiral frenzy" that's grabbed the media. "You give a little bit of actuarial science to people and they go nuts," he sighs.

            "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 09:58:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Nice to see the media showing up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    These nifty charts and graphics would have been very helpful when ACA was being debated as it moved through Congress.  IIRC, the thing the media covered back then was the political gamesmanship and drama - nothing on the actual policy being developed and certainly nothing about how ACA would impact consumers and health care costs.

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:11:11 AM PST

  •  Not a surprise (4+ / 0-)
    Yesterday, the House Homeland Security Committee published a video on their Youtube page highlighting a portion of the committee questioning Roberta Stempfley, acting assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Cyber-security and Communications, who confirmed at least 16 attacks on the Affordable Care Act’s portal Healthcare.gov website in 2013.

    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 .

    http://www.examiner.com/...

    Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

    by skohayes on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:11:36 AM PST

  •  Susan Page on Karnacki......'No way the republican (5+ / 0-)

    nominee for president in 2016 will be for gay marriage....no way the democratic nominee won't.'

  •  Gotta love Obama's ability to navigate tough (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, tb mare, Stude Dude

    waters.

    The media gets all wee-weed up (to use a phrase by one of their favorite narrative setters) over a few people being told they will have their shit policies canceled and can choose a better one (almost always for a lower price), and then the media claims the Democrats are in disarray and OMG BILL CLINTON THREW OBAMA UNDER THE BUS!...but you've all been paying attention, you know this.

    So what does Obama do?  He says, "Go ahead, Insurance Companies - sell shitty policies for another year.  But be sure to tell your customers that there are options to the shit policy you're renewing and what those are...oh, and don't forget that your competition also gets to call them and let them know what plans they have to offer."

    Caught off guard indeed.  What looked like a gift was really Obama calling their bluff.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:30:04 AM PST

  •  As far as drinking goes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk

    Some people want to drink out of a red solo cup, but no one wants to drink out of the toilet bowl.

  •  The ACA website is finally being called (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, RhodeIslandAspie

    the most complex site ever attempted, built under intense time pressures and with constantly shifting parameters.  The fact that it can be accessed at all is probably the tech version of a miracle.  

    Someone in pundit land actually mentioned that MassCare got 123 people signed up in it's first month, but somehow 98% of Mass residents are now insured despite that weak start.  I guess most people are smart enough to accept a health plan that benefits them.  It's not a sexy story, though, so don't expect to hear it much.

    Here's some context on IT issues.  Last week Facebook sent an upgrade that crashed most mobile users.  It took a few hours to build a fix and send it out and a few days to send a fix that solved all the glitches.  I didn't see a single petition floated to punish FB by unsubscribing, or a single post about idiot techies fucking up the simplest damn thing, or even any outrage about how an experienced site could do something that stupid.  And no headlines in the WSJ!  

    Apparently people who actually use the Internet don't see it as a God in a machine- we see it as a handy tool that isn't wildly reliable and we adjust to it's little moments.  Would that our hyperventilating media geniuses fell into that category!

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:41:27 AM PST

  •  Rhode Island reacts to the ACA fix. (4+ / 0-)

    Rhode Island is rejecting the fix and staying the original course. It's been decided getting rid of crap insurance is the best course. One of those people instrumental in making this decision is the director of Rhode Island's health exchange, Christine Ferguson, who is a Republican, believe it or not. She was a staffer for Senator John Chafee, who in the 90's, was the architect for Chafee's alternative to Clinton's plan, an alternative that many Republicans in Congress pretended to support, and then dropped once they had killed the Clinton plan. Elements of this plan influenced the later creation of HIPAA, Romney's MassCare, and of course, the ACA.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:50:35 AM PST

    •  great comment, thanks! n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:55:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Insurance con games (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RhodeIslandAspie

      They say that a majority of the people bankrupted by a medical catastrophe had medical insurance.  I wonder how many of them had potemkin-insurance policies?


      My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
      "Shared sacrifice!" said the spider to the fly.—Me

      by KingBolete on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 07:48:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  makes sense (0+ / 0-)

        Most of us have no idea what we're going to be charged for services, especially emergency services, cancer treatments, etc,  until we get the bill.  If you think you have coverage, you go ahead and agree to treatment only to find out later the costs are astronomical and your insurance isn't covering much of anything - you can still be getting bills years later.  If you know you don't have any insurance, you're much less likely to seek treatment.

  •  When the media harps on the term "website" (0+ / 0-)

    it oversimplifies a very complex issue. Healtcare.gov is not simply a website, it is a portal to a large number of databases. Creating it was an incredibly complex undertaking. That's not to let Obama's people off, because states who took on the management of their own exchanges came off quite better, and there are lessons to be learned for all toward what Al Gore once called "reinventing government." But I would not call this a "fumble." I would call it more a case of a receiver have make quite a number of difficult catches under pressure during an important game, and not failing once. Very difficult, but not impossible.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:58:47 AM PST

  •  Money talks, BS walks (0+ / 0-)

    This is the stock performance of UnitedHealth Group over the past five years:

    http://chart.finance.yahoo.com/...

    WellPoint:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/...

    Aetna:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/...

    Notice a pattern? They've more than tripled in five years, despite a socialist in the White House, despite the inevitable economic ruin, despite a botch website. I recall REITs plummeting in the months leading up to the subprime crisis.

    Money talks.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 07:01:10 AM PST

  •  I usually try to give the admin great benefit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KeepItRealFolks

    of the doubt, particularly during this not so great rollout of healthcare, but I keep wondering...why was it President Obama giving that Q&A press conference this week about the cancellation notices instead of Secretary Sebelius giving that press conference with the President or why can't anyone inside the WH or Administration going on the lousy Sunday shows explaining to the not so knowledgeable pundits/journalists and viewers what it is their trying to do to improve the overall rollout? Why just the President? Maybe the criticism of a bad WH communication team is pretty valid, cause I haven't seen a lot of other people in the Obama WH or admin other than the boss himself sellout and explain the positives and pitfalls of the rollout.  

  •  When the President initially said that if you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingBolete, mk3872

    liked your plan, you could keep it, I took it to mean that the government would not force you to change plans. I don't see how the President or anybody can keep individual insurance companies from canceling plans outright, deciding not to offer insurance in certain areas, etc. without outright socialization. (And that would not be a bad thing.) I'm also amazed that people claim to "like" plans that take their money and, essentially, keep it just because the price is low. People like giving companies money for nothing?

    Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

    by gelfling545 on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 07:20:46 AM PST

  •  Actually, I'm quite pleased (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingBolete, ratcityreprobate

    and smug about being on Medicare and not having to tolerate any of this shit. But I wish everyone could join me. And then we could fix part D and give CMS bargaining rights.

  •  Musta (0+ / 0-)

    Missed the part where our president promised that our insurance companies would keep their policies as long as we wanted. Dammit, I hate it when I do that.

  •  "CALAMITOUS", "DISASTER", "EMBARRASSING" ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvel, Micheline

    ... I've been collecting a list of over-wrought media coverage of the launch of the health exchanges these past 2 months ...

    And yet >100k new enrollees through the exchanges and >400k new Medicaid insured Americans.

    Over-react much, MSM??

    Calamitous
    Disaster
    Embarrassing
    Horrible
    Destroying the presidency!!

  •  A better analogy than drinking from a sieve, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvel

    would be be drinking from one of those novelty-gag dribble mugs that spill the beverage in your lap -- because that's what these plans are, an elaborate practical joke, played at handsome profit to the perpetrator.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 08:24:40 AM PST

  •  I love President Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Greg Dworkin, Artemrss

    for getting us this far with healthcare reform against such dogged obstruction. I am a primary care physician in a rural area in a poor red state (Arkansas) that did not set up a state exchange but did expand Medicaid. I can't wait for January 1. It is really hard to take care of people with no insurance. Medicaid is not great insurance but far better than nothing.

  •  Why isn't this information made more often? (0+ / 0-)

    The snag in the individuals who find their grandfathered policies no longer available is the fault of their insurance company, not the President, and not the ACA.

    Why the media is not emphasizing these facts is typical of their negativity to sell their product versus reporting the facts to educate and enlighten.

    "Individual plans that were in effect as of March 23, 2010, were "grandfathered," meaning that you get to keep them even if they don't meet the standards mandated by the ACA. However, if the policy has been altered since that date - i.e., if the deductible, co-pay, or benefits changed at all - you can't keep it. Most policies have been changed since that date, for a variety of reasons, so they are being canceled."

    In addition, people who buy individual health insurance tend to change plans often anyway - so some people are losing coverage because they changed insurance policies in, say, 2011.

    The health insurance company, or what the individual changed personally is the factor that makes the cancellation.  This was not the ACA, nor the President.

    Put blame where it belongs.  Your insurance company changed the plan, which, in turn, stopped it from its "grandfather" status.

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